Odds & Sods: Saturday Night Fish Fry

the-who odds--sods

I’m back for another bite at the Saturday apple, hope y’all have a Gala time. This week I have a compendium of reading suggestions and the odd musical selection. Speaking of odd, that brings us to this week’s theme song courtesy of one of the forgotten founders of rock and roll, Mr. Louis Jordan:

I’ve long thought that Jordan is underrated because he was funny. Funny people are usually underrated, especially in the realm of popular music where the solemn often win the day. Just a crackpot theory, more oddity and soddity after the break. Continue reading

Bigotry Is Bad For Business

I didn’t know that Dave Duke had moved to Jersey:

“No matter what you are — Muslim, Jewish, black, white, gay, straight — you should be proud of what you are. I shouldn’t have to feel bad about being white,” Boggess told the Hunderdon County Democrat in March.

However, many people had a problem with Boggess’ sign, including his neighbor, Bhakti Curtis, who accused Boggess of “mocking Black History Month,” according to the Hunterdon County Democrat.

Boggess took down the sign after a few days and apologized to Curtis.

However, it seems the apology was not enough to keep Boggess in business. Boggess closed his deli and has started a GoFundMe page for his deli in hopes of raising money to reopen.

“It was only supposed to be a white thing but people read more into it than that,” Boggess wrote on his GoFundMe page about his sign. “I did get tons of supporting letters from all across the USA. Which was very comforting during such a stressful time.”

“Then the bottom dropped out and customers were no longer coming into my deli, and now I am forced to close down my Deli and lose my American dream. I have become heavily in debt and getting shut off notices from everywhere for both business and home,” Bogess continued in his note. “I don’t think I deserve this just because I wanted to be proud of being white and be able to celebrate my heritage like everyone else does.”

As of early Friday morning, Boggess had raised $215.

I don’t know about you, but I have no idea what a “white thing” is or  what “white history month” would look like. Did Boggess plan to show episodes of Fifties sitcoms like Ozzie and Harriet, Leave It To Beaver, or Father Knows Best? He clearly didn’t not know best despite having an awesome surname, which sounds like the Blogess.

Here’s the deal: controversy isn’t good for business. It’s a cliche, but the only color that matters is green. There was a local business, whose name I won’t mention to protect the guilty, that did some serious trolling on Twitter last year. Their act included gay baiting and egregious gun nuttery. It was a classic case of keyboard courage because the offensive tweets were deleted within an hour post-outburst. After a series of flame wars, the stupid tweets stopped and the whole thing ended up in the dustbin of internet history. The moral of that story is: use your business feed to promote your product, service or whatever and not your opinions, especially if you’re a dumbass

I hate to see anyone’s business damaged by something like this BUT it’s a self inflicted wound. I guess Boggess was hoping to emulate the Indiana pizza bigot’s tin cup rattling but it’s been a flop thus far. Next time maybe he’ll think first before doing something like this. Then again, thinking doesn’t seem to be his strong suit.

Repeat after me: Bigotry is bad for business.

Internet to Grieving Family: Your fucking 2-year-old started this…

I still remember the name and cause of death of every dead kid I ever covered as a reporter. It’s not a small list, either.

There was the 4-year-old AIDS victim, the 17-year-old drunk driver, the 12-year-old who was playing with a gun… The list goes on from there in a brutal recounting of wounds that never healed.

The only saving grace in any of these stories was that it always seemed like there was a communal moment of sadness for these families and their loss. In the wake of this crippling pain was a small halo of sympathy before people moved on.

Randall Terry got none of this as a series of tragic (and yes I mean that in the way Shakespeare wrote) events diminished his family and placed him in the public eye.

Damani Terry, the man’s 2-year-old son, was at a birthday party when he ran out into the street, the way a million other kids have done a million other times.

Every kid who ever did this has heard an adult scream, “You’re going to get hit by a car if you do that again!”

Damani never had a chance. A van, driven by Archie Brown Jr., ran the boy over.

As Brown stood over the boy, distraught and anguished, Damani’s uncle, Ricky Ricardo Chiles III, retrieved a gun and shot Brown dead. In the process, Chiles also shot his own 15-year-old nephew, Rasheed Chiles. On Thursday, as authorities closed in on him, Chiles shot and killed himself.

There was so much wrong with this that it would just turn a normal person inside out.

Damani was just a toddler who made one tiny mistake. Reports on Brown’s actions show that he was not driving recklessly and made no attempt to leave the scene. Had he perpetrated a hit-and-run, we would all admonish him, but he’d still be alive. Instead, by owning up to what happened, he died.

Ricky Chiles was already a one-time loser in the criminal justice system. He was a felon on extended supervision who wasn’t supposed to have access to a gun. Yet there he was on the street, displaying both a lack of impulse control and vengeful rage that would lead to a total of four deaths.

How do we make sense of this? How do we come to grips with this? How many ways can we ask why?

Don’t worry. That’s why we have the Internet:

In the days that followed, Terry said, their family became the subject of hatred and threats on social media. People they didn’t know cursed their son, blaming the 2-year-old for setting off the chain of events that traumatized the community by running into the street. Online commenters called for Tidwell’s arrest, saying she should be thrown in prison for not supervising her child closely enough.

In other words, “Fucking 2-year-old! Get your shit together!”

Lock ‘em up. Blame ‘em good. Nice call there, John Wayne. I’m sure there’s no problem out there that your caps lock and lack of grammar can’t solve. Because that’s what needs to happen here: Someone needs to be punished and blamed so we can all go back to eating Cheetos and watching “American Idol.” Once we solve this, we’re ready to be done with the “hard stuff” like four lives cut short for no good reason.

Every time I had to write about some of this “hard stuff,” I felt the ripples of these people’s anguish. I mourned in my head while I had to ask things like, “So you were told that she was legally intoxicated before she crashed the car?” One time, a woman told me that my story about her son had so injured the boy’s father that he wasn’t able to go to his son’s funeral. She told me she held me personally responsible for that. It’s been decades and that still won’t go away. That’s why it’s so hard for me to see this:

The couple ignored the hateful comments and had planned to join Brown’s family at a vigil Wednesday evening — the day one of Damani’s sisters turned 6. But a pastor phoned Terry and told them not to come, fearing for their safety in light of the online harassment.

I don’t know if this is an Internet thing, a dissociation thing or just that people are generally bigger and louder assholes these days. I also don’t know if these social-media warriors will ever have a moment that causes them to regret their simple-minded “There-I-Fixed-It” rantings. I do know that this family will never be the same and neither will anyone who reads about what happened this week.

Friday Catblogging: Well Groomed

Della is obsessed with keeping her white belly as pristine as possible. Who can blame her?

Well Groomed

Friday Ferretblogging

Sleepy mini-pet.



Midnight Music: Still A Freak

I’m seeing the Waterboys for the first time this evening at Tipitina’s. They’re touring in support of their latest album Modern Blues. Still A Freak is on that disc but they’ve been playing it live for quite some time including this 2013 rendition. It features a mindblowing fiddle solo by Steve Wickham:

Malaka Of The Week: Mike Johnson

I’ve written a lot about Johnsons this week of both the metaphorical and literal variety. The latest Johnson on my radar (blogdar?) is State Rep. Mike Johnson a Republican from Bossier City, which is in North Louisiana. He’s the unctuously self-righteous biblebanging cretin behind-you guessed it-the so called religious freedom act. Johnson and our equally unctuous (the word ofthe day, apparently) Governor have made passing this atrocity a priority this legislative session. And that is why Mike Johnson is malaka of the week.

Johnson’s bill is designed to solve a problem that does not exist; you know, the whole gay wedding cake/photographer thing. Johnson is out to make a name for himself and PBJ is out to make himself the *most* extreme candidate in the GOP Presidential field on this issue. In short, he’s trying to run to the right of Mike Huckabe. Who knew there was any room to Huck’s right? I thought Chuck Norris took up more space than that.

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SarahPac Is Still A Thing?

I somehow got on the email list for something called the American Action Network. It’s a right wing PAC that claims to be center-right but it’s board is full of wingers, lobbyists, and defeated pols like Norm Coleman. You remember Norm, he’s the guy who won the fluke Minnesota election in 2002 and narrowly lost to my main man Al Franken in 2008.

Their latest missive belies their claim of being center-right: SarahPac is one of their sponsors and they want me to give them $20 or more to get a bumpersticker. Holy mark-up, Batman. Here’s the pitch:

Fellow Patriot, 

We all know it’s true, Ronald Reagan was the greatest President of the 20th century. He knew how to lead and how to defend America at home and abroad. Like us, in these times of weak leadership from President Obama, sometimes you find yourself asking “What Would Reagan Do?”

Well, if Reagan were still President ISIS would be WAS-WAS! You know it’s true, and now you can show how a courageous President would act in the face of a national security threat.

This isn’t about partisanship, it’s about showing what a true leader would do. Now, more than ever, we need a President like Reagan to make ISIS WASWAS.

Show all your family, friends, and passersby that you still support President Reagan with this one-of-a- kind item. Act now because these will sell out fast!

Nice to know that we can support Zombie Ronnie by wasting money on this rubbish:


I bet Zombie Ronnie could walk on water and solve all our problems by being all manly and shit. Of course, he was the President who cut and run from Lebanon and whose minions did the whole Iran-Contra thing. Details can be pesky. You betcha.

The biggest surprise of all this is that SarahPac still exists. Who knew?

I’m not sure, however, what they have against Was (Not Was) and why they don’t understand that a certain terrorist group cannot be ISIS anymore since that stands for Islamic State In Syria. (The MSM is equally acronymically impaired.) They’ve declared a new caliphate which is a fate worse than death and makes certain people get Mahdi just thinking of it. Enough with the puns, it’s time to walk the dinosaur:




Headline Of The Day: Fast Food Malakatude Edition

The MSM have been making asses of themselves since Hillary Clinton threw her headband in the ring. This headline on a Wall Street Journal blog is the apogee of stupid:

Clinton Bypassed Centrist Taco Bell For Liberal Favorite Chipotle

The post goes on to share semi-interesting marketing data about which chain attracts liberal customers. Here’s the deal: Hillary was hungry and sometimes one just wants to have a burrito the size of a Great Dane’s head.

Governor Buzzkill

From Album 5

Well, this won’t sit well with at least some of the Christie bromancers…but this really pokes a hole in his presidential aspirations, which already were at the zero lower bound. And it’s not like he doesn’t have a record with pension funds…a record that’s as abysmal as his poll numbers. Shoveling pension money by the truckload to hedge fund managers, who promptly squander it, isn’t courageous, no matter what he and the usual chattering-class suspects say.

Besides, if anyone really believes that would do anything positive to the Social Security trust fund, I’ve got a bridge from Fort Lee to Manhattan I’d like to sell them…

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Sheldon Lord Meets Lawrence Block

You won’t be surprised to learn that Sheldon Lord and Lawrence Block were one and the same. Block has always been a wildly prolific writer, which is one reason for the pseudonym. Here’s a bit about this book with two titles and covers from blogger James Reasoner:

Like LUCKY AT CARDS, A DIET OF TREACLE is a Hard Case Crime reprint of an early, pseudonymous novel by Lawrence Block. In this case, the book was originally published by Beacon Books in 1961 under the title PADS ARE FOR PASSION and the pen-name Sheldon Lord. It’s the story of Joe, Shank, and Anita, three young people who become involved in the hipster drug scene in Greenwich Village circa 1960.

Party on, Sheldon. Party on, Lawrence.

Here are the covers side-by-side:

pads-are-for-passion1Diet of Treacle

The Fog Of History: The Lincoln What If


One my favorite history geek parlor games is playing what if. Changes in the historical time line could have either good or dire consequences,which is why the Federation of Planets had that whole prime directive thing.  In Stephen King’s fine novel 11/23/63, the protagonist stopped the Kennedy assassination but things went to hell in a handbasket in the what if scenario. On the other hand, if there had been no Great War, the chances of a Nazi takeover in Germany would have been dramatically reduced and Hitler may have stayed a bad and deservedly starving artist. You never know, but it’s fascinating to speculate. Ruh roh, I’m sounding like Mark Halperin right now. Nah, he passes off his speculation as fact.

Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln regicide at the hands of a ham actor and assorted motley minions and miscreants. It was a national tragedy on so many levels, and it made one of our ten worst Presidents, Andrew Johnson the accidental Oval One. I keep meaning to rate the Presidents but falter because of LBJ who could rate anywhere from 4th to 20th.

Back to the Other Johnson. He was a maladroit, unscrupulous drunk with a nasty disposition and an armoire full of prejudices and hatreds. On the plus side, he hated the Southern planter class and refused to secede with his state. On the negative side, he hated black folks even more than their former owners. Johnson’s Presidential Reconstruction was a disaster: he ended up caving to the planters and gave a green light to the Southern black codes, which sought to effectively re-enslave the freedmen. That, in turn, led to military occupation of the South and Radical Reconstruction, which came to an ignominious end in 1877 after the Tilden-Hayes election stalemate.

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Post Of The Day: British Election Edition

It would be more accurate to call Marina Hyde’s brilliant piece in the Guardian about the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto launch a column, but what’s a little inaccuracy among friends? I’m a pundit, not an investigative reporter, fer chrissake.

I haven’t written that much about the May 7th UK election but it’s time to get all changey-n-hopey. I used that phrase because David Axelrod is advising the Labour Party this year. I hope he’s worth the 300K quid they’re paying him.

Back to Ms. Hyde’s awesome piece Nick Clegg isn’t in Kansas any more. He’s in Battersea. She described the hapless Lib Dem leader’s use of a Wizard of Oz analogy and spun it against him. The first and last graphs are the stuff that dreams are made of. Oops, that’s The Maltese Falcon, wrong movie classic:

Let Nick Clegg be clear: “The Liberal Democrats will add a heart to a Conservative government, and a brain to a Labour one!” Unfortunately, courage for the cowardly lion will be a casualty of any coalition agreement. It’s like Dorothy says: “If you were really great and powerful, you’d keep your promises!


Still, for those who like both the words “stronger economy” and “fairer society”, there is incredibly reassuring news in Clegg’s rousing conclusion. “This manifesto proves you don’t have to choose between them,” he declared. “If you choose the Liberal Democrats, you can have both.” So there you have it. You can have your cake and eat it and make a sort of word trifle out of it too. Just pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

The 5 years since so-called Cleggmania have not been kind to the Deputy Prime Minister and his party. In a coalition government, the junior partner usually takes it on the chin. Clegg’s party is on 7 to 9% in most polls after getting 23% in 2010 and looks poised to lose half of its 57 seats. No wonder Marina compares him to the Wizard. There’s no there there.

I also dig the crazy photoshopped picture of Cameron the Tin Man, Clegg as a po-faced Dorothy, and Miliband as the Scarecrow that’s at the top of the piece:


We’ll resume following the yellow brick road after the break.

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Album Cover Art Wednesday: Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett is a remarkable artist. He’s still going strong at the age of 88. He lasted by sticking to his guns and being who he really is: a Jazz saloon singer. But like his peer, Frank Sinatra, Tony had a career crisis at the peak of the rock era but, unlike Frank, he never retired and returned. He did, however, resort to covering some then contemporary pop songs and releasing an album with this goofy cover:


Since baseball season just started, here’s a Bennett album cover whereon he wears a San Francisco Giants hat. I cannot imagine why:

Tony Bennett - His All-Time Hall Of Fame Hits


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Remembering the War the Way We Have To

This is the one I think of: 

Washington (CNN)One former employee of the private Blackwater Worldwide security company was sentenced Monday to life in prison and three others to 30 years each behind bars for their roles in a 2007 mass shooting in Baghdad that left 17 people dead.

A federal jury convicted the four in October after a lengthy trial that saw some 30 witnesses travel from Iraq to testify against the security contractors. Prosecutors accused the men of illegally unleashed “powerful sniper fire, machine guns and grenade launchers on innocent men, women and children.”

Senior U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth sentenced Blackwater sniper Nicholas Slatten to a term of life in prison, mandatory for his first-degree murder conviction. Blackwater workers Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard were sentenced to 30 year each, plus one day.

Remember the reasonable debate we had about the proper role of civilian contractors in a war zone?

Yeah. Me too. 


The Consequences of Cuts

Students will take longer to finish their degrees: 

Will some class sizes get larger when eligible faculty leave if no one is hired to replace them, UW-Milwaukee psychology professor John “Jay” Moore asked Monday during a monthly budget forum at the campus, the latest in the system to announce buyouts.

“That’s a fair implication,” UWM Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administrative Affairs Robin Van Harpen responded. “Planning to cover vacancies would have to be part of the consideration process.”

Moore said he doubted UWM would turn away students just because there were fewer faculty to teach them. Larger class sizes could affect the quality of education. Reducing the number of class sections offered also potentially could extend the time it takes some students to complete their degree, university officials acknowledge.

But that’s fine, because then we can blame them for being impractical, shiftless kids who don’t understand a real work ethic, and want to spend seven years learning the ancient mating habits of whatever! We can talk about how in our day, we would have worked through college in three semesters, learning pipefitting and mathematics! It’ll be awesome.

Sometimes I want to be 19 again, because I sort of feel like the rage-filled ambitious asshole I was back then was my Best Chick, and also THIN, but then I read shit like this and think if these had been my circumstances I’d still be in school poking 40 with a short stick.


The 2016 Game

It’s not that I’m not excited about President Hillary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ready for a HBIC telling the king of Saudi Arabia where exactly to have her flowers delivered. And Bill Clinton was born to be First Gentleman the way Joe Biden was born to be Veep. The idea of Bill planning the White House china patterns and the Easter Egg roll and all that shit makes me LOL forever, because in his spare time he’ll be sitting on the South Lawn eating a chicken leg, feet in a kiddie pool full of bourbon.

I just find it hard to get amped about anybody this far out. I was a Deaniac this time of 2003 or thereabouts, and Former President Howard Dean says his presidential library will be located up your ass, thank you very much. Months of political commentary on presidential nominating contests makes sense for people getting paid directly for it by the word or the wank, but for me, I’m less interested in the national damage to be done in a year than in the local damage being done now.


Mad Men Thread: Don Draper’s Boulevard Of Broken Dreams


There’s been a lot of kvetching among the Mad Men punditocracy and fan base about New Business. Much of it is based on animus towards Megan and her big scary teeth, and some of it is from people craving big plot developments. It *is* a still episode, but I’ve always liked Mad Men for its moments. It’s what the show is all about: moments and characters, not fast paced action. And yes, I, too, want to see Sally, Jim Cutler as well as Ted Chaough’s latest sweater. I suspect he’s moved on to sweater vests by now…

Viewers may be expecting big things from the last few episodes but, like Peggy and unlike Stan, Matthew Weiner doesn’t give a damn what others think. He’ll pursue his artistic vision to the, more likely than not, bitter end.

I’ll dive in to the deep end of  the episode after the break, but first the divine Mimi Rogers as Pima Ryan:


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Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Abby Normal edition

Good morning everyone! I know that I tend to take up too much above-the-fold space in my posts, but since I favour the buildup and punchline approach and it wrecks the rhythm to break the flow during the buildup with a “gag continued below”, I habitually use too many column-inches to finish the first thread.

Not this time!

Rand Paul is the 2016 candidate Republicans need. Too bad they won’t admit it.
The Week ^ | April 7, 2015 | Peter Weber, senior editor

Posted on ‎4‎/‎7‎/‎2015‎ ‎10‎:‎49‎:‎00‎ ‎PM by 2ndDivisionVet

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was first out of the gate in the 2016 presidential horse race, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is the underdog everyone suddenly seems to be rooting for. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) is still probably the odds-on favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination, with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker not too far behind.

But this is the only prediction I’m comfortable making: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who is announcing his candidacy in Louisville today, won’t be America’s next president.

That’s not because the 52-year-old freshman senator from Kentucky wouldn’t make a formidable candidate; it’s because he won’t get the chance. Republicans won’t nominate him as their 2016 standard-bearer — luckily for Democrats.

Paul isn’t necessarily a natural candidate — he can be a little unflatteringly churlish with the news media, a candidate’s gateway to voters — but he doesn’t come across as phony, and campaigning is a skill candidates can and do acquire on the trail. His campaign theme will be the aggressively populist couplet “Defeat the Washington machine. Unleash the American Dream”:


I’m seeing a lot of love for him from the media.
1 posted on ‎4‎/‎7‎/‎2015‎ ‎10‎:‎49‎:‎00‎ ‎PM by 2ndDivisionVet
Not the dreaded Emm Ess Emm (which seems to include FOX these days) but the media? As in TV, websites, radio, and newspapers?
To: 2ndDivisionVet

If the media love him then he is no different than McShamey.

I stand with Ted

2 posted on 4‎/‎7‎/‎2015‎ ‎10‎:‎52‎:‎17‎ ‎PM by Nifster

To: 2ndDivisionVet

As much as I like Cruz, I prefer Rand. The other GOP candidates don’t understand that US is bankrupt and they all still want to maintain a large military force. US can not afford it. Military need to be cut 50%, across the board cuts everywhere is needed

3 posted on 4‎/‎7‎/‎2015‎ ‎10‎:‎53‎:‎27‎ ‎PM by 4rcane

I sense a clown slapfight coming on…
To: 4rcane

The priority should be to eliminate federal spending on poor people and education – not cutting the military.

5 posted on 4‎/‎7‎/‎2015‎ ‎10‎:‎55‎:‎48‎ ‎PM by impimp

There it is, in one easy-to-digest sentence – the Republican approach to everything.
More after the thingy.

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You’re the Color of My Blood: Game of Thrones Thread


I miss this filthy little chicken-rat. Thread on last season’s finale is here. 

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