Monthly Archives: August 2021

A Reader Writes In To Inquire

Democrats Vs. Republicans

After my last post a reader who stands in opposition to what I said asked me some questions that I thought would be better answered in todays post then a simple reply to just him. He raises some points that I often hear from those who stand in opposition to my point of view. We will begin with

Since (Biden) took office, Gas prices in suburban areas of (LOCATION REDACTED) have hit highs of $5 per gallon.

Yes they have. I wish Biden had the power to put a cap on how much oil producers can charge for a gallon of gas, but until the socialist dream is achieved he doesn’t. Nor has any president. EVER. If you are upset about five dollar a gallon gas then start getting mad at the real culprits, the oil companies. Personally I think it’s because they see we are coming to the end of the age of the internal combustion engine and are trying to get as much cashola as they can before no one wants and/or needs their product. But if you think five bucks is high, wait till they start using Hurricane Ida as an excuse to raise prices.

And you know they will.

Since he took office, ISIS which was rarely heard of the previous 4 years are claiming to be responsible for the afghan airport bombing which killed many US marines and citizens that have been left there before being evacuated before the US army was to let in the Taliban to take over.

First of all, it was not ISIS that was responsible for the Kabul airport bombing but rather ISIS-K which is an off shoot organization not controlled by ISIS. US citizens were killed in the attack but many more of the dead were Afghans. That’s not an excuse, just a statement of fact. Could it have been prevented? I don’t know, but I do know that a second attempt was prevented with a well placed drone strike. I’m sure you were applauding the bold and direct action that Biden took.

Before he took office it was thought that there might be control on the current situation at hand but reading articles on CNN which is pro Biden, it looks like this August is worse than last year August (although you’ll claim it’s all others faults).

What control are you talking about? Trump’s “peace talks” with the Taliban? Look, let me make it clear, we had no business being in Afghanistan and we certainly had no business being there for twenty years. Biden said enough is enough, we’re not wasting any more money or blood on a place with no strategic value to our country. And if you want to cry about terrorists being there please note my earlier comment about the drone strike as an example of how to take care of things.

The Taliban have no friends, only those who give them money to buzz around and annoy Western democracies. Let them run an unrunable country. When the time is right an opposition group will take to the hills, just as the Taliban did twenty years ago, and begin a guerilla war that will end with them marching into Kabul. But if you think that will bring about a peaceful, serene Afghanistan I’ll remind you that the Taliban will just take to the hills and begin another guerilla war.

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Today on Tommy T’s Random Ruminations – VAERS deferens edition

I see the anti-vaxxers spouting “VAERS! VAERS!” like it was some kind of chant to keep the spectre of reality away from them. And they report that VAERS says more people have died from the vaccinations than have died from COVID-19

I’ll tell you what VAERS is – it’s the stupidest thing the CDC has ever done. In a misguided attempt to get some numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations, they created a database where anyone (yes, even you) can identify themselves as a MD (none of these identities are verified), and report adverse reactions or deaths from inoculations. (none of these are verified, either).

Guess what happened next.

As a result, what the CDC has done is set up a forum as reliable as a Reddit thread or a Free Republic post. So – every time you see an anti-vaxxer post a VAERS statistic, know that it’s about as true as The Darnold’s medical exam assessment.

Ferchrissakes.

One person reported that the vaccine turned him into The Incredible Hulk, and that his daughter had been turned into Wonder Woman.

 

The chief problem with the VAERS data is that reports can be entered by anyone and are not routinely verified. To demonstrate this, a few years ago I entered a report that an influenza vaccine had turned me into The Hulk. The report was accepted and entered into the database.

This is what people routinely claim is ‘bullshit’. So, I thought I’d put it to the test.

VAERS has two ways of submitting a report. Firstly, you could download a PDF, fill it in and post it off. Or, you could do what I elected to do and fill in and submit a report online.

VAERS has a helpful popup which tells you exactly what it needs to know – which are the most important pieces of data it needs. However, the fact that I live in the UK was not deemed of importance. Neither was the fact that I told VAERS that my daughter had been turned into Wonder Woman. The only piece of contact data I submitted was my email address and I wasn’t even asked for that. I submitted it voluntarily.”

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The Spirit Of ’05 Revisited

Root Beer Blues. Photograph by Dr. A.

In 2018, I decided to do something different on the Katrinaversary. As Hurricane Ida arrives in the Gret Stet of Louisiana, I’m posting it again on the 16th anniversary of the storm that changed my life:

I hate to go Dickensian on your asses but the period after Hurricane Katrina and the Federal Flood was indeed the best of times and the worst of times. My Katrina experience was nothing compared to many people but it has stayed with me in a way that few life experiences have.

Each Katrinaversary gets a bit less painful. Today almost feels like an ordinary day but I still have the survivor’s guilt I wrote about lwhen parts of New Orleans flooded on my birthday:

It’s a common malady for those of us who live in what has come to be known as “the sliver by the river.” We did not flood in 2005, so I do not like arguing with those who did. It makes me uncomfortable and uncharacteristically deferential. In the year immediately after the storm, I  cringed every time I had to tell *our* Katrina story to those worse off since we were so lucky. We did have $20K worth of damage and were in exile for 7 weeks but that was nothing compared to what so many others went through. Hence my survivor’s guilt and this weekend’s survivor’s guilt flashback. I re-posted my account of Dr. A and my sneaking into the city at First Draft in 2015. Here’s the link.

As bad as that period was for all concerned, there was an esprit de corps that I miss. Everyone was in the same leaky boat so we helped one another out. Spontaneous and random acts of kindness were commonplace. I recall a day when we helped our neighbors duct tape their dead refrigerators and drag them to the curb. It was dirty, stinky work but it felt good to help.

Cajun Tomb. Photograph by Dr. A.

The Spirit of ’05 endured for several years, which looking back is remarkable. It could not last forever but those were heady days. I wish we could recapture the camaraderie but crisis brings out both the best and worst in people. And when the crisis ends, everything changes.  I met many people after the storm, made some enduring friendships and others that were more fleeting. But I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything, it has made me who I am now.

The lasting impact of the storm on my life is that I started blogging. I never expected to still be at it thirteen years after the day that everything changed, but here I am. I landed at First Draft because of Scout Prime who not only wrote about her experiences helping in New Orleans after the storm, but came up with the idea for the Rising Tide conference. My friendships with Scout and Athenae are two that have endured over the years. Thanks for letting me tell jokes here, y’all.

Speaking of enduring friendships, here’s an apt tweet from my dear friend Julie:

In past years, the blog has stayed dark for the entire Katrinaversary thereby allowing this solemn image to dominate:

I decided it was time for a change. I also wanted to mention my empathy for the people of Puerto Rico where  2,975 American citizens died as a result of Hurricane Maria. It’s what happens when you have bad leadership: in our case it was the Bush-Cheney gang, with Maria it’s the Trump-Pence regime; both of whom lost the popular vote, then lost the thread when it came to hurricane relief. It’s what happens when you give power to people who hate government. Heckuva job, Trumpy.

The Spirit of ’05 is a touchstone for all that’s good about human nature. It’s still lurking in a city that has changed radically since the storm and its aftermath. Here’s how I put it in a post five days before the 10th Katrinaversary:

After the water receded, there was a second inundation of people flooding into the city. Some were do-gooders, some were hipsters seeking the next trend, still others were here to make a buck. Very few of them understood the essence of New Orleans and what makes the city and its inhabitants tick. Many of them, especially on social media, have come up with an orthodoxy of what it means to be a New Orleanian. That has come to be known as copping a NOLAier than thou attitude, a swell phrase that was coined by Karen Dalton Beninato.  Some of the NOLAier than thou set seem to have spent way too much time watching Treme. Instead of a Cabaret, life is apparently a second line, old chum.

On the 13th anniversary, we continue to struggle with what happened that August day. There’s still a special feeling among those of who went through it together. If only we could fully recapture the Spirit of ’05.

The last word goes to Peter Gabriel with a song that’s been on my mind and in my head thirteen times over:

Saturday Odds & Sods: Paint It Black

Got Me Rocking by Ron Wood

The summer of our discontent continues with Hurricane Ida in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. A and I are planning to ride it out. I’m not eager to evacuate with Claire Trevor. She hates riding in the car and she’s a biter. She’s not as sweet as she looks but we love her anyway.

The weather is one reason I’m keeping this week’s entry short and focused. The second act is a tribute to the late, great Stones drummer Charlie Watts. Hence the Ron Wood featured image.

This week’s theme song was written in 1966 by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It’s as good an example of Charlie’s drumming as I can think of. Bim-bam-boom.

Since this is a tribute to Charlie Watts, I’m skipping the covers of Paint It Black and sticking to the Stones. A solid plan in my estimation. We have three versions: the studio original and live in 1990 and 2006.

I almost forgot this version by Charlie Watts with the Danish Radio Big Band:

Now that we’ve faded away and not faced the facts, let’s jump to the break.

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A Fine Romance

In 1952 Norman Granz of Verve Records convinced Fred Astaire to record some jazz versions of tunes he sang onscreen. The band leader was Oscar Peterson. The featured image shows Astaire at the piano and Oscar with Ray Brown’s bass. I have no idea why.

A Fine Romance was written in 1936 by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields for the George Stevens directed Astaire-Rogers movie Swing Time. It was a duet between Fred and Ginger. We’re skipping that and beginning with Fred jazzing it up.

We begin our survey of A Fine Romance with The Astaire Story:

Speaking of Oscar Peterson, he plays on this Ella-Satchmo duet.

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Bayou Brief: Backrooms and Bayous

Russell Long. John Breaux, and Bob Mann.

My latest 13th Ward Rambler column for Bayou Brief is a review of Robert Mann‘s swell new book, Bayous and Backrooms: My Life In Louisiana Politics.

Here’s the whole damn tagline: “Is Bob Mann the Zelig or Forrest Gump of Louisiana politics? Find out in Peter Athas’ review of Mann’s memoirs.”

Since I made the Forrest Gump reference, the last word goes to Jackson Browne with a song that was in the movie.

Elder Abuse

Steve Harvey and Donald Trump

Here’s Larry Elder with his hero Donald…hold on I’m being told that’s Steve Harvey. My bad.

Larry Elder

Here’s the real Larry Elder, or at least a reasonable facsimile.

So here we are, two and a half weeks before the votes are counted on the Recall To End All Recalls (or so many of us hope) and look who’s shot into the “lead” among the potential replacements. Why it’s the self proclaimed “Sage From South Central” Larry Elder.

And America says “Who?”

That’s okay, most of California is saying the same thing.

Well let me tell you a few things about Larry the Elder and I’m gonna make this promise right now. Everything I tell you will be the truth no matter how bizarre it might sound. And trust me, a whole lot of this is gonna sound bizarre.

We’ll start with the basics. Larry Elder is a conservative radio talk show provocateur. Like most of his ilk his schtick is to make outrageous statements “just to stir the pot” as they like to say when having to backpedal from one of those statements. He is the protégé of  Dennis Prager of Prager University infamy if you are interested in his bonifides.

Elder grew up in the South Central Los Angeles area in the 1960’s and 70s. Contrary to the image that might engender in your mind, South Central at that time was a working class neighborhood of small individual homes occupied by working class families. Frankly it still is. Shame what one riot caused by police brutality can do for a neighborhood’s image. His father was a janitor who saved his money and eventually opened a diner in the neighborhood. The son went to school and made it to Brown University for undergrad work and then on to the University of Michigan where he got his law degree. After a stint practicing law he discovered the world of media, working his way up from part time fill in host on local TV to eventually having his own syndicated megaphone coast to coast.

As they used to say (and he probably would still say) he’s a credit to his race.

Did I mention that he’s black?

Sigh, we’ve gone from the late great Tom Bradley potentially being the first black governor of California to a guy whose political philosophy seems to be “If a liberal was ever for it then I’m against it” regardless of the public harm it would do.

So he’s come out and said his first act in office would be to rescind mask mandates and vaccination requirements. At this point unfortunately we have to be expecting that from any conservative politician because you know “freedumb man ™” But this is nothing new for Elder. He also believes that second hand smoke can’t cause cancer and that while the climate may be changing, humans aren’t responsible for it.

His campaign slogan outta be “Life, it ain’t no big thing”.

All those are just the beginning. Certainly in the top three of concerns for Californians is homelessness. The causes of homelessness are way too varied to go into here, but the bottom line is what are we going to do about alleviating it. Many suggestions, many plans, but none involve gutting environmental protections to allow builders to erect huge apartment complexes on protected wetlands. That is until Larry Elder came along because that is the sum total of his plan to cut down on people living on the streets. Mental health, drug treatment, not important and besides, no one makes REAL money off that. Just gotta get rid of all those pesky rules and regulations. Build baby build. We could call them Elder Hostiles.

That last joke courtesy of El Grand Hefe de First Draft, Adrastos.

But at least it shows me who the money is behind him. California Building Industry Association come on down!

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Friday Catblogging: The Sentinel

Claire Trevor has been keeping us safe since September 2020.

Just What I Needed

It had been a quiet hurricane season thus far in South Louisiana. That seems to have ended today. It’s still too early to tell as the hurricane hunters will be flying into the system this afternoon. That’s when the cone of uncertainty will replace the spaghetti models. It’s just what I needed. Oy just oy.

This is the one time of the year that I’m less hard on the New Orleans freak out set. The 16th Katrinaversary looms on Sunday so trigger isn’t just Roy Rogers’ horse right now.

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Does that GIF qualify as a wakeup call? Maybe so.

I usually loathe colorized images but Trigger stepping out on Roy was irresistible. I hope Dale Evans didn’t mind…

No media bashing from me today. Michael F has taken care of that. What’s not to love about his Liberty Valence inspired title?

In New Orleans pandemic news, the mayor’s crackdown has borne fruit. More and more people are getting vaccinated because of the mandate. The Saints are down with it too. They had a fake home game that required either vaxx proof or a recent PCR test. I approve as I did of Jameis Winston’s performance in the fake game. It looks as if he’ll be the Saints QB. Hopefully, he’ll live down the idea that he has a million-dollar arm and five-dollar head. Stay tuned.

I’d like to hit a few high points in the news Odds & Sods style.

Get Kraken: US District Judge Linda Parker brought the hammer down on Sidney Powell and her pack of lying Trumper lawyers.

U.S. District Judge Linda Parker for the Eastern District of Michigan referred the team of lawyers — who sought to overturn the election in courts through a series bogus claims — for suspension or disbarment while granting requests for sanctions.

Parker also ordered the “Kraken” team — which included Trump-aligned lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood — to pay for legal fees for the city of Detroit and state of Michigan, and referred them for “at least twelve (12) hours of continuing legal education in the subjects of pleading standards (at least six hours total) and election law (at least six hours total).”

Parker wrote in the ruling that the “Kraken” lawyers had tried to create a “haze of confusion, commotion, and chaos” around the election.

“And this case was never about fraud — it was about undermining the People’s faith in our democracy and debasing the judicial process to do so,” Parker wrote.

Judge Parker is my new hero. These are cracking sanctions given to the Kraken shysters. Their various state bar associations will be forced to have disbarment hearings after a referral from a federal judge. This is some serious shit.

It’s time to get cracking on another segment but first a word from Nick Lowe:

They don’t call him the Jesus of Cool for nothing, y’all.

Tantrum Of The Day: It goes to the Impeached Insult Comedian who flipped out over subpoenas issued by the House Dipshit Insurrection Committee. Here’s another Garbage Pail Kid for your kollection:

I guess that was the North Korea edition.

Herschel Herschel Herschel: Herschel Walker remains the greatest player in Georgia Bulldog football history. But he hasn’t lived in the Peach State for decades. His wife is under investigation for voter fraud but Herschel is still running for Raphael Warnock’s senate seat.

Not only is Herschel running as a Black Republican, he’s running as the blackest sort of Republican: a Trumper. He used to work for the Kaiser of Chaos before the USFL was fired:

It will be interesting to see how Herschel’s GOP opponents handle what could be called his Eve-Sybil issue:

The book, “Breaking Free,” … explores his diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder, once known as multiple personality disorder, a condition he said he developed to combat the bullying he faced as an overweight child with a speech disorder.

Since then, however, reports have documented the violent threats he leveled in 2005 against his ex-wife, Cindy Grossman, which led to a judge granting her a protective order. She has said she felt “there was somebody there that was evil” when he threatened her.

Finally, I’ve long pronounced Walker’s first name with a Jersey accent as in Hoy-shell, Hoy-shell, Hoy-shell. He did play for the New Jersey Generals, after all.

The post title refers to the possible approach of possible Hurricane Ida. I had an Aunt Ida on my mother’s side. I didn’t know her well. My only memory of her is that she worked for Marlin Perkins the Wild Kingdom guy.

Beware of the Idas of August.

The last word goes to the Cars performing Just What I Needed at Live Aid:

 

When The Narrative Becomes Legend, Print The Narrative

Projection is a hell of a drug.

After four years of daily WTF-WT-Ever Living-F?, Politico accuses…the Biden Administration…of gaslighting.

Goddamn, black holes don’t distort/contort any more than the Cult of the Savvy (and at least with black holes, it’s what they do…the Cult is only in it for the clicks).

They’ll cite any/every GOP source, no matter how much they’ve managed to FUBAR it, because, I dunno.

You tell me.

My best guess is that it’s a (distorted in its own way) feedback loop that, um, clings to a narrative regardless of facts because…it beats the hell out of having to do actual journalism.

Phone it in, text it in, tweet it in, then dash off to Adams Morgan or whatever trendy hot spot is the place to see and be seen in Washington DC (and I’m very much not the person to check with on trendy hot spots in Washington DC, or anywhere else).

But, for whatever it’s worth, I think about public policy, and think small d democracy isn’t so bad, public investment isn’t so bad, and ending no-win wars isn’t so bad either.

If Politico wants to report on gaslighting, I can think of a lot of other places they can look at…

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Killers Are My Meat

This book is NOT about cannibalism. It’s a part of the Chester Drum series, which is NOT about drums.

 

Afghanistan: The Media Tantrum Continues

Image via learnin.grow.com

The MSM continues to pitch a fit about something that’s going about as well possible: the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. A retreat by a losing army is always chaotic. Repeat after me: our side lost the war.

As of this writing, over 80,000 people have been airlifted out of Kabul.

Thus far, there have been no American casualties since the Afghan government collapsed. None, zero, zilch.

The MSM’s accusations that Team Biden is detached from the reality on the ground amount to projection. Someone else is into projection and pitching fits until he gets his way:

I didn’t know that Garbage Pail Kids were around in 2016. It works in 2021 as well. Topps is the top as Cole Porter would have surely said at this point.

The MSM’s creepy attachment to Trump is behind the tantrum. It’s a sick S&M relationship. During the Trump regime, the MSM were the masochists, now they’re the sadists inflicting pain on Team Biden for not being like cruel, criminal, and cretinous Trumpers. It’s all summed up in this song by The Tubes:

Ouch.

One could even call the MSM Trump fetishists.

Speaking of great music from the 1970’s, this Kinks song sung from the perspective of a twisted headmaster who enjoys spanking students works as well.

Sometimes being old comes in handy.

I, for one, am appalled by this OTT display of displaced rage. The media’s clicks are down because the Kaiser of Chaos is no longer in office. They’ve opted to punish President Biden for something that was inevitable unless we stayed forever. Repeat after me: our side lost the war.

Don’t trust me, listen to a disabled Afghanistan veteran, Dan Berschinski:

When the twin towers fell, I was a high school senior deep in college applications. The United States Military Academy topped my list. Watching the devastation of Sept. 11, 2001, unfold, I knew the Army would be part of the response, though I figured that response would be over by the time I graduated from West Point. Never did I imagine that, eight years later, I would be leading soldiers in a war provoked by that one terrible day.

Yet lead them I did, across Afghanistan, witnessing horrors and enduring losses I still struggle to describe. What I saw there convinced me that the awful scenes we are now witnessing were inevitable — and that President Biden deserves credit for nonetheless braving the fallout to do the right thing by our troops.

I saw early warning signs as a U.S. Army infantry platoon leader on my first mission in Kandahar in 2009. In my very first conversation with a local, a shopkeeper told me: “Lieutenant, I met the previous American lieutenant 12 months prior, I will meet another American lieutenant in 12 months when you leave.” He did not like the Taliban, the shopkeeper told me, but it would be in Afghanistan long after I would — and so he had no choice but to deal with it.

It’s their country, not ours. It certainly doesn’t belong to the tantrum throwing American media who pine for worse times under the Impeached Insult Comedian. Think about that: they want things to be worse so they can have higher ratings and more clicks.

Even some of the military brass who oversaw our Afghan misadventure have seen the light:

Then-Vice President Joe Biden was right when he urged then-President Barack Obama to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen said Sunday, adding that the US could have left Afghanistan earlier.

“I thought we could turn it around, obviously, I was wrong,” Mullen, who served in both Democratic and Republican administrations, told ABC News on “This Week.”

Mullen also said that the US should have withdrawn its troops after the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Who are we going to listen to: the MSM and former Bush officials or Mike Mullen?

Joe Biden was right from the start.

Being loud does not make you right. Some of us learned that from the Trump regime. The MSM has not.

We all threw tantrums when we were children. My mother would let me cry it out, especially if it was an unreasonable tantrum. That’s all we can do with this ongoing tantrum by the MSM. Unfortunately, this tantrum will have unpleasant and even dire consequences.

If only it were possible to put the MSM into a time-out. They’ve clearly lost their minds. The last word is a chill pill from Steely Dan.

O Captain! My Captain!

The news media found new life last week when Joe Biden began withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan. Finally they had the sensational story with a simple plot that drew clicks and eyeballs. And even better, Biden’s approval rating took a hit this week allowing them additional hand-wringing opportunities to opine about how his legislative agenda was now in jeopardy.

Why would Democrats refuse support for programs that would be a huge boost to their campaigns next fall? It didn’t make sense to me, but it did to a bunch of conservative House Democrats who saw this as a heaven-sent chance to hold the rest of the Democratic caucus hostage.

Under the banner of striking while the iron was hot, Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and his Sabotage Squad insisted that the vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill be held ASAP, completely bypassing the agreement between progressives and conservatives. How bad were the optics on this? Mitch McConnell said he was rooting for them to tank the entire deal, including the bill he himself had voted for.

There is a subset of House Democrats which doesn’t seem to have a complete understanding of the difference between representatives and senators. The size of the House means that the individual influence of any 1 representative is diluted, especially when compared to the power an individual senator has. So while Joe Manchin can extract concessions, it’s much more difficult for even a group of representatives to do the same.

And the Sabotage Squad had an additional wrinkle in their plans—appeasing them meant antagonizing the other squad, thus stopping all forward movement of both bills in the House. There was no way that Nancy Pelosi was going to put up with that nonsense.

As we learned last week from numerous think pieces, Afghanistan is the place where empires go to die. And Speaker Pelosi is the Afghanistan of the House of Representatives. Waves of rebels have gone to their ideological deaths at her capable hands. (Remember how Seth Moulton was going to be the next Speaker of the House? Yeah. Although he didn’t seem to learn from his lesson since he jetted off to Afghanistan to create more headaches for Biden.)

Poltico covered the story on Monday as Pelosi offering a deal to Gottheimer. That same framing was repeated, as if Pelosi were actually worried that it was all going to go south. Then on Tuesday night, a day after the panicked Politico piece, word came that all the needed votes were complete and the 2-track plan was still intact.

Not only that, but there was no actual deal:

Nancy Pelosi is the most consequential Speaker of the House in the 20th century, and so far in the 21st century as well. Her political acumen led to the passage of the ACA. She masterminded the 2018 midterm election strategy that returned her to the Speaker’s chair. And now she’s going to pass the bulk of Joe Biden’s legislative agenda before the 2022 midterms. I’m going to miss her leadership when she steps down as Speaker after this Congress. I hope she changes her mind.

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Saul Bass

Artist/Graphic Designer Saul Bass was best known for his film work with such luminaries as Otto Preminger and Alfred Hitchcok to name a few. I featured his album cover for Anatomy of a Murder in this space 4 years ago.

Here are some more examples of Saul Bass’ album cover work:

Since The Smithereens are one of my favorite bands, I give you Blow Up via Spotify:

Shitshow On Fraternity Row

I’m late to this stinky story but as your resident LSU alum and shit stirrer I felt compelled to write about it. Besides, post titles like this don’t come along every day.

The Advocate had the first shot at this headline but they blew it because of that whole pesky family newspaper thing:

Members of all LSU sororities and some fraternities must get tested for COVID-19 after the school found traces of the virus in the wastewater system serving their area of the campus.

The university sent members of 15 Greek chapters an email Thursday notifying them that they must be tested at one of the three on-campus testing sites within 48 hours. School spokesman Ernie Ballard said that students have until 11 a.m. Saturday, the first day of Greek recruitment, to meet the testing requirement.

After the shit hit the fan,  there was a follow-up story:

LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said the call for testing came after the school detected “high traces” of coronavirus in the sewage from Greek Row. And with just two days to comply, some 3,000 members of 15 Greek chapters lined up in cars to get swabbed at the school’s drive-through clinics.

Abbie-Grace Milligan, Greek senior and vice president of student government, said she got an email at noon Thursday instructing her to get tested at one of three on-campus testing sites. She waited in line for nearly two hours on Gourrier Avenue near the UREC field testing site but left without getting swabbed.

“It was an absolute nightmare,” she said. “I saw five people run out of gas while waiting. People were even getting out of their cars to use the bathroom on the side of the road. It was madness.”

I guess you could call that the shitstorm after the shitshow. No shit.

The kids should consider it a test-drive for the next hurricane evacuation. Those are usually shitshows as well.

After the feces hit the fan and the Pfizer vaccine was formally approved by the FDA, LSU belatedly and begrudgingly changed their vaccination policy:

The announcement is full of loopholes, but it’s better than the previous policy which was “Y’all come,”

This stinky situation calls for an antidote. There’s one that  I wrote about 7 years ago in a post called Smells Like School Spirit.

Ladies and germs, I give you the LSU scent circa 2014:

Oddly enough, the scent was called LSU Mask. They need more of those on the Red Stick campus as well.

In honor of the LSU’s latest attempt to get ahold of the pandemic, the last word goes to Stephen Stills and Manassas:

Recall the Recall

Welcome to California where the American Nazi Party formerly known as the Republican Party have taken advantage of our absurdly lenient recall rules to attempt to undo the results of an overwhelming victory by Gavin Newsom in the last gubernatorial election. 

I got my ballot today. That’s the way we roll here in the Golden State. No standing in line at the polling station, no wondering if the boss will give you time off to go vote, no muss, no fuss. The ballot arrives in the mail (much to Louis DeJoy’s consternation), you fill it out and then can either mail it back in, drop it off at an official ballot collection box which are located in about 20 places throughout the county, or bring it to ANY polling location on election day. Or you can do it the old fashioned way and make use of your local polling location to mark your ballot or press the lever.

Civic engagement made simple. 

Prior to COVID, several counties, mine being one of them, implemented this system for balloting. During last year’s elections the state adopted it for every county. We did not even have a suggestion of any ballot irregularities. In fact a non partisan commission determined there was no advantage gained by either party from full mail in balloting. There is even a system for tracking your ballot from the moment it is mailed to you until the moment it is counted. You get emails and/or texts alerting you to it’s status. It looks like this is the future of voting in California.

That is as long as Gavin Newsom remains governor. If he is recalled and any of the non-entities listed on the ballot take power all bets are off. The recall law is absolutely screwy. Just about anyone who can marshal enough signatures and can pay the filing fee can get their name on the ballot. The only person who can’t be on the ballot? Gavin Newsom.

24 of the 46 names on the ballot identify as Repugnicant while only 8 identify as Democrat. A couple are the usual Libertarian, Green, etc. and the rest have no party affiliation. Only one of the 46 has any governmental experience and that was as a member of the Board of Equalization (that’s the sales tax board). Several list their occupations as “entertainer”. Lots of former cops. And of course Caitlyn Jenner because we need to add a they to the hims and hers. Even the serious Repugnicant candidates for next year’s governors race didn’t get involved in this. 

And yet polls show this as a dead heat race, with an energized Nazi, er, I mean, Repugnicant base rallying around the hope Democrats will forget to send the ballot back in. So first let me scream at Democratic voters. SEND THE FUCKING BALLOT BACK IN YOU WANKERS. OK, now let me scream at the Nazi scum who are behind this bullshit recall. YOU ARE NOT TRUE AMERICANS AND HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ONE MAN ONE VOTE REALLY MEANS

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The Katrina-Kabul Connection

One reason I’m feeling so cantankerous of late is that it’s August. Everyone in New Orleans gets tetchy at this time of year as the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent Federal Flood approaches. It’s been 16 years since the most important moment of my life. You might not be reading this if not for that epic disaster. It’s why I became an internet writer or blogger as we used to call ourselves.

I’m struck by the similarity of the MSM’s coverage of Katrina’s aftermath and the collapse of the Afghan government. The words that come to mind are shrill, hyperbolic, and over the top. To watch CNN after the storm was to believe there was widespread looting, arson, and mayhem. The looped footage typically included people clinging to rooftops, stealing teevees, and images of the Beer Looter Dude. Over and over again.

In August and September of 2005, the MSM floated unsupported rumors of murders at evacuation sites such as the Super Dome and Convention Center. Over and over again.

I recall watching a reporter do a standup in front of some burning houses and proclaiming that the “Garden District is on fire.” It was not. The burning houses were on Napoleon Avenue, which is not in the Garden District. The looped footage and misattribution continued. Over and over again.

There *was* chaos in New Orleans after Katrina and the Federal Flood but it was not as widespread as the MSM coverage would have you believe. That coverage inspired my skepticism of all on-the-fly live reporting from a disaster area or war zone.

In 2021, the MSM is whipping up hysteria over events in Afghanistan by looping footage of children being lifted over razor wire and desperate people hanging onto airplanes. Over and over again.

There *is* some chaos after the fall of Kabul. Losing armies tend to collapse at the end of a losing war. Make no mistake about it: the side we backed lost this war. Much of the MSM, however, seems disinterested in reporting items such as this:

As always, Chris Wallace is willing to sail against the prevailing winds of his own network.

As for the lemmings of the MSM, they prefer headlines like the “Calamity Plane” headline in the feature image. It’s a good pun but an inaccurate headline.

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Today on Tommy T’s obsession with the Freeperati – shart-term memory loss edition

Ok people – let’s get suited up and hit the airlock, shall we?

Of course, the Freeperati have been flooding the site with hundreds of posts about Afghanistan, and Joey B. Shark’s cowardice in cutting and running from the country that has (so far) crushed five different countries’ efforts to control it.

That is now.

This was then:

Donald Trump pulls two thousand troops out of Iraq and plans drawdown in Afghanistan in days amid bust-up with top commanders he accused of going to war to enrich defense contractors
Daily Mail ^ | 09/09/2020 | By NIKKI SCHWAB, SENIOR U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and ASSOCIATED PRESS

Posted on 9/9/2020, 1:59:35 PM by SeekAndFind

The Trump administration announced Wednesday that more than 2,000 troops will be withdrawn from Iraq and the administration is looking to announce a drawdown in Afghanistan in coming days.

CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. said the reduction will go from about 5,200 troops in Iraq to 3,000 and happen this month, which he said will ‘allow us to continue advising and assisting our Iraqi partners in rooting out the final remnants of ISIS in Iraq,’ according to CNN.

Reporters first caught wind of the president’s plan when a senior administration official discussed it with the press pool on Air Force One Tuesday night – and did so on the condition of anonymity.

The planned announcements come as the president has been trying to make the case that he has fulfilled the promises he made four years ago as he tries to secure a second term. Among them: pulling the U.S. out of ‘endless wars.’

1 posted on 9/9/2020, 1:59:35 PM by SeekAndFind
To: SeekAndFind

It’s hilarious when liberals get mad at Trump for not waging war.

5 posted on 9/9/2020, 2:04:51 PM by cdcdawg (Biden has dementia.)

Isn’t it just?

Also :

McConnell warns Trump against troop drawdown in Afghanistan
The Hill ^ | 11/16/2020 | Jordain Carney

Posted on 11/16/2020, 3:35:42 PM by lodi90

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) fired a warning shot Monday against withdrawing more U.S. troops from Afghanistan, even as the Pentagon is preparing an order to do so.

McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, warned that only a “small minority” in Congress would support a rapid drawdown and warned that a rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan “would hurt our allies and delight, delight, the people who wish us harm.”

“The consequences of a premature American exit would likely be even worse than President Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq back in 2011. … It would be reminiscent of the humiliating American departure from Saigon in 1975. We’d be abandoning our partners in Afghanistan,” McConnell said from the Senate floor.

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The GOP Majority Leader compares POTUS to Obama and the Fall of Saigon?

 

If anybody was wondering which team McConnell plays for here is your answer. It certainly is not Team USA.

1 posted on 11/16/2020, 3:35:42 PM by lodi90

To: lodi90

It’s been 17 f***ing years there’s nothing premature about leaving now.

2 posted on 11/16/2020, 3:36:36 PM by mrmeyer (You can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. Robert Heinlein)

To: lodi90

What kinda stupid do you have to be to call pulling troops out of a 17 year no-victory quagmire a “ hasty withdrawal?

13 posted on 11/16/2020, 3:47:33 PM by silverleaf (Age Takes a Toll: Please Have Exact Change.)

“Free Republic” stupid?
To: lodi90

Tell him sure Mitch and then after January reelection inauguration tell him to go f*ck himself

43 posted on 11/16/2020, 4:46:58 PM by Mr. K (No consequence of repealing obamacare is worse than obamacare itself)

Do you want to tell him, or shall I?

Anyway, I don’t have (or want) to show you the hundreds of posts from the last week castigating President Biden as a coward for getting us out of Afghanistan.

These mental defectives have the long-term memory of an avocado plant. Or a dog.

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More below the fold :

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Today on Tommy T’s random ruminations – “You’re in bad hands with Failstate” edition

I keep wondering what the medical insurance companies (no, not Medicare) are going to do about the mounting thousands of claims for ICU treatment for COVID-19 infection cases. It’s gotta be wrecking them.
 
So what are going to do? Charge the patients instead? At $78,000 average (patients aged 21 to 40 paid the most for these longer hospitalizations, on average paying $980,821. The over 60 age group paid the least – about $460,989). , that would just amount to a lot of personal medical bankruptcies.
 
If the insurance companies have to eat the cost, that’s going to be a lot of CORPORATE bankruptcies – and there goes the stock market AND the economy.
 
If the hospitals have to eat the cost – ditto.
 
All because idiots won’t vaccinate/mask up.
 
How long do you think it’ll take for insurance companies to start denying payments based on whether or not patients were vaxxed?
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(edited to add)
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I wrote the above last Tuesday.
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On Thursday, this hit the news :
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If North Texas runs out of ICU hospital beds, doctors can consider a patient’s vaccination status

This would be a big change in health care, but doctors have yet to announce it. So The Watchdog does it for them.

Dallas-Fort Worth medical doctors are quietly planning for a worst-case scenario if they run out of intensive care beds. The Watchdog reveals the plan to include vaccination status as part of triage.

Dallas-Fort Worth medical doctors are quietly planning for a worst-case scenario if they run out of intensive care beds. The Watchdog reveals the plan to include vaccination status as part of triage.(Hani Mohammed)

By Dave Lieber

1:53 PM on Aug 19, 2021

North Texas doctors have quietly developed a plan that seeks to prepare for the possibility that due to the COVID-19 surge the region will run out of intensive-care beds.

If that happens, for the first time, doctors officially will be allowed to take vaccination status of sick patients into account along with other triage factors to see who gets a bed.

A copy of an internal memo written by Dr. Robert Fine, co-chair of the North Texas Mass Critical Care Guideline Task Force, was sent to members of the task force — and leaked to The Watchdog. It summarizes the latest work by the task force, a volunteer group that periodically updates medical guidelines for hospitals in our region. There are about 50 members from various hospitals in the group. Although their recommendations are not enforceable, the guidelines are generally followed.

The one-page summary memo is a “heads up” alert in the event things get worse, says Dr. Mark Casanova, director of clinical ethics for Baylor University Medical Center and a spokesperson for the task force. After Monday’s meeting, doctors had yet to make plans to inform the public.

“We’re trying to decide how to explain this addition to the public,” Casanova said.

But after studying the memo and interviewing doctors involved in the decision for two hours this week, The Watchdog can explain it to you.

Although doctors make triage decisions all the time, the proposed guideline addition is significant. Casanova predicted that if this change were copied by others medical care, for as long as the crisis persists, “is going to look and feel different for everybody who is alive right now in the United States of America.”

Yet a leading medical ethicist who studies how COVID-19 affects communities says he worries that adding vaccination status to the triage of patients will unfairly harm low-income people and people of color. These groups are historically disadvantaged when it comes to obtaining proper medical care.

One important note: A non-vaccinated person will not necessarily be denied care when competing with a vaccinated patient for an ICU bed, doctors say. Other medical factors come into play, such as underlying conditions and the likelihood that a patient will get better and leave the hospital.

Dr. Mark Casanova checks on a patient at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Casanova is one of the doctors explaining how vaccination status could soon become an accepted part of triage for hospital admittance.

Dr. Mark Casanova checks on a patient at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Casanova is one of the doctors explaining how vaccination status could soon become an accepted part of triage for hospital admittance.(Ashley Landis – Staff Photographer)

The memo

The online meeting involving several dozen doctors representing many area hospitals took place Monday. Afterward, in his email, co-chair Fine summarized decisions made by the task force. He boiled it down to three bullet points. Here they are:

1. “COVID-19 vaccination decreases severe infection and death. Vaccine status therefore may be considered when making triage decisions as part of the physician’s assessment of each individual’s likelihood of survival.”

2. “When vaccination status is considered, accommodations may be needed when the reason for non-vaccination is beyond the patient’s control such as but not limited to caretaker refusal to have a disabled dependent vaccinated, recent COVID-19 infection, or medical contraindication.”

3. “Many are understandably angry and frustrated with the unvaccinated, but triage must remain grounded upon likelihood of survival. Health care professionals should continue to honor duties of care and compassion.”

Fine concludes, “I encourage the medical professionals on the task force to share these ideas within their respective organization ethics committees, triage committees and/or any physicians who might be involved in triage decisions.”

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Imagine that.

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