Wednesday, May 30, 2012

One of these days

For the superstitious among you...

Spinning Coin - John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers


This song perfectly replicates the sound big trucks make when they pass you on the freeway, going really fast. Amazing song, that is equally as hypnotic as interstate-driving at night.

Moby Octopad - Yo La Tengo


One of these Days - Pink Floyd

Full lyrics are "One of these days, I'm going to cut you into little pieces"...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Random Dead Air Photo Gallery--Spring 2012

During my unofficial blog break, I pondered these Puzzling Questions of the week:

Why did Jeff Goldblum decide to sleepwalk through his season on LAW AND ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT?

Is Ron Paul going belly-up for Mitt? (his followers certainly are not)

Is Charles Murray for real?
That last one is a result of reading his latest sordid volume: Coming Apart: The State of White America. At first, you think, huh? WHITE America? And then he explains that he has taken everyone else out of the equation so as not to be (insert whine) ACCUSED of anything, as he (correctly) was when he (co)wrote the racist book THE BELL CURVE. Thus, suitably chastened, he petulantly refuses to discuss anything but white people from now on.

Throughout the book, Murray periodically reminds us that he went to Harvard, just after he asserts something resoundingly clueless. Just so you know: he makes big money saying these stupid things. Is this what a Harvard education is worth? Save your pennies, kids.

What he doesn't understand is that white people's position is a result of having several buffer classes of people to take the heat; classes that CUSHION whites from economic and social upheaval (and thoroughly unpleasant jobs such as picking grapes in the fields), rather as having military bases all over the world cushions the USA from much unpleasant international fallout.

Murray thinks the elite (whites) have become the elite because of their superior morals and values... an argument so flimsy (regardless of all his graphs and pie charts) that Jonathan Chait (who admits he has not even read the book) successfully countered it in ONE FUNNY GRAPHIC on his blog. We know Wall Street is filled with paragons of virtue, yes?

Tellingly, Murray also includes a quiz about "living in a bubble"--which I found the most incredible section of the book. (Needless to say, I don't, and I doubt you do either.) One question, for instance, is "Have you ever been on a factory floor?"--and Murray has, exactly ONE TIME. (!) One. Time.

Non-Harvard aside: Why is someone so sheltered he has only been on a factory floor ONCE, trusted to write an opus about CLASS? That's hilarious, all by itself.

DEAD AIR studied this book in abject amazement, and consequently wondered if the Right and Left can ever agree on ANYthing at all. (shakes head) Also, my dislike and mistrust of the elites populating the Left, has been greatly enhanced... if that's possible.


I got photos... I have not posted random photos for a good while. (I blame Facebook!) Also, I have noticed that these random-photo threads tend to become spam magnets, for some odd reason. I guess the word "random" brings in the bots?

Anyway... below (as always, you can click to enlarge):

1) Efia Nwangaza addresses the Malcolm X festival; the local Malcolm X Center meet-and-greet photos are here.

2) Doggie cooling off in Falls Park fountain.

3) Big Girls Rock banner, also present at Malcolm X festival.

4) Cyril decides to relax in my clean laundry. It was suggested to me on Facebook, that a warm basket of laundry IN THE DIRECT LINE OF A SUNBEAM amounts to me setting an irresistible cat-trap.

5) Your yearly azalea fix! I almost let Spring go by without posting any! (McPherson Park)

6) Country band, The Buchanan Boys, who did an excellent country version of "Kashmir"! They have a Facebook page, but not a regular web page. (May 4th)

7) Purty roses and 8) Irises! That new Facebook "timeline" gives me an excuse to post flowers! Both from Falls Park.

9) Reedy River Falls, Greenville, SC. And have I written before (a few hundred times) about how cool it is to have a waterfall in the middle of town?

10) Yes, your ever-humble narrator continues to Occupy in downtown Greenville, SC.

11) and 12) My beloved Cyril has turned three years old!

I wished him a Happy Birthday, but he seemed singularly uninterested in celebrating.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Henri, philosophical cat

Apologies if I have already shared this with you; I have posted it everywhere already. This morning, I realized I had not posted it here yet.

We cannot escape ourselves!

Henri, the philosophical cat, in Paw de Deux:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Donna Summer 1948-2012

On the Radio - Donna Summer (1979)

Last Dance - Donna Summer (1983)

The soundtrack of our youth; cross-country trips, late nights, friends meeting, parties and picnics... goodbye, old friend.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday Linkage

At left: Artisphere mural, more photos here.

Once again, the celebrity golfers have invaded the neighborhood, as they do every year. I have complained about this before (notably here and here) and so I will spare you any extended howling.

But damn, I wish they'd set up their Golf Network tents somewheres else.

Got links! Lots of interesting and timely reading around the intertubes:

[] The main reason capital punishment is wrong is human error. We now know that Texas executed the wrong man, Carlos DeLuna in 1989. Whoops! Sorry about that, DeLuna family!

Carlos, my heart bleeds for you.

[] Special needs teenager in NC, placed in box for punishment.

This made me think of the movie Papillon, in which Steve McQueen is placed in a box... but that film was set in a penal colony in French Guiana in the 30s. Not North Carolina in 2012. (cries)

[] Anti-environmental activist Cal Beisner Warns the 'Depraved' Environmental Movement Models itself after Satan. Trying to save the earth is evil, doncha know, but destroying the atmosphere is Godly. Just for the record.

[] Free the Weed Department: Pro-marijuana policy bloc swings Oregon attorney general primary election: Ellen Rosenblum (champion of marijuana policy reform) is now Democratic nominee for attorney general of the State of Oregon.

Since there is no Republican challenger, Rosenblum’s victory means she will be Oregon's next AG.

[] Special link for those who claim there is no GOP War on Women. Really? How about this: Debbie Wasserman Schultz Depicted In Dog Collar On GOP Candidate's Website.

And the hits just keep on comin, kids.

[] For fans of Bravo network's Inside the Actors Studio, here is James Lipton on Mitt Romney. The piece is tellingly titled: How to Act Human, which I think is a pretty tall order for Mitt.

Money quote:

Perhaps it starts with his laugh, a device he employs at odd moments and in a most peculiar way. (The public thinks that crying is the acid test of the actor, but in fact “laughing” is much harder — and Mr. Romney hasn’t mastered it.)

Listen to his laugh. It resembles the flat “Ha! Ha! Ha!” that appears in comic-strip dialogue balloons. But worse – far worse – it is mirthless. Mr. Romney expects us to be amused, although he himself is not amused. Freeze the frame, cover the bottom of his face with your hand, and study his eyes. There’s no pleasure there, no amusement.
[] Dubya kinda sorta endorses Mitt, as elevator closes. Funny!

[] And again speaking of Mitt, it is time to face the music on Bain: Is Mitt Romney ready for Bain battle?
As the Obama campaign this week began a concerted attack on the presumptive GOP nominee for his tenure at the private equity firm he managed, strategists in both parties say the Republican has yet to give a confident, detailed explanation of his Bain Capital tenure that silences questions about his biography as a businessman.
You don't mean he FIBBED, do you? I am shocked, shocked I tell you!

And I hope your Wednesday is good.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Half Step Productions

.... is the name of our new PRODUCTION COMPANY, yeah!

This is a reference to the Grateful Dead song (below) as well as a covert 12-Step reference.

It used to be said, in 12-Step circles, that whenever you 'worked' a particular step of the 12 Steps in a half-hearted or otherwise incomplete, namby-pamby fashion, you were taking a "half-step." I don't know if this slang is still in use. I always liked the term because of the song, even if it was considered a put-down; I figured a half-step is better than none at all. (Humorous aside: "13th step" was when a sponsor and sponsoree decided to get it on.)

When my talented consigliere, Gregg Jocoy, asked me what the name of the production company should be, the song was playing (on the radio show) and of course, it just seemed right.


Grateful Dead - Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleoo (Studio)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Anti-feminists defend John Edwards, sex machine and role model

Recent John Edwards photo from the Los Angeles Times.

Hey you scandal-mongering folks out there... who among you is currently following the entertaining John Edwards follies?

Here and here are some fairly decent summations of the corruption trial so far. But I have to say, the hands-down BEST commentary came from a proud Men's Rights Marine over at the GendErratic blog, named Dungone -- who explains to us dumb wimmenz that John Edwards is NOT being publicly tried for funneling campaign funds to his mistress and their child (a violation of campaign-finance laws), but instead is being PUNISHED for having a $400 haircut and ROBUST MALE SEXUALITY!!!

Yes, its the feminists again, who made poor John Edwards take Rielle Hunter as his mistress, and in turn made Rielle refrain from birth control and get knocked up. OUR. FAULT.

Got that, bitches?

I can't do any better than to quote some of our exchange, verbatim. Just in case you think I am some crazy feminist exaggerating what this man has said, let me first link the whole thread HERE. And these are his exact quotes.


[Unlike] women, men are actually mocked for caring about their appearance, such as John Edward for his $400 haircut. [links to Wonkette photo of Edwards] If we were sane, we would acknowledge that a good haircut is a common sense investment for anyone who has to appear in front of a national TV audience on a daily basis – but we are not sane because we cannot even acknowledge that man even have an appearance. The fact that it’s even a political snowball in the first place is ridiculous – regular housewives spend as much money as some male celebrities on their physical appearance and no one thinks it’s a big deal. But men are in a double bind – they have to look good but it has to be a bigger secret than Victoria’s Secret or else they’re screwed.
Dungone, as someone here in Edwards’ neck of the woods, let me clarify… it was all that down-home populism and I-love-the-poor-folks bullshit of his and THEN the $400 haircut –that brought the scorn. There was a context for that… now when the story went national, maybe they just talked about the haircut… but around HERE, it was in the context of his “fightin for the po folks” reputation and alla that.
Please, don’t give me that. It’s straight up bullshit. All the feminists endorsed Hillary Clinton since she supposedly fought for oppressed women. But how much does she pay for a hair cut? Why was that never an issue? Every woman who runs for public office probably spends way more on haircuts than any man, so I guess if expensive haircuts would make a man into a hypocrite then we shouldn’t even consider voting for a woman.
Of course, regular readers know that I did not back Hillary, so already, he is incorrect about "all the feminists"--and our election-year marching orders.

Dungone knowingly continues:
Don’t you think that $400 is reasonable for a haircut when your election campaign which is costing your backers millions of dollars could easily go down the tube over a bad haircut? Opportunists jump on any deviation from masculine perfection in political campaigns. And people, especially women, will in fact vote for the more handsome male candidate. We haven’t had a bald president since hats went out of fashion and women got the vote. Instead, we’ve had presidents who fucked Marilyn Monroe. But I guess you feminists are going to call men hypocrites for getting a decent haircut while you vote to uphold Sarah Palin in the ranks of pro-women women.

Do you know what the biggest irony is? A $400 haircut is money that goes to support a laborer from the working class. And after that “scandal”, Edwards got a $13 haircut at Supercuts. So let’s be clear – under-paying an employee at a big corporate chain = pro labor. Paying good money for good work = hypocrite. Good call, Daisy. You love workers.
Me: [Yes, my Irish was officially up]
And how long did you live in the Carolinas during the 2008 election season? You are now informing me about what local people were talking about? Excuse me, but you do not live here and you do not have a motherfucking clue. My own HUSBAND voted for Edwards and said that, okay?


The biggest irony is that you are defending a man who used his ‘status’ as a poor lint-head to con OTHER poor lint-heads into giving him money, then used that money to pay off his mistress for silence. And you are defending this embezzling piece of shit as a decent man. This is why he is on trial TODAY for embezzling and I hope they lock his ass up for it. Yes, I do love the workers, and I don’t like when some shyster politician can’t keep it zipped and then uses the money of the workers that was collected in good faith, to pay off his fucking sex scandals. And yes, I see why you admire such a person. Of course you do.

Are you going to visit him in prison?
Edwards would have seriously helped the working class and I find it deplorable that working class people would call him a hypocrite basically for no other reason than his physical appearance and personality
Um, he is ON TRIAL RIGHT NOW for his appearance and personality? Are you tripping? Earth to Dungone.
Dungone: [FOR THE WIN!]
He’s on trial for being a male slut and a $400 haircut. He violated campaign rules, which was wrong, but it’s understandable given that men are judged so harshly and unfairly for their sex lives. There are people sitting fat and happy in their mansion who should be on trial for war crimes and you’re talking about daytime talk show crap, including some of the ones that your neck of the woods sent to public office. But god damn, he didn’t “keep it zipped” so it’s over for him any way you slice it. You’re part of the problem, given that you sound exactly like exactly the kind of person who hates it when a man has a sex life. Stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with what he would do for the working class. Kennedy also had a sex life and he was one of our greatest and most beloved presidents. “Keep it zipped,” you say. What a sexist, bigoted thing to say.

Campaign finance rules are supposed to keep powerful millionaires from buying elections. They’re supposed to prevent politicians from covering up real crimes, conflicts of interest, and scandals that are actually relevant to the task of public office. But they do none of those things. They’re used to bring down men who tried to prevent having their sex lives dragged out in front of the public by their political enemies. You can be a truly evil son of a bitch who tortures people all over the world, fails to do a thing about 9/11… but if you get a blowjob or sent a text message, you get impeached. And here we have Daisy Deadhead crying a river over the way female politicians get judged for their looks.
Again, this is why you should not try to talk to Men's Rights Guys. DO. NOT. ENGAGE! This is a Marine, who in other contexts is quite proud of his war-making activities, talking about war crimes. (?) And the accompanying fact that much-lower-paid Andrew Young, Edwards' aide, will be taking the fall if Edwards is found innocent, does not seem to bother Dungone.

Obviously, per Orwell, some men are more equal than others.

So, let me clarify:

You think that if I gave money to a campaign for a man to run for president, and this politician gives it to his mistress to shut her up and support her in high style, that is “daytime talk show crap”?

Dumbfounded. See, I call that stealing. I know some of the people he stole from.


I hardly know what to say.


Do you understand that he was STEALING? Millions of dollars? And trying to pin it on one of his underlings? In all your identifying with Mr Sexpot, what about his employee Andrew Young? Is he just not important enough to identify with?

Ain’t he a man, too?
Dungone, again FOR THE WIN:
I believe that keeping one’s sex life out of the media is a valid use of campaign funds. I believe that our country has gone down the shit-hole because underhanded fundamentalist scumbags keep dragging people’s sex lives out into the open to humiliate them and ruin their careers. If we can’t protect people’s sex lives from public scrutiny then we will never be able to have, let’s say, a president in an open relationship, perhaps even a single president who is dating. You won’t have a gay or a lesbian president, either. Only the most bland, cookie-cutter, dust-web-ridden “family values” liars can survive in our culture’s political climate, and I believe that this is a huge detriment to us all. So I believe that it’s fair use of campaign funds to keep sex lives private.
And I will leave that unbelievable, amoral reply right there, for all to read again and behold for themselves.

Men's Rights Advocate assures us: A politician (in this case, a very RICH politician with a large number of POOR contributors) informing you that your hard-earned campaign contributions will be used for advertising or whatever, and instead using it to pay his mistresses' bills, is perfectly fine. Since nobody (of course!) can be expected to behave morally and honestly, then laws should be changed to allow candidates to use funds to pay off their girlfriends and tell you lies about where your money goes. To do otherwise is to be against MEN and SEX.

And you will notice, I never did get an answer from Dungone about duped fall-guy Andrew Young. Hey, Young is small potatoes, the important thing is that Rich Sexy Senator Who Can't Keep It Zipped can do as he pleases, at taxpayer expense. (PS: why is this "sexist" of me to say? Women do not have zippers now? Huh?)

As soon as I develop any sympathies for the MRAs, I am put in my place by one of them; usually banned from their blogs and/or given some sex-obsessed, thoroughly-entitled, good-old-boy insanity like this as a substitute for logic. Then I remember why I was a feminist in the first place.

So no, I don't believe Edwards should be able to take my friends' money and give it to his girlfriend to live in a pricey mansion, especially since he is a millionaire and can afford to pay her rent himself. Call me old-fashioned.

And yes, my feminism is intact.

I usually need something like this to remind me of how important it is.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Amendment One round-up

I knew the horribly homophobic and bigoted Amendment One (in North Carolina) would pass, because nothing gets the fundies stirred up like getting a chance to shit all over the gays. In fact, that and slut-shaming seem to be their favorite activities, that I can see. (Feeding the poor and all that other boring stuff Jesus instructed them to do? Not so much.)

The right-wing can fire up their base during primaries with direct-hatred opportunities like this, and win elections. This doesn't work as well in general elections.

Interestingly, the last time North Carolina amended their constitution on marriage (in 1875), it was to outlaw interracial marriages. The fundies have never apologized for that one, either. (I am sure a majority of fundamentalists still quietly agree with that position, but they have learned it isn't polite to say it out loud.)

And now, featuring some very good writing on the whole Amendment One debacle, starting off with DEAD AIR's big winner for the best case to be made for (now-defeated) Amendment One:

One Trial Lawyer’s Final Argument to the Amendment One Jury (NC Amendment One Truth)

BREAKING: Marriage-banning Amendment One Passes in North Carolina (Queerty)

North Carolina (Box Turtle Bulletin)

The Anti-Gay Religious Freedom Contradiction (Waking Up Now)

Maggie [Gallagher]: Why Focus on Same-Sex Marriage Rather than Divorce? (Waking Up Now)

In North Carolina after Amendment One, ‘Let the wild rumpus start' (Washington Post blogs)

Amendment One Passes: North Carolina State University Launches Petition Calling For Appeal (Huffington Post)

North Carolina and Amendment One (Whatever)

John Scalzi of Whatever (last link) is especially eloquent and worth quoting:

Five years from now the majority of Americans will support same-sex marriage; ten years from now the large majority will. But ten years from now it will still be against the Constitution of North Carolina for same sex couples to get married (and Ohio’s, too). I’d like to be wrong, but I doubt I will be. It’s harder to repeal a constitutional amendment than a law. The bigots know this. This is why the bigots do what they do.

It sucks for gays and lesbians that in places like North Carolina, and Ohio, and even California, all that can done at the moment is to assure those of them who would like to marry those they love is to tell them that it will get better. I shouldn’t have to get better. It should be better. But you work with what you have in the real world, and in the real world, what gays and lesbians in places like North Carolina and Ohio and even California have is the future. Let’s get working toward it.
We will be discussing evil Amendment One (and the fascist fundie response to it) at length on my radio show on WFIS, Saturday morning at 9am. (see link to podcasts on right)

Stay tuned, sports fans.


Photo at top is from Strollerderby.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Goodbye lovely Meredith!

Today I helped still another cool person move away from the upstate. :(

I have written before of how we lose all the cool people to places like Oregon, California, even Asheville. I am hopeful that someday, progressive, forward-thinking folks might make this area a real destination, rather than a pit stop.

I helped my Occupier-friend move back to California, and in turn, she blessed me with a bunch of amazingly wonderful old stuff she could not find room to pack: a Tibetan prayer wheel, several tarot decks (including the fabulous Haindl Tarot, Day of the Dead and Goddess Tarot), various sacred and voodoo oils, candles, linens, a sweater and jacket, a clay sculpture of Ariadne, a small brass Buddha, assorted office supplies and unused photo albums, an antique teddy bear and so much more.

It's been like Christmas for hippies.

I still wish she would stay. Greenville needs more enlightened souls who will hang around awhile. I have decided that building our Occupy Greenville chapter is one way to ensure this. We had a picnic on Saturday, and I was reminded of what wonderful folks we are lucky to have, and how tight-knit our group has become as a result.

Unfortunately, evil, bigoted, homophobic laws like the one currently being voted on in North Carolina today (denying equal marriage rights to gay couples) are one reason the cool people leave, as I have complained in this space so many times. The oppressive and backward presence of Bob Jones University, is still another. We have to keep fighting the repression, fighting the people who would take us backwards and spread damaging ignorance.

In the meantime, we do have a solid collective, and that is something to celebrate.

And to my dearest Meredith: Vaya Con Dios. We shall meet again.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bob Jones University Alumni Call for New Transparency in Wake of Recent Expulsion

WSPA-TV photo of airplane banner: Its time for transparency--Do Right BJU.

Notably, WSPA is in Spartanburg. There has been no local coverage of this event in Greenville, as can be expected.

I missed the cool banner, which flew around Greenville for two whole hours on Friday, May 4th. Here is the accompanying press release from the formidable folks at Do Right BJU:

May 4, 2012, Greenville, SC -- Over the past four years, a growing group of Bob Jones University alumni have connected through social media, combining efforts to call on their alma mater to “do right.”

In 2008 under “Please Reconcile,” BJU alumni petitioned President Stephen Jones with 508 signatures asking for the institution to apologize for its past racist actions, statements, and beliefs. That effort resulted in Bob Jones University’s official Statement on Race.

In 2011, BJU alumni focused their attention on the topic of abuse -- mental, spiritual, physical, and sexual -- when in Spring 2011 the national media covered the Ernie Willis trial. In 1997, Willis, a 38-year-old married New Hampshire man and member of Trinity Baptist Church of Concord, NH, forcibly raped and impregnated 15-year-old fellow church member, Tina Anderson. Willis was convicted in May 2011 and is currently serving his 15-30-year prison sentence.

Chuck Phelps, then pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, testified in the trial that he had relocated the minor victim to Colorado and had failed to file a written police report for the 1997 investigation while allowing Willis to remain in the congregation. When BJU alumni discovered in November 2011 that Phelps still retained his board membership at BJU, over twelve hundred alumni signed a petition calling for Phelps’ resignation. On December 2, Phelps resigned.

During these events Christopher Peterman was a BJU political science major. He had a minimal number of demerits and was enjoying his Senior year. When he heard about Willis’ trial and BJU’s tacit endorsement of Chuck Phelps, Peterman was moved to action. He organized the first campus student protest in the history of Bob Jones University.

While Bob Jones University publicly promised that no retribution would occur against any student involved in the protest, alumni were skeptical. Under-the-radar administrative harassment had occurred for decades. Nine days before graduation Christopher Peterman was expelled on trumped-up charges. Was the BJU administration seeking revenge for his conscientious dissent?

With petitions, protests, and even planes, BJU alumni are gathering to insist that their alma mater immediately "do right" towards all employees, students, and alumni. See for the call to action.
Since they are already so mad at me, I will increase their ire by printing this entire press release.

Go Suppressive Persons!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo!

It's been a tough week for blogging. But at least I saw another antique Chevy when I went out to grab a bite earlier in the week!

I am grateful I woke up this morning without any notifications of direct threats, as I did last Saturday. It is not a day I am likely to forget. Five people sent me messages as soon as I signed on, several making sure I TOOK THE SCREEN SHOTS. I obediently did as they told me to do, but I did not visit the hate-page after I initially took the shot, because I found it too unnerving.

I have spent the last week decompressing from disaster, even though I gained a parcel of new Facebook friends and radio-show listeners. At the same time, I have been extremely careful, looking over my shoulder. Is this what it's like to be well-known and controversial? Apparently so. I have been wondering if I am up for this.

I was blocked from Facebook for about 24 hrs. I am not sure of the specific reason, since all my requests for clarification were totally ignored. One of my comments was deemed "threatening"--which is pretty ironic under the circumstances (as stated above, there was a whole Facebook page threatening me physically), and my questions ("Why or how is this a threatening statement?") sent to the proverbial round-file. I have since learned that if your comments are deliberately targeted (as mine have been) and reported X number of times, THAT is what deems it offensive, not the actual content of the comment(s) in question. It's all about the clicks. The warnings and blockages are executed by Facebook-bots, not by actual people. This explains the wildly-varying standards: on one Facebook page, you can talk filth and nobody cares, but on another, a simple factual statement such as (for instance) Bob Jones University-affiliates are covering up for rape-apologists is considered "offensive."

The truth is now subject to censorship for being "too offensive" for certain overprotected, neurasthenic people to be able to tolerate. And their intolerance is what makes it "offensive."

I am suddenly reminded of a bone-chilling line in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by the legendary Philip K Dick, a line that (tellingly) did not make it into the screenplay of the film, which became Blade Runner. Paraphrasing: What proof do we have that empathy exists, asks the android, except the humans' word for it? Isn't it something they just made up to prove they have this special thing?

And the Bob Jones University-apologists similarly ask: What proof do we have that your truth exists, except your word for it? Isn't it something you just made up, to say something bad about us?

It's scary, isn't it? After all, they already say this about science and evolution, global-warming and gay people.

I've long been claiming there is no such thing as objectivity, and I think this whole debacle is proof of that. The word "offensive" is no longer about unacceptable cuss words and sexual terms; the word is now assigned to any statement that bothers you, for any reason. Whether the statement is "objectively true" is of no importance in this determination.

Empathy is next. What proof do we have that it exists? OOOPS, is that an offensive statement? BOOM, down the memory hole.

You should NOT have to read such disconcerting, disorienting notions.


I attempted a joke on my show this morning, off the cuff, and it bombed. Nobody's perfect. Better luck next time and thank you for playing!

Podcast of bad joke and other topics, is up.

And last night, saw another cool car and took another picture. My favorite color! I am not sure of the make/year of this very lovely, cherry-red beauty, but if you know, speak up.

Biographical aside: I used to work in the purty pink building, which is at the corner of Main and East North Streets in Greenville. It is now a clothing store, but was a GNC when I worked there.


Lots of interpersonal ups and downs in local Occupy groups, including mine, as well as groups in Spartanburg and Columbia. (I haven't yet checked the astrological charts, but I am sure something must be going on.) I shall refrain from bad-mouthing liberals and their inability to SUBMIT TO COLLECTIVE DISCIPLINE (Yes, Barack, I am lookin at you too) but.... well, they DO have a problem submitting to collective discipline.

Simply put, if a whole group votes that you are disruptive, stay your ass away. Is that too difficult to understand? People seem to get this concept in ANY endeavor but politics. It appears that some folks think they are just so wonderful that they deserve to be heard and listened to (including their sorry excuses) more than other people, certainly more than they have ever listened to anyone else. How does that work exactly?

In any event, I am once again reminded of my mentor, Steve Conliff, and his rule of thumb for the Yippies, that I know I have quoted numerous times previously, in this space: If you let anybody in, anybody WILL come in.

And yes, they do. The confused, the argumentative, the power-tripping, the lecherous, the whole Hee Haw gang is present and accounted for. I always take their presence as a given. I can easily accept these people, if they are aware of their personality-issues, as I am (mostly) aware of mine. I want people to cut me slack, so I cut others slack, too. But I notice many of these people do not think they have any personality-issues, in fact, they think they are just peachy-keen and wonderful. Unfortunately, that is often where the liberalism comes in: they have been believing their own press. They believe they are compassionate, aware and kind, just because liberals are said to be compassionate, aware and kind. (By contrast, radicals never get this kind of good press; radicals are dangerous, crazy, insane, outside agitators, etc.) Thus, when these folks go off the rails, you also have the attendant spectacle of other liberals going into catatonia: But I thought he was... NICE!

And there is often no evidence that this person was EVER "nice"--except that they agreed with us. We tend to assume a lot about the people who agree with us: they MUST be good, since (it goes without saying!) WE are GOOD!

Maybe the operative difference is, I don't think I am particularly good. I try, but I fail repeatedly. Thus, I assume others are trying and failing, repeatedly, all the time. And as we know, passing the kid who has consistently failed is ultimately a mean thing to do and sets them up for more failure. So it is with people who repeatedly fail us.

At some unavoidable juncture, it is time to send them back to Decency 101, that class they obviously missed. We tolerate their continued failures at our peril.


Greenville Occupiers, bringing the radicalism! Yeah!

There will be an Occupy Picnic in McPherson Park this afternoon, 3:30pm, be there or be square. General Assembly is tomorrow at 2pm in Bergamo Square; Main and Coffee Streets, across from Coffee Underground... which is especially handy for quick coffee-junkie fixes, also a very good refuge for bad weather, which has only happened a couple of times.

Bergamo Square is currently under construction; it will soon be the home of some monstrous new building, currently given the ominous title of PROJECT ONE. (Wasn't Kampuchea named that by Pol Pot?*) It is growing fairly enormous by the day, and we usually picket right in front of it.

The Greenville Antiwar Society used to have our yearly candlelight vigil exactly where the construction is now, but the small building with two giant flights of steps (where I took this photo from) is now gone.

Since we are standing there with signs, several people have asked us if we are protesting the construction.

They seem disappointed when we say no.

*Correction, that was THE YEAR ONE. I always get capitalism and communism mixed up, sorry about that. ;)

Friday, May 4, 2012

May 4th: This Day in History

Kent State student John Filo's Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of Mary Ann Vecchio discovering the slain Jeffrey Miller.

Originally posted here on May 4, 2008.

41 years ago on April 30, 1970, Richard Nixon announced that military operations would be expanding into the neutral, peaceful country of Cambodia, which had the bad fortune to share a border with Vietnam. Viet Cong insurgents were said to be hiding in the mountains of Cambodia. (In fact, the USA had already been conducting a secret bombing campaign, unbeknownst to the general public, engineered by Nixon and his butchers, named Alexander Haig and Henry Kissinger.) These illegal, immoral, reprehensible acts were the acts of criminally insane men, who had just realized they were losing their filthy, insane, extremely expensive war.

The result of this announcement was demonstrations on many American college campuses over the next few days. Nixon had promised to end the war, and proved to be a liar. The anger of the youth who would fight this war was palpable. At Kent State University in Ohio, demonstrators burned down an ROTC building. It was never known if this was deliberate or just an act of vandalism that got out of hand. Ostensibly due to this event, Governor James Rhodes declared Martial Law on the campus of Kent State University and sent the National Guard onto the campus. He also held a press conference in which he made famous inflammatory statements: "They're worse than the brownshirts and the communist element and also the night-riders and the vigilantes," Rhodes said. "They're the worst type of people that we harbor in America. I think that we're up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America."

On May 4th, a demonstration was scheduled for noon. There were about 2000 people gathered for the demonstration, and about 1000 troops on campus. For unknown reasons, the Guard decided to break up the demonstration, and ordered the crowd to disperse. They were met with rocks and flying debris. The Guard responded with tear gas, and it was on.

I have read multiple versions of what happened next. Several facts dominate these versions: the kids were returning the tear gas cannisters (which do POP loudly like guns when they go off) and the Guard seemed very confused and didn't know what to do. At one point, none seemed sure of which direction to advance, but advance they did. At 12:22 PM, after guardsmen had advanced to the top of the hill near Taylor Hall and the parking lot, they turned and fired. They commenced firing for 13 seconds and fired 67 M-1 semiautomatic bullets. They wounded nine students, and murdered four in cold blood. Only two of these four students, Allison Krause and Jeffrey Miller, were actually demonstrating against the war. The remaining two, Sandra Scheuer and William Knox Schroeder, were merely changing classes.

No one knows who gave the order to fire, if anyone did.

The kids in the National Guard were the same ages as the kids on the campus. These kids were all facing the same reality--the males of both groups were trying to avoid going to war. One group could afford college and the other could not, but could somehow get into the Guard. There is no question there was significant class hostility directed at the college kids by the Guard; the males in the Guard were closer to actual combat in Vietnam, although William Schroeder attended Kent on a ROTC scholarship and may well have intended to become an Officer himself.

From this incident, we learned that even the pampered children of the middle class were expendable. We learned that totalitarianism can erupt quickly and suddenly, particularly in small, contained areas where there exists considerable class hostility, panic, and loaded weapons. We learned that the Governor of Ohio was a fascist and a murderer, as was the President and his henchmen, all of whom nodded approvingly at the murders at Kent.

The lines were drawn very clearly, especially for me. I woke that morning in Ohio, to see that my state was all over the national news, all over the newspapers. We had various Moments of Silence for the next week. Everyone seemed to know someone involved. My grandmother cried and explained to me that these students were exercising their civil rights, and had been shot for it. "You have to remember this," she told me.

In the subsequent lawsuits, the families received an average of approximately $63,000 per student.


Ohio - Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Nature's Way

Nature's Way - Spirit (1970)