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:

    via Adam Silverman:

    Daria Kaleniuk

    Read this story till the end. During WWII some children were making diaries from concentration camps & occupied cities by nazis. History is repeating. This is a diary of Katya, a 16 years old girl from Mariupol, whose mother died in the basement

    “You know that feeling when it hurts? I once fell in love with a boy, but he didn’t fall in love with me, and I thought it hurt. But it turned out that it hurts to see your mother die in front of you”, says 16 y.o. girl from Mariupol, a hell on earth 1/11

    My brother keeps coming up to mom, saying, “Mommy, don’t sleep, you will freeze”. We will never visit her grave. She has remained in the damp and dark basement. We went to the toilet, slept, ate leftovers in the same basement 2/11

    Once uncle Kolya caught a pigeon, and we fried it and ate it. And then we all vomited. Mom held on to the last, 3 days before our evacuation, she died. I told my brother that she was asleep and should not be awakened. But he seems to have understood it all. 3/11

    Our neighbor died, and we could not carry her outside, and she began to smell. When it got quiet uncle Kolya carried her out, and himself got killed on a trip wire. Mom cried a lot. After dad died uncle Kolya was the closest person. 4/11

    corpses stink so much. They were everywhere. I covered my brother’s eyes with my mother’s scarf so that he would not see this. While we were running, I nearly vomited several times. I no longer believe in your God. Had he existed, we wouldn’t have suffered so much. 5/11

    My mom never, you hear, never did anything wrong. She went to church. Uncle Kolya quit smoking so that mom wouldn`t be nervous that it`s a sin. And your God took her away. The priest said my mom now serving God, but it`d be better if she were to serve him here, raising us.6/11

    I hate russia. My own uncle is there. Do you know what he told me on phone today? “Katya? What Katya? Girl, I don’t know you. What war, what Katya? And then he wrote from the a burner phone,“Katya, do not write to me. It is dangerous for me and my family. Your mom is gone.” 7/11

    I hate them! She was his sister!? How is that possible? … you know, I think that I will return to Mariupol. And I will live in the same place. And every time, on the same day, I will go down to the basement of a new house to lay flowers. 8/11

    It’s also scary when children cry. You can’t be heard. These freaks searched for people in basements and killed them. Those who survived said that the russian military were able to rape children and the elderly, and even corpses. If there is a God, why does He allow this? 9/11

    I don’t want to live anymore. We’ll probably be separated now. And I might not see my brother. What for? Why was this putin saving us? We lived well, we even bought a car. Uncle Kolya promised to teach me how to drive. They even burned the car. And the apartment is gone. 10/11

    I want to die, but I can’t. … hug your kids! Otherwise, you may be gone, and they will not remember your smell. If I endure and later have children, I will be hugging them all the time “… Source: 11/11

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A Tennessee police officer who used his stun gun on a DoorDash driver wrote an arrest report saying the man had become argumentative while denying he was speeding, refused to hand over identifying information, demanded to see a supervisor and stayed in his car when ordered to get out.

    The driver – who faces charges of speeding, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct based on the officer’s sworn affidavit – pressed record on his phone after he was pulled over. That recording, made public by the driver’s attorney, tells a different story.

    It shows Delane Gordon holding his driver’s license as the Collegedale police officer Evan Driskill stands with his Taser in a firing position. “He said he pulled me over for a traffic violation and he’s gonna Tase me. You can’t do that officer because I called for your supervisor,” Gordon says.The white officer repeatedly shouts “Get out!” at Gordon, who is Black.

    “I have my license. What is the reason?” Gordon asks.

    “You refused to give your information. I told you to get out of the car. Now you’re resisting. Get out!” the officer says, pointing the stun gun closer to Gordon’s body.

    “Sir, I feel uncomfortable, please get your supervisor,“ Gordon pleads, at which point Driskill holsters the Taser and grabs him with both hands, trying to pull him down through the open door. “I don’t give a [expletive] what you feel like. I said get out,” the officer says.

    “Why are you being like this,” Gordon asks while being grabbed. “Is this how y’all really are?”

    The officer then steps back and fires his stun gun. “Oh my God, that’s not lawful, sir. That’s not lawful,“ Gordon says after crying out as he felt the jolt. The video released by his lawyer ends as Gordon reaches for the phone and his left leg swings toward the open door.

    Citing ongoing investigations, authorities have declined, for now, to release police video that could fill in the blanks where Gordon’s camera was not recording. The police department says it plans to release its video once the investigations are closed.

    Video at the link.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    And now, something to make one smile:

    Last week, as the sun set over the craggy hills of Spitzkoppe, Namibia, Edith Lemay and her husband, Sébastien Pelletier, stared out over the vast landscape. The Canadian couple and their four children had spent the day scaling boulders, then cooled off from the desert heat in a nearby rock pool.

    “There was a sweetness hanging in the air and as the sun disappeared, it gave way to more stars than we’ve ever seen in our lives,” said Lemay. “It was just … magic.”

    Their children, Mia, Leo, Colin and Laurent also gazed at the deep, inky darkness of the sky, awestruck. Three of those children will lose their eyesight in the coming years, making the experience all the more important for Lemay and Pelletier, who plan to travel for the next year to give the kids as many visually rich experiences as they can.

    “I want their heads to be full of beautiful landscapes that they can remember years from now,” she said.

    I have some friends doing something similar with their 4 young ‘uns. So far they’ve taken trips to Iceland, New Zealand, Nicaragua, China (from whence their 2 adopted children come from), a wide SW US tour and a north to south Eastern seaboard in Autumn tour. They currently are somewhere in Central America.

    Those kids are getting quite an education.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The ground in Cedar Valley is sinking and splintering. Fissures that snake through the region are a visible sign of Utah’s water woes, and the result of years spent overdrawing from an underground aquifer that supplies the area.

    And yet Cedar City, at the heart of the valley, continues to grow. Visitors flock to nearby national parks such as Zion and Bryce Canyon, adding to the flow of new residents expected to move here in the coming years. Cedar City is already the most populous in Utah’s Iron county, and finding more water has become an existential quest.

    Local officials have landed on a controversial solution – siphoning it from under an undeveloped valley to the north in neighboring Beaver county. Laced with scientific uncertainty, the proposal has united environmentalists, ranchers, tribes and officials from other counties in opposition. Supporters, meanwhile, say the city has a legal right to the groundwater and that it is essential for its growth and survival.

    Cedar City must be full of Republicans, thinking they have a right to something that isn’t theirs.

    Paul Monroe, the general manager of the CICWCD, counters the claims of ecological breakdown, citing the layers of contingency plans being put in place to protect the environment. The district is prepared to slow pumping if unforeseen consequences arise. And, he said, there’s a lot at stake if the project doesn’t move forward.

    Sure they will. Some folks just ain’t buying it:

    Kyle Roerink, the executive director of the Great Basin Water Network, doesn’t buy the idea that the agency will turn off the taps if things go awry. “They drained their own aquifer in their own community,” he said. “Can we trust them to be responsible stewards of water that they are importing?”

    Local water use, which was already close to triple the national average in 2020, has been on the rise. The state has finally cracked down on Cedar City’s overdrawing of its aquifer, limiting what can be pumped in the years to come.

    “Not only do we have an issue of supplying water for the growth that has been coming but we really won’t have enough water in the future for our current residents who are here now,” Monroe said.

    Here’s an idea: Move.

  5. Sleeping Dog says:

    Letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    Once Again, Environmentalists Are Sabotaging Climate Progress

    We’ve seen this in northern New England as well. Add to the environmentalist tunnel vision with a large dollop of NIMBYism and nothing gets done. Interestingly, recent battles in NH and ME involved distributing hydro power from Quebec as well. And the response by the environmentalist opposing the project was the same as in NY, RENEWABLE ENERGY! Then various other groups oppose the siting wind farms and solar arrays.

    Arresting global warming, forget about reversing it, was always as much hopes and dreams as it would be reality, but when environmental groups do the work for the fossil fuel industry, stopping global warming is becoming something we should have done.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Choices have to be made, but most people want their cake and to eat it too.

  7. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: New York’s situation is a special brand of mess. In addition to all that you’ve articulated and the article covers, the state has already started to prohibit new buildings with gas lines–before they solve the problem of how to provide power.

    It’s hard to describe how piecemeal and messy they are being with this. It has the potential to be a very, very complicated and very, very expensive mess in a short amount of time. I struggle for analogies, but after doing a fair amount of work in this public policy area, the only example I can come up with is that it’s like building the second floor of a house before the first.

  8. Sleeping Dog says:




    In putting the cart before the environmental horse is something that NY isn’t alone in doing. CA has already declared that the transportation and small engine infrastructure will be ‘green’ by the mid 30’s, as has much of Europe. Of course no one quite knows where the raw materials for all those batteries will come from and at what cost. Now with, if not the collapse of globalism, but its bifurcation a significant chunk of the earth’s rare metals needed for batteries will be in the other economic sphere.

    I agree with you it’s a mess and not just in NY. The problem starts in Washington, as we don’t have a macro plan for reducing fossil fuel use. Congress can’t get anything done and what gets done via executive action is relying on environmental laws that were written in the 70’s to deal with a different set of problems. Most of what Obama did, was reversed by TFG and what Biden will do is likely to be reversed by the next R president, if the courts don’t reverse him first.

    All the while the world gets warmer, and our little corner of it is growing warmer faster than the rest. Last winter was so mild that I see more deer in the yard than squirrels as there was very little winter kill. They ate the leaves off a few bushes that have never been touched, as they aren’t very appealing to deer. But with this winter and so many deer…

  9. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Agreed.

    And the deer destroyed some of our previously-untouched bushes this year too.

  10. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Boston Globe this AM has a couple of articles that are interesting and perhaps amusing if you are old enough and have a long memory.

    Is ‘green gentrification’ driving displacement in East Boston? Researchers say yes, but locals push back

    The usual article about greenspace and low income neighborhoods is that there isn’t enough, so there is much irony in the researchers accusations.

    East Boston is somewhat unique as a low income neighborhood, it’s only 15 minutes by subway to downtown, it’s waterfront and has/had lots of obsolete industrial buildings that could be cleared and the property repurposed. The reason the neighborhood was low income to begin with, was tied to the presence of those industries. Also roughly a quarter of the new housing developed is targeted for low income.

    The college gender gap has transformed the dating world

    Now that this is a problem for white women, it is worth writing about. For women of color, there has long been an inequality in education relative to men of color.

    Plus this whole, finding mates on the campus quad is a pretty recent phenomenon. As late as the “Mad Men” days, it was males who predominated college admissions and who would later find their future spouses at work. Those women were frequently from working class or low income families that through their own initiative, put themselves in a position to step out of that background. This benefited not only the woman, but often the rest of her family as they now had an inside contact at a potential employer.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:
  12. Kathy says:

    Having grown tired of superhero animation and live action, I decided to take a break, even though the second half of season 4 of Young Justice just dropped with three eps. (or maybe because of it?)

    So I paid for Apple TV+ (assuming the Apple TV- to be an inferior product, I suppose), and am watching “Severance.”

    To continue I need to spoil half the first part of the first episode. You’ve been warned.

    The premise of the show, which has received some coverage, is that some employees of the all-powerful Lumon corporation are required to get a brain implant that severs their memories henceforth. That is, at work they can’t access their memories of their personal life, and outside of work they can’t access memories of their time at the office.

    Just one more minor spoiler: this has the effect of making the work persona feel they never leave work. That is, 5 pm comes around, they get ready to leave, they take the elevator to the exit, and next thing they know they are back at work wearing different clothes.

    The upside is the non-work persona would drive to work, take the elevator, and next thing they know it’s 8 hours later, they feel tired, and they’re heading home.

    I see other upsides for this kind of arrangement. You wouldn’t be bothered with work related emails, calls, or messages, because your non-office persona dons’t even know that their work is. You wouldn’t stress in your off time about upcoming stuff at work, either, again because you’ve no idea what that is. Your boss couldn’t ask you to come in earlier, because once you’re out the office you’d have no recollection of being so asked. And other things like that.

    Of course, the show is very dystopic in tone, and at work things are really weird all over.

    And the disturbing part is: if you’ve no memory of your personal life, do you know for sure you have one? For all your work persona knows, once you get out you’re at another job you won’t remember.

    At two eps, it seems interesting.

  13. Sleeping Dog says:


    Love it. Outside of music circles, Campbell didn’t receive the credit that he deserved. The type of Pop music that suited him was killed off by the Beatles, Rolling Stones and others, while he wasn’t quite country and not rock & roll.

    Here’s another. A Norwegian guitarist that plays classical pieces on electric guitar. She performs under the nom de plume, Commander in Chief.

    J. S. Bach – Toccata & Fugue

  14. EddieInCA says:


    I was unsure after the first episode. I just finished episode 8 and am hooked. Finale drops next week. They’ve already ordered a season 2.

  15. Kathy says:


    Maybe I’m an easier mark. I was hooked on ep one, not least because life outside work for Mark seems to be as weird.

  16. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: The second AN-225 won’t be completed. Pointless destruction. But in context, just a footnote.

  17. CSK says:

    I know it’s Trump, but why in hell would even he do this?

  18. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Sleeping Dog: The Mermen – Poco Allegretto from Brahms Third. Best link I could find. Track 14. Any other track, say 10, will provide contrast with their usual acid rock.

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..why in hell would even he do this?..

    Shit for brains?

  20. Sleeping Dog says:


    He’s Trump and an ignoramus, casting about for an insult (he loves insults), and struck on the oddity of the pronunciation v. the spelling. Kind of like Vance dumping on Ukraine only to discover that there are something like 85,000 people of Ukrainian heritage in Ohio.

    Next TFG will go to Minnesota and dump on Scandinavians, because Denmark wouldn’t sell him Greenland.

  21. Mikey says:

    @CSK: Having grown up in Michigan and shopped at Meijer’s (the name of the store is ALWAYS spoken in the possessive) countless times, I would ask “how else should it be pronounced?”

    But as @Sleeping Dog points out, Trump is an ignoramus, and also he probably doesn’t even know there’s a whole damn city in Michigan named Holland.

  22. gVOR08 says:

    If you were worried about COVID vaccine safety, Balloon Juice notes that a German man has been arrested after being vaccinated at least 87 times. He’s suspected of selling proofs of vaccination. He’s believed to have gotten up to three shots a day. Probably also proving that shoulder pain is far from fatal.

  23. gVOR08 says:

    @Mikey: I’m reminded of a story years ago that HW, on the campaign trail, visited a backyard cookout in Detroit. He brought polish sausage. There may be polish sausage in D. C. and TX, in Detroit there’s only keilbasa.

  24. Mikey says:


    in Detroit there’s only keilbasa

    Indeed. Thanks to Hamtramck, which has also given Detroiters the privilege of the best and freshest pączki on Fat Tuesday (AKA Pączki Day).

  25. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    That would do it.
    @Sleeping Dog:
    An odd comment coming from someone whose real surname is “Drumpf,” and when changed to “Trump,” signifies a British slang word for “fart.”
    Perhaps he thinks the Netherlands is one of those shithole countries.

  26. CSK says:

    It’s “kielbasa” all the way here in New England.

  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Dim-witted arrogance knows no boundaries? (That’s the best I can come up with, sorry.)

  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: I see Bluster beat me to this. And more succinctly, too! 😀

  29. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    But this particular stunt was so frigging stupid. I mean, stupid beyond even Trump’s stupidity.

  30. wr says:

    @Kathy: As long as you’ve got Apple+, you should check out WeCrashed…

  31. Jax says:

    I have so many regrets today. Last night, while scrolling through Facebook, I noticed a post my uptight, ultra-religious brother had commented on. The original meme said “1689ers are categorically, among the worst “Christians” in the America. When you see 1689 in a Twitter bio think “Westboro Baptist.” It’s the same exact thing, exact same culture, but slightly more polite. Since 1689ers aren’t a denomination the culture is much more like a Christian cult.”

    My brother’s first comment was him doing the Moses pose with his 1689 sweatshirt, and it devolved into a religious flame war from then on out. My nieces even joined the fray. My kids and were over here dying of laughter as we scrolled through their outrage. 😛

    And I didn’t take any screenshots!!! And now the post has disappeared. 😐

  32. CSK says:

    Does 1689 have to do with the Baptist confession of faith?

  33. Jax says:

    @CSK: Not a clue, all I know is my brother’s like….trying to start this new church, and he was MAD!!! 😛

  34. Jax says:

    @CSK: We’re planning a 50th Anniversary party for my parents in August, and I got told in no uncertain terms that they wouldn’t come if we had the party at the “event center” portion of one of the local bars (you know, so it was nice and easy on my mom, we have it catered, no cleanup, no cooking, we party and go home). So I said fine, we’ll have it here at the ranch. Then he said “Well, we’re not coming if there’s alcohol or any gay cousins coming”.

    So literally, fuck him and his Moses stance AND his 1698 bullshit. He’s just that big of a narcissist, I guess.

  35. Jax says:

    Also me, making sure ALLLLLLLL of the gay cousins are coming. 😛 😛 😛

  36. mister bluster says:

    I am listening to the NCAA Womens Basketball Championship game on the radio. The female comentator keeps refering to the defense being played as “man to man”.