Wednesday’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. Scott says:

    Dan Crenshaw wants people to blow the whistle on ‘woke ideology’ in the military and he’s getting roasted for it
    Well, that backfired almost immediately.

    Navy SEAL veteran Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) recently took to Twitter to announce a newly created whistleblower website to help root out the scourge of wokeness in the U.S. military — and he is getting trolled hard over it.

    The trouble started on May 28, when the former SEAL officer-turned-congressman posted a call to action on Twitter encouraging service members to reach out to his office, and to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), with evidence that “woke ideology” has infiltrated the ranks of the U.S. armed forces.

    Some of the entirely predictable and hilarious inputs:

    “My platoon deployed to Klendathu,” wrote Peter Lucier, a Marine veteran and past contributor to Task & Purpose, based on a screenshot of the whistleblower submission page posted to Twitter. “Big K. It was a slaughter. That motivated me to go to officer candidate school. Now I have to sit through History and Moral Philosophy classes? Are you kidding me?”

    “Woman in authority implied I was a little short for a storm trooper

    A lot more very funny screenshots at the article.

    Dan Crenshaw has made many clueless moves which means he is not as smart as he thinks or is very naive about the world.

  2. Scott says:

    I really don’t think this is a good idea. For all the obvious reasons.

    Pentagon reviewing policy that could open door to Pride flags being displayed at bases

    The Pentagon is reviewing a policy instituted last year that limits which flags can be displayed at military bases.

    The review comes as Pride Month is being celebrated throughout June. If changes are made to the current policy it could open the door to allowing the rainbow Pride flag to be displayed. But a senior defense official strongly cautioned no decisions have been made because any change could result in any number of cause-related flags and symbols being displayed on military installations. “This goes beyond the issue of the Pride flag,” the official said.

  3. Teve says:
  4. Teve says:

    Is “woke” anything other than a new name for “politically correct”?

  5. Kathy says:

    It’s about 6:45 and this time the line stretches much farther away than it did 4 weeks ago. I estimate 8 kilometers (!)

    I don’t mind. It feels really good to strike back at the pandemic.

  6. Kylopod says:


    Is “woke” anything other than a new name for “politically correct”?

    Nope. As you imply, it’s a rebranded synonym. But it’s part of a family of terms that have emerged fairly recently that also includes SJW and “cancel culture.” What these newer words have in common is that they attempt to reorient the concept of overreach on cultural identity issues around social media. In the ’80s and ’90s when the right first started talking about PC, it began as a critique of some of the policies and overall atmosphere of college campuses.

    And just like 30 years ago, many liberals are getting suckered into adopting some of these terms, thus validating the right-wing frame.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: C) Both

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    BP buys string of US solar farms for £155m in clean energy drive

    BP has bought a pipeline of US solar farms, capable of powering more than 1.7m homes, for more than $220m (£155m) as part of its plan to distance itself from the fossil fuel industry.

    The oil company has agreed to snap up a string of development projects, totalling 9GW, from the independent US solar developer 7X Energy in a “significant step” towards its goal of securing 20GW by 2025.

    BP is also woke, I guess.

  9. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: A lot of carbon merchants are being pressured by shareholders to get into sustainable energy. Some people can see the writing on the wall.

  10. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I notice that they aren’t constructing anything themselves, just buying existing stock.

  11. Teve says:

    LOL Eric Trump, aka The Even Dumber One, was on Fox news last night whining that “my father gets subpoena after subpoena.”

    That’s what happens when you do a bunch of crimes, Eric.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: This wording implies otherwise:

    The projects will be developed by the UK solar company Lightsource BP across 12 states in the US, which is one of the world’s fastest growing solar energy markets and is expected to double in the next five years and quadruple over the next decade.

    My sense is that some of these solar fields are up and running but others are still in the planning/permitting stage. The article is not real clear on that point. Either way, 7X Energy just netted a really nice payday which makes building more solar all the more attractive.

  13. CSK says:

    Does Eric’s wife still want to be a senator from North Carolina?

  14. CSK says:

    President Lardass’s blog appears to be a major league flopperoo:

  15. wr says:

    Talk about late to the party — thanks to Spotify I just discovered Alejandro Escovedo via an album he released in 2008… which was already 30 years into his career.

  16. Teve says:


    Pinterest girls be like: I’m getting married in a barn but the barn is made of reclaimed barn wood from a different barn

  17. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I was referencing the fact that these projects would be going forward with or without BP. Perhaps they are investing additional capitol and using it to take on new projects, but if that was their intent it seems odd they aren’t trumpeting it.

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think this is necessarily a negative thing. I just don’t see any evidence it is more than a neutral move as far as climate change goes.

  18. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: Corporate execs glom onto trends harder than 13-year-olds on TikTok. This helps get the ball rolling.

  19. Kathy says:

    I overestimated. The line was 5.8 kilometers long.

    I am so relieved.

  20. Kathy says:


    In the words of the inimitable Jim Carey “Stop breaking the law, asshole!”

  21. wr says:

    Oh, no! Trump has shut down his blog — apparently in a hissy fit after news reports about how no one was visiting it…

  22. Liberal Capitalist says:


    I notice that they aren’t constructing anything themselves, just buying existing stock.

    Welcome to how wealth is created on the USA. You don’t actually expect the 1% bastards Job Creators capitalist pigs investors to actually WORK or DO something… do you?

    Seriously, haven’t people figured out how this shit goes down yet?

  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: In addition to handwriting on walls, Royal Dutch Shell (yeah that Shell) lost a significant case in European Court a while ago. Oil companies are finding out that foot dragging on alternative sources is the new fool’s game–at least in places not named the United States.

  24. Gustopher says:


    But it’s [woke’s] part of a family of terms that have emerged fairly recently that also includes SJW and “cancel culture.” What these newer words have in common is that they attempt to reorient the concept of overreach on cultural identity issues around social media.

    My understanding is that woke and cancelled both come from African-American communities and have rather different meanings than simply PC. Meanings changed somewhat when white folk started using them, and then when the right wing started using them pejoratively.

    “Cancelled” in particular had little to do with chasing someone online and calling their boss to get them fired (the power simply wasn’t there), and more to do with recognizing that someone is a useless bad-faith actor and everything they say or do should be discounted and ignored.

  25. Kathy says:



    The God King Emperor Jesus trump does something to massively improve his blog, and you lefties criticize him for it.

  26. Kylopod says:


    Meanings changed somewhat when white folk started using them, and then when the right wing started using them pejoratively.

    The same is true of the term “PC.” The phrase (I mean the full phrase “politically correct,” not the abbreviation) was originally coined by Marxists in the mid-2oth century. I was commenting on the modern sense of the term, which first emerged in the 1980s. Like “woke,” it was used by conservatives in an ironic way to bash the left by suggesting it constituted a rigid orthodoxy with an oppressive impact on people’s ability to communicate productively. What’s notable is how many liberals (or even the apolitical) took up the term as well. I believe this was a big mistake, and it’s why I strenuously avoid using either term even though there are times when it is tempting. I think liberals need to find a way to discuss the issue of overreach on cultural identity/diversity issues without lending unwarranted credibility to the right-wing critique, and I believe they have largely failed at this mission.

  27. Teve says:

    Just transferred all my appointments into Proton Calendar and deprecated Google calendar from my desktop. The slow process of erasing Google from my life continues.

  28. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: my understanding is the same.

  29. Teve says:
  30. Jax says:
  31. Teve says:

    @Jax: yeah, no way José. I have a friend who’s very techy and has installed all the “Smart Home” gizmos. No thanks, I told him, I’m not going to ever have to transfer Dogecoin to a Ukrainian in order to unlock my eThermostat.

  32. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Actually, I never did. Then again, I also READ the Terms of Service agreement when I signed on. Reinforcing that point was an article that I subsequently read in The New Republic that noted 3 things about the Internet:
    1) It’s not a library [a common metaphor at the time]; it’s a mall.
    2) It’s not about information; it’s about commerce.
    3) You’re not the customer; you’re the product.
    And yet, I decided the value of the utility was sufficient to overcome the cost in lost personal freedom. Just like social contract theory predicts will happen in a workable exchange.

  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: @Teve: Yeah. “Smart” appliances was an easy choice for me–don’t need the appliances to do that stuff. Hard pass.

  34. Kathy says:

    There was some cartoon about a long weekend, which started with the line “You leave very early to beat the traffic, and so does everyone else.”

    That’s pretty much what happened today. I arrived at the back of the vaccine line about 30 minutes earlier than last time, and I got a place 1.8 kilometers farther away. Last time I got the vaccine at 9:15 am, this time at 9:22. this time, there’s some definite soreness at the injection site.

    At some point in the line, auxiliary police officers write a number on your windshield with white grease paint (or something like it)*. Last time I got 479, this time 672. On the way to work, my route took me past the line. It was even longer at 10 am. And that’s very good news, to see so many people taking their second dose.

    *There’s a purpose to this. Closer to the head of the line, where it leaves a main avenue, other police check the numbers. If you don’t have one, it means you cut the line, and are sent to the back to wait your turn.

  35. Jen says:

    I’ve been reading The Stranger in the Woods: The extraordinary story of the last true hermit and it is fascinating. When I first heard about this, I figured he was camping outside in the summer months and broke into cabins in Maine to live in the winter. Not so. He was outside, year-round, in *Maine* and never once built a fire because he didn’t want to be detected. He lived this way for 27 YEARS.

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: It’s a hell of a story.

  37. CSK says:

    @wr: @Kathy:
    Well, not quite shut down. The main page of Trump’s blog is an invitation to sign up for alerts from him. (And doubtless to put you on his sucker list to ask you for money.) You have to click on “NEWS” to get his latest drivelations, and then click on each item to reveal it.

  38. JohnMcC says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Little bit of backpacker’s wisdom (who has seen the tops of the Smokeys on several Jan 1st-s but never Maine): If you can stay dry, you can stay warm. Question I would ask is how he got outfitted. Down bags and parkas. Not-just-any boots. Where’d he get traps (’cause if he won’t start a fire he surely wouldn’t fire a gun)?

    Guess I’ll be buyin’ a book…

  39. Jen says:

    @JohnMcC: Mostly, he stole stuff. Food, clothing, etc.

    That’s part of the reason there’s so much discussion about his case–he removed himself from society, but then helped himself when he needed “stuff.” So is he a true hermit? (I’d say yes, anyone with zero human contact for nearly 3 decades…but others disagree.)

  40. JohnSF says:

    I like a dumb home; it suits my nature. 🙂

    I’m one of the last people I know who doesn’t have a “smartphone”.
    Got a mobile voice and text only PAYG “burner” phone for emergency use, and usually it’s switched off.

    Telegraphy you say, youngster? Poppycock!

  41. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: w/r/t email and calendar and VPN, I am the customer again. And it’s only costing me about 6.50 Ameros/month.

  42. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I just bought an LG washer and dryer and I had to double-check everything to make sure I was Not getting the bluetooth-enabled ones, because WTF would I need to control my washing machine with my phone when it’s 20 ft away???

  43. Jax says:

    @Teve: There’s also a wifi-enabled robotic catbox that scoops itself. Quite sure my cat doesn’t need wifi on the potty. 😛

  44. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: I have a bluetooth toothbrush. It is awesome.

    Not for any of the intended reasons, but because it is blue, so I get to say “blue bluetooth toothbrush”

  45. Kathy says:


    I’m one of the last people I know who doesn’t have a “smartphone”.

    But what do you do for aggravation?

  46. Jen says:

    @Teve: From what I remember reading in the owner’s manual, the Bluetooth is to assist repair diagnostics rather than anything for the owner, but I could be mistaken.

    The one that freaked me out was the internet-enabled oven. No way do I want to connect that, I worry enough that I’ve left the damn thing on, I don’t want to also worry that I’ve somehow butt-dialed my oven to broil when I’m not home.

  47. JohnSF says:

    Go rollerskating on the motorway. 🙂

  48. Teve says:

    Sinema’s baby-brained crap about the filibuster makes sense when you understand that her goal is neither to pass bills nor to get reelected; the Senate is a brief stop on her way to a Government Relations job for a startup with an app that gets described as “Uber for drinking water”

    -Ed Burmilla

  49. Teve says:

    @Jen: ditto.

  50. HarvardLaw92 says:

    In other news, a French heiress has abandoned her fight to reclaim property (a Pisarro) stolen from her family by the Nazis after the University of Oklahoma waged a multi-year legal fight to retain it.

    Speaking as someone who had to wage a four year legal fight of his own to reclaim family property in Berlin Dahlem, I don’t know how these people sleep at night. The only moral response here is to immediately and unquestioningly return what is not and can never be their property. It’s shameful.

  51. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: I’m one of the last people I know who doesn’t have a “smartphone”.
    Got a mobile voice and text only PAYG “burner” phone for emergency use, and usually it’s switched off.

    Luddites unite! I’m the same and I threaten to toss the damned flip phone at least once a week. Doubt I will buy another when this one goes.

  52. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: But what do you do for aggravation?

    I’m married.

  53. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It could be viewed as a dramatic demonstration of the concept of karma: a group of young boaters hurling homophobic abuse towards another vessel flying gay pride flags, then needing to be rescued by their intended victims when their own boat explodes into a ball of flame.
    According to an account of the incident in the Washington Post, a boater named Robbie, who did not give his last name for fear of retaliation, was enjoying a day on the lake swimming, tubing and listening to music with his brother and two friends. He said their boat was displaying a variety of gay pride and rainbow flags.

    At about 7pm he said they noticed another boat passing by with its occupants yelling at them. “I could clearly hear the words gays and flags being shouted from their boat,” he told the Post.

    The video shows a woman in the boat flipping her middle finger as they sped by, and according to Robbie the boat made a sharp turn and then circled around them at least six times, spraying water on to them and causing their boat to rock.

    The boat sped away, he said, and seconds later they heard an explosion and saw black smoke rising from the other vessel.

    “Holy crap! They blew up!” a man purported to be Robbie’s brother says on the video.

    Subsequent footage shows the three occupants of the burning boat swimming towards the one with the pride flags, and being urged to climb onboard, while one of the rescuers calls the emergency 911 service number. The woman is heard shouting: “Help us, we’re burning.”

    “The passengers were quite rude, shouting over us, ignoring my [questions] about their wellbeing when on the 911 call and smoking a vape pen on our boat without even so much as asking if they could,” Robbie told the Post.

    If there is a god, she’s got a wicked sense of humor.

  54. JohnMcC says:

    @Jen: Yep and thanks. I just read the Amazon reviews. Quite a diversity of opinion.

  55. MarkedMan says:
  56. CSK says:

    Swine will be swine.

  57. Kathy says:

    It looks as though Bibi is on his way out.

    I know little of Israeli politics, but this coalition doesn’t look stable enough to be able to last four years. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a fifth election later this year.

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: With regard to email, I’ve not found that I care. My surfing is innocuous enough that I wonder about using VPN, but don’t understand what it’s for well enough to make a decision yes or no. (To some degree, my limited past experience relates to people who used something to steal download movies online without authorization by disguising their location while I was in Korea–a function I didn’t need and don’t want to need.) My calendar is on the wall of my kitchen alcove and my substitute teaching calendar is in a spiral notebook. Total cost for me is about $1.98. (Plus whatever I pay for wifi, of course, and a donation to the charity whose calendar I selected.)

  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: John SF lives in the UK IIUC. Why would he need any additional aggravation?

  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @HarvardLaw92: My understanding is that when governments steal stuff they have little or no legal obligation to give them back. Knowing that you are right in the eyes of the law is a great sleep aid. (Also, agencies not actually having a moral code that they must live by helps. 😉 )

  61. JohnSF says:

    Not exactly a luddite: been mucking about with computers for years for various stuff (Excel VBA, occasional databasery, synths and other music stuff); love the Kindle; got to like Spotify while my hi-fi amp has been out of whack; sat-nav unit beats (a) getting lost and (b) yelling at the designated map reader.
    It’s just:
    – I don’t see much point in a smartphone; there’s not much they can do that I want doing, that my various other stuff can’t handle.
    – I don’t like the idea of having Google or Apple snuggling up and pretending to be my pal; Microsoft Office 365 is bad enough and at least that doesn’t work, LOL.
    – I’m a tad antisocial: You want to get in touch? Send an email! Phone my landline! Write a damn letter. Send a carrier pigeon. Just don’t expect me to answer calls and texts 24/7.

  62. JohnSF says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    This is true; the British weather and the Johnson government keep my aggravation tank topped up nicely.

    Actually, to be fair the weather has been lovely since last Sunday; been mostly various versions of unlovely most of this year though. As is the government, and that’s unlikely to be changing anytime soon.

  63. CSK says:

    I’ll never forget that famous Times headline:

  64. Kurtz says:

    @Gustopher: @Kylopod:

    Yes and yes.

    @Kylopod: I’ve been bitched at by people here for making this point about validating misappropriated concepts. Probably my fault for wrapping it into overly aggressive language that crossed the line into insult-territory.

    But it’s nice to know that in my overheated moments, I’m not completely irrational.

  65. Kurtz says:


    the British weather

    I may be one of the few people who prefers shitty weather. I’m sensitive to heat. My mood noticeably sours as the temperature rises. I need to get out of the stickiness of living in a swamp.

  66. Teve says:

    @JohnSF: It’s all about whatever use case you have. For instance, I sell expensive furniture and mattresses. Which means I am intensely busy for an hour or maybe two hours of the day, and bored out of my skull sitting at a desk playing on my phone and waiting for customers the other eight hours of the day. And the owners/bosses don’t give a fuck and do the same thing because none of it matters. It doesn’t matter if you play on your phone for six consecutive hours, and then turn around and sell a $3600 Tempur-pedic mattress. They’ll take that deal every day.

    Today, at work, on my smart phone, I transferred all my calendar appointments from Google to Proton calendar. Made some OTB comments. Checked both bank balances and determined whether or not I needed to move money around for my upcoming Perrelli tire purchase. Looked for more iPhone 13 news. Read some Wikipedia. Watched some YouTube videos about cutting pork shoulders into steaks. Checked WaPo, Slashdot, The Verge, Vox, Gizmodo, and sone others. Checked with the Liberry to see if my hold on the new Brad Stone book about Amazon was in the queue yet. And probably a dozen more things.

  67. CSK says:

    You’re not alone. Give me a nice gloomy day, preferably not steaming hot, and my mood improves immeasurably. I was like this even when I was a kid.

  68. Kurtz says:


    Lovely choice by the University of Oklahoma.

    Good luck in your battle. I’d offer my services as a body man, but I’m pretty useless in a fight without going Costanza-dirty, you know pull hair, poke eyes, groin stuff; whatever I gotta do.

    I wouldn’t want to sully your reputation that way. But if you want, I’ll assist Reynolds in illicit procurement. He did all that research on theft for one of his novels.

  69. Jax says:


    Same, I’ll take clouds over sun any day. I feel hunted, exposed and over-heated in the blazing hot sun. Plus my hands swell up in the heat. It was 83 today and I’m feeling it, just glad it’s not humid here!

    83 is pretty unheard of for beginning of June temperatures around here. That’s “heat of July” temps. Apparently I’m gonna need to look into some air conditioning if it gets too much hotter!

    EDIT button has 5 minutes.

  70. Kurtz says:


    Looks interesting. Don’t remember if I posted this before, but this is worth the ten minute running time. It’s about a hermit and a friend.

    @Jax, I have a feeling you may dig it too.

  71. HarvardLaw92 says:


    I appreciate the kind offer. I prevailed in my fight, although to be frank given what was spent on the fight I could probably have just bought the property cheaper (had the evil interlopers who believed themselves to own it not been recalcitrant and invited war…) You wouldn’t believe the lengths (forged documents, lies, anti-Semitism) people will go to in order to retain their ill-gotten gains.

    At the outset, I would have been amenable to working out a settlement, because while my grandmother grew up in the house and it meant something to her, she’s gone now. I have less than zero interest in ever returning to that country (for obvious reasons) , so for me it was more of a totem – a mile marker stuck in history to remember it by. My family historically were bankers, and all of that ceased to exist long ago. The house, somehow still standing, is all that remains.

    It was (or started out to be anyway) just a quest to have people admit to what happened & make it right (or as right as it could be anyway). I didn’t want the house so much as I just wanted my family’s loss to be acknowledged, if we’re honest – someone to say “Yes, this was wrong and we’re sorry”. Let’s just say that isn’t what I got.

    What I did eventually get was the satisfaction, four years later, of watching them be removed from it. I’d like to think that she saw it too. It’s not much in the grand scheme of things, but in the face of the monstrous evil that was done, even little victories help you heal.

  72. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: Sure sure… whatever floats your boat. 😉 😉

  73. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HarvardLaw92: in the face of the monstrous evil that was done, even little victories help you heal.

    As one who can’t imagine, I’m glad you got that anyway.

  74. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Just want to say, I love my wife dearly. She is the best thing to ever happen to me. When her father died, there was nothing I wouldn’t have done to take that pain away, but there was nothing I could do. We know that hell or high water our fates are entwined, and I have promised her that I will outlive her, even if it’s only by 5 seconds. I can’t imagine lasting longer than that without her.

  75. Kurtz says:


    I didn’t want the house so much as I just wanted my family’s loss to be acknowledged, if we’re honest – someone to say “Yes, this was wrong and we’re sorry”. Let’s just say that isn’t what I got.

    A little humanity goes a long way even in the face of evil.

    Probably a good thing to keep in the back of one’s mind as much as possible. I may be a dick sometimes and cross a line or six, but I hope people can tell that I root for them.

    I’m glad it turned out as well as it could have once the other people dug in.

  76. Jax says:

    @Kurtz: I have cows like that. They were born here and they will stay here, I know full well what happens when they leave here. These particular ones are never leaving here. Also, the isolation. I like it like that.

  77. Kurtz says:


    Domesticated species are an interesting thing. I’ve seen some recent noise from a few moral philosophers arguing that pets are unethical.

    I didn’t look into the argument. But my initial reaction was that some species are far enough along the domestication path that it would be unethical to end the practice of keeping them as pets.

    Though not often kept as pets, cows fit that description best. And I think dogs likely fit as well.

  78. Jax says:

    @Kurtz: Cattle would live a terrible life trying to procreate if they weren’t managed and somebody just….let them all run free. Same with dogs, I suspect. There are outfits I know of who don’t castrate any of their bull calves, they all just run free, and the bulls kill the cows trying to breed them, 50 on 1 odds. He’s obviously one of those “absentee” owners, it’s a tax write-off for him. 😐 He does not give one flying fuck about his animals.

    That said….this sounds weird, but I can think about what I want my cow to do, look her in the eye, and she does it. My pet ones, anyways. Some of the raunchy bitches are not down with the jedi mind meld. They’ll kill me for trying. 😉

  79. Jax says:

    300 miles they’ve been tracking them. I can’t even imagine trying to fence out an elephant! Just….try to herd them where they’ll do the least amount of damage, I guess.