The kids are back.

College graduation in Michigan was last week, which means summer-intern season is underway downtown. And while it’s still a bit chilly (grrr), Thursday is supposed to be nearly 80, which means all the pieces are clicking into place for another fabulous summer in Fun City.

A couple of the development firms have gone whole-hog into summer internships, which they see as an opportunity to shape young minds to love Detroit, not the regular, non-summer Detroit, but a special enhanced Detroit, its pillows plumped just for them.

They poured a bunch of white sand at Campus Martius park a couple weeks ago, so the kids can have a “beach.” One building with a second-floor overhang has installed outdoor seating clusters, not lawn chairs but living-room style, separated by dog topiaries. There’s a private bike-sharing service for them. One building has an outdoor chess set, with pieces the size of trash cans.

It so happened I was out and about today, at one of the new-style “co-working” places that are all over town — usually a raw space fitted out in reclaimed wood with cubicles and lots of fun add-ons, like full kitchens and employees’ dogs. We looked at one for Bridge when we were moving downtown, but opted for something a little more traditional — journalists sometimes have to make phone calls in privacy, although we were the original co-workers, in my opinion.

My walk there took me past a high-rise apartment building with more living-room seating arrangements out front and that most essential detail of new-urbanist life: Bike racks. Lots of them.

One can be heartened by the new life flowing into downtown Detroit and still find a lot of this stuff silly. I suppose everyone dreams of landing a job in a free-food, bring-your-dog paradise like Google, but realistically, only a lucky very few ever will. So what is this Playskool-colored, toys-toys-toys summer-fun interlude for?

I remember my first real job after college. I spent the first weeks walking into walls, wondering where the fun had gone. We used to sit around the Ohio University Post scrawling graffiti on the wall and re-enacting light-saber battles using a pile of discarded fluorescent tubes the physical plant guys never took away. At the Dispatch, half the staff was a thousand years old and worked on the editorial page, writing six-paragraphs welcomes to spring and St. Patrick’s Day.

So I hope the new summer interns have fun here this summer, digging their toes in the sand and eating sandwiches under the dog topiary. For whatever casualness they have brought to the workplace at large, I’m grateful — it’s nice to have pantyhose more or less permanently off the work-wardrobe budget. And I hope they all get jobs when the internships are over. Maybe some will be in Detroit. Sorry to say it, kids, but: The winters suck.

Not a lot of bloggage today, but this was satisfying in a mean way: Pete Coors can’t understand the kids and their fondness for craft beers, aka beer that doesn’t taste like chilled urine:

Coors said he is baffled about trends that show the more expensive craft beer market growing by about 7 percent, the light premium beer market staying flat and the economy beer market with brands such as Pabst Blue Ribbon and Keystone dropping by 7 percent or even into double figures.

“In this economy that is difficult to understand,” Coors said. “But people are staying at home now, not buying cars or houses. They have money to spend. They want to spend it on something that they think has more value. … You talk about the millennials. The world is very different.”

A while back, Kate’s bass teacher and I were chatting about the use of guns in self-defense, and we agreed that as irritating as it is to have your stuff stolen, neither of us were willing to kill another human being over a television set. Not so in Montana. Good lord, but I’m growing to despise these lunatics.

And now we’re sliding toward the weekend. Every week, this miracle happens.

Posted at 12:30 am in Detroit life |

46 responses to “The kids are back.”

  1. Dexter said on May 8, 2014 at 3:11 am

    Every year about this time at “the best factory to work at in town” the shiny faces of “the college kids” would be seen in a group, walking on their tour, just before starting their summer as what are now called interns, I guess, but then were “summer help”.
    One huge difference: they would be paid, and only ten cents per hour less than the regulars who had been there 30 years made. Today, in places like nance describes, “college kids” play cutthroat politics to intern just for the chance to work their summering asses off for no pay whatsoever.
    In the factory, these kids would be offered overtime when available, which was always, in the good years, with double-time paychecks paying for fall tuition and books.
    My oldest daughter sweated away one summer, in 1988, the worst summer ever for excess heat, and made $11,500 in 12 weeks of hard work.
    Oh , I understand it alright, the modern interns aren’t paying their own way through these universities, no way possible they ever could. An intern on an XM radio channel was saying his parents had to pay sixty thousand dollars for a year of schooling for him at Syracuse University. A help website has the cost coming in at $59,320.
    Even the most ambitious aspiring scholar must feel frustrated if he wants to work his way through school, and the big shot companies want him to work gratis. That kid better be damn-schmart, see? Without well-to-do parents or in possession of a BIG BRAIN , welcome to purgatory, kid.

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  2. David C. said on May 8, 2014 at 6:21 am

    I once thought the gun nuts were a few harmless cranks. But I work with a lot of them and they seem hopped up into a froth. At work, we can get paid for volunteering up to eight hours per year. The other day they were going bug nuts crazy because they were told that volunteering at their gun club wouldn’t count. I hate to think this, but does anyone doubt that if Limbaugh or Fox News told them to get their guns and shoot liberals right now that we would have our own Rwanda?

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  3. alex said on May 8, 2014 at 6:54 am

    I read about the Montana story last week, and unlike the version linked here, it boldly stated that the shooter deliberately left his garage door open and was lying in wait and admitted it with total nonchalance.

    So Fort Wayne is evidently trying to be on the cutting edge of cool. Food trucks now ply the streets downtown at noon and brightly colored sculptures doubling as bike racks recently went up all along the sidewalks, outdazzling the presumably more expensive real art that was already there. So the workers at Jimmy John’s have places to park now, I guess.

    Poor Pete Coors. Can’t understand why millenials wouldn’t want to drink piss but are totally down with guys who would suck dick. Cuts big checks to James Dobson hoping it will restore the moral order to piss-drinking and wife-beating like God says it’s supposed to be.

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  4. Basset said on May 8, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Internships indeed… Basset Jr. Is coming up on two years after graduation from a directional state school, excellent grades, two internships, still working two part-time jobs and living at home. Lib’rul-arts degree will do that for ya.

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  5. Suzanne said on May 8, 2014 at 8:10 am

    David C., that scares me too.

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  6. beb said on May 8, 2014 at 8:28 am

    I may as well go back to bed. (bed……ah!)

    Dexter said pretty much what I was going to. If there summer intern jobs are unpaid that this is just thief of wages and should be illegal.

    and alex mentions what I would have as well. That guy in Montana deliberately baited a trap with the intent of shooting someone. But between the “a man’s home is his castle” defense and the “stand Your Gun” defense it is going to be hard to convict him. And that is an outrage to justice.

    What Coors doesn’t say is that the other beer oligarchs have responded to craft beers by buying up the successful ones and homogenizing their formulas. When Sam Adams (not a craft beer) boasts of using pounds of hops to other brewers ounces you can see why young people aren’t as interested in commercial beers as they used to. If you’re going to drink beer you want to drink a beer with some character to it.

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  7. Chris In Iowa said on May 8, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Pete Coors sounds like he could have been a newspaper publisher, or the CEO of a newspaper chain, discussing the Internet in 1993.

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  8. coozledad said on May 8, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Speaking of urine drinkers, the last thing this guy quaffed before hopping in his car and getting arrested for DUI was a Coors product. Seems to be a GOP/clueless thing.

    He didn’t blow a .13 on Coors alone, though.
    There’s some all-day vodka in that mix, or as my wife suggests, he’s already blown out his liver. His body type is pretty common around these parts. One day they’ll start calling the combo of alcohol based diabetes and pancreatitis “Person County Syndrome”.

    I hate, hate, hate to blogwhore*, but the comments on this one are priceless. Republicans around here are unused to scrutiny of any kind. I had to phone the editors of newspapers of surrounding counties to try and get anything through the information firewall that seems to be the business of our local paper. They’re basically sluts for Duke Energy.

    *Forgive me, Nancy, but this is much better than my usual vaudeville act.

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    • nancy said on May 8, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Carry on. You’re right — it’s hilarious.

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  9. Jeff Borden said on May 8, 2014 at 9:49 am

    If you think the Montana shooting is appalling, you should look up the execution-style slayings of two teens by a Minnesota gun nut, who had seen his home burglarized. He suspected some of the neighbor kids, so he set u some kind of a trap, then sat in his basement with his gun, some energy bars and a bottle of water. Sure enough, the two kids came traipsing in and he killed them both. He even took the time to record his actions.

    This fuck weasel wounded them both, then finished them off with shots to the head. He called the girl “vermin” as he held his handgun under her chin and blew the top of her head right off. No worry about a mess, of course, as he had laid down a drop cloth. BTW, both victims were white and blond.

    Clearly, this asswipe was itching to kill somebody. And while Sean Hannity praised him for defending his castle –and other gun nuts also are shrieking about his right to kill since his home had been invaded– I’m like Nancy and cannot see anything in my home worth taking a life.

    BTW, luckily, the courts in Minnesota are smarter than Sean Hannity and this asshole has been convicted of murder. It’s still one of the most appalling gun crimes I’ve read about since the shooter so clearly was loving the act of taking lives.

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  10. Connie said on May 8, 2014 at 9:55 am

    When I was a kid Coors was not available in the midwest due to its refrigeration requirements and everyone wanted some. I remember bringing back Coors in a trailer/RV refrigerator on two different trips out west. What was so great about it then, when it is considered just an average every day beer today?

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  11. Dave said on May 8, 2014 at 10:13 am

    What Connie said. I, too, wonder why any of us thought that, my brother and I brought back a lot of Coors and some Olympia, too, circa 1975. Why?

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  12. Basset said on May 8, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Because you couldn’t get it east of St. Louis, and they only sold it refrigerated, that made it special. I used to work with a guy in Bloomington who would go to National Guard camp in Alabama with a van load of Stroh’s, same deal except Stroh’s was better.

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  13. nancy said on May 8, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Scarcity drives all sorts of puzzling economies. Tulip bulbs, Snackwell’s fat-free cookies and Coors beer.

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  14. MarkH said on May 8, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Connie, Dave – because you couldn’t easily obtain it. It was clearly a coolness factor if you could, and then bring it back east of the Mississippi. Back then, anyone who disparaged Coors was easily drowned out by the aura. What a hero I was when I came back from a trip to Wyoming in ’73 with four cases of the stuff. I liked it well enough back then, but can now say it’s easily much worse 40 years down the road.

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  15. Scout said on May 8, 2014 at 10:44 am

    I remember partying on that oh-so-exotic Colorado Kool-Ade in the 70’s too. I’m sure we thought it was great because it was so hard to get. Now I would rather drink nothing than Coors. Of course, I am much more discerning about many things in my cronage.

    cooz, that was hilarious. Debating trolls is like shooting fish in a barrel for you, yet that one in particular kept swimming to the top. It’s always amusing when they resort to bragging about their supposed credentials in order to defend a falling down drunk driver, and to scold the person pointing out that said behavior is just not cool.

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  16. brian stouder said on May 8, 2014 at 10:45 am

    What Connie said. I know bupkis about beer, but in my consciousness, Coors was always a fancy one, like Michelob

    (cue bass crooning “Let it be Michelob”)

    Speaking of beer, the Cooze thread got me laughing, especially when the troll said –

    I think you need a few more English classes. Kyle has been an excellent County Commissioner and has never been scared to stand up for what he believes in.

    Cooz graciously let pass the opportunity (which I would not have been able to resist!) to make the easy retort to the reference to the drunken councilman not being scared to stand up (when he can manage it at all!)

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  17. MarkH said on May 8, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Basset – interesting reverse effect with Stroh’s out here as well. The Stroh’s of 40 years ago is long gone (I don’t know if it’s even made anymore since the buyout), and it was the beer of choice in high school and college in Cincy. After I got to Wyoming, friends from the east who settled here would bring it out from home and it was received OK, but didn’t knock anyone’s socks off.

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  18. coozledad said on May 8, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Feel free to add that comment, Brian. Talking to these people is best performed as a group effort, anyway. To be honest, after that thread I felt like I needed to scrub myself down with some fels-naptha and a Brillo pad.

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  19. Sue said on May 8, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Some guy in Georgia was wandering around the parking lot at a kids’ baseball gaming saying “See my gun? I’ve got a gun and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
    And there wasn’t, because apparently when your state passes a law that you can have a gun anywhere, that means that frightening people with it isn’t disturbing the peace or harassment or any of the other things that anyone else acting out and scaring people would get charged with.
    I wish I was planning on visiting Savannah again so I could call their chamber of commerce and tell them I’ve changed my mind because I don’t like people waving guns in my face.

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  20. Bitter Scribe said on May 8, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Someone should tell Pete Coors that his company was built on the phony mystique of Coors being unavailable in the East through the late 1970s. Hyped by that stupid “Smokey & the Bandit” movie (remember the plot? Burt Reynolds was breaking speed limits to rush a supply of Coors to a party), Coors became this iconic thing instead of just another crappy American beer.

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  21. beb said on May 8, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    The Montana murder story just went out on a limb and started sawing. The shooter was found with marijuana in his house; has been tested for drug intoxification (no results as yet) and may have been pissed because that prior robbery may have been of his pot. Nothing jacks a man’s rage like having his dime bag of pot snarfed.

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  22. Basset said on May 8, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    MarkH, I occasionally see something labeled Stroh’s in the grocery store, it’s not nearly the same. Production moved to Memphis when the company sold out some years ago and I believe it’s moved again a time or two; can’t make the real stuff outside Detroit, gotta have that water seasoned with iron ore and the corpses of murder victims.

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  23. Dexter said on May 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    We preferred Olympia, from Tumwater, Washington, when I was in California many years ago, but we drank a lot of Coors as well. Two pals and I decided to go fetch a station wagon load of Coors from Colorado and bring it home to Indiana a few years before it came to Indiana on it’s own. My station wagon’s motor went bad to we didn’t go at all.
    Some young guys from Fort Wayne did make it, though; it was in the paper. They were driving one of those mural-painted full size vans that were all the rage then. They had that van packed with Coors beer. It was illegal to transport more than just a couple cases as I recall. So these guys make it back to Fort Wayne, signal a turn to get onto their home street, and roll the fuckin’ stop sign. And…get busted. I remember they had the book thrown at them, even had their van impounded for a long time. Ya can’t win.

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  24. Dexter said on May 8, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    And now…I am out of pancake batter mix so I shall attempt to make batter from scratch…flour, baking powder, sugar,salt, milk, vegetable oil, water…here we go.

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  25. Deborah said on May 8, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I remember kids bringing Coors back to my College when they went home to Colorado, we thought it was so cool back then.

    Lots of excitement around my building today. We had a car fire in the parking garage below ground between 3 an 4am. I awoke to a loud sound that turned out to be ventilators airing out the smoke. We couldn’t smell smoke on the 27th floor but when I looked out the window there must have been about 20 ambulances and fire trucks surrounding the block with their red lights blinking. We figured out what it was on the internet, they didn’t evacuate the two buildings. The car on fire turned out to be not far from ours parked in the garage. It’s a mess down there now,0,6980241.story

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  26. Sherri said on May 8, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Looking at that picture of Kaarma, I wonder if they’re testing for the right drug. Supplementing his weight-lifting a little, maybe?

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  27. Jenine said on May 8, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    @Dexter 24: don’t forget the eggs! scratch pancakes are wonderful things.

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  28. Judybusy said on May 8, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Dexter, if you can get some buttermilk, so much the better! I also add pinches of cinnamon, cardamon, and nutmeg in the flour mix. You can do it!

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  29. coozledad said on May 8, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    David C.: The Christianists are initiating phase 2 of their jihad. This time they aren’t just targeting women’s health providers or clinics, or Jews, or Sikhs, or Muslims. It will be everyone who isn’t in on the rabid end-times grift. It’s already Radio Rwanda, but with automatic weapons instead of machetes:

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  30. Deborah said on May 8, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    It’s 88 in Chicago now. Tomorrow’s high will be 70, more like it. 88 is too hot. Lots of people out on Oak St beach, the 11th coolest beach in the world (I read somewhere).

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  31. Dorothy said on May 8, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Dexter I don’t have it with me – it’s at home – but a friend gave me an absolutely wonderful from-scratch pancake batter recipe a couple of years ago. It uses buttermilk, something most people don’t usually have around. WAIT – I found it in an email! Here you go:

    2 cups flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons sugar
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    3 cups buttermilk
    4 tablespoons melted butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    If you like pancakes, these are the best. Mix dry ingredients, add wet, mix lightly. Cook on well-greased griddle over medium/low heat.

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  32. LAMary said on May 8, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Google Mark Bittman’s pancake recipe online. Really easy and very delicious. No buttermilk needed.

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  33. MarkH said on May 8, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Basset – found this extensive history on Wikipedia. After acquiring a number of other brands, the company was sold in 1999, in a split between Pabst and Miller.

    Given the two distinct different water sources (Detroit River vs. Rocky Mountain water), interesting that anyone would think that Stroh’s was better than Coor’s. But that may be the case now.

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  34. Heather said on May 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Deborah, for the love of God, please do not complain about it being too hot in Chicago after the winter and lame spring we have suffered through!!

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  35. Deborah said on May 8, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Heather, you’re right, I was gone much of the Chicago winter, so I didn’t suffer like the rest of you. Mea culpa.

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  36. Sherri said on May 8, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Speaking of Mark Bittman, he says sane things about organic and GMOs: I prefer Bittman to Pollan when it comes to food politics.

    And speaking of politics, here’s the latest cover of Reason magazine, the libertarian magazine:

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  37. Heather said on May 8, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Deborah: I am just afraid of the capricious weather gods.

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  38. alex said on May 8, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    That magazine cover captures perfectly the quintessence of libertarianism — sophomoric, crass, self-absorbed and misogynistic. At first blush you’d think it had been drawn by a satirist.

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  39. Sherri said on May 8, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Alex, I first saw it via a different source, and I assumed it must have been altered, so I went to the site to see the original. Nope, no alteration necessary.

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  40. Little Bird said on May 8, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    The capricious weather gods gave us snow in Santa Fe today. Nothing that stuck, but still.

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  41. Dexter said on May 8, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Thanks for the help with the pancake batter. I didn’t have buttermilk this time, next time I will. So at the last minute I decided to make waffles instead. Damn batter stuck to the waffle iron, top and bottom. I adjusted, added more oil, still stuck. Never did that before .

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  42. alex said on May 9, 2014 at 7:14 am

    When you’ve gotta reach this far into your bag of tricks to slam Obamacare, maybe it’s time to fixate on a new topic. Or at least give up any pretense of being a journalist.

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  43. brian stouder said on May 9, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Alex, seriously – this bit at the end of the article got me laughing out loud – to the point that I skimmed back over the article to see if I had missed that he was actually joking…

    In the meantime, though, a bunch of helpless, innocent, trusting animals are going to suffer and maybe die just so rich college girls can get free birth control pills.

    And they call Republicans heartless.

    The Onion couldn’t parody this

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  44. beb said on May 9, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Apparently one day of 80 degree weather was too much for our hostess. Too many long walks with Wendy. Too many grilled hot dogs… Let’s face it – sumer can be exhausting! Here’s hoping nancy will chimein later today.

    This (The Ft. Wayne ed.) is so like the Papa John’s CEO whining that Obamacare would destroy his company. Let’s see: a 3% tax on a $30,000 machine comes to around $1000/year. How many times a year do you have to use a $30,000 X-ray machine to pay for itself? Let’s assume 4 times a day or 1000 times a year. Gee, the tax increases the cost of using the X-ray by one freaking dollar per usage! Even the poors, if they can afford an X-ray for their pet at all, can afford to pay an extra buck to support O’care.

    More news out of the Independent state of Bundyland. Masked men harass a BLM employee driving on a public road. BLM responds be removing all signage from their vehicles. Meanwhile the FBI is questioning law-enforcement officials whether anyone actually pointed guns at law-enforcement officials during the recent stand-off there. Sounds like the feds are preparing to make a federal case out of the confrontation. While I don’t endorse the slaughter of American citizens by their government, since these freaks seem to deny the existence of the Federal government I say – mow ’em down.

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  45. brian stouder said on May 9, 2014 at 8:36 am

    I’m thinkin’ Judge Roy Bean(?) here –

    “We’re gonna have a fair trial, and then a hangin'”

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