Monthly Archives: April 2021

Too Marvelous For Words

I’m in a good mood this week so it’s time for an upbeat, uptempo song in this space.

Too Marvelous For Words was written in 1937 by Johnny Mercer and Richard Whiting for a forgettable 1937 movie, Ready, Willing, and Able. The song itself is memorable for Mercer’s word play. Rumor has it that I like word play. I even like typing the phrase.

We begin with my two favorite versions of Too Marvelous For Words: Frank Sinatra followed by Ella Fitzgerald. Both feature arrangements by Nelson Riddle but are just as unique as if the Riddler was not involved.

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Bayou Brief: Déjà Vu All Over Again

There was a runoff election held to fill Cedric Richmond’s seat in Congress last Saturday. It was a nasty campaign and I’m glad it’s over.  I got tried of seeing negative ads on my Scrabble app. Is nothing sacred?

It did, however, evoke memories of the first wave of elections after Hurricane Katrina and the Federal Flood in 2006. Both candidates in Saturday’s election challenged Congressman Dollar Bill Jefferson that year and lost. It gave me the feeling that I’d been there before.

For the details, get thee to Bayou Brief where John Fogerty gets the last word.

The last word here goes to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:

Another day, another David Crosby song. We have all been here before.

Animal Country

Animal House

When you were a teenager and saw ANIMAL HOUSE you probably reveled in the anti-establishment hijinks of the Delta House. Watch it again as an adult and you might giggle at a line or two (remembering a time when you did something similarly asshatted) but more likely you will come away thinking what jerks the characters are. Don’t get down on yourself for not being as counterculture as you once were, it’s all a part of growing up.

If US politics were the movie, the Repugnicants would be the Deltas while the Democrats would be, um, the Jewish Frat the Deltas checked their answers for the Psych exam with. But as much as you enjoyed Animal House and the zany antics of Boon, Otter, Bluto, Pinto (cause he had a spotted dick, a line cut from the movie cause the studio suit said “yeah, that goes TOO far”) you wouldn’t want them running your country.

Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

And yet people keep voting for them.

You fucked up… you trusted us! Hey, make the best of it!

Meanwhile the Democrats just keep chugging along lead by their undisputed leader President Joey B Shark who just keeps pumping out new initiatives to try and help both the American people and the American economy. And the American people keep listening and liking what they hear. 68% approval ratings for his two biggest proposals show that.

Better listen to him, Flounder, he’s in pre-med.

But you know there is an old saying that the guy who shouts the loudest is the one who gets heard. And Repugnicants sure do shout loud. What they shout is utter bollocks, whether about Dr. Seuss or red meat, but those bollocks get amplified by the Murdoch media machine till finally the other network talking heads feel they must make mention of whatever stupidity is being uttered, if only to refute it.

A Pledge Pin! On your Uniform!

Honestly, the US Senate would be hilarious if Ted Cruz was played by Stephen Furst, Josh Hawley by Tom Hulce, and Mitch McConnell by Bruce McGill. Of course Donald Trump would be played by John Belushi. We don’t care about grades, who needs grades when we got voter suppressed forever seats!

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Friday Catblogging: Profile

The dark side of Claire Trevor:

Long Time Gone

“It’s been a long time coming. It’s going to be a long time gone.”

David Crosby, 1969

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Timing is everything in both politics and life. This is Joe Biden’s time. He proved it again last night.

It was a conversational speech that was somehow still inspirational. It was full of the sort of bold policy prescriptions that Democrats haven’t offered since Fritz Mondale lost 49 states to Ronald Reagan. 1984 was the year Democrats lost their nerve. 2021 seems to be the year in which they’ve recaptured it.

It’s been a long time coming, it’s been a long time gone. I cleaned up the grammar of the classic CSN song by David Crosby. I might like Westerns as a movie genre, but I’m not big on dropped Gs. I leave that to sidekicks like Ward Bond, Andy Devine, and Walter Brennan; all of whom, I might add, were members of the proto-Dingbat Right.

It’s time for our de facto theme song:

David Crosby may be an asshole, but he’s a talented asshole. Before Biden spoke MSNBC’s Joy Reid said that “Joe Biden is like Lyndon Johnson without the swearing.” Say what? Remember: “This is a big fucking deal.”

Joe Biden also swears, but unlike Lyndon Johnson he’s a nice guy, not an asshole. If Biden were a member of CSNY, he’d be nice guy Graham Nash. LBJ was like Crosby: a talented dick, but a dick nonetheless.

Since I’m casting politicians as members of CSNY, I see Bernie Sanders as Neil Young: fundamentally an outsider but when he works with others the results can be remarkable. We’re seeing Team Player Bernie in 2021 much to the chagrin of some on the Hipster Twitter Left. I’ve always thought that Senator Sanders was better than the worst of his supporters and he’s proving that this year. Thank you, sir.

That was an epic tangent. What can I tell you? My specialty as an internet pundit is digressive tangents. I believe in playing to my strengths.

“Speak out, you got to speak out against the madness
You got to speak your mind if you dare.”

That’s what President Biden did when he addressed the Dipshit Insurrection and the madness of the Trump regime. He didn’t have to mention the Kaiser of Chaos by name. We all knew who he was talking about.

One of the most effective parts of the speech was when the president linked his ambitious plans to expand the safety net to the fate of democracy itself. It evoked the founder of the American welfare state: Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR, too, spoke in a conversational tone as he advocated radical change in his Fireside Chats.

FDR used the necessity for massive wartime spending as a tool to achieve economic justice after the war. The GI Bill Of Rights is one of FDR’s least discussed accomplishments, but one of his most important. It helped educate a generation who had served their country. It was a well-deserved reward for defeating fascism abroad. Biden is intent on defeating it at home.

“Turn turn any corner
Hear you must hear what the people say
You know there’s something that’s going on around here
The surely, surely, surely won’t stand the light of day, no.”

Any long Biden speech is something of an adventure. His lifelong battle with a stutter sometimes gets the best of him. But when Biden gets stuck on a word, he moves on without missing a beat.

What you see is what you get with Joe Biden. Like Harry Truman, he served under a hyper articulate president. Unlike Truman, the vice presidency prepared him for this moment. Barack Obama wasn’t as good a president as FDR (who was?) but he treated his Veep with respect. We’re reaping the benefits of that relationship in 2021.

My original title for this post was Give Me That Old Time (Democratic) Religion. I kept thinking of Biden’s fellow Veeps: Hubert Humphrey and Fritz Mondale; both of whom would recognize their ideals and policy ideas in Biden’s speech, especially the passage about the right of labor unions to organize. To paraphrase Paul McCartney, it’s time to get back to where we once belonged.

In his farewell letter to former staffers, Mondale wrote: “Together we have accomplished so much and I know you will keep up the good fight.  Joe in the White House certainly helps.”

It certainly does. I was cautiously optimistic that Joe Biden would rise to the occasion as president, but he has exceeded my expectations. It was imperative; for as Crosby wrote back in 1969:

“But you know
The darkest hour
Is always, always just before the dawn.”

That’s what it felt like before Joe Biden’s inauguration. His predecessor was as phony as his laughable claims to be a man of the people. Joe Biden is the real deal: What you see is what you get.

The last word goes to The Dramatics:

Projection — It’s Not Just For Movies And Slide Shows

America’s Mayor needs a criminal lawyer, since he’s now a suspected lawyer criminal

Federal investigators on Wednesday seized cellphones and computers from Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City who became President Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer, stepping up a criminal investigation into Mr. Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, three people with knowledge of the investigation said.

F.B.I. agents executed search warrants around 6 a.m. at Mr. Giuliani’s apartment on Madison Avenue and his Park Avenue office in Manhattan, carting away the electronic devices, Mr. Giuliani confirmed in a statement.

The execution of search warrants is an extraordinary action for prosecutors to take against a lawyer, let alone a lawyer for a former president. The move marked a major development in the long-running investigation into Mr. Giuliani, which examines some of the same people and conduct that were at the center of Mr. Trump’s first impeachment trial.

It was also a remarkable moment in Mr. Giuliani’s long arc as a public figure.

No. Shit.

To repeat, yet again, it’s unfuckingbelievable the degree to which IOKIYAR’s become SOP.

Batshit insane wingnuttery is, to the elite media, one side of both sides.

Cokie’s Law metastasized.

High Broderism is catechism.

And, to be clear, I’m not defending the mainstream Democratic Party.

Lesser-of-evils isn’t absence of, um, evil.

But the GOP’s bugfuck nuts.

And that’s putting it nicely.

So nuts they spent an entire election cycle assuming they’d cow the press into turning Hunter Biden into the bastard spawn of HRC…while all the time they were up to their eyeballs…in the same place.

And while they didn’t quite manage to jerk the chain enough to eke out an Electoral College win, Rick Perry, former DOE head, isn’t even an afterthought these days.

Try to imagine the press ignoring anything like that in a Democratic administration.

“the bullshit piled up so fast … you needed wings to stay above it.”

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Con Man

This book by Evan Hunter DBA Ed McBain is NOT about the Impeached Insult Comedian. He didn’t merely poison individuals, he poisoned our political system. The poison still needs to be flushed out.

The Paint By Numbers Post-Presidency

Self-Portrait by George W. Bush

There’s a fierce article about Bush the Younger at NYMag.com. I don’t agree with *all* of Sarah Jones’ points, but it’s vividly written and has a brilliant title:

George W. Bush Can’t Paint His Way Out Of Hell

Jones examines the rehabilitation of Bush’s image and finds it creepy. I find it both inevitable and creepy. Inevitable in that even very unpopular presidents such as Harry Truman regain some of their luster once out of office. Creepy because W was such a bad president. But the Impeached Insult Comedian’s four-year reign was so abominable that even an incompetent pro-torture warmonger like W looks good by contrast.

She begins with some art criticism:

I am not an art critic, but I don’t think George W. Bush’s new portraits are very good. They inspire nothing but malaise and communicate a dilettante energy. Painting is to Bush what politics used to be: a hobby for a wealthy man. Yet there is something revelatory about them, though this may be unintentional on the part of the artist.

Bush was a dilettante for his entire political career. It was defined by his complicated relationship with Poppy Bush. It’s the only thing complicated about the simpleton son. W wanted to both avenge his father’s defeat and top him by winning reelection. The fact that Saddam Hussein tried to whack Poppy Bush was a driving force in the invasion and kinda sorta conquest of Iraq.

The Iraq War was a fool’s errand and the man who put the Dick in the Vice Presidency played his nominal boss for a fool as did Rummy. Poppy Bush knew that occupying Iraq would be a disaster, so he declined to do so. His son rushed in where even that fool refused to tread.

I think this is the most revealing passage in Sarah Jones’ piece:

In an era marked by the GOP’s steady march to the far right, the hunt for some vestigial sanity in the conservative movement leads many pundits astray. It’s easier to praise Bush than it is to grasp what he signifies. If Bush is our best example of a compassionate conservative, what does that say of the movement he represents — and what, too, does it indicate about the office he once held? The presidency was broken before Trump occupied it, and so was the GOP, and so was the conservative movement.

W is Trump with better table manners. As president, he presented himself as a conservative true believer, but he lacked the pragmatic streak that Reagan and Bush the Elder had as Oval Ones. He was not clever enough to compromise then sell it as an act of principle. That was Reagan’s specialty.

W was the guy people mistook Reagan for: an amiable dunce easily manipulated by his aides. W’s popularity drowned along with some 1900+ souls lost during Hurricane Katrina and the Federal Flood. The rest of his presidency was unmitigated disaster. He was reduced to shoe ducking:

One distinct similarity between Bush and Trump was that both were divisive presidents. On more than one occasion, Bush said that you were either with him or the terrorists. I was with neither.

Sarah Jones closes thusly:

Perhaps Trump will take up painting some day — the devil only knows what his subjects would be: landscapes of his properties, portraits of his immediate family, a still life of a dollar bill — and the power of the presidency will launder the reputation of an evil man. We’re already watching it happen.

She missed the punch line: He’d paint nothing but self-portraits. Believe me.

The last word goes to The Band:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Bat Out Of Hell

Michael Lee Aday aka Meat Loaf is a card-carrying member of the Dingbat Right. He appeared on Celebrity Apprentice and remains a Trump lickspittle.

Meat Loaf collaborated on 1977’s Bat Out Of Hell with Jim Steinman who died recently at the age of 73. Some give Steinman much of the credit for the enormous success of the Bat Out Of Hell trilogy and said that Meat was Loafing….

I hereby admit that I selected this cover so I could make Meat Loaf jokes. Slather some ketchup on me and call me overdone.

The album is actually pretty good. It was produced by Todd Rundgren who also played on the record.

The Dingbat Right

ding·bat 
1. NORTH AMERICANAUSTRALIAN a stupid or eccentric person.
2. a typographical device other than a letter or numeral (such as an asterisk), used to signal divisions in text or to replace letters in a euphemistically presented vulgar word.

The Dingbat Right have always been with us but the sane among us rarely dealt with them. The internet gave them a platform and social media gave them a megaphone.  It’s done the same for me but on my good days I’m relatively sane. Hopefully, this is one of those days.

In my youth, the John Birch Society personified the Dingbat Right. They were against water fluoridation believing it to be an attempt by the Commies at mind control or some such shit. I’ve never been clear about that: coherence was not the Birchers strong suit. They were also convinced that General President Eisenhower was a dupe of the Communist conspiracy and that Chief Justice Warren was a card-carrying member of CPUSA instead of that currently extinct species: a liberal Republican.

The Birchers are still around but they don’t attract much notice: it’s crowded on the Dingbat Right. They had something of a renaissance during the Trump regime. Anyone surprised to hear that? I thought not.

There’s even a direct link between the John Birch Society and the proto-Trumper Tea Party movement. One of the JBS’s founding members was Fred Koch. You’ve probably heard of his sons, David and Charles. The Kochsuckers are everywhere.

Bob Dylan wrote a song about the Birchers:

There are too many members of the modern Dingbat Right to name them all. I wrote about Tucker the Fucker yesterday. His latest thing is whipping up the Dingbat rank and file to confront maskers:

In primetime on Monday night the Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed requiring children to wear masks outdoors was “child abuse”.

Carlson also said “the only people who wear masks outside are zealots and neurotics” and said seeing a vaccinated person wear a mask outdoors was like “watching a grown man expose himself in public”.

“Your response when you see children wearing masks as they play should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid in Walmart,” he said.

“Call the police immediately, contact child protective services. Keep calling until someone arrives. What you’re looking at is abuse, it’s child abuse and you are morally obligated to attempt to prevent it.”

Tucker Carlson is the worst kind of Dingbat, a phony who whips the genuine Dingbats into a frenzy.  It’s in his job description: Fox News is the media HQ of Dingbat Right Nation.

Former Senator and current CNN talking head Rick Santorum is a lifelong member of the Dingbat Right:

And this guy won eleven primaries and caucuses in the 2012 GOP presidential race including, of all places, Oklahoma. Oy just oy.

The most sinister bits of dingbattery involve attempts to keep the election Big Lie alive. In Arizona, the lege authorized what amounts to a third or fourth audit of the 2020 presidential election. The company in charge has one of dingbattiest names I’ve ever heard: Cyber Ninjas. I am not making this up.

The Dingbat Right isn’t big on policy. They’re culture warriors at heart. They’ve somehow managed to top themselves with the Joe Biden Wants To Ban Beef mishigas. Regular Guy Joe is a burger grabber? Please. He’s warming up the grill for Independence Day as I write this.

TPM’s Kate Riga has a great piece about the origins of this nonsense. It all started in the British tabloid, The Daily Mail. The Dingbat Right is ascendant in the United Kingdom as well. They were behind Brexit and the big-haired buffoon who pushed it and later became Prime Minister. Come on down, Boris Johnson. Hmm, I wonder if Bozza has Mad Cow disease…

The only thing I like about the beef beef is that it makes me think of the moment in the 1984 Democratic campaign when Fritz Mondale asked Gary Hart, “Where’s the beef?”

That dig at Hart’s lack of policy specifics was based on a Wendy’s ad campaign that turned into a board game that nobody played:

I prefer this Simpsonian take on that fleeting campaign kerfuffle:

By 1987, that quip took on a whole new meaning but since this post is about the Dingbat Right, I’m not going there. Neither Mondale nor Hart were dingbats, after all.

That concludes this brief tour of Dingbat Right Nation. It made me think of All In The Family and Archie Bunker. Archie called his sweet but ditzy wife Edith a dingbat and his pompous pinko son-in-law Mike, a meathead. Archie defined meathead as “dead from the neck up.” That certainly describes the Dingbat Right. If only they’d stifle.

A Postcard From Mumbai

The Dobi Ghat

The Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in downtown Mumbai. A million pieces of laundry hand washed every day and returned to their owners with nary a mix up.

 

Count me as one of those of European ancestry who have a fascination with India.

I have only been there once, but the country and it’s peoples got deep into my soul long before I was physically in the country. Maybe it was a little too much Gunga Din when I was a kid. Trust me when I tell you that no movie, no television show, no amount of E.M. Forester or Rudyard Kipling can prepare you for the experience of actually being there. The term “an assault on the senses” was coined especially for India.

When COVID hit the world in early 2020 it was assumed by many that India would be hit particularly hard. Rampant poverty combined with a billion plus people combined with third world conditions even in the midst of modern cities seemed to be a recipe for contamination that might take down the world’s largest semi-democracy.

Instead India wasn’t hit too badly. Many theories were put forth for this paradoxical situation including that Indians spend more time outdoors, weren’t as obese, the population is relatively youthful, and most interestingly that because Indians are exposed to more diseases on a daily basis they have built up a natural immunity not just to coronaviruses but to many pathogens.

Or in laymen’s terms, Darwin was right.

Begrudgingly the government did institute several restrictions on gatherings, asked the population to mask up, and in general took the same steps that most developed countries had taken to slow the growth of the pandemic. There seemed to be an attitude of “while we’ve got this licked, we want to help the rest of the world”.

But India, like so many other democracies around the world, is now ruled by a populist quasi tyrant, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is Modi who at first dismissed COVID, continued to hold super spreader events like political rallies, railed against the actual science of COVID, and who now has taken the extraordinary stance that social media companies should not just take down but ban any message critical of his response to the crisis. Remind you of anyone else?

So it’s no surprise that Modi disregarded the experts who came to him three months ago saying all signs point towards a huge upturn in cases about to hit the country. Instead he doubled down on the notion that things were only getting better, lifting all restrictions on gatherings. The northern town of Haridwar held one of the world’s biggest gatherings this month, with millions of people celebrating the Hindu festival Kumbh Mela.

On Monday India reported it’s largest single day number of infections, 350,000. 2800 people died of COVID on that day alone. This after a full week of infection rates north of 200,000 per day the previous week. Hospitals are jammed, oxygen has become scarce, and crematoriums have become so backed up with bodies they are forced to stack them like cordwood.

Several Indian states have disregarded the federal government’s antipathy towards doing anything to solve the crisis and taken measures of their own. Maharashtra, home to Mumbai, has banned any gathering of more than five people, all non-essential commerce, and limited even essential services to restricted hours. The response from the federal government to these measures has been scorn. The response in the real world has been a leveling off of COVID cases.

The Indian government has been able to vaccinate about 10% of the population which would be great were it not for the fact that that still leaves over a BILLION PEOPLE unvaccinated. This in a country that produces more vaccines than any other in the world, but they are hindered by greed (foreign countries are willing to pay more for vaccines) and a lack of the raw materials and native intellectual property that prevents the factories from being able to produce more for themselves.

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Tucker Rhymes With Fucker

I was busy following the Louisiana-Second Congressional runoff (I’ll be writing about it this week for Bayou Brief) so I completely missed the latest Tucker Carlson controversy:

I usually don’t hold people responsible for a tasteless remark they made in college or high school, but I’ll make an exception in Tucker Carlson’s case. He’s the same entitled, smirking bigot that he was then.

This is a man who recently advocated the vile, anti-Semitic replacement theory, then denied doing so. He’s a disingenuous dick who wouldn’t know the truth if he tripped over it. He is, however, an expert at tripping over his own dick.

I take the “Dan White Society” thing personally. It’s time to paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen’s snappy putdown of J Danforth Quayle:

I knew Harvey Milk.

Harvey Milk was a friend of mine.

You’re no Harvey Milk, Tucker.

What’s next? The Twinkie defense?

I second this reply:

A reminder that Tucker rhymes with fucker.

The last word goes to Harry Nilsson:

Fuck you, Tucker.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – putrid potpourri edition

Short post today, packing for our trip to Terlingua / Big Bend.

Let’s start with – Qtarded!

General Flynn Warns About Possible Threats from Antifa/BLM Interrupting the Audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 Election Results
USSA News ^ | 4/16/2021 | NWO Report

Posted on 4/17/2021, 11:33:34 AM by RideForever

General Michael Flynn warns that it is possible that Antifa and BLM will show up and attempt to stop or interrupt the scheduled audit in Maricopa County.

Why are the Democrats so scared of a valid audit being performed in Maricopa County of their 2020 Election results? Next week an audit of the results in Maricopa County is going to start and the Democrats are absolutely freaking out over it.

If by “freaking out” you mean “refusing to pay for someone else’s conspiracy theory”, you’re absolutely right.

General Flynn warns of the audit being interrupted by Antifa and BLM:

I hear that they’re going to use those Jewish space Lasers to burn up all the votes for Republicans.

 

“Maricopa County is tactical, but it has a strategic consequence, depending on the outcome and we believe we know what the outcome will be. The Maricopa County audit is a big, big deal.

And I’m telling, you know, I’ll say it today, because we have intel that they may be bringing people down from Portland and Seattle to disrupt, what? I mean to disrupt finding the truth, discovering the truth?

And, so if these kinds of things happen, if these types of things happen …it’s basically finding the truth. It’s like me, I knew eventually the truth was going to come out. Truth it has a way of just bubbling up.

So does insanity.

And so it’s going to bubble up. And what is happening is all of this other noise that’s created to distract what it is that we’re doing…”

The Democrats have brought in their top lawyers to attack the audit as well:

Big Tech is getting involved as well. They didn’t just censor the audit, they likely broke the law by interfering with the audit. The posting of this volunteer form by Ken Bennett, an official of the Arizona Senate, was an official act of the Arizona Senate, carrying out its court-approved duties to audit this election. This was an official election act. Didn’t Google and wufoo just break the law or come perilously close to it by censoring this request?

The Democrats must know that the valid results in Maricopa County were nowhere near what was reported or they wouldn’t give a damn about the upcoming audit. Their guy, Senile Joe Biden, reportedly won the election in Arizona by 11,000 votes and became the first Democrat to win Maricopa County since Harry Truman. Biden won the county by 40,000 votes. Maricopa County is 60% of the state’s votes.

1 posted on 4/17/2021, 11:33:34 AM by RideForever
Logan has confirmed that he authored a document titled “Election Fraud Facts & Details” that was posted on the website of Sidney Powell, another pro-Trump lawyer who filed challenges to the election and who appeared at a November news conference with Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani.
Any comments, Freepers?
To: RideForever

Why would Gen. Flynn have any inside knowledge about disruptions to the Maricopa County audit? Sounds like rank speculation to me.

3 posted on 4/17/2021, 11:41:18 AM by SSS Two

To: SSS Two

He doesn’t. He’s Qtarded.

22 posted on 4/17/2021, 1:05:28 PM by Rightwing Conspiratr1

Heh.
To: RideForever
Shoot ‘em.

What an interesting view of Democracy you have.

The rest of the cowards will run back to mommy’s basement.

6 posted on 4/17/2021, 11:49:05 AM by fwdude (Pass up too many hills to die on, and you will eventually fall off the edge of the world.)

Schrodinger’s protestor:

Simultaneously running away and fighting in the streets.

And now – the post of the thread!!
To: mac_truck

Flynn, the same guy who said Trump would absolutely still be in office.

9 posted on 4/17/2021, 12:07:21 PM by glorgau

One more after the break –

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Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with Random Ruminations – Ellison Wonderland edition

This week’s Random Rumination comes from Harlan Ellison :

**********************************

From Harlan Ellison, responding to a discouraged police officer :

I know damned well there are (good) cops like you. I’ve met a few; and they always wind up like Serpico,brokenhearted or bust-headed. Because police these days aren’t like police when I was a kid in Painesville, Ohio in the Forties.

Friend of mine, a lieutenant of homicide, got a
trifle bombed one night, sitting around rapping with
me, and he let slip one of the most scary things
I’ve ever heard. He said :

“Harlan, it used to be,when a cop said ‘them or us’ he meant us were the good people, the cops and the decent citizens and the responsible business community, anybody on the side of Law and Order, the way it used to be in those Frank Capra films.

Them meant bank robbers, homicidal maniacs, rapists,
guys who torched their own stores for the insurance,
murderers, all the kooks.

Things’ve changed so much,these days when we say ‘them or us’ we mean anybody with a badge is us . . . all the rest of you are them.”

********************************

He wrote this in 1975.

 

(yes, I know I blogged this here in 2014, but it bears repeating)

I may be late reading comments.

  1. It’s my Birthday
  2. I’m on my way to Terlingua / Big Bend National Park
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Paul McMahon: And It All Ends With A Whimper, Not A Bang

The much ballyhooed final installment of PMac’s Big Adventure is online. If you missed the first two parts click here to read them.

Now that the PMacs have landed in Seville, I hope to hear more about their expatriate adventures. I think a periodic Letter From Seville is in order.

-Adrastos

And It All Ends With A Whimper, Not A Bang by Paul McMahon

When we last checked in on our heroes, it was shortly after their third Covid test in five days, and while they were holed up in the charming confines of the Hilton Dulles Inn. Will they make it to Seville before their 72-hour benchmark on their most recent Covid test expires? Will their already departed luggage be in Seville once/if they arrive? Will Ms. Pmac have grounds for justifiable homicide when the inevitable happens and she wrings the neck of our beloved hero? These, and more questions will be answered on the third installment of When the Yat Turns!

So, we depart the Dulles Inn and make it to the similarly named airport. The agent at the United desk takes one look at us, and proclaims, “You guys look tired as hell. What are your names, and I’ll look up your info while you sit over there”, as he points to a lounge area. Without any hesitation, we agree and sit our asses on the cushioned chairs while he reads over the narrative of Team Pmac. After about 20 minutes, he emerges with boarding passes in hand, and $40 in airport vouchers with a request that we use them for a much-deserved last drink on American soil. Ms. Pmac grabs the vouchers, looks at me and then retorts, “what about his drink?”

So, we (I mean she) get our throats sufficiently quenched, and head to the boarding gate for our flight to Frankfurt. Kinda feels like a high school reunion since we recognize several other faces from the 48 versus 72-hour Covid test debacle from the previous day. Not wanting to sit for two hours and face another bout of excruciating rejection, we decide to have our boarding documents prechecked at the gate and are even more euphoric when we are told that all is in order for our sojourn to Deutschland.

We arrive in Frankfurt, check on the status of our previously departed bags and are advised that all are found and will accompany us on the trip to Seville. We board the plane for the final leg of our odyssey and arrive in our new homeland at noon on Easter Sunday.

In keeping with the religious nature of the day, miraculously all of our bags are awaiting us in Seville. While we had braced ourselves for an elongated visit with the immigration authorities in Spain, we departed the plane, grabbed our bags, and proceeded to hail a taxi and in less than 20 minutes. So far, so good as expatriated Sevillians.

Now, one slightly overlooked aspect of this adventure is that we booked our apartment without ever having physically visited it. The intricacies of obtaining a Spanish visa include that you submit proof of a minimum, pre-paid, 6-month apartment lease. We spent hours scouring various internet-based listings before we settle on our new home, smack in the middle of the old town section, an area that we had visited and loved in the halcyon, pre-Covid days.

One thing that we failed to take into account was that many of the streets in our new neighborhood are inaccessible by today’s modern vehicles. Hell, they are inaccessible by yesterday’s older vehicles, since street widths are often no more than 3’, sidewalk included. The memories of those streets came flooding back when our cab driver announced that we were at the end of our journey but faced a seven-block walk with the familiar 4 pieces of luggage, dog in a carrier, guitar in a case and 4 carry on pieces.

Undaunted, we (I mean me) carry our freight several pieces at a time and block to block, until we reach our new home. And discover that the elevator in our new home can only fit one person, and one suitcase per trip.

Ms. Pmac readily volunteers to be on the receiving end of our newfound freight forwarding company, while I feed the bags on the ground floor. When I accompany the last bag on my maiden voyage to the apartment, it finally hits me. The front door to the apartment is open, so I can view the inside of our place and I’m met with the vision of my wife staring out onto the town square located three floors down. I quickly join her and share that same panoramic vista and am simply overcome with a sense of exhaustion and relief. It was a hell of a journey, one that neither of us could ever have predicted (and, maybe would have opted to stay state side if we could), but the pay off made it all so worthwhile. We are home, ladies and gentlemen.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Something To Talk About

Cocktails by Archibald Motley.

We’ve had some unseasonably cool weather this week in New Orleans. It’s been a relief after last week’s constant rain. We’ve even had some sun, which was initially disorienting but I’m down with it.

It’s special election run-off day in the Louisiana-Second. An ugly and mendacious campaign was waged by the runner-up in the primary, State Senator Karen Carter Peterson. She wants a promotion after a disastrous tenure as state party chair and missing 85% of state senate votes last year. Talk about failing upward.  I also happen to think that comparing another Democrat to Donald Trump is punching below the belt. I look forward to voting against her and for Troy Carter.

This week’s theme song was written in 1990 by Canadian singer-songwriter Shirley Elkhard and recorded by Bonnie Raitt for her 1991 album, Luck Of The Draw. It was a big hit for the Bonster. It was later used in the Julia Roberts-Dennis Quaid movie of the same title in 1995.

We have two versions of Something To Talk About for your listening pleasure: the Bonnie Raitt original and a 2016 version by Blood Sweat & Tears frontman David Clayton Thomas.

Was that bloody, sweaty, and teary enough for you lot? While we’re still wet, let’s jump to the break.

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How Long Has This Been Going On?

It’s Oscar week and we’re mixing things up with an all-Oscar Peterson post. One of his many talents was as an accompanist so we’re featuring Oscar with some of the greatest jazz singers of his time; make that all-time.

As to the song, it puts us back in torch song country. How Long Has This Been Going On?  was written by George and Ira Gershwin in 1927 for the Broadway musical, Funny Face.

Since everyone loved starting off with Louis Armstrong and Oscar Peterson last week, let’s do it again.

Oscar played piano on all of the Ella and Louis albums. He also cut a record with Ella after Louis’ passing:

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Malaka Of The Week: Amanda Chase

The woman in the red and white elephant skirt with an assault weapon draped around her neck is Virginia State Senator Amanda Chase. She’s running for the Republican nomination for Governor. I don’t think the Commonwealth is ready for a Governor who describes herself as “Trump in heels.” She looks more like Trump in sandals to me. And that is why Amanda Chase is malaka of the week.

Chase is from the Richmond suburbs, Midlothian in Chesterfield County to be precise. It’s a town name I used to like but now regard with considerable fear and Midloathing. It does, however, make for a memorable nickname: the Midlothian Malaka.

Chase gets around. She spoke at the “Stop The Steal” rally that preceded the 1/6 Dipshit Insurrection. She denies storming the Capitol but has vehemently defended the insurrectionists, “These were not rioters and looters. These were patriots who love their country and do not want to see our great republic turn into a socialist country.”

She was censured by her colleagues for that bit of brazen dipshittery and is fighting it in court. You would have thought that she’d wear it as a badge of pride.

Her latest cause is defending this guy:

After the verdict in a state whose capitol is 1.200 miles away from home, the Midlothian Malaka attacked the jury and praised convicted murderer Derek Chauvin:

Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase (R), a prominent Republican candidate in her state’s gubernatorial race, copied Greene’s fear-mongering tactic in response to Chauvin’s verdict by saying that it made her “sick.”

During a campaign stop on Tuesday shortly after the announcement of Chauvin’s verdict, Chase griped that she is “so concerned about our law enforcement right now quitting. And you should be, too.”

Chase, who describes herself as “Trump in heels” and was censured by the Virginia state Senate after praising the mob behind the Capitol attack as “patriots,” doubled down on her stance in a written statement.

“I’m concerned that the decision was politically motivated more to prevent civil unrest than to serve justice,” Chase said in a written statement, according to the Washington Post. “The decision made today sends a clear message to law enforcement; the justice system doesn’t have your back.”

I wonder if she’s going to start a Chauvin fan club and invite rotten defense lawyer Eric Nelson to speak. They both make me sick.

Is it just me or does Eric Nelson look like Garth Algar?

Nelson can still suck it.

Back to the Midlothian Malaka.  She has been on my radar for quite some time. If there’s a retrograde position, she’s taken it. Her comments about rape are reprehensible even by her own low standards: “It’s those who are naive and unprepared that end up raped. Sorry. But I’m not going to be a statistic.”

She’s also a hardcore Lost Causer. She adores the Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond, which state and local officials want lost like the cause it represents. She described the removal attempt as: “a cowardly capitulation to the looters and domestic terrorists” and an “overt effort to erase all white history.”

Does Malaka Mandy kiss her children with that mouth?

The good news is that the Midlothian Malaka’s chances of being elected Governor are slim and none and slim was just consigned to the dust heap of history. The bad news is that she has any support at all. She’s Virginia’s answer to Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert. And that is why Amanda Chase is malaka of the week.

I’ve used Sweet Virginia many times over the years, but it has never been more appropriate: the Midlothian Malaka is the shit that needs to be scraped off the Commonwealth’s shoes. That’s why the last word goes to the Rolling Stones:

 

 

Everybody Wants To Rule The World

Oligarchy Definition

OK class, use it in a sentence.

It’s been a bad week for oligarchs.

From the 48 hour birth, life, and death of the European Super League in soccer to the pullback of Russian troops from the border with Ukraine, the fat cats have been taking a bit of a pounding, most of it at the hands of the so called little guys.

If you still can’t quite understand the entire Super League fiasco don’t worry. I follow European soccer pretty closely and I am hard pressed to come up with a rational for the absurd circus the Dirty Dozen have put us through. The no longer failing New York Times has a good play by play of how this all came to be.

Suffice it to say, twelve of the fourteen richest teams in Europe decided they wanted to create their own league to play in, one that they would have total control of and which ultimately would have destroyed the delicate pyramid that feeds and nurtures the other hundreds of teams in dozens of national leagues. Fans, the people who actually pay to go to or watch games on TV, revolted. It was quickly established that even the most ardent of fans would abandon lifelong allegiance to one of the twelve in favor of continued allegiance to their national leagues. Television networks, the ones who would be paying the largest portion of the tab for the Super League, started muttering “what if they have a league and no one watches”.

And just like that, poof, it’s gone.

The birth and demise of the Super League is being laid squarely at the feet of the Glazer family, owners of Manchester United as well as being the guys who sign Tom Brady’s checks, Stan Kroenke owner of Arsenal, the LA Rams, the Denver Nuggets, and the Colorado Avalanche, and John Henry, owner of Liverpool FC as well as the Bahstin Red Sox. The line being put out is it’s all American hubris, coming in and thinking they can make this into the NFL. They’re taking the fall, but this whole plan stinks of Russian and Arab oligarchic slight of hand.

That’s how oligarchs work. They quietly pull all the strings so that if something goes wrong they can walk away with clean hands. That’s what’s happening in this case, Americans are taking the fall while the Russian oligarch owner of Chelsea FC and the Emirati prince owner of Manchester City get to say “I know nothing!“.

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Friday Catblogging: The Other Claire Trevor

Here’s my kitty’s namesake cuddling with a Maine coon kitten in the 1952 movie, My Man and I.

Next, a picture of Claire’s hand with Nikki, the same cat from the same movie: