Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – natural election edition

OK folks – you know the drill.  ISO suits on, airlock open – let’s open the first drum of…

EEYAHHHH!!!   The floor and walls are covered in Freeper slime! What in the hell could have caused that front drum to rupture and spray like that??


Clinton ad ties Trump to KKK, white supremacists

A video released Thursday by Hillary Clinton’s campaign makes the case that Donald Trump is the candidate of racists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

“The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes, we believe in,” a robed man identified as the Imperial Wizard of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the Ku Klux Klan says at the top of the video, followed by images of a Confederate flag fluttering in the wind, Trump waving after a speech, and a man performing a Hitler salute at what appears to be a Trump rally.

1 posted on ‎8‎/‎25‎/‎2016‎ ‎11‎:‎55‎:‎40‎ ‎AM by Scythian_Reborn
At Freeperville, they’re finally starting to realize that some extremely unsavoury people are stinking up their “movement”.
To: Scythian_Reborn


What’s the message? “The Klan supports Trump, all other Democrats should too!”

4 posted on 8‎/‎25‎/‎2016‎ ‎11‎:‎57‎:‎58‎ ‎AM by wheatmiller (No one thinks anymore….)

OK – make that “bowel movement”.
To: Scythian_Reborn


Maybe Trump will get Smersh to counter with the history he uncovered that the Kkk was a creation of the democrats

5 posted on 8‎/‎25‎/‎2016‎ ‎11‎:‎58‎:‎07‎ ‎AM by stanne

You know, I could just stop the thread right here.
b. Freepers are completely aware of history, are lying out their asses about the Democratic Party being the current abode of racists, and have cognitive dissonanced themselves into a fugue state of denial.
To: Scythian_Reborn


Those are not KKK people, they are actors in KKK robes

At least the left found white guys to play the KKK parts this time

So they got part right for once

The last time they did this the KKK actors at Trump rallies were black, oops

12 posted on 8‎/‎25‎/‎2016‎ ‎12‎:‎03‎:‎27‎ ‎PM by arl295

I’m going with “b”.
To: Scythian_Reborn


WOW – Trump really must be making an impact on the black vote.

19 posted on 8‎/‎25‎/‎2016‎ ‎12‎:‎06‎:‎34‎ ‎PM by Baldwin77 (They hated Reagan too ! TRUMP TOUGH – AMERICA STRONG)

Of course he is. Why, one poll has him all the way up to 6%.
To: nhwingut

Maybe Trump is making in roads(sic) with blacks and Hispanics. They can’t have that. They must keep them on the government plantation

43 posted on 8‎/‎25‎/‎2016‎ ‎12‎:‎15‎:‎56‎ ‎PM by Trumplican

“Government plantation”?
I’m so glad we cleared up the misconception that Trump supporters are racists.
I feel so much better now.
In the mean time (not a typo) , READ MORE!!

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Watching otherwise intelligent people make common cause with scumbag assholes just because they both hate Trump is going to be the thing that ends me this election cycle. Jude and I have been texting this GIF back and forth to each other for like a year now:


Example one:

This deliberately stupid motherfucker was mocking Katrina victims AS THE HURRICANE WAS HITTING THEM. His mom made her bones convincing women to rat out other women in order to get likes back when likes were just dollars, and then he got a job appealing to the people even he thought were gross. And now, NOW, he wants to know who will speak up for him?

Buddy, you made sure anybody who would have been on your side was already six feet under politically. We tried to tell you this would eventually turn around on you, but you looked at the spreadsheet and called hippies smelly, called liberals fascist, called John Kerry a traitor and when called on your snide shit thought only of your sacred reputation.

Supposedly intelligent people should not be moved by pleas for sympathy from the likes of this. Jonah up there is the equivalent of those fratbros who buy a tiger as a pet and then are absolutely astonished when it grows up and rips their faces off.

Example two: ANYTHING Little Green Footballs tweets or posts regarding the unhinged-ness of Republicans and how awful and racist and crazy the party is now. I see people who are not otherwise idiots approvingly retweeting this site and again, forever, INTERNET GRANDMA, but  back in my day LGF was not something you went near without garlic and a big bag of sharpened stakes.


The man who was almost president shares a stage in Davos, Switzerland, with a rogue’s gallery of enemies, including the former president of Iran and his Iraqi puppet.

Nearly beyond belief. But this is John F. Kerry, doing what he does—giving aid and comfort to the enemies of America during wartime.

When reporter Jill Carroll was captured, then freed, by terrorists, this was LGF’s measured response: 

Note that even after her release, Carroll maintained that she had been treated well by her captors—so it would appear that this journalist for the Christian Science Monitor made these anti-American comments voluntarily.

Jesus H. Cuttlefish Christ. The “leftist-Islamist axis?” I almost forgot how fucking stupid everyone talked back in those days.

You don’t get to walk back from that and get anything other than a shortened wait time in purgatory. Like good for you for figuring it out before approximately 65 percent of your other wingnut friends, but I don’t think you’re due a parade. You certainly don’t get a cookie from people who at the time were looking at you and saying, “the FUCK, dude” while you were smearing your own poop on the walls and yelling about ISLAMOFASCISM.

I’m not saying people can’t come to Jesus. Plenty of them do and that’s fine, apparently, with Jesus. But I’m not Him and I don’t have to forgive, and with the Internet being a permanent record of everything ever, I’m certainly not willing to let anybody else forget.


Sunday Morning Video: Deep Purple Live At California Jam

I won’t use any purple prose today. And I won’t try to out scream David Coverdale: my vocal chords couldn’t take it.


Saturday Odds & Sods: Feels Like Rain

Rain, Steam, and Speed by JMW Turner, 1844.

Rain, Steam, and Speed by JMW Turner, 1844.

Tis the season for New Orleanians to freak out over the tropics. Social media is *great* after a disaster but it’s a disaster as storms line up in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s what happens at the end of every August, y’all. It’s too early to freak out about storms that may or may not pay us a visit. Here’s what I said on the Tweeter Tube the other day:

It doesn’t matter if a storm is named if it has your name on it. Look at what happened in the Baton Rouge area: that was an unnamed storm and it wreaked havoc.  My advice to people who are new to the hurricane zone is to prepare but take a deep breath and relax. Freaking out never helped anybody even if Freak Out is the title of the first Mothers album:

End of obligatory Zappa reference.

It’s been a hyper-allergenic week here in New Orleans. I’m not sure if the wind has blown allergens our way from the Gret Stet flood, but I’ve felt like warmed over shit all week. Sinus headaches are no fun, y’all; neither is being dizzy because your sini are clogged. I prefer them to be as dry as the Sinai. I have a tell-tale allergy related red spot on my right cheekbone. It’s usually dime-sized, this week it’s like a Kennedy half-dollar. Instead of day drinking like a proper New Orleanian, I’ve been day benadryling. Enough whining, wheezing, and whinging, Let’s move on to our theme song.

It’s been raining a lot so this week’s theme song is one of John Hiatt’s finest, Feels Like Rain. It’s so well crafted and constructed that it’s been covered by a wide variety of singers. I also like it because of the Lake Pontchartrain reference.

We have three versions for your enjoyment. First, the songwriter’s original version from his classic Slow Turning album. Buddy Guy loves the song so much that he made it the title track of a 1993 album. Finally, Aaron Neville crooning Feels Like Rain with the Neville Brothers to a crowd that included Dr. A and little old me.

Aaron sure can sing, y’all. There’s more to come after the break. I’m not sure if it qualifies as a full English breakfast but it’s all I got.

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Tripping Triggers on College Campuses

As colleges across the country come back to life after a three-month slumber, the issue of who has the right to do what and when and where has once again trumped almost every other issue.

Perhaps the college gaining the most attention is the University of Chicago, which welcomed its freshmen this week with the typewritten version of Cher’s famous scene in Moonstruck. The letter explained that students should not expect “trigger warnings” in classes or “safe spaces” on the campus, in large part because the university embraces freedom of expression and isn’t into this whole coddling thing.

Seconds after that note became public, many faculty members and members of the general publicly applauded this effort to tell millennials to get their shit together and suck it up. Other faculty and many trauma advocates saw this as an offensive display of tone deafness by people in power.

It’s unclear to what degree this flat-out statement will lead to negative consequences or how it will impact the university throughout the year. However, the university’s attempt to inform its students came across in a John Wayne-like fashion. And much like a John Wayne movie, this statement had little nuance, sought to pound its point into the ground and people either loved it or they hated it.

In reading through the letter and through various other pieces written about this generation and the college environment, I find myself going back to my days researching media convergence: You would have 10 people researching “convergence” only to find that none of them were defining it the same way and everyone told the other people they were wrong in their approach.

Start with the idea of trigger warnings. Conceptually, they are meant to provide people who have suffered traumatic experiences with the ability to be aware of potentially triggering content so they can either avoid it or prepare themselves to deal with the circumstances. A good way to think about this is to think about what happens to some military personnel who come home from active war zones. For some of these folks, loud noises, like violent video games or fireworks, can short circuit their minds and drop them back into the war environment. Thus, they react in a way that is harmful or socially problematic without being able to stop themselves. One of my former students married a man who had PTSD and he could never be around during hunting season. The sounds of the guns would have him acting out violently toward her or anyone nearby. Thus, they kept him away from guns and away from the noises during the season.

In triggering situations, victims of trauma are unable to control their reactions and the triggers can cause them serious harm. A good friend once wrote about a traumatic experience involving her former partner’s death and how that trauma still impacts her to this day. Thus, when a professor in her grad program said something about how students would probably “rather slit your throat than do this assignment,” it literally triggered a horrifying response in her. She was violently ill, riddled with crippling anxiety and unable to function. I doubt the professor knew or thought about that before saying it, nor would he have likely said it if he knew the backstory on one of his students. The point, however, is that when we talk about “triggers” and “trauma” and “trigger warnings,” this is what they are materially about.

What the U of C letter is actually talking isn’t trigger warnings, but instead the idea of self-censorship out of fear of things people don’t like to hear or things that people find offensive. For quite some time, people have been noticing that colleges seem to be less and less about the free marketplace of ideas and more and more about “Oh, shit, we’re gonna get sued!” Comedians have noted they need to censor their work on campus. Speakers have been cancelled because of everything from religious objections to failing to “speak for the entire community” of some group. The specter of appearing insensitive has led to what some people have called the “wussification” of this generation. In an attempt to draw a line in the sand on this issue, that’s where the U of C went off the rails and lumped in everything anyone would ever call “icky” and stuck it under the umbrella of trigger warnings.

I agree with U of C on the idea of keeping things that are unpleasant or that have the ability to challenge a student’s worldview in play. Just because you don’t like something, it doesn’t follow that you can’t actually handle dealing with it. In talking about it, for the people who just don’t like certain things, discussions can breed understanding and potential growth. That’s not the same as triggers or trigger warnings.

Here’s an example of the distinction I’m trying to draw: I do not like talking about rape or thinking about it. That said, I have not been a victim of sexual assault of any stripe and despite my dislike of the topic, I can, in fact, have a discussion about it in hopes of improving how I see things and how I can be a better ally to victims.

There are people for whom the mention of a rape or any reference to sexual assault takes them all the way back to a traumatic experience and that literally breaks them. They can’t help it, there’s no way of stopping it and when it comes at them from left field, it renders them helpless and wounded. Their reactions are involuntary and are often unpredictable.

Furthermore, U of C isn’t banning trigger warnings or opening Pandora’s box of topics for their professors. Professors can choose to issue trigger warnings as they see fit and in most cases, professors who have classes with the potential to trigger students know when things are likely to cause pain. In my editing class, for example, I do an ethics assignment that has students weigh perspectives over a set of photos that showed a deadly car crash. The photos are real and at least one of them is extremely graphic. I post the assignment with a “read me first” note that explains what is going to be in the photos. I tell students if they have a reason they cannot view these or do this assignment to get ahold of me so that we can figure out a different assignment. I have had students contact me, telling me that they lost a family member in a car crash or that they have a friend who committed suicide in this way and that they don’t think they can handle the images. We worked around it and managed to create a decent substitute assignment.

Professors can do this if they see fit at the U of C. They just aren’t expected to or forced to. Kind of an important distinction.

That said, the lack of trigger-warning enforcement doesn’t mean professors can just be assholes. Just because I don’t have to issue a trigger warning about discussing sexual assault, it doesn’t follow that I could start with, “So, which of you ladies have gotten the old ‘I bet she meant yes’ treatment and how did that feel?” Levels of human dignity and decency still apply in the classroom and unless you are so socially inept that you make Rainman look like James Bond, you should be able to figure that out.

I get why the U of C thing is creating this dichotomy of rage: People often take shit way too far and thus the exemplars of those extremes are all we see. For every kid who has survived a traumatic experience and yet finds a way to persist in day-to-day life, amid all sorts of tripwires, there a dozen examples of people getting pissed off for things that make the mainstream folks want to scream.

The microaggressions outlined in this article include the famous “where are you from?” question, which some find offensive. The underlying assumption is that for certain groups, there’s an insinuation that the question presupposes them to be “not real Americans.” Truth be told, I ask every kid in everyone of my classes that question because in many cases, they’re from this state and I probably know someone from their hometown. I have yet to have a kid stand up and yell at me, “Oh, so I’m Asian, I must be from China or something? Why don’t you ask me where my fucking wok is you racist asshole!” The worst it ever gets is when I get kids from North and West high schools in my class and they still carry those rivalry grudges.

The “macroagression” exemplars are also things that make the mainstream scream. I had a colleague tell me once that a student noted, “I can’t call you doctor because you’re a woman.” OK, then… Guess that Ph.D. was a waste…

Professors who tell people that Hitler was an OK dude, people who talk about rape like it’s part of a regular night on the town or faculty who treat their students like sex toys deserve a swift kick in the ass.

However, it’s not being sexist if I don’t refer to that opening in the middle of the road as a “personal sewer ingress” instead of calling it a “manhole.

That’s not a trigger and that doesn’t need a warning and that’s something everyone involved in this discussion needs to learn pretty damned fast.

Otherwise, we will be harming the most vulnerable students and acquiescing to the most idiotic ones.

Friday Catblogging: Up Close & Personal with Della Street

It took many years but Della Street has decided to emulate Oscar and become a lap cat. Dr. A took this close up not long ago:


Hillary Clinton’s Alt-Right Speech

It’s no secret that I’m an ardent Democrat and staunch Hillary Clinton supporter. She’s a helluva tough woman who has endured 25 years of vicious attacks and has always, to paraphrase the old Kern-Fields song, picked herself up, dusted herself off, and started all over again. I have never been prouder of her than I am today. It took guts for Hillary to call out Donald Trump over his ties to white nationalists/supremacists.The speech was timely and well-delivered. It was also effective. Trump is  squealing like a stuck pig on his Twitter feed. And some people claimed Good Cop Kellyanne Conway took his phone away. They were wrong.

The more squeamish quarters of the punditocracy have been squirming ever since HRC’s speech. It’s impolite to say such things; just as one should never call one’s opponent a liar. Donald Trump doesn’t abide by the Marquess of Queensbury Rules and neither should his opponent. He *is*a liar. He *is* a racist. He *is* a misogynist. He *is* a con man. He *is* everything horrible that has been said about him. He *is* a menace.

Trump gave racialists/racists a seat at the table by hiring Breitbart Dude as his campaign CEO. David Dukkke has been one of his most ardent defenders. It may be impolite to tell Republicans that they’ve allowed the lunatic fringe to take over their party but it’s the truth. While it’s true that this has been coming on for years, the short-fingered vulgarian has accelerated the process. Reagan and Bush the elder denounced David Duke in the late 1980’s. Trump pretended not to know who he is in 2016. Reagan and Bush maintained a facade of plausible deniability when it came to the racists in their party as opposed to Trump’s implausible claim that Hillary Clinton is the bigot, not him. It’s just more projection by a sociopath. It’s what they do.

In addition to burying Trump, I want to praise Ms. Clinton for discarding euphemisms by calling a racialist a racist. After the break is  the transcript of her very important speech via TPM. I have omitted her introductory remarks since it’s the longest quote I’ve ever posted at First Draft. It’s also the most important.

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Vagenda Of Manocide

I don’t usually post things I see on Facebook but this was too good to pass up:

I think Vagenda of Manocide is an excellent name for a thrash metal band.

You’ll be glad to know that somebody on  Team Clinton has hijacked Well played, y’all.

I don’t care for thrash metal so I’ll post some Deep Purple instead. Why Highway Star?Gulf of Maine Gunsmithing is right off U.S. Route 302 in Raymond, Maine. I bet human bowling jacket Paul LePage shops for all his weaponry there.



The Full English Brexit Goes To Jackson

The Trump campaign visited the “swing state” of Mississippi yesterday. Say what? That’s right, as his path to electoral college victory narrows, the Insult Comedian visited the ruby red Magnolia State. It makes no sense whatsoever but neither does the Trump campaign. Apparently, Trump wanted to bathe in the adulation of a friendly audience, which is not how you win a general election. It’s another sign that he knows he’s losing. He should be defending Georgia and South Carolina both of which seem to be in play. I’m skeptical about the latter but the Peach state is possible.

Another oddity was the appearance of former UKIP leader Nigel Farage at Trump’s side. The Insult Comedian is obsessed with Brexit; even calling himself Mr. Brexit at one point. Why? It beats the hell out of me. Farage fed the crowd a barrage of bullshit including this howler: “I wouldn’t vote for Clinton if you  paid me.” That’s a given since Farage isn’t a citizen.

It’s been a bizarre week for Team Trump so serving up a full English brexit in a red state isn’t even the weirdest thing to go down. I wonder, however, if this is part and parcel of Trump’s doomed effort to woo African-Americans: a nice black pudding is usually served with the full English brexit. It’s a ludicrous explanation but Trump is a ludicrous candidate. It does, however, give me a chance to mock Farage and make a brexit pun so it’s win-win for me.


I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t close by posting a certain famous song about Jackson. It may be about Jackson, Tennessee but why should I worry about verisimilitude in a post about Trump and Farage?



Tweets Of The Day: Jeet Heer Say Edition

Jeet Heer is a talented New Republic writer and an amusing tweeter. He also has one of the greatest names ever. It’s so punworthy that even I should not abuse it, not that you’d know that from the punny post title. Take my word for it. It’s not heersay…

The topic du jour is the Insult Comedian’s immigration “policy.” If any of you knows what it is, please tell me. It seems to change hourly. What Trump really has is a series of attitudes on immigration: the latest one is Mr. Kinda Sorta Nice Guy. I still haven’t the foggiest idea of what his policy is but it has pissed off Ann Coultergeist and that’s not a bad thing at all.

Jeet Heer was following last night’s Trumpian chaos and had a bit of fun at Coultegeist’s expense:

I am officially glad that I gave up Godwin’s Law for the duration of this campaign. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to post that tweet or this video:

That’s right, it’s already happened, even if the dread Coultegeist isn’t in it. You can’t have everything, Jeet.

All Trump has done with his latest position is confuse people. Will it last? It seems to depend on who he spoke to last. His campaign gets more farcical by the day. It’s also turning into a cop show cliché: they have Bad Cop (Breitbart Dude) and Good Cop (Kellyanne Conway.) The MSM will hype this change as-you guessed it-a pivot that will change everything. It changes nothing: his supporters have drunk the orange Kool-Aid and most everyone else thinks he’s unstable and perhaps even batshit crazy.

Trump’s “positions” are so chaotic and changeable that they gave me an earworm. I’ll give Neil Finn and Crowded House the last word:

Lipstick On A Pig Time


Well, that was 45 minutes I’ll never get back…though, to be fair, Kellyanne Conway managed to remain what I assume would be called “poised” and/or “professional” throughout…which is about 44 minutes and 59 nine seconds longer than the person whose campaign she’s now managing could.

No, no minds were changed, and despite Ms. Conway’s best efforts to paint (or lipstick) The Donald as anything other than the crashing-and-burning Hindenburg of a candidate, this was really more the better part of an hour of kabuki (albeit kabuki where Maddow, as usual, um…ruled, for lack of a better word) … something to normally be ignored; however, one, turns out I might have been affected by the floods after all (possible roof leak, long story, will spare the details), and two, I was trying to deal with that while also packing for a short trip out of town … not exactly great timing.

So … even if this was only Trump in surrogate form, previous Republicans appearing on Maddow’s show aren’t exactly a Murderers Row: Rick Santorum, microcandidate (and former Loosiana governor) Buddy Roemer…Tim Pawlenty (I think). In other words, MSNBC (minus the Scarborough show) is where dying Republican candidacies go for a few last, gasping breaths of air(time).

OK, maybe Trump isn’t THAT desperate, though the fact that he’s spending time in Mississippi strongly suggests that he’s looking less to win and more to bask in the adulation of his base … the campaign equivalent of all-you-can-eat McDonald’s French Fries. I suppose if you like McDonald’s fries … but … eat too many and you’ll make yourself sick.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Flim-Flam Man

The movie I mentioned on Monday is based on a book by Guy Owens: The Ballad of a Flim-Flam Man. The book covers are all remarkably dull but this movie poster is as colorful as the subject matter.

Flim Flam poster

The Flim-Flam Man still pops up on TCM from time-to-time. I haven’t seen it in years but recall it as a pretty good movie that’s largely played for laughs.  It’s not as funny as the Insult Comedian’s attempts to formulate an immigration policy but it’s much less sinister.

Gret Stet Flood Notes

Baton Rouge debris photograph by Carolyn Scofield.

Baton Rouge debris. Photograph by Carolyn Scofield.

First, I’d like to thank everyone who has donated to Gret Stet flood relief causes, either via this First Draft link or elsewhere. Dr. A and I gave money to the Denham Springs Animal Shelter. They exceeded their target and received matching funds from the Petco Foundation. I checked out them rather carefully since it was a gofundme appeal. Two friends who are active in animal rescue causes vouched for them. I mention this because the scamsters are using online flim-flammery to rip people off. Please be careful who you give to, especially if it’s a gofundme thing. At some point, we’ll be posting more links but I want to be sure that they’re reputable first. Besides, recovery is a marathon, not a sprint.

President Obama visited the Red Stick area yesterday. He shrugged off the critics and gave a nuts and bolts speech about how FEMA is not the same organization that it was in 2005. The people who hate him continue to carp and complain but that’s not helping anyone. Anybody who confuses Craig Fugate with Heckuva Job Brownie is an ignoramus.

POTUS stressed the importance of Congressional action to supplement FEMA’s emergency assistance. Unfortunately, three members of the Louisiana House delegation voted against Sandy Relief: Steve Scalise, John Fleming, and Baton Rouge’s very own Bill Cassidy who is now an empty suit in the Senate. And Fleming is running for Bitter Vitter’s seat. The good news is that New Jersey and New York Democrats believe in guvmint and will vote for Gret Stet flood relief according to Rep. Bill Pascrell:

“They don’t get it until they get hit on the side of the head themselves by a two-by-four and everything’s supposed to stop. All of a sudden it’s, ‘This is different; this is oranges and apples,’ ” said U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat from Paterson, New Jersey.


Pascrell, who said he’s going to do “everything as a congressman I can to help the people of Louisiana,” said he wished that state’s delegation had taken a similar approach when it was his state that needed assistance.

“Not one dime is going to be delayed to the Baton Rouge area or to Louisiana. I can’t say the same thing about 2013. Money was delayed,” he said. “We had to fight from the beginning for the dollars. While that’s not going to color my response, I’m not going to forget it. I don’t forget. There’s always a day of reckoning. That’s Jersey style.”

Messsage received loud and clear. In 2013, conservative ideology trumped disaster relief. The errant Louisiana pols deserve to be reminded of their hypocrisy before we move on.

In other Gret Stet flood related news, it remains unclear if or what Donald Trump donated to flood relief. He seems to have lied about the 18-wheeler he claimed to have brought with him to the flood zone. He *may* have donated money to a right-wing church favored by “family values” creep, Tony Perkins. As is so often the case with the Insult Comedian, the truth is elusive. But we all know that the truth is not his middle name:

There’s been much talk of the exploits of the ‘Cajun Navy.’ I put the term in quotes because it’s an informal group of people with boats who help during disasters. As my friend and post-K blogger comrade in arms Troy Gilbert put it on the Tweeter Tube:

Troy ought to know: he’s one of this informal group, which is most impressive to this landlubber. There have been several scams involving the ‘Cajun Navy,’ so beware, take care.

There’s a legislator who wants to regulate the activities of these public-spirited citizens:

Republican State Senator Jonathan “J.P.” Perry of the Vermilion-Lafayette area said he is working on legislation that could require training, certificates and a permit to allow these Good Samaritans to get past law enforcement into devastated areas.

In a radio interview on News Talk 96.5 KPEL in Lafayette, Sen. Perry said it comes down to two main points for law enforcement officials.

“At the end of the day, there are going to be two things that are going to be the hurdle when you approach it from the state’s standpoint,” Sen. Perry said. “Liability is going to be number one for them. They don’t want the liability of going out to rescue them and then not being able to find them, and secondly, there’s a cost.”

Perry continues by saying the liability issue could be solved by something like a waiver that boaters sign prior to a natural disaster.

Clouarte and other members of the ‘Cajun Navy’ said they do not understand the regulations.

“How can you regulate people helping people? That doesn’t make sense to me,” Clouarte said.

I’m not quite sure what I think of this very lawyerly idea. Regulating the ‘Cajun Navy’ is like to trying to regulate the wind. It’s amorphous and spontaneous. I don’t think people should be discouraged from helping one another but a waiver of some sort *might* be a good idea. One person’s Good Samaritan is another person’s officious intermeddler. That’s one of my favorite Tort law terms: it’s legalese for buttinski.

Finally, I’m having horrible allergy problems so I’m unable to do much in the way of hands-on volunteer work; all I can do right now is donate money and write about the Gret Stet flood of 2016. But many of my friends have pitched in and helped people in the flood zone. I’d like to give a brief shout out to Brett, David, Jonathan, Julia, Troy, and Desier. I know I’m forgetting someone; inflamed sinuses impair my little gray cells.

Below is a picture of my friends Carolyn and Kyle who have been house gutting with the United Saints Recovery Project who *are* a reputable group.

Photograph by Kyle Melancon.

Masked house gutters. Photograph by Kyle Melancon.

New Orleanians are used to masking, after all. Since volunteering in the Gret Stet heat can be funky, I’ll give the last word to Sylvester Stewart and his combo:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: S.F. Sorrow

It’s concept album time again here at First Draft. The Pretty Things started off as a standard issue British blooze rock/R&B band. Then came Sgt. Pepper and, like so many others, they went all psychedelic and conceptual.

This 1968 rock opera tells the story of Sebastian F. Sorrow. It’s based on a short story by Pretty Things lead singer Phil May who also designed the cover for the British release. If you want to hear more about the story, check out the Wikipedia entry.

In the immortal words of Tom Jones, it was not unusual in those days for albums to have different covers in the UK and US. In this case, I prefer the UK cover. It fits the era and subject matter better but, hey, the LP was released in America even if very few people heard it.

Here’s a description of the Pretty Things and these sorrowful  covers by Richie Unterberger’s whose fine essay on US vs. UK album art I stumbled into whilst researching this post:

Digging so deep into the British Invasion that you come across bands who never had a hit here, there’s the Pretty Things’ S.F. Sorrow. The best ‘60s UK group never to make it into the States, the Pretty Things started out as a rawer version of the Rolling Stones; lead guitarist Dick Taylor had been in the Stones until late 1962. By the late ‘60s, they’d evolved into psychedelic rock, and S.F. Sorrow was one of rock’s first concept albums.

It’s a clear victory, in a change of pace, for the UK version. Which was certainly more in line with the band’s vision, as the cover was designed by Pretty Things singer Phil May. The US cover (on Motown’s Rare Earth subsidiary) had its curiosity value, though, for its tombstone shape if nothing else. The cover change wasn’t the biggest way Rare Earth fumbled the ball; though the album had come out at the end of 1968 in the UK, it wasn’t released until August 1969 in the US, which meant that some American listeners and critics accused it of being a rip-off of the Who’s Tommy (which it predated by months in the UK).

I agree with his artistic conclusion. Let’s start with the UK cover:

SF Sorrow-front

The tombstone shape of the US cover is a pretty swell thing in and of itself:


I have a confession. I don’t recall ever hearing  S.F. Sorrow until yesterday. I selected it because I liked the cover and Phil May was a talking head in Blues Britannia.  It’s a terrific record. You might want to give it a virtual spin:


Quote Of The Day: Fox “Sexy Time” Edition

The fact that these are not happy times at Fox News makes me happy. Roger Ailes’ legacy is one of horndoggery and endless sexual harassment litigation. There’s another lawsuit against Ailes and the frat boy culture at Fox. This time, the plaintiff is my countrywoman, Andrea Tantaros. She quite rightly refused to put out for Ailes and Bill-O and it damaged her career. Repeat after me: Ewwww, gross.

I’m not sure who her lawyer is, but he or she sure can write. The quote in question comes from the brief filed on behalf of Ms. Tantaros.

Fox News masquerades as a defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny.

That makes Ailes the Hefner/Manson figure. In fact, Manson “dug Nixon” and Ailes worked for Tricky in 1968. I realize that was a low blow, but it’s still not as low as the shit propagated by the Ailes regime at Fox. It is, however, interesting to learn that one reason Ailes stayed at Fox so long was to get laid. Repeat after me: Ewwww, gross.

I’m sure you’ve heard that Ailes is advising the Insult Comedian on debate prep. This should go a long way towards improving Trump’s reputation with woman. #sarcasm. The punditocracy thinks this could give Trump the pivoty boost he needs to make an astonishing comeback and lose by a narrower margin than expected. They are silly billys.

I was hanging out on Twitter the other day when some boob from the Washington Examiner was bloviating on Dim Chuck Todd’s show:

Todd, of course, didn’t challenge the assertion that Ailes was responsible for Tricky’s sudden “palatability.” He didn’t become unpalatable to a majority of the country until 1974. Ailes is not a political magician who can transform the worst major party nominee of my lifetime into a winner. To paraphrase John Lennon, Trump is a loser who’s not what he appears to be.

It will be interesting to see what happens with all the litigation filed against Fox and Ailes. Rupert Murdoch seems to be hunkering down for an extended fight by hiring Ailes loyalists to run Fox. The next thing you know they’ll retain Borat to conduct sensitivity seminars:

I wouldn’t put it past Rupe to think that Borat is the cure for what Ailes Fox.

How The World Was Going to Work

A lot of the grave-dancing on Gawker has been rubbing me the wrong way and Nick Denton’s farewell post gets close to why: 

It’s difficult to recall now, but at Gawker’s founding there was a sense that the internet was a free space, where anything can be said. An island off the mainland, where people could be themselves. Where writers could say things that would get you fired in an instant from a print publication. Where you could say what you thought without fear of being fired, or sued out of existence. But when you try to make a business out of that freedom, the system will fight you.

As our experience has shown, that freedom was illusory. The system is still there. It pushed back. The power structure remains. There are just some new people at the apex, prime among them the techlords flush with monopoly profits. They are as sensitive to criticism as any other ruling class, but with the confidence that they can transform and disrupt anything, from government to the press.

In the bad old days of early political blogging (I AM INTERNET GRANDMA, GATHER AROUND THE 28-BIT ROCKING CHAIR CHILDREN), especially on the liberal end under Bush, the idea was that at a certain point you have to call bullshit on bullshit. It’s hard to remember but before the takedowns of every take, there was just this seething mass of stuff nobody talked about. That the war was a lie, most people were okay with legal abortion, terrorism was less of a threat than poverty and preventable illness, that some problems were not in fact too big to solve … these were only radical ideas because they weren’t being given voice.

Nobody was calling bullshit. And the minute somebody did, they were rushed off the stage. Bill Maher, that sexist, bigoted douchebag, said it was cowardly to lob missiles from a distance and brave to put your body on the line, and he was put in cold storage for years. A singer said she wasn’t thrilled to have this president be from her home state and people called for her to be executed. Our vaunted political press was calling for torture because it would feel good, calling for bombing women and children because somebody needed to suck on this, and anyone who objected was a dirty fucking hippie.

Coming out of THAT, having THAT be your formative publishing years, it’s hard not to defend somebody’s right to publish a video of Hulk Hogan’s dick, if the alternative is letting someone in power tell you what you can and can’t say and then go after you for all of eternity, drum you out of business, bankrupt you personally. That’s not even a difficult choice.

What’s repulsive about the death of Gawker is everybody acting like they deserved it because they published Hulk Hogan’s dick video and were otherwise MEEN and gross, as opposed to a thousand other people at a thousand other parties who just said things like an entire war is good because it makes me feel good.

Those people are on TV every day in thousand dollar suits. Nobody’s hounding them out of their homes. And that’s much more disgusting than anything Gawker said about anybody fucking a pig.


Every Flim-Flam Man Needs A Sucker

Have y’all heard that the Trump campaign has rebooted and is reaching out to African-Americans? The MSM is so desperate to have a horse race to cover that they’re buying this horseshit. As I’ve said before, there is no New Trump, he just has a new set of advisers. One of whom, Kellyanne Conway, is a member of the club so the media is cutting her some slack. She’s supposedly the “nice” face of Team Trump even though she’s best known for working for Tailgunner Ted. The things the MSM will believe to whip some life into a race that’s largely decided; the only question that remains is the margin.

As to the “minority outreach” efforts they’re a sham as pointed out by Josh Marshall:

There’s a long history of Republican candidates making nominal ‘outreach’ to African-American voters not for the purpose of attracting African-American voters but to signal to moderate and/or educated white voters that they’re not racist. This isn’t always as cynical as it sounds. African-Americans are a strong Democratic constituency. On a generous read this can sometimes be non-racist candidates who know they have little shot at making inroads with African-American voters nonetheless wanting to signal to white supporters the non-racist nature of their candidacy. For present purposes, let’s simply stipulate that this is a well worn part of the Republican playbook with various shades of cynicism behind it. It’s a standard script, not difficult to execute.

Over the last week, this has been the new message from Trumpland, the fauxist sort of outreach to African-American voters. As with everything Trump, it’s of the most cartoonish variety, a tour of major urban centers where Trump picks an outlying all-white exurb and ‘appeals’ for African-American votes by railing at the post-apocalyptic urban hellholes in which he imagines they live their lives. For Trump, black life in America is living in a bombed out urban housing project circa 1977.

That’s why I call him the Insult Comedian, he pats you on the back with one hand and slaps you with the other. The MSM should recognize this sham for what it is: an attempt to convince college educated Republicans that he’s not a racist. It’s not genuine outreach. It’s a flim-flam much like the 49 seconds he spent handing out Play-Doh in the Gret Stet flood zone.

Sociopaths project their neuroses onto others. The Insult Comedian is a past master at projection. In addition to being insulting,  the line “what have you got to lose” applies to the whole misbegotten Trump campaign. The entire campaign boils down to throwing shit against the wall and hoping some of it sticks; much like the Breitbart Dude’s white nationalist web site.

It amazes me that the MSM continues to believe in the white whale of “the pivot” even after Trump himself said he’s not going to do that. Sure, he lies all the time but he may be telling the truth in that instance: anything can happen. The MSM are the ultimate mark for Trump’s con game: they’re so eager for a close race that they fall for it every time. They’re not just suckers but all-day, everyday suckers.

The key to understanding Trump is that he’s a real estate developer and they always have a bridge or oasis in the desert to sell you. Team Trump’s latest shell game has gotten the MSM to take their eye of the ball, which is the Breitbart Dude, not the supposedly likable Ms. Conway. To say that they’re gullible is an understatement. I have an oasis in the Sahara desert full of pink unicorns for sale if the MSM is interested. Sure, the oasis is a mirage and the unicorns are camels spray-painted pink with a plastic horn on their heads but if you get in on the ground floor, you can get a helluva deal. I think it might just work with some of the dimmer people at CNN or Politico.

About the post title. The consensus among people with a pulse (and Marco Rubio) is that Trump is a con man. As you know, I’m fond of arcane language and engage in sporadic attempts to revive certain words and phrases. That’s why I’m calling the Donald a Flim-Flam Man. The term flim-flam is defined by Merriam-Webster as:  deceptive nonsense or deception, fraud. There was even a 1967 movie called The Flim-Flam Man starring George C. Scott who was almost as big of an asshole in real life as Trump. That’s right, Scott was typecast in The Hustler and Patton.

Repeat after me: Every Flim-Flam Man needs a sucker.

Speaking of the Sahara, since the 1980’s seem to be in vogue right now, I’ll give the Police the last word:


Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Electoral goats edition

Well, screw it.

I thought it would be funny to see the Freeperati’s take on the naked statue of The Darnold, and the snarky report from the NYC Parks Department on – um – erection policies.

As of last Friday morning, what did I find?



Not a single chirp. I wonder if Jim Rob issued an edict to the mods – “If you let one single post about that filthy statue through, I’m canning you!” ?

Oh well.

(UPDATED!!!  Please scroll to the bottom for the official thread on The Darnold’s Dummy!)

In the meantime we always have  – those stupid Jews!

Byron York: Asking for black votes, a very different Donald Trump

How many times have Donald Trump’s supporters and critics debated whether he will pivot to a larger, more presidential candidacy? Too many to count. So put aside any talk of pivoting — the fact is, Trump delivered a focused, powerful, and disciplined speech Tuesday night in West Bend, Wisconsin, about 45 minutes north of Milwaukee. Trump focused largely on problems that disproportionately afflict black Americans, arguing that his proposals on crime, immigration, trade, jobs, education, and other issues will improve African-American lives more than Hillary Clinton’s.

Trump began by declaring, “We’re at a decisive moment in this election,” which few would deny, given Trump’s perilous position in the polls. Last week he laid out a jobs plan, Trump said, and on Monday he outlined a plan to defeat radical Islamic terrorism. Now, he came to discuss “how to make our communities safe again.”

Calling the recent riots in Milwaukee “an assault on the right of all citizens to live in security and live in peace,” Trump won applause with the declaration that “Law and order must be restored.”

“The main victims of these riots are law-abiding African-American citizens living in these neighborhoods,” Trump continued. “It’s their jobs, it’s their homes, it’s their schools and communities which will suffer the most as a result. There’s no compassion in tolerating lawless conduct for anyone.”Trump charged that Clinton and the Obama administration have pushed a “totally false” narrative of widespread police abuse across the United States. “The problem in our poorest communities is not that there are too many police,” Trump argued. “The problem is that there are not enough police.”

“Those peddling the narrative of cops as a racist force in our society — a narrative supported with a nod by my opponent — share directly in the responsibility…

1 posted on 8‎/‎17‎/‎2016‎ ‎6‎:‎26‎:‎01‎ ‎AM by RoosterRedux

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Journalism Isn’t Paying For Itself

DIGITAL FIRST PARADIGM SHIFTING notwithstanding, this is pretty typical: 

Conservatively, counting just the biggest chunks of staff time that went into it, the prison story cost roughly $350,000. The banner ads that appeared on the article brought in $5,000, give or take. Had we been really in your face with ads, we could have doubled or tripled that figure—but it would have been a pain for you, and still only a drop in the bucket for us.

I saw a lot of people quoting this passage in the past few days with “see, you lazy kids with your iPhones getting your news for free, see what it costs?” undertones, which a) not the real problem and b) not actually, you know, a contribution to the conversation.

Subscriptions never paid for journalism. “Readers” never paid for journalism. And advertisers didn’t pay for journalism, they paid for eyeballs and favorable almost-advertorial stories on real estate, automobiles and travel to places most newspaper readers would never see. Those sections, along with ads in sports, paid for journalism.

Or at least they did until this shit started: 

After a weak economy and higher newsgathering costs took their toll on newspaper profits last year, corporate executives could expect to see reductions in their compensation packages. But all in all, 2001 was quite lucrative for newspaper managers and other insiders.

During the first half of the year, many of them fattened their bank accounts by exercising options and selling stock even as layoffs and budget cutbacks were sweeping through the industry. Total insider selling from January through June was $146.5 million, more than twice the level of activity in the previous six months, according to a study for AJR by Thomson Financial/Lancer Analytics.

Needless acquisitions that loaded up newspaper companies with impossible debts, “diversifying” holdings with stupid shit like sports teams and TV stations, also contributed to the sucking of money out of the newsroom, while those same execs bitched in the trades that nobody younger than 40 read serious things anymore. I will listen to them telling me to pay for my news when they start doing it.

All digital advertising did was shoot the wounded. People getting news for free should have been a gift, because: people were getting news! People getting news for free should have been a magnificent boon to journalism, had media companies leveraged their vast new audiences correctly and tried to actually SELL ads rather than just put their news sites up and wait for the magical money faucet to turn on.

They spent a decade simultaneously chasing pipe dreams (A roll-up piece of digital paper! Apple’s working on one right now I hear!) and trashing their current and potential customers as trivial, celebrity-obsessed consumers of mental junk food. Almost nobody figured out that if you sell the junk food, you can pay for the journalism. Those who did figure that out were able to hire campaign reporters as well as fund watermelon-smashing videos.

So what we’re left with, after all that flailing, is the idea that journalism is some kind of vending machine, and you can only do serious investigations by using money directly paid to those investigations. Which is dishonest, ridiculous horseshit, ignorant of ancient and recent history. I’m not mad at Mother Jones here; they did their work and they’re bringing up valid issues. I’m mad at the journos who see those issues and yell SEE, SEE, YOU KIDS NEED TO PAY FOR YOUR FREE STUFF.

Not for nothing, but almost every major investigation a non-journo can name — Watergate, Spotlight, locally the Chicago Police torture cases — that predated the social Internet faced ENORMOUS pressure from inside the newsroom in terms of how much time it was taking and how much it thus cost. We have always struggled with these things.

It’s just that once upon a time we didn’t use the fact that it was hard as an excuse not to do anything, and crab at our customers to stick a dollar in the slot if they want a real story while we expense our party’s summer drinks.



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