Monthly Archives: September 2011

Little Girls in Pretty Princess Clothes

The discussion in comments tothis article about Disney princesses (especially pointing out that WHERE THE FUCK IS MULAN in all this and also Tiana, and how nobody talks about how cool Maleficent is) is better than the story itself, which is reductive (exposure to Disney = your child ending up in a thong on Jersey Shore).

I spent Sunday afternoon at a baseball game with my dad, a pretty common occurrence when I was a little kid. And they did a thing at Miller Park where little kids got to go out and stand on the bases with the Brewers for a couple of minutes during the national anthem. About half those kids were girls, 12 or younger, who looked like they were seeing living gods before them as they stood out there.

I watched all the Disney movies when I was little. We went to see Sleeping Beauty in the theater and I must have known all the Beauty and the Beast songs by heart, and yet I also got hauled along to softball games where guys slid into third when they were losing by ten runs because that’s how you do. Nobody at any of these things would have described himself as a feminist, yet their attitude was that I had as much right to be there as my brother. Which is how your options open.

And close: I didn’t hate my hair until second grade, when I overheard another girl I admired complaining about hers, and I realized mine looked even sillier.


Pulitzer Worthy

Steve Gleason was never a star when he played in the NFL. He was, however, responsible for one of the greatest moments in New Orleans Saints history: a blocked punt in the Saints post-K return to the Superdome on September 25, 2006.

Steve was honored before yesterday’s game. He has ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease.) Jeff Duncan wrote a *brilliant* profile of Gleason that was on the front page of the Sunday Picayune. It’s one of the best pieces I’ve read in a long time. Yup, it’s Pulitzer worthy.

Finally, here’s a clip of Steve Gleason’s moment in the limelight:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Kenny Rogers and the First edition

Ok, boys and girls, we have another round of old drum clean-up to do, so let’s clear out that old new stock!

Everything must go!

First up?Nobody loves you when your website’s down and out!

(after yet another five-hour outage)

It’s Alive! (Thank you, John Rob)
Vanity ^ | 12 September 2011 | Windflier

Posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 4:18:38 PM byWindflier

The lights are on!

Thank you, John Rob. Much appreciated.

1 posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 4:18:40 PM byWindflier

So – $352,000 + / year and you geniusesstillcan’t keep the lights on?

To: Windflier

I’m a Unix admin. What happened? Long outage. Root cause?

6 posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 4:22:11 PM byy6162


To: Windflier

You’d think for $88K/Qtr this wouldn’t be a problem.

9 posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 4:23:32 PM byZman516


To: DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis
Woohoo! FR is back! It was hard going a whole five hours with no FR.

I get pretty off-kilter when FR is down. It feels like being cut off from the world.

12 posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 4:28:12 PM byWindflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)

There you have it in a nutshell.
They can’t survive unless surrounded by people who “think” like they do – because they’re confused and frightened when presented with the real world..
They think FRisthe world, and not just a laughing academy for the fringe right.

To: Windflier

OK, better now. I can slow down my breathing and remove the paper bag from my mouth. . . .

16 posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 4:31:31 PM byaimhigh

No, no, no! It’s aplastic bag, not a paper one. And it goes over thehead, not the mouth.
And don’t forget the rubber bands.

It was a boring lunchtime today.

Half my coffee time was spoiled when FR suddenly went off the air. I really hate relying on Drudge and reading the comments sections of the articles he links to.

What he means is: “I hate that Drudge sometimes links to actual news sites, where the commenters don’t adhere to my twisted word-view.”

Still, this wasn’t a bad one, as far as FR outages go.

23 posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 4:38:14 PM byWindflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)


To: Windflier

I work in a supposedly high availability environment where outages are supposed to be impossible yet they happen nonetheless. Our client pays through the nose.

Ya can’t have a 100% availability in an environment that continuously changes.

FR is generally available. I don’t know if they engineer for it I’m just curious.

29 posted on Monday, September 12, 2011 4:59:37 PM byy6162

Dirty Computer

To: Windflier
It was more painful than enduring 100 degree weather ..

I hear you.There have been times I tried to get on and nothing. That is hard to deal with for hours on end.

37 posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 7:02:11 AM byArrowhead1952 (Dear God, please let it rain in Texas. Amen.)

More putrid potpourri after the you-know-what.

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Happy Kerry Photo: The GLASSES, Guys


I’m sorry, it’s been completely years, and I should be over him by now.


Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts has introduced federal legislation to expressly prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination in housing.

The bill, known as the Housing Opportunities Made Equal Act, or HOME Act, would amend the 1968 Fair Housing Act to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, as well as amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prevent such discrimination in lending (the bill would also bar discrimination based on source of income and marital status). A House version of the bill will be introduced later today by Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York.


Sunday Morning Video: Here Comes The Circus- MST3K

Time to introduce a new, for First Draft, weekly feature. I’ve been doing this at my blog-city blog for years but have essentially moved over here lock, stock and kitties. I’m not sure if Jude and Riot the cranky ferret approve but if they don’t tough you know what. I have the awesomeness of Della Street on my side.

I usually post comedy bits or other odds and sods so let’s start off with some MST3K:

Weekend Question Thread

Tell me something nice that happened to you recently. I think we could all use a little sunshine.

Me, I had a bunch of really great people give my blog presents all week.


Come see what’s Brewin’

Although every fan thinks his or her team deserves something, I can’t help but think the Milwaukee Brewers really deserved tonight.

This is the team that wasted Robin Yount’s prime, oversaw the exile of Paul Molitor and was content to slide into the recipient role of MLB’s revenue-sharing system. Year after year, we saw mediocre baseball and year after year we stopped caring about the team by mid-July.

For years, the only thing worth paying attention to when it came to the Brewers was their Hall-of-Fame announcer Bob Uecker. Uke kept us smiling and laughing all the way through those horrific seasons of loss after loss.

In the middle of the 2000s, it was the Brewers who were the joke.

The stadium’s retractable roof leaked and it played host to the only tie in All-Star Game history. The team was on the way to a 56-106 season and any hope of respectability seemed farfetched at best. It would be the first of three-straight sixth-place finishes in the moribund NL Central.

In 2005, Bud Selig’s family finally sold the team, which finished at .500 for the first time in more than a decade. After slipping back to a sub-.500 record, they finished second in the Central with a 83-79 record.

The 2008 Season was “The Leap.” Owner Mark Attanasio pulled off the biggest trade of the year and perhaps the most important trade since the last time the Brewers made a run at glory. He pried CC Sabathia from the Cleveland Indians for a trove of prospects. Manager Ned Yost rode him to a 10-2 record, often pitching him on short rest. With 12 games left in the season and the playoffs slipping away, Attanasio fired Yost and replaced him with bench coach Dale Sveum. The team went 7-5 over that stretch and on the last day of the season secured the Wild Card for the National League.

Things looked like they would be returning to mediocrity, with two sub-.500 seasons. With stars Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder heading toward potential free agency and the team regressing, Milwaukee had every reason to believe it was headed for disaster.

Instead, Attanasio and GM Doug Melvin stopped panicking and started building. They traded Cutter Dykstra for Nyjer Morgan.

They sent Brett Lawrie to Toronto for Shaun Marcum, giving them a front of the line starter with a moderate and consistent record.

Then, they went for it: They gave up four prospects and essentially gutting their farm system for Zack Greinke, a one-time Cy Young Award Winner.

While this could be perceived as going “all in” on one shot at a winner, Melvin picked up pieces that could be had for cheap or players whom he could control beyond this year. Unlike the Sabathia deal, which was a half-year rental, Melvin knew he could get players who were young, hungry and valuable and yet proven and strong.

The Brewers started 0-4 and finished April at 13 and 13, but after that, they never had a losing month. They gained on, caught and eventually passed the Cardinals for first place. The one-game lead grew to 10.5 before eventually evening out a bit. The papers started publishing the “magic number” for the team to clinch.

It’s been 29 years since Milwaukee had a division winner. It has won only one playoff game in that time span as well. And yet, unlike 2008, the Brewers seem to belong. They’re not the back-door slider that luckily caught the corner of the plate.

They are here for a reason. They’re fun, not funny.

And I couldn’t be more grateful.

Friday Night Music: Bad Day

I didn’t have one but this is a helluva good tune complete with the requisite Stipe weirdness:

First Draft Fundraising Ends: Thank You All

Bucky is so happy you all donated so that he could afford this fine, fuzzy sweater.

In all seriousness, thank you all for supporting the site. I know that this is the worst economy in the history of the world, and so it means a lot to know that you think what we do here is worth your time and your generosity. You’ve made it possible for us to keep the lights on another year, to keep doing what we’re doing, and we couldn’t be more proud of our community of readers. 

Onward to what looks to be the weirdest election of all time.


Politically Correct Fruit


Word of warning to people who like to make professional sporting events more interactive: Know your fruit.

Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds, who is black, had a piece of fruit flung at him while participating in a game against the Red Wings.The exhibition, which was taking place in Ontario, has garnered a great deal of press coverage primarily because the fruit in question was a banana.

While people may be quick to jump to the conclusion that this is racism, this might be unfair to the idiot responsible. We have not heard from the flinger, so God alone knows if he was tossing it at Simmonds as a racial insult or because he ran out of other forms of animals, minerals and vegetables.

It could have been just a fruit of convenience.

When I used to cover crime in Madison, I caught a report in which a guy was walking with a couple female friends and a drunken lout made an inappropriate comment to one of the ladies. When the guy stepped in to say something, the whole thing got physical and he got the unholy shit kicked out of him. As the violence ensued, the attacker let loose with various vulgarities, including “faggot.” For this choice of verbiage, police were trying to charge him with a hate-crime enhancement.

I knew the guy who got beat up. He was a Level 24 poon hound. He spent more time between women’s legs than the Victoria’s Secret fall underwear collection. Still, the guy kicking his ass hit a trigger word and that made bad more than a bit worse.

As a matter of course, I’m leaning toward the racism when it comes to Simmonds’ situation, but I’d like to use the FD forum to suggest that idiots who feel the need to test out their throwing arms at sporting events pick a better fruit.

I humbly suggest the politically correct kiwi.

My rationale is as follows:

The size:It’s about the size of a lemon, making it convenient to carry and easy to hide as you attempt to enter the arena of your choice. In fact, if you’re wearing a big coat, have a decent sized purse or you still use a fanny pack, you can take five or six of these things, just in case you aren’t satisfied with your first throwing effort.

The hardness: Apples, oranges, lemons and pears are too hard. You hit someone with one of those from the upper-deck of a decent stadium or arena and you’re likely to cause serious injury. Peaches, nectarines and the like are too squishy, so when they hit, you’ve got to stop the game to clean the ice or scrape up the goo off the grass. Mangos, melons and grapefruits? You’re looking at rotator cuff surgery. Kiwis have a nice shell on them that protects them from shattering on impact, but are soft enough inside (if you get them in a fairly ripened state) to not do any major damage.

The color:The turd-like hue can convey your displeasure and people can still see it on TV. It can show up on grass or ice. Works for either way.

The PC factor: Bananas have that same “outer-shell, mushy-center” thing, but again, there’s that whole racism thing. Kiwis are brown and fuzzy on the outside, showing a softer size of people’s general crankiness. Inside, you’ve got black seeds and a white core, living together, intermingled in harmony. If aliens are discovered and start to dominate our games, you’ve got the green fruit built right in. As these things look like fuzzy testicle totes, the only people who should be insulted are people who look like ball sacks.

Sure you could pick any one of a dozen other fruits, but the kiwi seems perfect. It’s light, small and non-racially charged. That way, when you physically attack a player, embarrass yourself and get thrown in jail, you’ll only be arrested for being a moron and not a racist.

Malakas Of The Week: GOP Debate Audiences

Ronald Reagan is the household God of the GOP; much as FDR has been for generations of Democrats. Wingers invoke the Reagan geist so much that it has inspired jokes about Zombie Ronnie. They’ve missed the point of Reagan’s genial persona: he was able to slather niceness over the most retrograde policies and make them seem less harsh This generation of Goopers, however, are mean, ornery and tacky, which are all aspects of malakatude.

We all remember thecheers for the death penalty during Gov. Package Check’s 2012 debate debut and the “let him die guy.” Last night another crowd of wingnut malakas booed a Gay serviceman who asked about DADT:

Asking Rick Santorum what he’d do as President is like asking Oscar when he’s planning to take the SAT. Never gonna happen, my friend. I did, however, get a kick out of Dan Savage’s buddy saying that we should take all sex and social engineering out of the military so they can be butch and kick ass. The military, in fact, is a great place for social experimentation: it was desegregated long before the Solid South, after all. Why? Because bigotry is unacceptable, that’s why. I bet this crowd would boo Admiral Mullen too.

Reagan would have shaken his head, smiled and praised the soldier for his service and ducked the question by telling a story about playing the Gipper or something. Ronnie may have helped to ignite the winger social issues counter-revolution but had remarkable little interest is playing Elmer Gantry. He’d rather praise Burt Lancaster for winning the Oscar for that part…

The other Rick-Perry-is betting that the voters want a prick as their President. I have my doubts about that. Sure, the teanuts want a hater but most people want their President to at least *pretend* to be genial. We have elected Tricky Dick who was a malaka to the core BUT even he felt the need to feign niceness before retreating to the Oval Office to trash talk all and sundry. The current crop of Goopers would be well advised to stop talking *about* Reagan and learn how to sound like him. The man could have sold car insurance to the Amish…

So I’d like to thank the GOP debate audiences for being so nasty. Their malakatude can only hurt their cause, which is hunky dory with me.

Cough Up A Buck, Ya Cheap Bastards

Do you have any idea how much Claire’s coke habit costs? Non-sequential bills only, please.

It’s the last day of the fundraising drive, and I’m breaking radio silence to urge you tochip in.


Well, because if you don’t, Virgo will come find you, and I can’t appeal to her sense of restraint every time.

Also, look at what you get here. You get Scout, who is a natural reporter–that woman makes Edward R. Murrow look like a PR flack. You get Athenae, who is the best goddamn writer on the Internet (except maybethis guy, but he already gets paid). You get Adrastos who, uh, likes puns and music. And there’s Tommy, And Michael F., and Doc, and Virgo, anyone else I might have forgotten. Sorry. It’s early, folks.

Athenae puts shit out there every motherfucking day, and it’s always worth reading. Do you have any idea the effort that takes? And Scout’s fearless witnessing with her camera–ain’t that worth supporting?

So chip in, god dammit. Or you just might have to see more of me on here as a punishment.

First Draft Fundraising: Final Day!

All right, we’re down to it. If you’ve appreciated a crack van or two over the past year, hit the tip jar. If you’ve laughed at a story, reacted with anger or sorrow or joy, if you’ve come away from this place having learned something (even if it’s just how awesome Jude is)hit the tip jar.If you want to see a ferret wearing a wee turtleneck sweater tonight, hit the tip jar.

Yes. I’m pimping the pets. Come on, you knew what I was like before this, you had to.

Hit the tip jar!


Friday Catblogging: Is that a bird?

Della Street is a house cat and has little interest in exploring the great outdoors; unless, that is, she hears a bird chirping. Oscar and Della actually got a bird once. It had somehow gotten into the house and when we came home I found a decapitated bird head, a pool of birdie blood and two very proud hunter gatherer kitties. I hope it never happens again but ya never know…

This is Della in alert, bird stalking mode:

Booing Soldiers in Iraq

Patriotism! This is what it looks like!


Thursday Night Music: One World

The United Nations is in session. President Windbreaker of Iran has, as is his wont, caused much consternation with his annual rant. Holy Members Only, Batman.

This rockin’ tune from Todd Rundgren and Utopia is dedicated to everyone at the UN:

To & Fro

I love Afros, the bigger the better. I remember when Kareem and Doctor J had huge fros that made them look 10 feet tall. Watching the Doc dunk with his gynormous fro was one of the pleasures of my youth.

A Louisiana woman, Aevin Dugas, is the new world’s record holder with a fro that’s 4 feet 4 inches in circumference. It shouldn’t make me proud to be a Gret Steter but it somehow does.

Aevin Dugas main 2

Elegy for Troy Davis

There are days when I’m proud to be an American and then there are days like yesterday. I dislike the death penalty because of its finality. Once the switch is flicked, the poison injected or the trap door on the gallows sprung, it’s over, a life is taken and society has its vengeance, which far too many confuse with justice.

The Troy Davis case was very troublesome because of the recantation of 7 of 9 eyewitnesses and the lack of physical evidence. It’s also troublesome because it shows how hard it is to overturn a death sentence. I recall studying this issue in law school and being horrified at the standard of proof required to admit new evidence in any case. It *should* be hard to overturn a conviction BUT when someone’s life is at stake, the state should proceed with caution. They don’t because that would look soft even if it involved commuting a death sentence to life. That’s the minimum that should have happened in the Davis case.

I live in the death penalty belt.But Louisiana didn’t have an excecution between 2002 and 2010. There seems to have been a covert moratorium under Governors Foster and Blanco; possibly because of the influence of the Catholic Church. Hey, even they get some things right. There has been only 1 execution under Jindal but his raging ambition assures that there will be more. How could he face his Presidential candidate, Rick (Hang ’em High) Perry otherwise?

The oddest thing about the capital punishment debate is that conservatives regard the criminal justice system and the military as the only parts of guvmint that ever work. I don’t get it: like every other human institution they’re flawed and fallible. The same people that vilify the Fed and the “welfare state,” believe that the police only arrest the guilty and that only the wicked are punished. If that were true, Dick Cheney wouldn’t still be on the loose.

Finally, I know this isn’t a proper elegy: I write prose, not poetry. But the word fits my mood today. At the very least an irreversible mistake has been made and, at the worst, an innocent man was killed by the state of Georgia. If the state is going to kill someone, it should be bloody well sure they’re guilty.

First Draft Fundraising: Almost There


We’re getting close to our fundraising goal, which means it’s time to pull out the big guns. I don’t want to give away the surprise for tomorrow, but it involves Bucky. And knitwear.Hit the tip jar if you haven’t yet. And thank you to all those who’ve contributed so far!