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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Hurricane Laura makes landfall in Louisiana with 150mph winds

    A category 4 hurricane can render wide areas uninhabitable for weeks or months and shut down power for just as long. The threat of such devastation posed a new disaster-relief challenge for a government already straining under the coronavirus pandemic.

    The parts of Louisiana that were under evacuation orders included areas with high rates of Covid-19.

    The Texas governor, Greg Abbott, and his Louisiana counterpart, John Bel Edwards, feared the dire predictions were not resonating with the public, despite authorities putting more than 500,000 coastal residents under mandatory evacuation orders. Hurricane warnings were issued from San Luis Pass in Texas to Intracoastal City in Louisiana, and reached inland for 200 miles. Storm surge warnings extended from Freeport in Texas to the mouth of the Mississippi River.

    Donald Trump tweeted that coastal residents should heed advice from officials.

    Rome is drowning while trump tweets.

  2. JohnMcC says:

    Re: Hurricane Laura – Mr Trump reassigned $44 Billion from the FEMA Emergency Fund to his $300/week unemployment supplement (that no one seems to have received). That well over 50% of their budget; only some $25 Billion remains.

    Great work, Commander! Germany is victorious on all fronts!

  3. Bill says:

    The Florida headline of the day-

    Lobbyist Ron Book files suit over birdnapping: ‘I will chase you till I die’

    Oops. Here’s the link-

  4. Bill says:
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Pleasant Grove, a small Alabama city outside of Birmingham, made history Tuesday by electing a majority-Black city council. The city, which is nearly 60% Black, had never previously elected a Black candidate to the city council.

    Tuesday’s election was the first after the city settled a 2018 lawsuit filed under the Voting Rights Act, the landmark 1965 civil rights law, and agreed to change its system for holding elections. The city had long allowed all residents of the city to vote for all the city council members, regardless of where they lived, allowing white voters to cast their ballots in a cohesive bloc that blocked Black candidates from winning elections. Similar practices, often called “at-large elections”, had long been used throughout Alabama to block African Americans from gaining political power at the local level.
    Yolanda Lawson, a longtime Black resident of Pleasant Grove who lost her election when she ran in 2016, was elected to the city council on Tuesday. Kevin “KD” Dunn and Ray Lassiter are the other two candidates who won. There were long lines at the polls to vote on Tuesday, and some voters were erroneously told they would not be able to vote even though they were in line when the polls closed, according to

    And yet they gotta try anyway. They just can’t help themselves.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    NBA joined by MLB teams in boycott to protest police shooting of Jacob Blake

    On an extraordinary day for the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted Game 5 of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, leading the NBA to reschedule all other Wednesday night playoff games.

    Milwaukee’s baseball team, the Brewers, also confirmed they would not play their game scheduled for Wednesday evening.

    Why oh why can’t they keep politics out of sport??? Just shut up and dribble!
    As tho racism and racist policing are simple political disagreements.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And in that spirit, also from the Guardian: MLS joins wave of protests against racial injustice with five games postponed

    Five Major League Soccer matches were postponed Wednesday night as players made a collective statement against racial injustice. The action came amid a wave of boycotts in US sports, with NBA play-off games, baseball and tennis matches all called off in protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin on Sunday.

    Atlanta United v Inter Miami, FC Dallas v Colorado, Portland v San Jose, Real Salt Lake v LAFC, LA Galaxy v Seattle were all called off as players decided not to take part in solidarity. The lone match played was between Orlando City and Nashville SC.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    Kenosha. What happened there is a microcosm of what this summer of protest has been about. Police, feeling “endangered” (why are we giving badges and guns to scared little ninnies in the first place?) shot an unarmed black man 7 times in the back, firing into the same parked car carrying his young children. The city erupts into protest, and an armed gang descends upon the city. But this is a white gang, so instead of stopping them, this same police force thanks them for helping patrol the streets and throws them bottles of water from a hatch in their armored vehicle.

    Violent armed white men rampaging around a city hunting down black people with the encouragement of the police? For all practical purposes, “Militia” = “Klan”.

    Among the thugs thanked by the police? A 17 year old gang member with an assault weapon. Later that night he fired into a crowd of peaceful protestors, killing two and seriously injured another. This white thug then walked past a line of police officers with his assault weapon slung over his shoulder, while people screamed that he had shot someone. The officers waved him on and then charged in to get those who had dared to accuse a white man of murder.

    And what did the Kenosha Police Chief have to say about it?

    Miskinis said that if the protesters who were killed hadn’t been out past the curfew, they would have been safe.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Also in this spirit:
    Matt Blitz

    Mystics players. Seven shots in the back. All WNBA games are canceled tonight.

    Interesting that the Guardian didn’t report this. OK, not really, just misogyny.

  10. Mr. Prosser says:

    @MarkedMan: As others have pointed out, the shooter was also out after curfew.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Henry Johnson, the One-Man Army Who Fought Off Dozens of German Soldiers During World War I

    What transpired over the next hour would become an act of heroism that prompted former President Theodore Roosevelt to declare Johnson one of the bravest Americans to take up arms in the war. Johnson would even lead a procession back in New York City, with crowds lined up along the street to greet him.

    Johnson may or may not have felt like a hero, though he certainly was. But he must have also felt something else—a sense of confusion. A man of color, he had been dispatched to a segregated regiment, where he received paltry combat training and was assigned menial tasks like unloading trucks. Even his homecoming parade was split up according to race. Henry Johnson, decorated virtually head to toe in French military honors, returned to a country that considered him both hero and a second-class citizen.

    I think I have heard of him before but if I did, I had long ago forgotten the details.

  12. Teve says:

    Those who like government least govern worst

    From the Iraq War to the coronavirus: why Republicans fail at governance.

  13. Teve says:

    Julian Sanchez:

    So, years ago I quite accidentally injected the phrase “epistemic closure” into political discourse. This became a buzzword for five minutes, but a lot of people misunderstood it as effectively just a pretentious synonym for “stuck in an echo chamber” or “closed-minded.”
    And that’s not quite how I originally used the phrase (which at the time thought was just… two words used descriptively, not some new buzzword). Originally, I used it to mean you had an *ideology and media ecosystem* that would enable you to reject new contrary information.
    So an “echo chamber” just means you never hear any contrary information. The idea of “epistemic closure” was that you WOULD hear new and contrary information, but you have mechanisms in your belief system that reject anything that might force you to update your beliefs.
    So, for instance, if someone believes that the Illuminati control the world, and that any evidence AGAINST this hypothesis was manufactured by the Illuminati to hide their existence—proving their power and influence—that’s more what I meant by “epistemic closure.”
    I bring this up now, because the Trump ecosystem has developed a pretty sophisticated set of epistemic closure mechanisms that work to reject new information that might otherwise pose a problem. Like this…

    [republican security officials against Trump]

    It is extraordinary, and as far as I know unprecedented, how many of Trump’s own former appointees & senior officials have come out to say “this guy is unfit for office, and in fact a serious threat to U.S. national security.” You’d think people might find that hugely alarming.
    This doesn’t seem to give supporters much pause, though. Not (just) because they don’t become aware of it, but because there’s a mechanism that enables supporters to reject this sort of testimony out of hand: The “Deep State.”

    If the “Deep State” is part of your belief system, the testimony of these officials doesn’t affect your confidence in Trump’s competence; it proves how threatening he must be to the wicked network determined to undermine his presidency.
    Ditto “Fake News.” Plenty of news every day calling into question Trump’s honesty, competence, decency, etc. But if “Fake News” is part of your belief system, the sheer volume of this actually works to validate his claim that media elites are hopelessly biased against him.
    Ditto “The Swamp”: If people who were once widely respected conservative thinkers or elected officials are appalled by Trump, their stature is converted from a reason to take them seriously into a reason to discount them: They don’t want their cushy position disrupted.
    I think these overlapping mechanisms are pretty critical to the resiliency of Trump support among his admirers, despite a constant flow of new information that, to the rest of us, counts as overwhelming and ever-clearer proof of his radical unfitness.
    It’s not that they never encounter any of this information, but that there are mechanisms in place that effectively judo-flip it into confirmation of the preexisting narrative, rather than new contradictory data.
    I’m not sure what you do about this, but to the extent Dems political messaging is aiming at chipping away at that base—rather than just turning out more of their people—it needs to factor in, and maybe even focus on—those closure mechanisms.
    One thing worth considering is that closed belief systems like this tend to be strong but brittle. That is, it’s hard to make a crack in the firewall, but if you DO make a crack, often the whole edifice crumbles with surprising speed. And the crack can be something small.
    I remember hearing a talk by a North Korean refugee who wholeheartedly bought into the state’s propaganda—and when his mother was arrested for crimes against the state, he took for granted she HAD to be guilty… until he noticed one small and indisputable error in the charges.
    The government claimed she was in one place (at a dissident meeting or some such) at a time and date when he knew for certain she hadn’t been. And once it was clear the state COULD make mistakes, everything else was suddenly in doubt.
    (“Whataboutism” is one of the mechanisms that works against the formation of minor cracks: If you’re in danger of having to concede a point, you change the subject, then develop localized amnesia about the near-concession.)
    Honestly, it probably doesn’t make sense for *political campaigns* to waste too much effort messaging to the true believers, but for friends & family who still have the energy to argue, it’s worth thinking about how to target the closure mechanisms—the ideological immune system.
    If you try to attack the Trump-belief Death Star head on, your arguments are just going to bounce off the force field. You need to take out the shield generator first. I don’t know how you do that, but maybe folks who’ve had some success can offer what worked for them.
    Final thought: Are there sources of authoritative information that DON’T have a closure mechanism—an ideological T-cell—set up to neutralize them in the Trumpist narrative? There’s a T-cell for media, intelligence agencies & national security officials, Republican incumbents…
    They’ve covered the bases pretty well, frankly—there’s a prefabricated “you can disregard this because…” mechanism for the obvious sources of contrary information. But if there’s one they’ve missed, that might have some luck until they can construct a counternarrative.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Men going their own way: the rise of a toxic male separatist movement

    ‘There has been an awakening … changing the world … one man at a time.” These are the dramatic words that appear when you visit In a video that looks a lot like an action-movie trailer, the words are soon followed by five more that appear to smash through the screen, smouldering fiery red: “Men … going … their … own way.”

    If you stumbled across this website and had never heard of “men going their own way” (MGTOW) before, you would probably assume this was a tiny, extreme movement. But you would be only half right.

    The views of MGTOW are indeed unorthodox, even within the sprawling web of groups, lifestyles and cults known as the “manosphere”, where women-haters mobilise against a supposed gynocratic conspiracy. While incels plot violent revenge on women, and pickup artists (PUAs) deploy predatory tactics to “game” women into having sex with them, the men of the MGTOW attempt to eschew relationships with women altogether. They are, literally, going their own way. Far, far away from any women. At all.

    Good luck with that guys.

  15. Moosebreath says:


    “While incels plot violent revenge on women, and pickup artists (PUAs) deploy predatory tactics to “game” women into having sex with them, the men of the MGTOW attempt to eschew relationships with women altogether. They are, literally, going their own way. Far, far away from any women. At all.

    Good luck with that guys.”

    Meh, their loss. They seem less harmful than incels or pickup artists.

  16. Jen says:

    @Moosebreath: Agreed. Basically modern monks, without the reflection time I guess.

  17. charon says:


    Do you have a link for that?

  18. Sleeping Dog says:


    Do they meet at a bathhouse?

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Moosebreath: Towards the same quiet but inevitable end as the Shakers.

    @Sleeping Dog: Heh, I had the same question.

  20. Teve says:
  21. Kathy says:

    I never thought I’d see the term Nuclear Diamond Battery in my life. It sounds more like a name for a rock band, too.

    My first thought was to use them to power an ion drive for an interstellar probe. No way to carry enough inert noble gas for continuous thrust, but enough for a few hundred years’ worth? Sure. And also enough for a few hundred years’ worth for slowing down at the destination star.

    Oh, and it’s a power source, not a battery. Batteries are power storage. The difference is the diamond “battery” produces power whether you’re using it or not.

    I could use that in a science fiction story, too. Like superconducting ceramics (remember them? I’m still waiting for the superconducting power grid).

  22. Gustopher says:

    Not much in the way of news here, but…

    White supremacist groups have infiltrated US law enforcement agencies in every region of the country over the last two decades, according to a new report about the ties between police and far-right vigilante groups.

    In a timely new analysis, Michael German, a former FBI special agent who has written extensively on the ways that US law enforcement have failed to respond to far-right domestic terror threats, concludes that US law enforcement officials have been tied to racist militant activities in more than a dozen states since 2000, and hundreds of police officers have been caught posting racist and bigoted social media content.

    Again, nothing we haven’t strongly suspected.

  23. CSK says:

    As Jen and Sleeping Dog are doubtless aware, Trump will be infesting New Hampshire tomorrow; he’ll be holding a rally at the Manchester airport. Sununu said he’ll show up to greet Trump, and then hotfoot it out of there on the grounds that he doesn’t want to catch Covid-19. The Trump campaign says it will comply with masking, hand sanitizing, and social distancing requirements.

    Last time Trump tried to hold a NH rally, he bailed because no one was going to show up for it. His excuse was Tropical Storm Fay, which neglected to appear as well.

    If this Friday fandango turns out to be a bust, which I hope it does, will Trump be able to blame the remnants of Hurricane Laura? They won’t get here soon enough–if they do. And the forecast for tomorrow is mostly sunny and 81 degrees.

  24. Gustopher says:

    Fauci: I was under anesthesia when CDC scaled back coronavirus guidelines

    They said we’ll CDC-you later.

    A controversial change in Centers for Disease Control coronavirus guildelines happened when the nation’s most trusted COVID adviser was literally asleep, CNN reported.

    From the New York Daily News. They have a way with words.

  25. charon says:


    Thanks, I see there is more at the link.

  26. Jen says:

    @CSK: Hurricane remnants are projected to remain well south of here.

    However, am I the only one thinking it’s a bit odd that he’s holding rallies when there’s a natural disaster unfolding in Louisiana? Doesn’t that seem in poor taste?

    Also in NH, as I’ve noted before, it’s a fairly low bar to cross to become a state representative here (we have 400 representatives in our State House). I find it notable that while the Governor has called on this…person to resign, state party leadership has not.

  27. CSK says:

    Does Trump even know there’s a hurricane flattening Louisiana? Yes, I know he’s been briefed on it, but come on, Jen, the convention/coronation is what’s important.

    Dear God, how could the NH Republican party want someone like Forsythe identifying with them?

  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And worse yet, as a society we care more about sporting events with no live audiences being postponed than we do about unarmed citizens being killed by thugs wearing city uniforms because those citizens killed aren’t part of our group.

    We’re a nation of Tyrells! 🙁

  29. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mr. Prosser: But the shooter wouldn’t have been needed to protect the city if it hadn’t been for the protesters. He would have undoubtedly stayed at home if everybody knew their place to begin with.

  30. Kathy says:

    Thinking back on the early days of the pandemic, what I see is that there were attempts, not bad ones, at dealing with it preventively in a retail fashion.

    This did not work.

    It might have worked if, as was first thought, only symptomatic people were contagious. It’s hard to fault health authorities fro acting on the best information available at the time. But it’s plain to see the best information early on can be mistaken. It’s also clear every country must be better prepared.

    Take the first SARS in 2003. That was more like we thought COVID-19 to be like. It spread mostly from symptomatic people, and thus it was contained in months. There were under 10,000 victims, according to Wikipedia, and under 1,000 fatalities. It did not spread to every country, either.

    For the next pandemic, it would pay to 1) build up supplies of PPE, 2) treat it like COVID-19 regardless of what it turns out to be later on.

    The second point is complex. Do we stop all air travel the world over for days or weeks? That would be very costly, but then see how costly COVID-19 has been. Do we lock down for days or weeks? Again, huge expense, but again see how expensive in human lives and human health COVID-19 has been. Do we limit large gatherings of people? This is less expensive to do. Do we encourage work from home? This is even less expensive.

    I mention expense, because it will come down to that. That’s how people are like. Sure, it makes sense to stop travel and lock down and don masks for a few weeks or months, if the new disease is as bad as COVID-19. But what if we go through all that trouble and it turns out to be neither as deadly nor as contagious? Then it’s a huge waste of money and a big hit to the economy.

    All I can say is “we did that with COVID-19 and see how it turned out.”

    But, as Descartes observed, one can repair one’s house even if the whole city is falling apart. Regardless of what others do or think, at the first sign of a contagious, deadly virus, or other pathogen, I plan to take all the same precautions as if it were as bad as SARS-CoV-2.

    In fact, aside from masks*, I did just that starting in early March. I stopped going out except for work and groceries and gasoline. as an introvert without much of a social life and zero family obligations, this was easy for me.

    * I did wear a mask late in March, before most mandates came out, when I visited an office I knew would be crowded.

  31. charon says:

    The Kenosha Shooting Suspect Was In The Front Row Of A Trump Rally In January

    Kyle Rittenhouse’s social media is filled with references to “Blue Lives Matter.” A Trump campaign spokesperson said, “This individual had nothing to do with our campaign.”

  32. Sleeping Dog says:


    His attitude is that it’s Louisiana’s fault they’re located on the gulf.

  33. Mister Bluster says:

    The Panera I frequent is open for indoor seating again til 2pm. They tried full hours about a month ago but had to close the indoor dining area after they could not keep enough help.
    As always the signs on the door require that patrons wear a mask to enter and keep it on unless they are seated. Almost every one does. Today was the first time that I saw a couple of honkies enter without masks who when told they must wear a mask to place an order protested that they didn’t have one. They just stood there for a moment and then walked out the door and drove away. It was clear by their demeanor that they were not happy.
    I was tempted to say something like “good riddance” as they departed but thought better of it.
    Kudos to Panera management for enforcing the mask mandate!

  34. Kathy says:

    On lighter topics, the company changed gas station payment providers. I got my card yesterday and I’m told I could use it right away, but to install and log in the app first to see my allowed balance. Fair enough. I was emailed a user and password, and then downloaded the app. I noticed it has a low rating at the Play Store, and many comments to the effect that people can’t log in.

    Sure enough, I can’t log in.

    I still have over half a tank, so I don’t need to fill up, though I’m assured I can even if the app doesn’t let me log in.

    This weekend I plan a repeat performance of the lentil stew I made earlier in the year. It has lentils, barley, chickpeas, turkey “bacon,” onions, potatoes, soybean sprouts, and bell pepper. Before the liquid cooking the lentils and potatoes is consumed, I add yellow mustard, grain mustard, chicken bullion, paprika, fine herbs, and black pepper.

  35. senyordave says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Since Covid-19, I allow myself 45 minutes of surf the web time each day (My wife has major immune concerns so I very much limit my time outside other than walking and biking). A few weeks ago in a six degrees of separation type of accident I stumbled on to the MGTOW website. I honestly thought it was a parody at first, especially when I read the comments. But eventually I realized these people are dead serious. There are some seriously sick people at the website, I felt like I needed to take a shower after looking ta it for a few minutes.
    I posted a couple responses but every one of them ended WTF is wrong with you people? Scary that these people can vote.

  36. Monala says:

    Hurricane Laura Brings Down Confederate Monument in Louisiana After Officials Rejected Calls to Remove It

    As Hurricane Laura made landfall along the Gulf Coast early Thursday morning, it brought down a Confederate monument in southern Louisiana that community members pushed to remove earlier this summer. Despite requests from residents and support from a local mayor, the government in Calcasieu Parish, where the monument is located, voted to keep it in its place during a meeting held two weeks ago.

    On Thursday morning, photos shared to social media showed the Confederate statue, known as the South’s Defenders Monument, incurred significant damages overnight as a result of the hurricane.

    Someone on Twitter got a great photo of the fallen general: Link

  37. DrDaveT says:


    Government office in charge of etiquette plagued by etiquette problems, watchdog finds

    The author of this article has confused etiquette and protocol, which are only distantly related. Etiquette is about correct behavior toward others; protocol is about correct deference to authority in a hierarchy. The Trump administration understands the latter pretty well; it’s the former that they’re clueless about.

  38. Kathy says:


    Let’s remind all those Republicans that storms are acts of God.

  39. Sleeping Dog says:


    It was God’s will that this monument should come down.

  40. Monala says:

    Sarah Jones at The Cut contextualizes the Aaron Coleman story:

    So why did anyone look at Coleman and immediately conclude the world owes him a second chance? To some, the saga functioned as a case study in restorative justice, an alternative to the court system that emphasizes healing over punishment, bringing victims and perpetrators to seek restitution. The story hit at just the right moment. The left is winning elections again; meanwhile, protests over police brutality are pushing prison abolition into the mainstream. Growing out of all this desperation is a conviction: We must remake the world into something more humane. This means, at the same time, that people are trying on a progressive ideology for the first time. That political evolution is uncomfortable, especially for young white men like Coleman, who must unlearn racial and gender supremacy. But Coleman’s defenders oversimplified the facts of his case, and exposed a blind spot the width of an ocean: They preemptively forgave someone who hadn’t demonstrated any meaningful effort to take responsibility for his actions. This isn’t what restorative justice looks like. Instead, it more closely resembles a familiar and worn-out argument defending any promising man accused of misconduct: Why should we ruin his life over this?


  41. Jim Brown 32 says:


    This is why I want Biden to appoint the meaning attack dog available to run DOJ. I’ve always suspected this. If I were them, this would be what I would do. The Bureau brought these shitheads to nothing before– Domestic hate groups need be re-prioritized for the FBI and brought to nothing again.

    Meanwhile, I just finished building by AR so its time to stock up on Ammo. That little POS that ran around Kenosha shooting people–Im sure his community is basking in his glory. There is a good chance this will happen again. Maybe its the PTSD—but Im not taking any chanced getting caught flatfooted. If you are black you’re on your own for personal defense.

    I’ve watch this story play out in other countries–there are some people that will not self modulated their primal instincts until they have to price in personal risk to themselves.

  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Early in the Obama admin, DoJ came out with a report on potential right wing terrorist activities that had begun during the Bush admin. There were specific changes to the law that were recommended and the usual suspects among the R’s shouted it down and though Dems held congress at the time, between recession fighting and the ACA, they felt that they had enough on their plate and chose to do nothing.

    Careful with that AR, we don’t need another Philando Castile.

  43. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Teve: Ill mention again that Democrats fundamentally do not understand what type of fight they are in. They THINK they are in a war of ideas–and are confused because Dem ideas sound (and are) superior to Republican ideas.

    They are in an information war of TACTICs. This is fundamentally misunderstood writ large in the United States which is allowing Russia and China to undermine US built and let institutions that have kept a semblance of peace Post Cold War.

    Tactics were used to sell the Gulf War.
    Tactics were/are used to stymie health care reform.
    Tactics won Donald Trump the election and keeps him at a 43% floor.

    Its a dirty sleazy game–I know. But it resonates in the human pysche. QANON, Walls, Law and Order are all framee using information warfare tactics. Naturalization ceremonies at the Convention seem silly to us–its makes perfect since from an info war perspective.

    Republicans don’t have to outrun the Bear, they only have to outrun the slowest person. They are not nearly in as much trouble as people think. Even Trump isn’t really for a fork to be stuck in him–although he should be.

    Democrats are going to have to invest in acquiring enough info war tradecraft to counter what republicans are doing. There is no war of ideas to win–there is a hearts and minds fight. The two are not the same.

  44. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I know how to control a situation from a position of disadvantage. There is virtually no chance of that happening to me unless a cop made up their mind before exiting their car that they are going to shoot me. Unfortunately, many of my black brethren haven’t had access to some of the training I have had so they have fewer tools at their disposal to gain control of a situation while having the officer believe they are in control. Not quite Jedi mind-trickish but everyone drives away to move on with life–which is they way it should be 99.99999999% of the time.

  45. Gustopher says:

    @Monala: From your quote:

    So why did anyone look at Coleman and immediately conclude the world owes him a second chance?

    I would ask “why this second chance?”

    Kids are horrible sociopathic monsters sometimes. And most grow out of it. They get smacked in the head by life enough times that they begin to recognize themselves in others who are getting smacked in the head. Empathy may not be learned, but recognizing to use it ahead of times is.

    But, when a kid is horrible and causes real hurt to others… you don’t throw out the kid, but you don’t forget about it either. You give them little bits of responsibility until they can demonstrate they can handle it. Part of maturing is accepting the consequences of your actions, even if you didn’t intend to hurt anyone or you were a sociopathic little monster at times when you were 12.

    State legislature at 19 is a bit much.

    If his life story had been that he was horrible at 12, horrified at what he had done when he realized how it hurt someone, did community service to help others, kept it up for a few years, then… maybe. But that was not at all his life story. He just stayed a sociopathic little monster.

  46. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jim Brown 32:..There is no war of ideas to win–there is a hearts and minds fight.

    Today’s Quiz
    Who said: “When you’ve got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow”
    A) Theodore Roosevelt
    B) John Wayne
    C) Charles Colson

  47. Monala says:

    The U of Arizona stopped a Covid outbreak on campus using wastewater testing:

    11/ Wastewater testing is not common at all — here in the US, or anywhere else.

    It requires a consistent population (you wouldn’t want to wastewater test a restaurant or a movie theater), it requires access to the pipes, & an understanding of the plumbing.

    12/ Most important: Wastewater testing requires the ability to do follow-up testing completely & quickly.

    They didn’t test a few kids living in Likins. They tested them all.

    They didn’t test them using a method that required a 3-day wait for results. 1-hour antigen test.

    13/ Lots of *cities* don’t have much in the way of quick-test ability on demand.

    But this is how it’s done. This is how you find people who might get sick, isolate them, and get back to work.

    Imagine using wastewater testing at high schools, for instance, or workplaces.

    14/ Arizona has the scientists on campus to develop and manage its wastewater testing. But this is not arcane science.

  48. sam says:

    Supple and turbulent, a ring of men
    Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn
    Their boisterous devotion to the sun,
    Not as a god, but as a god might be,
    Naked among them, like a savage source.
    Their chant shall be a chant of paradise,
    Out of their blood, returning to the sky;
    And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice,
    The windy lake wherein their lord delights,
    The trees, like serafin, and echoing hills,
    That choir among themselves long afterward.
    They shall know well the heavenly fellowship
    Of men that perish and of summer morn.
    And whence they came and whither they shall go
    The dew upon their feet shall manifest.

    The Augers of Spring

  49. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Mister Bluster: Ooohh Trivia! I’d guess TR?

  50. Kathy says:

    Trump joke of the day:

    Q: Why did Trump leave the play at the intermission?
    A: Because the program said “Act 2 (one year later)”, and he didn’t want to wait that long.

  51. Mu Yixiao says:

    From Al Jazeera:

    Why are some Republicans urging voters to vote Democrat?

    It’s a half-hour interview, but it’s worth watching the whole thing.

    Anthony Scaramucci was a strong supporter of Trump, and was his Press Secretary–for 11 days. What he has to say now is pro-republican–and aggressively anti-Trump.

    Add to that RVAT.

    When Trump’s former inner circle says “vote for Biden”, Democrats need to set aside the hatred, step up, and show that they’re the party of unity.

  52. Kylopod says:


    White supremacist groups have infiltrated US law enforcement agencies in every region of the country over the last two decades

    So RATM was being more prophetic than descriptive….

  53. Mister Bluster says:


  54. Mister Bluster says:

    Times Up
    Per Google all three are credited with this prose.
    I was only aware of Colson before today.
    His quote is referenced in “All the Presidents Men” that I read in 1974.

  55. Monala says:

    What Conservatives Really Mean When They Call for Law and Order

    Then, earlier this week, an unmasked crowd shattered the glass of a government office building to get into a state legislative hearing on public health restrictions in Boise, Idaho. Because of the coronavirus, the public hearing had limited seating. Some members of the crowd were armed with guns. They shoved past state troopers to get into the hearing and later defaced social distancing signs. A Democratic lawmaker who didn’t want to put her health in jeopardy by participating in a crowded hearing said the crowd was hostile to her.

    Afterwards, Idaho State Police made no arrests. Why? The next day, Lynn Hightower, a state police spokesperson explained the state troopers were unable to make any arrests “on the on the spot without elevating the potential for violence.”

    Because the Idaho protesters were the right kind—white and conservative—the police exercised restraint in the face of violence because it was not worth the risk to protesters’ safety. Where would Blake be right now if Kenosha officers also believed risking his life wasn’t worth it? …

    When Trump and other right-wingers say they want “law and order,” they’re really sending a signal—less a dogwhistle than a bullhorn—to the other people guided by white supremacy: Break any law you want to maintain the current order.

    “Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition …There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.” — Frank Wilhoit.

  56. CSK says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Lyndon Johnson was supposed to have said it, too.

  57. Gustopher says:

    (Somehow I found a week old browser tab, and just put this in last Thursday’s forum… I need to close some browser windows…)

    Mitch McConnell just said that Trump inherited the first generation where the children will not be as well off as the parents, and that he’s been working tirelessly to fix that (paraphrase).

    It might be nice if Trump had approached this problem by attempting to lift the fortunes of the young, rather than let a disease spread that disproportionately affects the elderly, but if you are using a relative metric, that’s what you get.

    People always try to game the metrics.

  58. Mister Bluster says:

    @CSK:..Lyndon Johnson was supposed to have said it, too.

    I thought he said ears but it’s been long time.

  59. Mister Bluster says:

    Trump’s Idea of Free Press
    A White House spokesperson on Thursday said the administration is assembling a “dossier” on a Washington Post reporter who frequently reports on President Trump’s private businesses and finances, marking the latest and potentially most severe chapter in the administration’s ongoing war with the mainstream press.

  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: When Trump’s former inner circle says “vote for Biden”, Democrats need to set aside the hatred, step up, and show that they’re the party of unity.

    Once again it’s up to Democrats to fix everything the Republicans break. When will people ever demand the same of Republicans?

    And exactly which hatred is it you are talking about that we need to set aside?
    The hatred of racism and it’s repugnant children?
    Our hatred of environmental genocide?
    Our hatred of a capitalist system that puts profits ahead of everything else?

    I could go on but please, do tell me what it is I have to do to satisfy you.