I'm always thrilled when the politician I love to hate is back in the news with a new set of tape transcripts. The latest group are online and one excerpt makes me think of a certain potty mouthed publisher:
Nixon: I mean, you've got to stop at a certain point. Why is it that the girls don't swear? Because a man, when he swears, people can't tolerate a girl who is a—
Haldeman: Girls do swear.
Haldeman: They do now.
Nixon: Oh, they do now? But, nevertheless, it removes something from them. They don't even realize it. A man drunk, and a man who swears, people will tolerate and say that's a sign of masculinity or some other damn thing. We all do it. We all swear. But you show me a girl that swears and I'll show you an awful unattractive person. . . . I mean, all femininity is gone. And none of the smart girls do swear, incidentally.
Athenae, come on down. Fuck yeah. Smart girls don't swear and big girls don't cry:
But what Weigel elides here is really important: the hidden assumption that these dudes actually are pissing off their political adversaries. It's a pretty egocentric notion that a liberal, or any stranger, gives three hoots about these huckleberries' displays of bravado beyond the superficial. The conservative impulse to performed crudeness owes as much to self-centeredness as the conservative political ideology does: "I'm Me, the Me-est Me there'll ever be, and Me will show you why you need to get off My back!"
These Bocephuses don't miss the point that climate change, progressive taxation, street laws and sundry other facets of civil society aren't about them; in fact, their grievances are borne out of a deep conviction that public policy should be about them. Any public policy that doesn't have them as its heart and soul is, well, socialism. And it's evil. As the old men say: "Paranoia means always being the center of attention."
I've written before about the need to see your existence constantly validated, and how poisonous that is, because you become convinced that if somebody else is doing it differently, you're doing it wrong.
I mean, the fuck you care if I drive a Prius? Why should that inspire you to fuck up your truck? We don't know each other. You likely will never see me on the freeway. I didn't buy George the Prius in order to piss you off or even save the whales all that much. I bought George the Prius because I was sick of worrying about the Saturn of Love starting in the winter, there was a deal going on, and I like that I can forget to fill the damn car up because I so seldom have to do it.
But that's the problem. It's not about you, is it?
Zealotry in literally applying the letter of the law in a way that defies common sense can constitute malakatude just as surely as political buffoonery. That is why the Manassa, VA City Police as an entity is/are malaka/malakas of the week:
The teen is facing two felony charges, for possession of child pornography and manufacturing child pornography, which could lead not only to incarceration until he’s 21, but inclusion on the state sex offender data base for, possibly, the rest of his life. David Culver of NBC Washington first reported the story and interviewed the teen’s guardian, his aunt, who was shocked at the lengths Prince William authorities were willing to go to make a sexting case in juvenile court.
“The prosecutor’s job is to seek justice,” said the teen’s defense lawyer, Jessica Harbeson Foster. “What is just about this? How does this advance the interest of the Commonwealth? This is a 17-year-old who goes to school every day, plays football, has never been in trouble with the law before. Now he’s saddled with two felonies and the implication that he’s a sexual predator. I don’t mind trying the case. My goal is to stop the search warrant. I don’t want him to go through that. Taking him down to the hospital so he can get an erection in front of all those cops, that’s traumatizing.”
Consensual sexting between anyone is, well, gross, and between minors it's, well, creepy. But the idea of taking a brand spanking new erect dick pic is creepier than creepy. It's also malakatude taken to its literal extreme. Are the police going to hire a fluffer Boogie Nights style to produce the desired tumescence? Are they going to give the boy some porn to beat off to? Should consensual stupidity ruin a 17 year old's life?The mind reels and the stomach churns
The first time I heard about this story, I thought it came from the Onion. When Josh Marshall posted about it, I realized that it was true. Josh sums it up better than I can:
I think we know our laws about sexting and purported sexual predation have gotten totally f'd up when, in order to prosecute a 17 year old for exchanging naked pictures with his 15 year old girlfriend, prosecutors get a warrant to compel the 17 year old boy to submit to what amounts to a mini-porn shoot with a police photographer.
Sounds like the cops had a big bowl of stupid for breakfast that morning. And that is why the Manassas, VA City Police is/are malaka/malakas of the week.
I decided to post this under the FOH rubric because I'm feeling a bit foggy this morning. Actually, most of the articles linked to are about stuff in the past so I think the history thing works. It does for me.
Geaux Tigers: LSU Prof Bob Mann wrote a swell piece about how Hubert Humphrey's time as a grad student in Red Stick imbued him with a passion for civil rights. After all, there weren't a lot of black folks in either his native South Dakota or Minnesota.
Historical News of the Weird; The WaPo had an oddball story about how the kid cast by the Nazi regime as the perfect aryan in a propaganda campaign was, in fact, Jewish. I hope David Dukke hasn't seen this one...
The Slatest Sporting News: UGA history Prof Claudio Saunt wrote a fascinating take on the American Indian mascot furor: This Land Is Their Land.
Ice Cream and Segregation: I learned something new about the absurdity of Jim Crow from Michael Twitty's non-twitty piece in the Guardian: Black people were denied vanilla ice cream in the Jim Crow south- except on Independence Day. Totally ridiculous and completely fascinating.
The New Louisiana Hayride: This one is kind of a stretch but Edwin Edwards is clearly a historical figure. My buddy Lamar White interviewed the Congressional candidate and 4 term Governor and posted about it at his blog, Cen Lamar.
Perhaps I should be ashamed of posting this lurid book cover, but I'm not:
Cult of Shame would be an excellent band name and they could even do this classic pop ditty:
Speaking of shame that you cannot dance to, the Vestigial Picayune posted a story this morning entitled: Ray Nagin joins the Louisiana Politicians Hall of Shame. What? No, Dick Leche?
|From Album 5|
Carlson then reacted by insisting "I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says... like dumb... I'm smart and I want respect!" Then he asked someone how to order a banana daiquiri in Spanish.
Actually, that might be a little hard...on Fredo. Compared to Carlson, Fredo is goddamned Vito.
As you've probably already heard, my former Mayor C Ray Nagin aka the Walking Id aka the Shiny Headed fool was sentenced to 10 years in the slammer. He's required to serve 85% of the sentence, which is long time to be in the pokey. The Tweeter Tube is ablaze with criticism and icky jailhouse rape jokes. I thought he'd get 15 to 18 years but it's hard to argue with Nagin's passive role in the bribery scandal. Also, as I put it on da twittah:
On reflection, not surprised by sentence. Berrigan a liberal judge, former ACLU honcho or is that honchette? #nagintrial— G is for Gamaleil (@Adrastosno) July 9, 2014
I'm just relieved it's over. My only concern is whether or not C Ray will be able to keep his head as shiny in the slammer as it was today, which is why I have this earworm:
Roxy Music's early album covers had a formula: a gorgeous model reclining languidly. The apogee of this somewhat cheesy formula was 1975's Siren featuring a young Jerry Hall before she became the future ex-Mrs. Jagger.
The album itself is, quite simply, smashing. It's the best thing Roxy or front man Bryan Ferry ever did and that's saying a lot. End Of The Line, Both Ends Burning, and Just Another High are some of the best written and performed rock songs of all time and they sound as fresh today as when the album came out.
Here's the cover for the single, Love Is The Drug:
Siren is only available on YouTube in playlist form so let's give 'er a try:
To give an example, faith leaders said a Catholic charity group that believes sex outside heterosexual marriage is a sin should not be denied government funding because it refused to employ a leader who was openly gay.
Um. YES THEY FUCKING SHOULD BE DENIED.
Look, there's a very easy way to preserve your oh-so-sacred belief that the gays are icky. Don't take government cash. That way, you won't have to touch any dollars a gay person might have touched, and you can continue to be bigots in pointless, stupid ways, and everybody will be happy. Your religious freedom is perfectly preserved.
This is just whining. BUT MOOOOOOOM, I WANT THE MONEY! Tough fucking shit. If I want to earn money from somebody, I have to do the job he hired me to do in the way he hired me to do it. Government's no different. Government hires you to do a job without discriminating, you do it without discriminating. Otherwise you ain't done the job, and you ain't getting paid.
Now, you say you're gonna be broke without that sweet government contract? That now you can't have everything your heart desires? That you might have to lay some people off or close some buildings or God forbid melt down a gold crucifix or two?
I'm sure the Lord will provide for you, if you're truly doing His work.
Men with big careers don’t spend much time with their kids, either. This should be obvious by now, but there still seems to be a strong strain of “you can do everything if you just try hard enough” in the culture.
So, yes, Tuttle is right when she says we need to shake off the second-wave feminist baggage and elevate the work we all do at home. But I don’t think reclaiming the word housewife will be enough to make caregiving a more respected occupation. Tuttle talks about the hit her 401(k) will be taking in her caregiving years and the difficult financial spot her own mother was in when she got divorced. If we really value the work that goes into raising a family and maintaining a home, we need policies to reflect that.
Because YES. The Mommy Wars are not about who FEELS respected and valued. They're about who IS respected and valued. They're not about who gets a goddamn parade.
The Mommy Wars are about money, because money (as is known by everyone who doesn't have Mitt Romney's kind of cash) is power, and money is legitimacy, and money is achievement, and money is respect. Money throws the parade. Money is the parade. Acting like parenthood is somehow only good if it comes at crippling financial cost to one or both people in the relationship is condescending and ridiculous and stupid and most of all unnecessary.
Sensible models for how to truly value parents and their work potential exist on every damn continent. It's not like we lack good examples. What we lack is the wherewithal to make anything happen because in the meantime we can debate the inherent nobility of the word "housewife" and pretend this is all about the terminology and not the tithe.
The fact that Warren Gamaliel Harding was a randy bastard is notorious. He was known for having sex in a White House closet with Nan Britton who bore the Presidential bastard and later wrote a book about the affair. Btw, the second use of bastard is in the literal and non-judgemental sense so don't flame me. It's also a funny word, what can I tell ya?
Harding's other main non-marital squeeze was Carrie Fulton Phillips. In steamy correspondence with her, he referred to his member as Jerry. That's right, Jerry. That means that Ford was not the first Gerry in the White House, he was certainly not the first dick...
I'll zip it for awhile.
The idiocy in Mississippi continues with McDaniel supporters insisting that he, and they, are not racists. Their defense is a classic: some of my best friends are "them people." McDaniel's hometown paper is insisting that he cannot be a racist because he played basketball:
It’s been frustrating to see so many people in the black community be convinced that Chris McDaniel was a racist just because someone they trusted told them he was. If they did a little research on their own, they would find out that McDaniel was a basketball standout at South Jones and Jones County Junior College.
Them people are obviously too trusting of what Marse Thad done told them. It's perversely amusing to see that Mississippi is stuck in the 1980's when it comes to race relations. It's good enough to call "them people" blacks instead of negroes, nigras, or that other N word that they think only Klansmen and rappers use.
There may be no atheists in fox holes as the old saw goes, but there are plenty of bigots in basketball; especially at the high school and Jaycee level. I say that as a self-confessed hoops fanatic who is also a white guy living in the Deep South so I've heard it all. The good news is that one hears it less and less, except, that is, when our next door neighbors have a close election. Btw, the Laurel Leader-Call also deplored the so-called bloc vote:
It’s insulting to the election process and to their intelligence that black people are still letting their votes be “delivered” in blocs to certain candidates. One would think that the terms “bought and sold” would make them cringe. But that’s just what they allowed themselves to do — all to keep wealthy, powerful white men in power. It’s ironic. The more free our society is, the more enslaved it becomes.
Gotta love those "sensitive non-racist" Magnolia Staters, particularly when they throw in a gratuitous slavery reference. There's a brand spanking new lost cause in Mississippi: the McDaniel campaign. I cannot wait until the next imbecility committed in its name.
Greetings earthlings, take me to your leader? There is actually a Draft Willard Mittbot Romney petitiony, websitey thingy and it has 51K signatories as of this writing. The guy who's morning show I never watch, Joe Scarborough, thinks the GOP could do worse; they will, they will. And wingnut Congressman Jason Chaffetz (LDS-Utah) not only thinks Mittbot will attempt for a third time to become the first robot President but that he will win. It is unclear if Chaffetz had a revelation from Joseph Smith or accidentally drank coffee and hallucinated this "testimony."
I must admit to having liked the Draft Willard Mittbot Romney facebook page and am sorely tempted to sign the petition. Why? Because it's good for the satire biz. There has rarely been a stiffer, more awkwardly unintentionally funny candidate in my lifetime. Mitt could become the Adlai Stevenson of the 21st Century: a noble two-time loser who kept his party from nominating a nutjob. Hey, wait a minute: Adlai had strong support even if he lost. His second try was a kamikaze run against the very popular General/President Eisenhower who strangers all liked as opposed to Mittbot who is just strange. Bad analogy: I always felt badly for Adlai...
I am not the only liberal blogger pulling for a Romney 2016 redemption tour, the estimable TBogg is ready to mock Willard too:
In a move that can be seen as either desperation or ‘we’re all gonna die anyway, so what the hell?’ conservatives are casting their eyes westward to a man — a stoic man, an honest and true man of values, standing knee deep in the Pacific Ocean watching the sun go down on America — as their savior in 2016.
That man is a man called Mitt. Family man, businessman, gentle and attentive lover, and owner of both a car elevator and a losing career in elections.
Surveying the 2016 GOP field and falling into a pit of existential dread and despair where there is no light, no hope, no exit, nothing but a bleak meaningless abyss of wretchedness and desolation, Republicans see hope in the sparkle of Mitt Romney’s eyes and the Earth-mother joy in life his wife Ann brings to the party.
I, for one, wept when I read this deeply emotional passage replete with reminders of Rafalaca and wild eyed Romney chirren. It is time for the Mittbot to have another revelation, override his family's inevitable objections, and attempt once again to become America's national priesthood holder. Do it for the satirists, sir...
Finally, the documentary that attempted to prove that he's not a robot, Mitt, is available for free on the YouTube. It cannot be embedded but it's worth a click. The attempt to humanize Willard is somewhat successful, he's just as awkward with his family as he is onstage. Ann Romney, however, comes off as the Cruella Deville of the prairie and most of her sons as entitled dicks in the classic LDS little God fashion. It also largely takes place in hotel suites, corridors and elevators, which makes it oddly claustrophobic. I began to wonder if Morley Safer was involved in the production but apparently he was not...
Run, Willard, run.
Morning, good people! Well, come on - those rotting drums of Freeper sludge aren't going to open themselves, ya know.
Let's start with a little - Arkansnide!
Attorney [MS Teapartier] who faced charges in Cochran wife photo scandal, has been found dead
WLOX-TV ^ | June 27, 2014 | Brad Conaway
Posted on 6/27/2014 10:15:08 AM by don-o
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Ridgeland police chief Jimmy Houston confirms that Attorney Mark Mayfield has been found dead at his home in the Bridgewater subdivision.
We're told he suffered a gunshot wound.
It is being investigated as a suicide.
In May, Mayfield was arrested and charged with conspiracy in relation to a political scandal.
The 28-year-old blogger, Clayton Kelly, allegedly went into a nursing home and photographed the bedridden wife of Republican U.S. Senator Thad Cochran without permission and posted an image online as part of an anti-Cochran video.
It's not clear the exact role that Mayfield played in obtaining or spreading the photo.
Mayfield was a Board member of the Central MS Tea Party.
To: Jack Hydrazine
Mississippicide9 posted on 6/27/2014 10:22:16 AM by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)..
Very convenient. I don’t believe in coincidences.16 posted on 6/27/2014 10:24:52 AM by Foundahardheadedwoman (God don't have a statute of limitations)..
To: HiTech RedNeck
How many times did he shoot himself in the back of his own head?..
Looks like this guy has been Vince Fostered
To: Attention Surplus Disorder
That same defective thinking would also explain suicide. I can see a bi-polar type lacking the judgement in an up phase and thinking that taking the picture and publishing would torpedo Cochran and make him (the blogger) a hero. Then crashing to down phase when it all comes apart, facing legal troubles and a Cochran win causing him to make a quick and permanent exit in despair.31 posted on 6/27/2014 10:47:24 AM by Valpal1 (If the police can t solve a problem with violence, they ll find a way to fix it with brute force)..
I don’t think someone else necessarily drove him to suicide.
His reputation was ruined because of what he did. Many have killed themselves for similar reasons...
He looked ahead at what his life was going to be like, saw a prison term and figured his life was essentially over, so he just accelerated he process...
That picture was a bomb that detonated all over blogger. It was a stupid, politically naive and desperately amoral idea to think that such a tactic would work in McDaniel’s favor.
The blowback was completely obvious and predictable for even the average non-political person, so why would an above average politically engaged person do or get involved in such a politically dumb action.
That is what demonstrates the “defective thinking” involved. Only someone engaged in grandiose and magical thinking would entertain and carry out such a stupid idea, because they dismissed the instantly obvious downside. The whole operation evidenced a certain irrationality typical of manic thinking.
Mebbe the old “9MM Heart Attack” thingy.63 posted on 6/27/2014 11:32:10 AM by Oatka (This is America. Assimilate or evaporate.)..
To: BuckeyeTexan; All
It looks like he was murdered.
That story hasn’t hit yet, it’s still being written stay tuned!
Mr. Mayfield’s wife was at home with him when he committed suicide. Today’s (June 28) Clarion-Ledger is reporting that she is the one who called 911 and reported her husband had shot himself. When authorities arrived, she directed them a storage room in the garage.
She later issued the following statement (as reported in the Clarion-Ledger):
“Today my husband, Mark Mayfield, took his own life. Mark was my husband for 31 years and a wonderful dad to our two sons, William and Owen,” Robin Mayfield said Friday afternoon.
“Mark had absolutely no history of any mental illness or depression. He was actively involved in his community and church and was liked and loved by all who knew him. He had no harsh words for anyone, even the people who used him for political gain. The pain we are feeling is indescribable. We appreciate the prayers and support from everyone.”
Hopefully, this will put an end to the baseless and wild speculation here on FR about what happened to Mr. Mayfield.
A lot of people went back to the Founders this weekend. I went back to a couple of smart men I've read, too.
How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty from the jailers of Guantanamo, from the keepers of the black sites, from those willing to hand our inalienable rights to faceless men in the cubicles of the intelligence bureaucracy? How is that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty from paymasters of torturers?
The time bomb laid beneath history 238 years ago is a time bomb of pure conundrum, and the people who put it there knew that the essential engine of democracy is paradox, noble bluffs to be called, high-minded promises in savage conflict with each other. And they knew that, too, all of them, when they piled the dirt atop the time bomb they had laid beneath history, wiped their hands daintily, and walked away.
Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed and spite, jealousy, and we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we've done. We decided to play God, create life. And when that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn't our fault, not really. You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore.
Every year we walk in a Fourth of July parade. The ferret shelter where we got all our beasties save one sends a marching group each year, sometimes with animals in tow, and for three years now Mr. A and I have put festive collars on Bucky and Claire and taken them for a stroll down patriotic lanes. We're usually near the end of the route, with re-enactors and bagpipers, behind groups of acrobats who stop the entire parade to perform at every other intersection.
Two years ago it was 90 degrees and humid, but we went. Last year I was pregnant and nauseous and exhausted, but we went. This year we had a fussy, crabby baby who decided three blocks from the end of the route that she had had it with our idea of fun, but we went. And the reason we go is that up and down the route, which is about a mile long, people cheer.
Tons of people. They cheer for the animals, of course, but also for the bagpipers and the re-enactors and the tumblers, the mascot of whatever second-tier sports team can be summoned up, for the random people in vintage cars, for the politicians, local and state.
Old and young, black, white, Asian, Hispanic. Elderly ladies in prim cotton dresses and tatted-up couples with beers in hand. Speaking Spanish and Chinese and whatever bastardizations of English there are in the suburbs, and all of them waving red, white and blue flags.
This holiday's easy to make fun of, like Thanksgiving is (happy we stole your land day!) and Christmas too (goodwill to men, buy more shit!), like everything that's not a too-smart gloomy fatalistic pile of ironic detachment is. Why do we grill out and drink beer and blow stuff up this weekend? What's the point, when our failings, our shortcomings, are all too blindingly clear? Shouldn't we stay home, and think about What We Did? In silence, with the shades drawn?
Maybe, if that's what turns your crank. I'm not here to force anybody to have a good time. What I can tell you is that the public demonstrations of who we are and what we believe take place not because we are already perfect but because we are fractured and fractious and tired. The parades and the fireworks are not stand-ins for the past. They're exhortations to the future, to remember and be worthy of what we think we are.
Maybe your Fourth of July takes place a thousand times a year, in acts of kindness no one ever sees but you. Maybe it's in the dead of winter, during some celebration that has meaning only to your family. Maybe you have a weeklong party this time of year, with hot dogs and roman candles. The form isn't the point. The point is what you're saying to yourself and those around you.
That what we are is worth saving, and worth celebrating, and worth improving upon. Life sucks, a lot of the time. It's harder than it should be, a lot of the time. But people line up, up and down the street, and when we walk past pulling wagons and holding pets, they cheer. And they look like America, and they remind us that while most of the time we are worse than we think, we're better than we think, too.
Nobody, you guys.
Not the 21-year-old who got a leg shot off in Iraq. Not the 60-year-old who lost his job and has been looking for one for three years. Not the mother of three who just got cancer. Not the 8-year-old dying of AIDS, nobody.
It was "hell on earth" being a columnist at the New York Times, you guys. Hell. On. Earth.
Brooks was shocked at the volume of "punishingly negative" comments when he joined the Times in 2003.
"It was the worst six months of my life," he said. "I had never been hated on a mass scale before."
Well, you were never a jackass on a mass scale before, so it stands to reason ...
How do you read Internet comments which are mean to you, each day, and continue to live, David Brooks?
He has unprecedented freedom and job security. Times columnists, Brooks said, are treated like "hothouse flowers."
"I've never attended a meeting at the Times," he said. "We can write about anything. I've been at the Times for over a decade, I've never had a performance review. We can go anywhere we want. And we are just left alone."
Remember when bloggers were the worst because we didn't have editors and nobody vetted our work? Remember how that was going to bring down the Republic?
I'd never heard of this teevee special until last night. All I know is what was written in this blog post and that Lee Allen, Willie Dixon, and Carl Perkins were the Blasters' guest stars. Here's the set list:
Crazy Baby; This Is It; Border Radio; I’m Shakin’; Tag Along; Stop the Clock; Go, Go, Go; Blue Suede Shoes (with Carl Perkins); Honey Don’t (with Carl Perkins); Rock-a-Billy Fever (with Carl Perkins); American Music; Hollywood Bed; Built for Comfort (with Willie Dixon); I’m Ready (with Willie Dixon); Marie, Marie; So Long Baby Goodbye; Boppin’ the Blues (with Carl Perkins)
"Certainly, we condemn any racist comments whatsoever, but bear in mind, we have no idea who that person is. Neither do you," McDaniel said during an interview with CNN on Friday. "So, you understand there are people out there we have no control over. We have no idea who that person is."
He also said that his issues with voting "irregularities" during the runoff have "nothing to do with race."
Look, you wanna condemn something somebody said? You wanna distance yourself, make it clear you're not with that guy? Then you say something like, "Wow, that guy's a dick and I have no idea what he was talking about. Buddy, I don't need your support, so please stuff something into your cakehole forthwith."
You don't say, "Well, okay, I don't like racism but he may have had a point about the non-racist parts of his racist assertion that when black people vote there is something wrong there."
After the incident took place, Murrieta’s Mayor Alan Long told Fox News, “When you start asking about the health screenings that they claim they get, there’s a lot of gaps. They could not answer a lot of questions that we had to give us certainty that the people on those buses were healthy.”
Long’s public health argument has been raised before by various anti-immigrant groups, but migrants detained at the border are medically screened for “communicable diseases of public health concern” and symptoms like rash, fever, cough, vomiting and diarrhea during the processing stage.
The Murrieta mayor warned residents on Monday that the city’s Border Patrol processing facility would receive about 140 immigrants from Texas every 72 hours as part of the federal government’s plan to deal with the surge of unaccompanied children who are mostly fleeing violence and grinding poverty in Latin America. Long explained that the city had been “successful” in turning away Border Patrol efforts twice before. He said, “Murrieta continues to object to this transfer of illegal immigrants from local Border Patrol offices. … What you the public can do … contact your Congress representative and the White House. Residents can help by spreading facts and not rumors. … Right now, the best thing you can do is to contact the federal officials that makes these decisions and ask for it to be changed.”
1. There's a photo at the link of a lady holding up a sign that says "Protect Your Kids from Diseases." She seems like a real winner. As I have said before, STOP USING YOUR KIDS AS AN EXCUSE TO BE A DICK. If you want to be a racist, xenophobic, logic-averse, mouthbreathing nitwit, JUST GO DO THAT THEN. Don't make your kids bear the burden of it. They're their own people with their own stuff to do. Quit making them responsible for all the crappy things about you. That's on you.
2. So let's grant the point that these are lice-infested, open-sore-faced, typhoid-ridden filth people who are being bused into this town. There are lice-infested, open-sore-faced, typhoid-ridden filth people ALREADY IN THIS TOWN, and the way I know that is that there are lice-infested, open-sore-faced, typhoid-ridden filth people in every town, because this country's economy is a bag of dog turds right now and nobody can afford to go to the doctor. If your concern is public health, I assume you'll be greeting buses of immigrants with boxes of antibiotics, and also going to the poorest neighborhoods in your godforsaken shit shack city offering doctors and nurses gratis. I mean, it's about the safety of your children, so clearly.
3. Encouraging the townspeople to turn their ire on the feds is going to work out so well for everyone involved.
Isaiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons took part in a recent “30 for 30” film on his 1980s “Bad Boys” championship teams. To the detractors who said the team was thuggish or that they got lucky in spots, Thomas responded with his standard line:
“The film don’t lie.”
Watching film can provide you with an amazing amount of detail on that team. The violence it perpetrated on defense and the grace with which it ran fast breaks. The time Rick Mahorn decided to punch out the entire Chicago Bulls team and the feathery shot that Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson took to sweep the finals.
It’s all in the film. And the film don’t lie.
Of course, it actually does.
And that’s our fault.
We see what we want to see and we hear what we want to hear. If you hated those teams, you saw the way that Bill Laimbeer clothes-lined Larry Bird in the playoffs. If you loved those teams, hey, that was just the cost of doing business.
When Magic Johnson body-checked Thomas in the 1988 NBA finals, it was like Bryan Burwell said: “People would say, ‘Oh that Magic… What a competitor.’” When Mahorn flattened Jordan, it was thuggery.
The film lies all the time because we add layers of interpretation to it and color its view through our own lenses.
ASU Assistant Professor Ersula Ore was arrested May 20 after a run-in with police. Ore said she was crossing the street to avoid construction when a police officer confronted her, violated her civil rights and then physically assaulted her while attempting to arrest her.
ASU police said Officer Stewart Ferrin contacted Ore, who was walking down the middle of the street, and directed her to move to the sidewalk. Ore, police said, became argumentative and belligerent, escalating the situation. She chastised the police for being disrespectful, refused to provide ID when asked and then physically resisted arrest. She also cursed at and kicked the officers involved, police said.
The entire incident is available on audio/video and has made its rounds online.
Theoretically, this should be easy to figure out. It’s all on film.
However, thick lenses and festering wounds make it hard to see exactly how this will play out.
Several groups have claimed this is a case of racial profiling and over-zealous police work. Ore is black. Ferrin is white. Ore herself notes in the video that she had been on the campus for three year and never saw one person arrested for jaywalking, the original reason Ore was stopped. Driving While Black has morphed into Walking While Black on the ASU campus, according to one of the groups involved in this discussion.
A police review has found nothing improper about the stop, despite putting Ferrin on paid leave until an FBI review of the situation is completed. (A paid leave during an outside investigation is common and does not connote innocence or guilt in these situations.) From the police vantage point, an officer contacted someone who was doing something out of the ordinary and probably unsafe. Everything was fine until Ore became arrogant and unreasonable, refused to respond to officer requests/commands and then really lost it on the cops. White, black, green, whatever. It was a case of someone resisting a peace officer.
My own view of the situation was colored by a recent airline flight with my family. We ended up on Southwest, which has “open seating” (a.k.a. The Hunger Games with less legroom) so people can pick whatever seats they want based on when they get on the plane. When Dad and I ended up on the plane, most of the seats were full, but strangely enough, there were two seats open in the exit row. The flight attendant was standing there and when we asked him if those were open, he said, “They are now.”
When we sat down, we ended up next to a guy who had his two teen daughters in front of him. All three were cursing about something. After five minutes, an airline official came on the plane and said, “The lady who just left the plane wants you to join her.” They got up, cursing, and left.
The story we got from the people who were on the plane was that the lady was sitting in the exit row when the flight attendant noticed she had a brace on. When he informed her that airline rules stated no one with a brace could sit in that row for safety reasons, she said, “Fine. I’ll take it off.” When he said that wouldn’t work, she became combative and started yelling at him. After about six “Ma’am, I’m sorry” statements from the steward, the lady told him that this was “bullshit.” He then said he’d been as nice as he could for as long as he could and she was being pulled off the flight.
(If you must know, the family was white. The flight attendant was black.)
The way I saw it, things didn’t need to get that out of hand. When the guy noticed the brace, there were plenty of nearby seats of equal value. She could have moved easily. Conversely, if the brace were really something she could take off, was it worth the squeeze to try to enforce this rule? Kind of ticky-tacky if you think about it.
However, the whole thing in my mind came down to arrogance and a superiority struggle.
Who the hell are you to talk to me this way? Both people thought it, although neither of them said it. To the flight attendant, this was his realm and he was enforcing the rules. To the lady, it was some third-rate “rent-a-cop” guy throwing his weight around.
When my wife watched the video of Ore’s arrest, she saw the connection as well: “This is like that thing on the plane.”
Ore’s initial complaint was that the officer spoke to her disrespectfully and she wasn’t going to let that slide. The officer’s initial complaint was that something was happening that shouldn’t have been and he needed to correct it. As both situations wore on, neither party would give and eventually the people with the real power in the dynamic played their trump cards.
Ore was in court Thursday, fighting the charges against her as the FBI continues its investigation into the incident. Although the dashcam video will be paramount in what gets decided in both cases, it doesn’t show everything, both sides argue. The local newspaper is arguing for individual officer cameras to create more detailed video of stops like these and to eliminate some of these concerns.
Because, after all, the film don’t lie.
It's part two of my Paul Mazursky tribute. This time I'm honoring the greatest movie cat ever, Tonto. I suspect that darn cat and Henri would disagree, but what can I say? Neither of them ever sat on the lap of an Oscar winner.
Here's the trailer:
I am so sick of everybody hating on teenagers, really. Every fourth person I know, when asking about my child, cautions me that the teenage years are HELL AND OMG THE WORST, and I'm sure it's going to be tough, the same way the first week was tough and two days ago was tough and tomorrow might be tough, but can we let the hell up on the kids? God.
“I got a lot of criticism and I said I always thought this was not a gender issue, this is a human issue of work and life balance,” Lauer said in reaction to backlash from his interview that aired one week earlier. “It’s a parenting issue for men and women, moms and fathers, a question I ask myself every single day. But clearly it still touches a nerve.”
It's a parenting issue for men and women, but women are the ones who get the questions. You may ask yourself that question, dipshit, but you don't ask male CEOs, male movie stars, male entertainers, that question out loud. It's not about what you think. You're on fucking chicken-fried television. It's about what you do and say, because that's what your viewers see and hear. You have an enormous goddamn megaphone and the way you use it fucking matters.
Lauer, who is a parent as well, pointed out that because of his interview with Barra, he missed his own son’s 13th birthday.
What a massive asshole. Does he really not understand that for a man, that's viewed as a sacrifice necessary to maintain such a driven and impressive career, and for a woman, it's a catastrophic parenting failure that she will always regret?
Does he really not understand that the way men and women are judged for these things is different? It's not about what he feels or what Barra feels. It's about the societal expectation that a high-achieving man with children will continue to achieve and those kids will come around to appreciate him in time.
Whereas a high-achieving woman with children will somehow make it up to her kids for every single second she spends away from them.
Leave it to Eliza Kazan and Tennessee Williams to concoct an art film that also qualifies for this feature. Baby Doll is a weird, twisted, and quirky film that features a flamboyant performance by Eli Wallach who departed this mortal coil last week at the age of 98.
Baby Doll was very controversial at the time of its release in 1956. The Catholic Legion of Decency shat bricks over Caroll Baker's thumbsucking character. It's pretty tame by contemporary standards, unless, that is, you're Rick Santorum, John Roberts, or Scalito. To paraphrase the old movie snipe, let's all go to the Hobby Lobby to get ourselves a treat...
In the end, I'm not sure if Baby Doll is a good bad movie or a bad good movie. It's certainly not boring.
Here's the trailer:
|From Album 5|
Around 3:00 p.m., a customer entered the Enmark store on Park Avenue with a gun holstered to his hip. Another customer, who was also carrying a holstered weapon, approached the first man and demanded to see his ID and gun permit.
As he demanded the first customer’s ID, the second man pulled his own gun from its holster, but pointed it at the floor. The first customer protested that he isn’t legally required to show any ID or permits.
Still holding his gun, the second customer demanded again to see the other man’s permit and ID. The first customer, undeterred by the unholstered weapon, paid for his purchases and exited the store, then called police.
Because, after all, an armed society is a polite society, right? Which must make convenience stores the most polite place around. Especially late at night.
Some say Western Civilization is in decline. That may or may not be true, but in Valdosta it seems like the real question is whether it ever arose.
Independence Day beckons so here's a song written by Canadians and later covered by Lenny Kravitz who's Murican. The song is built around one of the greatest rock guitar riffs of all time. You know it, here it is:
My residual case of old fartism is currently aimed at one of the younguns at Salon: one Elias Isquith. Isquith is one of that fine internet publications newer and lesser lights and he is the latest person to tell Justice Ginsburg to retire for the "good of the left" or some such highfalutin shit.
The worst thing about the piece is Isquith's tone of high moral dudgeon and assumption that he knows what's best for both Ginsburg and the country. Unsolicited advice is never appreciated and unsolicited moralizing should be dismissed out of hand.
I realize that Justice Ginsburg is a tiny, frail looking cancer survivor but she looked just as fragile when she was young. It's also ludicrous to tell a great American and distinguished Jurist to hang up her robes because some pundits think the Democrats might lose the Senate in the fall. That's certainly a possibility but the GOPers have a talent for squandering advantages and at least two of the vulnerable Southern Democratic Senators, Mark Pryor and Kay Hagen look as if they might survive after all. My own Blue Dog, Mary Landrieu, is running a poor and confused campaign, which has increased the chances of her losing to the dim Congressman from Red Stick, Bill Cassidy. It's making me feel all blue and dogeared but I'll go into that another time.
The whole debate reminds me of sports fans sermonizing about when and why their favorite players should retire. That's up to them. Willie Mays was the target of a lot of carping at the end of his storied career. He was still a good player at 40 before going downhill but he still enjoyed it and kept playing despite the critics whining that he wasn't as good as he used to be, He was playing for himself and his team, not to preserve some fanboy's memories. In Ginsburg's case, she seems to be peaking as a Justice right now. Her Hobby Lobby dissent is a classic that ranks with Harlan's in Plessy or Jackson's in Korematsu to name two of my favorite dissenting opinions. Damn, that may have been the dorkiest sentence I've ever written... .
I realize that people will not stop offering unsolicited advice to their elders and betters but it will continue to irk me that it's directed at a female Justice. Until they start yelling at Justice Breyer to retire, it's sexism, pure and simple, and then it will be ageism.
Enough with the malakatude already.
Writer-Director Paul Mazursky was responsible for some of the best, and most personal, films of the 1970's. He died yesterday at the age of 84 with 19 films as a director to his credit and 76 as an actor.
In many ways Mazursky was the American Francois Truffaut at his peak with incisive clever, and funny films such as Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice, Harry and Tonto, An Unmarried Woman, Blume In Love, and my personal favorite Next Stop, Greenwich Village. Next Stop was an autobiographical film featuring a brilliant performance by Shelley Winters as the ultimate Jewish mother. Mazursky was known for coaxing career best performances out of a wide range of players, most notably Art Carney, Natalie Wood, and Jill Clayburgh.
In the 1980's Mazursky's films were more comedic and less personal reflecting changes in the movie business but Moscow on the Hudson and Down and Out in Beverly Hills were, uh, LOL funny. In 1989, Mazursky made his final masterpiece Enemies, A Love Story based on a story by Isaac Bashevis Singer featuring, you guessed it, great performances by Anjelica Huston and Borscht Belt comedian Alan King.
Hearing of Mazursky's death gave me a bad case of old fartism. He was one of the stars of the heroic age of Hollywood films from 1966 to 1978 before it came down with a bad case of blockbusteritis. He will be missed.
Here's a link to some of Roger Ebert's reviews of Mazursky's films and a scene from The Sopranos with Mazursky as Sunshine one of the poker sharks. Mazursky is the gent with longish hair, mustache, and glasses who mouths off to dipshit Jackie Junior:
Motown was not known for its album cover art. This cover for the Temptations Psychedelic Shack LP tried to be cool, but was as campy as the Adam West Batman series. The music, however, is terrific:
Here's an extended version of the title track:
Patriot Employers would receive a tax credit equal to 10% of the first $15,000 in qualified wages for U.S. workers, if the employer meets the following criteria:
* Invest in American Jobs
* Pay Fair Wages
* Provide Quality Health Insurance.
* Prepare Workers for Retirement
* Support Our Troops and Veterans
* Create a Diverse Workforce
Small businesses should have a fair shot at qualifying for Patriot Employer status too. My bill makes it easier for small employers to take advantage of this tax credit by allowing companies with fewer than 50 employees to qualify if they are headquartered in the U.S., are not inverted corporations, provide health care, and pay fair wages OR help fund their worker's retirement.
So instead of just closing loopholes and forcing all companies to pay taxes, Durbin wants to level the playing field by giving everyone else a tax break too! Why not just eliminate taxes for everybody? USA! USA!
In my book, Patriotic Employers are those who pay their fair share of taxes. I don't find it necessary to incentivize companies further by giving away taxpayers' dollars for supporting our troops. The government should support the troops, set a standard for fair wages, and provide health insurance. Let's stop getting it backwards.
It's Canada Day. We had a bit of fun with it on the Tweeter Tube today whereon I posted this:
Here's the aforementioned Guess Who half-time performance. I thought I remembered snow but, hey, the mind plays tricks when your twitter feed is dominated by the World Cup. Anyway, you haven't lived until you've seen Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings play No Time whilst wearing gloves. Ice people are strange, y'all:
What is a Federal Judge, Alex?
The more I read about Justice Alito's other worldly and totally detached from reality opinion in the Hobby Lobby case, the more I miss Sandra Day O'Connor and other supremes who were not ripped from the federal courts.as it were. O'Connor was a legislator and practical politician at heart who would have looked at this case and spotted it as one that should have been laughed out of court. She would have then instructed her clerks to translate her common sense opinion into legalese. Her successor on the court has done the opposite and has opened up a can of worms that will lead to endless litigation and, even worse, to federal judges ruling on what constitutes "a sincere religious belief." Doesn't sound very " conservative" to me.
One of the most endearing things about Bill Clinton's Presidency was his desire to appoint someone who had served in elected office to the Supreme Court. He wooed Mario Cuomo who, in classic fashion, played Hamlet and initially accepted but finally rejected the offer. Clinton, quite correctly, believed that many of the most distinguished Justices had never wielded a gavel before joining the High Court: Warren, Black, Douglas, Brandeis, and Frankfurter to name a few.
With the exception of Justice Kagan, the current court is made up of lawyers who, for good or ill, have spent the majority of their careers on the bench and outside the hurly burly of American public life. The whole thing reminds me of a story about Lyndon Johnson and his mentor, Speaker Sam Rayburn. LBJ raved about the "best and brightest" who surrounded JFK and Mr. Sam said: "I'd feel better about those fellas if one of them had ever run for Sheriff."
Sam Alito has not only never run for Sheriff, he has no clue as to what life outside the judiciary is really like. I'm not sure exactly who President Obama or his successor should nominate, but no more judges please.
We miss you, Sandy, baby. Your appointment was the best thing Ronald Reagan ever did.
That's their WHOLE FUCKING PROBLEM WITH IT. That's the problem: Women, making their own choices. They don't WANT THAT. They want to make the choices. They want to be able to say, you do this and not that. They want to be able to say, your right to privacy ends where my pervy thoughts begin, and this is about as complicated as it gets.
I'm sorry for yelling, but for FUCK'S SAKE. Does anybody really not get where we are right now? "Religious freedom" now means "my freedom to be untroubled by anything that challenges or differs from me" and "individual responsibility" means "I got mine" and "rights" mean nothing if you're anything other than a rich white dude.
No offense, I feel compelled to say, to rich white dudes, lest they become oppressed by a mean hashtag on Twitter or something, and feel something akin to constraint on their speech or movement or ability to do whatever the fuck without hearing a word to the contrary of their every goddamn fucking wish. I can't imagine how bad that might make them feel, after all.
I am so tired of this neediness, I really am. I am so tired of hearing people who have everything in the world that a person needs to feel secure complain that they need more, that they need universal approbation, that they need to grind in their heels while stepping over the bodies of those who are not worthy. I am so tired of it not being enough, you have all the money and power, now you need all the love, too.
You need to make sure not only can nobody do anything about your position, now they can't even think disagreeable thoughts about it in their own heads. Now they can't even go against your beliefs without you even knowing about it because you might know about it and you might in some way touch the very same pennies they touch when they pay for things you don't like. It's exhausting, exhausting in my fucking bones, being around it. All the feelings, all the beliefs, all the sincere imaginary convictions of people who have nothing else to worry about besides making sure everybody else has everything to worry about, and the idea that these things, these words, this fucking air, trumps anybody's goddamn life.
This is a problem, other people making their own choices, because it means other people might exist, and think, and breathe, and feel, too. And have sincere convictions, too. And be able to take care of themselves. And be real people, almost just like you. That would blow your mind apart, so better to make sure everybody lives by your rules, so you don't have to think about them at all.
Toobin asked, “Is listening to Dick Cheney like listening to an arsonist on fire preventin?” CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd admitted while Cheney’s “always claiming the sky is falling,” he’s a “very thoughtful guy” and so people shouldn’t be “ignoring the message because we don’t like the messenger.”
What "message" would that be?
You know, I would really like my daughter to grow up in a world where she's a person. If old men could get pregnant you could get abortions at Citgo.
No "Obsession" this week, folks. I've been attending the Texas Democratic Party convention (as delegate for SD12), and boy, is my left wing tired!
(this pic is mine - all following pics are from kut.org)
Turnout Friday at the convention was unbelievable. It was standing room only at many of the caucuses. The caucus rooms were huge, but the crowd was huger.
The sole unifying factor of the attendees (other than enthusiasm)?
There wasn't one.
Young, older, men, women, caucasians, hispanics, blacks, etc etc, a true cross-section of this state. This makes me feel better than good - it makes me feel hopeful.
Even the Gun Owners caucus was SRO - for some reason, the prevailing attitude was anger at the Gun Nuts.
Gun owners don't like Gun Nuts a lot, it appears.
What is a Gun Nut? Glad you asked.
A gun owner goes to the range. A Gun Nut takes his AR to Chipotle.
A gun owner removes the bolt/slide from any gun in the house before company comes over with their children. A Gun Nut leaves everything loaded and easy for people to get to, because the revolultion is coming.
A gun owner detests the NRA with a white-hot passion (at least the gun owners at the caucus do). A Gun Nut thinks the NRA are the last bastion of defence between the New World Order (or whatever they're calling it these days) and freedumb.
A gun owner accessorizes his Bushmaster with cool aftermarket assemblies and sights. A Gun Nut thinks he needs an AR to stop the M1A1 Abrams tank that Obama is going to send to his house to take his stuff.
A lot of talk about mental health issues was talk talked, as was the futility of legislation in removing guns from a country awash in them. I took notes and smiled. After the caucus, I buttonholed one of the keynoters, Mr. Mark Greene (who is running to take the SD12 away from Kay Bailey Hutchison) and proposed a novel idea:
A concerted PR push by gun owners to shame Gun Nuts.
He looked skeptical. I advised: "You think PR doesn't work? Why did you buy the brand of shoes you're wearing?" I went on to explain that pressure from non-gun owers was worse than useless, because it was coming from (according to Gun Nuts) people with no knowlege of guns - the old "Do you, an auto mechanic, take car advice from a plumber?" routine.
I want to let you all in on a little secret. Gun owners despise Gun Nuts. On user boards like Glock Talk, disdain for the "open carry" enthusiasts currently making all gun owners look like morons is well documented. The only outcome the gun owners would like to see in the "open carry" movement would be a few negligent discharges that only involve the open carriers. They know, however, that any NDs would involve innocent bystanders - because the "open carry" entuhsiasts are morons. These people are hated with a passion by gun owners, because they make us all look like morons.
Hence, my idea of peer-shaming.the Gun Nuts. "Cmon, man - nobody's gonna pull a gun on you at Chili's. And frankly, if someone with a CHL sees you coming in with an AR, they're not gonna wait to see if you're gonna tell everyone to get on the floor and hand over their wallets.". Peer pressure is a very very powerful tool, and no one wants to look stupid to his/her peers.
OK - back to the convention - Enthusiasm, good ideas (very little blue-skying), and most of all, engagement.
Also, the Texas GOP's - um - approach to women seems to be bearing fruit - just not the kind they had planned on. From WOW to HCDW, women were attending. In massive numbers. And pissed. REALLY pissed.
One last thing - this convention produced the best Wendy Davis photobomb in recorded history:
Anyway, my AFIB eventually did me in (having to park a statute mile from the convention center didn't help much), and I reluctantly came home and got horizontal. And yes, I missed all of the parties afterwards.
I was mostly there to see if my fellow delegates have things well in hand (this year's appointments and elections were a done deal).
Do they EVER!
This old guy can take a break now and let the young'uns handle the jubilation.
Back next monday with the usual mockery and buffoonism.
The Times’s access to administration sources has produced important news stories, but my reading suggests that there has not been enough effort to challenge and vet the views of these government sources.
Here’s one small example. In a military analysis, “U.S. Airstrikes Could Help in Reversing Insurgent Offensive, Experts Say,” the only acknowledgment of opposition came in a partial sentence: “Despite skeptics, particularly Democrats, who say that American airstrikes are unlikely to change the course of events in Iraq, President Obama is considering them among a range of options to help the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Malaki.” The skeptics, after this brief nod, are not heard from again.
I was hungry and tired and anxious and I knew I needed to get Plan B, the drug that people said wasn’t as bad as an abortion really (the abortion drug was different), but it prevented a baby from being conceived and that meant it was at least some kind of evil.
And I got out of the cab, and a man in overalls with a big white beard stared at me, and I just wanted to have a nice interaction with a person, especially a man, and I said “Good morning” and that’s when I saw he was carrying a Bible, and I knew right away that was a bad sign, and then he called me a murderer. He shouted it so loud it almost wasn’t a word anymore. It was a force of nature.
I was rescued by two mid-2000s feminist hipsters wearing “Escort” vests. I looked at the vests and wondered if I had entered the place where sex workers and pro-lifers somehow mixed, which seemed like a very East Village thing, but they were Planned Parenthood escorts, and they were there to help me. They chattered at me about my “cool” clothes and earrings and smoothly walked me the dozen feet or so to the entrance, where a security guard took over. They promised me they would still be there when I left, and they were.
They knew how to talk to a scared young woman as if everything were normal, as if she weren’t being screamed at by the human embodiment of an angry Judeo-Christian sky-god, as if she didn’t already feel like shit. They knew how to make me feel human, and for that I was and remain enormously grateful.
Have you ever, ever, ever even once shouted somebody into submission?
Did that submission stick?
The Bible was a bad sign. That's where we are now, cats and kittens. The Bible is a bad sign. If you see somebody walking around with a book, at least a third of which explicitly makes the point that valuing systems over people is bullshit, you should duck and cover. That person, carrying that book, is likely about to do something like scream MURDERER in your face, because that's what that book means now.
This is what happens when you take care of systems, and forget to take care of people. This is what happens when enforcing the rules becomes the goal, when order is prized over kindness, when what matters is not the person in front of you but what you're saying to her. You've maintained the rules. Everybody, look at you, and at your Bible.
(Because: If you believe abortion is murder, if you believe that a person walking into a Planned Parenthood clinic is killing someone, then standing there screaming about it is just about the dumbest thing you can do. You see somebody on the street about to shoot somebody else, do you point and yell MURDERER? What does that do to stop that person? You should throw yourself bodily into the fray, you care so damn much about preventing the crime you think is taking place. Inconsistency makes me crazy, especially in this.)
That Bible, that person so filled with Christian love, isn't there to "counsel." He didn't ask one goddamn question, not one. He's there to shout and bully, and that's all he's there for. There were people at that clinic doing God's work, and they weren't the ones on the sidewalk yelling.
What are you growing this year?
My deck garden is somewhat abbreviated this year: tarragon, rosemary and thyme (because roast chicken) and basil (because pasta) and a lemon tree that in four years has never, ever, ever given any indication it is going to produce any lemons.
It is often said that one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter. That eternal argument rages on in Sarajevo where the Bosnian Serbs have erected a statute of Gavrilo Princip. Yes, *that* Gavrilo Princip; the man who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Reaction to that event, of course, spiraled out of control and led to the Great War.
The shots that changed the world occurred 100 years ago today: June 28, 1914. The Bosnian Serbs regard Princip as a hero, which is not an analysis that I agree with. He was a fanatic with a gun whose actions unleashed a blood bath and led eventually to most of the worst European events of the 20th Century: the rise of Nazism, Soviet style Communism, World War II, the Cold War and the ethnic cleansing that swept through the former Yugoslavia in the 1990's.
I have no nostalgia for the ancien regimes of Russia, Austria-Hungary and Germany. They would have fallen eventually and maybe even violently but to celebrate the man who set all of this in motion is obscene. I could even add a 21st Century event to the Princip list: the second Iraq War. The neo-cons may have had petro-imperialism at the top of their agenda but many liberal supporters of the war saw it as a humanitarian intervention a la Kosovo. They were, of course, delusional and we're still paying for Tony Blair's delusions and Dick Cheney's hubris.
Does any of this make Gavrilo Princip sound like someone who should be honored as a hero? I should hope not, but the Serbs have a persecution complex, which could be dubbed the Princip principle.
I'll have more about the centennial of the Great War in the weeks to come. That is all.
My blogging patron saint wrote a brilliant and blistering post about the Mississippi GOP's little electoral shindig. Here's the kick ass opening 'graph:
The triumph of sheep-humping in Mississippi last night was clear and unequivocal. Incumbent Republican Thad Cochran, an otherwise nondescript elderly pork-ladling conservative, waited until very late in the campaign to bring out his heavy, er, artillery, explaining to his constituents that he not only brings home the bacon, but also entertains the bacon while it's still ambulatory. Cochran's political masterstroke turned the entire election against his opponent, Tea Party neo-Confederate Chris McDaniel, who could not come up with an effective counter-argument, at least not one that he could show on a television commercial. And, thus did sheep-humping defeat cockfighting, a watershed moment in Mississippi politics. So now we start the genita...er...general election campaign. Everybody wash your hands thoroughly.
Pierce understands what the MSM horde does not. Nothing that happens in Mississippi politics has any relevance to any other place. It's a fucking weird fucked up state, which produced a run-off between an advocate of animal husbandry and a neo-Confederate pro-cock fighting racist. Originally, I didn't expect black folks to vote in any numbers for the sheep fucker but once they issued the statement about poll watchers, I knew we were in for some political mischief.
I'll give Charlie's favorite Canadian the last word: