Jan 17

True Lies

(Yes, I also write about popular culture.)

So James Cameron is the man who gave us Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley, two characters I never hesitate to recommend to anyone, regardless of gender, as epitomes of heroic badassery. For Connor there are just two words, scratched in a picnic table in the desert- “No Fate.” Ripley gets a longer line, “I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

Well, it is.

Of course James Cameron is also the asshole who gave us the sentimental piece of tripe (that’s a cow’s stomach you know) Titanic and the overblown and incomprehensible Avatar (female aliens must be mostly naked and have tits, seriously).

But I want to talk about True Lies which he wrote as well as directed. It has minor flaws like being a total waste of Jamie Lee Curtis’ talent (Aahnold has no talent so the same can’t be said) and gives too much screen time entirely to Tom Arnold who is best forgotten as someone who once shacked up with Roseanne Barr.

And of course it is recently notorious from a #metoo standpoint because of Eliza Dushku’s on set molestation by the stunt co-ordinator Joel Kramer when she was 12 years old. That’s 6th Grade folks, he was 37. Oh, and he broke her ribs in retaliation when she narced him out.

He still gets gigs, his last one was Blade Runner 2049, a film I was excited to see until now. Now, I don’t know.

But it’s not like he’s on screen talent nor a “creative industry force” as Cameron is which brings me to why True Lies is one of the most abusive and misogynistic movies I have ever had the bad fortune to see.

Spoiler Alert

Actually, I hope I do so you are never tempted.

Curtis is the wife of a CIA operative (Schwarzenegger) who, suspecting her of infidelity because he is constantly spying on her communications illegally, has her kidnapped and tortured. While he is distracted by his multiple jealousy induced War Crimes an actual nuclear terrorist (Muslim of course) threatens Miami with destruction and is defeated in an incredible (as in, you can’t believe it, no, really, suspension of disbelief goes literally out the window onto the wing of a Harrier jet) action sequence and Aahnold, Jamie Lee, and the aforementioned Eliza Dushku (as daughter Dana) are safely reunited with Curtis and Schwarzenegger experiencing a Fifty Shades revitalization of their romantic relationship.

That made me feel dumber just typing it.

There is absolutely no proof that James Cameron knew anything about Joel Kramer and Eliza Dushku or indeed that anything happened between Kramer and Dushku though I suppose there is a dusty X-Ray somewhere that proves she broke her ribs doing a stunt supervised by him.

Unless you believe her, which I do.

There is ample evidence James Cameron wrote and directed the excrescence that is True Lies.

Jan 17

The Breakfast Club (Tricks And Treachery)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Benjamin Franklin born; Soviet and Polish forces liberate Warsaw; Eisenhower farewell address; Japan earthquake; Al Capone is born;Muhammad Ali born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don’t have brains enough to be honest.

Benjamin Franklin

Continue reading

Jan 16

House Or Hole? Does It Matter?

You know, I actually saw the Commodores in concert long after they were even a D-List ticket (New Year’s is not the same without Kathy Griffin and Andersen, your boyfriend is a dope).

Actually, although I’ve been given free reign to demonstrate my 20 year old vocabulary (I swear, I took an Internet survey!) I have chosen not to. Instead I bring you tales from the North that illustrate why enlightened people are hesitant to allow unrestricted immigration from s___hole countries.

Oh, I’m talking about the United States of course.

Norwegians suffer from desperate shortage of parking, will come to America in droves
by Lloyd Alter, Treehugger
January 12, 2018

The President of the United States, discussing immigration, recently said “We should have more people from Norway.” This is a wonderful gesture; he must have been spending his executive time watching the shocking Streetfilms documentary Oslo: The Journey to Car-free and learned about the tragic destruction of parking spaces there.

Unlike America, where cars are Liberty Machines that give people the freedom to drive and park wherever they want, in Oslo, everybody is walking and cycling. They must be exhausted; when Emma Lazarus wrote “Give me your tired” for the Statue of Liberty, she must have meant Norwegians.

The executive officer of the bicycle program says that “Norwegians are used to using their bodies to get around.” How primitive, that’s what people did a thousand years ago.

Unlike in the United States, where bike lanes provide convenient parking and loading for cars, they can’t do that in Oslo. There appear to be no placard privileges or any of the normal rights that drivers have in the States. Drivers almost seem oppressed. And the buses! There are so many of them, and everybody knows that buses are horrible.

When you look at the people who are forced to walk everywhere because the parking has been stolen, they all look so skinny and pale. And clearly, they have no public education about the dangers of not wearing helmets, of looking at screens, of wearing headphones. It is like they are from another era, before people knew better.

The city is noisy and dirty as they actually take away all the parking and give the space to people who walk and bike. It is like a step back to the 19th century, it’s so primitive. It’s a great thing that the President is inviting in all the tired Norwegians. They will come in droves for all the parking.

Yes, ignore the 40,860 Euro (net after Taxes) median wage, free health care, and other amenities of a modern developed nation, along with the spectacular vistas and excellent skiing. Who wouldn’t trade that to fight for a spot next to a pile of garbage that’s still three blocks away from where you want to be?

Bunch of Socialist Sissies.

Oslo, Norway, is giving residents $1200 toward purchasing an electric cargo bike
by Derek Markham, Treehugger
February 15, 2017

Getting around on a bicycle can be an excellent way to clean up our daily commutes and errand runs, but sometimes you need a little bit of a boost, which is where electric bikes come in. And sometimes you need a little more space to haul groceries and gear with you, which is where cargo bikes come in. Combine the two, and you’ve got an efficient and fun way to not only get from point A to point B, but to also get the shopping home in a single trip without having to stack boxes and bags on your rear rack until you’re wobbling your way precariously down the road (been there, done that).

The capital of Norway, Oslo, is looking to get more of its citizens out of their cars and onto bikes, and more specifically, onto a set of wheels that is made to haul more than just a single person, in the form of grants covering part of the cost of an electric cargo bike. Last year, the city council offered residents a financial incentive toward buying an electric bike, up to 20% of the purchase price of an e-bike, capped at 5000 kroner (about $600). Now that effort has been extended a bit into an electric cargo bike grant program, which will cover part of the cost of purchase of one of these electric workhorses.

According to the Oslo Council, residents can apply for a grant for up to 25% of the purchase of an electric cargo bike, capped at 10,000 kroner, or $1,200, through its Climate and Energy Fund. This subsidy won’t help those who can’t come up with the rest of the purchase price of an electric cargo bike, which can run anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 kroner ($2,400 to $6,000), but it’s certainly a decent incentive to those who might be leaning toward buying one anyway. City Lab reports that Oslo has experienced poor air quality recently, causing the city to place a temporary driving ban on diesel-fueled vehicles, and this financial support for a cleaner transport option might help push people toward choosing a more efficient mode of getting to work and to the market and home again.

Jan 16

The Russian Connection: Kazakhstan Chromium

On her MSNBC show ‘s opening segment last night, host Rachel Maddow connected the dots between the Trump organization and a toxic chromium mine if the land locked country of Kazakhstan.

“This is chromium, atomic number 24,” Maddow noted at the beginning of her show. “You need chromium to make stainless steel, it’s a useful, necessary thing in modern life. Mining and processing it, though, tend to be very, very toxic enterprises.”

“Mark Champion at Bloomberg News just did a report on how toxic and dire the conditions are at that facility, but he also got the simple sad story of the finances of that place, and how the finances of that place — that produces a third of the chromium in the world — ended up connected to the President of the United States.”

How a Trump SoHo Partner Ended Up With Toxic Mining Riches From Kazakhstan

By Mark Champion, Bloomberg News

Green smoke paints the landscape on the outskirts of Aktobe, the hub of a Central Asian mining empire that produces a third of the world’s chromium — the essential ingredient in stainless steel.

Locals say that the air gets so bad in summer it’s hard to breathe. Industrial waste contaminates the groundwater.

All of this starts at the Aktyubinsk Chromium Chemicals Plant (AZXS), a Nikita Khrushchev-era complex. It shares an industrial zone with a vast smelting plant; together, they have yielded lavish private wealth since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In one sense, it’s a familiar snapshot of post-Soviet capitalism: state assets bought for a song, workers saying they were cheated out of shares and connected businessmen getting wildly rich.

This story, however, carves a path from near Kazakhstan’s northern border with Russia to the offshore financial centers of the Caribbean, to London and all the way to Trump property in Midtown Manhattan.

How and why funds from former Soviet states flowed into Trump-branded real estate has been the focus of speculation since the start of the 2016 presidential campaign. One theory, propounded by opponents of President Donald Trump is that his admiration for Russia’s Vladimir Putin comes down to money, a suggestion Trump has forcefully denied.

Still, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is digging into Trump’s business dealings, and the scramble for Kazakhstan’s chromium riches may fill in a piece of that puzzle. Company records, court filings and interviews in Kazakhstan and London suggest millions of dollars from the Aktobe plant wound their way to the U.S. and a development company with which Trump partnered to build a controversial Trump SoHo hotel-condominium complex in Manhattan.

Jan 16

The Breakfast Club (Impossible To Ignore)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Start of Operation Desert Storm; Space Shuttle Columbia lifts off; Prohibition takes effect; Shah of Iran flees into exile; musical “Hello Dolly” opens.

Breakfast Tunes

Dolores O’Riodan (6 September 1971 – 15 January 2018)

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.

Dian Fossey

Continue reading

Jan 15

Every Day Is Exactly The Same.

Have I mentioned I’m a Buddhist recently? Not as a religion, more as a philosophy.

I believe I can see the future because I repeat the same routine.
I think I used to have a purpose, then again, that might have been a dream.

I think I used to have a voice. Now I never make a sound.
I just do what I’ve been told, I really don’t want them to come around, oh no.

Every day is exactly the same.
Every day is exactly the same.
There is no love here and there is no pain.
Every day is exactly the same.

I can feel their eyes are watching, in case I lose myself again.
Sometimes I think I’m happy here. Sometimes… yet I still pretend.

I’m writing on a little piece of paper I’m hoping someday you might find.
I’m still inside here, a little bit comes bleeding through.
I wish this could have been any other way.
But I just don’t know, I don’t know what else I can do.

Side Effects include- anger, anxiety, behavior changes, discouragement, feeling sad or empty, feelings of panic, irritability, loss of interest or pleasure, mood swings, seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there, thoughts of killing oneself.

Smoke free (well, that kind) since 1999. Just what I’d prescribe for someone with clinical Depression and Anxiety.

Men are Dogs

More Sciencey!

Men are Dogs Part 3

Men are Dogs Part 4

Every Day Is Exactly The Same

Weekend Update

Weekend Update Part 2

Phil? Phil Connors?!

Three short, three long, three short. Just blink it out Mika.

Jan 15

Birmingham Jail

Fifty years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Room 306.

Now we have an avowed racist in the White House.

Some people think between his death and that of Robert Kennedy it was the end of hope. I agree.

The King family and others believe the assassination was the result of a conspiracy involving the U.S. government, Mafia and Memphis police, as alleged by Loyd Jowers in 1993, and that Ray was a scapegoat. In 1999, the family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jowers for the sum of $10 million. During closing arguments, their attorney asked the jury to award damages of $100, to make the point that “it was not about the money”. During the trial, both sides presented evidence alleging a government conspiracy. The government agencies accused could not defend themselves or respond because they were not named as defendants. Based on the evidence, the jury concluded Jowers and others were “part of a conspiracy to kill King” and awarded the family $100. The allegations and the finding of the Memphis jury were later rejected by the United States Department of Justice in 2000 due to lack of evidence.

I like to re-publish this letter from Birmingham Jail because I think it a very clear statement of what the struggle is and what we must do today.

You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country’s antireligious laws.

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At first I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist. I began thinking about the fact that I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self respect and a sense of “somebodiness” that they have adjusted to segregation; and in part of a few middle-class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses. The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence.

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent-up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides–and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: “Get rid of your discontent.” Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action.

It’s easy to forget that Martin Luther King Jr.’s message was not directed only at African Americans, but at all of us equally. I am the whitest guy you will ever meet, just ask TMC, and he speaks for me and to me. When he was assassinated he was working on the Poor People’s Campaign, not a race thing, a class thing. What made him particularly reviled and despised was not his opposition to discrimination and bigotry, but to the imperialistic impulse of the Vietnam War (and yes, Tonkin Gulf was a deliberate and direct lie that exactly presages the War Of Terror we are prosecuting today).

Why direct action? It is the only thing left to do.

This is a struggle about the 82 8 6 people who claim over half the world’s wealth. Watch your back assholes, there are waaay more of us than there are of you.

Jan 15

The Breakfast Club (We Have A Dream)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo stress free zone_zps7hlsflkj.jpg

This Day in History

Martin Luther King, Junior born;Richard Nixon suspends U.S. offensive in Vietnam;Queen Elizabeth the First crowned;Work completed on Pentagon;first Super Bowl takes place.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Continue reading

Jan 14

Throwball Divisional Playoffs 2018: Aints at Eekings

I probably shouldn’t say this as I am 0 – 3 in picks this weekend, but I have a bit of residual sympathy for the Aints based on Katrina.

On the other hand it would be mildly interesting to see the Eeks at home against the Patsies in the LII Bowl.

What decides it in my mind is that the Eeks play in the same division as my favoritest team of all, The Green Bay Packers, who got a raw deal when Aaron Rogers, the best Quarterback in Throwball (suck on that Brady), went down for the season (we’ll not count that horrible day they rushed him back to play AMA), so it’s hard to root for them.

Anyway Aints all the way. Redeem my lousy tips.

Do you think I take this seriously? I don’t.

Jan 14

Throwball Divisional Playoffs 2018: Jaguars at Steelers

I kind of like the Steelers because sometimes they can be a team of destiny and might have a better chance of beating the Patsies for the American Throwball Conference Championship and I hate the Patsies.

Besides, Pittsburg is a s___hole and I suppose they deserve something.

The Jaguars are just an average team and I don’t feel any particular way about them though Jacksonville is also a s___hole.

So it’s hard to care or even watch this festival of brain damage and steroid abuse.

I guess that makes me un United Statesian. Maybe I should take a knee.

So Jaguars? Steelers? Pick one based on the colors of their uniform.

Jan 14

The Breakfast Club (Norwegian Wood)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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AP’s Today in History for January 14th

George Wallace sworn in as Gov of Alabama, 1784 peace treaty with Britain ends revolution, 1943 Allied leaders pledge to continue WWII until unconditional surrender.


Breakfast Tune Norwegian Wood


Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below

Hawaii ballistic missile false alarm results in panic
Julia Carrie Wong and Liz Barney, The Guardian

An alert about an incoming ballistic missile sent Hawaii into panic for about 30 minutes on Saturday, until emergency officials announced that the message had been sent in error.

The alert, which was sent to cellphones, said there was a threat “inbound to Hawaii” and said residents should seek shelter. “This is not a drill,” it added.

Tensions between the Trump administration and nuclear-armed North Korea have increased over fears the regime in Pyongyang may be able to reach US territory with a nuclear-armed missile. …

The Same Democrats Who Denounce Trump as a Lawless, Treasonous Authoritarian Just Voted to Give Him Vast Warrantless Spying Powers
Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

LEADING CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS have spent the last year relentlessly accusing Donald Trump of being controlled by or treasonously loyal to a hostile foreign power. Over the last several months, they have added to those disloyalty charges a new set of alleged crimes: abusing the powers of the executive branch — including the Justice Department and FBI — to vindictively punish political opponents while corruptly protecting the serious crimes of his allies, including his own family members and possibly himself.

The inescapable conclusion from all of this, they have relentlessly insisted, is that Trump is a lawless authoritarian of the type the U.S. has not seen in the Oval Office for decades, if ever: a leader who has no regard for constitutional values or legal limits and thus, poses a grave, unique, and existential threat to the institutions of American democracy. Reflecting the severity of these fears, the anti-Trump opposition movement that has coalesced within Democratic Party politics has appropriated a slogan — expressed in the hashtag form of contemporary online activism — that was historically used by those who unite, at all costs, to defeat domestic tyranny: #Resistance.

One would hope, and expect, that those who genuinely view Trump as a menace of this magnitude and view themselves as #Resistance fighters would do everything within their ability to impose as many limits and safeguards as possible on the powers he is able to wield. If “resistance” means anything, at a minimum it should entail a refusal to trust a dangerous authoritarian to wield vast power with little checks or oversight. …

Louisiana teacher handcuffed forcibly after asking questions at board meeting
Jamiles Lartey, The Guardian

A Louisiana teacher who was forcibly removed from a school board hearing was booked on two crimes and bonded out of jail on Tuesday morning, court documents show.

Deyshia Hargrave, a middle school English teacher in the Vermilion Parish School District was handcuffed and dragged out of the meeting by a town marshal on Monday night after voicing her concerns about a contract that would give a raise to the district’s top administrator. During the public comments period, Hargrave was asked to stop asking questions, and she obeyed. Then when she was called on again by the board, the marshal stepped up and asked her to leave. The exchange was captured in video footage that has since gone viral.

Hargrave exited the room on her own, but once she reached the hallway, the officer took her to the ground and handcuffed her, leaving onlookers shocked. Court documents suggest she spent several hours in police custody before paying a bond to be released.

“What are you doing, can you explain!” Hargrave yelled as the officer picked her up from the floor and pushed her towards an exit, commanding her to “stop resisting”.

Hargrave responded: “I am not, you just pushed me to the floor!” …

Spencer Woodman, The Intercept

OFFICIALS AT A privately run Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in rural Georgia locked an immigrant detainee in solitary confinement last November as punishment for encouraging fellow detainees to stop working in a labor program that ICE says is strictly voluntary.

Shoaib Ahmed, a 24-year-old who immigrated to America to escape political persecution in Bangladesh, told The Intercept that the privately run detention center placed him in isolation for 10 days after an officer overheard him simply saying “no work tomorrow.” Ahmed said he was expressing frustration over the detention center — run by prison contractor CoreCivic — having delayed his weekly paycheck of $20 for work in the facility’s kitchen.

Those in ICE custody often work for as little as $1 per day and cannot legally be compelled to work.

Ahmed’s account adds to a growing chorus of ICE detainees who allege that they have been forced to work in for-profit ICE facilities or else risk punishment with solitary confinement — a harsh form of captivity that, if prolonged, can amount to torture. Late last month, ICE detainees at a CoreCivic-run facility in California sued the private prison contractor, alleging that they had been threatened with solitary confinement if they did not work. In October, The Intercept reported that officials had placed another detainee in solitary confinement for 30 days for “encouraging others to participate in a work stoppage” at the same privately run facility where Ahmed was disciplined, the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia. …

















Something to think about over coffee prozac

People On Twitter Tell Trump No One In Norway Wants To Come To His ‘Shithole Country

After President Donald Trump made racist remarks lamenting immigrants coming from “shithole countries” like Haiti and nations in Africa rather than from Norway, people on Twitter, including some actually from Norway, were quick to remark that, for many Norwegians, America may seem to be a bit of a shithole.

Jan 13

Throwball Divisional Playoffs 2018: Titans at Patsies

I have fond enough memories of Tennessee. My Club (capo di tutti) met there frequently and the first time I visited it was Memphis. I highly recommend Mud Island, a concrete representation of the Mississippi River from Minneapolis to the Gulf you can easily stride across like some Gulliver in the Northern sections terminating in a bilious green cess pool representing the Gulf that our more inebriated could not resist bathing in despite strict signage to the contrary and disapproval of the staff.

I understand there are also some jazz and blues venues.

For me the highlight was scamming my way into Graceland, pretending to be an accredited member of the press. Not only did I get to go through the Big Gate (the one you see in all the pictures, peon tourists go through a smaller door at the side) I was able to see the fatal toilet and lie on Elvis’ grave and think about death.

You may have a different definition of fun.

Later we had a visitor from my Club who was temporarily assigned to a local business HQ and didn’t have anything to do in his spare time. So we showed him around Stars Hollow including Luke’s and Miss Patty’s. Of course we took him to Teriyaki Joe’s, he was from Tennessee and had probably never seen Sashimi before.

I think he enjoyed himself. When I later visited Chattanooga I was visiting the Tennessee Hospitality Suite where the price for a Jack and Coke was a story. Well, you know me-

They didn’t bury him–they planted one end, and let him stand up, same as a monument. And they nailed a sign on it and put–put on–put on it–sacred to–the m-e-m-o-r-y–of fourteen y-a-r-d-s–of three-ply–car–-pet–containing all that was–m-o-r-t-a-l–of–of–W-i-l-l-i-a-m–W-h-e–”

I of course didn’t recognize him at all until he in turn told me of his stay in the Nutmeg State but it was all good and I was served doubles for the duration.

Chattanooga was quirky like that. I got bumped from a normal room to the “haunted” suite. I watched ducks tromp through the lobby to the central fountain. I introduced my buddy Ben to the niceties of Scotch and Cigars in the convenient Scotch and Cigar lounge (later I covered for him when he stole the National logo off the stage and stashed it in my room, “Ben would never do something like that,” said I who had accompanied him on dozens of early morning raids- to be fair, at the time I had no idea). I enjoyed Graves Grain Slurpies in a tacky shop next to the Fire Engine Museum.

In all the time I’ve been in Tennessee I was never once been served the meal I ordered even when I’ve sent it back for correction, but they’re very pleasant about it. They don’t make bourbon which is aged only in new charred Oak casks in the State of Kentucky, but they do make some nice sippin’ whiskey. They also have a fascinating Aquarium that details the various habitats and ecosystems along the Tennessee River that is well worth the 3 or 4 hour visit.

So, Tennessee. Red necked, bigoted, misogynous, and racist but not in an ‘in your face’ kind of way.

Let’s talk about the Patsies. I lived in Baahsten for a while and though it’s a wonderful place there is no denying that it has a certain kind of edgy inferiority vibe that comes from generations of comparison to The City (C’mon, you know what I’m talking about). The Great God Citgo is better, the pizza is better (umm… not better than Pepe’s), the Baseball is better despite that annoying record of futility…

I’ll tell you what’s better- The Constitution, it’s skinnier than Connecticut so it takes less time to figure out you’re hopelessly lost, and soon they will allow you to buy 2 ounces of recreational weed.

Oh, and Rachel Maddow and Charlie Pierce live there. Arlo Guthrie wrote a song about it, you remember Alice, and the Restaurant.

What’s not better is the lying, cheating Patsies. They lied to Hartford about moving the team. They cheat every chance they get, not limited to underinflated balls. Tom Brady is over rated and old and Bill Belichick hasn’t had an original idea in decades, instead coasting on Brady’s fading arm.

I hope the Titans kick their ass, but if not the Titans somebody, anybody else.

Yeah, that’s who I hate.

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