Out walking the dog today, and spied a large prescription pill bottle sitting in the grass of the park strip. Litter is unusual here, so I picked it up. It was large because it originally held 120 (!!!) hydrocodone tablets, generic for Lortab. Very similar to Vicodin. Basically, an opiate-based analgesic pain reliever, highly prized on the street, a player in the opiate-misery complex of Rx drug addiction.

But of course this bottle was empty. The name had been torn off the label, as had the prescription number. Only part of the address showed, a street on the west side of Detroit, many miles from here. I checked the date the prescription was filled. Yesterday. But of course.

Alan said I should have kept it and given it to the police, but I didn’t. Just another day in addled America.

Besides, it was a pretty sweet weekend, which is to say nothing terrible happened, and some wonderful weather happened, and I rode 20 miles on my bike and hit the weight rack and the Eastern Market and Whole Foods, and the worst thing I can say about it all is that Whole Foods was out of Green & Black white-chocolate bars. What’s more, there was no empty shelf slot for same, which makes me fear there’s been some sort of coup in Madagascar or something, and the supply has been cut off. That? Would be a disaster.

Speaking of which, I guess everyone has seen the story about the extremely religious family who fled the U.S. to get away from “abortion, homosexuality, in the state-controlled church,” not to mention being “forced to pay these taxes that pay for abortions we don’t agree with.” So they got into their “small” boat — thanks, AP, for not nailing down the length and beam numbers while you were bringing us data about the population of Kiribati (their destination) — set sail for Kiribati, “a group of islands just off the equator and the international date line about halfway between Hawaii and Australia. The total population is just over 100,000 people of primarily Micronesian descent.” They thought that would be the furthest thing they could find from the oppressive, abortion-havin’ U.S. of A.

Only it didn’t work out. Bad weather damaged their boat, and they ended up being rescued by a Venezuelan fishing vessel. The U.S. embassy was arranging their travel home. What a bunch of maroons. The last thing they did before setting sail was welcome an infant into the world.

It takes all kinds, don’t it?

Here’s one kind it takes, too: The rodeo clown dressed as the president, taunting a bull into chasing him while a Missouri state fair crowd howls with laughter.

I’m getting into my Monday head early, aina?

With that, I’m tapioca on bloggage, and “Breaking Bad” is about to start. Because nothing’s as entertaining as the drug trade.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

67 responses to “Detritus.”

  1. Dexter said on August 12, 2013 at 1:35 am

    I remember this well, the summer of 1994, and a friend had just found a full vial of cocaine on the ground by a gas pump. He freaked out and drove straight to the police station and turned it in. Kind of a mistake…he had been giving a ride to another friend of his who was on parole for some serious crime, and the cop , who was standing outside the cop shop smoking a cigarette I suppose, knew the felon and brought smoke on that guy’s ass. I forget exactly what transpired , as I heard it anyway, but it was a goddam mess.

    The new Detroit-based show, Low Winter Sun, on AMC looked damn good. I watched it, a lot of info to latch onto at first, and I missed the first five minutes making popcorn, but it held my interest, and it’s always fun seeing the Ambassador Bridge twenty times in an hour. Breaking Bad was OK, but rather slow until something happens about three-quarters into the show.

    My vegetable tale: I ate an entire pound of delicious fresh-picked broccoli last night. As my old pal Jack the Milkman would have said, “…and it guv me th’ shits.”

    OMG those Green&Blacks are good…no wonder you were disappointed.

    If nance’s story about heading out on the ocean leaves you craving more, here’s a link posted about seven years ago by my late pal Bob Hardison from Idaho, who took a Trimaran across the Atlantic to Ireland and eventually was swamped near Gibraltar and lost his boat and was rescued by an Egyptian freighter, given three Snickers bars and a cuppa hot coffee and carried to Egypt and eventually flown back to Seattle. What a guy…he stopped at my place in January, 2003, on his way to Montreal to get his boat and start his journey over and then down the Intracoastal to Florida where it took him forever to get the boat ocean-worthy.

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 12, 2013 at 7:13 am

    “Breaking Bad” was an exercise in tension building. With no release other than Jesse playing paperboy (and getting precious little relief I suspect) and the soon to be iconic words “Tread lightly.” We’re whistling past the graveyard now, and the only question is whose names are on the tombstones.

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  3. David C. said on August 12, 2013 at 7:34 am

    From what I’ve read about Kiribati, they are encouraging their citizens to move to Australia and New Zealand because they are going to be the first place to be swamped by global warming induced ocean rise. Why they think the fine Kiribati citizens would want a bunch of nuts to hang around when they are trying to leave is beyond me. Maybe they watched one too many episodes of Gilligan’s Island and they thought, if they prayed hard enough, there was something like that waiting for them.

    It seems to me people with sail boats of a certain size (one or two steps up in size from Alan and Nancy’s, of course) are full of fantasies of chucking it all and living the care free life on the open sea. It also seems that most of their boats end up damaged beyond repair or at least damaged beyond the ability of the savings that would last the rest of their if nothing went wrong to pay for. I worked with a machinist who chucked it all and went to sail the Caribbean. After less than a month, his boat was trashed by a hurricane and he and his wife were living in a camper while he worked for half his previous wage in a little machine shop in Florida. I guess in fantasy land, water is always benign. In the real world, it’s a powerful force that will smash you to bits before you know what’s going on.

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  4. coozledad said on August 12, 2013 at 7:38 am

    The Gastonguays should have picked up a Fodor’s Travel Gide for Kiribati.
    They were headed to an island already drowned by rising sea levels. What they really want is Russia, the frontier laboratory of Republican social and economic policy®. They can leave from North Carolina to help prepare them for the transition to the fourteenth century. If they hurry up, they can have the dinghy ready before the worst of hurricane season hits.

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  5. coozledad said on August 12, 2013 at 7:52 am

    David C: Among the things a boat is no good for:

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  6. beb said on August 12, 2013 at 8:37 am

    I saw a bit of Low Winter sun while helping my wife with a computer problem. At first I thought they had filmed from Belle Island because there were these beautiful pictures of the Detroit skyline. Then I realized that the actors were standing in a gravelled parking lot and there are no gravel parking lots on Belle Isle. And one of the actors leaned against the steel high-tension electric tower and there are no electric poles on Belle Isle and the only place the Ambassador Bridge descends into residental housing is on the Windsor side of the bridge. So – did they film in Windsor and pretend they’re in Detroit, or is the story really set in Canada?

    The part that amazes me about nancy finding the empty pill bottle was: who writes a prescription for 120 pills of a scheduled narcotic, and who fills such an outrageously large script? I have trouble getting 90-day prescriptions for common-place medications. My insurance company wants 30 days refills so they can get more co-pays out of me. The times my wife has gotten vicodin for her back it was like 10 pills and use them wisely….

    The Gastonquays aren’t the maroons, the US embassy that is helping them back to the country they hate is.

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  7. 4dbirds said on August 12, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Ugh, makes me embarrassed to have roots in Missouri.

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  8. brian stouder said on August 12, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Well, a rodeo clown with the president’s visage is a little edgey – but still between the 40-yard lines. But the lip flapper with the PA microphone, rooting for the bull to gore President Obama strikes me as clearly out of bounds, and offensive, if not an illegal incitement to violence against the president. Speaking of small-time lip-flappers with microphones, my son and a friend of his and I went to the local race track by the airport Saturday evening – and guess who was singled out for recognition early on ..local hard-right lip-flapper Pat Miller! They didn’t give him a mike, but they mentioned his attendance two or three times….and then it hit me. I bet he paid $50 for the mentions…the mostly monochromatic cracker crowd that shows up for small-time racey cars is exactly his target listener base; probably very similar to that roaring Missouri state fair rodeo crowd, I bet.

    PS – and enlarging upon Beb’s point, I wonder if the nutballs who tried to sail across the Pacific will ponder the fact that their God was apparently ready to let them drown, while their despised government reached out and directly assisted them.

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  9. Lex said on August 12, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Damn those Venezuelans, interfering with a Darwin Award effort. And on a slightly more serious note, if they get to go live in Micronesia because they don’t want their taxes going for abortions (and, thanks to Henry Hyde, none do), I get to go there because my taxes are going (at much higher levels, I might add) to unconstitutional surveillance and illegal wars.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on August 12, 2013 at 10:01 am

    There seems to be some confusion in Missouri. Our last President WAS actually a rodeo clown.

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  11. Dorothy said on August 12, 2013 at 10:12 am

    I had Percoset prescribed after my knee surgery, and previously I’d had Vicodin when I had my thumb joints operated on. I always like to get off the strong meds ASAP so I have leftovers. I used 20 of the 60 Percoset. The Vicodin made me itch so I was glad to use it for only 4 days and be done with it. I don’t like having the leftovers in the house. When they have the leftover pill roundups in town, we dump them all in a baggie and take them to the round up. (Their instructions are to put them all together in one plastic bag.) We had lots and lots of Oxycodone to dump after Mike’s aunt had the fall in her condo. We told no one we had it – that would have been like painting a target on our backs.

    I yelled out loud at a scene about 4 minutes from the end of Breaking Bad. Anyone who watches it probably knows which one. No spoilers from me – but I can’t WAIT for the next 7 episodes!

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  12. adrianne said on August 12, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Julie is credited with the thread win today!

    It seems to me (sadly, not shockingly) that overt expressions of racism have become the norm in lots of places in America ever since we elected the Kenyan Muslim socialist to the highest office in the land. At least, I don’t remember this kind of crap when I was growing up in suburban Philly, and believe me, that was no land of enlightenment.

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  13. Jolene said on August 12, 2013 at 10:34 am

    One of the side effects of my chemotherapy is fairly severe bone and joint pain beginning about three days after the treatment and lasting for up to five days. After the first treatment, I tried mainly to rely on Tylenol, but that just didn’t cut it. Fortunately, I had some Dilaudid left from my post-op prescription, which did the job. After that, I made sure to get more of it before the next infusions. Neither my doctor nor I thought there was any reason to suffer when there was something that could make it stop.

    So I don’t mind having”leftovers”. I have more chemo to come, so I may use up what I have, but, if I don’t, I’ll keep the remainder for whatever might come along. No kids in my house, of course, and not much likelihood of anyone breaking into this fairly secure apartment building.

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  14. brian stouder said on August 12, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I didn’t even know that America Online still existed; apparently the captain of that ship isn’t much more skilled than the maroon headed for the South Pacific (from Nancy’s oft-cited Romenesko site)

    AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong fired Patch creative director Abel Lenz two minutes into Friday’s call with Patch employees. Lenz’s sin: Taking a picture of the CEO during his talk. (“No comment,” the fired Patcher wrote Friday from Old Town Bar.)

    So if I understand this, the boss was pushing a revival effort for their local news sites, and whacked a guy on the spot, for….doing what a news person does!

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  15. Judybusy said on August 12, 2013 at 10:56 am

    The nutters sailing off reminded me of a car we saw over the weekend with the following bumper stickers: “No matter what the governemtn says, it’s not marriage if it’s not a man and a woman” The HRC equality symbol with a red line through it; “Contraception is stupid” etc, etc. There were about 8, all focused on anti-gay crap, with some Catholic-oriented twist. I quipped at least one person in that marriage was a deeply repressed gay person. Sadly, there was a car seat in back, indicating they’d procreated.

    On a more positive note, my wife and I were shopping for furniture and had one super nice salesperson cognratulate us effusively for having our Canadian marriage recognized. We’re sitll not getting that $1000 bathroom vanity, though, even though it’s gorgeous.

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  16. Charlotte said on August 12, 2013 at 11:01 am

    They actually changed up our rodeo clown this year — Livingston is on the “Cowboy Christmas” 4th of July circuit, and apparently, enough people called in to complain about last year’s clown. I didn’t like his act, but I did like the way he took care of my Sophie, who started singing the anthem at about nine — she’d stand out there in the middle of the “Bozeman Satellites” precision riding team, who would routinely try to kill her after she was done singing. That clown got her in and out of the ring safely — but his act was pretty crummy, always a lot of crap about the president. This year we skipped the politics and just got run-of-the-mill misogyny — he was like the Hennie Youngman of rodeo clowns.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on August 12, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I don’t know why everyone is reacting so badly to that rodeo clown and the goofball announcer at the Missouri State Fair. Chief Justice John Roberts and his fellow conservatives recently assured us all that racial discrimination is a thing of the distant past when they struck down the Voting Rights Act. Right?

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  18. brian stouder said on August 12, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Speaking of clownish rulings from judges, there’s this:

    However, Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew decided Thursday that the baby, Messiah DeShawn Martin, should be renamed “Martin DeShawn McCullough.” “The word Messiah is a title and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ,” Ballew said, according to WBIR-TV.

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  19. Dexter said on August 12, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    beb, I don’t get to Detroit much anymore, but I assumed that gravel parking lot was probably off Rosa Parks/14th Street/ W. Jefferson, by the old rail spur…doesn’t match up, eh?

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  20. nancy said on August 12, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    I think Dexter’s right. There are many great skyline views from unexpected points around the city, especially down in Delray and even up near the GPs. I saw a “Low Winter Sun” crew shooting around the end of Alter Road back in May.

    P.S. My friend Dan Phillips was a special-effects makeup artist on that show. He got to work on the corpse in the sunken car, and was happy as all get-out. (He loves gore.)

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  21. Joe K said on August 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    So a rodeo clown made up to look like Obama is bad, yet you call a former president a clown and this is good? Every president since Washington has been caricatured in print and in public and only now since the current president is black you think this is wrong? Where was your outrage when things like this were done to Republican presidents?
    Pilot Joe

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  22. Dexter said on August 12, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    That was the alive-est looking drowned corpse ever…wasn’t Dan the makeup guy in your movie? Maybe Dan got toned down and not allowed to work his magic to the fullest extent.

    I know that cop was only supposed to have been in the river a few hours at most, and I was expecting a swollen body, not a perfectly preserved one. In Vietnam I saw the real deal up close and personal, somehow an American soldier had gotten himself shot and dumped into the South China Sea, and the doc told me he guessed he had been in the water eight days, judging on the info he had gathered and his experience in medical school. It was unforgettable as well as horrendous. I am not as squeamish as most, but I had to run out of our Quonset hut dispensary when I saw that. Totally swollen grossness.

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  23. brian stouder said on August 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Joe – from what I read, the clown’s outfit isn’t the real problem.

    The aggressively hostile public announcer guy, leading the crowd in rooting for the faux Obama to be gored (so to speak) is.

    It sounds a lot like incitement.

    And indeed, if the clown was done up as President Bush, I’d have thought it an odd thing, but no biggie. But p/a cheerleading for the faux Bush to be trampled I WOULD have a problem with….as the local Republicans in Missouri also seem to have an issue with this current deal

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  24. coozledad said on August 12, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I can remember those days the Republicans regarded as happy. The dummies, sadists and authoritarian cultists suddenly granted sweeping freedoms to suppress the views of others. There were a few months there when criticizing Little Boots was not merely verboten in a public forum, you couldn’t even display a poster critical of the douche in your home:

    There’s practically an industry on the right marketing their decidedly frightened take on a black presidency. Like their humor and art, it’s all shallow, stupid, and ugly. These people appear to forget that history will show them as weak little savages, again.

    But then again, they don’t read history, so no probs being wrongass bastards.

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  25. Julie Robinson said on August 12, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Joe, I admit it was a bit of a cheap shot, but the door was so far open I couldn’t resist walking through it.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on August 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    It’s all right to mock Obama for the things he does. . .the things he has control over. As a very liberal guy, I’m quite upset at his inability to close Gitmo, for example, or to fight more aggressively the cave people who inhabit the House. He was dismayingly late to get behind gay rights. He’s continued some of the same policies as his predecessor in the use of drones, surveillance, etc. These are not the same reasons the right-wingers dislike him, but I’m trying to suggest that while I far prefer him to McCain or Romney, he’s not perfect and is certainly ripe for criticism.

    As a very liberal guy, I despised George W. Bush for walking so smugly and confidently into the trap laid by Osama bin Laden, though perhaps the blame should be placed more squarely on Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld. The region is worse off than ever, more than 4,000 young Americans were killed in a senseless, useless war, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed and injured and, of course, we put the war on our national credit card, contributing greatly to the deficit right-wingers so loudly lament.

    I certainly have hurled more than my share of invective at W. and his corrupt and incompetent administration, but I never mocked him because of his race, or his religion, or his history of alcoholism, etc. So many of the attacks on Obama are based specifically on his race, such as the shitheels in Arizona who sang “Bye Bye Black Sheep” while he was visiting the state, or those drooling goobers at the teabagger rallies with photos of Obama as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose.

    The rodeo incident is just the latest example.

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  27. brian stouder said on August 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Well said, Mr Borden.

    As for me, I VOTED for President Bush (4) times – including the primaries.

    Therefore, I earned the right to be critical (both of his judgement, and my own!); a right (and an empathy) that many of my dis-satisfied fellow citizens cannot claim regarding President Obama

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  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 12, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    I’ve seen troubling and even obviously racist swipes taken at the current president, and I’m willing to go so far as to having Ed Klein’s “The Amateur” evicted from our church library (it was donated, and it can be un-donated). I also saw pretty nasty stuff put on signs and posts about the previous occupant, including here. So I consider it largely a wash, with the obvious proviso that you simply can’t make a racist gibe at Bush 41 or 43. I think there have been some incredibly harsh and mean-spirited things said, including on this blog comments’ pages, but they were personal or class based nastiness.

    Is it different, and more important for both political fans and opponents, to rise up and call out racist attacks on a president? To point out when culture & ethnicity are the basis for the cheap shot, and in no way the platform or positions? That would be YES.

    What makes it harder, for some (okay, just a few, hereabouts) is that *any* raillery towards Barack Obama is immediately tagged as racist. Maybe it’s safest to just assume it, and the odds are probably in your favor. I’ve not watched any video or heard any audio of the rodeo thing, but it sounds like a borderline case, and I’m comfortable in saying “tie goes to the presumption of racism” in this case. Joe, I hope that speaks to your question.

    But what does leave me ready to give up any political comment these days is that if you take any position that is negative about the Obama administration, on seemingly any subject, it gets the “don’t be such a racist!” treatment. I find Al Sharpton no more a religious or civil rights leader than I do Pat Robertson, and lump them into much the same category, but I swipe at Al and immediately find myself getting comments back about racism. Likewise, if I find Obama’s handling of . . . let’s just say much . . . to be poorly executed or lacking in anything other than political calculation, I hear accusations of racial bias. Even SNL finds it challenging to mock, ridicule, or otherwise tease the current occupant, although it finally occurred to them they might get away with more if they actually had a comic who was himself African-American in the role.

    And now it would appear, to me at least, that Obama and Biden are getting played by a professional when it comes to Hillary, and it makes me chuckle — I don’t think because of racism, or sexism about Hillary (whom I believe will be the next president, but my saying that may be the worst omen she’s got against her candidacy, because I have proven repeatedly I can’t call these things). It’s politics, and outside of a mild proficiency on Axelrod’s part, Obama doesn’t like, enjoy, or practice political maneuvering very well. The Clintons love this stuff, which is why they are unstoppable.

    So how or when can we make fun of Obama? I’m still not clear on it, and don’t consider my lack of ability to do so without censure a limitation of my First Amendment rights, so I just don’t. I do appreciate “Cousin” Jeff’s willingness to critique the Obama presidency; my own beef is that I don’t see how pushing for a public option in the ACA would have put him or the bill in any worse of a position, and it would have administratively been much more implementable than what we’re seeing stagger onto the stage right now. It was a failure of organization and nerve that they couldn’t just put that in now, as opposed to the “back the truck in” approach we’re going to fight over for eight more years.

    Anyhow, thanks for letting me vent, and yes, I am a racist, but I’m working on it.

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 12, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Oh, and I’m un-conservatively in favor of a Constitutional amendment barring media from putting encampments up at presidential vacation locations, and adding a federally mandated media black-out on coverage of ANYTHING a sitting president and their family is doing on vacation. Every administration, every summer or post-Christmas, we get a round of these stand-ups at compound gates showing fuzzy clips of the back of a guy in khakis and a polo shirt walking around on manicured lawns with or without sports equipment in their hands, or breathless interviews with people who were forced to wait in line outside “The Black Dog” or the Crawford Cafe, who either are giddy with celebritation or filled with class-envy angst. Enough. A vacation is a vacation, for them and for us. Let ’em recreate at leisure, and we can go back to blather when the helicopter touches down on the south lawn.

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  30. coozledad said on August 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    That Obama finds his enemies where he’s blameless is the American experience for every minority. In the reception accorded the first black president, we’ve been given a teaching in parable form out of the New Testament and failed miserably. Strike that whole Christian Nation bullshit, please. It’s a nation of shabby mercantilists and hucksters with pretensions to a spiritual life.

    I’m reminded of Ian Frazier’s book On the Rez, when the Oglala Sioux high school girl’s basketball team takes the court to the catcalls of the people who swiped their land, a demonstration of what Frazier calls “That peculiar American ugliness”.

    After Obama took Bin Laden out, I recall him walking back from having made the announcement. We finally had a president who wasn’t about dressing up, or affecting a cowboy accent, or playing the kindly old cigarette salesman.

    But maybe a kindly old cigarette salesman is all a nation of fakes, crooks, and hookers but for the grace of god deserves.

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  31. Julie Robinson said on August 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    What Jeff said. Both of them.

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  32. Brandon said on August 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm


    I guess you mean ain’t I. (FYI: Aina means land.)

    Anyway, that family is not among the Polynesians, Micronesians, and Melanesians who traversed and peopled the Pacific.;)

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  33. brian stouder said on August 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    and what Cooze said.

    Fusing Jeff’s reasonable “what is new, here?” question with Cooze’s self-evident “nothing is new here” answer – what we arrive at is either critical (and arguable) Zinn-history (which drives powerful little white men like Mitch Daniels into hissy fits); or else Texas-approved fantasy history fairy-tales, wherein white guys are The Chosen and Exceptional People – and you can bank on it!

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  34. adrianne said on August 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I appreciate Jeff’s nuanced comments about racism and criticism of President Obama. Critics of Obama are not reflexively racist. But…the rodeo clown urging the crowd to trample the president, the ugly demonstrations in Arizona and elsewhere, the casual racism that’s rampant on the blogosphere and elsewhere can’t be ignored. It needs to be called out and condemned, especially by Obama’s political opponents.

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  35. MaryRC said on August 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    David C, it’s not just that Kiribati is about due to disappear underwater. It looks like paradise in the photos but it’s in hurricane and seismic activity/tsunami territory, it’s poor and unemployment is high. There are no jobs for foreigners. Did these people think that they could just sail into harbor, tie up their boat and announce that they had come to stay? They probably did.

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  36. Joe K said on August 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Didn’t realize Obama took out bin laden always thought it was the seal team.
    I agree Jeff I’m so tired of being called a racist if I don’t agree with the president, I was told I didn’t vote for him because he was black(not true) so if a black person didn’t vote for Rommney doesn’t it stand to reason he is also a racist?
    And I wonder where the outrage is after the 3 black kids almost beat to death the white kid on the school bus, where is Jessie and Al Sharpton? Where is the outrage here? No one said boo, wonder if we would be discussing it if it was 3 white kids beating a black kid?
    Pilot Joe

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  37. coozledad said on August 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    That peculiar American ugliness, again.

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  38. coozledad said on August 12, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Hey, maybe if this thread goes on a little longer, we’ll be treated to a little nineteenth century race science, to go with all that But Al Sharpton! Al Sharpton!

    It only identifies you as being at one end of the puke funnel.

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  39. brian stouder said on August 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Joe – kids fight every day; and kids selling drugs (note: this includes white kids, such as the one on the bus) probably fight all the more often.

    I realize that the school bus video is seen as a needed meme by Fox News, et al; somehow, it serves as a counterbalance (presumably for those who think “fair and balanced” means everything we don’t like is UNbalanced! Similar to the idea that the hated “mainstream media” never includes Fox News or any other national yapper who validates our prejudices) to the idea that Zimmerman really WASN’T justified in shooting the unarmed kiddo, for walking to his dad’s house.

    Never mind that the kids on the bus weren’t carrying guns (just a technicality, apparently)

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  40. Dr No said on August 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    I was in Kiribati recently for a medical mission. A country with the land mass of Delaware, spread out in islands to cover an area the size of the US. Homosexuality is illegal, yet openly accepted in the villages I visited. Truly a subsistence lifestyle; the food tastes of the burning garbage it was cooked on. That family, had they arrived onshore, would have had freedom from pap smears, cancer care, and antibiotics, but not from (or of) religion. Everybody belongs to a church there, just for the community support. Also they don’t accept refugees. Oy vey those poor kids.

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  41. Sherri said on August 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Could someone tell me what Al Sharpton has to do with racist rodeo clowns? Is he some “get of of jail free” card for racism or something?

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  42. Jolene said on August 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    What bus incident are we talking about? Is this something that happened recently?

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  43. alex said on August 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Sherri, that was spot on.

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  44. coozledad said on August 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    In the parlance of the right, Al Sharpton is a condensation of the portmanteau word “Al N—– N—– N—–Sharpton”.

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  45. brian stouder said on August 12, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    If Rev Al is the best weapon the slick-haired shit-for-brains Sean Hannity (et al) has, then they haven’t got much.

    Al surfed the waves of racial politics and prejudice, no doubt; especially in the case of Towana Brawley.

    If this is what is meant by the invocation of his name, I will agree with the charge, as far as it goes; and remind my adversarial correspondents that they’re living in a very glass house, if this is the standard by which we are to judge information and opinion (you just traded away essentially ALL of the flying monkeys of the rightwing AM radio airwaves, for example)

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  46. LAMary said on August 12, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    The video I saw of the rodeo clown had the announcer encouraging the other clowns to flap his big lips. I find that racist.

    Having first heard of Al Sharpton during the Tawana Brawley situation, which Al used to invent a career for himself, I pay very little attention to him. He’s said a few things I agree with, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day as they say.

    And lastly, here’s a nice white boy riot we had here last month:,0,4295506.story

    Lots of bros just yukking it up.

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  47. nancy said on August 12, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Dr. No’s comment got stuck in moderation. Scroll up and read it. So humbled by our great variety of readers.

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  48. Jolene said on August 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Never mind. I found the story online.

    It’s important to remember that the initial protests about Trayvon Martin’s death came about not simply because of what happened to him but because it appeared that his killer was being let off. The boys on the bus have been arrested and charged. What is Al Sharpton supposed to do about it? Is he required to speak out every time a black person commits a crime?

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  49. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 12, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Well, my point was “you’re not allowed to disagree with him.” And I’m often asked to do so, and I rarely (racist-racist-racist) do.

    My parallel point to “when or how does disagreement cross that line” was, if you’ll read what I said, that the presumption in our culture HAS to be that if it even hints or nods to racist vilification, then a) it’s fair to say it is, and b) to call it out.

    So in between, I think we have had five years of putting health care reform front and center, good; we’ve pulled back from the “necessary empire” self-image of America, good; and we’re trying to disengage from an even more awkward overreach position in the War on Drugs — very good. But as any military strategist with tell you, a withdrawal under fire is one of the most difficult maneuvers there are to execute, and at any moment, if you don’t have a solid, well-supported plan for your line of retreat and intention for a new, better-defensible position, you can find yourself in a messy, chaotic rout. For the latter two maneuvers, we’re just pulling back, and it’s not clear to where . . . and both global monkeywrenchers* and criminal enterprises have no intention of sitting back and waiting until we’ve figured out as a nation what that new frontline will be. So the troops on Capitol Hill, and among the ground troops of OfA and so on, are getting a little antsy.

    With health care reform, I think the ACA charged the ridge, and has bogged down three-quarters of the way up and is now hugging dirt. Whether they make it to the top, I don’t know; their one advantage is that the opposition has no clear command & communications, and is just randomly throwing rocks and the stray grenade down on them at various points with no co-ordination, so I see no likelihood of a rollback in the near term.

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  50. Bob (not Greene) said on August 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    The only time I had run across Kiribati before was because the Battle of Tarawa was fought on one of the islands that make up the nation. What little research I did pretty much convinced me that no one would live there on purpose. It’s pretty stunning to think those people were so naive as to believe that just because there’s an island in the middle of nowhere they wouldn’t have to deal with the people who live there or that they would simply be able to plant their freaky flag on the beach and settle wherever they pleased. Sounds like a holdover from the old missionary spirit.

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  51. Dr No said on August 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Thanks, Nancy! I have gotten so much joy and enlightenment from this site over the years. So psyched to finally have a wee bit to contribute, and amazed how self-conscious I am of my writing here in the presence of giants.

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  52. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    *Most of them are monkeywrenchers at heart more than jihadists or actual programmatic revolutionists; the whole “War on Terror” is where Bush 43 lost me, since you can’t fight a “War on Ennui” or a “War on Turpitude,” not with arms and troops anyhow. I hate calling them either jihadists or terrorists, but there’s no question we have an assortment of folks out there with various external motivations who mainly like to blow things up and shoot at people when it feels safe to do so. If there’s a more coherent, truly dangerous core to them all, I’m not seeing it, but who knows what Saudi Arabia has lurking behind her secure perimeter.

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  53. Julie Robinson said on August 12, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Excellent points, Dr. No. AS someone who came within scarily close to dying from an infection at only 41, I am grateful every day for antibiotics and other modern miracles that have enabled me to stick around and watch my kids grow up. Who doesn’t feel like escaping it all from time to time? The mature response acknowledges it’s not possible.

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  54. Sherri said on August 12, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Speaking of racism, a federal judge has ruled that NYC’s stop and frisk policy is (surprise!) a huge violation of the 4th and 14th amendments:

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  55. Sherri said on August 12, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Geography lesson of the day: In the wake of Jeff Bezos’ purchase of the Washington Post, several outlets have referred to Bezos as a “Silicon Valley entrepreneur.” The Seattle Times points out today that that’s the geographical equivalent of calling the Post a St. Louis newspaper, since both are 800 miles apart.

    My favorite geographical oddity comes from my native state. Memphis, TN is closer to Houston, TX than it is to Bristol, TN, which is in the opposite corner of the state. Likewise, Bristol is closer to Canada than to Memphis.

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  56. Deborah said on August 12, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    I ODed on Breaking Bad this weekend, watched all 8 episodes of the beginning of season 5, then watched the new 9th episode last night. I actually watched it a second time this morning on demand. Then I was very depressed for a few hours.

    I know this is a comedy show but I thought this was interesting pertaining to the racism topic:

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  57. basset said on August 12, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Sherri, Nashville is about the same distance from Indianapolis than it is from Bristol, at least by road.

    Meanwhile, on a completely different topic, I thought the August 12 entry on this blog was particularly interesting… saving a historic building in London:

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  58. basset said on August 12, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    AS it is, I should say.

    Got a letter today informing us that Mrs. B’s SSI disability had been approved, I guess we are now officially leeching on the brave taxpayer.

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  59. brian stouder said on August 12, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Oh no! You’re now a 47 per center; a taker and not a maker; I bet you even think you’re entitled to eat and have medicine!!

    Not that Mitt Romney ever actually said any of that…!

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  60. Deborah said on August 12, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Basset, congratulations on getting what you deserve. More power to you.

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  61. basset said on August 12, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    What she deserves, and she really does… had a major surgery, went back to work 60 lb lighter and a lot weaker, internal stuff came loose, more surgery to fix it, that happened twice more with total no-pancreas Type 1 diabetes and a pacemaker thrown in, if anyone has a right to rest it’s her.

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  62. Bitter Scribe said on August 12, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I’ve never watched “Breaking Bad” and don’t intend to, but you can’t get away from it! Salon has what seems like half a dozen separate “Breaking Bad” stories on its homepage at any given time, accompanied by a huge, looming background ad of that bald guy glowering (which is all he ever seems to do). Isn’t he supposed to be dying of cancer? Croak already!

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  63. Dexter said on August 13, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Hang on Mr. Bitters; Mister White’s cancer is back, and there are only seven more episodes.
    As much as I have loved this show from S1 E1 until this ending season (called 5B) , it is not even close to The Wire nor The Sopranos. Vince Gilligan is not David Chase nor David Simon, never will be. Actually, for all the outlandishness in Breaking Bad, it is technically classified as a comedy.
    Take a look at my all-time favorite Breaking Bad scene, from S2 E7. The episode is titled “Negro Y Azul”.

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  64. coozledad said on August 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm


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  65. Prospero said on August 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Are there sane GOPers?

    gg allin, cooze:

    I quit on Breaking Bad when Walter let the love of Jesse’s life choke to death on her own vomit. Over money. Utter creep. Sopranos had the one great episode about the Russian loose in the Badlands. The rest? Meh. I was also defcidedly not taken in by The Wire. I think The Prisoner was vastly superior. As was any Mrs. Peel Avengers episode. Dame Diana has star qwuality like it is going out of style.. And Patrick Mcgoohan’s Secret Agent. Babylon 5, too. Actually, in our house, we kinda like Bohannon better than Walter White. Best Breaking Bad? When Walter blew up Chuco’s office. Absolutely. And that dialogue Nancy objected to on Justified? Straight outta the OT, which Boyd knows by heart.

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  66. Prospero said on August 13, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Or then, Hasil Adkins:

    Or something spectacular:

    I cannot believe such an album exists. That is awe-inspiring music.

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  67. Prospero said on August 13, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    NC is the new Alabama and Mississippi rolled into one:

    Sorry, don’t mean anything judgmental, but they be some serious rednecks.

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