Notes from well outside the perimeter.

I guess I picked the wrong weekend to try to stay away from the news, eh? I was happily plowing through an overpriced granola/yogurt breakfast at the Eastern Market when I checked Twitter out of boredom and saw the first reports from Charlottesville, of the tiki-torch march. Had a feeling nothing good would come of it. Was right.

A few thoughts:

James Fields, the young man who was apparently behind the wheel of the car that plowed into the crowd is, as you might expect, yet another young man already in life’s clearance bin. Fatherless, directionless, quiet, “kept to himself,” etc. A lot of these kids find themselves in the Army. As did Fields, until he found himself out of it:

Military records show that Mr. Fields entered the Army on Aug. 18, 2015, around the time his mother wrote on Facebook that he had left for boot camp. Less than four months later, on Dec. 11, his period of active duty concluded. It was not immediately clear why he left the military.

I’ll leave it to you vets to speculate on what might have cut his service short. I saw some Twitter commentary on an interview with his mother, whose own affect seemed a bit flat. She stays out of his politics, she said. No part of this was surprising to me; I have met a thousand versions of this woman, an older, wearier version of her son. They’d been living in Toledo for about a year, in one of those townhouse developments where a person could, if they were so inclined, more or less disappear from the face of the earth. (He had moved out a while ago, however.) The video showed her sitting next to a silver car. You’ve passed a dozen of her on your way into work today. Silver cars blend in. Middle-aged women blend in. Townhouses are pre-blended in housing. Just a reminder you never know. About anyone.

Meanwhile, this oxygen thief (thanks for that one, FDChief!) thinks the whole thing was staged. And some of his oxygen-thievin’ listeners probably believe it.

By the way, if you’re not reading Will Sommer on the various tribes of the right, you’re missing out. Here’s his C’ville report in The Hill. Here’s his Twitter. And here’s a link to his weekly-ish newsletter roundup.

You should also read Roy on this subject, as well.

So. Other than that, how was the weekend? Tiring. I spent most of Saturday cleaning the kitchen, but then cleaned myself up and went out with Alan to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We went to the proverbial chic downtown hotspot, which was crowded and loud and where Alan got the surprise of his life when he ordered a rye manhattan and was charged $19 for it. Yes, $19. For one drink. But that was just for cocktail hour. We went later to a different place for dinner and I’m not sure what manhattans were costing there, but I bet it was less than $19. It was a nice evening. Kathryn Bigelow stayed at the hotel connected to the $19-manhattan place when she was in town last month, but I’m sure the studio was paying.

Sunday was more cleaning, but the house is no longer a Den of Shame and Dust, and we managed a graduation party in the afternoon. The host had a bottle of Grey Goose vodka and was pouring summer refreshments for anyone who wanted more than a beer. “Here you go,” he said to Alan, fortifying his lemonade. “I’ll make it a double and it won’t be $19.”

Have a swell week ahead, all. Let’s hope everybody simmers down.

Posted at 8:36 pm in Current events, Detroit life, Same ol' same ol' |

47 responses to “Notes from well outside the perimeter.”

  1. FDChief said on August 13, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    “Less than four months later, on Dec. 11, his period of active duty concluded. It was not immediately clear why he left the military.”

    Let the ol’ drill sergeant make a teensy-weensy little guess:

    He was probably what on the trail we liked to call “a fucking waste of good oxygen”. A worthless skinsack, a nutter, a total dirtbag. He was what we called “chaptered out”, a reference to the subsections of Army Regulation 635-200. My guess is that little Jamie Goebbels was put out under “Chapter 11”, Entry Level Performance And Conduct, the generic term for a trainee that has a major brain-housing-group malfunction. Won’t wash his stanky ass, walks around muttering to himself. We had a kid at Ft. Leonard Wood we called “The Mad Shitter” because when addressed by authority higher than the company clerk his bowels would explode, a sort of human crap-claymore-mine.

    (FWIW, our company commander was an utter wedge (NB; a wedge is the “simplest tool known to mankind”, so you get the picture) – we used the Mad Shitter to terrorize him, since TMS was utterly horrified by officers and tended to get extra propellant out of that fear)

    Keep in mind that the Army was and still is hurting for bodies. If Fields could walk and chew gum I’m betting that the hats in his Basic and AIT would have pencil-whipped his ass on to a troop unit – since their evaluation depends a lot on their pass-thru rate – and let the poor permanent duty station jamokes take the trouble of referring the dirtbag to the mental health clinic. The fact that they couldn’t tells me that this gomer was a REAL piece of work.

    As the nation now knows to its detriment…

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  2. Deborah said on August 13, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    There is actually a sick meme out there, if you google “all lives splatter, nobody cares about your protest” you can, if you are a monster, order decals for your car from Amazon and all over the place. Also T-shirts etc. but wait, it gets worse, there are sites that say “black lives splatter”. I think I’m going to go have a stiff drink now.

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  3. Suzanne said on August 13, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    I am on my second glass of wine.

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  4. Bill said on August 13, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    And I’m on my third rye Manhattan.

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  5. alex said on August 13, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    I lost count of my Maker’s on the rocks a few rounds ago.

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  6. Heather said on August 13, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Hah, I just posted on Facebook that I sometimes worry I am drinking too much, but on the other hand we all get a Trump-Adusted Allowance for imbibing these days.

    About halfway through a bottle of red, myself.

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  7. jcburns said on August 13, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    “Tiki Brand is not associated in any way with the events that took place in Charlottesville and are deeply saddened and disappointed.”

    We live in such strange times.

    Dinesh D’Souza on Twitter: “SET YOUR ALARM: I’ll be on @foxandfriends at 7.15 am tomorrow to unravel the media’s whole #Charlottesville narrative”

    Now I really need some of the Alan Derringer Nineteen Dollar Rye™.

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  8. BigHank53 said on August 14, 2017 at 12:54 am

    “Say, Dinesh, I don’t think there are all that many people who lost their jobs because they got caught with their mistress. There’s you, and, um….you. Know anyone else?”

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  9. Scout said on August 14, 2017 at 1:54 am

    Scalzi pretty much nails it.

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  10. Dexter said on August 14, 2017 at 2:48 am

    msnbc had a panel-box discussion and Reverend Al and Howard Dean were really fired up, explaining how Bannnon is a Nazi Jew-hater, Trump is catering to more alt-right disasters by not condemning the horrific behavior of the Nazi-White-Supremists that were in Charlottesville. It was great TV as this creepy Bannon/Miller lover took a giant ass-whuppin’.

    “My” army and today’s army ain’t even hardly the same fightin’ machine, obviously. But I do have insight into the modern army, as a few years ago my step-grandson joined to be a medic just like (hardly!) his old step grand daddy, me. He got through BCT at Fort Leonard Wood, MO , then on to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas for medic training, where he must have tired of the whole green machine and began going on sick call and demanding pain pills. This attitude got him an offer from The Brass: You want out? Then get the fuck out, malingerer. And that, as they say, was that. He’s 23 now and has had dozens of jobs, but now he has landed at George Washington Hospital in Washington, D.C. , where he got work as an E.R. tech and the place has been sen ding him to different job-schools to learn more stuff, and we hear he is striving to be a helicopter medic. So maybe fate took his hand and pointed him straightward…at least he’s long long departed from the life he had in Las Vegas, where he dropped out of two high schools and began fucking around with heroin.

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  11. alex said on August 14, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Another interesting take on il Douche marking the changes from back in the day when he was only mildly tetched.

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  12. Peter said on August 14, 2017 at 11:03 am

    What got me is the Excuse Squad saying “Well, Obama never called out white supremacists when this happened under his watch, so what’s the big deal?” Well, WHEN did something like this happen during the previous administration? Sandy Hook? Didn’t he say something then? I forgot; Sandy Hook didn’t happen.

    I have to give Pence high marks for moral indignation – after clarifying Fearless Leader’s remarks: “Of course we condemn supremacists, nazis…” he then goes on to say that the media is more concerned about Trump’s remarks then that are about the tragedy itself.

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  13. Bitter Scribe said on August 14, 2017 at 11:12 am

    I’m very angry because due to a combination of freelance work and impending job interview, I haven’t been able to drink for a week and won’t be able to for at least a week more. You think it’s easy dealing with all this shit sober?

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  14. Sherri said on August 14, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Bitter Scribe, I’ve been dealing with every bit of this shit sober. I’m not giving up 15 years of sobriety and destroying the life I rebuilt over this; I’m no good to anybody if I start drinking again.

    How do I do it? The same way I’ve done it all along. Focus on what I can do. Get lots of exercise (really had to ramp that up!). Pay careful attention and make sure I deal with anything quickly rather than let it fester. Know my limits. Stay in contact with friends. Eat right. Sleep. Keep life structured.

    Some of these were starting to slip earlier, and while I wasn’t close to reaching for a drink, my depression was starting to reassert itself, so I built in some more accountability to make sure I stayed with the things I need to do. It’s working.

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  15. Peter said on August 14, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Sherri, that was a very inspiring and insightful post.

    I was going to joke that there’s not enough liquor to get me over this disaster of an administration, but it’s good to be reminded that for many it’s not a laughing matter.


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  16. basset said on August 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    saw Roger Waters in Nashville last night… amazing show. Surround sound, projection, lasers, moving screens, played mostly old Floyd, could have done without quite so many photos of Middle Eastern poverty and violence though.

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  17. Rana said on August 14, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    No coping alcohol here, either. Just lots of caffeine, time with my kid, and donations to causes that these racist-rat-turds despise.

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  18. Sherri said on August 14, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    On a less inspiring note, I tried to go back to my church on Sunday. My priest didn’t totally ignore Charlottesville, but what he said was pretty oblique. I’ve talked with him since the election, and I know how he feels, and I now he struggles with the appropriate response, but he said nothing on Sunday that couldn’t be heard as both-siderism.

    I just don’t think that’s enough or even appropriate for the church at this point. If we can’t call out racism and white supremacy and Nazism, explicitly, where do we draw the line?

    I’m sad and disappointed.

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  19. Colleen said on August 14, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    I hit the invisibility trifecta….I’m a middle aged woman who lives in a townhouse and drives a silver car…..

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  20. redoubt said on August 14, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Some people, even ministers, may not feel it affects them directly. To counter that here’s one Baptist minister’s insight.

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  21. LAMary said on August 14, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    I’m with Rana on this one, but my kids are big hulking adults now. It still works. Both sons and one girlfriend were around for dinner on Saturday which meant impromptu pasta putanesca, cucumber salad and fruit for dessert, sitting out on the deck enjoying the cool night breezes. Younger son took off the next morning for Sonoma where he’s helping a friend who has a small vineyard so it was a send off dinner for him. My sons are outraged by this shit in Charlottesville and I’m happy they are. I doubt very much that any other relatives of mine are. One of my brothers went to grad school at UVA. He would have been there with a tiki torch.

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  22. Brandon said on August 14, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    @basset: Of late, Waters is a BDS activist.

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  23. Judybusy said on August 14, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    sherri, thanks for your input regarding the drinking and how it is for many folks: serious stuff. I am glad you seem to have caught things early with the depression.

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  24. Sherri said on August 14, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    I didn’t intend to be critical of anyone else’s drinking, or of joking about drinking. The point is self-care during this chaotic period. If you can drink, and drinking is a way of taking care of yourself, then more power to you. Even if trump were to disappear tomorrow, we would still be in a crazy place, and we’re still a long ways from stability. To continue to be effective in standing up to the forces of hate, we can’t burn out, so we need to be smart about our health: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

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  25. susan said on August 14, 2017 at 6:13 pm


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  26. Brandon said on August 14, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Wikipedia article on Roger Waters.

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  27. Rana said on August 14, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    I agree with Sherri. We’re in the long haul, so that means we need to do whatever it is that works to keep us steady and healthy.

    (One metaphor I like for activism is that we’re all in an orchestra together, working to a common purpose. Sometimes we play together, sometimes someone solos, sometimes we rest.)

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  28. Sherri said on August 14, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Why yes, trump thinks it’s all about him. That’s been completely obvious for a long time.

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  29. Deborah said on August 14, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    We’re at an anti racism rally in Santa Fe, on the plaza. Here’s a live webcam of it LB is carrying a bright orange shoulder bag, I have a Panama hat on. But you probably can’t see much.

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  30. Sherri said on August 14, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    I don’t know that we’re headed to civil war, but I fear that the violence is going to get worse. Armed militia types showing up at these demonstrations fully armed make me very nervous.

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  31. alex said on August 14, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    “There’s a better way” says the craven pol.

    Hope our Cooz was there and can give us a first-person narrative.

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  32. Basset said on August 15, 2017 at 7:15 am

    We saw pro-Israeli protestors outside the Roger Waters show & didn’t know why they were there… Now we do. Nothing else to say about it.

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  33. coozledad said on August 15, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Alex: I wasn’t there last night for the fun, but we wen’t to the vigil Sunday evening and met some Wonkers for beer afterwards. The folks who pulled down that piece of garbage are mostly I.W.W.

    I recognize them from their having disrupted Sunday’s gathering. They’re annoying folks who are at the mercy of whatever wind gets up their ass until the trust fund kicks in, but they were doing the lord’s work yesterday, and every last one of them deserves applause for it. They ought to be given commemorative medals struck from the bronze of that statue for being heroes just for one day.

    I don’t have the moral courage or the juice for such an action. My hat’s off.

    They had to do it, because our Republican General Assembly made it against the law to take them down peacefully. The same ones who tried to pass a law saying you could weaponize your car to run over protesters. Unamerican filth. They should draw ostraka to see which of them piles in the shipping containers bound for Russia first.

    We’ve got a traitor statue in Roxboro that has to come down. We’ll see how we can do that, one way or another.

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  34. susan said on August 15, 2017 at 10:26 am

    There is a public elementary school in Washington, named Robert E. Lee Elementary. That’s Washington state.

    American public schools named after racists

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  35. Heather said on August 15, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Good piece on Slate on how the 2nd Amendment is now effectively silencing free speech.

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  36. St Bitch said on August 15, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Thanks Alex @31 and Cooze @33…I too had been following scraps of Durham news and hoping for a firsthand report.

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  37. Scout said on August 15, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    There are many people who think President Biff should stop tweeting. I am not one of them. Every time he flexes those tiny doll hands over his device he drives another nail into his own political coffin.

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  38. Deborah said on August 15, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    I agree Scout, the more he shoots himself in the foot, the more we can expect that he won’t be re-elected. I’m actually kind of hoping he won’t get impeached or resign because 1) I don’t ever want a president Pence and 2) the more he fucks up, the more likely he will take a whole lot of Republicans running for re-election down with him in 2018 and 2020.

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  39. Sherri said on August 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    The only positive Pence brings is that he’s less likely to spark nuclear war. I’m not sure that’s enough to outweigh his negatives, which is an impressive statement.

    As Charlie Pierce reminds us, the rot is bigger than trump:

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  40. susan said on August 15, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Nazis everywhere. Ah, yes, Switzerland, home and refuge of some of the original Nazis. Oh, er, I mean, they were “neutral” during the WWII festivities.

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  41. 4dbirds said on August 15, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Fascists and racists can’t make it out of basic training but still want to play soldier. I bet he had weight and physical fitness issues. I mean I made it through basic training and I’m a girl. Anyway, now I’m a middle-aged (when does that end anyway?) woman who lives in a townhouse. My car is red.

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  42. Suzanne said on August 15, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Apparently Trump had a press conference this afternoon and went completely off the rails. Or so I am seeing on Twitter.
    “What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have a problem? I think they do”
    “You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people–on both sides”
    “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis. Not all of those people were white supremacists” Apparently he then said some were just statue enthusiasts.

    I’ll need to open a new bottle of wine tonight…

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  43. FDChief said on August 15, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    4dbirds; doubt it. Take it from a former hat; fatties and weaklings alike can get pencil-whipped. It’s the real nutbars and chronic malingerers that get chaptered. A BCT cadre get evaluated on their recycle/fail rate. There’s every motivation to push even the worst spuds on to AIT or a troop unit. This guy must have been a real bolo

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  44. Jeff Borden said on August 15, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    The latest press conference by the Orange King was absolutely bonkers. He equated George Washington with Confederate generals and argued that if memorials to the traitors who attempted to cleave this nation in half are torn down, we should include Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who also was a slave owner.

    Robert Mueller can’t indict this bag of pus quickly enough. Every day his cancer burrows more deeply into the United States.

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  45. Peter said on August 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    I wish I could find this clip in English, but there’s one scene in OSS 117 – Cairo, Nest of Spies where the French agent is on a pyramid tour and winds up in a room full of Nazis and exclaims “My God! EVIL NAZIS!” and the leader of the Nazis responds “Of course we’re evil Nazis! What other kind of Nazis are there? Romantic Nazis? Comedic Nazis?”

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  46. Jolene said on August 15, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Robert Mueller can’t indict this bag of pus quickly enough.

    According to Andy Borowitz, Jeff, many Americans share your view.

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  47. coozledad said on August 15, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    What? No love for the sweet ass of the Republicans who brought us here? Where’s the respect for their authoriteh?

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