Yeah, this one’s a bit early but I only get the keys on Wednesdays.
The tiny little place where I live really goes all out on Fourth of July (and also on Halloween, but that’s a different post). Everything shuts down and everyone goes down to the town square or as close as they can get to it. That is, everyone who isn’t in the parade. It’s a toss up whether there’s more people marching or watching from the sidelines but the important thing is, everyone goes: the old people, the high school Shakespeare troupe, hippies young and old, ranchers and artists, yuppies and tourists, everyone shows up.
The video below is from a few years ago when I marched with my naturalist group — I was in the kazoo corps. We were behind a float carrying Mother Nature and a bunch of other folks sitting on bales of hay. Immediately after the parade, a huge rainstorm hit, so everyone in town was caught in it at the same time, which was almost as much fun as the parade. It was a good time and I get a catch in my throat watching this because there’s something so uncomplicated about it, even though it’s not without irony, or even absurdity.
It’s not everyone’s storybook ideal, but it’s damn close to what I used to think Fourth of Julyshould be. Even though it’s completely impossible to forget a great many things that have torn that ideal all to hell for me, I can’t help reflexively pledging allegiance to the whole crazy, raggedy, imperfect mess.
More kazoo awesomenesshere.
Wingnut Gooper Senators really, really don’t like one of the greatest lawyers in American history, Justice Thurgood Marshall. Why?They don’t really know why but they know what they don’t like and that’s activism except when they like it as inBush v. Gore orCitizens United. They also know they don’t like Elena Kagan because she clerked for Justice Marshall and, almost as bad, Judge Abner Mivka, a known Chicago Democrat. And they know they don’t like them because they’re Thurbad or some such unknowable shit. Know what I’m saying?
It all reminds me of a Peter Gabriel era Genesis tune, which is either prog or glam. Oh well, it’s only rock and roll but I like it more than I do thatpinhead Jeff Sessions:
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NOLA’s fine alternative weekly, the Gambithas been on a roll of late. (Hmm, what kind of roll: lobster? egg? spring? Definitely not the latter.) Their latest cover featuresJames Carville looking like an insect toon complete with steam coming out of his ears:
Photo by Cheryl Gerber. Cover design by Dora Sison.
Well done, y’all. It’s actually rather lifelike. I had steam coming out of my ears yesterday as well and felt like a character out of a Roger Corman flick…
Tuesday kicked my ass: it was rainy, nasty and I had computer issues at the bidness. The remedy? A *really* sad song featuring the plaintive vocal stylings of the late, great Rick Danko:
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If you’ve got extra cash, Libby andDriftglass could use support.Susie’s fundraiser’s going on. I know there are others, those are just the ones off the top of my head, so post yours or others in the comments and we’ll make this the official OMFG FUCKING ECONOMY thread.
“[Blackwater] provided a bid that was underbid everyone
else by about $26 million. And a panel that we had said that they can
do the job, that they have shaped up their act.So there really was not much choice but to accept that contract.“
(More in a bit on whether Blackwater, now known as Xe, has really shaped up its act.)
The CIA contract follows the news this month that the State Departmentawarded
the company an 18-month, $120 million contract to protect consulates in
Afghanistan. And even that’s not all. In December, a Blackwater
a contracting commission appointed by Congress that the company has
training and security contracts as well as a “drug interdiction unit”
working for the Defense Department in Afghanistan.
And in a must-read story published Sunday, McClatchyreported
that the Obama Administration has opted not to pursue criminal charges
against Blackwater for possible violations of sanctions in the
company’s long campaign to sell services to the government of Southern
Right. Not much choice. Couldn’t do anything else, like, say, NOT GIVE THEM THE FUCKING CONTRACT. Totally inevitable.
So amazing how that works.
These are strange times in South Louisiana. Both the national and local press are treating some of our local hack conservative pols as though they’re heroic because of the oil spill. I suppose one could call it ennoblement through victimhood. One of my least favorite local leaders is St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro whoFirst Draft readers first met when he was making like Jesus and watching the feet of guvmint employees. Taffaro was also one of the originalmalakas featured at my own humble blog abode. During a photo-op yesterday, he denounced federal officials for only showing up for photo-ops. He should have looked to his left and noticed Governor PBJ whose approach to the crisis has been to pose, posture and preen for the camera crews he invites to follow him around. They call it leadership, I call it malakatude.
Anyway, here’s Craig Taffaro who’s probably upset that Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser is getting all the pub so he did a bit of emoting for the cameras:
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p>I know this sounds harsh given the circumstances but I knew these bozos before the oiltastrophe and they were partisan Gooper hacks then and that has not changed. Guys like Taffaro and PBJ are contorting and twisting logic in ways that even a master pretzel maker would find difficult. (Perhaps yoga would be a better analogy:Taffaro could easily be described as a downward facing dog.) They want the spill stopped and investigated but drilling to continue and the deeper the better. They want the Feds to “lead or get out of the way” but they want federal money and logistical support. Additionally, their own spill preparations were woefully inadequate. The Jindal administration no more had a plan to deal with this disaster than BP or the Feds but PBJ knows how to pander. And he knows fromPretzel Logic:
ps. Christian sex toys? Not really. They’re just the usual dildos and whatnot with the packaging removed (eww) so the people buying the “pleasure sleeves” won’t have to see pictures of naked bodies because THAT would be too much sin.
relationship game is a fun way to keep communication going between
couples and allow them to try new and exciting intimate actions. After
the first few years of romance, couples tend to find that naughty
lingerie and nights exploring each other’s erogenous zones can
be forgotten and replaced by arguments over whose turn it is to buy the
frozen peas. A Hot Affair brings back the art of seduction, laughter
and lust through a game so neither of you needs to be the instigator.
It really does lead to the feeling that you are having an affair… but
with your spouse!
Should be called A Future Divorce.
The only ones left who refuse to believe Burge led a torture ring,
it seems, are dead-enders who are constitutionally unable to fathom –
or simply don’t care – that such a thing occurred.
Still, the media apathy is stunning.
A new bizarre excuse comes from Eric Zorn:
“Even though I normally follow criminal justice issues, I’ve barely touched on this trial,” Zornwrote
on Sunday. “The reason? I don’t want to risk vesting importance in a
not-guilty verdict which, at this writing, with the jury still
deliberating, I consider possible. Jurors can be awfully sympathetic to
lawmen, and Burge’s defense played heavily on their emotions.
“I’ve read enough about these massively corroborated allegations
over the years that the opinion reached by a dozen newcomers to a
partial presentation won’t change my mind and shouldn’t change yours.”
And therefore I’m not even going to discuss the evidence presented
at this trial or the ramifications for any current officeholders
including our mayor! I just don’t care anymore!
“Nor, I believe, will the verdict have any repercussions either way.
The stories of torture have already resulted in all the reforms they’re
going to result in – videotaping of confessions and interrogations,
cameras on cops, greatly heightened skepticism of the wisdom of the
death penalty and so on.”
Yes. All of the policy prescriptions have been taken care of!
(“Meanwhile, Representative Danny K. Davis, Democrat of Illinois, is
pushing for federal legislation that would make police torture a
federal crime without a statute of limitations,” the Chicago News
Cooperative reported on Friday.)
“Nothing this jury decides will change the necessity and wisdom of
those reforms or that, in many ways, over time, justice here has
already been done.”
Yes, justice has already been done. Why even hold this trial? Who
cares if Burge is imprisoned or if any of his co-conspirators are
waylaid by their own perjury charges? Who cares if the victims and
their families are left with open wounds? Zorn has seen enough. Time to
move on tomen not asking for directions andthe genius of Bob Sirott!
“And why has there been no uprising of outraged citizens,” Carol Marinwrites in her SundaySun-Times column.
Just what is it citizens are supposed to do to show their outrage?
At least journalists have a platform from which to vent, analyze, and
even attempt to hold shame public officials into accountability. Why
has there been no uprising of outraged pundits?
“In truth, that code [of silence] is alive and well in every corner of this city and state.”
Including our newsrooms.
In retrospect, my failure to invest much in the opinion of this jury looks like a bad bet, I admit.
Having a sense of humor can be dangerous. The winger echo chamber is jumping all overJoe Biden’s so-called latest “gaffe.” It’s not a gaffe in my view, just banter that the literal minded are hyperventilating over. It’s not a big fucking deal:
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A whole chapter follows parsing the advantages of selling out; it is as
torturous in its self-examination as a seminarian’s confession.
Bourdain isn’t famous because he knows so much about restaurant cooking
(though he does) or because he’s always cool (he isn’t) or even because
he hosts a popular show about liquor and piglets. Bourdain is famous
because he is vivid and real and mercilessly honest at every second —
in a sphere whose atmosphere consists of bombast, shilling, sanctimony
and the unholy alliance between marketing communications and social
You talk in the book about how you’re going to sell out, but for
some reason you still haven’t. Why not? What are you waiting for?
What did Molière say about writing being like prostitution? “First you
do it for fun. Then you do it for a few friends. Finally you do it for
money.” I’ve done “product integrations” for the show. In this brave
new world of TiVo and DVR, no one watches television as scheduled. They
fast-forward through the commercials, they delete them, they download
[shows] commercial-free. Advertisers-sponsors aren’t stupid. They know
that increasingly, the only way to get their product seen is in the
body of the show. Once I agreed to do that, for the cause, for the
budget, for whatever, I pretty much lost my cherry. As I said in the
book, it’s vanity that precludes me from doing actual ads. So far. Not
integrity. That surely will change. I think it was the Keith Richards
ad for Vuitton. I thought, Jesus! If he’s not too cool to do it, what’s
One of the things I really like aboutNo Reservations (along with the delicious host himself, on whom I have a crush worthy of a high school sophomore) is that it doesn’t shy away from dealing with the essential poverty of many places the production visits. And when in a country, city or neighborhood that is significantly poor, when dealing with people who have been oppressed (the Laos and Cambodia episodes, I’m thinking of especially), the show doesn’t treat it or them any differently than it does the wealthy and well-connected. Everybody is viewed with the same skepticism, humor, and warmth.
Also WHAT’S A SQUEEZLE?
p>Good Monday morning, everyone! Well, the Freeperati are forever calling for a Second Amendment solution to the issue of the disenfranchised old white male. Take the country back(tm), treason, revolution, secession, yada, yada, yada and also, yada.
But just let one old white guyacton their collective fantasy?
“We don’t know nothin about birthin’(heh) no armed revolution! Those guys who take all that stuff literally are teh crazy!”
So – let’s get suited up and kick a few drums of Free Republic talk-the-talk over and see what spills out, shall we?
First up –You guys are acting like this was a BAD thing!
facing gun charges Georgia militiaman said he wanted to seize Sweetwater
Posted onFriday, June 11, 2010 6:03:16
AM byThe Magical Mischief Tour
Armed to the gills, this Georgia militiaman declared himself ready to
die for the cause – vowing to seize control of the tiny town of
Sweetwater and round up the traitors blocking the indictment of
President Barack Obama for his treasonous turn as commander-in-chief.
was a plan Darren Wesley Huff revealed over and over again to a slew of
people, from a bank manager in his hometown to the FBI to Tennessee
Highway Patrol troopers to a talk-radio audience.
Thanks in large
part to his public confessions, Huff faces his own indictment on
federal charges of ferrying guns and ammunition across state lines with
the purpose of inciting riotous violence.
OK, Freepers! This is what you’ve been wanting to see, and assembling your bug-out kits full of gold, ammo, MREs, and hermetically-sealed PVC tubes of seeds that won’t grow, in preparation for! It’s revolution, baby! Time to go all WOLVERINES on this corrupt Administration!Come ON!!Who’s with me??????
p>To: The Magical Mischief Tour
Well, considering that this Freeper-wannabe is currently residingunder the jail, we already had that figured out, “vigilantcitizen”.
By the way, does the handle “vigilantcitizen” mean that you justwatch while othersdo, or that you spend the majority of your waking hours peeping out from behind the living room curtains?
To: The Magical Mischief Tour
No, there’stwolaws that say that..
Title 18, U.S.C. Section 2101(a) – Riots
Title 18, U.S.C. Section 231
(a) Transporting in Commerce a Firearm in furtherance of a Civil
Asked,. and – oh, shut up, Kibitzer.
To: The Magical Mischief Tour
Actually, except for the part about actually doing something you guys just talk about, he sounds pretty much like everyone on Free Republic.
Did you notice that the story managed to get “birther”, “right
wing”, and “militia” all in one sentence?
That’s nothing – you wackos managed to get them all on one website.
Certainly, one Freeper will stand up for this Patriot (patent applied for), who certainly must have been framed by the Eeevil Obummer Administration?
Mr. Huff is being framed. He was in Madisonville Tn. to show
support for cmdr. Fitzpatrick who has for some time been in a dispute
with the local court and grand jury
concerning his charges against obama for treason.THE MAN IS A PREACHER
To: manonCANALTHE MAN IS A PREACHER
So is Fred Phelps.
And of course, there’s always denial…
p>Well, certainly since Athenae single-handedly destroyed Journalism…
Not a bit surprised. There will be many more stories like this
Not any aboutme, of course..
because there are those who would stand up against tyranny using
more than just a keyboard.
He says, from behind a keyboard.
I think you just called yourself a coward.
To: Repeal The 17thDarren Wesley Huff (to see picture, look up ‘idiot’ in the
The only thing that I read in this article that would make me
think he is an idiot is that he went around flapping his gums about his
plans. If you’re going to do something, just do it. Don’t talk about
doing it to every Tom, Dick and Harry.
The only thing that I read in your post that would make me think you’re an idiot is…well…everything.
Everyone on FR likes to talk tough about what they are going to
do but when someone actually tries to do something they call him a nut. A
lot of keyboard commandos around here.
To: beckysuebWhats your problem?
Do you approve of what this crazy chappy did?
div class=”a2″>To: Lobsterback
I don’t approve of violence but it is going to take more than
sign carrying and flag waving to take back this country. I was only
pointing out that many of the posts here on FR are all about doing
something, civil disobedience, blah blah blah.Lots of bravado from
behind the keyboard. You haven’t been around here long enough to
Yeah – the insanity has to simmer in the heat of hatred until it reaches a thick reduction of stupid.
One more little tidbit.Don’t believe everything you read in the
papers. It is usually tilted very far to the left. They can make this
“chappy” sound much worse than he actually is. Look how they define the
Tea Party movement. A bunch of racist radicals who shouted racial slurs
at some guy. Only problem is it didn’t happen.
Yeah – how could you makethis look bad, anyway?
It all started last year when Fitzpatrick, a retired military man
whose beef with the government goes back two decades when he faced a
court-martial, tried to get a Monroe County grand jury to indict Obama
for treason. The grounds? Obama, Fitzpatrick contended, was not really
born in the U.S.
When the grand jury refused to consider the case, Fitzpatrick began
issuing a series of “complaints,” naming some two dozen federal, state
and local officials, all of whom he accused of misconduct for failing to
arrest, charge or remove the president from office.
He and fellow “birthers” showed up in early April at the Monroe
County Courthouse to begin effecting his own “citizen’s arrests” when,
according to the FBI complaint, he wound up arrested instead on charges
that include inciting a riot.
The FBI alleges Huff, a Dalton, Ga., man who claims membership in a
militia, decided to join Fitzpatrick’s cause and told anyone who would
listen – including FBI agents – that he and fellow militiamen intended
to show up at Fitzpatrick’s April 20 preliminary hearing to seize the
town if necessary to free Fitzpatrick and help him carry out his
Huff traveled from Georgia to Sweetwater with a gun on his hip, two
more handguns and an AK-47 assault rifle in his truck, the complaint
states. When a state trooper stopped it on traffic violations, Huff, who
had a concealed carry permit, again detailed the plan, Van Balen wrote.
“Huff said he was ready to die for his rights,” the agent wrote.
“Huff (said) that if necessary, they would come back and have a lot more
armed people to take over the courthouse and effect all the arrests.”
When Huff and an estimated 20 others actually showed up at the
courthouse, they were vastly outnumbered by law enforcers from federal,
state and local agencies, the complaint stated. The courthouse had been
effectively shut down, with workers told to stay home, and Fitzpatrick’s
hearing cancelled. Still, the agent wrote, Huff and others prowled the
streets with guns visible.
The FBI, which had been tracking Huff throughout his travels, waited
until Huff described his actions on a talk radio show and then arrested
him on charges of carrying firearms across the state lines with the
intent to incite a riot.Huff is free under terms of house arrest.
You see, he’s under…WHAAAA????
Fer chrissakes. This cane toad isn’t in jail??
Colour me surprised.
And – best comment in the thread!
To: The Magical Mischief TourDid he at least manage to seize control of a beer hall?
Unlike other prominent Senate Democrats such as 2004 presidential
nominee John Kerry of Massachusetts, who voted to authorize the war in
Iraq, Byrd stood firm in opposition — and felt gratified when public
opinion swung behind him.
“The people are becoming more and more aware that we were
hoodwinked, that the leaders of this country misrepresented or
exaggerated the necessity for invading Iraq,” Byrd said.
He cited Iraq when he endorsed then-Sen. Barack Obama for the
Democratic presidential nomination in May 2008, calling Obama “a
shining young statesman, who possesses the personal temperament and
courage necessary to extricate our country from this costly
Byrd’s accomplishments followed a childhood of poverty in West
Virginia, and his success on the national stage came despite a
complicated history on racial matters. As a young man, we was a member
of the Ku Klux Klan for a brief period, and he joined Southern
Democrats in an unsuccessful filibuster against the landmark 1964 Civil
He later apologized for both actions, saying intolerance has no
place in America. While supporting later civil rights bills, he opposed
busing to integrate schools.
Last weekend I had Minnesota on my mind. The ultimate Jayhawks lineup of Gary Louris, Mark Olson, Patrick O’Regan, Mark Perlman and Karen Grotberg reunited for aseries of shows in Minneapolis. It’s one of many times that I wish I could do the Star Trek transporter thing although I’d rather have Chief O’Brien running it than Scotty. The latter was too irascible for my taste…
Anyway, here’s theTomorrow The Green Grass Jayhawks lineup performing live on the old Jon Stewart Show before he became a stalwart of the fake news biz. Come to think of it, Jon is pretty darn irascible too:
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