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. DK says:

    Washington Post (Analysis): Note to Florida and DeSantis: Enslaved Africans were already skilled by Gillian Brockell

    …enslavers sought and purchased people coming from specific African societies based on skills common in those societies. Decades of research — slave ship manifests, plantation ledgers, newspaper articles, letters, journals and archaeological digs — by dozens of scholars supports this, much of it compiled in the 2022 book “African Founders: How Enslaved People Expanded American Freedom,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Hackett Fischer.

    …Other skills such as literacy, ministry and music-making were often banned, because they did not benefit — and even threatened — the enslaver.

    Hackett Fischer explains how, in the mid-1700s, enslaving colonists in….the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida targeted people from the Windward Coast of West Africa, where rice had been cultivated for thousands of years…enslaved people then built complex systems of canals, levees, floodgates and fields, just as they had in West Africa, providing the region with its first massive cash crop.

    In New England…an enslaved man named Onesimus taught Puritan leader Cotton Mather a technique for smallpox for inoculation…common in his African homeland.

    Chesapeake enslavers wanted people like the Kru, specifically for their skill for boatbuilding. Though Europeans were sailing farther distances, slave traders marveled at the superior stability and speed of West African canoes, some of which they said could hold 100 people. These boat designs were ideal for fishing, freight and ferrying up and down the Chesapeake.

    …in Texas, enslavers wanted a subset of enslaved people in South Carolina descended from the Fulani, because they were already skilled herders…

    As for “being a blacksmith” — the example DeSantis cited as a skill that could provide personal benefit — Africans all over the continent already knew how to forge iron and other metals with great skill long before slavery. That’s why masterpieces like the Benin Bronzes were later stolen and ended up in British and American museums…

    Africans…already knew how to measure, irrigate, sail, forge, read, write, translate, mine, weave, build, cook, harvest, heal and create. That is what the slave traders were looking for sailing up and down Africa’s coasts: skilled laborers who could benefit them.

    Not the other way around.

  2. Kylopod says:

    Nikki Haley removes herself from contention as Trump’s vp.

    “We can’t have, as Republicans, [Trump] as the nominee. He can’t win a general election. That’s the problem. We’ve got to go and have someone who can actually win,” she said.

  3. Kathy says:

    Good news, everyone! The latest reboot of Futurama is out on streaming.

  4. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: Perhaps she’s figured out that there never, ever is an upside to getting associated with Trump, that thinking you can latch onto him but not get any of his stank on you is a mugs game. Is she the smartest of the lot or the simply the first?

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: Sorry Nikki, you let the leopards loose and now they are going to eat all your faces.

  6. MarkedMan says:

    Josh Marshall has a piece out seconding what Kevin Drum said about Florida’s curriculum, basically that you could take out the “but slaves could earn money” sentence that everyone is focusing on and it still leaves a body of work that is riddled with “States Rights” and “Racism was an unpleasantness that was over by the fifties” type of nonsense.

  7. Joe says:

    My point in yesterday’s DeSantis thread (Joe), exactly. Thanks for the research.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    I don’t know what is going to happen with Twitter but I temper any expectations with the knowledge that amongst the rise and fall of the dozens and dozens of “must have” sites, communities and applications I’ve witnessed since the dawn of the internet, people getting angry with a site has rarely if ever killed it. It’s only when people get tired of a site, or bored with it, or decide it’s not worth the money or effort required to maintain access that it tends to fade away. Are people going to abandon Twitter? Maybe. But I haven’t seen “retweets” from Threads here or in the blogs I follow or reposts from the few text correspondents I have that post such things frequently. Nor a Mastodon based server, nor Blue… what the heck is that other one called? Whenever there is a link, it is to a Tweet.

    Speaking of Mastodon, which was the first great hope amongst those Twitter users mad at their Mom Elon Musk, the basic rule of the internet seems to have taken hold: tools that pop up and are new and amazing and wonderful and exciting eventually attract the attention of all the maggots that make the old stuff such a pain. Mastodon servers haven’t figured out how to prevent the technologies use as hosts for child porn.

    “We got more photoDNA hits in a two-day period than we’ve probably had in the entire history of our organization of doing any kind of social media analysis, and it’s not even close,” said Thiel, referring to a technique used to identify pieces of content with unique digital signatures. Mastodon did not return a request for comment.

  9. Kurtz says:


    Good news, everyone! The latest reboot of Futurama is out on streaming.

    Can I get it in the form of a suppository?

  10. Sleeping Dog says:

    Spain had elections over the weekend and while the results are inconclusive as to the next government, one fact is clear, the far right Vox party lost half their parliamentary seats, despite pre-election polling showing that they would achieve significant gains and likely a place in the next government.

    Vox’s campaign parroted nearly uniform hard-right, nationalist views espoused in other nations, with opposition to migration and L.G.B.T.Q. rights, promotion of traditional Christian values and the assertion of nationalism over meddling from the European Union.

    But many of those issues failed to draw Spanish voters, or even scared them, and the country’s election results went contrary to Europe’s political winds.

    Instead, the results made clear that the rise of Vox had more to do with the nationalist response to a 2017 explosion of secessionist fervor in Spain’s Catalonia region. Mr. Sánchez managed to defuse that issue during his five years in office by delivering pardons and weakening penalties for the secessionists.

    (emphasis added)

    The populist right has gone all in on culture war but this adds to the evidence that culture war issues aren’t moving voters.

  11. Kurtz says:


    I wonder if anyone is clever enough to use facts like those to argue for privatizing immigration controls. Something like:

    “The government can’t effectively regulate the people we let into the US. Instead, we should return to business leaders the right to import those who best support the entrepreneurial drive of the men who built this great, beautiful country. That’s the only way to get them to send their best.”

  12. DK says:


    The latest reboot of Futurama is out on streaming.

    Fabulous news. So glad I have Hulu!

  13. DK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    …the far right Vox party lost half their parliamentary seats, despite pre-election polling showing that they would achieve significant gains and likely a place in the next government.

    Red Wave 2023! Liberals are losing everything everywhere all the time! Ahhhhhhh!

  14. just nutha says:

    @MarkedMan: Sorry, but I think @OzarkHillbilly: nailed it.

  15. just nutha says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Maybe the Inquisition was good for something after all.

  16. DK says:


    My point in yesterday’s DeSantis thread (Joe), exactly. Thanks for the research.

    Yup, I remembered that and went back to read your comment right after I saw this in WaPo.

  17. Daryl says:

    It’s also important to note that the examples of slaves listed by the State of Florida, who benefitted from skills they supposedly learned in captivity, is full of people who were never slaves. Or, in the case of Booker T. Washington, became free during their childhood; Washington was freed at the age of nine.
    At the end of the day kids from Florida will be dumber for this, and the various other DeSantis anti-educational initiatives. And that is the point. MAGA requires a certain level of stupidity in it’s members, otherwise the cult cannot be sustained.

  18. Daryl says:

    I am not an expert, but I doubt any previous platforms lost $24 – $40B for their investors. And X is heavily leveraged. In addition to that, X’s revenue stream has been cut in half by the fleeing of advertisers.
    And then as a side note, Zuckerberg owns the trademark for the letter X when used in social media, and Microsoft owns the letter X for financial websites. So an already floundering media site re-branded itself in a way that cannot be trademarked.
    That anyone can make this many fundamental business mistakes and stay afloat would be impressive indeed. I don’t find Musk to be that impressive.

  19. Kylopod says:

    @just nutha:

    Maybe the Inquisition was good for something after all.

    It taught people valuable skills in how to confess apostasy.

  20. KM says:


    MAGA requires a certain level of stupidity from it’s members, otherwise the cult cannot be sustained.

    Not necessarily stupid but strong inherent cognitive dissonance, the kind that must be taught young and carefully curated through life. See, this whole slavery was helpful to those it harmed mentality don’t just justify past and present racism, it is necessary for present day capitalism to function. You set up the parallels early and positive before the kids start figuring it out on their own.

    Then – Kind masters, rich in a way you’ll never obtain in generations, allowed those in their employ to learn something valuable (for free! no student debt!!) that helped them survive at more then subsistence levels later in life at the low, low cost of non-consensual body-destroying labor that really isn’t as bad as those libs keep harping about. It was a good thing that helped the economy and the country grow.

    Now– Kind billionaires and business owners, rich in a way you’ll never obtain in millennia, allowed those in their employ to learn something valuable before working (student debt’s an investment in yourself!!) and during (for free! on the job training!!) that helped them survive at more then subsistence levels in life at the low, low cost of multiple soul-destroying low-paying jobs that really isn’t as bad as those libs keep harping about. It’s a good thing that helps the economy and the country grow.

    Teach them young that slavery wasn’t so bad and they’ll accept modern-day wage slavery. Teach them racism had an upside and they keep supporting it. Teach them it was a benefit and not exploitation so they can’t see when it’s still happening now. Minimize how horrible it was, flesh out fluff pieces they can associate with and you’ll have a group nodding along as cleverer MAGAts talk about going back to an authoritarian, feudal state since it wasn’t “so bad”. After all, nobody ever thinks they’ll be the serf or slave if such a thing ever came about again…..

  21. Kathy says:


    I think those are exclusive to the Lost City of Atlanta.


    No spoilers, but I found the first reboot ep too self-referential and rather underwhelming.

    On a more serious note, there is a Futurama ep done in the form of a podcast, entitled Radiorama (of course).

    That one, no spoilers, was also self-referential, but not underwhelming at all.

  22. DrDaveT says:


    MAGA requires a certain level of stupidity in it’s members, otherwise the cult cannot be sustained.

    Let’s be clear — this is not a new thing, and not a consequence of the populist swerve the GOP has taken. Republicans have been systematically gutting education at all levels for many decades, deliberately, as part of their long-term strategy for how to get non-wealthy people to vote for wealth protection.

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: Teach them young….

    Hmmmm, sounds like “grooming” to me.

  24. Stormy Dragon says:


    So right as Meta is trying to push through changes to the ActivityPub protocol that would enable their goal of being able to data collect an monetize the fediverse, a former Meta chief of security (who was forced to resign over his involvement in the Cambridge Analytica scandal) releases a report about how pedophiles are going to get all your kids if we don’t centralize control of the fediverse in big corporate entities.

    Yeah, I’m sure this is a legit study and totally not an attempt to create a moral panic because the finance bros are terrified there’s a part of the internet they don’t control. I mean, it’s Stanford, and who wouldn’t trust the word of Federalist Society U?

  25. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Sorry mistake in above post: the former Meta chief of security who resigned over Cambridge Analytica is the Director of the Stanford Internet Observatory, not the report author. The report author is a completely different former Meta chief of security.

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Male anti-abortion religious leaders mull murder charges for pregnant people at national event

    An all-male panel of anti-abortion religious leaders from around the country met Friday night to discuss the strategies that should be used to end abortion in every state at any stage of pregnancy, without exceptions for rape and incest, and with criminal punishment for the pregnant person in line with existing criminal penalties for murder, which includes the death penalty.

    Because of course they did.

  27. Daryl says:

    Absolutely. No disagreement at all.

  28. CSK says:


    Remember Rick Santorum? Under this law, his wife would gave had two choices: die or be convicted of murder.

  29. Daryl says:


    Not necessarily stupid but strong inherent cognitive dissonance…

    I don’t think cognitive dissonance is the correct term, but I get your point and I agree.
    It’s more of an epistemic bubble – essentially an echo chamber writ large – from which relevant facts and data and truths have been actively discredited and excluded.

  30. MarkedMan says:

    @Daryl: I don’t have exact inflation adjusted numbers, but I wouldn’t be surprised if AOL’s collapse exceeds Twitter’s. I mean, at one point AOL was so big that they purchased Time Warner! Eight years later Time Warner emerged, selling AOL for pocket change.

    There is also things like MySpace and Compuserve, both of which were high value companies incredibly dominant in their era and then declined very rapidly. And if we used “number of user hours” instead of dollars to designate worth, maybe nothing equals the decline of Usenet. In the hardware domain we have Blackberry and Nokia and Motorola, all of whom dominated the mobile phone market and who collapsed almost overnight. The IBM PC once commanded a near monopoly and a hefty price premium, but then was sold for pennies on the five-year-prior dollar.

    Cataclysmic collapse of high value enterprises is almost the norm in tech. Even at Twitter’s valuation, if it collapses it won’t be that unusual.

  31. KM says:

    Eh – Doublethink in it’s native habitat?

  32. Kathy says:

    The attempt to resuscitate the Nexus didn’t go well. Either the current phone chargers are inadequate (maybe too much power), or the mini-USB cable is broken. It didn’t draw any power from the wall outlet. I have a short mini-USB that hooks up to the PC (it’s like 5-7 cm long). that began to charge it, and did so for about an hour.

    So, I turned it on. It spent half an hour on a start-up animation I couldn’t turn off. Nothing else happened. Eventually it ran out of battery, I guess, but I was asleep by then.

    I don’t see how the charge could be a factor. I mean, phones, and the Nexus when I used it often, do boot up with as little as 2% battery (and then they use it up in seconds with low battery alerts). But I’ll try to charge it fully over the weekend and see if anything changes.

  33. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I carry no water for Zuck or any other techn bro, but it is almost inevitable that Mastodon would end up with this problems, since it is more a technology than an entity and available to virtually anyone who wants to set up a server. And there is not enough of a cash stream that would allow Mastodon to fund employees to build and maintain a mechanism to prevent it.

    Mastodon is closer to the Apache web server than to the company that is Twitter. No one blames the volunteer Apache developers if someone puts up a “look at these pictures of my cute cat!” web site but whose poor security allows bad actors to use it to host bad things. There are hundreds (thousands) of instances of Mastodon put up by very unsophisticated users, so it is no surprise the bad actors are taking advantage.

  34. Kathy says:

    The irony would be so sweet: Benito may be charged with attempted election fraud in Georgia

    We all know GQP accusations are admissions. this would make it official.

  35. CSK says:

    George T. Conway III is now calling himself “Xeorge Xonway” on Twitter.

  36. Daryl says:

    Here is another excellent piece on the topic.

  37. Daryl says:

    That’s Xcellent.

  38. DK says:


    On a more serious note, there is a Futurama ep done in the form of a podcast, entitled Radiorama (of course).

    This Futurama nerd thanks you profusely for the rec.

  39. Stormy Dragon says:


    I agree, but so far the best practice is small instances where a small number of admins can keep an eye what’s going on. The problem is mostly in the giant instances that have tens of thousands of users. Moderation does not scale well, and this is a known issue across all social media.

    That’s why I don’t trust people who propose further centralization as a solution, because it will make the problem worse, not better.

    Again, the real agenda here is making it easier for the corporations to control federation, especially if the EU goes ahead with their plans to require federation.

  40. Modulo Myself says:

    There’s some dipshit on twitter going off about the logical consequences of giving kids free lunch, because you can’t just do that without screwing with the universe. I feel like there’s a connection between ‘slaves who bettered themselves’ and ‘free things are bad because of the consequences’. There’s this weird nickel-and-dime philosophy where everything pointless is examined for no other purpose than the hopes of screwing someone beneath you over. Can’t just give kids free lunch, gotta look at the upsides of slavery too. What a waste.

  41. Jay L Gischer says:

    As to Mastodon, I cannot see how me putting up a Mastodon server in any way facilitates people who want to use it for child porn. It’s like saying “you put up a personal website, you are helping people sell drugs, because drug dealers use websites.”

    Or crypto. Bitcoin isn’t illegal itself, it just is easy to use for illegal things. I think a Mastodon feed would not be that hard to spot or monitor by government agencies. That’s the nature of federation. They just haven’t got to it yet.

    On another topic, my favorite example of a mighty tech company that imploded is Digital Equipment Corporation. They were a powerhouse through the 70’s and 80’s, making $14 billion in revenue in 1993. They posted losses of over $1 billion a few years later, in spite of having the fastest – by a fair margin – RISC chip out there. I was working at Silicon Graphics at the time, and we were amazed that they weren’t dead already. Unlike companies like AOL, DEC had tons of physical assets – fabs and so on – that they could sell off to try to keep things going. AOL just had servers – or maybe they leased those?

  42. Ha Nguyen says:


    I also had a Nexus 7 with the same issue. I think the battery needs to be replaced because I used to have a laptop which behaved the same way until I managed to find a PC repair shop which replaced the battery in the laptop.
    However, the replacement battery didn’t last as long as the original battery and when I went back to the repair shop to try and get a new battery, they said that there were no more replacement batteries for that laptop available.

  43. Kathy says:

    @Ha Nguyen:

    We’ll probably never know. I’m willing to charge it and try it again, but not to put another penny above that into it. The last I recall using it was an exercise in frustration. It’s more curiosity now than any need for a tablet.

  44. DK says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Can’t just give kids free lunch, gotta look at the upsides of slavery too.

    The only people who deserve free lunch are politicians and their families, billionaires, multimillionaires, corporations, megachurches, and Republican farmers.

    Relief for struggling college grads or food stamps for the poor is socialism, and we can’t have that. Pro-life and pro-family is blocking sensible gun controls and forcing a working class teenage mom to birth a child she can’t afford to house and feed, then sending the kid to underfunded schools to starve all day or get shot in mass shooting.

    Nixon would be considered a left-wing anarchist amongst today’s selfish, greedy right.

  45. MarkedMan says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I think a Mastodon feed would not be that hard to spot or monitor by government agencies.

    A sorta social compact is that the government doesn’t spy on private initiatives without cause, and in return the private initiative makes a reasonable effort to keep itself from being used by bad actors.

    In meat space, something like a bar can be shut down for becoming a public nuisance even if the owners aren’t directly involved.

  46. Kathy says:


    You’re welcome.

    I forgot to mention the crossover ep with The Simpsons, Simpsorama (you begin to see the pattern, right?)

    It was actually pretty good.

  47. Daryl says:

    Much as I want to see Trump indicted in GA…I don’t believe the Guardian is an overly credible source. I think they are like a lot of the folks who go on MNSBC and predict things that are imminent and yet don’t ever seem to happen. Nick Ackerman, Jill Wine Banks, Kirschner, etc.
    I believe something will happen…but what and how soon? Until I see confirmation from another source I remain skeptical.

  48. Jen says:

    @CSK: This goes back to my theory that for conservatives, the definition of abortion has nothing to do with the medical procedure, they define it via intent.

    It’s crazy-making. They will look you straight in the eye and argue that Santorum’s wife didn’t abort her pregnancy, simply because it was wanted. They skip RIGHT BY the fact that ANY termination, for ANY reason, is an abortion–it’s aborting (stopping) a pregnancy.

    More evidence that conservatives don’t operate in a realm of reality, they prefer Make Believe.

  49. CSK says:


    Are they aware that in medical terminology a miscarriage is known as a spontanous abortion???

  50. Daryl says:

    It’s never been about abortion…it’s about control.

  51. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod: Nikki Haley badmouthing Trump is the first step in the humiliating reversal that Trump loves so much.

    When he can break someone, that’s when he knows he’s got them — but you have to do something that can be broken first. Look at Kevin McCarthy.

    There’s a line from the comic book (and movie) Sin City written by Frank Miller

    Power don’t come from a badge or a gun. Power comes from lying. Lying big, and gettin’ the whole damn world to play along with you. Once you got everybody agreeing with what they know in their hearts ain’t true, you’ve got ’em by the balls.

    I wish this didn’t explain so much. Not just the Trump inner circle, but the whole right wing these days, clinging to obvious lies as a badge of honor, as their only bit of power.

    Frank Miller was a bit too optimistic though — he thought the lie could be controlled.

    Anyway, Nikki Haley may not know it, but she just took the first step towards being welcomed into MAGA power with open arms.

  52. Daryl says:

    DeSantis has just cut a third of his staff, 38 people in all.
    Not exactly a good sign this early in the primary season.
    The first contest, Iowa, is still 6 months off.
    (BTW, the first MAGA debate is just a month out – 8/23/23)

  53. CSK says:


    Oh, we know.

  54. Kathy says:


    No, no. This is when he changes his name to X and launches the Everything Campaign.

  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: I was going more in the other direction. That Spanish citizens don’t have to side with cruelty in the name of morality. But postmodernism has done nothing if not allow us to make whatever reality we choose. Go in peace and serve your reality.

  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    too self-referential and rather underwhelming

    So it turned out like the reboot of Animaniacs. Not surprising.

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DK: Even back in his day, I remember reading an essay in The New Republic (by Nicholas von Hoffman, IIRC) proclaiming Nixon as “The Last New Deal Liberal.”

  58. gVOR10 says:


    They will look you straight in the eye and argue that Santorum’s wife didn’t abort her pregnancy, simply because it was wanted. …
    More evidence that conservatives don’t operate in a realm of reality, they prefer Make Believe.

    George Lakoff had, I think, the simplest and best explanation. Conservatives are perfectly able to think through complex causation, but they don’t. They default to simple morality. Mrs. Santorum is pure of heart and meant no evil, so it doesn’t count as abortion. Abortion is a sin. She’s not a sinner. How hard is it for you libturds to get that? It’s how they’re able to believe cutting taxes reduces the deficit. If we’re virtuous by reducing spending God, or the invisible hand, will reward us with a lower deficit. Low taxes are good. Low deficit is good. Two things equal to a third thing are equal to each other. Simple, no?

    And that carries over into our legal system it’s not a sin, or a crime, unless you intended to sin, or crime. That’s why Smith seems to be trying to nail down that Trump knew he was lying about the election. It’s not enough that he can prove sedition, he has to prove intent to commit sedition. Which is silly.

  59. grumpy realistt says:

    @gVOR10: don’t forget that proof of intent is required to have a case of action for many crimes (e.g. first degree murder). On the other hand, it’s a bit of “what the evidence shows a reasonable person should think.” A person can’t deliberately stab someone in the heart and then bleat “oh, but I didn’t have the intent to kill him!” to protect himself from a first-degree murder charge.

    It used to be that conspiracy required to one to show an “intent of conspiracy” which is why a very good defence was “we were only two guys and the other guy involved was a police officer undercover” because the “intent of conspiracy” was thus limited to the mindset of only one person….(This changed later.)

    If you think modern law is silly/crazy, take a look at the causes of action back at the beginning of English Common Law. If you couldn’t shoehorn your accusation into one of the available causes of action there was no way you could bring anything before the law courts. The only other alternative was a petition to the king under the cause of equity (mainly,”it’s not fair!”). Hence, the parallel courts of equity that were formed…and which some states still have.

  60. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I don’t watch Animaniacs, just Pinky and The Brain (the reboot’s been pretty ok), so I wouldn’t know.

    This is Futurama’s third reboot. the first was a series of four direct to video movies. then new eps for some cable network, now this one for Hulu. Self-referencing is common to all, but this latest just didn’t let up til the very end.

    Hopefully the next nine eps won’t be more “Hey! We’re back and we’re streaming!

  61. Stormy Dragon says:
  62. Gustopher says:


    Conservatives are perfectly able to think through complex causation, but they don’t.

    I think very, very few people are able to think through complex causation, and that most of those are software engineers (who are mostly baffled that no one else seems to bother, and who also frequently miss key parts of the causality).*

    How many folks on the left have thought through the implications of Medicare4All? They’ve absorbed a few bullet pointed lists at best.

    *: in the world of tech, people are often trying to pick the “best” technology for something. I remember my boss at one job wanted us to use fancy-new-thing and created a spreadsheet of pros and cons compared to the default technology, with values and weights behind everything, and it all added up to show that our best option was what he wanted.

    It was the Spreadsheet of Subjectivity. Rows of unquantifiable feelings, and columns with values assigned to them.

    I mocked him for it, and used the tools that I could walk down the hall and get help with.

    Our project would have ended up being delayed by six months because of technological problems with the new tools. Instead, our project was cancelled halfway through when the usability lab focus groups found it to be “creepy” and “invasive”. Moral of the story… nothing matters.

    (We also learned that expectant parents were 30% more likely to read Mein Kampf in the months leading to birth than the previous three years… which we hoped was a data problem, but the statisticians assured us was not. I now just assume that pregnancy is the only time Nazis get time to read. Anyway, we had to put in special logic to not recommend Mein Kampf to expectant parents, and it was still “creepy” and “invasive”)

  63. steve says:

    Yup, its all about control.



  64. DrDaveT says:


    Conservatives are perfectly able to think through complex causation, but they don’t. They default to simple morality

    I would phrase that differently. Conservatives understand cause and effect, but they do not evaluate policies on the basis of outcomes. They evaluate them on the basis of actions, which they deem moral or immoral. If a policy will encourage “immoral” actions, conservatives will oppose it — even if they agree that everyone would be better off under that policy.

    Deontology is a bitch.

  65. DrDaveT says:


    How many folks on the left have thought through the implications of Medicare4All? They’ve absorbed a few bullet pointed lists at best.


    This isn’t some weird hypothetical that you are being asked to take on faith. We can see how it works in other countries. If you want to argue that it can’t work here, you need some actual analysis of how America is different in ways that will prevent the existing, proven solution from working here. Even those whose comprehension is limited to bulleted lists can understand “it already works elsewhere”.

  66. al Ameda says:


    DeSantis has just cut a third of his staff, 38 people in all.
    Not exactly a good sign this early in the primary season.
    The first contest, Iowa, is still 6 months off.
    (BTW, the first MAGA debate is just a month out – 8/23/23)

    For a few months now I’ve been joking to my friends that Ron DeSantis has the charisma of a Death Penalty Executioner. He certainly lives up (down?) to that, doesn’t he.

  67. gVOR10 says:

    @DrDaveT: I’d probably agree with that. When I talked about simple morality I decided not to add, as I usually think of it, “according to some weird moral code that makes sense only to them.”

    As I mature, or at least age, I think a lot of politics comes down to nothing more than utilitarian ethics v normative ethics. We should do what works v what’s “right”.