Tuesday’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. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Top of the morning, everyone. Or middle of the gosh darn night out here onda left coast.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Why am I thinking “inside job”? Jewelry worth millions stolen from security truck at California rest stop

    Thieves in California stole millions of dollars’ worth of jewelry and gemstones after breaking into an unattended security vehicle on its way back from a jewelry show, police said. The robbery took place in a remote rest stop in southern California last week, authorities said on Monday, after the vehicle’s two armed guards walked away.

    The tractor-trailer, which belongs to the security company Brinks, had been traveling overnight from a jewelry show in the San Francisco Bay area down to the Los Angeles region for another event. It was not immediately clear whether the suspects followed the vehicle along its 375 mile (604 km) journey or stumbled across it at the rest stop in a crime of opportunity, according to Michael Mileski, the Los Angeles sheriff’s sergeant.

    The guards reported the heist around 2am on 11 July after they noticed that the trailer’s lock had been tampered with, Mileski said. Investigators are trying to determine how the lock was broken.

    It was not immediately clear how long the guards had left the vehicle unattended at the Flying J gas station and truck stop in the unincorporated community of Lebec, about 75 miles (121 km) north of downtown Los Angeles.

    A crime of opportunity my ass. Nobody just stumbles across an unattended armored car carrying millions in jewels.

    While Swanson said 18 victims were reporting more than $100m in losses, Brinks said the stolen items were worth less than $10m. “According to the information the customers provided to us before they shipped their items, the total value of the missing items is less than $10m,” Brinks said in a statement. “We are working with law enforcement, and we will fully reimburse our customers for the value of their assets that were stolen, in accordance with the terms of our contract.”

    Swanson said vendors who travel between jewelry shows typically underinsure their merchandise because they can’t afford to insure it fully. “That’s where the discrepancy comes in. These are mom-and-pop operators,” Swanson said. “They’re devastated. Some of these people have lost their entire livelihoods.”

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A judge in West Virginia blocked enforcement of the state’s 150-year-old abortion ban on Monday, opening the door for abortions to resume in the state.
    West Virginia has a state law dating back to the 1800s making performing or obtaining an abortion a felony punishable by up to a decade in prison. It provides an exception for cases in which a pregnant person’s life is at risk.

    Lawyers for the Women’s Health Center – the state’s only abortion clinic – argued that the old law was void because it has not been enforced in more than 50 years and has been superseded by modern laws regulating abortion that acknowledge a woman’s right to the procedure. One example is West Virginia’s 2015 law, which allows abortions until 20 weeks.

    Salango agreed, saying recent laws enacted by the state legislature “hopelessly conflict with the criminal abortion ban” and that it would be “inequitable” to allow conflicting laws to remain on the books. “The code is replete with examples of undeniable conflicts in the law that appear fundamental and irreconcilable, making the law incompatible by any reading,” she said of the criminal abortion ban. “Perhaps when it was drafted, that legislation was sufficient. However, in today’s world, it is simply too vague to be applied.”

    Of course the GOP AG, Patrick Morrisey, felt otherwise.

    He lamented “a dark day for West Virginia”. He said his office will appeal to the state supreme court.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘I said, Don, it’s time for you to reveal’: 50 years later, the truth behind American Pie

    No spoilers in the article, gonna have to watch the documentary. Or not.

  6. Kathy says:

    Some aviation news.

    Delta placed a huge order for the 737 Max 10, currently in the process of being certified. Now, Boeing is having issues in the certification process. If its not done within the year, new rules kick in and it will require additional features. So Boeing has threatened to cancel the program unless the FAA expedites certification.

    Well, not bloody likely with such a huge order on the books.

    It seems like an odd order for Delta, though. In the past decade they’ve ordered nothing from Boeing, but rather retired or sold off their Boeing stock, including all 777s (in favor of the A350). My guess is they need additional capacity but not longer range, which would make the A321LR or XLR unsuitable. Also that Boeing must have given them a bigger discount that Airbus couldn’t or wouldn’t match (not A320 neos have crashed or been grounded, after all).

  7. Scott says:

    The decline or even failure of the All-Volunteer Force would indeed be a major paradigm shift in our country’s national security.

    Survey raises serious questions about the future of the all-volunteer force

    The results of a new survey of military and veterans and spouses — including details on financial difficulties — raise concerns about the future of the military, said the executive director of the organization that conducted the survey.

    Fewer military, veterans and spouses are likely to recommend military service, according to the findings, and the reasons are related to their own well-being, said Shannon Razsadin, president and executive director of the Military Family Advisory Network.

    This is the fourth survey fielded by the organization, generally every two years. This time, the biggest surprise, said Razsadin, was the drop in the percentage of survey respondents who said they would recommend military life – from 74.5% in 2019 to 62.9% in 2021.

    One should note that this is a survey, not a scientifically designed poll.

  8. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Bannon, on the second day of his trial, has asked for a one month delay because of the “seismic shifts” in the arguments he is being allowed to present.
    This judge hasn’t been to enthusiastic about Bannon’s nonsense, so his ruling should be fun.

  9. JohnSF says:

    In Britain:
    Conservative leadership race now down to three.
    Rishi Sunak – 118
    Penny Mordaunt – 92
    Liz Truss – 86
    Kemi Badenoch – 59
    So Badenoch is out.

    Final round of MP voting tomorrow.
    Sunak pretty sure to make it trough to the membership vote.
    I can’t call between Truss, who is the standard bearer of the ERG and “continuity Johnson”; and Mordaunt, who has surprisingly ended up pitched more as a “moderate” of sorts.

    Then Sunak wins if the membership calms down, Mordaunt if they want to roll the dice, Truss if they want to ride the Crazy Train to Crazy Town.

  10. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:
  11. CSK says:
  12. Mister Bluster says:

    TV Quack Mehmet Oz tells us why no one is donating to his campaign:

    The Democrats have very cleverly taken all of these issues that have come up over the summer ― the Dodd decision, the concerns about guns ― and they’ve used these as excuses to raise money from the Democratic loyalists. Interestingly, when Republicans get mad, we go out and mow the lawn. Democrats, when they get mad, donate money to their party.

  13. Beth says:


    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the assumption that Sunak was fairly hard right. Like, worse than Truss hard right. But honestly I’m looking at this through a fairly tilted lens since all three of them seem to want to murder Trans people and imprison the rest of the Queers.

  14. Beth says:

    When you combine hate, idiocy, conspiracy theory and a heaping dose of WTF, you get, [dramatic flourish] “The Transvestigators!”


    Buckle in, tip your waitress and prepare to have your brain, melted…

  15. Kathy says:

    I’m not sure whether Boom’s Overture paper airplane* began as a twin engine design. I am sure most of the time they’ve showcased a three engine design (two on the wings and one at the tail).

    Now it’s four engines.

    I hope they stop there, because 5 engines on a plane are ridiculous.

  16. Kathy says:


    Not that it would make any difference for the crazies, but we know if this were true the global birth rate would be like 1 child per 10,000 women or something.

  17. MarkedMan says:

    I just came back from voting in the MD Democratic primary. Since I live in Baltimore, this is effectively the final ballot for the city offices and the likely ballot for the statewide ones. As is not unusual, the most important vote I cast was for a race with some of the least attention, the new Baltimore at-large School Board posts. I could pick 2 of 8, and I’m pretty satisfied with my choices. But a little investigation showed that one of the candidates is an anti-mask, home schooler kook. This always worries me because so few people pay attention to these types of offices that the loonies can get in just by riling up all their friends. When we lived in upstate NY there was a slate of home schooling, bible thumping, anti-evolution, pro-school prayer cranks that were always running for the school board. Over the years they learned to keep their beliefs hidden on any of the questionnaires the local media sent out so, more than once I think, one of these quacks made it onto the board and managed to turn every meeting into a hostile drama.

  18. Mikey says:

    @Beth: That is the dumbest shit I have ever read. I mean ever. I’ve read stuff scratched onto bathroom stalls that had more intellectual depth.

    This immediately springs to mind: “…What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

  19. CSK says:

    This has to be a joke, albeit a very bad one.

  20. Beth says:


    If this were an actual true thing, the implications would be HUGE. Lol, the Trans and the Jews, we rule the world apparently.


    I just want Henry Cavil to melt me down with his womanly eye lasers…


    I wonder if like you got these people and the people who believe that the Earth has been secretly conquered by lizard people in a room together, who would win the fight?

  21. Kathy says:


    It seems to be a day for bad jokes.

    The Republican -I’m sorry, Communist party of China is warning of dire consequences should Speaker Nancy Pelosi visit Taiwan. Well, we know of the Chinese delusion about the Republic of China, but then why do they allow flights and trade, and observe diplomatic and international rules, with their so-called rebellious province?

    It’s a really bad joke.

  22. JohnSF says:


    …Sunak…fairly hard right.

    Yes, but Truss is harder still.
    Sunak hews to the party line on immigration/asylum, trans identity, Brexit, etc.
    However, he gives the impression that his personal attitude to the culture war stuff is ,“meh”, and that he does not want to set the Northern Ireland Protocol alight and provoke a trade war with the EU just to stage “Brexit 2: Belfast Boogaloo” at the cinema.
    Above all, he is positioning as a fical hawk, being unwilling to make unfunded tax cuts in the teeth of soaring inflation.
    And, to give him a little credit, being unwilling to propose funding such tax cuts by fantasy spending cuts when there are evident demands on the public purse: Ukraine, covid backlog impact on NHS, energy sector, etc etc.

    None of which appeals to those MP’s and party members who want that “old time religion” hot and strong.
    And the Johnsonites and ERG bear a grudge over his resignation that led to the revolt against Johnson.
    Truss, OTOH, is ambitious and foolish enough to promise the headbangers anything, everything, and the moon and sixpence, by next Sunday week.
    And to pander to any prejudice, of course.
    She attempts to pull off the second coming of Margaret Thatcher act, but in fact has the self-centric ambition of Boris Johnson, but without his intelligence.
    Such as it was.

    Mordaunt is a bit of a cypher; trying to butter up the tax cutters and also hint at responsibility.
    Pro-Brexit, naturally, but not too reckless.
    She has in the past sort-of indicated some sympathy for self-ID,stating:

    “trans men are men, and trans women are women”

    But has hastily backtracked and thrown up a smokescreen.

    There are none of the old-fashioned "One Nation" or "liberal Conservatives" left in the running, barely a handful in Parliament, and not that many in the Membership, I suspect.
    The UKIP-per influx and the Johnsonite purge of the "Remainers" has seen to that.

  23. JohnSF says:

    Also in the UK:
    Temperature records not just broken but shattered.
    40.3C at Coningsby in Lincolnshire, at 16:00 BST
    Previous high of 38.7C in 2019.
    Heathrow was the first place to break the 40C mark, 40.2C at 12:50 but as of 16:00 several other places had also 40C or more, including St James’s Park, Kew Gardens and Northolt.
    40c = 104F

  24. Kylopod says:

    From Beth’s link:

    Suffice to say, they can always interpret some physical feature as a sign that a woman was born a man, or vice versa. Most often this rests on a radical oversimplification of the human skeleton: clavicles, shoulders, hips, the jawline, spine shape and Q angles (a measurement between the quadriceps tendon and the patellar tendon in the knee) are frequently referenced as conclusive indications of male or female anatomy.

    This supports my suspicion that a lot of transphobia among supposedly straight cis men is driven by an all-consuming fear, turned into paranoia, that they might for just one moment get a boner from looking at someone who has or had a dick.

    It’s also interesting to me that they completely ignore the phenomenon of intersex people.

  25. wr says:

    @Beth: I saw that and was too lazy to repost it here — so thanks!

    The truly crazy thing is that according to these Transvestigators, essentially every man out there is secretly a woman and every woman out there is secretly a man. But if that were true, would it all balance out? All you’d have to do is flop the labels and everyone would be in exactly the right place!*

    *That would be the right place according to them…

  26. CSK says:

    Well, the “investigators” might start looking for trans-lizards.

  27. Jen says:

    @Beth: I…….

    WTAF did I just read???

  28. Beth says:


    Thank you for that analysis. Truss does strike me as a maniac, but she’s been spouting her nonsense long enough to have been on my radar for a while. The other two seem like newcomers to the bash the Queers party. Mordaunt comes off looking like someone who stuck her finger up to see which way the wind was blowing instead of sticking to her convictions and in a way that someone like Johnson was way better at.

    Also, mentioning Thatcher, it made me realize that I should have always known that my dad was going to take a heel turn. He instilled anti-racism, anti-bigotry, anti-gun broadly liberal values in his children, while also telling everyone how awesome Thatcher and Reagan were. I hope those two greet my dad in hell when he gets there.

  29. Mu Yixiao says:


    Knowing a fair share of Brits–and their “tolerance” for heat–I truly feel for you. What you’re going through was essentially every summer in Shanghai (with humidity going no lower than 80% most of the time).

    I remember a young Brit coming to work for us, and commenting that “it’s getting quite warm, isn’t it?” It was 25C. We laughed and said “Wait until it hits 40”. He thought we were joking.

    That was the year that we had over 25 days straight of 40+ temperatures. I remember hitting 45C one day. This boy from Wisconsin was not happy.

  30. dazedandconfused says:

    @Kathy: About the best fuel flow to be hoped for on a low bypass engine of that size is around 6,000 lbs per hour. They are labeling a machine burning 14 tons of fuel per hour “carbon neutral”.

    (insert LMAO emoji here)

  31. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve mentioned a few times on here that I don’t waste my time with propagandists and liars, and that one way I decide who fits into that category is if, when given a platform, they tackle the best arguments against them or whether instead they obfuscate those and tilt at straw men instead. I’ve recently come across a couple more that fall definitively in that category, in two unrelated cases but both about abortion.

    I came across the first, because I was about to make a claim on here (that the Bible doesn’t mention abortion directly and in its one indirect mention in Leviticus clearly indicates a fetus is not considered a whole person) and I wanted to make sure I had it right. I googled around and found a number of bible-thumper sites who tried to address this in different ways. Some conceded that the Bible didn’t address it directly but then came up with all kinds of obscure passages that, if we accepted circular reasoning, kinda sorta might imply abortion was proscribed (Fetuses are people, the Bible is against killing people, therefore abortion is murder). Others didn’t even give any caveat before going to the circular reasoning. But one thing all the Bible thumper sources had in common was that they never mentioned the Leviticus passage (it basically says that if an attack results in a death, it is murder and the attacker should be put to death, but if it results only in the death of a fetus they should pay a fine). So these thumpers pretty definitely fall into my category of obfuscating or ignoring the best arguments against them and changing the subject. In the Roman Catholic hierarchy of lies, this is labeled as a “Lie of Omission”

    The other case was just today. I came across some anti-abortion special pleader writing a column that was nominally about how it was important that the anti-abortion crowd, now that they have won, to ensure that they support the pregnant woman (not women in general, just the preggo’s) with health care and advice, like Planned Parenthood does. But a good portion of the article was taken up with the unfairness that the hundreds of pr0-birth, Christian pregnancy support centers were hardly every mentioned and that some had even been removed from Google search results. Even in Catholic Universities the healthcare staff overwhelmingly gave PP as the place they would send women with health issues (I hope everyone here knows that abortion is only a small fraction of the services PP provides women. Many PP centers don’t even perform abortions). The author hypothesized why this was and basically gave two reasons: first, that PP was good at marketing but the good-hearted souls at the christian centers weren’t, and second, that the big bad main stream media had it in for the Christians. Nowhere did she mention the primary reason no serious person would recommend one of these places: they are fundamentally dishonest and primarily serve as false flag operations. They advertise that they provide abortion services and if a woman inadvertently contacts them, lure them to their site so they can begin a full on press to persuade a woman to not have an abortion. They start out by lying, misrepresenting themselves, and misleading vulnerable women. This is the reason no health provider with any ethics would ever send a woman into their care.

  32. JohnSF says:

    Oh. Well. My word.
    Farrah Fawcett?
    Moving swiftly on…

  33. Kathy says:


    Greenwashing is the new whitewashing.

  34. MarkedMan says:


    They are labeling a machine burning 14 tons of fuel per hour “carbon neutral”.

    In fairness, they are basing this on the use of synthetic, carbon neutral aviation fuel. But I haven’t seen anything to indicate the jets can’t run on regular old kerosene like other planes.

  35. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I preferred walking around Shanghai in my leisure time and came to be quite good at knowing where to pop in to get cool. There were all kinds of things around People’s Square that were good for a quick refresher after a quarter mile saunter. Musuems, shopping malls, coffee shops, hotel lobbies and of course lots of subway entrances.

  36. JohnSF says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    At least the humidity is not that bad.
    Currently around 38%; but will get worse tonight; forecast 75% around midnight.

    The air mass is moving up from the Sahara via Spain and France.
    Maghreb/Med climate pattern is a bit like S. California IIRC; hot dry summers with relatively low humidity.
    Air has picked up humidity as it’s moved north, but not as bad as S.E China or S.E. USA.

  37. Kathy says:


    It would be way better if Ammit met people in the afterlife.

  38. Beth says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    with humidity going no lower than 80% most of the time).

    That sounds like heaven. Chicago has been too damn cold and dry this summer. It’s miserable.

  39. Kylopod says:


    Some conceded that the Bible didn’t address it directly but then came up with all kinds of obscure passages that, if we accepted circular reasoning, kinda sorta might imply abortion was proscribed (Fetuses are people, the Bible is against killing people, therefore abortion is murder).

    This reminds me of how racists have long dealt with a verse in the Bible which seems to imply Moses was married to a black woman. They had all sorts of roundabout devices for explaining the verse away. Meanwhile, they promoted the Curse of Ham myth to justify white supremacy. The racist version of that myth (Ham’s descendants turned black and were cursed to servitude) isn’t actually in the text of the Bible, but has its origins in a midrash–an ancient Jewish exegetical commentary–a source that Christians normally pay no attention to. I also once read an essay by the first Bob Jones in which he somehow reads a doctrine of racial separatism into the story of the Tower of Babel.

  40. dazedandconfused says:


    Burning inevitably releases CO2. “Carbon neutral” applied to 14 tons of anything burned requires wishful and highly creative rationalization.

    AKA: BS.

  41. Mu Yixiao says:


    Imagine 105F with 95% humidity. Not my idea of heaven.

    Activities that make you sweat include: Walking to the bar, sitting at the bus stop, and standing near an exterior wall.

  42. Mu Yixiao says:


    Burning inevitably releases CO2.

    Only if there’s carbon in the fuel. The old Saturn rockets used hydrolox. The result was… water. There are modern fuels that contain little carbon, and result in very little CO2 released. They’re mostly not ready for prime-time, however.

  43. MarkedMan says:

    @dazedandconfused: From the Energy.gov website:

    The U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) empowers energy companies and aviation stakeholders by supporting advances in research, development, and demonstration to overcome barriers for widespread deployment of low-carbon sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

    SAF made from renewable biomass and waste resources have the potential to deliver the performance of petroleum-based jet fuel but with a fraction of its carbon footprint, giving airlines solid footing for decoupling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from flight.

    The U.S. Department of Energy is working with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other federal government agencies to develop a comprehensive strategy for scaling up new technologies to produce SAF on a commercial scale.

  44. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    The Saturn V first stage, the most massive and the one that burned entirely in the atmosphere, used kerosene and liquid oxygen.

    The second and third stages burned liquid hydrogen and oxygen.

  45. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: It can also be considered carbon neutral (key word is “neutral”) if the fuel is derived from material whose carbon was going to enter into the atmosphere anyway, or if it is made from carbon extracted from the atmosphere.

    (Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t see anything to indicate the new plane HAS to use SAF, so I suspect it is just hype. But SAFs are a real thing.)

  46. JohnSF says:

    Agree; it’s infuriating the number of people who chunter on about the virtues of a social and legal system with religious foundations, but have zero knowledge of the laws and practices of the Medieval Christendom, or 17th Century England.
    Even if abortion was punishable it was a crime distinct from murder or even, usually manslaughter.

    “common law did not even acknowledge a fetus as existing separately from a pregnant woman”

    until “quickening” which had various definition: generally 18 weeks.
    Prior to that, the orthodox opinion was

    “he is not a murderer who brings about abortion before the soul is in the body”

    And this opinion was based at least in part on judgements regarding the health of the mother: post-quickening abortion was regarded (and was, given the medicine of the times) highly dangerous to the mother.
    Similarly, late term abortion was generally regarded as acceptable, if regrettable, if the mothers life was in peril.

    Not only that, but in many areas where abortion was regarded as punishable under canon law, it was not under civil law; and often the canon law punishment was of penance, and not enforceable by civil courts. (Medieval laws varied a lot)

    In any case, if religion is to be regarded as the founding of law, when do we get back the Medieval bans on usury?
    Or the implications of more recent Catholic teaching, that have recently criticised capitalism. And not so long ago condemned constitutional republics!

    Most of those seeking legal prescriptions in religion or tradition appear to have decided in advance what they are determined to find there.

  47. Kylopod says:


    Or the implications of more recent Catholic teaching, that have recently criticised capitalism.

    It’s not just recent. If you read histories of capitalism, the Church stood against its development at almost every turn.

  48. gVOR08 says:


    The other case was just today. I came across some anti-abortion special pleader…

    Was that TAC? I skimmed an article like that there this morning. One of many I’ve seen fantasizing about how great they’d be to those women now that they won.

  49. Mu Yixiao says:


    It can also be considered carbon neutral (key word is “neutral”) if the fuel is derived from material whose carbon was going to enter into the atmosphere anyway, or if it is made from carbon extracted from the atmosphere.


  50. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnSF: It is amazing how easy it is to get people to believe that something is based on ancient and eternal wisdom or tradition.

    In the 1800’s or early 1900’s a visiting Naturalist proposed that Fijians looked a bit like people from Madagascar and came up with a hypothesis about a journey from there that populated the island chains of Polynesia. Previously, there was no mention of such a thing in Fijian lore, but within a few decades it was widely accepted, and further, that Fijians had always had an oral tradition of a great journey from a place that could only have been Madacasgar. When I visited there, it was recited as fact in popular guidebooks and so forth.

  51. JohnSF says:

    Yes, that what I meant by the Medieval bans on usury.
    Capitalism without interest bearing loans is virtually unthinkable.
    Also the doctrine of the “Just Price” an customary rather than market based exchange valuation.
    Never mind the entire condemnation of material gain.
    Christian doctrine was massively influenced by it’s Late Classical social foundation of urban Romans and Greeks, of which most were of the lower classes, freedmen, or slaves.
    And then by it’s co-development with aristocratic feudalism in the Middle Ages.

  52. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: It might have been. I visited there in the past few days just to see where the kooks were at. I noticed there was much less Dreher content than usual. I wonder if his head finally exploded. In his strange and rambling post on his divorce, I got very bad vibes about his mental health. I hope is ex-wife is a safe distance away from him.

  53. Kurtz says:


    As someone who finds it inevitable that idiots gonna idiot across the line to delusion the only thing I can say is…wtf did I just read?

  54. JohnSF says:

    Oddly enough, there is a connection, albeit vague and far more distant.
    Malagasays are in part descended from Malay seafarers; the language is directly linked.
    And its’s widely thought that both Malays (broadly) and ancestral Polynesians derive from migrations out of Southern China around three or four millenia BCE.

  55. dazedandconfused says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    True, a hydrogen/oxygen reaction produces nothing but steam, but that isn’t what the engines in that bird are going to be using.

  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Love the song. Sang it for a group of students and faculty from Woosong on the charter bus karaoke system once. (My only foray into empty orchestra.) As to “meaning,” I’ll stick with what he was reported to have said in an interview a few years into its popularity–that mostly he was just stringing words together.

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: WA! Weird stuff, Marvin.

    And the stuff about Inanna’s pictures and eyes? I was always told that that kind of look was indicating…

    …well, let’s just leave it at “something else.” This IS a family-friendly website, after all.

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Nah. This is of a like kind with the subliminal messaging woo woo that was part of my reading during my teen years. Remember the claims of advertisements with “death head” imaging edited in? This is the modern version. And every bit as logical and reasoned, too. 🙁

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Beth: “who would win…”

    Interesting question. My money is on the lizard people faction because their archetypes tend toward seeing violence as a tool that can be used to solve problems.

  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Yeah. I have the Korean language version of that hat and t-shirt. One thing about the monsoon season when I lived in Daegu was that the humidity would stay high even though it was raining torrentially. (It may be that this is common in tropical/other areas, but my experience in the rains 200+ days a year PNW was that rain and humidity don’t happen at the same time.) I was shocked the first time I left a building in Daegu during a rainstorm and my glasses fogged up so solidly that I couldn’t even move until I took them off. WA!

    I never noticed the same effect in Daejeon or Seoul while I lived there. But neither place had “tropical nights” conditions where the overnight low was only a degree or two lower than the daytime high either.

  61. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: The one question that I have of all the people who are rejoicing at the recent decision by the Supremes is how that decision promotes “go into all the world and make disciples in every nation, teaching them everything that I have taught you,” but I’m confident that they’d just claim I was making up nonsense about what Jesus said to make them look bad. 🙁

  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: @Mu Yixiao: Thank you both for your explanations. I was wondering about how this works.

  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnSF: “when do we get back the Medieval bans on usury?”

    We don’t. Those bans were “unscriptural” to begin with. (See how that works? Post-modernism. It’s not just for secularists anymore.)

  65. JohnSF says:

    @Beth: .
    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    My money is on Cyborg Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands@:

    “Alex Jones…recent documentary, Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement, details the plans of …Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, among others, to exterminate most of humanity and develop themselves into “superhuman” computer hybrids able to “travel throughout the cosmos”

    OTOH never write of our very own Queen Elizabeth II.
    Ya know, Liz!
    And the Royal Courts emblem of the scales of justice!
    It’s right there in plain sight! Duh!

  66. CSK says:

    I notice that David Rockefeller was mentioned. He’s been dead for a while. And Beatrix is 84.

  67. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I looked it up to check.

    Subliminal messages are messages or stimuli that are presented to the mind in a way that the conscious mind cannot perceive. The stimuli could be in form of written text or images that are flashed before your eyes but you cannot see them and your conscious mind cannot process then since they are below the threshold of consciousness.

    In fairness, I DID note that this was woo woo-type stuff. One of the OG texts for the idea is Subliminal Seduction. Checking with Goodreads shows that it is still available, though I can’t imagine why. I thought it was ridiculous when I first encountered it, but it was still a thing among evangelicals and fundies. One of those “Could it be… Say TAN?” things.

  68. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Ah, but Catholics often valued magisterium over scripture.
    And if scriptural authority was the issue:
    Ezekiel 18:12-13:

    ‘He that hath given forth his money upon usury, or hath taken increase, shall he live? he shall not live, saith the Lord.’

    In practice, the Medieval church quite happily dealt in (effectively) loans at interest, when they found it convenient.
    Half the time the hierarchy’s main objection was to other people making money on the deal.

  69. JohnSF says:

    Undead zombie cyborg Rockefeller! Eeek!

  70. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnSF: Hah! Neal Stephenson’s latest has the Queen of the Netherlands (in a near future/slightly alternate universe kinda way) eventually becoming an actual leader with real power.

  71. Beth says:


    Elizabeth II.
    Ya know, Liz!

    Liz’s are mean, they scare me. Beth’s are way more fun…

  72. JohnSF says:

    According to some reports she was (is?) known to close family as Lilibet.

  73. JohnSF says:

    Stephenson has always loved an in-joke.

  74. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    One of the OG texts for the idea is Subliminal Seduction.

    I read that book in the early 80s.

    I wouldn’t dig it up again, but I doubt the evidence it presented was well-sourced or reliable. I also recall lots of pattern hunting in commercial images, including the old Camel cigarettes logo.

    Subliminal messages were also a big feature in The Brain’s plans for world domination in “Pinky and The Brain.” By then, mid-90s or so, the whole thing had become more like a joke than a menace.

    As to usury, it’s my understanding that Islam also forbids it, and that countries that mix Mosque and State don’t allow it legally. Yet these countries have commercial banks like most others. So they must allow charging interest under a different name or something.

    Or I’ve been misinformed.

  75. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Oh, yes, I’m familiar with the book, but why the message of the transvestigators is subliminal escapes me. It seems to me that the message is explicit.

  76. Kathy says:


    I was reminded of an Asimov limerick:

    You can’t call the British Queen Ms.
    Tain’t as nice as Elizabeth is.
    But I think that the Queen
    Would be even less keen
    To have herself mentioned as Ls.

    It took me thirty seconds to find it online.

  77. Kurtz says:


    I have something else to say about it, actually. I just didn’t feel like typing it out at the time. A couple things I find maddening about those people.

    Where are all these specialized physicians doing these operations? Seriously, where? Are they in the basements of various pizza shops worldwide?

    If they took what they are seeing at face value, it would illustrate that the traits they associate with biological sex are unrelated to it. Apparently, it’s easier to believe in a series (yes, it would take a series, not just one) of outlandish conspiracies than it is to try to understand something obvious.

  78. Beth says:


    As to usury, it’s my understanding that Islam also forbids it, and that countries that mix Mosque and State don’t allow it legally. Yet these countries have commercial banks like most others. So they must allow charging interest under a different name or something.

    A couple of years after I started practicing I had a couple of Muslim clients who were getting their mortgages from an Islamic lender. I was told by everyone, repeatedly, to not refer to it as “interest” or “interest rate”. It was something else, wink wink, nudge nudge. It was wild.

  79. CSK says:

    I think Lilibet was the name her grandfather gave Elizabeth.

  80. Kathy says:


    I figured something like that.

  81. MarkedMan says:


    Where are all these specialized physicians doing these operations?

    I’ve always been astounded at the number of conspiracy theories that break down on the same lines. In the 80’s it became an accepted fact that 1 million children a year were being kidnapped in the USA. I remember doing a quick calculation and determining that assuming the “kidnapped children” were from the ages of 0-12, a million kids a year meant that roughly one out of three kids were eventually kidnapped, which obviously wasn’t happening. Fewer kids would break a bone in that time period, or need to wear glasses. Where would you put all the kidnapped kids, for chrissakes. But there was no talking to people. My sister kept her kids on a harness for years. I remember the poor Sheriff of Monroe County, NY who was being berated by reporters about what he was going to do about this epidemic of kidnappings. He made the mistake of saying that he thought the number of cases had been exaggerated, that in 20+ years in the Sheriff’s department he remembered every single non-custodial kidnapping of a child and he could count them on his fingers. Man oh man, did the parents come after him. Out of touch! Get him out of office!

    They used to put missing children on milk cartons. It was a great thing and I believe some kids were reunited with their families because of it. But I used to point out to people that, while milk was a local product and rarely shipped more than a couple of hundred miles at the most, the cartons had pictures of kids from all over the country. If a million kids a year were being kidnapped, then thousands of them had to be in the Buffalo to Syracuse to Binghamton triangle. Why didn’t they put those kids on the cartons? The eyerolls I would get over my naïveté…

  82. Thomm says:

    @Kathy: instead of charging interest per se, they finance a greater amount than the purchase amount. Happens in US car dealerships with a decent surrounding Muslim population. What happens is that the interest rate is bought down by paying the finance charge either with cash or rolled into the loan with a now 0% rate.

  83. Mikey says:


    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    One of the OG texts for the idea is Subliminal Seduction.

    I read that book in the early 80s.

    Haha, so did I. I was floored by the amount of manipulation advertisers were using! I spent hours poring over magazines looking for the “hidden” images of people having sex in the Cheetos ads.

    In my defense, I was 12, and I probably shouldn’t have been reading anything with “seduction” in the title, but it was so…seductive…lol

  84. Kathy says:


    Because finance isn’t complicated enough?


    I read an awful lot of stupid books like that in my youth. Maybe six all told, between UFO tomes and one by Velikovsky.

    I did learn something: claims are not true just because they are in a published book.

  85. Kathy says:


    Most conspiracy theories can be undone with one or two simple questions. But true believers aren’t as easily swayed as reasonable people. If you already believe something ludicrous, additional impossibilities to justify the core belief are easily adopted.

    At that, many reasonable people may still believe some conspiracies a little. I know perfectly reasonable people who think maybe the Moon landing was staged. They just don’t care one way or another. When confronted, they’ll say “Ok, sure, that sounds improbable. But who really knows?”

  86. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I was thinking of the style of evidence presentation. Beyond that, a lot of the “evidence” they are presenting is symbolic (or is that shambolic? I sometimes get the two confused). The type of thing that might be subject to interpretation or perception only on the subconscious level. Really, would you be likely to perceive what you’re looking at if it weren’t for the efforts of the Transvestigators ferreting it out for you? If so, you’re much more perceptive than I am (although that’s not that high of a bar to jump).

  87. Beth says:


    Where are all these specialized physicians doing these operations? Seriously, where? Are they in the basements of various pizza shops worldwide?

    Right, instead of the like dozen we have now, at least several of which are known butchers.


    Or like how if a Cop even thinks about Fentanyl they instantly die and melt like they were one of the bad guys in Robocop.

    I’m starting to think that a lot of the bad faith anti-Trans stuff came after a Republican remembered the Satanic Panic and was like, hold my beer, I got a way to update this classic.

  88. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Beth: I laughed and laughed at this. Really, this has to be some crazy satire/joke, right? Because, they are, in fact, advancing the idea, in their own fashion, that gender is a social construct.

  89. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jay L Gischer: I was in good position to see what was going on because I stayed in the fundy/evangelical community ’til I was in my 30s. I went to the first meeting, at a church I attended, of a group that was committed to making it illegal for homosexuals to rent/purchase housing (I was disappointed in a man that I had respected before when I realized this was what the meeting was about and that he was a leader). I hope it is a crazy satire but I was there for the Satanic Panic days, and this shit looks very similar to what those yahus were selling. Same type of ridiculous claims based on the same style of enhanced illustrations. It’s the same song with different lyrics this time. Fear sold as pseudoscience.

  90. Kurtz says:


    I’m starting to think that a lot of the bad faith anti-Trans stuff came after a Republican remembered the Satanic Panic and was like, hold my beer, I got a way to update this classic.

    None of it is new. I’ll post it in a bit, because I want to find the direct quote I recently heard on an episode of Throughline.

  91. Kurtz says:


    Here is the transcript for the episode. They used an archived audio clip of the speech.

    It doesn’t give the date of Louis Beam’s speech, but I think it is related to Vietnamese immigrants fishing in Galveston Bay. That would put it sometime around 1980.

    Do you promise them your everlasting hate, contempt and utter opposition until this country is rid of them, until America is taken back, until they are off the land or under the land?


    Why would you give it away to these satanic, devil-worshipping, child molesting, homosexual, bathroom sodomites in Washington?

    The specific targets and details may change, but the rhetoric is remarkably similar. Bathrooms continue to be an obsession, even if the application or specific fears are slightly different. “Sodomite” is mostly not used, but I definitely see it used by a nutcase every once in a while.

    Bonus fun fact about Beam, in the early 80s, he created the Aryan Liberty Net using home computers to form a decentralized movement.

  92. Gustopher says:

    @Beth: That was truly something, but I really loved the “J. R. Rowling is trans” “analysis.”

    If there is any justice in life, this will somehow become universally believed and the bigots will focus on her being trans and harass her. Apparently she is having a bit of an argument with Matt Walsh the fascist, so we might be really close to the crazies eating their own.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right, but it can make pretty good entertainment.

  93. Gustopher says:


    I’m starting to think that a lot of the bad faith anti-Trans stuff came after a Republican remembered the Satanic Panic and was like, hold my beer, I got a way to update this classic.

    The Satan panic with the baby sacrifices and all was just warmed over Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Are there any conspiracy theories that aren’t just antisemitism?

    When they get to “all trans people are secretly Jewish” run.

    It’s going to happen. The doctors are Mohels, gender reassignment surgery is an extra deep circumcision, etc. The loons will get there.

  94. Kurtz says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Because, they are, in fact, advancing the idea, in their own fashion, that gender is a social construct.

    Yup. Glad I’m not the only one who thought that.