Thursday’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. Lost in Quebec says:

    Film director Wolfgang Peterson, most famous for Das Boot, has passed away.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Florida Republicans targeted Black voters, justice department says in filing

    The justice department said it agreed with the court’s findings that Florida lawmakers enacted those provisions knowing they would harm Black voters after the 2020 election in which turnout surged. The Florida law, the department said, violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in voting practices.

    “The district court’s core factual findings are that, in the face of surging turnout in the 2020 election, the Florida Legislature responded by enacting provisions that impose disparate burdens on Black voters,” DoJ lawyers wrote in their brief. “Which were chosen precisely because of those burdens to secure a partisan advantage. The court’s findings of discriminatory intent are a permissible view of the record based on the entirety of the evidence.”

    Florida lawyers dispute that the law is racially discriminatory.

    Facially neutral laws regulating drop boxes for vote-by-mail ballots, the return of voter registration forms, and activity at or near a polling place fall squarely within the state’s power to manage “[t]he time, places and manner of holding elections”, lawyers representing the Florida secretary of state and attorney general wrote in a brief to the 11th circuit.

    “In concluding otherwise, the district court focused on the distant past and disparities rooted in evidence that was “limited,” “unclear,” “not necessarily representative,” and “not statistically significant.”’

    Translation: “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.”

    ― Anatole France

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I saw this on twitter yesterday: Florida court rules teenager ‘not mature enough’ to have abortion

    As the person I read yesterday pointed out, “Not mature enough to get an abortion, but mature enough to have a baby?”

    These judges really have their heads up their asses.

  4. Kathy says:

    The FDA will not require human trials for new COVID vaccines, specifically for a bivalent booster with the original strain plus Omicron BA.4 and 5 subvariants.

    This quote near the end explains things: “And some scientists say health officials know enough about how vaccines work to start handling the COVID-19 vaccines like the flu vaccines, which are changed every year to try to match whatever strains are likely to be circulating but aren’t routinely tested again every year.”

    If we’re going to be living with the trump virus, we need something like this.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Molly Crane-Newman

    Source confirms Allen Weisselberg will implicate the Trump Organization and Trump Payroll Corp when he pleads guilty to criminal tax fraud charges in the morning — and he will agree to testify against them at trial in October if called as a witness.

    As I expected.

  6. Kathy says:

    I highly recommend the superhero series “The Boys” on Amazon.

    Caveat: it is extremely violent, and very graphic and frankly gross and disgusting at that. But the political commentary works rather well.

    I can’t say much without spoilers, so I’ll just leave this quote without attribution: “People love what I have to say. They believe in it. They just don’t like the word Nazi, that’s all.”

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Thomas Zimmer

    People who bemoan a “tense atmosphere” should at least admit that absolutely anything other than complete acquiescence and surrender to the Right – very much including any and all necessary steps to safeguard democracy – will inevitably lead to “tensions.” Gotta make a choice.

    Unity; avoiding tensions; lowering the temperature – It all sounds fine in a vacuum. But in the concrete context of the current political conflict, it all basically means the same thing: Impunity for Trump, surrendering to the Right; sacrificing democracy and the rule of law.

    Pundits who want Garland / the FBI to ease or avoid “tensions” either don’t understand that’s the choice they are advocating – or they do and that’s where they stand: “unity” over democracy and the rule of law. I just wish they were honest enough to openly state their position.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Kathy bait: Mexico’s citizens caught in crossfire as cartels launch attacks across the country

    López Obrador, who was elected in 2018 promising to “pacify” his troubled nation with a controversial policy of “hugs, not bullets”, claimed the attacks suggested those efforts were succeeding. He called the violence desperate cartel “propaganda” designed to project a false sense of power.

    “I want to tell the people of Mexico to remain calm,” said the president, who is known as Amlo, accusing conservative political rivals of “magnifying” the turmoil.

    Yet the scale of the violence needed no amplification and offered a terrifying reminder of the muscle of wealthy and heavily armed groups such as the Jalisco cartel and the government’s inability to respond, even in major cities.

  9. Kathy says:


    The good news is there’s no presidential reelection in Mexico.

    The bad news is the king still has over two years left in his term (ends in December 2024).

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘I don’t see justice in this war’: Russian soldier exposes rot at core of Ukraine invasion

    Pavel Filatyev knew the consequences of what he was saying. The ex-paratrooper understood he was risking prison, that he would be called a traitor and would be shunned by his former comrades-in-arms. His own mother had urged him to flee Russia while he still could. He said it anyway.

    “I don’t see justice in this war. I don’t see truth here,” he said over a tucked-away cafe table in the Moscow financial district. It was his first time sitting down in person with a journalist since returning from the war in Ukraine.

    “I am not afraid to fight in war. But I need to feel justice, to understand that what I’m doing is right. And I believe that this is all failing not only because the government has stolen everything, but because we, Russians, don’t feel that what we are doing is right.”

    Two weeks ago, Filatyev went on to his VKontakte social media page and published a 141-page bombshell: a day-by-day description of how his paratrooper unit was sent to mainland Ukraine from Crimea, entered Kherson and captured the seaport, and dug in under heavy artillery fire for more than a month near Mykolaiv – and then how he eventually was wounded and evacuated from the conflict with an eye infection.

    By then, he was convinced he had to expose the rot at the core of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “We were sitting under artillery fire by Mykolaiv,” he said. “At that point I already thought that we’re just out here doing bullshit, what the fuck do we need this war for? And I really had this thought: ‘God, if I survive, then I’ll do everything that I can to stop this.’”

    He is elsewhere now.

  11. charon says:

    Florida court rules teenager ‘not mature enough’ to have abortion

    Court being obsessed about the insufficient supply of adoptable babies.

    Privatizing costs/burdens of public priorities.

  12. Scott says:

    A lot of pros and cons in this piece but one thing that is not mentioned which I believe is very likely. That visual footage of FBI agents will subject them to identification, harassment, violence, and possible injury and death.

    Trump considering releasing surveillance footage of FBI Mar-a-Lago search

    Some allies of former President Donald Trump are urging him to publicly release surveillance footage of FBI agents executing a search warrant on his Mar-a-Lago residence, a proposal that has drawn mixed reaction inside his orbit, CNN has learned.

    Some of Trump’s aides and allies have encouraged the former President to make some of the footage available to the public, believing it could send a jolt of energy through the Republican Party’s base. One person familiar with the conversations said there have been discussions about featuring the August footage in campaign-style ads, believing the footage could bolster Trump’s claims of political persecution.

  13. CSK says:

    But Weisselberg won’t testify againt Trump or any Trump family members.

  14. Jax says:

    OMG. This is truly the dumbest timeline to be stuck in. Little Susie didn’t win, the first place winner must be transgender!

    After one competitor “outclassed” the rest of the field in a girls’ state-level competition last year, the parents of the competitors who placed second and third lodged a complaint with the Utah High School Activities Association calling into question the winner’s gender.

    David Spatafore, the UHSAA’s legislative representative, addressing the Utah Legislature’s Education Interim Committee on Wednesday, said the association — without informing the student or family members about the inquiry — asked the student’s school to investigate.

    The school examined the student’s enrollment records.

    “The school went back to kindergarten and she’d always been a female,” he said.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Each thing in it’s own time.

    @Jax: Trans hunts are the new witch hunts:

    Peasants: We have found a trans! (A trans! a trans!)
    Burn her burn her!

    Peasant 1: We have found a trans, may we burn her?
    Vladimir: How do you known she is a trans?
    P2: She looks like one!
    V: Bring her forward
    Woman: I’m not a trans! I’m not a trans!
    V: ehh… but you are dressed like one.
    W: They dressed me up like this!
    All: naah no we didn’t… no.
    W: And this isn’t my nose, it’s a false one.
    (V lifts up carrot)
    V: Well?
    P1: Well we did do the nose
    V: The nose?
    P1: …And the hat, but she is a trans!
    (all: yeah, burn her burn her!)
    V: Did you dress her up like this?
    P1: No! (no no… no) Yes. (yes yeah) a bit (a bit bit a bit) But she has got a wart!
    (P3 points at wart)
    V: What makes you think she is a trans?
    P2: Well, she turned me into an also-ran!
    V: An also-ran?!
    (P2 pause & look around)
    P2: I wan 2nd place.
    P3: Burn her anyway! (burn her burn her burn!)
    (king walks in)
    V: There are ways of telling whether she is a trans.
    P1: Are there? Well then tell us! (tell us)
    V: Tell me… what do you do with transexuals?
    P3: Burn’em! Burn them up! (burn burn burn)
    V: What do you burn apart from transexuals?
    P1: More transexuals! (P2 nudge P1)
    P3: Wood!
    V: So, why do transexuals burn?
    (long pause)
    P2: Cuz they’re made of… wood?
    V: Gooood.
    (crowd congratulates P2)
    V: So, how do we tell if she is made of wood?
    P1: Build a bridge out of her!
    V: Ahh, but can you not also make bridges out of stone?
    P1: Oh yeah…
    V: Does wood sink in water?
    P1: No
    P3: No. It floats!
    P1: Let’s throw her into the bog! (yeah yeah ya!)
    V: What also floats in water?
    P1: Bread
    P3: Apples
    P2: Very small rocks
    (V looks annoyed)
    P1: Cider
    P3: Grape gravy
    P1: Cherries
    P3: Mud
    King: A Duck!
    (all look and stare at king)
    V: Exactly! So, logically…
    P1(thinking): If she ways the same as a duck… she’s made of wood!
    V: And therefore,
    (pause & think)
    P3: A trans! (P1: a trans)(P2: a trans)(all: a trans!)
    V: We shall use my largest scales.

    With all due apologies to Monty Python.

  16. Beth says:


    I for one am shocked, SHOCKED! and did not see this coming, at all.

  17. Beth says:


    The really bad part is that the only thing Americans love more than drugs is moralizing and passing harsher laws against the use of drugs that mostly don’t apply to White people over a certain income amount. Until we get that nonsense sorted out there’s simply too much money to be made. So, so, stupid.

  18. gVOR08 says:

    Every now and again you see a conservative say something not quite as extreme right as he might, and some conservative commenter will respond, “Of course Bret Stephens would say that, he’s a knee-jerk libturd.”, oblivious to Stephens’ actual history. I see the same reaction to the FBI “raid” on Mar a Lago. GOPs are screaming about political bias at the FBI. I’ve commented here a couple times that the FBI does in fact have a history of partisan bias, but hardly liberal. So I have to pass on this NYT column by one Garrett M. Graff making the same point, but with more research and examples. Their view of law and order puts way more stress on order than on law.

  19. Stormy Dragon says:


    The article doesn’t say, but I’m wondering if the first place winner is non-white, because if you’ve been following this issue, these “secret trans” allegations are most frequently leveled at minority athletes who don’t meet white stereotypes of femininity.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    via Betty Cracker over at Balloon Juice:


    Save your tears @NealCollins2010

    Maybe you should have listened to women before you voted. Her blood and trauma is on your hands.

    “Wow, who knew women were actual live, breathing, thinking, feeling people?”

  21. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    UtAh is 86.84% white and only 1.1% Black, so my guess is that the girl is white, but probably taller than average. Therefore, she has to be a biological male by some people’s “reasoning.”

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Keeping it wild: how mules help preserve the last untamed places in the US

    I never made it to the Bob Marshall, it was a place I’d always wanted to go but just never quite made it. Now I’m too old, too fat, too arthritic, too COPD, too ad nauseum. One life is not enough, maybe I’ll get to come back.

  23. Sleeping Dog says:

    Willie Nelson’s Long Encore
    As he approaches 90, even brushes with death can’t keep him off the road — or dim a late-life creative burst.

    As Nelson has rounded the bend into old age, another unusual thing has happened: He has been making more music. He has had a very busy 21st century, producing a staggering 36 albums of new material since the turn of the millennium. He has recorded collections of children’s music and songbook standards and country-and-Western jukebox hits. He has released tribute albums to Sinatra, to George and Ira Gershwin, to the songwriter Cindy Walker. He has done album-length collaborations with indie rockers, with Western-swing revival bands, with Wynton Marsalis and members of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He made a gospel-themed album with his sister and four of his children. He put out a reggae record, and it wasn’t embarrassing. He’s said to have hundreds more recent recordings in the can. The Willie Nelson of 2022 is an anomaly, perhaps unprecedented in popular music: His discography stretches back to the Eisenhower era, and he remains one of America’s busiest working musicians. “It’s a decent job,” he says. “Best one I’ve had, at least.”

    Most performers Willie’s age have faded away, with casual fans wondering if they are still alive. Occasionally one will take the stage at a tribute concert for them and the forgiving fans ignore the forgotten words and off-key renditions. The there is Willie (and Tony Bennett) approaching their 10th decade and still a performer worth spending your time and money to see.

  24. CSK says:

    Well, Laura Ingraham has officially made herself persona non grata to the MAGA crowd by suggesting that we need to move on from Trump. The commenters over at are calling her a “Deep Stater” and “a whiny nasal-voiced c**t who thinks she’s smarter than everyone else.”

    That final comment was made by someone whose screen name is “Jesuslover54.”

  25. Mikey says:


    That visual footage of FBI agents will subject them to identification, harassment, violence, and possible injury and death.

    Which is, of course, exactly what Trump and his worshipers want.

  26. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I don’t want to discount Collins’ recognition of his error, but I still want to yell “Motherfucker, we TOLD you this would happen and YOU DID NOT LISTEN.”

    It’s like conservatives completely lack the ability for any sort of abstract thought. They simply can’t conceive of a consequence unless it happens to them or someone they know. Anyone outside their immediate circle simply does not exist as an actual human being.

  27. CSK says:

    Sure, just as Trump’s calling for the release of the witnesses’ names in the affadavit. He wants them to fear for their safety and lives.

  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: Oh come on. You must have seen this coming. I didn’t happen to, but if I followed sports (and school) at all*, I’d have expected it.

    *I only substitute teach/monitor classrooms; I don’t do school politics anymore.

  29. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m not quite sure what his point is. Is he saying “we gotta stop playing dawg with stupid-shirt laws” or “whew, dodged a bullet on THAT one?”

  30. Beth says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Oh, I knew it was coming. The only thing I’m actually surprised about is that they handled it sort of internally without harassing the poor girl that was the target of their bullshit. It’s going to happen A LOT more. It will happen for racist reasons. It will happen for stupid reasons. It will probably end up with a bunch of Cis girls harmed. All to ensure the tiny handful of Trans kids know their place to suffer. Eventually we’ll get to someone who won’t let it go and forces some kid to strip at a track meet.

  31. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @CSK: Well, I’m not sure that I can say Jesuslover54 is *wrong*…

    The last couple years with the MAGA “community” I keep being reminded of how Star Wars (and probably older stories, since Lucas used well-known tropes) taught us that “Evil always turns on itself.” It’s terrifying how much damage they can do to others on the way, but fanatic personality cults really do eat their own in the long run.

  32. CSK says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:
    Here’s a list of the people the MAGAs like:
    1. Trump (above all others)
    2. Marjorie Tazylor Greene
    3. Lauren Bosbert
    4. Matt Gaetz
    5. Kari Lake

    Everyone else is a Deep State Communist devil.

    I think you and Jesuslover54 have completely different reasons for disparaging Ingraham.

  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: If he’s not going to testify about people, the gubmint be’s only after the money. FG goes banko yet again, Treasury shrugs and pitches “we did our job.” Win-win. 🙁

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: I thought so. You’re too aware of the world in which you live not to have.

  35. Jay L Gischer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I attended a couple of tai-chi seminars with a man that was very, very good. (He was Chinese-Canadian). He said, “I try to be hard only at the point of application”. In tai chi, and jujitsu, one strives to cultivate softness and relaxation in all one’s movements. Some tension is necessary, but we strive to limit it to very specific points and moments.

    This runs counter to our off-the-shelf reactions. However, it is also very effective. One does not get caught up in extraneous details.

    In politics people of all persuasions can get caught up in “They are all a bunch of crooks!” and delving into minutiae. I feel that pull myself, and sometimes get caught up in it.

    So, here is the point where I am hard:

    The rioters on 1/6 were attempting to reverse the outcome of a legally-conducted election. This is anti-democratic. This is an insurrection. Donald Trump wanted them to do this, planned to put pressure on Mike Pence to help him overturn the outcome of a legally-conducted election, and tried to go to the Capital to urge the insurrectionists on.

    Here is the stuff I don’t care about: What Trump looks like. How much he eats. Whether he has ketchup on steak. Whether he sometimes throws dishes at the walls. And so on. Whether Trump supporters are evil or deluded or both. These are not points of application.

    It’s about focus. That’s my response to Thomas Zimmer.

  36. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    See this:

    Weisselberg gets 5 months in the slammer and pays his back taxes, plus interest and penalties. Nobody else gets fined or imprisoned.

  37. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:

    Evil always turns on itself.

    The people you need to seize power aren’t the people you need to hold power, and once you’ve seized power, you should eliminate any power centers that are no longer needed, lest they become available to someone trying to replace you.

    Rules for Rulers

  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: That final comment was made by someone whose screen name is “Jesuslover54.”

    Because nothing reflects the love of Jesus like calling a woman “a whiny nasal-voiced c**t”.

  39. Jay L Gischer says:

    I’m quite skeptical, in the broad scheme, of “Evil Turns On Itself”. Sometimes Evil is a team game, and the Evil team keeps it together quite a long time.

    However, the icon of a certain group of people is not a team player at all. He throws people under the bus with impunity. And of course, lots of others emulate him.

    Fragmentation of both political and religious movements is a pretty common thing among humans, regardless of specific outlook (Evil vs. Good, or D vs. R). So, the Catholics have kept it together, except they haven’t. There was the Reformation, and there are people who regularly leave the Church. So add (Catholic v. Protestant) to the list. I’m guessing Buddhism fragments too. There’s a famous schism in the Muslim world, and probably many more lesser rifts.

    Which is to say, keeping a big coalition together is tough, and takes someone actively working to do it.

  40. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Here is the stuff I don’t care about: What Trump looks like. How much he eats. Whether he has ketchup on steak. Whether he sometimes throws dishes at the walls. And so on. Whether Trump supporters are evil or deluded or both. These are not points of application.

    If you insult Trump’s hair on twitter, he’s not going to feel bad, because he’s never going to see it. The person who is going to see it is your friend who is already struggling with self-image because of hair loss and now feels even worse because they know that’s what you really think about them too.

  41. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Fragmentation of both political and religious movements is a pretty common thing among humans, regardless of specific outlook (Evil vs. Good, or D vs. R). So, the Catholics have kept it together, except they haven’t. There was the Reformation, and there are people who regularly leave the Church. So add (Catholic v. Protestant) to the list. I’m guessing Buddhism fragments too. There’s a famous schism in the Muslim world, and probably many more lesser rifts.

    The solution is Discordianism, where Eris actively encourages all followers to go form their own sect.

  42. wr says:

    @Sleeping Dog: “The there is Willie (and Tony Bennett) approaching their 10th decade and still a performer worth spending your time and money to see.”

    I just learned that Tony Bennett lives in my building — or I guess we live in his building — about six floors up.

  43. CSK says:

    Yes indeed. This Jesuslover54 has also made anti-Semitic comments.

    Jesus must be so proud, because nothing, absolutely nothing, sazys “I am a follower of Christ” like anti-Semitism and misogyny.

  44. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Ok, time for Luddite to take a different freeway off-ramp here in the Twilight Zone:

    Miller High Life has partnered with Tipsy Scoop, maker of alcohol-infused ice cream, to create a new novelty ice cream product called the Ice Cream Dive Bar that’s meant to recall the flavor of…a dive bar floor.

    Let’s repeat that: a beer company and an ice cream maker decided creating something edible that combines beer, peanut swirl (which is supposed to mimic peanut shells frequently found on bar floors), tobacco smoke flavor, caramel, and a dark chocolate dip was a good idea.

    The collaboration is a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ice cream bar. Each Dive Bar contains up to 5% alcohol, and a six-pack costs $36. Get yours while they last!

    With a h/t to Daily Pnut and Food Network

  45. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:
    Well, that sounds ghastly.

  46. Beth says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    I joke that after trying Malört I ran and licked the bathroom floor of the gay dive bar we were in cause it tastes better.

    In actuality I ran to the bathroom to try and not puke before I got the taste out of my mouth. Horrid, horrid stuff.

  47. Scott says:

    @Beth: Never heard of Malort so I googled it. One commenter wrote: “It’s like if shame and regret were left to ferment before being distilled through an old, sweaty shoe”.

    Sounds delightful.

  48. Kathy says:
  49. Beth says:


    It is one of the most wretched things I have ever put in my mouth, and I’ve made lots of questionable choices.

    Here’s a pretty accurate review of it:

  50. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    Like @Scott, I’d never heard of Malort, but after looking it up and watching your provided link, it sounds like the closest thing on the outside to grapefruit pruno (and the accompanying distilled slash) that I’ve heard of since 1981. You really drank that? Just proves that you’re waaaayyy rougher and tougher than this Luddite ever was.

  51. Scott says:

    @Beth: That was great. The comments were awesome also. The best was the one about being the Secret Santa for someone you don’t like.

    And I thought Jaegermeister and Soju were bad.

  52. Mu Yixiao says:
  53. Beth says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    Lol, the only reason I drank it was my mouth wrote a whole bunch of checks, that we had assumed were worthless, but came due anyway. I’m usually pretty good at talking/charming my way out of things, but I was surrounded by a bunch of vindictive women, one of whom is a butcher and another who is a neurologist. All of whom can be remarkably impervious to my nonsense when they want to be. Oh, and a hard ass Ukrainian butch lesbian bartender. The only think she likes more than my antics is a good comeuppance. Also, as proof she’s a hard ass, she drinks Jägermeister & Redbull. She’s so cool.

    Anyway, I thought I was gonna die.

  54. JohnSF says:

    Looks like the Ukrainians are really lighting it up tonight.
    Reported “incidents”so far:
    Depot, Timonovo, Belgorod
    Stary Oskol Airfield, Belgorod
    Nova Kakhovka, Kherson
    Belbek airport, Crimea
    Air defence activity near Kerch strait, Crimea
    Multiple explosions in Sevastopol, Crimea.

    Ukrainian Defence Ministry tweets:

    “Smoking kills!”

  55. Matt Bernius says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I attended a couple of tai-chi seminars with a man that was very, very good. (He was Chinese-Canadian). He said, “I try to be hard only at the point of application”. In tai chi, and jujitsu, one strives to cultivate softness and relaxation in all one’s movements. Some tension is necessary, but we strive to limit it to very specific points and moments.

    100%. Just out of curiosity, who was the instructor? And was it in the Toronto area or Vancouver?

    And when you mention juijitsu, are you referring to Japanese JJ? I can’t remember if we’ve had this conversation before, but I’m always interested to see who else practices martial arts on the site.

  56. Flat Earth Luddite says:


    And I thought Jägermeister and Soju were bad

    Dawg, not at the same time/glass, I hope. I mean, I have a lifetime of less-than-bright decisions, but I’ve never tried that. Nor the Jägermeister/peppermint Schnaps cocktails a buddy used to drink 50-odd years ago.

  57. Beth says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    Nor the Jägermeister/peppermint Schnaps cocktails a buddy used to drink 50-odd years ago

    That made my stomach clench.

  58. Scott says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: No, no. Not at all. I’ve done dumb things but not that. To be fair, I don’t remember much of the soju experience, including how I got home.

  59. JohnSF says:

    Brandy and pernod.
    “Go on, just try it…”
    Bad mistake.

  60. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Been there. Done that. Got the hat, t-shirt, and souvenir beer cozy. Still better than ouzo.

    Hey, Cracker introduced me to soju. I actually like it. Tastier than ouzo.

    Yes, me too. This particular friend was (at the time) a 6’5″ 280# MP. To say his drinking caused problems for those around him (usually me) shouldn’t surprise you.

  61. a country lawyer says:

    @JohnSF: Had a squadron mate in Viet Nam whose drink was pernod and root beer. His nickname was Lurch.

  62. Beth says:


    Nope, nope, nope, nope. I prefer a nice watermelon vodka & Sprite with a fist full of skittles as a garnish. Elegant. Klassy.

    @Flat Earth Luddite: @Flat Earth Luddite:

    Was he at least able to participate in helping get out of said problem? I mean, he IS the brute squad.

  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: This Jesuslover54 has also made anti-Semitic comments.

    This always cracks me up. I can’t count the number of religious arguments* that I have stopped dead in their tracks with the words, “You know, Jesus was a Jew.”

    *believe it or not, even with the odd atheist. In the days when Islamophobia was running rampant, I could always stop people with, “You know, the Muslims consider Jesus a prophet.” and it’s always an amazement to me the number of folks who don’t understand that Jews, Christians and Muslims all worship the same God of Abraham.

    Lord knows, I am no religious scholar but even I know that.

  64. OzarkHillbilly says:


  65. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Well, 50 years later he’s a doting grandfather, and no longer a head-knocker (reason he went into MP’s was “it’s a justified fight”). The schnaps/Jägermeister episode involved him nearly missing deployment, and my escorting him through a metal detector at Sea-Tac (mid 70’s) while armed.

    For some of us, if we live, we learn. He’s retired, raised a loving family and is a genuinely good guy.

  66. wr says:

    @a country lawyer: “whose drink was pernod and root beer.”

    Maybe there’s something wrong with me… but that sounds pretty good.

  67. JohnSF says:

    Years ago, I was doing some reading about medieval religion relating to a course I was doing about the millenialist tradition and popular revolts.

    Appears, the common view in the Middle Ages could be summed up as being that Jews were not Jewish any more, in the way Jesus and his disciples had been.
    Nutty, but their reasoning was that in failing to recognise Jesus as Christ and Messiah, Jews who didn’t convert had repudiated their status as the Chosen People.
    And the expulsion and destruction of the Second Temple displayed the judgement of god.

    You may imagine what their views of Muslims were.

    To give the official hierarchy of medieval Catholicism it’s due, it formally repudiated antisemitic persecution as a vulgar crime, though the Jews were also “perfidious” in their “error”.
    But often went along with persecution in practice.
    See eg Spanish Inquisition and the expulsions.

  68. Beth says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    That’s awesome to hear. Too many people don’t get the learn part. They live and leave a wake of destruction in their wake.

    My grandpa had a ton of stories about his time in the Navy that usually took a detour through almost spending his WWII time in the brig for drinking. Great Lakes, Virginia, New Orleans. So much booze, so many narrow escapes. Unfortunately for him, he learned his lessons way to late to make any sort of real amends to anyone except maybe me.

  69. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: Now I see why I never went to dive bars–peanut allergy! Here all this time I thought it was because they looked like good places to get killed by mishap during a bar fight.

  70. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Yeah, and remember, the scary part about that one was that he didn’t remember why I cold-cocked him with a full pitcher of beer, palmed his pistol, and got the bouncers to help me stuff him into the passenger seat of my car. Or why his tow truck was in the bar’s parking lot the next morning. Or why I had the keys & his S&W).

  71. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott: Soju is nothing. It’s what Koreans drop by the glassful into larger glasses of beer so that there’s some alcohol being consumed. And Jaegermeister is certainly better than Campari. I came of age during the “Campari and soda” days. Had one. Promised myself that I would never make THAT mistake again.

    Jaegerbombs, on the other hand are a really nice tipple. The best one I ever had was in a bar in Daegu where the bartender used Mountain Dew because she was too tight with a buck to want to buy Red Bull. An important flavor difference between the two mixers. Mountain Dew brings a much better balance.

  72. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: Jaegerbombs may well be the Platonic ideal of the cocktail! And much better than a Saphire gin and tonic. I don’t know why, but Saphire gin doesn’t mix well with tonic–at least to my taste. Ordering a g&t at a bar that only poured Saphire was my only drinking mistake while I was in Korea. Well, maybe the only one I can still remember, but that still counts, right?

  73. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: @Beth: I might have to try that…

    But I’d have to find someone who had a recipe for it. Sounds like a highwire skill level mix. Might be good, tho.

  74. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @wr: That was my reaction, too. Certainly better than rye whiskey and cream soda–which I have done before, thank you.

  75. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: “Nutty, but their reasoning was that in failing to recognise Jesus as Christ and Messiah, Jews who didn’t convert had repudiated their status as the Chosen People.”

    I agree, and yet, I understand dispensationalism better now than I did 5 minutes ago. Thanks.

  76. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: Thank Dawg I’m an atheist. I’m going to hell no matter what.

  77. Mikey says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Campari is necessary for making a Negroni, one of the finest classic cocktails. Much better than wasting it in soda.

    Jaegermeister’s sole purpose is to facilitate digestion after the consumption of large quantities of Schweinebraten.

    I have a bottle of Malört but only for laughs. That stuff is utterly vile.

  78. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    The only time I’ve had Sapphire and tonic was the free drink with you at PF Chang’s. Meh. Straight up was pretty good though.

    Too many bartenders have told me to never waste top shelf booze in a mixed drink, that’s what rotgut is for.

  79. CSK says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:
    Very true. I never understand why people waste $50 on a bottle of vodka. It’s all the same, particularly if you mix it with juice or tonic.

  80. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnSF: what is the “Smoking Kills!” reference?

  81. Kathy says:

    So there’s this non-profit that buys and cancels medical debts.

  82. Jax says:

    @Kathy: Those people are heroes.

    If I ever win big on the lottery, I’m going to go through every legitimate medical GoFundMe and make that shit happen.

  83. JohnSF says:

    It’s Ukrainians trolling. 🙂
    Russian reports of several suspicious fires at depots in Russia explained several as “accidents caused by careless smoking”.
    IIRC something similar was initially said about the “accidental sinking” of the Moskva

    At any rate, it’s become a running joke among Ukrainians.
    For instance a a shot of a burning Russian vehicle captioned “Smoking kills; and this is a smoking kill.”
    Or “We hit the target: it was just a Lucky Strike”
    Or photoshopped HIMARS launchers with the missile pods replaced by cigarette packages.
    etc etc etc