We don’t encourage our children to play with blocks from a young age because we expect them all to be architects and builders. We do it because we know the seemingly simple task of stacking diverse, colored objects into myriad shapes encourages cognitive development and problem solving. So it is with scholastic journalism.
In the comments to Washeck’s piece, Betsy Pollard Rau, a former Michigan high school journalism teacher whose students have won many reporting awards, said that some students went on to careers in journalism, but many more used skills learned in high school journalism in other professions like science, medicine and business.
“Yearbook, digital and newspaper experiences are merely the vehicles,” Rau wrote in the comments. “It is the destination that matters. High school journalism classes teach students higher level thinking skills, prepare them to deal with stress, give them opportunities to work as a team, meet deadlines, problem solve, write, shoot and edit.”
In fact, conflating the purpose of scholastic journalism with any single tangible product is tantamount to the misapplication and misuse of standardized testing as benchmarks for student learning. It’s exactly this logic that has reduced our students to the sum of their test scores, excluded teachers from educational policy decisions and made our schools prisons for creative and energetic young minds.
You're teaching people to use the bullshit detectors God gave them, and I don't see anything wrong with that at the high school level. In college, you've got people who plan on practicing the craft, and that requires a little more focus and specialization and fine-tuning, but you're still teaching people to take a look at what an authority figure tells them and start from the assumption that it is a complete falsehood. You're still teaching people to find out that which no one wants known and tell as many people as possible through whatever means are at their disposal.
For some kids that instinct is a natural one. Some of us have authority issues from the start. Some of us have a sociopathic ability to step outside the normal human experience and immediately begin processing how to communicate the horror around us in such a way as to advocate for its cessation, without being overtaken by that horror ourselves. Some of us just naturally run toward the sound of explosions instead of away.
(Some of us are just nosy, annoying assholes. A good 40 percent of the best reporters I know are absolute fucking loonballs unwelcome in polite society. Our suspicious minds, greedy for more more more information and unable to prioritize anything higher than satisfying our curiosity, make us unreliable dinner companions. It's why we tend to socialize with one another. Anybody else would object to her date being perpetually two hours late and constantly jabbering about TIF districts.)
Some kids, though? Some kids should be taught that the world is different under its skin, that if you're going to love your society you have to make it worth loving, and that means ripping it down to its ugly bones. Some kids need to be pushed to criticize the ropes that hold them up. Some kids should be shown the way change happens, all change: Somebody stands up and yells that the way it's always been is total horseshit and knock it off.
Those lessons don't have to come in journalism classes, but: In how many high school subjects are you encouraged to take something apart and put it back together again? In how many high school classes do you get to make something, really really make something, with your own hands? In how many high school classes can you learn to stand up for yourself and your right to know something, at an age when the adult world thinks you're either a moron or a wuss?
If high school journalism classes aren't creating journalists, then at least they are nurturing the instinct to call bullshit on the whole world. Student A might not end up a reporter, but he's gonna be on the phone with his insurance company arguing a denied claim all night because he's learned not to take no for an answer. Student B might not end up a copy editor, but she's sure as shit going to make sure the company she works for has all its signs spelled right. Student C might not end up a producer but the annual report will be delivered on time, no matter how many hours of overtime it fucking takes.
Student D might not do anything more engaged with society than overhear something on the radio and think, "That sounds like a lie." And that's enough to justify a thousand high school papers.
All the chatter about the 45th Anniversary of the moon landing has given me an earworm. Here's the official video for the Bryan Ferry-Johnny Marr classic that shares a title with a certain terrific tome and fabulous film. Not sure if I wanna don a white suit or a space helmet. Bryan Ferry did the former:
In a video posted this week by the NRA, one of the organization's commentators said competency with a gun should be a "necessary skill" for children to be able to advance to the next grade in school, just like reading and writing.
In the video titled “Everyone Gets A Gun,” commentator Billy Johnson argued U.S. gun policy should be driven by the "need" people have to use guns.
“Gun policy driven by our need for guns would insist that we introduce young people to guns early and that we'd give them the skills to use firearms safely,” Johnson said. “Just like we teach them reading and writing, necessary skills. We would teach shooting and firearm competency."
"It wouldn't matter if they didn't want to learn," he added. "We would make it necessary to advance to the next grade."
Johnson linked gun policy to education, healthcare, food and retirement, saying the U.S. "subsidize[s] things we value," and said gun policy should be no different.
“Gun policy, driven by our need for guns would protect equal access to guns, just like we protect equal access to voting, and due process, and free speech. Our Founding Fathers believed that we did need guns. That's why they codified our access to guns into the Constitution,” he said.
Just when you think they cannot get any crazier, someone passes you a bowlful of crazy for breakfast. There are certain segments of society that would think this is a great idea and I'm talking about gangbangers and crazed gunmen. Thanks, NRA.
You do not desire forgiveness:
"We have withheld forgiveness because you do not desire it."
As if that's what forgiveness is about. You forgive because forgiveness allows you to let go of hate and fear, to stop pulling them around you and using them to keep you separate from other people. Forgiveness isn't about making the other person beg for it. Forgiveness isn't about the other person deserving it. Forgiveness is a reaching outward, and that's the part of the action that counts.
Something which clearly passed by the theological scholars of this particular church as they pored over their Bibles in search of a way to make themselves smaller and meaner and colder.
I'd never seen the venerable blaxploitation movie, Black Caesar, until recently. It's pretty bad except for a charismatic lead performance by Fred (The Hammer) Williamson and a funky score by James Brown. The Godfather of Soul was an appropriate choice since the movie was called Godfather of Harlem in the UK. I think they spent half the budget on music because the acting is laughably bad. The tagline on the poster, however, is terrific.
It's trailer time:
Here's the de facto theme song. Good gawd,y'all:
|From Album 5|
Some time back -- and probably influenced by the Bill Hicks line about greeting Jackie Kennedy while wearing a rifle pendant -- I described something foolish, stupid, and/or inane to a friend, and (paraphrasing here) said it was as crazy at "the NRA hosting a pro-gun rally in Dealey Plaza."
Whenever you think there's a line that even bug-fuck insane won't cross...
I've always hated the death penalty. Even if the right person is convicted, it's all about revenge and not justice. I dislike society stooping to the level of the worst of the worst. Moreover, the idea that there is a humane way to kill people is ludicrous. Lethal injection is supposed to be more humane than the electric chair, the noose, or the gas chamber but it is increasingly obvious that it is just as barbaric as previous methods of execution. The latest example of that took place in Arizona:
A condemned Arizona inmate gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died, his lawyers said, in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's office said Joseph Rudolph Wood was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m., one hour and 57 minutes after the execution started.
Wood's lawyers had filed an emergency appeal in federal court while the execution was underway, demanding that it be stopped. The appeal said Wood was "gasping and snorting for more than an hour."
The lawyers said the execution started at 1:52 p.m., but Wood continued to breathe and was alive an hour and 10 minutes later. Defense lawyer Dale Baich called it a botched execution that should have taken 10 minutes.
This keeps happening ever since big pharma did the right thing and stopped supplying murder drugs to the several states. This botched execution may be the most egregious and sickening one to date. It proves once again that there is no HUMANE WAY to kill someone. If some states insist on executing people, they should make like Utah and have firing squads. That, at least, won't take 117 minutes. Think of that: 117 minutes. That's not justice, that's torture. Better yet, they could abolish capital punishment. I can dream, can't I?
I am a proponent of most of the causes the gay community has fought for. And I think that it's wrong how they've been prejudiced against. But having said all that, I think it's important to recognize that that doesn't mean [you] have a right to [people being] comfortable with you.
And it's important to recognize you don't have the right to avoid being called a dishonest, sleazy bag of buttholes for saying something so condescending and stupid. I'm sorry, gay people don't have the right to everybody being comfortable with them? Who the hell is even asking for that right?
Straightest privileged girl in all of Straightbury-by-the-Sea here, so actual gay people can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the rights most gay people feel they should have involve not being prevented from getting married for being gay, not being killed for being gay, and not being evicted for being gay. The comfort level of sanctimonious assholes comes after that, right? After all the stuff you need to stay alive?
Michael Sam's coming out and being drafted afterward isn't about whether Tony Dungy and Stephen Smith and other morons would be "comfortable" with him, it was about whether a large and insanely high-profile corporation would hire him to do a job knowing that he is gay and out. There's this idiot thing right now where we think we've taken care of all of the major stuff (no) and so the next civil rights frontier is making sure people have the right to be dumbass bigots if they want without consequences.
People calling Tony Dungy out for saying insecure nonsense cloaked in false piety are not requiring Tony Dungy by law to be comfortable with gay people. They're just expressing their opinion that he is a microphallic shitbird who's a disgrace to shitbirds everywhere, and he doesn't have the right to people being comfortable with him.
Thrust was the follow-up album to Herbie Hancock's wildly successful jazz-funk-fusion opus Head Hunters. It was almost as successful artistically and commerically. The cover art by Rob Springett *always* makes me smile. What's not to love about Herbie and his large 'fro in a space ship?
Here's the back cover. Dig those 1974 threads, y'all:
Here's the whole damn LP, be prepared to get your funk on, Headhunters style:
In an email this afternoon, Landrieu spokesman Tyler A. Gamble wrote:It is customary for the City to provide standard proclamations to visiting groups that request them through the City’s web site. To be clear, the City does not endorse extreme or violent tactics, and this proclamation was issued in error. Any group can exercise their constitutional rights, but all of us have a responsibility to do so in a respectful manner. During these events, the NOPD is executing a robust security plan to keep the peace.
Like many governmental bodies, the city of New Orleans hands out ceremonial proclamations and letters of welcome to both citizens and visitors. Getting welcomed to town is reserved for groups and conventions, but anyone can apply for a ceremonial proclamation, as long as the reason fits in one of the city’s six categories: organizational honors; church anniversaries and pastoral anniversaries; retirements; heroic deeds; a 100th birthday; or “outstanding community service by an individual, group, or organization.” The Operation Save America proclamation seems to have fallen in the last category, as the organization has federal nonprofit status.
Gamble did not reply to questions as to the city's process when it came to vetting groups that ask for proclamations or letters of welcome. An email to Operation Save America regarding the proclamation was not immediately returned.
So much for the abortive proclamation. Another day, another TFC moment.
Even groups that come to protest here in Sin City feel compelled to post a picture of Bourbon Street. In this instance, it's Operation Rescue who are apparently out to save America. Their target is, of course, death/abortion mills. The only mills on Bourbon Street are Gin and T-Shirt mills. Operation Save America, or whatever the hell you want to call them, has, of course, not restricted its protests to so-called "death mills" and that is why it/they is/are malaka of the week.
I was originally going to focus on the group's malakatudinous protests outside a doctor's home in Uptown New Orleans. It was the talk of NOLA twitter the other day as one of my friends lives nearby. Here's the Uptown Messenger's account of the harassment neighbors faced at the hands of these fanatics:
In addition to protesting Planned Parenthood sites, Operation Save America is also holding demonstrations outside the homes of providers. A neighbor to one of those homes — who asked that his name be withheld out of concern that the group would target him — said his family has already endured two sessions of protests, with dozens of people holding signs on the sidewalk near his house featuring graphic images that he has done his best to hide from his young children.
“My kids are scared,” the resident said in an interview Monday afternoon. “It’s all these ugly pictures. They’re talking on the loudspeaker. I try to speak to them civilly, and it’s very difficult to do, because they’re looking for a confrontation.”
His requests that they turn down the volume, he said, were met with invective about the abortion provider instead. Ultimately, he said, he simply closed the blinds and turned up the music in the house until the demonstrators left, but the entire street is ready for the ordeal to end.
“It’s not necessarily the issue of abortion that’s frustrating to us,” he said. “It’s just their method of coming and taking over, and forcing us to deal with it.”
As far as these cretins are concerned, invading people's privacy and insulting them is a part of God's work and if you disagree with them, you are a baby killer or some such nonsense. Very Christian of them isn't it?
It would be bad enough if the story ended there but it gets even worse as the Operation Rescue pukes protested at a Unitarian Universalist Church *during* Sunday services:
...on Sunday, they took a different turn when members showed up inside the First Unitarian Universalist Church at Claiborne and Jefferson. The disturbance took place as the congregation was holding a moment of silence for a member of the church who had died the week before, said the Rev. Deanna Vandiver.
“Into that sacred silence, a voice began to speak, and it began to speak about ‘abominations,’ ” Vandiver said. The protesters were shouting that the church was not a true faith, she said. “Literally in our most tender and vulnerable space, religious terrorism began.”
The congregation was stunned at first, unsure what was happening, Vandiver said. She then invited the protesters to stay if they could join or observe the worship service respectfully, and if not, to take their protest outside the building. The congregation began to sing, and church leaders then began to lead the most vocal protesters outside, though a few chose to stay quietly through the remainder of the service.
In an account on their website, Operation Save America trumpeted the act as a victory for their mission in a “synagogue of Satan:”
At the Unitarian Universalist “church” in New Orleans, Deanna Waller, Jay Rogers, Mary Claire, Ken Scott, Russell Hunter, Toby Harman and others presented the truth of the Gospel in this synagogue of Satan. As God would have it, the “church” was filled with students from a “social justice” training school. According to Rev. Flip Benham, OSA National Director, the team presented a “dynamic witness.”
During an open “meditation” time, Deanna shared the Word of the Lord. When the female “pastor” took issue, Deanna reminded her that, “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones” (Luke 17:2). In violation of their “sacred tenants” of peace and tolerance, Deanna and others were summarily escorted out of the service.
Other saints stayed and dialoged until the conclusion of the service. It created no small stir. The “social justice” candidates ran to the Christians and asked them many questions. Our brethren gave them the reason for the hope that lies within them and defended the faith. Seeds of truth were sown. may the Lord water them in Jesus’ name.
Vandiver said she does not know specifically why the church was targeted. The denomination has a history of supporting pro-choice efforts, gay rights and other causes that Operation Save America opposes, she said, and the church on South Claiborne has specifically been supportive of Planned Parenthood in New Orleans.
“I think we were an easy target, because we’re literally just a few blocks down the road from where they’re building this clinic,” Vandiver said. “But we are not interested in being terrorized. Freedom of speech does not trump freedom of religion.”
That was an epic quote but I wanted to make sure that y'all read as much of this great story by Robert Morris as possible. The local MSM has been leery of tackling this group head on and I hope the Uptown Messenger's stellar work will force their hand. That's one reason I have desconstructed Robert's post. It also makes me feel like a French intellectual; pity it's too damn hot to wear my beret...
Back to the malakatude of OSA. Notice how they refer to a UU church as a "syngogue of Satan" and their own protesters as Saints? Are they Mormons now? They call themselves Saints too. I have a hunch that they are not: fundamentalists such as the people behind OSA are religious bigots who regard the LDS church as a cult. They're also confused. I was not aware that a UU Church was a synagogue let alone a Satanic one. I'm not going to delve into their theological positions, I came to mock them, not to study them.
It gets worse. I had a major TFC (This Fucking City) moment when I saw that Mayor Landrieu's administration had issued a proclamation honoring OSA's mission to New Orleans. I am not making this up y'all. Here's another extended quote from the Uptown Messenger story:
The certificate, which is dated July 20, extends Mayor Landrieu’s official recognition to Flip Benham of Operation Save America for “outstanding service to the city of New Orleans,” according to an image of the certificate being shared by the group on members’ Facebook pages. Supporters of the group were enthusiastic about Landrieu’s welcome, with one noting that “This is a first!”
Benham, director of Operation Save America, was found guilty of stalking in North Carolina in 2011 for distributing “Wanted” posters featuring the name and photo of a Charlotte abortion doctor, and sentenced to 18 months probation. A local organizer for the group, Pastor Dale Sochia of King Jesus Ministries in Boutte, told the New Orleans Advocate that they would be holding a funeral procession in Jackson Square on Tuesday featuring an open casket containing a “a real aborted baby.”
The mayor’s office on Monday downplayed the significance of the certificate.
“It is routine for the City to provide standard proclamations to visiting non-profits, faith-based organizations and conventions that request them,” according to an email from Tyler Gamble, a spokesman for Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office. “As this group exercises its constitutional rights, the NOPD is executing a robust security plan to keep the peace.”
That's bull shit. Additionally, the last time the word robust was publicly deployed in New Orleans, it was by Editor Jim Amoss describing the born again Times-Picayune/NOLA.com/TP Street. And that didn't go down very well either as you may recall. The entire thing is guaranteed to infuriate a wide range of the citizenry. I guess they're pandering to the Catholic Church as well as the heavily Protestant malakas who are here to both rescue and save us as well as Murica. How nice of them.
The flying monkeys of OSA were unleashed on us, of course, by the TRAP anti-abortion measure passed by the state Lege and signed into law by our idiot Governor. I was, however, under the impression that Mitch Landrieu and his Senator sister were at least mildly pro-choice. Why then has the city administration honored a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has described as a terrorist organization? Change.Org is gathering signatures urging Hizzoner to rescind the proclamation. Click here if you'd like to sign.
I usually like to close this feature with a joke or a music clip. I won't do so this time. These people are capable of almost anything, and violence against people and property is emphatically not funny. Groups like Operation Rescue/Save American are a pox on the political landscape and that is why they/it are/is malaka of the week.
Two Republican judges on the D.C. Circuit Court have ruled that the equivalent of a typo is enough to strip health care subsidies from up to five million people, dealing what would be a death blow to the Affordable Care Act if the decision is allowed to stand. The one Democrat on the panel dissented.
The three-judge panel ruled in Halbig v. Burwell that people in the 36 states that use the federal health insurance exchange are ineligible for subsidized insurance. The decision would also affect those who purchased insurance through the exchange but don't receive subsidies, as reneging on the payments would lead to a rapid increase in insurance rates for everyone.
The White House said Tuesday the decision will be appealed to the entire D.C. circuit court -- what's known as an en banc review -- where Democrats hold a majority that is nearly certain to overturn the GOP judges' aggressive move. The next step could be the Supreme Court, which already upheld the Affordable Care Act in a separate case two years ago.
I would ask if they next plan to sue over the Civil Rights Act but LET'S NOT GIVE THEM IDEAS.
The Dallas Morning News launched its premium website nine months ago, hoping readers would be willing pay $11.96 a month to see fewer ads and more photos. There were “promises of personalization and loyalty programs to come later,” the paper notes.
Later, of course, never arrived. And "more photos" is great if they're, you know, good photos. A slideshow of people's pets does not count. And I rag on the Trib here in town for putting syndicated columnists, widely available all over the Internet, behind its paywall. If I'm reading your paper online, assume I know what the Internet IS, and how to Google things.
News chief marketing officer Jason Dyer declined to tell the News reporter what the paper invested in the project or how many people subscribed to the premium site. He also apparently gave her the wrong day for the site going dark. (Thursday, not Friday.)
A baked potato, these people could fuck up.
When it's completed, 40 Riverside will have 219 expensive, river-facing condos to sell to people who are in a position to buy them and 55 street-facing places to rent to sad sacks who earn 60 percent or less than the median income. "Because Extell considers the affordable segment to be legally separate from the rest of the building, it says it is required to have different entrances," Think Progress explains. Plus, it will spare all the residents from the terrible awkwardness of regularly encountering people whose lifestyles differ from theirs, or something.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are already a number of "mixed-income" buildings with so-called "poor doors" throughout New York City, though there might not be many more in the future. The New York Post reportsthat, following the outcry over 40 Riverside, "Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer vowed to reject future developments with separate entrances." Meanwhile, renters of these affordable apartments can make their second-class status feel a little more fun by pretending that they're living in an episode of Downton Abbey.
There are many phrases describing inebriation; so many, in fact, that it's nearly a cottage industry, which is also an arcane phrase but not this week's winner. Ladies and germs, I give you:
Tight as a boiled owl.
Mind you, I've never boiled an owl, which is odd since I live in South Louisiana where we boil crawfish, crabs, and shrimp. I think this could catch on, I really do.
Here's a usage example: the last time I played trivia with the NOLA Twitter people, I got tight as a boiled owl.
Since we're on the subject of booze, here's Aretha, before she became the Queen of Soul, singing a Mercer-Tauber tune:
Millennium Park is a triumph of public relations.
For example, in interviews with civic leaders a few years ago, it wasn't hard to discern the script when virtually each one repeated the notion that once finished Millennium Park would be the new postcard picture of Chicago. And that no matter what the final bill, the cost would be worth it. When I heard my former editor atChicago magazine repeat that last one one day, I knew the meme had set in.
But is it true? Of course not. At what point, I would ask the citizenry, would it not have been worth it? At $750 million? At a billion?
Let's say you find the current cost of $475 million "worth it." But you would balk at a cool billion.
Well, consider that we're not done paying for Millennium Park yet. Those parking garages aren't bringing in the expected revenue, andthe park is operating at a deficit. When all is said and done, a billion dollars may not be out of sight.
Will that be worth it?
Did we at some point decide that the mayor could have a blank check for a downtown park, but not for schools, health care, affordable housing, or a larger, better police force? Or to
maintain the parks we have?
Even the private funding that has gone into Millennium Park comes from somewhere - your employer, perhaps.
What if we put that money and more towards building the greatest schools the planet has ever seen? Couldn't those be the postcards of a new Chicago?
I like Millennium Park fine, but we could have had 60 fantastic neighborhood parks for that money, and they would have gotten as much use. I know the people who live in neighborhoods that need parks don't take pictures for postcards.
The argument, I suppose, is that the tourists spend the money and then the money goes to the schools and the parks everywhere and whatnot, but it never seems to be the case. The tourists spend the money which goes to more things for the tourists to spend money on.
Well, just when I thought this week couldn't get any more fucked up...
Bailey Bulldog is dead.
He died sometime Thursday morning, in his sleep, at the incredible (for a Bulldog) age of 13.
He was a rescue. His owner died from cancer, and for some reason his kids didn't want Bailey. Barbara and I drove to Tulsa to pick him up. He lived in his forever home with us for 6 years. Unlike a lot of rescue bullies, there was nothing horribly (and expensively) wrong with him physically - he just kept going and going. He had started going downhill the last week, not eating, sleeping 98% of the time instead of the normal 80%, having the occasional accident (which he typically never did). We knew he was at the end of the trail. He was asleep in his crate just like any other morning, except that when I went to let him out, his perpetually-sticking-out tongue was purple, and I realized that he wouldn't be getting up any more.
I know this was the best possible scenario for him to check out, but that doesn't help much.
He was unobtrusive, but omnipresent. His favourite seat by the living room fireplace, his preferred spot in the studio - they are very empty places now. Bailey never demanded attention (unlike a certain Brillo beast), but patiently followed from room to room to be your silent companion. Thick as a brick, deaf as a post, and incapable of going from one room to another without "stalling out" - until his pea brain finally remembered where he had set out for - he was all of these things.
He was also noble, uncomplaining, and the best petting dog I have ever seen. It was like petting a fire hydrant with a fur coat on. And when he was petted, the stumpy ears would go all the way back, and the chin would go straight up, and his little eyes would close in esctasy.
He hated the outdoors, and only went out to do his business or drink (we kept his water bowl outside because of the godawful dribbling mess he made after getting those chops good and wet - we called him "Tom Drooley" after getting his Big Drink). Then it was back into the comfort of the A/C and his people.
He looked like a cartoon Bulldog, all chest, shoulders, and head (no neck), and not much else - but he also had the biggest heart I've ever encountered.
He was our Big Buddy.
No nose. At all. No neck, either,
Barbara discovers a smoosh face on her side of the couch
Bailey, in a rare trip to the front yard. Bulldog on guard!
His favourite spot in the living room
I get some equal smoosh face time.....
Can we come in NOW? PLEASE?
His other favourite spot - in the studio in front of one of the P.A. speakers, softly snoring....
Always happy to be with us...
Bye, big boy - we'll miss you.
I woke up way too early this morning, checked the Tweeter Tube, and groaned audibly when I saw that the great James Garner had died at the age of 86.
Garner made everything look easy. He was an actor with formidable chops but he never tried too hard and never chewed the scenery. Most of all, he was likable, both on and off the screen.
We all loved him in The Rockford Files with his oddball friends, cheesy trailer, and hot muscle car. I'm glad that Jim Rockford's exploits live on in syndication, captivating new generations with his raffish charm.
Jim Garner was one of the few actors of his generation who made the transition from teevee star to movie star and back again. It's pretty common now but Garner was a trailblazer. He also made some damn fine movies from The Great Escape to The Americanization of Emily to Space Cowboys to my personal favorite, Skin Game.
Since this is primarily a political blog, I ought to mention Garner's status as a self described "hemophiliac liberal," a line that I've used many times over the years. I always give him credit too, and I'm usually eager to steal other people's one liners.
I'm obviously a huge James Garner fan. I'm not the only one who feels as if they've lost an old friend this morning. He will be missed.
Finally, here's Garner in a scene from Paddy Chayefsky's brilliant anti-war drama The Americanization of Emily:
Out this weekend working, but I wanted to ask in light of that meme going around The Internet's Gaping Butthole asking which of several dead musicians you would resurrect: If you could bring one historical personage back to life, who would it be?
I would like to have some words with several of the Founding Fathers regarding the conduct of their fan club of late, so probably one of those fellows.
New Yorker honcho David Remnick wrote a post this morning about that described the commander of the Ukrainian separatist group that intially took credit for shooting down the Malaysian Air jetliner thusly:
A wildly messianic nationalist who cultivates an air of lumpy intrigue, [Igor] Strelkov has found his way to the battlefields of Chechnya, Serbia, and Transnistria. He is now helping to run the separatist operation in Donetsk. Like the radical nationalists and neo-imperialists in Moscow, who have easy access to the airwaves these days, Strelkov has a singular point of disagreement with Putin: the Russian President hasn’t gone nearly far enough; he has failed to invade and annex “Novorossiya,” the separatist term for eastern Ukraine. Pavlovsky said that people like Strelkov and his Moscow allies are as delusional as they are dangerous, somehow believing that they are taking part in grand historical dramas, like the Battle of Borodino, in 1812, or “the novels of Tolkien.”
“Strelkov is well known for leading historical reënactments of Russian military battles, like you have in the States with the Civil War reënactors,” Pavlovsky said. “It used to be a fantasy world for people like him, but now they have a realm for their imaginations.”
Just imagine the leader of your local tea party group armed with rockets and absolutely no sense whatsoever. These are the people the Russian government has unleashed on the world: morons with modern weapons. Visualize the open carry malakas or Cliven Bundy militia types armed with missiles. This is some scary shit, y'all.
But what all these issues, no matter how gigantically separated an Esquire puff piece and a Tennessee mother’s jailing for meth may seem, reflect back at us: How, in this country, every barometer by which female worth is measured—from the superficial to the life-altering, the appreciative to the punitive—has long been calibrated to “dude,” whether or not those measurements are actually being taken by dudes. Men still run, or at bare minimum have shaped and codified the attitudes of, the churches, the courts, the universities, the police departments, the corporations that so freely determine women’s worth. As Beyoncé observed last year, “Money gives men power to run the show. It gives men the power to define value. They define what’s sexy. And men define what’s feminine. It’s ridiculous.”
Because it's not even that assessments of women's lives are up to men. It's that they're up to everybody else. Men, other women, politicians, courts, everybody. Everybody else.
We think it's up to us whether another woman's child can play alone in a park. We think it's up to us whether another woman should stay home or go to work. We think it's up to us whether another woman should have an abortion, whether somebody should buy a particular brand of cereal with food stamps, whether somebody should drink or swear or dance or date or get married or not get married or bone another dude or adopt some kids or not adopt any kids.
We think we should have the right to an opinion about our neighbor, about the man who runs the church choir, about Octomom and Casey Anthony and every other goddamn thing. We think we should get to comment on it. We think we should get to talk about it. We think this is what passes for being involved in the world and engaged in society.
When it's not about you, #notallmen. It's not about you, MRAs. It's not about you, Princeton Mom. It's not about you, Hobby Lobby. It's not about you, Katie Couric and NANCY FUCKING GRACE. If it's not about you then it's not about you, how we act and how we dress and who we see and who we screw and where we work.
And don't get in my face about your tax dollars because if you can't see how this protects you more than it endangers you I got nothin' for you and head back to camp. It's not about you at all. You don't need to be here for this meeting. You're not on the agenda and your advice is not being solicited. Leave now, and on your way out take a long deep drink at the fountain of shut the fuck up.
One of the best blues rock guitarists ever, Johnny Winter, has died at the age of 70. As a young man, Winter was a vision: a tall, whip thin Albino, wearing black clothes and quite often a cowboy hat as a nod to his Texas roots. He was a sight to see and an amazing player. He died as he lived, on the road. He will be missed.
Here's a 1974 teevee appearance with Johnny rocking the joint in a top hat:
|From Album 5|
So Rep. Renee Ellmers recently insisted that the way to a woman's voting heart certainly wasn't through her purty little head, because that might give her a great big old headache
Men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level…Many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they've got some pie chart or graph behind them and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and how, you know, the debt is awful and, you know, we all agree with that. …
We need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life — that’s the way to go.
To be fair, the GOP's been dumbing down of the message has been equal opportunity for some time, perhaps not expressed as manifestly ugly and sexist as Rep. Ellmers, but certainly affirming if not promoting a worldview that at best is frustratingly shallow.
More and more I'm convinced that the right v. left debate in this country is less a difference of thought out policy and more and agressive, mean-spirited ignorance versus a grown-up-grasp of reality than anything else. And it's very difficult to discuss or debate issues when the political opposition has the mentality of a bratty eight year old.
The face-off is taking place after a similar demonstration in Murrieta, California, led to vitriolic exchanges about how the U.S. immigration system is being overwhelmed by a tide of Central American migrants. The Murrieta protesters blocked three busloads of detained immigrants from entering the town for federal processing.
The demonstrations in Oracle come as activists organize a nationwide movement protesting the immigration surge with at least 260 protests scheduled this weekend.
"We are being invaded!" says a flyer distributed by 11 groups organized as National Day of Protesting Against Immigration Reform, Amnesty and Border Surge. "Our Border Patrol is overwhelmed by the massive flow of illegal aliens crossing our border daily."
You know, the people who are out there playing our national anthem, the people who are out there waving our flags, the people out there who claim they love America so fucking much they just can't wait to defend her from defilement by the foreign hordes? Those people sure do have a low opinion of America.
Our border patrol is bieng overwhelmed? Our health care system can't take it? We don't have enough housing, enough food, enough clothes?
WELL LET'S FUCKING FIX THAT THEN.
Jesus God. Let's fix it. If the problem is not enough people to handle the intakes then let's call in the national goddamn guard. If the problem is not enough beds then let's go find some mattresses. If the problem is not enough hotel rooms then let's build some more hotels. If the problem is not enough hospitals then let's hire some more doctors and put up some fucking tents, because I have just about had it with our defining the possible down to what won't inconvenience wealthy white assholes. That ain't much, it turns out. There's not enough food? This is why God invented chicken that comes in BUCKETS. I honestly don't know what's wrong with us anymore.
It's not like we've never done anything big before. This country sent men to the moon. This country won two world wars. This country used to goddamn airlift food to staving people we'd just defeated, is how great this country used to think it was. This country looked at insurmountable problems and unthinkable odds and said come on, bitch, bring it why don't you.
And we're going to say that we can't feed and house and clothe some children? Okay, several tens of thousands of children, and okay, we're not doing too great by the kids that are already here, but seriously, motherfucker, you come to me saying this is too much? This, we can't afford? This, we can't do? When the earth was caving in, we were able to shore up the barricades but now, some kids? That's too big a job?
We could fix all this with with the Green Zone blows on lunch. We could fix this with what Halliburton lays out on Christmas bonuses. We could fix this twelve times over and have cash to spare for a free hooker in every household with what Congress is willing to spend on just about anything else up to and including naming post offices after itself.
This is not too big a job, so just take that argument out with you when you leave. You want to be known as the land of the free and the home of the brave, you have to be free and you have to be brave. This country freed itself and we just get so goddamn pissed when we're reminded that that wasn't the end, that we don't get to lie down now and watch TV and not give a fuck about anybody else's problems. This country freed itself and we are obligated, obligated by whatever humorless dick gods exist to keep freeing ourselves, to keep freeing each other, to keep taking in others as we were taken in because that's the only way this keeps working.
That's the only way we stay true. We did big things, this country, and the only way we don't betray our own best selves is to keep doing big things. Small things, like children who need help and homes and food and clothes and love and care? That shouldn't be beyond us. That shouldn't be too much. We're not better than them. But we should be better than this.
Georgia wingnut Phil Gingrey is leaving Congress after a failed attempt to secure the GOP nomination for the Senate. He was too extreme even for Georgia Republicans. I am scared shitless that this mook will continue to be licensed to practice medicine. He's an anti-choice Oby-Gyn, put that in your pipe and smoke it, y'all
Gingrey pulled a classic wingnut stunt this week, but it's one that should be beneath contempt for a physician. He wrote a letter to the CDC about the looming humanitarian crisis on the border. Here's how Charlie Pierce described this despicable letter:
The other day—Congressman Phil Gingrey who, with Paul Broun, makes up half of the Georgia-based legislative vaudeville act, Two Docs And A Crock—sent a letter to the Centers For Disease Control, which happen to be in the general area of his district, warning that the children who have been coming through eight kinds of hell to get to this country might be little walking petri dishes, and that we better should watch out for that.As such, reports of illegal migrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning.
Wait. Whoa there, dear and glorious physician. How did we manage to crowbar Ebola onto that list? Unless some of these kids are swimming here from Sierra Leone, that's one problem about which we don't have to worry, since there never has been a case of Ebola's breaking out anywhere but in Africa. But you can see what Gingrey's doing here. He shoehorning Ebola onto his list of concerns about the Little Brown Ones (tm GHW Bush Enterprises, LLC) because a) he knows Americans are more aware of it than they are of, say, dengue fever, and b) because, alas, Ebola's in the news because it's running wild at the moment in west Africa, where it's never broken out before. So congratulations to Phil Gingrey—excuse me. DOCTOR Phil Gingrey—has decided to use a medical crisis overseas to gin up politically expedient xenophobia over here. Extremely well-played, sir.
Even for a right winger, this is appalling. He's ginning up hysteria with his dubious "diagnosis" and using his medical degree to give this claim credibility. It's totally reprehensible. I'm not sure if this is something that could cause him to lose his license to practice medicine in the state of Georgia, but I hope someone reports this cretin to the appropriate regulatory body.
The worst thing about an episode like this is that other extremists will use it and, thanks to the interweb, this story will live forever. I called Gingrey a Doctor earlier when, in fact, he's a quack. He ought to be ashamed of himself, but teabaggers are shameless and believe that one can lie in service of a "just cause." There's a special place in hell for quacks like this and before going there, he should stick his stethoscope up his ass.
James Mason's primary asset as an actor was his smooth, silky voice. It served him well when playing either a villain or the good guy. That's why I was so amused to learn of this LP whilst reading By Ken Levine.
My favorite details on the cover are the Bozo seal of approval and Mason's coffin nail.
Here's Mason's appearance as the mystery guest on What's My Line? Alvin was nowhere to be seen:
But before they hung up, O’Malley told Muñoz not to send any of the children to the facility in Westminster, Md., that the White House was looking at. It’s a conservative part of the state, he warned. The children were at risk of getting harassed, or worse, he said.
This only inflamed tensions between the White House and the Democratic governor who’s been trying to stake out room on the left for a possible presidential run.
Busloads of impoverished migrant children on the verge of certain death?
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT THE 2016 ELECTIONS?!
Something Oliver highlights in that video above, that I went looking for because it seemed to illustrate just what's wrong with everything ever right now:
The last time the group met, in May 2011, historian Robert Dallek finally asked Obama what the group could do to help him. Obama’s answer went right to a present-day concern: “What you could do for me is to help me find a way to discuss the issue of inequality in our society without being accused of class warfare.”
Because, erm, you'd think by May of 2011 Obama would have figured out that there is no way to not be accused of class warring, because there is no way to not be accused of class warring if you are a Democrat who happens to stop slobbing the knob of the exceedingly wealthy even for one milisecond while you get yourself a sandwich and maybe have a nap.
I would have thought 2000 and 2004 and 2006 would have taught Democrats this. You are always a tree-hugging, Marx-humping, gay-marrying abortionist who wants to teach little children the fundamentals of sodomy while forcing them to eat salad, because you are a Democrat and that's it. And so the answer isn't to somehow avoid being criticized like that.
The answer is to stop giving a flying fuck what your patently dishonest, hysterical, conspiratorial wingnut critics have to say about anything.
Unless, of course, you're just looking for an excuse not to rock the boat on what is demonstrably the most important issue of our time, of course.
There's something about summer that unhinges people. Some spend way too much on sunscreen and trashy novels and others go crazy in less salubrious ways. Here in NOLA, and in other big cities, it means a spike in violent crime and the hysterical reaction to it. Any time gunfire happens in a tourist area everyone pitches a fit and the Mayor of the day freaks out. The same thing does not happen when gun violence occurs in African-American neighborhoods like Central City or Hollygrove. Imagine that.
Others believe that crime can be abolished by means of social programs and education. I support those efforts BUT there will *always* be criminals. Remember Tony B, Steve Buscemi's character on The Sopranos? When he got out of prison, he tried manfully to become a law abiding citizen. It was too hard for him so he punched his boss and went back to being a doomed wise guy. I think efforts to break the cycle of crime are great but they won't always work. Once again, life imitates The Sopranos.
Another place madness breaks out every summer is on the American Right. In 2010, it was yelling and screaming about death panels, this year it's xenophobic nativists yelling and screaming about immigrant children. The media, of course, loves public displays of rage and hatred. It makes their job so much easier. I am always struck by how well the wingnuts learned the lesson of the new left in the 1960's: if you scream and wave a sign the cameras will come. This is another problem that will always be with us. Anti-immigrant sentiment is a recurring theme in our national drama as some in each generation forget that this is a national built by furriners. The only true natives are the ones who are slurred by Dan Snyder and even they migrated from elsewhere a long, long time ago.
Back to lethal summer madness. Hamas and the Netanyahu government are doing yet another death dance in the Gaza Strip. The current edition of this depressing cycle involves Hamas firing a ton of missles at Israel and the Israelis bombing the shit out of Gaza. It ends up being disporportionate because Israel has a fancy missile defense system whereas people are dying in Gaza. Josh Marshall posted something yesterday about this madness that I agree with:
The Palestinian Envoy to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva tells Palestinian Authority TV that the PA needs to be prudent about appeals to the Human Rights Council because every Hamas rocket - fired indiscriminately and without warning into civilian areas - constitutes a "crime against humanity." He also notes reports from Gaza about how the IDF is sending advance evacuation warnings before bombing attacks. This candor will and is being seized on by supporters of Israel. But it's just as much as rebuke to the rejectionist right in Israel who claim there's no partner for peace among the Palestinians.
There's a path to end all of this. Not just this flare-up but the whole conflict. It's there. It just needs to be taken.
I think Josh is right but neither side is willing to take the first step. Over time, this has become a religious dispute characterized by a fatal lack of empathy on both sides. It's often forgotten that the state of Israel was founded by secular liberals such as Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion and, on the Palestinian side, Yasser Arafat, was not notably pious either. The Bibi-Hamas stand-off looks insoluable but I think a cease fire is possible. They'll never get together to sing Kumbaya but they should be willing to stop firing missiles at one another. At least, I hope so. Never forget that Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness were able to bury their past lives as extremists to help end the Troubles In Northern Ireland.
Now that I've ended on a mildly optimistic note, I'll give Tom Petty the last word:
It's time for a new feature here at First Draft. I like new features and starting one satisfies my inner extrovert or outer introvert or some such shit. Anyway, you may have noticed that I am fond of old slang words and phrases; largely because of my love of old movies. It's time to formalize this by throwing an arcane phrase or word out there and seeing if it sticks.
This week's inaugural phrase comes to us from my old friend Elzabeth Brion:
There are some of you who got the morbs over the end of the World Cup whereas I had them over the end of the NBA playoffs. Victorian slang rocks, y'all. I bet Disraeli rarely had the morbs and Gladstone had a permanent case but I digress. It's what I do.
If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment or shoot them at me on the Tweeter Tube. Unless, that is, you got a bad case of the morbs...
Morning, everyone! As you all know, I've been having Bundy Bunch withdrawals for some time now.
There's just nothing that can fill the hole in my soul left by the pissing/moaning/deserting militia morons who have all - run out of money/had to go home and find new jobs after getting fired from their old ones/recharge their hoverounds/pick up their tainted government Social Security checks.
Militia Sets Up Command Center South of San Antonio
KRGV ^ | July 9, 2014
Posted on 7/9/2014 2:52:52 PM by don-o
VON ORMY - A militia is gathering south of San Antonio to prepare for what they say is a mission to secure the border.
A leader with the group said they will deploy to Laredo first and spread from there to other parts of the border. The group set up a command center in Von Ormy to train and get organized.
The group has a website called Patriot Information Hotline. The group will not say how many members make up the militia.
The commander is a man named Chris Davis.
"We have patriots all across this country who are willing to sacrifice their time, their monies, even quit their jobs to come down and fight for freedom, liberty and national sovereignty," Davis said.
***********Here we go.
To: don-o; tx_eggman
I have a very, VERY serious question here.
Exactly WHAT are the rules of engagement on this proposed “enforcement”?
How?” Davis asked on the video. “You see an illegal. You point your gun dead at him, right between his eyes, and you say, ‘Get back across the border or you will be shot.’”
The video, which drew sharp criticism, was removed Monday by Davis who said it was taken out of context by a pro-amnesty group, the Chronicle reported.
Of course it was.
And by "taken out of context" they mean "transcribed from the video that dumbass made of himself"
So - are the usual IDiots jumping on the shoot-the-Messican-kids bandwagon?
I got excited when I read it was a militia and figuring they were going to SECURE the border militarily. Reading the article, they are going to ASSIST the Border Patrol/Law Enforcement already there. So my guess is they will be there to assist in handing out teddy bears and lollipops...
As a side tangent,
..as opposed to a front tangent...
anyone listen to Glenn Beck lately? Has he lost his mind? He sounded almost exactly like Nancy Pelosi. 'We need to give them compassion and mercy from the heart and not judgement'. What????????
To: Blue Highway
When Glen Beck opens up a welcome wagon and hands out healthcare, clothing, food, housing with his own money then I will listen to him otherwise he’s just another wanker wanting to give away my Rights and money under duress and threat imprisonment.(Taxes)
"My comment about a woman's body shutting the pregnancy down was directed to the impact of stress on fertilization. This is something fertility doctors debate and discuss," Akin writes. "Doubt me? Google ‘stress and infertility,' and you will find a library of research on the subject."
Actually, Google "stress and infertility" and you will find a library of conflicting information, along with lots and lots of horseshit anecdotes about how if you just "stop trying" to have a baby and "relax," you will get pregnant by magic.
In other words, quit being such uptight bitches, bitches. If you weren't such bitches, you'd be worthy of a child.
I thought back when Akin first opened up his piehole that his comments smacked of this kind of thinking. Not happy to see I was right.
It took a while, but I finally get it.
Four years ago, I wrote about the epic betrayal of your leaving. A year later, I took delight in your loss in the NBA finals. Each win you earned seemed like an indictment of the team I loved and a validation of the move you made to South Beach.
I was one of the millions who had cheered you, who bought your jersey and who spent ungodly sums trying to make it to your games. As you noted many times, you were “our son,” like we all raised you or something.
If that’s true, and I believe you when you say it, then I was a shitty parent.
I was selfish and angry and sad all at the same time. I didn’t put myself in your position the way I probably should have. After all, as they say in the movies, “We are not so different, you and I.”
We are both lifers of a single state. We grew up and prospered in that state. We made our lives about family and the comfort that comes with knowing your surroundings.
When the time came to make our first big move out from under that pressure cooker known as familiarity, it wasn’t easy. When I was 24, I left the state to pursue a job at Mizzou, pretty much the “South Beach” of Journalism.
If you are anything like me, the decision to leave your comfort zone wasn’t easy. In both of our cases, we could have done the easy and simple thing: Stayed home, worked in a less-ideal environment and never once worried about what was over the hill. The questions came fast and furious from family and friends: “Why don’t you just stay here?” “Can’t you get a job at a newspaper or something?” “What’s wrong with Wisconsin?”
If your family was anything like mine, it wasn’t easy on them either. Mom cried a lot that year. Dad did his “dad-thing” which vacillated between anger and distance. Friends wondered if I’d ever see them again. At least your friends could visit and you had enough money to do what you wanted. Still, there are things that money can’t buy and home is one of those things.
Still, I felt I HAD TO GO. It was a chance to figure out who I was and what I could be. Sure, it hurt like hell some times, but what good doesn’t.
After years of improving jobs, I found myself at a crossroads, too. I could either stay where I was with a chance to keep making better money and gaining more status or I could go home.
Home was a worse job with less pay, a weaker team and more than a few personnel problems. You have a guy who writes diatribes that personally attacked you in comic sans. I have a guy who told a faculty that for the kind of money they were paying for me, “We could have gotten someone good.”
Still, I made what, on paper, was the lesser choice. Still, in my heart, it was the larger portion.
People will criticize you for this, especially if things don’t work out perfectly. You will find moments of doubt, even as you know what you did was right. People looked at me like I was crazy. I’ve had to answer the “What the hell are you doing there?” question a lot of times at national conventions. People have even asked if I got booted out of my old job and that’s why I showed up here.
My answer was simple, “I didn’t want to move home just in time to watch my parents die. I wanted to enjoy my time with them.”
That was mostly true, in that, yes, that was a big part of it. However, I missed the simple things that you can’t just “import” to another part of the world, regardless of your riches.
Knowing what side streets go through and which ones don’t.
Listening to the radio stations you grew up listening to.
The odd culture that, around here at least, is all about cheese, beer, summer festivals and the Friday fish fry. (I’m sure Akron has a similar set of oddities you miss.)
I missed out on a lot when I moved away, but I gained a lot as well. In watching you from afar, I know you probably feel the same.
It took me a long time to realize that I should have seen this a while back. That you were like a kid who never got to go to college and thus needed to get out of the house. That you never had that exploratory phase. That you needed to get out there and, for lack of a better term, play with your friends.
I reacted like an angry parent. I felt rejected and abandoned. I didn’t think about what you thought.
Realizing that makes me also realize that you’re a more mature man than you were when you left. It also makes me realize that I’m lucky as a fan to cheer for you twice in one lifetime.
I don’t know if you’ll win a championship for Cleveland. I do know that you’ll make the game more exciting to watch. And I also know that you’ll be glad you made this move when you did.
Welcome home. And thanks.
See you in the fall,
Mansplainer is one of my favorite recent colloquialisms. It's vivid, punchy, and makes a point in an amusing, witty way. That's why I love this headline on a column by the Guardian's Jessica Valenti:
Older women don't need mansplaining boner prose in praise of their sexiness.
I'm hoping for a rewrite of a certain classic pop tune: Oh, oh, here he comes. Watch out girl, he gonna chew you up. Oh, oh here he comes, he's a mansplainer.
I'm always thrilled when the politician I love to hate is back in the news with a new set of tape transcripts. The latest group are online and one excerpt makes me think of a certain potty mouthed publisher:
Nixon: I mean, you've got to stop at a certain point. Why is it that the girls don't swear? Because a man, when he swears, people can't tolerate a girl who is a—
Haldeman: Girls do swear.
Haldeman: They do now.
Nixon: Oh, they do now? But, nevertheless, it removes something from them. They don't even realize it. A man drunk, and a man who swears, people will tolerate and say that's a sign of masculinity or some other damn thing. We all do it. We all swear. But you show me a girl that swears and I'll show you an awful unattractive person. . . . I mean, all femininity is gone. And none of the smart girls do swear, incidentally.
Athenae, come on down. Fuck yeah. Smart girls don't swear and big girls don't cry:
But what Weigel elides here is really important: the hidden assumption that these dudes actually are pissing off their political adversaries. It's a pretty egocentric notion that a liberal, or any stranger, gives three hoots about these huckleberries' displays of bravado beyond the superficial. The conservative impulse to performed crudeness owes as much to self-centeredness as the conservative political ideology does: "I'm Me, the Me-est Me there'll ever be, and Me will show you why you need to get off My back!"
These Bocephuses don't miss the point that climate change, progressive taxation, street laws and sundry other facets of civil society aren't about them; in fact, their grievances are borne out of a deep conviction that public policy should be about them. Any public policy that doesn't have them as its heart and soul is, well, socialism. And it's evil. As the old men say: "Paranoia means always being the center of attention."
I've written before about the need to see your existence constantly validated, and how poisonous that is, because you become convinced that if somebody else is doing it differently, you're doing it wrong.
I mean, the fuck you care if I drive a Prius? Why should that inspire you to fuck up your truck? We don't know each other. You likely will never see me on the freeway. I didn't buy George the Prius in order to piss you off or even save the whales all that much. I bought George the Prius because I was sick of worrying about the Saturn of Love starting in the winter, there was a deal going on, and I like that I can forget to fill the damn car up because I so seldom have to do it.
But that's the problem. It's not about you, is it?