Belated postcards.

And now we have returned. It was a nice trip, a too-short trip, but we’re back, and I guess I’m as happy as one can be, when one has returned from a warm, light-filled climate to a cold, dark one. Not that the weather was perfect when we were there. It was warm, but overcast, and when it was sunny, it was chilly. “Chilly” is a relative term, of course; say… 64 degrees.

In Key West, you can spot the locals because they’re the ones wearing down puffer jackets when it’s 64 degrees.

They also ride bikes everywhere. The last time I was there, literally 40 years ago, it was more of a ramshackle place, and there were cars and parking spaces to go with them. Now the big money has flowed in, and money changes, and ruins, everything. Not that Key West is ruined, but it’s definitely a richer place now. There’s far less parking. And here’s the big thing: Everyone locks their bikes now. I don’t remember this from 1980. The bikes were crap — single-speed things that didn’t even have handlebar grips, half the time. They’re not much better now. But you still better lock it up.

Mostly, it was nice to get away. I know it was irresponsible, but it was as responsible as travel can be now, I guess: Tested negative ahead of time, masked through the entire airport/flight, drove down in a car, stayed in a condo, masked here there and everywhere, etc. Alan got his day of flats fishing, I did some reading, it was fine and fun.

Of course I told myself I was going to try to unplug from the news for a while. Of course this was impossible, after Wednesday. About which I have little to add, except that I’m so glad this horrible era is ending, kinda. More or less. A new chapter, anyway.

How about some pictures?

Here’s a Hemingway cat, displaying what makes him special.

Chicken in a tree:

The line — yes, the line — to take a picture at the Southernmost Point:

Two final notes before the weekend arrives: Let’s keep the best thoughts, the best prayers, for Dexter’s wife, who is in intensive care with Covid. We wish her the very best.

Finally, a history of the Trump era through stories about toilets. Yes:

From the very beginning, the First Couple experienced the White House primarily as a place with dissatisfactory facilities for depositing their bodily waste. Melania delayed her move into the residence, former senior adviser Stephanie Winston Wolkoff revealed, because she “didn’t want to move to the White House right away in part because she didn’t want to have to use the same shower and toilet as former first lady Michelle Obama.”

The president soon began to take pride in the elegant appearance of the White House lavatories. Trump “has an odd affinity for showing off bathrooms, including one he renovated near the Oval Office,” reported the Times in 2017.

What wonderful people.

Posted at 8:57 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 42 Comments

A satisfactory result.

This winning stuff feels good, and I for one am not tired of it yet.

Still, going forward a few things are clear now: We’re still pretty fucked. When “counting votes” becomes known as “a dump,” we’re fucked. Until the MAGAts from “Qtah” and elsewhere move on to collecting vintage farm implements or Barbies or something, my guess is, we’re fucked. Winning these elections is important, but as we all know, the margins were tight enough to let us know: We’re fucked, at least for a while.

I’m reminded, while watching tantrums like this…

…and this…

…that many of these people aren’t really into politics so much as they are just into licking Donald Trump’s boots. They still haven’t learned the first rule of politics: Win some, lose some. The ol’ Time in the Wilderness cliché. And so on. So they’ll either grow up a little and learn what this is all about, or…not. Cults that don’t explode in dramatic fashion (Jonestown, Heaven’s Gate) tend to trickle away, a little at a time, as followers become disillusioned. I don’t see Trump leading a mass suicide, so we can hope for the trickle.

Meanwhile, a Trump lawyer who advanced crackpot legal gambits and possible felonies resigned from her respectable law firm, and that, too, is good news. The sooner real consequences are faced, the better.

And now for the main event, the certification and whatever violence the Proud Boys get up to today. Making the popcorn now.

Also, signing out for our trip to Florida. We have our negative Covid tests, we have our KN95 masks, we have TSA Pre to avoid the lines. Traveling may be irresponsible, but we are trying to be responsible in our irresponsibility. Maybe a photo post between now and next week, but if not, rest assured we are relaxing.

Posted at 8:47 am in Current events | 252 Comments

HNY and the bar is lowered, yet again.

I knew I forgot to do something yesterday. Probably because I was distracted by my chin dragging on the ground, after the Georgia phone call dropped.

I honestly don’t know what to say about it. There’s no shortage of outrage, certainly, and what could I possibly add? This call is worse than the Access Hollywood tape, but again — nothing will be done about it. We might get to see more entertaining breaks in the GOP, but it won’t make up for the terrible damage being done to the country.

I so vividly remember Inauguration Day 2016. I was working, sitting in the living room of a Muslim family in Dearborn, and at the moment Trump raised his right hand and began repeating the oath, I had a near out-of-body experience. How can this be happening? This…game-show host, this huckster, this con man, this sexual assailant becoming president? Now we know, I guess; this country is far worse, far more fucked, than we ever believed.

:::touches earpiece::: Wait, I just received an email from GoDaddy that it’s time to renew my registration of this site’s URL, which prompted me to do some math, and realized that January 21 will be this stupid fucking blog’s 20-YEAR ANNIVERSARY.

I have to sit down now. Oh right, I already am.

I never intended for things to go on this long, but I guess you keep putting one foot in front of the other, and they do. I guess I’d better start planning the fireworks display and celebration for later this month then, right?

Hope your New Year’s weekend was great. Mine was fine. Had an epic NYE – paella with friends, followed by Stevie Nicks twirling in the hostess’ Christmas kimono. Then a chill, relaxing long weekend. Alan’s last day in journalism (for now) is tomorrow, and we leave for Florida at the end of the week.

So sorry to keep this short, but I need a shower.

Posted at 8:49 am in Current events | 47 Comments

Worthy. No, exemplary.

We are all given to complaining this year, and who could blame us, but before 2020 slips away, I want to say some good things about the city I live near, but not in: Detroit.

Much maligned, particularly by dipshit Republicans who still think we stole Michigan, I was reminded of how well Detroiters (and others, yes) did one thing this year: Test for Covid.

Starting in the spring, the mayor and one of our local billionaires teamed up for a mass testing regime that worked better than I ever expected it would. One of the billionaire’s companies has phone-bank employees who were either idled or handling way less work than they normally would, and they went to work for this project. The city used the idled state fairgrounds to set up a drive-through with six or eight testing stations. You called a number, made an appointment, and once you arrived, never got out of your car. For the check-in, you didn’t even have to roll down your window. Once you were checked in, it was simply a matter of waiting your turn. I had three tests, and never had to wait more than 15 minutes.

Since cold weather arrived, they’ve moved it to an indoor facility, but it still goes smoothly: Arrive. Park in a numbered space. Call a number, tell them you’re there, and they come to you.

It’s not perfect. There’s no same-day service, so if you wake up with symptoms, you’ll still need to go to an urgent care or other facility. They also don’t do the rapid-response tests, so the wait can be anywhere from two to five days, but those are about my only quibbles. If you need a test for an upcoming trip, say, and if you’re capable of the simplest advance planning, it’s great.

Also, did I mention it’s free? It’s free if you live in Wayne County.

I took it for granted until the holidays approached, and I was discussing a possible visit with my sister-in-law, who is incredibly wary of this disease. “Just get tested a week ahead and we’ll do the same,” I said, but in her small city there is no such program. She’d have to go to a hospital, and all require a referral.

Detroit’s numbers have gone up with the onset of cold weather, like everyone’s have, but on a per-capita basis, we’re doing pretty well. I credit the testing program for a big part of this.

I also want to say something about the election, which is still chapping my ass, weeks later. I wonder if every dumbshit who shared a stupid meme about the TCF Center, or “just thinks something must have been wrong in all that business” ever considered what it takes to put on an election in a city with 500 precincts, in a pandemic, with a new law that makes absentee voting easier, etc. etc. When you consider all of that? This election went down like a cold drink on a hot day.

There was a lot of help and support involved in making this happen, granted. People with deep knowledge of election law and the foresight to see what was coming got involved. The city clerk hired as a consultant a former state elections director, a man of sterling reputation and ironclad nonpartisan status. And there was a lot of grant money pumped into the system, which bought new equipment, paid staff and enhanced training. Of course there were bobbles. Of course mistakes were made. But in the end, for all the crowing about “imbalanced precincts,” the total number of votes described in that phrase were around 400, in more than 250,000 cast. Not one race could have been changed by that number of votes.

I’ve written before about the barely concealed racism behind the endless complaints about Detroit, which is one reason I’ve lost all tolerance for those who cannot let this go. It’s one thing to lose. It’s another thing to be a sore loser. But it’s a third thing entirely to be a malevolent force in the service of an evil individual, and at this point I don’t think any other adjective is needed to describe President Trump.

But now it’s nearly 2021 — the sun is setting as I finish this up — and 20 days in, we’ll be rid of that p.o.s., at least in the Oval Office. Let’s hope, when the sun rises tomorrow, we can wish one another Happy New Year, and actually experience it.

I’ll see you all after the weekend.

Posted at 4:41 pm in Current events, Detroit life | 84 Comments

What are we going to do with the crazy people?

I notice the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville is already on its way offstage. There’s a fair amount of carping on Twitter about the bomber not being labeled a terrorist, etc., and I see their point, but don’t exactly agree. Crazy people are crazy, and as far as I can tell, this guy did what he could to get people to leave the area before blowing up himself and his house-car. Wrecked a block of historic buildings, yes, but terrorists want blood and bricks in the street, not just bricks.

And I suspect that 5G paranoia will end up being a part of his motive, if motive is even the right word for it. Even if it doesn’t, the tinfoil hats have folded the bombing into their conspiracy stew, and made it part of their QAnon / Dominion / vaccine catechism, so maybe it doesn’t even matter if investigators find a manifesto somewhere. You can bet your last dollar there are probably thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of Americans who now believe the act was probably ordered by the Deep State to fuck up those voting machines stored just on the other side of the wall. They’re ordering T-shirts: ANTHONY QUINN WARNER DID NOTHING WRONG.

So what do we do about these stupid gits?

Were it up to me, and these were literal rabbit holes these people were diving down, I’d be in favor of encouraging every last one to take the leap, then bricking them up. But obviously, not an option here.

When I wrote about my troll a few years back, I reflected a bit on whether it was a mistake to ignore him for so long, whether that only egged him on. There’s a saying in public relations: If you don’t tell your story, someone else will tell it for you. But they’ve been saying that since long before social media arrived, let alone a parallel media environment in which people can immerse themselves and consider themselves well-informed without ever encountering a thought, story or position that contradicts their world view. There are millions of Americans who will go to their graves believing this election was stolen, that Biden is an illegitimate winner, and that Donald Trump won the Nobel Peace Prize. The world they live in tells them that.

But what are we going to do about them? Do we ignore them, respond to them, kick them to the curb? A long stay on an offshore island with currents too cold or dangerous to swim through would suit me, but Alcatraz can’t hold them all. So I’m open to suggestions.

One piece of bloggage today, and one more observation: First, I love Twitter because people feel free to speak ill of the dead there, including that congressman-elect who died of Covid. There are many more where that came from.

And the bloggage is a few days late, but so am I, this week: The collapse of Soul Cycle and the insane, bonkers, bananas cult of personalit(ies) it created. Come for the tease, stay for the used-tampon-in-the-purse story.

I’m off to donate blood.

Posted at 8:34 am in Current events | 52 Comments

One long weekend.

As befits a weekend with too much rich food and drink, I probably spent too much time thinking about Wonder Woman. The oddly named “WW84” is streaming on HBO, so I watched it, and while it wasn’t totally terrible, I had many nits to pick with it, mostly about the production design, but that’s just picky me:

I didn’t mention my questions about the WW armor that Diana Prince puts on for the climax. It’s special armor, we’re told, made centuries ago to protect their fiercest warrior, and all I could think was: Good thing those two had the same cup size, because otherwise? Whoa, problems for the armor-fitters.

These thoughts probably arrived because I’ve been following Cora Harrington, who writes about lingerie. She had some thoughts about Bridgerton, the Shonda Rimes series on Netflix:

Cora has some thoughts about “tightlacing,” i.e., the yank-and-pull technique of forcing women’s waists to insane smallness, essentially that the corsets of the “Bridgerton” era wouldn’t have allowed it because they didn’t have metal grommets yet. It’s that sort of attention to detail that Twitter makes room for, and I love it.

So, the hoooollllliday. It’s half over. Lots of people have the week between off, and in journalism, traditionally these are the days for year-in-review features, Those We Lost roundups, and all the rest of the space-fillers. Not this year! It’s all about President Shit-for-Brains and whether he might a) make a run for this martial-law thing; or b) play golf through the Covid relief package, etc. Also, a huge explosion that destroyed a huge chunk of historic Nashville center city. Nothing like a giant-explosion suicide on Christmas morning to get the nation’s attention. Talk about an exit.

If it turns out this dude was terrified of 5G technology and thought it was a cause of Covid, look for the “let’s not politicize this tragic act of violence” to start in 3,2,1.

This is a week we should all be off — from paying attention, from blowing up RVs, from doing anything other than cooking.

I wish I had more to report, but that was the weekend: Calories + movies + occasional glimpses at the news.

Equals: Glad it’s over. Let’s head into the interregnum.

Posted at 9:05 pm in Current events | 41 Comments

Odds, ends and a holiday.

Today, the holiday, I will make this a loose ends post because why not.

Let’s start with Basset, who asked why the Dodge Charger has a special significance in Detroit. Easy. Because the Charger, and the Challenger, is the street racer of choice at the moment. Most prized is the Hellcat model, which has some stupid-level horsepower, but pretty much anything that’ll spin out and go fast is just fine. Hellcat drivers were the ones who shut down the Lodge freeway summer before last, an event that spawned rap tributes and T-shirts. When I was doing census work last summer, I came across a parked Charger in the driveway of a house I needed to call on, music bumping behind the blacked-out windows. Because I have entered the IDGAF stage of my life, I knocked on the car window. It slid down, revealing two very stoned young men and clouds of weed smoke.

We did the interview right there in the driveway. Sometimes, Karen can be cool.

Moving on: Here’s yet another of Sidney Powell’s super-secret, TOTALLY QUALIFIED election-fraud witnesses:

North Dakota’s assertions about her credentials came in a civil case brought by the state’s attorney general in 2018 over a purported charitable event she tried to organize in Minot, N.D., where she and her family resided. Attorneys for the state said she used money she collected — ostensibly to fund homeless shelters and wreaths for veterans’ graves — on purchases for herself at McDonald’s, QVC and elsewhere.

A judge ultimately found that Maras-Lindeman violated consumer protection laws by, among other things, misspending money she raised and soliciting donations while misrepresenting her experience and education. He ordered her to pay more than $25,000.

Maras-Lindeman has appealed to the state Supreme Court. In court filings and in her interview with The Post, she denied mishandling the funds or misleading donors. She blamed identity theft and bureaucratic failings for a proliferation of variations on her name and social security numbers associated with her.

How’s everyone’s holiday going? I’ve been baking all day, first a sour cream coffee cake for tomorrow and then an apple tart, also for tomorrow. And brother, I am sugared out. I may whack up that coffee cake and distribute it to the poor or the carb-deprived. The broccoli casserole I will keep.

Merry Christmas to all, whether you celebrate it or not. Let’s let Darlene Love take us out with a song we can all enjoy.

I’ll be back next week.

Posted at 10:12 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 70 Comments

Turn the page.

My 2021 notebook arrived today. Planner, some might call it, although mine is neither one nor the other.

It’s formatted for bullet journaling, something I tried but couldn’t stick to. But most of it is just blank pages, and every week, on Sunday or Monday, I turn the page and start a new entry: Week of December 21. The top half of the page gets a Work subhead, the bottom half Personal. I write down all the tasks and projects I know I have coming due that week. Newsletter, edit XXXX, various stories with deadlines approaching. Personal is for errands, bills to pay, etc., and always gets a line for Workouts, which I tally with hash marks. (Several years into my more dedicated fitness regimen, it’s now essential for my mental health, so I make note of every one. Don’t hate me because I have muscle tone.)

As I get these things done, I scratch them off. The scratch-off is the most important part of this habit. Have I ever written down something I’ve already completed but didn’t put on the to-do list, then immediately scratched it off? Do you even have to ask?

The facing page is for auxiliary notes on the main page — stuff that goes along with the tasks, but isn’t a task itself — phone numbers, email addresses, down-the-road stuff. I put the newsletter budget there.

All of this is the front half. The back half of the book is for random notes — a meeting, a training, something someone said that I wanted to remember: The Dodge Charger is the official I-don’t-give-a-fuckmobile of Detroit, for instance.

Over the years, I’ve tried a million different ways to organize my life. The aforementioned bullet journaling, writing everything down in iCal. (On March 31, 2014 I rode my bike nine miles and did a yoga class.) Not much of it stuck. But this is the third year I’ve bought the Standard Issue Notebook No. 3, and it seems to work. It’s the uncapping of the pen, writing everything down, that makes it different.

I hate the word “journaling.” It’s writing. A novelist doesn’t do noveling. Why complicate matters unnecessarily?

Finally, this: There is only one thing more satisfying than a blank notebook for the year ahead, and that’s the scribbled-in, marked-up one for the year just past.

What’s your organization strategy? Any tips for the group?

Here we are, already at midweek. I’m trying to assuage my guilt over this upcoming trip by registering with TSA PreCheck, which I’m hoping will keep us out of the ridiculous jam-ups at airport security. Also, it’s a hopeful gesture that I’ll be a more frequent traveler in the news five years, and I’ll use it often enough to justify the $85 charge. Tomorrow I go in to be fingerprinted. A small price to leave my shoes on in the security line.

A little bit of bloggage, then? Sure. Here is 2020 in Associated Press pictures, most of which are great. No paywall, just enjoyment.

Happy Wednesday, all.

Posted at 9:35 pm in Same ol' same ol' | 66 Comments

These scoundrels.

Sooooo… what chapped your ass this weekend? This was mine:

Yes, by all means, spend the better part of a year licking the dimpled ass of our Covid-denying president, not wearing a mask and otherwise being a waste of space, then jump to the head of the line to get the vaccine for the disease you told us all was no biggie.

There are other examples – hey, Mike Pence – and every single one bugs me. At least have the decency to do it in the shadows.

You probably saw this story in the WashPost over the weekend, worth a click if you need to stoke your stomach-acid supplies:

The rise in cases and deaths in November coincided with a drop in visibility from Trump and Pence. Following the Nov. 3 election, the two went many days without public appearances. Whenever the president did speak or weigh in on Twitter, it was usually about his desire to overturn the election results, not about the worsening pandemic.

As for Pence, one consistent criticism was his reluctance to deliver tough news and dire coronavirus statistics to the president. As one former senior administration official put it, “He knows, like everybody else knows, that covid is the last thing Trump wants to hear about or see anybody making news about. If not touting Operation Warp Speed, it’s the topic that shall not be spoken of.” A senior administration official and Pence ally, however, said Pence always shared the daily reality with Trump but, as a perpetual optimist, often did so with a positive spin.

What an empty suit. In an administration full of them, his may be the emptiest. And then there was this:

President Trump on Friday discussed naming Sidney Powell, who as a lawyer for his campaign team unleashed conspiracy theories about a Venezuelan plot to rig voting machines in the United States, to be a special counsel overseeing an investigation of voter fraud, according to two people briefed on the discussion.

It was unclear if Mr. Trump will move ahead with such a plan.

Most of his advisers opposed the idea, two of the people briefed on the discussion said, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer. In recent days Mr. Giuliani has sought to have the Department of Homeland Security join the campaign’s efforts to overturn Mr. Trump’s loss in the election.

Mr. Giuliani joined the discussion by phone initially, while Ms. Powell was at the White House for a meeting that became raucous and involved people shouting at each other at times, according to one of the people briefed on what took place.

We are going to have to white-knuckle it through every goddamn day until January 20, aren’t we?

Ah, well. This is the last weekend before the holidays, and I have the happy/nervous task of prepping for a somewhat spur-of-the-moment getaway early in January. The Friday after Alan retires, we’re heading to Key West for a few days. I figured it was one place we could go that was capable of supporting outdoor dining and recreation as we tick down the days until we can get vaccinated. The flights will be the riskiest, but we’re planning to be tested ahead of time, double-masking through the flight itself and then driving from Miami down the island chain. We’re renting a condo and traveling with friends who both had the bug earlier in the year and have antibodies. Delta seems to have a sound Covid policy and friends who’ve flown them say they’re enforcing it.

So, fingers crossed. It may be irresponsible, but not as much as Marco Rubio.

Alan’s Christmas present: A day of guided fly-fishing on the tidal flats. I think he’ll like it. And if Trump declares martial law, Key West seems as good a place as any to ride it out. The last time I was there was…1980, lordy. Just after Mariel, just before AIDS. What a week that was, staying in my friend Jeff’s hovel of an apartment, no air conditioning, in an unbelievably hot and humid September. He had one fan, which we never, ever turned off for fear it wouldn’t start back up again. Periodically it would slow down, and we’d watch, horrified, as it slowed, slooowwed, sloooowwwed, until you could see the blades moving, then miraculously speed back up. We slept late and I knocked around the island while Jeff worked as a waiter at the Casa Marina. He’d get home and we’d chill before starting the night’s activities — first this one bar, then this other bar, finally ending at the Monster, the famous gay disco whose other location was on Fire Island.

I recall a cast of beautiful gay men, enjoying the last time it was safe to be so. One night, on the second Myers gimlet of the night at the first bar, we sat looking lazily out the front window onto Duval Street. A slender blonde man walking past stopped to light a cigarette and rested a hand on one of the rattletrap bicycles leaning against the porch overhang. “Get your hands off my Cadillac, you bleached whore,” one of our party drawled in this perfect Tennessee Williams delivery and I just cracked up. Many drinks later, at the Monster, he told me that if he were straight, he would certainly make a play for me. You don’t get a compliment like that every day.

Our last night, we stayed up all night partying. My early-morning flight had a mechanical problem and I missed the connection to Columbus, but Eastern booked me first class on a later one, the first and only time I’ve flown in the front of the plane. It was…glorious.

So that was the weekend. How was yours?

Posted at 5:52 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' | 77 Comments

The new breed.

Twenty years living in northeast Indiana will do things to a person’s head. One of the things it did to mine was make it very comfortable with Republicans. After all, they were everywhere – if you couldn’t make your peace with them, you’d be damn uncomfortable. Like being terrified of squirrels.

And in that time, I thought I’d met the full spectrum. They ran the gamut. At one end were the moderate country-club types who ran the city and weren’t overtly racist. Next down were the county office holders and residents. When the city tried to annex the urbanized parts of their territory, they objected strenuously; it wasn’t just the taxes (which went without saying), but the crime, oh my the crime. “We don’t want to be part of the city with all that criiiiimmme,” was the lament. As though simply stretching the boundary around their subdivision would invite crime. (Spoiler alert: It didn’t.)

Then there were the hard-core rural types, who got twisty knickers over the very idea that some day, the city might sprawl out to them, that they might have to accommodate another human being’s expectations in any way. Some of them were crazy – tax protesters, third-party voters, regular callers to talk radio with fanciful theories about the Federal Reserve, which is to say, they were anti-Semites who’d probably never had a conversation with a Jew in their lives.

One of these guys hailed me outside a polling place on Election Day. “Ma’am, may I interest you in some literature from Bo Gritz?” “I thought it was pronounced ‘grits,'” I replied. “Oh no,” he said. “It rhymes with ‘rights.'” Ha ha! No thanks.

Anyway, even these guys were mostly harmless. There was that messy business in Oklahoma City at the federal building, but at least it shut them up for a time. Hard to adopt a pose of moral superiority when your fellow travelers have bombed a daycare center.

But this new type disturbs even Rod Dreher, and I’m not sure what to think of them. I’m reasonably confident they’re just flinging chum at the dumbest – but still writing checks! – members of the base. However, I honestly don’t know what to do with this steaming pile of rancid fish guts:

Does this alarm you, or nah? Is this only grifters fighting over a drying lake full of about-to-be-beached fish, or what? What will be the upshot of it? Paul Mitchell, lame-duck Michigan congressman, was elected four years ago, and was pure Tea Party then, probably still is. He declined to run for a third term, and this week formally resigned from the caucus. It’s a toothless move. If he’s trying to send a message, and he is, nobody is listening.

But if the GOP can’t accommodate a hard-core tea partier anymore? How long do we have to pretend these people are fit to invite into your home? I wouldn’t touch Flynn with 10 feet of Sarah Palin. And yet? Here we are.

I was sleeping better, briefly. But I’m not anymore. I still expect a rather large act of violence before Jan. 20, as this tantrum goes on, and on, and on.

OK, then. Midweek, time to watch some TV. Maybe watch a sitcom, because to judge from ol’ General Flynn, soon it will be all show trials and executions. Happy hump day.

Posted at 7:43 pm in Current events | 139 Comments