Thanksgiving Eve 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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    When Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of murdering two men during anti-racism protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last week, the verdict was celebrated by far-right politicians and pundits across the US. Several Republican lawmakers offered Rittenhouse an internship and Fox News host Tucker Carlson called him “a sweet kid”.

    Kathleen Belew, a historian of American white power movements and author of Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America, argues that the fact that Rittenhouse’s trial is being read as a victory by more mainstream components of the right has the potential to serve as a rallying cry for increased militant vigilantism against US racial justice protesters moving forward.

    Belew spoke with the Guardian about how perpetrators of right-wing violent action in the US have been empowered by verdicts like Rittenhouse’s in the past, and how the outcome of the case should be read in the context of growing militant social movements.

    Gee, ya think?

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Plague Rats Spread the Plague:

    Seven anti-vaccine doctors fell sick after gathering earlier this month for a Florida “summit” at which alternative treatments for Covid-19 were discussed.

    “I have been on ivermectin for 16 months, my wife and I,” Dr Bruce Boros told the audience at the event held at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, adding: “I have never felt healthier in my life.”

    The 71-year-old cardiologist and staunch anti-vaccine advocate contracted Covid-19 two days later, according to the head event organizer, Dr John Littell.

    Littell, an Ocala family physician, also told the Daily Beast six other doctors among 800 to 900 participants at the event also tested positive or developed Covid-19 symptoms “within days of the conference”.

    Littell raised the suggestion the conference was therefore a super-spreader event but rejected it, vehemently saying: “No. I think they had gotten it from New York or Michigan or wherever they were from,” he told the Beast. “It was really the people who flew in from other places.”

    Nothing to see here. Move along, move along…

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Climate crisis pushes albatross ‘divorce’ rates higher – study

    Albatrosses, some of the world’s most loyally monogamous creatures, are “divorcing” more often – and researchers say global heating may be to blame.

    In a new Royal Society study, researchers say climate change and warming waters are pushing black-browed albatross break-up rates higher. Typically after choosing a partner, only 1-3% would separate in search of greener romantic pastures. But in the years with unusually warm water temperatures, that average consistently rose, with up to 8% of couples splitting up. The study looked at a wild population of 15,500 breeding pairs in the Falkland Islands over 15 years. For seabirds, warmer waters mean less fish, less food and a harsher environment. Fewer chicks survive. The birds’ stress hormones increase. They are forced farther afield to hunt.

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  4. CSK says:

    Axios, CNN, and the NY Post are reporting that Kyle Rittenhouse visited Trump at Mar-a-Lago yesterday. Donnie Junior tweeted a photo of them standing together giving thumbs up gestures. Junior labeled the photos GOATs. Greatest of All Time.

    Poor Junior, so desperate to win Daddy’s favor.

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  5. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: There are a lot of kids who’ve done bad things and, as a parent, I have some empathy regardless of how bad it is. Every time I think of Rittenhouse I think about how badly every adult in his life failed him. And when I look at his future, he is going to be continuously vilified by the people on “my” side and, much worse, continuously feted by the white supremicists and other various trumpers. He will get continuous positive feedback for the worst decision of his life. The odds of him emerging with any kind of a decent life seems slim.

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  6. Michael Cain says:

    Kyle’s not done in court yet. There are apparently going to be large battles over who gets what portion of his $2M bail money now that that’s being returned.

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  7. CSK says:

    @Michael Cain:
    Lin Wood says all the money rightfully belongs to him.

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  8. Kingdaddy says:

    For all of us whose lives beyond the pseudonyms are unknown to others on this forum, whether you had a great year, or a rough year, there’s always something for which we can be thankful. I’m grateful for your participation here. Many of you give a lot of yourselves — your concern for our democracy and each other, your passionate desire to see people with the public trust to do the right thing, your frankness, your respect for each others’ views. Thank you.

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  9. MarkedMan says:

    In the “You can’t make this stuff up department“, a Black Broadway actor and Michael Jackson impersonator was a dues paying member of the Oath Keepers last December and stormed the Capitol with them on January 6th. He was arrested while on tour with a musical revival of “Jesus Christ Superstar”. His role? Judas. And here’s what he had to say about the best known apostle:

    In an October interview, Beeks responded to a question about whether the nation’s civil unrest would affect how he portrayed Judas.
    “I don’t look at it as Judas being a bad guy. I think he is a hero,” Beeks told Equality365. He added, “He wasn’t a bad guy, and was only doing what he had to do.”

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  10. JohnMcC says:

    @MarkedMan: I’m not trying to give too much credit to the thespian insurrectionist but that actually is a religious argument with something of a past. Judas’ betrayal is presented as a way to pressure Him to bring forth the ‘Kingdom’ that eschatological prophecy expected. I believe some of the early Church Fathers debated that and it is a background to ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ (which I see was made into a movie).

    I guess I’m feeling pedantic today. Probably you knew all that.

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  11. gVOR08 says:

    @Kingdaddy: Right back atcha.

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  12. sam says:

    I’m looking forward to the Hallmark channel movie.

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  13. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnMcC: Actually, I didn’t know all that. To be frank, it sounds nuts. But I guess there a lot of fundamentalist Christian beliefs that frankly seem to be made up by the too active imagination of adolescents and then raised to the level of prophecy. “We must support Israel so Christ will come back and send the Jews to a place they will be tortured for eternity” and “Actions don’t matter to God, only words” come to mind.

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  14. wr says:

    @MarkedMan: ““I don’t look at it as Judas being a bad guy. I think he is a hero,” Beeks told Equality365. He added, “He wasn’t a bad guy, and was only doing what he had to do.””

    To be fair, that is an accurate description of the Judas character in Superstar.

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  15. senyordave says:

    Two cases where judges were the best friend a convicted white cop could ever have:
    A former St. Louis police officer convicted of beating a Black undercover detective during a 2017 racial injustice protest has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison — far more lenient than prosecutors and the victim had hoped for.
    Dustin Boone was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court after being convicted in June of a federal civil rights violation related to the attack on Luther Hall. Boone, 37, was one of five white officers charged in the beating.
    Boone’s sentence was less than his own lawyers requested. While prosecutors sought a 10-year sentence, defense lawyers asked U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber to sentence Boone to 26 months.
    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the sentence appeared to stun Hall, his relatives and his supporters, who walked out of the courtroom before Webber finished pronouncing sentence. They declined comment after the hearing, as did prosecutors.
    Hall, in a statement to Webber before the sentence was announced, said he thought Webber’s sentencing of two other officers charged in the case was too lenient, “leniency that’s not shown to African American defendants.”

    A Baltimore County judge last week sentenced a police officer convicted of second-degree rape to four years in prison, but is allowing him to remain on home detention pending an appeal — which prosecutors say likely means he will not serve any time behind bars.

    The office of the Baltimore County state’s attorney announced the sentence Monday in a news release. Prosecutors said that in sentencing Anthony Westerman, 27, on Friday, Circuit Judge Keith Truffer determined there was “not evidence of any psychological injury to the victim,” despite that the fact that she indicated she had received therapy.

    A Baltimore County judge last week sentenced a police officer convicted of second-degree rape to four years in prison, but is allowing him to remain on home detention pending an appeal — which prosecutors say likely means he will not serve any time behind bars.

    The office of the Baltimore County state’s attorney announced the sentence Monday in a news release. Prosecutors said that in sentencing Anthony Westerman, 27, on Friday, Circuit Judge Keith Truffer determined there was “not evidence of any psychological injury to the victim,” despite that the fact that she indicated she had received therapy.

    A Baltimore County police officer convicted of rape was allowed to remain on home detention, prosecutors announced Monday, after a judge determined at the man’s sentencing that there was “not evidence of any psychological injury to the victim,” even though the woman claimed she received therapy.

    Anthony Westerman was convicted in August on multiple counts of rape, sexual offense and assault of a 22-year-old woman in 2017. Westerman, 27, who was separately convicted of assaulting another woman in 2019, was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison for second-degree rape.
    But Circuit Judge Keith Truffer suspended all of the sentence but four years of home detention for the 2017 conviction while Westerman pursues an appeal. Truffer also sentenced Westerman to just one day in jail for the 2019 assault, which he described as a “boorish” act, according to prosecutors.
    Scott D. Shellenberger, the state’s attorney for Baltimore County, said in a news release that Truffer “determined that there was not evidence of any psychological injury to the victim.

    The question is which is bigger – white privilege or cop privilege. My guess is the white privilege matters more, especially in the rape case. Can anyone imagine a judge sentencing a black cop convicted of rape to such a ridiculously light sentence?

    Both cases are examples of judged who should not be allowed anywhere near a courthouse. Imagine a judge deciding that a rape victim has not suffered any psychological injury.

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  16. Mister Bluster says:

    Happy Thanksgiving
    You have taken the land which is rightfully ours. Years from now my people will be forced to live in mobile homes on reservations. Your people will wear cardigans, and drink highballs. We will sell our bracelets by the road sides. You will play golf and enjoy hot hors d’oeuvres. My people will have pain and degradation. Your people will have stick shifts. The gods of my tribe have spoken. They have said, “Do not trust the Pilgrims. Especially Sarah Miller.”
    And for all these reasons I have decided to scalp you and burn your village to the ground.

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  17. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    To be frank, it sounds nuts. But I guess there a lot of fundamentalist Christian beliefs that frankly seem to be made up by the too active imagination of adolescents and then raised to the level of prophecy.

    The debate over Judas has been on-going for quite some time, and has been a major theological debate between Catholic groups (e.g., Jesuits vs. Franciscans). The question is: Did Judas go to Heaven?

    Three major points of contention:

    1) Was his role pre-ordained or not? (sin requires free will)
    2) Was he forgiven? (without him fulfilling his role, Jesus couldn’t fulfill his)
    3) What about the suicide?

    There’s a lot more complexity and subtlety to the various debates, but it’s a reasonable viewpoint in Christianity to say that Judas did “the right thing”.

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  18. Kylopod says:

    @senyordave: I will never forget this story from the 1990s:

    Judge Thomas Bollinger, S2, of Baltimore County Circuit Court, granted mere probation to a 44-year-old man who was found guilty of raping his 18-year-old employee after she got drunk and passed out on his bed. At the sentencing last April, Judge Bollinger said the victim had “facilitated” the crime by getting drunk, and he worried that criminalizing intercourse with a sleeping woman might make many husbands, in the eyes of the law, rapists. When the victim’s lawyer described the scenario of a woman left vulnerable on a bed as the defendant’s “dream come true,” Judge Bollinger remarked it was “the dream of a lot of males, quite honestly.” After angry demonstrations by women’s groups, Judge Bollinger said he was misinterpreted; he was sorry he hadn’t added “unfortunately” to his “dream of a lot of males” remark. Nevertheless, he was fined $500 and agreed, grudgingly, to take a rape-sensitivity course.

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  19. inhumans99 says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    The greatest Thanksgiving Day celebration of all time.

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  20. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao: It’s a major debate among different stagings of Jesus Christ Superstar as well.

    For the surprise return to sing the not-quite-cling number, he has been portrayed descending from heaven with a bunch of foxy angels, or ascending from hell with a bunch of foxy devils, and just appearing unexplained with a bunch of foxy background singers.

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  21. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Gustopher:

    Yeah. I’ve done the show a couple times, and that’s always a directorial choice.

    Not as interesting as the one where Herod rolls onto the stage in a hot-tub, only to have college babes in speedos rise up for the chorus. 🙂 That was the show where we were > < this close to having Robin Zander (of Cheap Trick fame) play Jesus–for free. His manager, however, wouldn't allow him to. We ended up with "Corky the Lounge Lizard" instead. {le sigh}

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  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @senyordave: A former St. Louis police officer convicted of beating a Black undercover detective during a 2017 racial injustice protest has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison

    As a Public defender friend of mine explained to me, getting sentenced to one year means you are doing one year. Being sentenced to one year and 1 day means you can get out in a whole lot less. IIRC, as little as 4 months.

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  23. Jen says:

    All three defendants in the Ahmaud Arbery case have received guilty verdicts.

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  24. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    There’s a lot more complexity and subtlety to the various debates, but it’s a reasonable viewpoint in Christianity to say that Judas did “the right thing”.

    Your definition of “reasonable” and mine differ substantially.

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  25. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    Something for which decent people across the USA can give thanks tomorrow.

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  26. Mister Bluster says:

    @MarkedMan:..it sounds nuts.

    No more nutty than virgin birth or resurrection of the dead.

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  27. DAllenABQ says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: A year and a day in federal court means he will earn good time, which is set by statute at 54 days good time per year. He will do about 10.5 months.

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  28. EddieInCA says:

    Here is why Dems SUCK at messaging.

    Weekly jobless claims post stunning decline to 199,000, the lowest level since 1969

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/24/us-jobless-claims-fall-to-just-199000-the-lowest-level-since-1969.html

    So we had an amazing report this morning. How many of you have heard about it? Can you imagine what Trump would be saying, over and over and over again, if this had happened under his watch. Every single cabinet member should have been on a morning show this morning with the facts/talking points about how the economy is starting to take off – with facts and numbers to back up the rhetoric. This could be turned into a narrative about how “America is going back to work.”

    Such a missed opportunity already. Fvck me.

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  29. Kathy says:

    So, the company issued new cell phones today (we get them every two years, as plans expire).

    The first time was exciting, even if I got literally the worst smartphone I’v ever used (512 MB storage, can you believe it? Sure, it was 2013, but still). The second time was interesting (better phone). The third time was a chore, as was this fourth time. “Now I have to transfer contacts, data, install apps, etc. etc.” is what pretty much everyone’s saying.

    This time, we got mostly Xiaomi phones. Mine has a weird power port (research suggests it’s an USB 2A, but that can be treated with ivermectin*), distinct from the usual USB mini and the newer USB C. So now I need a cable for charging in the car. It also has an app displaying clickbait on the lock screen, which can’t be removed. Finally, I can find no option to remove the Facebook app, or even to disable it.

    Other than that, it’s just a miracle technology that has grown stale from overuse.

    *j/k

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  30. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    I’ve been using Xiaomi phones for about 10 years. I’ve never had those issues. There’s definitely some apps that can’t be removed, but FB wasn’t one of them (even on the “global” version).

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  31. Mu Yixiao says:
  32. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Hm. Covidiot bacteria?

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  33. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Very likely it’s bloatware/adware put in by the carrier.

    Some earlier phones didn’t let me uninstall Fakebook, but allowed me to disable it. On the other hand, I haven’t used it in this phone, and the app info says it has no permissions (I’ve heard that before).

    I can ignore the clickbait, but it might be worth jailbreaking the phone to eradicate the FB app.

    It did let me uninstall Tik Tok.

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  34. Kathy says:

    I finished Loki the other day.

    I enjoyed it. It felt quite different from most other comic book movies or TC shows (though the whole relationship with Sylvie is just creepy). BTW, these short season limited series are more like long movies or miniseries than actual TV series.

    It offers a “solution” to the multiverse “problem” (quotes because it’s not a real problem, even a real fictional one). A different take is found in Niven’s “All the Myriad Ways. A more similar one, also involving a large bureaucracy and people with advanced weapons, can be found in H. Beam Piper’s Paratime Police series.

    It has its own take on the predestination and free will problem (this is a real one). Simply put, if some sentient entity knows all that’s going to happen, including all you will do, think, and say, are you free to make your own choices or is it all predetermined, and you’re just going through the motions?

    I don’t think one thing has anything to do with the other. Same as whether if all biological processes, including brain activity, are the result of chemical interactions according to well defined and limited natural laws, can you predict what one organism will do if you know the state of its biochemistry? (how to put that succinctly?)

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  35. JohnSF says:

    This is horrible.
    At least 31 migrants drowned in the Channel after inflatable dinghy sinks.
    The Channel is not a friendly sea at this time of year.
    We really need to set up some sort of safe transit and processing service.

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  36. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    Try Charles Stross’s Palimpsest; which is, as he admits, a riff on Asimov’s The End of Eternity. Very, very good, IMO.

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  37. JohnSF says:

    @JohnMcC:
    @MarkedMan:
    @wr:
    @Mu Yixiao:

    Ah the heresy of the desire to Immanetize the Eschaton
    One of my favourite heresies.
    I’m something of a connoisseur of heresy: perhaps goes back to being educated in an C of E school, and then getting a GCE Grade 1 exam result in Religious Studies.

    Not much of a surprise evangelicals get drawn to this given their silly fondness for Millenarianism.
    Nowhere near as entertaining as Ophitism, though. Or Americanism, LOL.
    Or as pernickety as Triclavianism.

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  38. EddieInCA says:

    @Kathy:

    BTW, these short season limited series are more like long movies or miniseries than actual TV series.

    One of the reasons the best work in my business is being done on television rather than film is just for this very reason. You have 8-10hrs to tell a story, rather than 2-3. I often joke that if the “Godfather” were to be made today, it would be a 10hr series on Netflix or HBO.

    “Dune” would be better served as a miniseries rather than a feature. “Brave New World” on Peacock was much better than any of the previoius attempts at telling the story – because they had 9 hrs to tell the story.

    Peter Jackson basically did that with the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”.

    BTW, I loved “Loki”. Well written, fun, cheeky, and unpredictable – which is a rarity these days.

    I loved “Falcon and the Winter Solider”, and only liked “WandaVision.”. I think “Black Widow” would have been much better as a 8 hour limited series than the horrible, unwatchable feature that was produced.

    I’m looking forward to “Hawkeye”.

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  39. Kylopod says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I often joke that if the “Godfather” were to be made today, it would be a 10hr series on Netflix or HBO.

    It’s hardly a joke. I absolutely believe it’s true. Furthermore, if it weren’t such a beloved property, they’d be remaking it as a 10-hour series. But it’s one of those rare cultural artifacts like The Wizard of Oz that’s regarded as so sacrosanct nobody touches it. They might try to do prequels and sequels, but nobody dares suggests redoing it.

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  40. Mu Yixiao says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one to think that Black Widow was a horrible movie (I didn’t even finish watching it). It should have been a spy movie, not an FX slug-fest.

    Of course, I’m apparently one of only three people in the world who thinks that Thor: Ragnarok is an utter piece of childish crap.

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  41. Mu Yixiao says:

    @EddieInCA:

    One of the reasons the best work in my business is being done on television rather than film is just for this very reason.

    I do have to laugh at this, however:

    A: Want to go see Dune?
    B: God no. That’s like 3-hours long!
    A: Oh. So what are you doing this weekend?
    B: I’m binge-watching the latest season of Black Mirror.

    😀

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  42. Gustopher says:

    @Jen: And the Nazis were held liable for Charlottesville yesterday!

    So, A bit more justice in the world. I kind of needed a little bit of terrible people facing some consequences.

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  43. Matt Bernius says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I’m looking forward to “Hawkeye”.

    I highly recommend the Matt Fraction and David Aja (and other illustrators) series that the series is in part based on. It recasts Hawkeye as a film noirish character. The L.A. chapter of the series is an wonderful homage to the Robert Altman version of “The Long Kiss Goodbye” (including a character who looks like young Elliot Gould).

    You can read it with in Marvel’s unlimited app or for free if your local library system has Hoopla.

    Also the “Pizza Dog” issue is one of the best single issues that uses the medium of comics to tell a story that cannot be told well in any other medium.

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  44. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    Thanks, I’ll look it up.

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  45. EddieInCA says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    #fact
    LOL

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  46. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Make that four.
    Did people actually pay money to watch it? I mean, it wasn’t Ice Pirates,but it sure tried…

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  47. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    The blond pilgrim girl was later Harmony (aka Harm) on BTVS and Angel. Mercedes McNab.

    Christina Ricci deserved a far better adult career.

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