The motorcycle gang.

The heat, or maybe the calendar, has brought grackles to the yard. My birdwatching is pretty casual, but I associate flocks of grackles with withering summer days. We’re going on a second week without rain, so with water in short supply, they’ve turned our birdbath into their private spa, strolling around the driveway nearby and scaring off anything smaller, except for a few cheeky robins, who are closer to their size.

And I do mean strolling. These birds don’t hop so much as walk. They are a motorcycle gang. They probably have tattoos under their feathers. Meanwhile, the goldfinches stay away, and even the wrens, my chatty little buddies, seem to have moved a few yards away.

The grackles alternate great splashy baths with foraging through the ground cover for their traditional diet of crap on the ground. Of course, that’s not all they eat, and I feel fortunate to have seen the display described in that link, more fortunate still to have read LAMary’s offhand comment on it:

Grackles never look sweet in illustrations. Ever. I know a very nice person named Robin. If someone was named Grackle, they would likely have a job gassing puppies at the pound.

Grackle’s second in command at the pound would be Heckuva J. Brownie, an idiot manchild. That’s one of my new favorite phrases, having turned up in a recent rewatching of “Barton Fink.” Audrey lays out the secrets of screenwriting for Barton, in this case a B picture featuring wrestlers:

Well, usually, they’re . . . simply morality tales. There’s a good wrestler, and a bad wrestler whom he confronts at the end. In between, the good wrestler has a love interest or a child he has to protect. Bill would usually make the good wrestler a backwoods type, or a convict. And sometimes, instead of a waif, he’d have the wrestler protecting an idiot manchild. The studio always hated that. Oh, some of the scripts were so . . . spirited!

Boy, you can tell I slept badly last night, can’t you? I’ve kicked the thermostat up a degree, so the central air doesn’t have to work quite so hard. It still works very hard, but I woke up before 7 a.m. with no chance of further slumber. Ah, middle age.

Or, given that I spend the hours before bedtime chasing down news, it might be that I was simply disturbed by current events. Like this story. Man hands on misery to man, it deepens like a coastal shelf:

FARIDPUR, Bangladesh — Whenever Bangladeshi brothel owner Rokeya, 50, signs up a new sex worker she gives them a course of steroid drugs often used to fatten cattle.

For older sex workers, tablets work well, said Rokeya, but for younger girls of 12 to 14 — who are normally sold to the brothel by their families — injections are more effective.

“It’s the quickest way to make a girl plump and hide her actual age if she is just a teenager,” Rokeya said, adding that the drug, called Oradexon, is cheap and widely available.

There’s something a little smelly about the story, however, which speaks of users becoming addicted. You can’t get addicted to steroids, can you? They can screw up your body and mind something fierce, but addiction? Meh.

So, as we seem to have already cut to the bloggage, here’s a little more:

Criminals, when disposing of your guns, do yourself a favor and throw your iPhone in there, too. I once found a woman’s DayRunner lying on the sidewalk while walking the dog. I took it home and used all my powers to find its owner, via the advanced investigation technique of looking her up in the phone book. Disconnected. So I started combing through it for an address, and learned so much about her, just from the notes to herself, that it sort of scared me. She had an elderly parent. She was looking for work. The phone disconnection was maybe connected to a sticky note near the back, with the title of a bankruptcy self-help book. There was also a bill in there, with an address, and I dropped it in her mailbox the next day. I don’t think I wanted to look her in the eye.

If anyone ever found my phone, I’d be done for — calendar, contacts, games, text messages, e-mail, even my secret guilty music pleasures, all there for anyone to see. They should call them dumbphones.

How hot is it where you are? Eighty-six here, and it’s not even 11 yet.

But it’s past 10. Time to go, with apologies for aggravated lameness.

Posted at 10:27 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

63 responses to “The motorcycle gang.”

  1. Joan said on July 7, 2010 at 10:32 am

    There is some thinking that chronic steroid use has an addictive effect. I don’t have time to look for primary sources, but this link turned up quickly in a Google search:

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  2. Kevin said on July 7, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Nancy, if your smartphone (hate that term, but there it is) is an iPhone, it has this very “Man From U.N.C.L.E.” feature that allows you to wipe it remotely should it ever be stolen or lost.

    I do enjoy the image of a thief turning on the phone and watching it erase itself.

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  3. LAMary said on July 7, 2010 at 10:40 am

    I’ve been keeping quiet about it because I don’t want the weather gods to think I’m smug, but it’s been really nice here. We have not had a hot day yet. We’re a week into July and it has not been unpleasant. It got near ninety once but it was dry so it didn’t feel bad. It hasn’t been out of the seventies here otherwise and for the past three days it’s been downright cool, with morning mist. We wore sweaters to the fireworks on Sunday.
    Now I’ve done it, I’m sure. We’ll be sucking in 104 degree brushfire smoke any day now.

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  4. Mindy said on July 7, 2010 at 10:44 am

    My friend’s laptop was stolen seven years ago when her store was burglarized. Her business still hasn’t fully recovered from the loss, and she’s still irritated with herself about having left it at the shop just that one time. Anyone finding my phone would likely feel sorry for me – “Wow, lady, get a life.”

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  5. nancy said on July 7, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Thanks, Joan. Amusingly, that NYT story served me an ad for Force Factor, a muscle-building supplement.

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  6. Jeff Borden said on July 7, 2010 at 10:47 am

    I woke up tired, hot and cranky, too. The morning bike rides are not so much exhilarating as they are a slow crank through a steamy car wash and even the briefest errand outdoors produces a lingering torpor. Ugh.

    And then. . .while scrolling through some of my favorite news and political websites, I see that the Count of Cape Girardeau, El Rushbo, is once again engaging in the cruel and casual racism that informs every cell of his bloated, fat, drug-addled body. Our president, it seems, would be a tour guide in Hawaii if he had not had the great good fortune to have been born black. The black stars of music, sports, media and business, you see, have only been elevated to those positions of wealth and power by white guilt. Rush, of course, has had to work, people, really work to achieve HIS success. And then my crankiness expands to outrage over how an unmitigated piece of shit like Rush Limbaugh routinely draws 25 million of our fellow citizens to listen to his pathetic white pride musings, statements that increasingly would not be out of place on the Stormfront website.

    The next time some white guy lectures me on how there is no longer any racism in America, I’m just going to have to point him toward the porcine prince of pablum to set him straight.

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  7. judybusy said on July 7, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Well there IS a lot of racism left in the world, but at least Iran has banned mullets.

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  8. LAMary said on July 7, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Greater Los Angeles

    77°F | 58°F Thu
    77°F | 61°F Fri
    79°F | 63°F Sat

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  9. Jeff Borden said on July 7, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Yeah, judybusy, I know. The nightly newscasts when I was a kid often showed German shepherds and fire hoses turned on the ranks of black people marching for the right to vote in their own country. I’m almost 60 now. It’s hard to believe the same attitudes held by those crackers decades ago not only endure, but are embraced and celebrated by a mainstream radio entertainer.

    It’s the heat. My already low tolerance for bigots, racists and rednecks melts away.

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 7, 2010 at 11:08 am

    The phrase “tour guide in Hawaii” now has me stuck thinking of Elvis Presley. Is there a visual equivalent of an earworm? An eyetick?

    It could be worse, I could be thinking of mullets. Or have a window onto the sidewalk.

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  11. judybusy said on July 7, 2010 at 11:09 am

    I tend to look at stats to suss where we are on these types of social issues: When the poverty rates for all races are super low and equal across the board, and a third of African-American males aren’t incarcerated during their lifetimes, we’ll know we’re making progess.

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  12. Jeff Borden said on July 7, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Speaking of bigots, the governor of Hawaii yesterday vetoed a law allowing civil unions between same sex couples because, as she put it, it was gay marriage with a different name.

    You will not be surprised to learn that this fine, upstanding, morally superior Republican politician has two failed marriages to her credit.

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  13. paddyo' said on July 7, 2010 at 11:27 am

    I hear you, LAMary — it’s FIFTY-SEVEN and drizzly/showery here in the Mile High City, en route to a very un-July high of 64 and an overnight low of FORTY-NINE. What is this, Alaska?

    74°F | 55°F Thu
    82°F | 59°F Fri
    87°F | 59°F Sat

    I believe the “F” stands for Fine.
    But we’ll tempt Fate just the same. Next week: Fiery. Hey, it’s summer. Three or four years ago, we had a record number of daze in the 90s and 100s.

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  14. coozledad said on July 7, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Maybe what’s called for is a theme park where you can be on the shit end of the stick for a week or two. Get marched out to Oklahoma with the Cherokee or firehosed in Alabama. Hell, maybe even get water tortured with the Philippine resistance.
    I saw a fatass couple squeeze out of a truck in Danville, VA, yesterday who had a rebel flag decal on their windshield and a Nobama sticker on the tailgate. It struck me that the only way to bring these crapsacks up to speed would be to airdrop them back to Petersburg circa 1865, so they could witness firsthand just how white trash fit in Jeff Davis and Robert E. Lee’s scheme of things. They’d drop some of that morbid fat, at least.

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  15. brian stouder said on July 7, 2010 at 11:39 am

    I like the metaphor of Rush (et al) as grackle; in fact, Shit-for-brains-Sean Hannity even LOOKS and SOUNDS very much like a grackle.

    Along with what Cooz said, one thing that struck me over the Independence Day weekend, was the story about how the more earnest among the Tea Party crowd are now avid for reading and studying the ‘Founding Documents’ (presumeably including the Constitution and the Declaration, and the Federalist papers and so on) – to which I say – Bravo!! And not for nothing, but it reminds me that Jeff tmmo has always pointed out that many people of goodwill are Tea Partiers, which must indeed be true.

    I just think that one cannot profitably STOP with the ‘Founding Documents’; the history of the United States, and the unending struggle to live up to those Founding Principles (with our ongoing and sometimes catastrophic failures) is indispensible to any real understanding of the United States of America (both as it ideally should be, and how it actually is).

    To do so would be akin to only reading glossy travel brochures, instead of actually ever travelling anywhere (and then considering oneself worldly and wise)

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  16. Joe Kobiela said on July 7, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Why do you listen or care about what Rush say’s? Hell I don’t like Oberlien or Maddow or mister tingle leg, so you know what,I don’t listen to them. I personly can’t stop them so why should I let them spoil my day?
    Lighten up before you give yourself a heart attack. It’s around ninety here, got up early and ran 5 before 7:30 then went out and washed the 310. Staying in the a.c. for awhile this afternoon.
    Over on Ken levine he was talking about Bill Murrey in the movie meatballs. I forgot how funny that movie was.
    To quote a line HI MICKEY, uh the names Mortey.
    Pilot Joe

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  17. brian stouder said on July 7, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Joe – point taken. Each day, I deal with folks who (one way and another) parrot the cackling grackles, and it’s just more efficient to deprecate the few grackles, instead of the flocks of parrots

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  18. Jeff Borden said on July 7, 2010 at 12:26 pm


    It’s hard to ignore a racist pig with an audience of 25 million. It’s not like he’s one of those Aryan Nation loons up in Idaho, blasting out the hate 24/7 on shortwave radio. He’s an enormously popular figure on the right and he holds such power over the Republican party that any GOPer who offends the fat boy must bow and scrape before him in abject apology.

    I’d say that is awfully disturbing in 2010.

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  19. Dorothy said on July 7, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I raised the temperature on our whole-house A/C last night too because I got tired of listening to it run constantly. Thank goodness we have ceiling fans in most of the rooms. I heard the weather guy on Channel 4 say that by the end of the week we will have had temperatures in the 90’s for nine days this year. It’s interfering with our desire to lay brick for our outdoor project, but the brick is not going anywhere, and it’ll be more fun to do when the temps are more moderate anyway.

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  20. nancy said on July 7, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Where are you getting the 25 million figure, Borden? Is that weekly, monthly? (It can’t possibly be daily.)

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  21. Jolene said on July 7, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I just think that one can­not prof­itably STOP with the ‘Found­ing Doc­u­ments’; the his­tory of the United States, and the unend­ing strug­gle to live up to those Found­ing Prin­ci­ples (with our ongo­ing and some­times cat­a­strophic fail­ures) is indispensable to any real under­stand­ing of the United States of Amer­ica (both as it ide­ally should be, and how it actu­ally is).

    This comment, along w. what cooz said re how things really were among the non-landed gentry, are very important in these “take our country back” days. When I heard Tom Coburn practically in tears over the threat to liberty imposed by the requirement to buy health insurance, I thought to myself that only a straight white male could generate that level of passion about a bureaucratic requirement meant to foster the common good.

    I don’t mean to say that Coburn, if asked, wouldn’t say that there have been much greater constraints on liberty in our country’s history, but the romantic belief in a golden past is everywhere these days and couldn’t be more wrong.

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  22. Jeff Borden said on July 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    The 25 million is an aggregate weekly audience number, Nance.

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  23. nancy said on July 7, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    A few years back, the Republican primary for mayor of Fort Wayne was a moderate-conservative battle, the latter in the form of Joe Squadrito, who was then sheriff of the very Republican county. He made the usual filing gesture of holding his nose and renting an apartment within the city limits, then commenced blowin’ his dog whistle.

    Later, outgoing mayor Paul Helmke and our city-hall writer collaborated on an oral history, and Helmke (Indiana U., Yale Law) recalled how Squadrito (high-school graduate) came into his office once and started quoting from the Federalist Papers while discussing some mundane topic like community policing. It painted a picture of a fairly uncomfortable scene, with the mayor, who probably read those essays in PoliSci 101, able to see immediately what all this founding-fathers worship was, at least for Squadrito — an attempt to appear learned, with two syllables.

    Class differences aren’t as insurmountable here as they are in England, but man, they sure do exist.

    Squadrito was favored to win and lost, and now owns a construction company. Helmke’s in Washington, running the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Both Republicans. Go figure.

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  24. MichaelG said on July 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Average mid July highs around here are 94 -96. The record for today is 110 set in 1989. Today and the balance of the week high temps are going to be mid to upper nineties. Humidity is low. The key to living here is that the average temp at night is down around 60. That’s right. 60 degrees F. We sleep very comfortably in Sactown and mornings are glorious.

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  25. adrianne said on July 7, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Nance, my hubs has conducted a personal war against grackles ever since he became a bird watcher. He doesn’t resort to poison gas, but he does try to make life miserable for them by running them out of the yard at every opportunity.
    Time and temperature here in the Hudson Valley: 96 degrees at 1:30 p.m.

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  26. beb said on July 7, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    LAMary you were doing fine until you posted this
    Greater Los Ange­les

    77°F | 58°F Thu
    77°F | 61°F Fri
    79°F | 63°F Sa

    Now the Gods of Preverse retribution will be on your case.
    Or would be, if I weren’t an atheist.

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  27. Mark P. said on July 7, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    I know people who have listened long enough to Limbaugh to have actually warped their minds. That’s not an exaggeration. It is actually, literally dangerous to listen to people like him for an extended period.

    It has reached the 90s down here in NW Georgia for about three weeks, and the forecast for tomorrow is 100. I don’t know what I ever liked about summer. Did I not sweat when I was a kid? Or did the sweat not burn my eyes when it ran down my forehead? (Sweat is nature’s way of telling us that we are not meant to live in a hot, humid climate.)

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  28. LAMary said on July 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    beb, in October when all of you are talking about beautiful autumn leaves and first frost I’ll be dealing with sweeping ash off my car in the morning from the annual giant wildfires, zero humidity and high winds.

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  29. Jolene said on July 7, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    A propos of the “it was ever thus” idea, the WaPo published, a couple of days ago, a good op-ed by Jeb Bush and Robert Putnam re the struggles over immigration and assimilation that have been part of our history, reaching back to, yes, the founding fathers. Lots of fascinating historical details. If the references to particular groups and languages were changed, we’d think it was the “your papers, please” folks speaking. For instance, check out this quote:

    “Few of their children in the country learn English. The signs in our streets have inscriptions in both languages. . . . Unless the stream of their importation could be turned . . . they will soon so outnumber us that we will not preserve our language, and even our government will become precarious.”

    The speaker? None other than Benjamin Franklin.

    The viewpoint in the article is, I think, both smart and humane, and was saddened to think how different things might be if we’d elected the smarter brother, conservative though he is. I’ve heard a lot of people on the non-lunatic right say that it’s unfortunate that Jeb has to live down his brother’s reputation, as he is both a better thinker and a more effective politician.

    Any Floridians reading who know more than I do?

    Oh, and 99 degrees here in NoVa on Ringo Starr’s 70th birthday.

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  30. moe99 said on July 7, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I’m taking a body building substance called L-Glucamine. It helps prevent neuropathy which is a side effect of chemo. I can’t tell you how odd I feel going into those Super supplement stores to buy this stuff. But it works which is a blessing. I have a friend who has neuropathy as a result of his chemo and this former college football player has to use a cane to help him when he walks. So I thank my lucky stars.

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  31. annie said on July 7, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Does the fact that Rush is overweight (“porcine” “bloated, fat”) make him more repulsive than his ideas warrant? Is the white couple’s racism more obnoxious because they are (“fat-assed”)?

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  32. mark said on July 7, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    The truly tolerant and open-minded are allowed to be otherwise when engaged in ridicule of the people they abhor. It’s an ends-justifies-the means kind of thing.

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  33. moe99 said on July 7, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I don’t think it is illogical to be intolerant of intolerance, mark. And ridicule is a proper weapon to be used wherever effective.

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  34. brian stouder said on July 7, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Annie – I think I get what you’re saying; and I think the use of adjectives wasn’t meant to imply that the shape of the hater augmented his hate, or made the hater more repulsive.

    For example, Carrie Prejean, the bigoted beauty queen, wasn’t more repulsive because of her proud breasts or perfect teeth. Noting her looks while attacking her views might have made people conclude that the two were related, but instead it seems to me akin to noting what Michelle Obama is wearing, while discussing her initiative on healthier diets for children (ie – superfluous detail, for its own sake)

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  35. Jason T. said on July 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Not to interrupt, but it’s 91 degrees here right now.

    I haven’t seen a newspaper, so I’m not sure what to do. Should I drink liquids? What about staying indoors?!

    Help me out people, I’m panicking!

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  36. mark said on July 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm


    I hear one of the most difficult parts of parenting is instructing children on the proper targets for ridicule and vitriol. Setting aside a regular time to discuss this, like after church, is supposed to help.

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  37. coozledad said on July 7, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Hey, I’ve been plenty fat. And I also come from white trash. I just think if you’re obviously overweight enough to be on crutches, you shouldn’t be agitating against broader availability of healthcare for people. You also shouldn’t be flying the flag of treason (the American equivalent of the swastika) period. I’m not setting aside an innocent for ridicule, it’s mocking bloated pro-torture, eliminationist assholes.
    I’m going to take this splendid opportunity to nominate a title for one of the world’s shortest books: “The Current of Empathy in Republican Shitslinging.”

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  38. Sue said on July 7, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Mark, I know you didn’t intend to, but you just made me laugh, remembering my very strongly Catholic aunt, sitting in her car after Mass waiting for her turn to get out of the parking lot… ripping apart each and every person who drove past. She didn’t have to set aside time because she lived that kind of faith every single day!
    She was, by the way, blessed with hilarious viciousness in an Alice Roosevelt kind of way. It was a God-given gift, I thought.

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  39. Hattie said on July 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    I live in Hawaii. This darn perfect weather, day after day, all year around, is really hard to take. But don’t come here anyway,because our governor just vetoed a civil unions bill. Thank you, Mormons, Catholics, and assorted Bible thumpers.

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  40. coozledad said on July 7, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Don’t go mocking Mormons, Hattie. I hear they’ve got some fine-ass space vehicles. And don’t forget the underwear.

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  41. judybusy said on July 7, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    The Onion has a story that blames the slow progress of marriage equality on the his-n-her towel lobby. Now THAT makes some sense, rather than all the blathering about saving marriage and Jesus-wouldn’t-like-it talk!

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  42. moe99 said on July 7, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    and Hattie, those Mormons also have well stocked basements when the anarchy comes.

    On another note, thought Roy Edroso was in fine form today:

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  43. Jeff Borden said on July 7, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I describe Rush Limbaugh as a fat pig because he is. If he were 150 pounds, he’d still be a fat pig. The reference in my case is less to his rotundity and more to the definition of what a pig meant when we were kids: selfish, mean, spoiled, entitled, imperious.

    He represents a strain of American men who were born on third base –Rushbo was the son of a well-regarded and politically powerful judge– and think they hit a triple. It’s all about maintaining their own vaunted status. They fear the future and its multi-lingual, multi-racial, multi-cultural hordes, who threaten their dominance, whether real or perceived.

    He’s a pig. And an asshole. And a racist. And more loathesome things than I truly care to catalog at the moment.

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  44. Jean S said on July 7, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    another reason not to go to Hawaii: no jobs.

    edited to add: The Oregonian ran The Weather Story today. Complete with pix of kid in fountain.

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  45. LAMary said on July 7, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    I think Rush is a cynical gasbag pandering to the worst in people to make a lot of money. This is one of the most disgusting occupations I can think of. He’s like a pimp but his johns are getting off on hate rather than sex.

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  46. Linda said on July 7, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    The same historical perspective is in this Richard Reeves column over the 4th of July weekend, with even more hair-raising quotes from Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. A good read.

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  47. Jeff Borden said on July 7, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    LAMary, you are absolutely correct.

    BTW, why I love living in the city. I went out to pick up a prescription and walked by the German restaurant on Lincoln Avenue prior to the start of Germany vs. Spain. There were people in line to enter, most wearing German team shirts, but also a couple of teens wearing the German flag as a cloak. Lotsa of chatter in both English and German. I’m not a soccer fan but it must be pretty cool when you are a fan of one of the last three teams left (though Germany is losing at the moment).

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  48. Jeff Borden said on July 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    The German fans must be crying in their beer about now.

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  49. beb said on July 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    LAMary @28: Then the Gods of Perverse Retribution are already taking retroactive retribution (LOL)

    Is it wrong to make note of Rush Limbaugh’s morbid obesity? to an extent, yes, but then again, why were Gilded Age robber barons called “fatcats”? — because with all their wealth they could afford to over-eat on all the choices bits. That he increasingly looks like the Michelin Man is disturbing.

    For a time I had this idea that one could spot a Conservative Idiot just from the way they look, much like people’s claim to be able to spot ‘The Gay’ just by the way people look. (And apparently Gaydar vaguely statistically true. But the point of conservative idiots was that they all seemed to moon-faced. over-weight and sported a shit-eating grin. Sort of like Karl Rove. It was like shit-for-brains Conservativism was a genetic disorder visible in the body’s composition.

    And to complete a trifecta of crankiness — what do mormons, catholics and bible thumpers have in common? Answer: certainly not religion.

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  50. Jeff Borden said on July 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm


    Thanks. You have articulated better than I the whole “fat pig” thing and, of course, the search for the best way to spot your average wingnut. I think the standard rule is to look for the person with the most pseudo-patriotic attire. . .the shrieking eagle and the Stars and Stripes being most popular motifs. . .and you’re probably well on your way to identifying one.

    Regarding gaydar, we lived in Lakeview the first three years we were in Chicago, just a block over from the epicenter of gay nightlife on Halsted Street dubbed “Boys Town.” Perhaps it is due to my spectacularly unexciting looks, but I never had any guys hit on me except during the Halsted Street Market Days, when the alcohol flowed freely and, when the sun went down, it was mostly a gay block party. Neither of the two guys who sought to make time with me resembled Antonia Banderas, more like Dwight Schrute.

    It was an interesting experience, one many women can identify with, I guess. I just wanted to sip a beer and listen to the Elvis Brothers, but these dorks kept chatting me up until I became exasperated enough to ask them to leave me alone.

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  51. Scout said on July 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Weather report from Phoenix: Same old, same old… morning-hot, afternoon- scorching hot, evening- hot. Repeat daily for about 4 months.

    Regarding Limbaugh, his bloated ass is just the icing on the racist, imbecilic hate cake, as it were. Mostly everyone here would be just as disgusted by his asshatishness if he looked like George Clooney.

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  52. brian stouder said on July 7, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Leaving aside the grackles of the rightwing airwaves, here’s a palate cleanser: in advance of this weekend’s British Grand Prix at the newly renovated Silverstone complex (an old RAF airfield), an attractive BBC motorsport reporter goes for a lap around with a pleasant former F1 driver (Anthony Davidson) in a Mercedes touring car.

    Click this website, and then there’s a BBC equivalent of a youtube link – which is just marvelous!

    Watching her face as they accelerate from the pits is pretty entertaining – and one quickly notes that no matter how much stress she seems to be enduring, she dutifully and quite professionally keeps her recording device near Davidson, so as to capture his commentary.

    And in keeping with the thread, near the start of the ride they nearly take out some birds on the circuit (but we know not whether they were grackles)

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  53. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 7, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Probably starlings. And wasn’t Franklin right about the Germans? In World Cup play, anyhow.

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  54. Jeff Borden said on July 7, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Who Would Jesus Shoot?

    Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, signed into law today a measure that allows citizens to carry their guns into churches, synagogues, mosques, etc.

    Prince of Peace? I think not. In Louisiana, Christ is armed and dangerous.

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  55. Crabby said on July 7, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Opera Flash mob

    Opera Company of Philadelphia “Flash Brindisi” at Reading Terminal Market

    Lyrics added

    Let us drink from the goblets of joy
    Adorned with beauty,
    And the fleeting hour shall be adorned
    With pleasure.
    Let us drink to the secret raptures
    Which love excites,
    For this eye reigns supreme in my heart…
    Let us drink, for with wine
    Love will enjoy yet more passionate kisses.

    With you I can spend
    The time with delight.
    In life everything is folly
    Which does not bring pleasure.
    Let us be happy, fleeting and rapid
    Is the delight of love;
    It is a flower which blooms and dies,
    Which can no longer be enjoyed.
    Let us be happy, fervent
    And enticing words summon us.

    (Be happy… wine and song
    And laughter beautify the night;
    Let the new day find us in this paradise.)

    Life is nothing but pleasure,
    As long as one is not in love.
    Don’t say that to one who is ignorant.
    That is my fate…

    Be happy… wine and song
    And laughter beautify the night;
    Let the new day find us in this paradise.

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  56. LAMary said on July 7, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    I have three brothers who are hard core Republicans, at least one of them a big Rush Limbaugh fan. All three of them got their college paid for by dad, got a job with dad and when dad died inherited dad’s business (which they promptly sold) and houses (four paid for houses split between three brothers). I got zip and I was nineteen when dad died, the youngest by 8 years. The three of them complain about people who don’t want to work, don’t pull their weight, minorities, immigrants,and most of all taxes.
    I am the lefty who paid my own way through school and makes more than any of them in a business that has nothing to do with the family. I live in a house on which I made the down payment and the majority of monthly payments. Why the fuck to they feel so put upon? Two of them have boats. Plural. They had enough money to pay their kids’ way through college without loans. I schlep.I drive an 8 year old car and I’m stuck with a bunch of crappy taxes my ex didn’t pay. But I still don’t think I got a raw deal and they do. They have no mortgages, no loans nada. And they want their country back. I want my country to grow up.

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  57. Jolene said on July 7, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    I can top the guns-in-church law, Jeff. Here in Virginia, a new law allows people to carry concealed weapons into bars. Ostensibly, they are not allowed to drink if they are carrying, but still . . .

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  58. Kirk said on July 7, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Ohio is soon going to pass a similar law (concealed guns OK in bars and restaurants), and the governor is going to sign it. It’s total lunacy.

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  59. LAMary said on July 7, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    We just had a 5.4 quake here.

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  60. brian stouder said on July 7, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Well, Mary – the gods are keeping score, and you did taunt them somewhat with your altogether jaunty and pleased (not to say “smug”) attitude toward your recent weather, earlier today. This quake makes you Tectonic Mary, I’d say

    (seriously – here’s hoping all is well in your corner of the world. A 5.4 isn’t so bad, yes?)

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  61. Linda said on July 7, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    LA Mary:
    The genius of the modern conservative movement is not that they challenged the victimization mentality, but appropriated it for the well-to-do and made those people their support base. My sister worked for a guy who married a rich dude’s daughter, got dad-in-law’s company, and set up another business richly dependent on government contracts. He proceeded to run it all into the ground by spending money on his many mistresses. When his fed-up wife (who was looks and brainwise way out of his league) divorced him and took him to the cleaners, he bitched about how his business was beset by federal regulations that were running him into the ground.

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  62. Denice B. said on July 7, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    One must ponder how and when Rush stepped over the ‘line’. When exactly did he decide that he was now free to be as racist and sexist as he likes without public outrage? Even his stupid comments about some football player only caused a small blip on mainstream media. Was his ego was boosted to the point where he decided he was as infallible as the Pope? He, the True Republican Pope, leader of the Party Of No, cannot be denied his True Feelings being voiced. No matter how repugnant or downright wrong. Did Obama just push him over the edge of his barely concealed tolerance for ‘Those People’? Was his hatred of Obama feeding his ego? Was Obama’s election win a ‘dare’ to see how far he can go? I just don’t know. And as for being a ‘fat ass’, it seems maybe it’s the only thing Teflon Rush may be ‘hurt’ by-if he had a any self pride about his appearance. It’s really kind of scary to see such vitriol.

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  63. Dexter said on July 8, 2010 at 12:05 am

    I never heard the term “gaydar” until 2001. I blogged how I thought I had it, because I had served in the armed forces with gay men and also lesbians, and knew gay people in New York City, and I was currently working with a few gays and lesbians; I thought I had a good sense of identifying them.
    A gay man corrected me on that blog page…he said I was just a keen observer of mankind, but gaydar is something gays have naturally, the ability to seek and find each other rather effortlessly when the gaydar kicks in and “rings the bell”.
    Well, I never pursued the question any further, since that made sense.

    Back to a few days ago when nance brought up Motown music at the Delta terminal at Metro: my wife and daughter were stuck there last Tuesday when their flight was cancelled. They were there for seven hours before they were bused to a hotel for the night. My wife said there was not one note of Motown playing, but every so often extremely loud bird noises were piped over the speakers…sort of unnerving, she said. Were they grackle noises? Maybe….

    My heat-beater du jour: Orange Swirl Sherbet, a whole pint, eaten quickly. Plastic spoon, just like Billy Bob in “Monsters’ Ball”

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