(More) dirty cops.

I haven’t found the time to read all of the Ferguson Report, but I’ve read enough to be disgusted. How can you not be?

…in July 2013 police encountered an African-American man in a parking lot while on their way to arrest someone else at an apartment building. Police knew that the encountered man was not the person they had come to arrest. Nonetheless, without even reasonable suspicion, they handcuffed the man, placed him in the back of a patrol car, and ran his record. It turned out he was the intended arrestee’s landlord. The landlord went on to help the police enter the person’s unit to effect the arrest, but he later filed a complaint alleging racial discrimination and unlawful detention. Ignoring the central fact that they had handcuffed a man and put him in a police car despite having no reason to believe he had done anything wrong, a sergeant vigorously defended FPD’s actions, characterizing the detention as “minimal” and pointing out that the car was air conditioned.

This is, as a friend of mine pointed out today, the virtual definition of a police state: Do as we say, don’t question us in any way, and you’ll be fine — in an air-conditioned car, no less. I can’t tell you how often I heard this during the Eric Garner protests: Just do what you’re told, and you’ll be fine. The hell with that. When citizens — invariably, poor ones — refuse to be revenue streams for these chiseling little fiefdoms, who can blame them? Not I.

The stories are so numerous, they blur into one another. Follow Ta’Nehisi Coates’ Twitter; he’s keeping up.

Yeesh, it’s been a week. A long one, a dull one, but most of all a very very cold one. I’ve been a good girl this winter — I haven’t missed many workouts — but man, it has not been easy, trudging out of the house at oh-dark-thirty five or six mornings a week. I’m writing this ahead of Friday morning’s weights routine, but I’m promised it will be 7 degrees when I do. FUCK THIS SHIT, I say. Next week, sunny and in the 40s — which will feel practically like Florida.

A little bloggage:

Via Hank, a very strange demonstration of a word-processor recorder. Fascinating, and very, weirdly accurate. Intimate.

How chickenshit aggregators steal the work of honest journalists, and are well-rewarded for it.

To observe its 60th anniversary, Sports Illustrated is posting some of the great stories from its archives. This one was devastating, how Rae Carruth killed his baby mama, nearly killed his unborn son, and continues to make everything hellish for those left behind. It’s a sad story, but beautifully told — and not entirely sad.

Off to bed I totter, but I plan to read in Laura Lippman’s new novel until I pass out. It could well keep me awake.

Have a great weekend, all.

Posted at 12:12 am in Current events |

61 responses to “(More) dirty cops.”

  1. Wim said on March 6, 2015 at 7:03 am

    …I’ve read enough to be disgusted. How can you not be?

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  2. Wim said on March 6, 2015 at 7:09 am

    As I was, um, about to say, I expect a demonstration will be made before the end of comments. My money’s on Pilot Joe.

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  3. alex said on March 6, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Regarding your buried keystrokes, some job search advice I’ve heard: When an employer insists on receiving your cover letter, resume, CV, or other materials in MSWord format only and not as .PDF documents, type them afresh. Their purpose in requesting it this way is to be able to unbury where else you applied and when, what other kinds of jobs you applied for and how you represented yourself differently to different employers. Of course, most people have been taught to maintain a basic resume and cover letter that can be tailored to fit different jobs and employers.

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 6, 2015 at 7:59 am

    What it’s also revealing is the scandal of municipalities without any civic role other than to maintain jobs or positions. We’ve got too many townships and incorporated mystery entities here in Ohio, too; they’ll oppress whomever they have to in order to maintain cash flow and status. Our mayor’s courts and citation processes are so broken, and so lucrative to thems that’s gots, there’s no obvious fix other than to erase them and rationalize boundaries and jurisdictions, and if you think trial lawyers have a good lobby, try hemming in the power of jurisdictions in a state legislature.

    Which is why they finally gave up here, and just started cutting back state support for “local government” (not all bad governments got cut, too), leaving them to either find local sources of revenue or to close, since they couldn’t force it. And local sources of government are likely to end up being vulnerable populations, and that’s where racism becomes such a huge portion of the problem. They can’t admit to themselves what they’re doing in the first place (“Oh no, we’re not working off of a quota for tickets, that’s entirely unfair”), and then they stop seeing who and how they’ve shifted focuse to the people least likely to push back on traffic stops and citations, and the tide continues to turn.

    But the tide may just be going out, now. Let us hope and pray and work.

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  5. Diane said on March 6, 2015 at 8:24 am

    You will enjoy the new Laura Lippmann novel. I think it is one of her best.

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  6. beb said on March 6, 2015 at 8:25 am

    That man arrest for sitting in a car while black deserves a couple million in compensation which, considering that this is Ferguson, would be collected by arresting more blacks…

    The charge of “failure to comply” seems to me to be an especially bogus crime. In essences it makes arguing with a cop a crime.

    So this keylogging program is a hack of Google Docs. So the first step is to avoid using Google Docs. But MS Words has this problem as well since it saves a document as a data dump. So you can, sometimes, open up revisions and see what had been written before. One way to sanitize a document might be to save as a PDF as this file is basically a printer file so all the saved “undo” information would be lost. Then there are programs that will convert a PDF to MS Word. Wa-la, a clean document. Or type in Notebook, a dumb text editor, then import into Word, fix any formatting issues, then save. But, honestly, I don’t see any practical use for this program.

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  7. Jolene said on March 6, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Jeff, you’re exactly right re the too many governments issue. The population of Ferguson is only about 20,000, and there are, I believe I heard, some 65 municipalities in St. Louis County. That’s a lot of people, vehicles, and buildings to sustain, especially in communities, such as Ferguson, where many of the people don’t have much.

    Years ago, I was a post-doc at the University of Illinois, a locale that exemplifies the absurdity of multiple governments, with two different towns and two different governments immediately adjacent to each other in the middle of a corn field.

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  8. Jolene said on March 6, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Here is a fun fundraising opportunity. For as little as $10, you can win a chance to attend the last taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Includes travel, luxury accommodations, a chance to meet him, and so on.

    The money goes to Autism Speaks, which supports research, services, and advocacy for issues related to autism. Give more money, get more chances to win.

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  9. brian stouder said on March 6, 2015 at 9:07 am

    And the Great Old Questions arises again, with this article –


    an excerpt:

    The nation added 295,000 jobs last month, according to government data released Friday morning, extending a labor market boom that is powering the U.S. economy.

    The unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent, a new post-recession low

    For 12 months in a row, the United States has added at least 200,000 jobs — a sustained pace of hiring unmatched since 1994 and 1995. The net job growth in February was above market expectations, despite a frigid winter in the northeast.

    Should the Flying Monkeys of the Rightwing Airwaves screech and shriek “LIAR LIAR LIAR – LALALALALALA – I CAN’T HEAR YOU!! LALALALALA”

    or –

    should they begin the process of laying claim to the CREDIT for this good economic news? Afterall, the do-nothing congress DID stay out of the way, and let the economy grow, blah blah blah – right?

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  10. Deggjr said on March 6, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Al Sharpton gets labeled as a ‘race hustler’ and maybe he is. Suppose your child was shot to death under questionable circumstances and left lying in the street for four hours before the body was removed. The government acts as if the shooting and the treatment of the body is business as usual because it is.

    At that point Al Sharpton shows up with the media spotlight and shines it on your son’s shooting. The parents are supposed to say ‘Go away, we don’t approve of your past and your business model.’?

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  11. Bob (not Greene) said on March 6, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Neil Steinberg, as always, with a good take on the Ferguson report http://chicago.suntimes.com/neil-steinberg/7/71/416323/agonizingly-slow-places

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  12. coozledad said on March 6, 2015 at 10:49 am

    And now the midterms are over, the Right gets to cry some croc tears on the TV, and do a little more of “The blahs have so much to teach good white people about themselves, but mostly that we are not howling racist goblins” soft shoe.

    Then the next fascist dickweed cop that murders an unarmed black kid will enter the Bill Calley hagiography/protection program, along with Darren Wilson, and we can get back to Republicans being slightly more up front about their psychoses.

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  13. Judybusy said on March 6, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Well, here’s one solution to solving the homeless population: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/in-the-loop/wp/2015/03/05/rep-don-young-wolves-would-solve-homelessness/?tid=sm_fb

    Also, NPR and Propublica are doing a great series on the inequities between states on how workers’ comp claims are dealt with. Worth searching out and listening to.

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  14. Jeff Borden said on March 6, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    What continues to astound me is exactly how tone deaf Republican leaders are these days. Not a single member of the House leadership –not one– will participate in the activities to commemorate the Selma march.

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  15. coozledad said on March 6, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Don Young doesn’t actually mean what he said, even if he’d like to watch a little wolfbaiting. What he really means, as a Republican, is that a wolf at the door isn’t enough. He wants to see Republican policies carried through to their humane conclusion:
    female seamstresses might make as little as seventy five cents a week-when they could find work at all in the highly seasonal and competitive industry. By 1855 two-thirds of New York’s dressmakers, seamstresses, milliners, shirtmakers and collarmakers, embroiderers and those who turned out artificial flowers for the high fashion hats of wealthy ladies, were foreign born (64 percent of them Irish, 14 percent German). Living right at the edge, some occasionally fell over. Two German sisters, Cecelia and Wanda Stein, migrated to New York in 1852, both unmarried, Wanda the mother of an illegitimate child. They labored at doing embroidery, but in 1855 their employer went out of business; times being particularly hard, they couldn’t find other work. With the rent due and the larder empty, having borrowed all they could and being unwilling to take up whoring, the sisters spent their last pennies on some flowers, spruced up their dreary room, and got into bed with the six-year-old, and all took a terminal drink of prussic acid.

    This is the kind of self-motivation this great land needs more of. Plus points for bringing that child to term!

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  16. alex said on March 6, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    That’s not tone-deafness, Jeff. It’s political reality. None of them wants to be singled out as a kumbaya conservative on Fox News. There is no upside to magnanimity in the GOP these days.

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  17. Jolene said on March 6, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Also, alex, none of them wants to be a member of the choir for a performance in which Barack Obama is the soloist.

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  18. coozledad said on March 6, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Zoom ought to get a Pulitzer for this, but he won’t, because this flies in the face of all that bullshit republican fakery.

    That’s some monstrous trash we’ve let in the room. There isn’t a fire hot enough for them.

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  19. Sue said on March 6, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    So the people of Ferguson are justly outraged at the behavior of their public officials and public employees. Horrible treatment of citizens, racist emails…
    Of course one of the racist ‘jokes’ in the Ferguson emails showed up in the Scott Walker super-secret inner circle shadow email system, and was subsequently part of one of the email dumps that was published, barely analyzed by anyone and received with a yawn by way too many Wisconsin residents. The recipient of the Wisconsin email found the time to reply that it was ‘hilarious, and so true!’ in between her taxpayer-funded duties as a campaigner for the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor favored by Scott Walker (hint – it wasn’t Becky Kleefisch).
    This is the same woman who commented that ‘nobody cares about crazy people’, referencing someone who had died at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex.
    Remember folks, what’s outrageous in Missouri isn’t in Wisconsin, and Scott Walker – the person who surrounds himself with associates and subordinates just like Kelly Rindfleisch – wants to be your next president.

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  20. Suzanne said on March 6, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    So, employers look at your resume and cover letter to see if you’ve revised it by analyzing keystrokes? Why? So they can knock you out of the job seeker pool? When did hiring people go off the rails like they have? It’s more & more become a game of how well the job seeker can manipulate the system to actually get to an interview. No one seems all that interested about your actually ability to do the job.

    That guy in Arkansas. Sheesh!

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  21. Deborah said on March 6, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Those poor little girls in Arkansas. Wow, talk about monsters in charge, disgusting. As I’ve mentioned here before lately, my husband and I are in the process of designing a playground and yesterday we met with the parks administration in the town where this playground will be. One of the first things they mentioned was child predators and how concerned they are that visibility is maintained so that kids can’t be sexually abused or kidnapped under the noses of their parents. Really, this is a perception that is not based on fact. Most kids are abused by friends of the family or family members themselves, not total strangers who stalk playgrounds. But what can you do? Parents get freaked out by stories in the news and emotions outweigh rationality. I looked it up online and in this small community there are 11 registered sex offenders, which works out to about 700 some people per 1 sex offender. The sex offenders are not all pedophiles, I know this because they listed the ages of the victims. All of the offenders were listed as white, which I thought was interesting. Since I was on the website, I decided to look up Abiquiu, NM to see how many sex offenders are registered there… 2, but because it’s a much smaller community there are 116 people per offender. I don’t usually have to think about things like this, but now I do.

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  22. brian stouder said on March 6, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Deborah, do one of those surf-boards on springs; Chloe loves that one at one of the playgrounds we visit.

    Another big hit are those suspended balance beams (with rope-chain ‘rails’); can’t go wrong with those.

    I never cease to be amazed at how cruel individuals can be – and as I get older, the institutional cruelty that groups often develop/foster/allow is astounding to me. The human race is genuinely cruel, despite that we’re capable of so much better

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  23. Deborah said on March 6, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Brian, sounds like fun playground stuff, but we have a particular theme that we have to stay within and it doesn’t have anything to do with surfboards or balance beams. It’s a long story, too early to tell yet, one of these days, I’ll share more and maybe show pics. It’s in the very early stages and we have a particular client with a good reason to be particular.

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  24. basset said on March 6, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    I can only imagine the safety rules you’re limited by.

    no Lippman here, not familiar with her, but just finished “Behind the Locked Door,” the new biography of George Harrison, and just starting Douglas Brinkley’s biography of Walter Cronkite. First was a good one, second appears to be so far.

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  25. Julie said on March 6, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Last summer, while waiting in the doctor’s office I read an eye-opening article about private prisons in the US of A. I revisited the article, and surprise, Missouri was one of the states mentioned. Follow the money…

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  26. brian stouder said on March 6, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Basset – Laura Lippman is wonderful; she writes the only novels that I’ve read over the past many (many!) years. I’m pretty much a non-fiction guy, except for her.

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  27. David C. said on March 7, 2015 at 7:31 am

    I would like to think that the Ferguson Report would shock the conscience of enough people to force a change. Then again, I though dozens of kindergartners being shot would be enough. The solution to that was more fucking guns, so I can only extrapolate that the solution to police/municipal racism is going to be more racism. I’m coming near to believing this nearly 240 year old experiment is a failure.

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  28. coozledad said on March 7, 2015 at 8:21 am

    I’m coming near to believing this nearly 240 year old experiment is a failure.
    No way, buddy. It’s just taken us that long to corner ALL the awesome.


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  29. Kirk said on March 7, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Setting her hair on fire and demanding her oxy are one thing (two, actually), but stealing secret mysterious Masonic shit will be the end of her.

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  30. coozledad said on March 7, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Oxy must be a hell of drug. Back to Kentucky?

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  31. Suzanne said on March 7, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Sadly, when I read about the “jokes” that were passed around in Ferguson, I could easily, far too easily, think of quite a few acquaitences, family members, and co-workers who would not see anything wrong there.

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  32. brian stouder said on March 7, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    “jokes” like that are really like passwords; you get HIT WITH THE “JOKE”, and then you give the response (affirmative laughter = “yes, I’m as racist and benighted as you; I’m one of you” ; and silence = ENEMY!! – ONE OF THEM!!)

    Oxycontin must be one hell of a hell, to tumble into.

    Oxy-Rush his ownself tumbled into that one, and somehow survived it (damn the luck). I suppose his 12-step recovery method consisted of Viagra/Puerto Rico – but who knows?

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  33. brian stouder said on March 7, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Just for the record, not Puerto Rico, but the Dominican Republic.

    This is worth a chuckle –


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  34. Kirk said on March 7, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Haven’t heard one of those “jokes” repeated in my presence for a long time, but my plan, should I ever hear another, is to apologize to the joke-teller: “I’m sorry that I gave you the impression that I’m a racist asshole who would enjoy that kind of joke.”

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  35. Deborah said on March 7, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Perfect response Kirk.

    We’re having a rare glorious day in Chicago, it’s sunny and currently 46 but they’ve raised the predicted high to 52. Hard to believe just a few days ago it was 0.

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  36. Deborah said on March 7, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    The documentarian Albert Maysles has died at 88. He and his brother David made Grey Gardens, the cult classic about Big and Little Edie, cousins of Jackie O. Little Bird and I often joke that we will turn out just like the Edies in a few years.

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  37. Kirk said on March 7, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Maysles also did “Gimme Shelter,” among many, many others.

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  38. Jolene said on March 7, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Did you all see this cute exchange in which a ten-year-old boy asked Obama for advice about becoming president?

    Took place yesterday at a Q&A at Benedict College in South Carolina. As always, Obama is both amusing and charming. He encourages the boy and uses the exchange with this savvy kid to challenge the other students present. (Turns out the kid’s father is a county chairman of the South Carolina Demicratic Party, and he has been involved in contacting voters and other political activities with his dad. Given the challenges of being a South Carolina Dem, the kid is likely learning persistence and resilience along with practical political skills.)

    Was talking with one of my sisters about this event, and we agreed that we are going to miss having the Obamas in office and that we are looking forward to seeing what they will do with what we hope will be long post-presidential careers. They have so much potential to inspire, challenge, and support kids who need that kind of help.

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  39. Jolene said on March 7, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Maybe I forgot to paste in the link? Anyway, here it is: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/03/06/trace-adams-2040-presidential-bid-signs-on-its-first-advisor-barack-obama/

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  40. Deborah said on March 7, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Jolene, I so hope the Obama library ends up in Chicago. That would be so cool.

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  41. Jolene said on March 7, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    I hope so too, Deborah. It seems like the right place. The alternatives are Hawaii and New York, but I think Chicago would be more appropriate than either. It would be a great site for scholars and for the kind of programs you hope they’ll have–speakers, panels, and such of interest to ordinary people and programs for young people with political interests and aspirations. Would also be a great addition to Chicago’s many wonderful tourist attractions.

    As a Chicagoan, you should write a letter telling him why it would be the best place. Or better, start a letter-writing campaign to encourage him to choose Chicago.

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  42. Jolene said on March 7, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Listening right now to speeches given when the original Selma march reached the state capital. Footage from ABC being shown on CSPAN.

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  43. Kirk said on March 7, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks for the heads-up, Jolene. I’m able to catch some of the speeches before I go out. What a historical document.

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  44. Jolene said on March 7, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Here’s a transcript of Obama’s speech in Selma today. Not surprisingly, it’s a great speech.

    Today’s events will be replayed on CSPAN at 8 PM tonight.

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  45. beb said on March 7, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Are there any real Christians left in this country?

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  46. Suzanne said on March 7, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    That makes me really sad, beb. Not surprised, but sad.

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  47. Sue said on March 7, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Here’s a joke for this bunch:
    Knock knock.
    Who’s there?
    To who?
    No, to WHOM.
    Email it to everyone you know. This one’s gonna take off like a rocket.

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  48. coozledad said on March 8, 2015 at 9:43 am

    I want to make a film called Union Sniper. The US army under Ben Butler has occupied the hostile treasonous city of New Orleans, whose rednecks and slavers flout martial law and engage in sabotage and murder of US troops.

    The Union Sniper, to protect his fellow infantrymen, pops heads open at great distances, from whores stealing cabbages off a Union supply train to eleven year-olds damaging railroad track. Things take a surprising turn when the sniper, a former slave, goes after the plantation owners and merchants who started the war. It’ll be a triumph of the American spirit!

    And if you don’t love it, you ought to get out of this country.

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  49. brian stouder said on March 8, 2015 at 10:08 am

    And in the sequel, the post-war Union sniper befriends a guy who was in Grant’s army (and somehow survived the cataclysmic summer of ’64), and a soft-clothes civilian, and the “conventional soldier” murders them both, for no real reason at all – thus killing the John Wayne ending, and making this a Scorsese movie

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  50. Joe K said on March 8, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Sitting in Key West for lunch, it’s 75 and sunny, may have to join the Conch airforce and help them succeed from the union.
    Pilot Joe

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  51. coozledad said on March 8, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Might as well. You done seceded from English.

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  52. Jolene said on March 8, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    As usual, James Fallows has great comments on the speech Obama gave in Selma yesterday.

    He thinks, and I agree, that this speech will be remembered as Obama’s best. It is, among other things, a great refutation of the idea that love of country means overlooking our shortcomings. The peroration on what “we” are is terrific–colorful, poetic, exciting.

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  53. Deborah said on March 8, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Coozledad and Brian, add a couple more oddballs and your movie would be a David Lynch film.

    I read Obama’s speech yesterday and thought it was fabulous. I want to find a video of it, I love the way he speaks, he always sounds so thoughtful and kind.

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  54. Deborah said on March 8, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Jolene, I see that there is a video in the Fallows link, now I don’t have to Google it.

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  55. coozledad said on March 8, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Grand Old Pedophile ring:

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  56. Deborah said on March 8, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    MichaelG, Are you OK? Traveling?

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  57. Jolene said on March 8, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Good question, Deborah. It’s a long time since we’ve heard from him, but he did say he was going back to Spain around now. If you’re reading, MichaelG, bring us up to date.

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  58. Basset said on March 8, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Grilling dinner out on the back deck just now and listening to the owls who-ing, couple of great horned doing territorial calls… Jr. spotted one across the creek, on a branch silhouetted against the sky. Flew just as I was getting the spotting scope lined up, we all got a good look at him through the binoculars though.

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  59. coozledad said on March 8, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    If America is sitting at the top of the world, it should have a native genius articulating its priorities. We do.


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  60. MichaelG said on March 8, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Thanks for the concern. I had another round of chemo which I hope will be the last. I feel good now and am waiting for my hair to grow back. I’m leaving for Barcelona on 03-24.

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  61. Deborah said on March 8, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Good to hear from you MichaelG. Thanks for checking in. We missed you.

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