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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Paratrooper whose parachute failed to open survives after crashing into house

    Several neighbours saw the parachutist spiraling in the air. Photographs from the scene showed a hole in the tiled roof of the home and a soldier, wearing SAS uniform, in the kitchen surrounded by debris.

    Neighbours rushed to the house.

    “I ran in to make sure he was OK and I checked on him and his eyes were open but I wasn’t sure if there were any injuries. I didn’t want anyone to move him,” Rose Martin told KSBY.

    “It’s a miracle in my estimation, really. I mean, who lands like that without a parachute and lives?”

    Linda Sallady, the homeowner’s mother, said: “Came through the roof, through the trusses and there’s not that much damage in the house. It’s amazing. It’s mostly the ceiling, the sheetrock. He missed the counters, appliances, everything.”

    I worked this one job on a house with extensive fire damage. We were replacing sheeting on the roof and a fellow carpenter found a soft spot and went thru the roof between the rafters. He hit the 2nd floor and kept on going. At that point he began to pray the the 1st floor would stop him. His never finished prayer was answered and it did stop him, but he was seriously fcked up. The skin was ripped off both sides from his waist up and the insides of his arms. Just thinking about it makes my a-hole pucker.

    From the pic I saw and the above description, this paratrooper didn’t suffer a 10th of the injuries F did. Hard to believe it was 15,000 feet, but miracles do happen.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The bodies of an unusually large number of migrants who died in Arizona’s borderlands are being recovered this summer amid record temperatures in the sun-scorched desert and rugged mountains.

    An increase in migrant deaths also has been noted in Texas, and rescues are up throughout the border with Mexico.

    The non-profit group Humane Borders, which maps the recoveries of bodies in Arizona using data from the Pima county medical examiner’s office in Tucson, said 43 sets of human remains were found in the state’s border region last month – the hottest June on record for Phoenix. Forecasters say highs in Phoenix, where temperatures last month regularly soared above 110F (43C), tend to be similar to those in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, north of Mexico.

    Not all 43 of those people died in June, but at least 16 had been dead for just a day and another 13 for less than a week when they were found, said Mike Kreyche, a mapping coordinator for Humane Borders. The group’s figures include all bodies recovered of people believed to have been migrants and are higher than the number of deaths reported by the Border Patrol, which only counts those it handles in the course of its work.

    Sad but predictable and indicative of just how bad things are back “home” for these people.

  3. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Let play a game. I have a 12 mile drive to my new office across town. How many Trump billboards, bumper skickers, or yard signs am I going to see?

    I haven’t taken this particular route yet but its through a mixture of commercial and residential zones.

    Go ahead and throw in a guess for the number of Confederate flags as well. BTW, this area was a consistent +40 margin for Trump.

    My guess? 8 signs, 3 Johnny Rebs. Ill report back the answer tomorrow.

    BTW…. RIP Doug.

  4. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Surprise, surprise….not a TV in my hotel or office since Ive got to town HASN’T been tuned to Fox News.

    Ive already figured out my persuasion strategy. I am pretty high up (why else would I leave central Florida for here?) My staff wanders in my office all day for various decisions/updates. I will soften then up with about 2 weeks of my TV tuned Fox News continously. Ive had it off previously and I know they are dying to see which channel I have it on. I already know what they hate about the GOP so Ill occasionally attack the GOP from the right but gain their trust on attacking the obvious liberal softballs like Defund the Police.

    When GOP cult dogma comes up that is obvious bullshit, I will play it like Colombo: aw shucks, ask questions, but admit they could be right…under certain conditions (which obviously dont exist) This is called mirroring. This is what I want them to do long term about the narratives I want to push. The majority will do this but not understand why. This is simply how the psyche works. If I say 7 things you agree with…you are likely to either agree or be open to agree with the 8th and 9th thing I say.

    Whats the goal here? I want them to question the current type of R politicians they like and sew doubt about the ‘culture wars’ which, are not really about culture at all. Abortion and Trans bathroom have nothing to do with culture. Culture is ‘the way in which we go about..’ and the personal and artistic expressions that support that manner.

    Im actually curious to see how well my war on culture war goes. If it gains traction it may be a good narrative to push in 2022. Perhaps the only way to win the culture war in R40 areas is to not to fight it.

  5. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Such an optimist, you’re under guessing by at least 50%. I’d say that beside the left over 2020 FG signs, there will be at least 3 FG 2024 signs.

  6. MarkedMan says:

    @Jim Brown 32: I’m with Sleeping Dog. Given that you are counting bumper stickers, I think you are going to lose count before you reach work. At least for the Trump stuff. I have no opinion on the confederate flags.

    I’m curious about what you do such that you have a television on at work. That’s kind of my definition of hell.

  7. CSK says:

    Here’s an essay by Doug Mataconis, written in 1990, when he was a college senior.


  8. Monala says:


    Any billionaires looking for pet projects might I suggest solar-powered air-conditioning, water desalination, fire fighting infrastructure, pandemic response teams, etc.

  9. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: One of the first college essays I ever wrote on a political topic (around 1997) was on flag burning. I focused on Robert Bork’s arguments in favor of such laws. (If he’d been appointed to the Court, the anti-flag-burning statutes would have been upheld. Kennedy was selected in his place, and he was among the 5-4 majority in Texas v. Johnson.)

  10. charon says:


    BREAKING: Fully vaccinated Mississippians now account for 12% of COVID-19 hospitalizations, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says.

    Two weeks ago, that figure was just 5%.

    Dr. Dobbs says the Delta variant is driving the shift.

  11. Monala says:



    In Mississippi, there are now 12 CHILDREN in ICUs for COVID-19.

    10 of them are on ventilators.

    Two days ago, we had 84 ICU patients of any age & 32 on ventilators.

    That means about 1/3 of ventilated COVID-19 patients are CHILDREN.

    The Delta surge: mississippifreepress.org/13651/a-perfec…

  12. Kathy says:


    Once, if ever, a high percentage of the population is vaccinated, then one can drop additional protections like masks and distancing (keep washing your hands, though). Now that looks far less likely to happen.

    I will keep using masks and taking other precautions, until case counts drop to very low levels. I’m fully vaccinated, but that has become just one layer of protection, rather than absolute immunity.

    BTW, it’s hard to say what the vaccine resistance situation is in Mexico, as people get vaccinated by age group and municipality in succeeding waves. I know two people who didn’t get vaccinated when it was their turn, but I’ve no idea why not. One is a maskhole, the other is very contentious about masking and taking all other protections.

    I was rather heartened by a coworker who got the first dose of AstraZeneca a couple of weeks ago. She had bad side effects, including mild fever and body aches. She’s determined to get the second dose, though.

  13. MarkedMan says:

    @charon: I live downtown B’more where there are a lot of tourists from the Diseased States. More and more I’m thinking that we should build a wall at the Mason Dixon line.

  14. Stormy Dragon says:


    I’m thinking that we should build a wall at the Mason Dixon line.

    Uh… you realize if we did, Baltimore would be on the Southern side of it?

  15. Michael Cain says:

    @MarkedMan: Isn’t Baltimore on the same side of the Mason Dixon line as @charon’s Diseased States?

  16. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Cain: Speaking as a native B’morean (well, technically born in DC), I can say with certainty that MD and Delaware are by far the most un-Southern states to ever be classified as part of the South (and they still are classified that way to this day by the US Census, which can’t let go of the traditional Mason-Dixon division).

  17. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: @Michael Cain: Oh yeah. We need a new line! Kind of like the Iron Curtain, which the olds will remember. Something to keep the citizens of Dumbfuckistan and the other SSR’s on their side, complete with the machine gun towers and barbed wire so popular in days of yore.

    Vaccine Curtain? Wall of Stupidity? (oh wait, TFG made a start on something like that a bit further south…)

  18. Stormy Dragon says:


    The Duh Militarized Zone?

  19. CSK says:

    Trump clearly has no idea of what treason is, nor how it should be punished. According to Michael Bender’s book, when Trump found out that someone had leaked the news that he, Melania, and Barron had been whisked to the White House bunker during the May 2020 protests, he wanted that person charged with treason and executed. Yes. Executed for the apparent crime of making Donny look like a fraidy cat.

    In the past, he has also accused James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Adam Schiff of treason.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:
  21. Kathy says:


    Trump clearly has no idea of what treason is

    An exhaustive list of things trump has no idea of what they are, would fill a large library. A shorter list, big enough for a small library, would the things he thinks he knows what they are though he has no idea.

    A much shorter list, about half a page, would encompass things he has the right idea what they are.

  22. JohnMcC says:

    @CSK: You recall what we learned about the R-party? That everything is either projection or confession?


  23. CSK says:

    I know. This is just another manifestation of his appalling ignorance that was revealed today.

    Mattis was almost right. Most sixth-graders know more than Trump does. I couldn’t keep a straight face after more than 60 seconds of listening to him.

  24. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon: You win the internet for today!

  25. George says:


    BREAKING: Fully vaccinated Mississippians now account for 12% of COVID-19 hospitalizations, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says.

    Two weeks ago, that figure was just 5%.

    Dr. Dobbs says the Delta variant is driving the shift.

    That doesn’t tell much without knowing the absolute number of hospitalizations and the percentage of the population that are vaccinated. As the number of fully vaccinated people in the population increases and the number of unvaccinated decreases, then the percentage of fully vaccinated among the hospitalized will increase even if their chances of being hospitalized remains the same simply because they have an increased base population.

  26. Gustopher says:


    Trump clearly has no idea of what treason is

    And yet, he’s a natural!

  27. Kathy says:


    I wonder if his court laughed when Louis XIV proclaimed “L’État, c’est moi”. We know what some in trump’s cabinet said.

  28. CSK says:

    I was just thinking of that. But Louis XIV accomplished more than Trump. And was less repulsive-looking.

  29. DrDaveT says:


    Trump clearly has no idea of what treason

    On the other hand, FG has a really good idea what “treason” is. “Treason” is a set of sounds that, when he utters them, get the response he’s looking for.

    It’s important to remember that for FG words don’t have meanings, any more than notes played on a saxophone have meanings. They are patterns of sounds that evoke certain responses in other people. It’s all Pavlov, not Chomsky.

  30. CSK says:

    “It’s all Pavlov, not Chomksy.” Excellent. I’ll remember that.

    In this case, though, Trump appears to have been screaming at members of his staff rather than at his adoring acolytes. Lamentable a collection as the staffers were, I’m sure even they knew better. Of course, everyone knows better than Trump.

  31. charon says:


    Or you could scroll down the linked thread for more numbers and discussion.

    You can also explore here for state data:


  32. charon says:


    See How Vaccinations Are Going in Your County and State

  33. MarkedMan says:


    As the number of fully vaccinated people in the population increases and the number of unvaccinated decreases,

    We are talking Mississippi here. The number of fully vaccinated people is not changing much at all anymore.

    As a comparison, 100% of the people who died of COVID in Maryland in the entire month of June were unvaccinated.

  34. Kathy says:


    No vaccines protects 100% of the people who take it 100% of the time. What happens is that most of the people vaccinated are protected most of the time.

    What can get through depends on many factors. Variants are an important factor. the current vaccines are effective against Delta, but not as effective as against the original strain nor other variants. Therefore the more Delta circulates in a community, the higher the chance of vaccinated individuals will get sick, even seriously so.

    Vaccines are like masks in a sense: the more people who get vaccinated, the safer everyone will be, even those who cannot or will not get the jab. Of course, this assumes a high rate of vaccination and of mask usage. We saw the results of not enough people masking, especially while mingling with other people indoors in large numbers. We’re seeing the same effects for low rates of vaccination.

    I strongly advice all here who’ve been fully vaccinated to nevertheless get and wear KN95 or N95 masks (they keep viral particles out), as well as to avoid crowded places, especially indoors. One way or another, the outbreak will burn out. Just make sure you’re still around to see it.

  35. de stijl says:


    There is a story about the woman who fell 30,000 feet and lived to tell the tale. I have not checked it seriously to ascertain veracity. The story is she fell onto a forest and bounced a lot on and through branches arresting her speed and mitigating terminal velocity ground impact damage.

    Plausible. I cannot discount it. Likely myth, but who knows.

    The British chap likely had a chute that failed to deploy properly but still had enough surface area to slow his descent to be barely survivable. Many multiple fractures and severe organ trauma. Newton does not fuck around.

    32 feet per second per second until terminal velocity means you go splat when you hit alt 0. Guaranteed. Onto concrete or farmland or a British roof. Onto water even. You splat.

    Dude was getting partial speed arrest from his chute even though it did not deploy properly.

  36. Mu Yixiao says:

    @de stijl:

    32 feet per second per second until terminal velocity means you go splat when you hit alt 0. Guaranteed. Onto concrete or farmland or a British roof. Onto water even. You splat.

    Not necessarily.

    A good friend of mine was and Airborne Engineer. On one of their jumps, a guy’s chute failed to deploy (this was a low-level jump, only a few thousand feet). He did the “flying squirrel pose” (I don’t know the official name), and turned a lot of that downward velocity into forward velocity. He then did the “paratroopers’ light fall” (tuck and roll), so that delta-V wasn’t 100% instantly–he rolled a long way and slowed down slowly.

    He then got up and walked over to the medics.

    Unfortunately, the medics were idiots and sent him on his way rather than sending him to the hospital. He died 3 days later from internal hemorrhaging. But, had he been fully checked out, it’s almost certain he would have lived.

  37. de stijl says:

    Imagine a human body hitting a wall at ~ 150 mph / 240 kph. That is terminal velocity for a falling object on Earth.

    Gravity has no loopholes.

    Btw, plane “glide paths” account for gravitational acceleration. They have air surfaces that counteract pure falling obviously but gravity always wins. The math gets too complex for me.

  38. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:
    @Mu Yixiao:

    In 1972, a Serbian flight attendant, Vesna Vulović, on Jat Airways flight 367, fell over 10,000 meters (over 30,000 feet), after a bomb detonated on the DC9 where she was working. Naturally she didn’t have a parachute. She survived, with extensive injuries and after time in a comma.

    Guinness lists her as holding the record for surviving the highest fall without a parachute.

  39. de stijl says:


    Pavlov vs Chomsky.


    I’m gonna steal that, obviously. I will cite you.

  40. JohnSF says:

    I recall my (ex-Air Force) father commenting on paratroops:

    “Anyone daft enough to jump from a fully functional aircraft is failing to show due respect to the laws of physics and probability.”

    (He didn’t mean it; it’s just he was talking to an ex-Para at the time, so was obliged to. Brit Forces humour)

  41. Mu Yixiao says:


    The ironic thing is that my friend ended up on a medical discharge–he didn’t get hurt jumping out of a plane… he got run over while he was sleeping next to his truck.

  42. Kathy says:

    Regarding a third dose of Pfizer, and one supposes of Moderna and others, as a booster, one thing to remember is the early advice on masks.

    As we’ve learned, authorities were reluctant to recommend or mandate masks, because a run on them might leave frontline health workers exposed to infection. We can argue endlessly how a timely recommendation might have affected the course of the pandemic, but that is a thought for another day.

    What’s relevant is one reason health authorities cite right now concerning booster shots, is the low worldwide rate of vaccination. This has less to do with hesitancy and more to do with supply. The number of doses given hovers around3.5 billion thus far. That’s les than 1/3 of the doses needed for global coverage of everyone.

    The thinking seems to be, “first we vaccinate the world, then we worry about boosters.”

    There’s merit to this. We’ve talked a lot about low rates of vaccination in some states and counties, and how that’s driving new waves of infection, especially with the Delta variant. That’s the situation in much of the world, including countries that have had success containing the pandemic within their borders thus far. Consider, too, the more the virus circulates, the more variants are possible. And consider the optics of people in rich countries receiving a third dose, when large majorities of people in middle income and low income countries can’t get even one.

    I think we’ll wind up with a compromise, as Israel has begun to do. that is, those more at risk will be offered a third dose, while the rest wait until more of the world is vaccinated.

    As usual, there are no easy answers.

    As usual, too, remember masks and distancing will work even when vaccines no longer do.

  43. JohnSF says:

    I mentioned yesterday how the England loss on penalties to Italy had brought some nasty things crawling out from under their rocks.
    Well, a Marcus Rashford mural in Manchester was defaced: here’s the locals response.

    And Tyrone Mings replies to Home Secretary Patel’s comments on the abuse:

    “You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens”.

    A prolonged period of silence and reflection from the politicians and columnists who’ve been trying to import culture wars on this would be very welcome.

  44. JohnMcC says:

    @de stijl: Also had to wonder about the pitch of the roof and the angle at which he struck it. IIRC, the Russian woman who survived that amazing fall landed on the descending face of a brushy mountain and had a very shallow angle at which she and the mountain encountered each other.

  45. JohnSF says:

    By which I mean a certain subset of Tories who think a “war on woke” will play well politically.
    IMHO they are fundamentally mistaken; there just isn’t enough political mass behind the issues in the UK.
    Guns, abortion, evangelicalism, anti-scientism, the legacy of “Jim Crow”, “socialism” as a boo-word, etc. None have much traction.
    It’s not that Britain is some enlightened paradise; just that if you want a “culture war” best to base it on YOUR cultures, not those of the USA.

    I suspect the dozy Tory pols. are misled by the support it gets in an online echo chamber of “ConKip” enthusiasts, who are a miniscule fraction of UK public opinion.
    (As opposed to brain-dead racist; fair number of those, but enough for a successful movement? That doesn’t repel everybody else? Doubt it.)
    It’s easy to spot them on UK media: references to “MSM”, “left-liberal” etc which make no sense in the British context.
    Obviously spend too much time on US political sites.
    Eh, wot? 🙂

    And the Brit online media like it because it picks up the clicks.
    Bad analysis of the Vote Leave online media campaign IYAM.
    And the pollution of UK Conservative opinion by the transatlantic “Tufton Street Mob”.

  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: The article says he had partial chute deployment and “minor injuries”, nary a mention of broken bones. Some years ago I read in the STL Post Disgrace of a skydiver who screwed into somebody’s metro east driveway from 10,000 feet. Again, “partial deployment.” He had 2 broken legs.

  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I knew 2 guys in HS who hit the water badly jumping into quarries, one from 80′, the other from 100’+/-. Both died.

  48. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnMcC: probably late to the thread but I used to collect stories about people who fall from tremendous heights and survive. It included not a few from airplanes. Most had extenuating circumstances but I remember one where the guy jus landed in a boggy area of a farm and walked away.

    Pay attention and every few years you’ll read of a toddler who saw the pretty pool 10+ stories below and crawled over the balcony railing and lived despite hitting the concrete. Exceedingly rare but it definitely happens

  49. Teve says:

    Dang. Teve reached his limit with a customer yesterday afternoon, and as of 9 a.m. this morning, Teve needs a new job.

  50. Jax says:

    @Teve: This sounds interesting….sorry to hear, but do tell! What was the limit?!

  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: The various decision maker entities need to decide to be more forthcoming in what they tell people. “You don’t need to mask” was because they didn’t want a run on PPE, but it was still a lie. As I recall, the WHO declined to identify Covid-19 as a SARS virus because they didn’t want to create a panic. Understandable, but still a lie. “You may not need a booster” as a way to get more of the world vaccinated is still a lie.

    The answer to the “problem” is simple–stop lying and lead instead.

  52. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: Damn. You liked that job. Sorry to hear it.

  53. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    By which I mean a certain subset of Tories who think a “war on woke” will play well politically.

    Don’t feel like you’re alone on this. We have people in our little corner of the interwebs who believe the same thing. And they would tell you that they’re not ANYTHING LIKE Tories at all. 😉

  54. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: Oof. And that, along with the complete lack of skill, is why I could never do sales.

    Sorry to hear you’re out of a job, but I want to hear more.