Justice Coney Clueless Meets The Turtle

Who said that Metry native Amy Coney Barrett has no sense of humor? The Trump appointed Supreme, hereinafter and forevermore Justice Coney Clueless, picked an odd place to declare that the Roberts Court “is not comprised of partisan hacks.”

The place is the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville best known for national championship winning hoops teams under Denny Crum and Rick Pitino. Pitino, of course, was the real crumb…

That’s McConnell Center as in Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell who is the most partisan hack to ever hack me off. As you can see from the featured image, the Turtle was there to cheer on Justice Coney Clueless as she declared that Justices must be:

“hyper-vigilant to make sure they’re not letting personal biases creep into their decisions since judges are people, too”.

Really? Even this guy?

If they named a beer after Kavanaugh, it would be Partisan Hack.

Like Justice Bro, Justice Coney Clueless is a right-wing Catholic who is bound to approve of Louisville’s mascot, which is a Cardinal, not a Turtle. It’s the bird, not a prelate but it strikes me as a significant symbol.

The McConnell Center’s ostensible mission is to:

Founded in 1991, the non-partisan McConnell Center at the University of Louisville seeks to identify, recruit and nurture Kentucky’s next generation of great leaders. Our core principles–leadership, scholarship and service–guide us as we (1) prepare top undergraduate students to become future leaders; (2) offer civic education programs for teachers, students and the public; and (3) conduct strategic leadership development for the US Army.

Something with the Turtle’s name on it non-partisan? They’re not partisan hacks like Mitch? Who knew? Sounds like the cardinal sin of lying to me.

The Turtle went on to cluelessly extol Justice Coney Clueless at the event:

McConnell, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported, praised Barrett for not trying to “legislate from the bench” and for being from “Middle America”. Barrett is from Indiana and, unlike the other eight justices, did not attend Harvard or Yale.

She’s been living in Indiana but she’s not only from Metairie, LA, she’s a graduate of St Mary’s Dominican High School. It’s a hoity-toity girl’s school in an area where you went to high school really matters. You can take the girl out of the Gret Stet of Louisiana, but you can’t expunge it from her soul, such as it is. Ya heard, Mitch?

This is my first non-Ida post since I got my internet access back. I missed the opening round of the Texas abortion ban mishigas. I have two points to make:

  1. SCOTUS acted improperly in allowing the law to take effect since it implicates constitutional rights.
  2.  Roe v. Wade has not been the controlling abortion rights case since 1992 when Justices O’Connor and Kennedy sidelined Roe in Casey v. Planned Parenthood. That case sets the current test for abortion rights.

That’s all for now. I suspect that I’ll be walking the legal beat a great deal as the summer of our discontent turns into autumn.

The last word goes to Ani DiFranco:

It’s Election Day Dude!

Gavin Newsom Keeps All

As you read this Californians are going to the polls to decide the fate of the recall effort against Governor Gavin Newsom.

Yeah who am I kidding? Statements like that are a thing of the past. Californians have been voting for almost a month by now on this insipid recall referendum. The days of standing in line to dutifully cast one’s ballot are as quaint and old fashioned as going to the malt shop with your high school sweetheart to sock hop with all the cool cool cats. I mean you could do it, but you’re gonna get some odd looks from the vast majority of your fellow citizens.

Though the national media is focusing on the horse race of the recall, Californians are looking at this more as a referendum on how Newsom has handled the pandemic. And that’s been the most effective tool for Newsom. Don’t like how I mandated masks and vaccines and social distancing? Um, have you seen the death rate in places like Texas and Florida? Would you rather have that?

And it doesn’t hurt that the leading Republican candidate campaigns on how much “freedum” ™ those states have. Yeah guy, just keep singing that song, especially when your fellow conservative unvaccinated antivaccine radio talk show hosts keep dropping like flies.

Californians’ have come to realize Newsom’s handling of the pandemic is like that personal life moment when you realize your parents, who previously had been nothing but nagging kill joys, were actually pretty smart about life and things.

Remember back in the early days of the pandemic when the two “voices of reason” among the American political landscape were Gavin Newsom and that guy in New York, what’s his name? I don’t want to diminish the facts that brought down Sonny Corleone…er…I mean Andrew Cuomo but I can’t help but wonder how it is that two governors who were held in such high esteem just a year and a half ago were targeted for ouster.

And thus we come to how Repugnicants try to gain power in this country. They can’t win fair elections so they gerrymander districts, run recall elections, shout about election fraud, enact laws making it harder to vote, make voters fear their neighbors both in the physical and the international senses, and play to the uneducated and easily led astray. All for the benefit of the super wealthy so they can remain super wealthy and not be forced to settle for being reduced to just really wealthy.

And they really really hate the way California runs elections. Ballots mailed to every registered voter a month before the election? Ballots that can be mailed in, dropped off at secure drop boxes located in every community? Ballots that if you really want can be dropped off at polling locations on Election Day? Voting shouldn’t be that easy! Why if it were the entire adult population would vote! Can’t have that!

And for those who decry the notion of a mailed out ballot as being a blow to the concept of community (ahem….like I once was) let me just say that the world and the way we work in it has changed so the way we vote needs to change. It’s not the first time we’ve changed the way we vote. Once upon a time you had to be a white male over 21 who owned land in order to cast a vote. You also had to have the time to come in from your farm to the closest town and put an X by a name. And then you couldn’t legally go down the dusty street to have a shot of redeye at the saloon.

The world changes. Blacks, women, teens who have hit 18, all got the vote. Polling stations were set up in neighborhoods. Xs were replaced by pulling a handle, then punching a card, then touching on a screen. Bars remain open on Election Day in most communities. Life moves on.

Move on or get run over.

Shapiro Out

 

 

 

The Debrisville Post Ida Stank Blues

The 700 block of Valence St.

It’s been 15 days since Hurricane Ida slammed into Southeast Louisiana, but it remains the focus of my attention; such as it is. I’m still tired, fatigued, and exhausted. The storm is much less serious for New Orleans than Katrina, but I’m sixteen years older. It’s less clear if I’m wiser for the extra years and pounds. So it goes.

My focus has been hyper local since Ida struck.  I haven’t been following the national political news as closely as usual. I know that the MSM is still wrong about Afghanistan and that Joe Manchin is still an attention whore and drama queen. I’ll get back up to snuff soon enough but I haven’t missed pondering the posturing of the Sinematic senator or the Turtle’s machinations.

Many of us had to throw food away because of the epic loss of power. That, in turn, resulted in the Debrisville Post Ida Stank. Whether or not your trash has been collected or not, the stench is there. It’s giving us Katrina veterans flashbacks to the stinky fridges that dotted our cityscape in 2005 such as this one:

Cajun Tomb, 2005.

This Zappa song says it all:

In addition to the stank of ’05, the spirit of ’05 is alive and well. My do-gooder friend Carolyn is busy helping people. Not bad for a former teevee news reporter whose Twitter handle is @NewsCarolyn. She recently bought a house in St. Bernard Parish aka Da Parish. I’ve been trying to get her to change her handle to @YatCarolyn to no avail. If you’re wondering what a Yat is click here.

One thing that’s entirely different from 2005 is the presence of social media. I used Twitter as a club with which to beat the local utility, Entergy. They’re the cartoon villain of this crisis. I enlisted the help of councilmembers Joe Giarusso and Jay Banks in my dispute with Entergy over their sloppy work in my hood. Thanks, gentlemen.

The featured image is the before picture of the 700 block of Valence Street, here’s an after picture:

It looks better now but I wanted to stick it to Entergy.

The drowned city of 2005 was a man-made event, which is why we call it the Federal Flood. Hurricane Ida was a wind-driven event that’s an example of Mother Nature at her bitchiest. New Orleans is fairly hard hit BUT the epicenter was in St. John, Lafourche, and Terrebonne parishes.

A reminder that First Draft is supporting the Bayou Fund in its effort to help the people of Terrebonne Parish. Click here if you too believe that Our Fate Is Your Fate

The people of Southeast Louisiana got a break from our grim current reality by watching our beloved New Orleans Saints obliterate the Green Bay Packers 38-3. Sorry Athenae. Scout, and Doc.

Jeopardy host wannabe Aaron Rodgers played an abysmal game. He looked rustier than the Entergy towers that fell during Ida. I had a bit of fun at his expense after he threw some interceptions:

No love for the second tweet? People have already forgotten Mike Richards pulling a Dick Cheney and selecting himself as Alex Trebek’s successor. The malakatude, it burns.

Speaking of Jeopardy and Da Parish this quote comes from a 2017 post entitled First Draft Potpourri For $400, Alex:

Many New Orleans eateries used to carry an item called the “wop salad.” I took the pulse of my community and found only one place in the metro area that still calls it that. It’s Rocky and Carlo’s in Chalmette. It’s in St. Bernard Parish which once had a councilman named Joey DiFatta. That’s apropos of nothing but I miss him. It’s doubtful that the Chalmatians feel the same way.

I realize that quote is of marginal relevance, but this is a potpourri post in malodorous drag. I usually loathe the smell of potpourri, but it beats the hell out of the Debrisville Post Ida Stank. Ugh just ugh.

Since I mentioned Valence Street and the bayou, the last word goes to my former 13th Ward homies, the Neville Brothers:

Today on Tommy T’s Random Ruminations – “Simplest Fixes” edition

Simplest fixes are often the best ones

In my tech support days, we got a lot of calls from users having trouble connecting to their VPNs (virtual private networks). One user had called us three different times with no resolution. He was (rightfully so) extremely pissed off, as he was a high-level executive working from home, and many miles from his office. Previous techs had changed his password, run traceroutes to the VPN server, and even deleted / rebuilt his VPN account on the server.

Nothing had worked, and the user had already spent a lot of time on the phone with us. I have always known that the first rule of troubleshooting was to address the basics first, then go for the lesser and lesser common probabilities in order.

So – I asked the user to just delete his wireless adapter in Device Manager, then reinstall.

VPN connected instantly. He demanded to know why VPN hadn’t been working when all his other internet connectivity was fine. I explained that the part of the TCP/IP protocol that VPN uses is way up at the top complexity level of the stack, and that even minor issues with wireless connectivity can be caused by issues with the drivers that control the wireless adapter.  Uninstall/reinstall reloads the drivers – problem solved.

Then, he asked WHY the previous agents hadn’t tried this.  I hemmed and hawed a bit, and distracted him by asking him to access some of the secure folders that his account gave him access to.  He was just glad to get his VPN access back, and I thanked him and closed the call. Total call time – around three minutes.

He did send a very nice commendation email to my Supervisor and Manager, so it was a good day.

One of the techs who had tried to assist the user before actually called me up and asked how the hell I had done it. When I explained, there was a long silence on the other end of the phone.

Life’s a lot like that, frankly – the simplest remedies are usually the right ones. Don’t overthink shit and go for the most complex fixes first. They’re usually not what’s wrong.

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How You Can Help

I’ve meant to do this for several days but I’ve never been so tired in my life. Heat exhaustion and grief are a powerful combination.

It also took time to find a group that’s doing direct on-the-ground relief in one of the hardest hit areas, Terrebonne Parish. They were recommended to me by several friends with ties to the bayou parishes.

A quote from their go fund me page:

This go fund me is through the Helio Foundation. It is being run by people who live in Terrebonne Parish. Directors Johnathan Foret & Reagan Creppel have been social workers for our people and are on the ground with Dirk Guidry helping people stationed at the Ward 7 in Chauvin, LA. They are from the area and understand the needs of their people.

The national media coverage of Hurricane Ida has dried up. That’s why it’s important to support the bayou fund. If you want to join me in contributing, please click here.

Our fate is your fate.

9/11:  History in a Vacuum

I never watch any 9/11 anniversary television coverage. I was in DC on 9/11 and for all of the months after it. I watched the Pentagon burn from the roof of my office building, just a few blocks from the White House. It was a terrifying day and I’m not here to relive it.

But Americans love to relive it. And somehow the round number of 20 has ramped up coverage to take over this entire week. We should absolutely remember those who died and the bravery and selflessness of the first responders who risked and gave their lives so others could live. We should remember the family members left behind.

The 9/11 commemorations always happen in a vacuum. One moment the United States is minding their own business going about a Tuesday, and the next moment the nation is under attack. It’s treated as if the country were sucker punched on the street for no discernible reason.

When you remove 9/11 from its previous context it becomes a cheap way for people who never put their lives on the line, ever, to spend the run up to it and the day itself policing how people feel about it and making it into some kind of patriotic holiday. But it’s the removal of the post 9/11 context that does the most damage.

9/11 was the result of complete carelessness by the Bush administration which was tight with the Bin Laden family to the point of getting them out of the country to shield them from having to provide necessary information. It was the excuse for the Bush administration to launch a war in Afghanistan so they and their cronies could make billions, and then to launch another, even more pointless war in Iraq, to further enrich people like Eric Prince, where the United States committed war crimes.

And it was all sold to us as a triumphant exercise of democracy, and if you opposed it you were asked “what is wrong with you?” I just got asked this question yesterday when someone asked me about 9/11 and I told them the stuff I’ve written here.

Well fuck all that. 9/11 should be a day of introspection and apology to the first responders left without medical care. It should be a day of thanks and asking forgiveness of the men and women who went to Afghanistan and Iraq and came back with mental and physical injuries. It should be a day to apologize to the families who lost people, in the towers, the Pentagon, in PA, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and who were left to fend with cancer and other illnesses after their service and sacrifice. It should be a day to castigate those member of Congress who refused to fund healthcare for first responders.

And it should be a day to do some serious work on beating our swords into plowshares.

I Saw The Light

Cocktail: Todd Darryl

Welcome to an atypical edition of the Friday Cocktail Hour. It’s tightly focused on one artist, Todd Rundgren. It’s a sign of the times: Todd and Utopia have been the soundtrack of my Hurricane Ida experience.

I Saw The Light was written by Todd Rundgren in 1971. In twenty minutes. I am not making this up. It first appeared on the Something/Anything? album on which Todd played all the instruments and sang all the vocals. He wasn’t kidding when he later dubbed himself A Wizard, A True Star.

We have two versions of this Todd tune. We begin with the studio original.

The featured image is of Daryl Hall and Todd Rundgren on Live From Daryl’s House. The episode was shot at Todd’s spectacular digs in Hawaii.

I love it when those Philly boys sing together. They sound like brothers.

That’s it for this eventful and tumultuous week. I’d like to propose a toast to everyone in South Louisiana and those who came to help. It’s what Bogie, Betty, and Frank would want. Never argue with them.

Saturday Odds & Sods will return on September, 18.

The Man Who Lived By The River

As the rains from Hurricane Ida fell across the Gulf Coast I thought of this moment from THE WEST WING. It has been floating in my brain for the past few weeks for other reasons, but I took the storm as a sign to bring it out. It’s an old joke, but it perfectly summarizes the state we find ourselves in vis-a-vis some in the community who believe they don’t need vaccines because “god will protect them”.

Of course it never hurts to have a great actor like Karl Malden deliver it.

But really I do have to wonder why the religious who claim to not need the vaccine don’t see the vaccine creators as having been “touched by god” to create it. Really, are you that narcissistic to believe only you know the mind and ways of that being you call the all knowing, all powerful? Is it at least possible that he (she) has sent you the solution, but you don’t want to believe it because it came through that art known as science? Their are many who believe science is merely man attempting to understand the mysteries of god. Not my take, but at least it is a rational take that the “god will protect me” squad might want to think about.

When you meet him at the pearly gates and ask why he took you, don’t be surprised when he says he sent you masks and social distancing and finally a vaccine, what more did you want? Then he introduces you to a man of wealth and taste.

 

Shapiro Out

Friday Catblogging: Claire Trevor In Exile

She is, of course, home with us, but a good title is a terrible thing to waste.

She likes the suitcase more than her carrier.

The last word goes to Badfinger:

I See The Light

I had hoped to come roaring back with tales of my Hurricane Ida experiences. Most involve heat, sweat, and tedium. I’ve also been sick with a combination of heat exhaustion and a mild case of CO poisoning. My back fence neighbor’s full house generator is too close to our bedroom. It’s both noisy and noxious.

I spent the beginning of the week angry at Entergy and my back fence neighbor. Then I heard that my friend Will Samuels had died of cancer at the age of 52. He was a larger than life character who was a glass 3/4 full optimist. My rage died down upon thinking of his wife Jennifer and young daughter Livia. We’re good friends and I had only seen them once in the last year and a half because of the pandemic.

I know what what Will would have said about my incandescent rage: “I thought you were a get even not mad kinda guy.”

I try to be.

We cleaned up the cemetery at which Will be laid to rest this morning. I saw many friends who I haven’t seen since before the lockdown. It’s a reminder of how much we’ve lost during the pandemic. It’s a sign of how much I love the Samuels family that I did what amounted to yard work today. I don’t usually do yard work but did it to honor Will. He would have found it hilarious.

Here’s a picture from happier times on the parade route near Adrastos World Headquarters:

Jennifer, Livia, Will, Adrastos, and Greg.

Dr. A and I were helped by many people during Ida’s aftermath. We helped a few ourselves. It’s what New Orleanians do.

We’re masking up and attending Will’s memorial service tomorrow morning. I hope it will lead to my writing more but I’m also having computer problems. It was a struggle just to write this post. Oy just oy.

When I heard that my power had finally been restored, I thought of an old song by my Bay Area homies. The last word goes to Hot Tuna:

Ryne Hancock: The Son, the Estranged Mother & the Hurricane

Imagine this for a second.

Hours after you have a small glimmer of hope with your power, only to see that extinguished because a transformer blew out five minutes later, you’re once again forced to take your laptop and cell phone to your friend’s art gallery in the Quarter to charge, a practice that you’ve been repeating for the last six days.

Your legs and entire body feels sore as shit due to the constant biking for wi-fi, charging stations, and food. You’ve had to sleep on the porch of your building a couple of days at night because of no electricity. You have a neighbor that is a complete doofus that has driven you crazy for the last week and you’re praying to every higher power for electricity.

After milling about for a few hours in the Quarter, you return to your neighborhood and make a stop at the library. You’re not paying attention to your cell phone or notifications while you bike, just the road. Once you sit down and log into the wi-fi at the library, you pull out your phone and check your notifications. A Facebook notification about a comment from a video you posted on August 28th appears from a longtime friend of your mom, a person that basically watched you grow up. You don’t think anything about the notification or even the comment, you’re focused on the now.

Then you read it. It’s your estranged mom, who watched a video that you posted from a week ago, prior to the landfall of Ida, about why you didn’t evacuate. Instead of being understanding about why, you’re cursed out.

“Your ass didn’t want to come home,” she wrote. ‘

Granted, I didn’t help matters by saying at the end of the video I knew where my true family was, which some took as shade towards the city of Memphis and relatives, but the fact that I chose to ride out a hurricane and not evacuate to Memphis over dealing with a mom I hadn’t spoken to in six years, speaks volumes.

Not to mention that the fact that the first communication in six years is a rebuke about a video in which I laid out my reasons for staying instead of seeing how I was doing.

That was the upsetting part.

If you have the energy to say things like that in a comment section about a video, then you could have used said friend’s account to check on how I was doing.

In times of crisis, people’s true colors show up. Sometimes for good and sometimes for bad.

What happened on Saturday showed my mom’s true colors.

For the worst.

Bach to Bach

Since Adrastos is (as of now) back home, but stressed to the max – I’m going rogue.

The late great Virgil Fox used to introduce his performance of this piece thusly :
“The tune comes once, twice, three times to the hands, and the fourth time when it comes to the feet – I ‘dahnce the gigue’ “.
Here’s Don Munro giving it hell :

.Damn.
After that (if I smoked) I need a cigarette.
.
Oh – and while I’m doing music stuff, here’s a little ditty I put together :
.
♫ You were so stupid that you didn’t get the jab-o
You’d rather choke to death than get a little stab-o
“I was a dumb ass” it’ll read on top your slab-o
Heyyy – Macorona ! ♫
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Clickbait And Switch

So, in the not-too-distant past the New York Times made space for long-read profiles of Joe Rogan and Curtis Sliwa, the latter someone whose existence I became aware of decades ago, in the pre-history of life-before-the-internet.

My LSU/Pentagon dorm room lacked air conditioning, but had cable TV (I provided the 12-inch diagonal B&W CRT).

Can only guess now, but think it was a CNN segment about Bernhard Goetz.

Anyway, Sliwa appeared opposite William Kunstler, and got the ball rolling by immediately calling Kunstler “mutant scum” and “slime” (my roommate and I used either/both for laughs for several weeks, though we got along well, probably due to a shared like of a variety of cheap intoxicants).

Rogan? Much later, I also recall seeing him on television.
It took me a while to remember the show name: Fear Factor. Kind of a Survivor knockoff, though maybe you know that already.

OK, whatever.

These days, Rogan is one of the more popular podcasters out there, and Sliwa is the Republican candidate for Mayor of New York.

So, to be fair, the Times certainly has an excuse to mention either/both. But…c’mon.

Long-read profiles, “too big to cancel,” “long shot candidate with controversial past [to say the least] and 16 rescue cats?”

The Gray Lady/Newspaper of Record sure is accentuating the positive.

Again, I’m not saying Rogan and Sliwa aren’t newsworthy (and, what the hell, they got me to point-and-click), but this is another example of the kind of framing only shrill bloggers notice.

The Rogan piece suggests he’s every bit the dudebro he would’ve been called back when I was still relevant (which they seem to consider a positive) ; Sliwa’s profiled as a scrappy-if-doomed-show-must-go-on-candidate who might nonetheless surprise everyone by exceeding expectations in a city that hasn’t had a Republican mayor in…wow…eight whole years.

Can hardly wait to see how they’ll headline the results.

Best guess (it’s the NY Times, after all): Sliwa Exceeds Expections (assuming he can pull in the high 30s or low 40s in a city that hasn’t had a Republican mayor in eight whole years).

But…if they merit coverage based on popularity or scrappiness, where are the other long-reads?

Last I checked, vaccine and mask mandates are at least as popular — or more popular — than dudebro or scrappy-doomed-loser.

So are laws guaranteeing voter rights.
And background checks for purchasing guns (so is gun control, generally speaking).

Ending the war in Afghanistan is popular.

Hell, even Hillary Clinton is or was popular, as is Joe Biden (or at least more popular than, ahem, Donald Trump).

And I’ll bet you can find some genuinely scrappy and not-particularly-controversial-at-all long shots working VERY hard in places like Texas, Mississippi, and elsewhere, to, I dunno, form a more perfect union by establishing justice, and so on.

Maybe those stories got lost in the endless copy about rural diners or other old standbys: Dems in disarray…or panic. Or emails.

Or whatever the cult of the savvy thinks generates clicks.

Too bad they don’t think serious reports about how one of the major political parties embracing a particularly USA style of fascism is particularly newsworthy or worthy of a long read…

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Key Largo

This is a reprint of a post from 8/14/2014. It struck me as relevant as I just spent many days cooped up with Kitty Claire Trevor. Besides, Key Largo is the best hurricane movie ever. I give it 4 stars and an Adrastos Grade of A.

KEY_LARGO_22x28_B

Key Largo is not really pulp fiction, but I felt like stretching the definition a bit today to honor Betty Bacall. [She died two days before this was posted.] It was based on a 1939 play by Maxwell Anderson and the war in question was the Spanish Civil War but it was also an allegory about Fascism. The adaptation by director John Huston and future director Richard Brooks nails the political aspects as well as how damn spooky tropical systems are.

What’s particularly scary about the Big Blow depicted in Key Largo is that information was so sketchy. There were no spaghetti maps , no tracking maps, no local weather pukes shitting in their pants or advising you to go to the attic with an ax if there’s flooding. Dr A and I watch this great film as a form of reassurance when there’s something gathering in the gulf. Besides, the acting is sensational.

It goes without saying that Bogie and Bacall lit up the screen together but Edward G Robinson is spectacular in a role that implicitly revisits his first big hit, Little Caesar. He went from Rico to Rocco if you catch my drift. Speaking of name changes, he goyed up his name by changing it from Emmanuel Goldenberg. Unlike Betty Bacall, he liked his goyish moniker and was known to all as Eddie.

Lionel Barrymore is supposed to be a sympathetic character as Bacall’s dead hubby’s father but he reverts to snarly Mr. Potter mode for much of the film. Nothing kosher about this big slice of ham. He was lucky Rocco didn’t roll him off the pier…

The best performance in the film is by Claire Trevor as a washed up alcoholic canary in love with Rocco. He mistreats her rather badly. Anyone shocked? I thought not. Trevor, always a personal favorite of mine, won an Oscar for this part. She played a long string of femme fatales and hookers with hearts of gold. Her character in John Ford’s Stagecoach was a template for all the goodhearted whores and madams to follow.

A last word about Betty Bacall. There are some good Bacall articles floating about the net, but there are some that do not mention director Howard Hawks. You cannot write about Betty Bacall without mentioning Hawks. He took a chance on an unknown model and gave her a juicy role playing opposite one of the biggest stars in the world in her first film. His gamble paid off big-time for all concerned.

I showed you a lobby card above, here’s the highly evocative poster

Poster - Key Largo_03

Finally, here’s the trailer:

Home To Debrisville

It’s been a longer and stranger trip than expected. We’re fine. Our house is fine. The cat is fine. We evacuated to friends in the suburbs who have a whole house generator. We arrived acquaintances and left good friends. Thanks, Brenda and Mike.

We have the Gret Stet trifecta: power, internet, and cable.

The city is beaten up but it’s not Katrina bad.

I am beat, beat, beat today. I’ll fill in some details either later today or tomorrow. All I wanna do is see Erika Jayne tell Sutton to STFU on RHBH. Sorry for the acronyms but I am tired, tired, tired,

I’d like to thank the First Draft team for keeping the lights on when I didn’t have any myself. Tommy T, Michael F, Shapiro, and Cassandra not only rock, they rule.

Finally, my old friend Ethan Brown reminded me that I coined the term Debrisville after Katrina and the Federal Flood. In fact, my maiden First Draft post was called Greetings From Debrisville. It’s high time for a revival. Hence the post title.

The last word goes to Talking Heads:

A Confederacy of Dunces

The crap that American women have been dealing with got even worse on Tuesday. Not content with ending abortion in Texas, Greg Abbott assured everyone that women in Texas who were raped didn’t have to worry about any resulting pregnancy because he was going to “end rape” in Texas.

I don’t know about you, but that wasn’t a particularly reassuring statement, given how little most men in power care about rape in this country. In fact, my first thought was that he was just going to decriminalize rape. My second thought was the same thing. Ugh.

Because Abbott is the gaffe that keeps on giving, today he also revealed his complete ignorance about a woman’s reproductive cycle. See, he confidently told everyone that 6 weeks was more than enough time for a woman who was pregnant to get an abortion. I mean, it’s a whole month and a half, right?

Well, here’s the thing:  the 6 week marker (or the 1 month marker, or the 3 month marker), is measured back from the first day of the woman’s last period. And since menstruation (if you’re not on hormonal birth control) is erratic for most women, lots of women wouldn’t even know at 6 weeks that they’d missed a period.

This reminds me of this story:

An Idaho lawmaker received a brief lesson on female anatomy after asking if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam.

The question on Monday from Republican state representative Vito Barbieri came as the House State Affairs Committee heard nearly three hours of testimony on a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine.

Dr Julie Madsen was testifying in opposition to the bill when Barbieri asked the question. Madsen replied that would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina.

“Fascinating. That makes sense,” Barbieri said, amid the crowd’s laughter.

The more I read men’s comments about abortion, the more I realize that a lot of men have no idea of how a woman’s reproductive system works. It’s peak Dunning Kruger at work.

And there is some hope that there is a legal basis to undo the Texas law. I’ll let Laurence Tribe explain it:

In the Grendel’s Den case, the unbridled veto power interfered not with a service to which anyone had a constitutional right, like abortion, but just with serving liquor. It was simply being governed by someone unaccountable to nobody that offended the Constitution. In the Texas case, even a judge or justice convinced that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and that there is no constitutional right to end a pregnancy would need to confront the long line of precedent establishing that due process of law, enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not permit, to quote the court in Grendel’s Den “delegate[ing] to private, nongovernmental entities power to veto … a power ordinarily vested in agencies of government.”

As the court said, it is difficult in such situations to imagine “any ‘effective means of guaranteeing’ that the delegated power ‘will be used exclusively for secular, neutral, and nonideological purposes.’ ” As one of us wrote in 1973 in defending the court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, abortion is particularly fraught with deeply religious as opposed to secular concerns and commitments. Just because the religion clauses are not directly implicated by the Texas scheme, it doesn’t follow that the long line of decisions into which Grendel’s Den fits becomes irrelevant in the effort to legally defang the Texas abomination.

Let’s see what happens next.

 

Random Thoughts on Labor Hashanah

Jewish Women Labor Strikers

It’s always fun when a corporal holiday collides with a religious one.

I write this on Monday which is Labor Day here in the States as well as Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, around the world. It feels like we ought to be throwing confetti so long as it is union made confetti from a factory that practices profit sharing, respect for labor, and a low highest paid employee to lowest paid differential.

Those would all be very Jewish ideals and after all, isn’t New Year’s when we think about the ideal way in which to live?

By the way, while it is certainly fine and acceptable to wish your Jewish friends a “Happy New Year” keep in mind that the holiday to follow in a week or so, Yom Kippur, is officially the Day of Atonement when you ask forgiveness from all you may have hurt in the recently ended year. Don’t wish those same friends a “Happy Yom Kippur”, it’s bad form.  Kinda like sending your Catholic friends a sympathy card on Good Friday.

But speaking of Labor Day, Delta Airlines and many other companies have decided the cost of insuring employees against COVID has gotten to the point where they will be imposing at $200 per month surcharge on the health care plans of any unvaccinated employee. In addition

in compliance with state and local laws, COVID pay protection will only be provided to fully vaccinated individuals who are experiencing a breakthrough infection.” Unvaccinated employees who contract Covid, without exemptions, will have to use their sick days after that.

I’m usually not in favor of large corporations picking out a minority of employees and targeting them with lower wages (deducting $200 from their paycheck makes their wages lower) but there are two mitigating factors here.

  1. It’s already being done for other health related matters. For instance, smokers pay a higher premium than non-smokers.
  2. GET THE FREAKING VACCINE. It’s not just about you. This is an airborne communicable disease that has killed 4.5 Million people worldwide and in this instance your “rights” are not greater than anyone else’s right to not be infected. Those same rights you claim come with responsibilities, to your fellow workers, your customers, to the world at large. Just as I have a right to free speech I also have a responsibility to not yell “There’s a gremlin on the wing of the plane trying to make it crash”. (The only time I will go with Shatner over Lithgow)

Back to Rosh Hashanah. I am what is referred to as a “Eating and Gifts” Jew as in I only celebrate the holidays that involve a big feast or presents. Rosh Hashanah is a big feast holiday. Besides looking forward to the new year it is a celebration of the fall harvest. The table groans with the weight of beef brisket, potato kugel, late summer vegetables, and sweets for as far as the eye can see. Not a one of them pumpkin spice flavored for which I am eternally grateful.

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Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “Let them die” edition

Greetings, good people – this week’s “Obsession” is going to be  about something that should lift your spirits in these trying times – COVIDiots getting what they asked for but didn’t really want – to choke to death lying on their bellies.

First up – that’s a sweet Bernier!

Conservative Anti–Vaccine Talk Radio Host Marc Bernier Dies of COVID
Newsweek ^ | 8/29/21 | KHALEDA RAHMAN

Posted on 8/29/2021, 7:14:12 PM by bhl

Marc Bernier, a Florida conservative talk radio host who was a vocal critic of vaccines, has died of COVID-19.

Bernier, 65, died on Saturday evening after a three-week battle with the virus, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

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

This is the 3rd conservative talk show host to die from Covid.
1 posted on 8/29/2021, 7:14:12 PM by bhl
So far, anyway.
Kinda makes me wish that El Rushbo had held on long enough to do the Macorona.
To: bhl
Third conservative host to die of Covid. Interesting coincidence.
7 posted on 8/29/2021, 7:19:43 PM by ResistorSister (Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. I Cor. 16:13)
Isn’t it just?
To: ocrp1982

It appears only conservatives, anti vaxxers, and children die “from” kung flu. No left wing democrats die from the disease,

116 posted on 8/29/2021, 11:36:18 PM by Organic Panic (Democrats. Memories as short as Joe Biden’s eyes.)

Maybe – just maybe – that’s because “left-wing democrats” aren’t stupid enough to go around unmasked to large gatherings of idiots, practice social distancing, and don’t take horse dewormer instead of using common sense.
.
Maybe that’s why?
.
And now – this week’s Freeperville clown slap fight – between someone who has “done their research”, and an actual doctor.
To: George from New England

I don’t think people are getting effective treatments if they don’t push for it (ivermectin, monoclonal antibodies, hcq)

5 posted on 8/29/2021, 7:17:47 PM by spacejunkie2001

Followed by :
To: spacejunkie2001

Only one of those three things is effective.

19 posted on 8/29/2021, 7:30:32 PM by gas_dr (Conditions of Socratic debate: Intelligence, Candor, and Good Will. )

Round ONE!!!
.
To: gas_dr

Your credibility here is zero. End of story.

30 posted on 8/29/2021, 7:40:35 PM by Blennos ( )

To: gas_dr
Just who are you exactly? I mean, I see a name on Free Republic with the letters ‘dr’ in it but I can’t find anything about you professionally

Well, if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that he’s an Anesthesiologist (known in the parlance for over 50 years as a “gas passer”)

when I do research.

 

On the other hand, I can find individual names on the FL Doctors and make my mind up. How about that? You say it’s a quack organization and I’m thinking maybe anyone who knows you might call you a quack for your advice. How about letting people make up their own minds?

42 posted on 8/29/2021, 7:51:48 PM by LibertyWoman (Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil… Isaiah 5:20)

Round two and so much more after the jump!

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Today on Tommy T’s Random Ruminations – “A sale of two shitties” edition

Hi – my computer died earlier this week, and the only existing backup was over three months old, so my spreadsheet of what I had posted and what I had not yet posted is gone. This one may be a duplicate, so my apologies in advance if it is. Also, it’s kinda long, so a lot of it will be below the fold.

So – In the 80’s, I worked for Marshall Field and Company (the famous Department Store) in the Dallas Galleria location.

At that time, Marshall Field was a purveyor of high-end merchandise and clothing, providing boutique lines of merchandise and superior customer service.

However, Marshall Field was sold by BATUS to Dayton-Hudson, which also owned Target.

That’s when the fun began.

Our new corporate overlords determined that we would benefit by carrying the low and mid-priced goods already being purchased by the Target buyers.

Good idea, on paper, but it killed the company.

I dunno, maybe that was their intention, although it seems mightily like driving a Rolls-Royce into a concrete lane divider to make it more like a compact car.

In any case, the upper-middle and upper-class patrons quit buying, and quit coming. They went to Neimann-Marcus (which, unlike Marshall Fields, is still around, BTW) to get the goods they wanted. If they had wanted to shop at a Target or a Dayton’s, why drive to the Galleria?

The stores outside of home base Illinois closed, one by one, including the Dallas Galleria.

And I lost my job.

I did get a severance package that allowed me to take three months for a job search, at least.

Macy’s swooped in, picked the bones clean, and finally killed the tottering animated corpse in 2006, completing the destruction of a legendary department store that had existed since 1881.

My computer skills (self-taught when at Marshall Fields and A.C. Nielsen) allowed me to get a job in phone tech support for GTE. One day they outsourced the entire level 3 (top level) helpdesk.

One of my favourite authors once wrote “If a little black box puts you out of work, find a job building little black boxes.”

(more below the fold)

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