Feb 05

Actual Nazis

 

You know, in Russia they call it “The Great Patriotic War” and it must be admitted that they pretty much carried our water in blood and soil until we got our act together and opened up that second front they kept nagging us about. It is entirely questionable whether we would have prevailed without their assistance. There could be Swastikas flying from flagpoles today and the City (there is only one) might be a smoking crater devastated by a Heisenberg Bomb fueled by Norwegian Heavy Water delivered by a Horton 229 Stealth Plane.

Hey, it’s on the “History” Channel, it’s probably true. Some of it actually is, especially the Russia part.

Based on popular culture you might have thought that the one thing we could all agree on is that Nazis are bad. Really, really bad. Worse even than Zombies unless they happen to be Nazi Zombies.

Apparently that doesn’t apply to the Republican Party.

Holocaust denier poised to claim GOP nomination in Illinois race for Congress
by Lynn Sweet and Frank Main, Chicago Sun-Times
02/04/2018

Arthur Jones — an outspoken Holocaust denier, activist anti-Semite and white supremacist — is poised to become the Republican nominee for an Illinois congressional seat representing parts of Chicago and nearby suburbs.

“Well first of all, I’m running for Congress not the chancellor of Germany. All right. To me the Holocaust is what I said it is: It’s an international extortion racket,” Jones told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Indeed, Jones’ website for his latest congressional run includes a section titled “The ‘Holocaust Racket’” where he calls the genocide carried out by the German Nazi regime and collaborators in other nations “the biggest blackest lie in history.”

“And given the fact that I’ve got no opposition in the primary, OK, I win that one (the primary) by default all right,” Jones said during an interview in a coffee shop in Lyons.

That leaves Illinois Republicans saddled with a nominee who is well known for his racist and white supremacist activities.

Jones told the Sun-Times he is a former leader of the American Nazi Party and now heads a group called the America First Committee. “Membership in this organization is open to any white American citizen of European, non-Jewish descent,” he said.

The Anti-Defamation League has been keeping tabs on him for years.

“Arthur Jones, who proudly displays Holocaust denial, xenophobia and racism on his blog and website, has a long history of hateful, extremist and anti-Semitic views,” said Lonnie Nasatir, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League Chicago-Upper Midwest Region.

“For example, in 2009, he protested the opening of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, and continues to espouse absurd conspiracy theories questioning the deaths of millions of Jews.

“He has spoken publicly at numerous neo-Nazi rallies and events, expressing xenophobic policies based in racial and religious hatred. He is, by every definition, an anti-Semite and unrepentant bigot.”

The likelihood is that he sinks like a stone in one of the most Democratic districts in Illinois, but on the other hand, Republicans have not come up with a challenger either.

(h/t Scarce @ Crooks and Liars)

Feb 05

Sam Alito, can you believe it?

So last Thursday I was writing about the Pennsylvania Gerrymandering case and lamenting it was even considered for review by the Supreme Court.

I was sure Justice Samuel Alito (who is the one who covers that geographical area) would at least kick it up to the full Court because 1) he is a total Republican tool, and 2) it would delay the decision past the deadline required to eliminate continued Republican advantage in 2018. Well guess what…

I WAS WRONG!

Who says I don’t admit my mistakes?

Pennsylvania’s Republican gerrymander is finally dead
by Ian Millhiser, Think Progress
Feb 5, 2018

On Monday, the Justice Samuel Alito rejected an effort by Republican leaders in Pennsylvania to restore a Republican gerrymander that has allowed Republicans to dominate the state’s congressional delegation even in years when Democrats won the statewide popular vote.

Though stay requests such as this one are directed to a single justice as a matter of process, that justice typically refers the matter to the full Court if they believe that the request raises a serious legal argument. The fact that Alito, a staunch conservative, unilaterally denied this request speaks to the weakness of the GOP’s claims.

Last month, the state supreme court ordered new maps drawn for the 2018 election. Now that the Supreme Court of the United States has officially stayed its hand, the state’s gerrymandered congressional districts are all but certain to become a relic of the past.

The Republican leaders’ effort to reinstate their gerrymandered maps was always a long shot. Pennsylvania’s supreme court decision relied entirely on the state constitution, and the United States Supreme Court does not have the authority to overrule a state supreme court’s interpretation of state law. Nevertheless, the Republican leaders raised arguments that conflict with a line of precedents that the United States Supreme Court reaffirmed as recently as 2015 (PDF).

Had the Republicans prevailed, they could have potentially changed the outcome of the 2018 midterm elections. Under the gerrymandered maps, Republicans have won 13 of 18 seats in the state’s congressional district every year since 2012 — even though Democrats won the statewide popular vote in 2012.

Last week, Pennsylvania Senate President pro tempore Joseph Scarnati (R) told the state supreme court that he would not comply with parts of its anti-gerrymandering order. Now that the state supreme court’s decision is officially safe from molestation, Scarnati is likely to find himself in contempt of court if he does not change his tune.

Good. Lock him up. Alito is still a Republican tool though.

Feb 05

The Drum Major

Since I’ve actually performed in a Marching Band I’ve known a few and they’re mostly talentless pricks. “Oh, let’s give him a job he can’t screw up. He can’t March and he can’t Play and he can’t twirl a Flag or a Baton or throw a Rifle so let’s just put him out in front with a fancy uniform and a stick where he can do whatever and the Band will follow the Director.” In short the most useless guy on the field.

Some people think it’s a leadership position. Actually it’s a pretty good metaphor for Trump.

Fifty years ago yesterday, shortly before his death, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a sermon titled The Drum Major Instinct that was based on an earlier work by J. Wallace Hamilton, a well known Methodist pastor who happened to be White.

Now this is trending to be a matter of some controversy, at least in the twit sphere, because it was used in a truck ad during the Super Bowl.

I am a White guy (you can hardly get Whiter) and before I became a convinced atheist I was raised Methodist, like Hillary Clinton and W (MLK was a Baptist, heretic).

I didn’t find any problem with that ad. Oh sure, it was an ad, but you know, I got outraged the first time they used a Beatles song and now I’m just happy to remember something I really enjoyed when I heard it originally. The King family has been merchandising his legacy for a long time. That’s not a blame accusation, only an observed fact.

What I’m interested in is that it reminded me of this really good piece by MLK. I’ve read it before of course, but there is a lot of King and I’m not an academic specialist expected to have an instant command of every word he ever uttered.

So I looked it up.

I invite you to consider it, bereft of commercial encumberment. It speaks to me, at this time, despite the circumstances which commanded my renewed attention.

This morning I would like to use as a subject from which to preach: “The Drum Major Instinct.” “The Drum Major Instinct.” And our text for the morning is taken from a very familiar passage in the tenth chapter as recorded by Saint Mark. Beginning with the thirty-fifth verse of that chapter, we read these words: “And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came unto him saying, ‘Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.’ And he said unto them, ‘What would ye that I should do for you?’ And they said unto him, ‘Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.’ But Jesus said unto them, ‘Ye know not what ye ask: Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ And they said unto him, ‘We can.’ And Jesus said unto them, ‘Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of, and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: but to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.’” And then Jesus goes on toward the end of that passage to say, “But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your servant: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.”

The setting is clear. James and John are making a specific request of the master. They had dreamed, as most of the Hebrews dreamed, of a coming king of Israel who would set Jerusalem free and establish his kingdom on Mount Zion, and in righteousness rule the world. And they thought of Jesus as this kind of king. And they were thinking of that day when Jesus would reign supreme as this new king of Israel. And they were saying, “Now when you establish your kingdom, let one of us sit on the right hand and the other on the left hand of your throne.”

Now very quickly, we would automatically condemn James and John, and we would say they were selfish. Why would they make such a selfish request? But before we condemn them too quickly, let us look calmly and honestly at ourselves, and we will discover that we too have those same basic desires for recognition, for importance. That same desire for attention, that same desire to be first. Of course, the other disciples got mad with James and John, and you could understand why, but we must understand that we have some of the same James and John qualities. And there is deep down within all of us an instinct. It’s a kind of drum major instinct—a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first. And it is something that runs the whole gamut of life.

And so before we condemn them, let us see that we all have the drum major instinct. We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade. Alfred Adler, the great psychoanalyst, contends that this is the dominant impulse. Sigmund Freud used to contend that sex was the dominant impulse, and Adler came with a new argument saying that this quest for recognition, this desire for attention, this desire for distinction is the basic impulse, the basic drive of human life, this drum major instinct.

And you know, we begin early to ask life to put us first. Our first cry as a baby was a bid for attention. And all through childhood the drum major impulse or instinct is a major obsession. Children ask life to grant them first place. They are a little bundle of ego. And they have innately the drum major impulse or the drum major instinct.

Now in adult life, we still have it, and we really never get by it. We like to do something good. And you know, we like to be praised for it. Now if you don’t believe that, you just go on living life, and you will discover very soon that you like to be praised. Everybody likes it, as a matter of fact. And somehow this warm glow we feel when we are praised or when our name is in print is something of the vitamin A to our ego. Nobody is unhappy when they are praised, even if they know they don’t deserve it and even if they don’t believe it. The only unhappy people about praise is when that praise is going too much toward somebody else. (That’s right) But everybody likes to be praised because of this real drum major instinct.

Now the presence of the drum major instinct is why so many people are “joiners.” You know, there are some people who just join everything. And it’s really a quest for attention and recognition and importance. And they get names that give them that impression. So you get your groups, and they become the “Grand Patron,” and the little fellow who is henpecked at home needs a chance to be the “Most Worthy of the Most Worthy” of something. It is the drum major impulse and longing that runs the gamut of human life. And so we see it everywhere, this quest for recognition. And we join things, overjoin really, that we think that we will find that recognition in.

Now the presence of this instinct explains why we are so often taken by advertisers. You know, those gentlemen of massive verbal persuasion. And they have a way of saying things to you that kind of gets you into buying. In order to be a man of distinction, you must drink this whiskey. In order to make your neighbors envious, you must drive this type of car. (Make it plain) In order to be lovely to love you must wear this kind of lipstick or this kind of perfume. And you know, before you know it, you’re just buying that stuff. (Yes) That’s the way the advertisers do it.

I got a letter the other day, and it was a new magazine coming out. And it opened up, “Dear Dr. King: As you know, you are on many mailing lists. And you are categorized as highly intelligent, progressive, a lover of the arts and the sciences, and I know you will want to read what I have to say.” Of course I did. After you said all of that and explained me so exactly, of course I wanted to read it. [laughter]

But very seriously, it goes through life; the drum major instinct is real. (Yes) And you know what else it causes to happen? It often causes us to live above our means. (Make it plain) It’s nothing but the drum major instinct. Do you ever see people buy cars that they can’t even begin to buy in terms of their income? (Amen) [laughter] You’ve seen people riding around in Cadillacs and Chryslers who don’t earn enough to have a good T-Model Ford. (Make it plain) But it feeds a repressed ego.

You know, economists tell us that your automobile should not cost more than half of your annual income. So if you make an income of five thousand dollars, your car shouldn’t cost more than about twenty-five hundred. That’s just good economics. And if it’s a family of two, and both members of the family make ten thousand dollars, they would have to make out with one car. That would be good economics, although it’s often inconvenient. But so often, haven’t you seen people making five thousand dollars a year and driving a car that costs six thousand? And they wonder why their ends never meet. [laughter] That’s a fact.

Now the economists also say that your house shouldn’t cost—if you’re buying a house, it shouldn’t cost more than twice your income. That’s based on the economy and how you would make ends meet. So, if you have an income of five thousand dollars, it’s kind of difficult in this society. But say it’s a family with an income of ten thousand dollars, the house shouldn’t cost much more than twenty thousand. Well, I’ve seen folk making ten thousand dollars, living in a forty- and fifty-thousand-dollar house. And you know they just barely make it. They get a check every month somewhere, and they owe all of that out before it comes in. Never have anything to put away for rainy days.

But now the problem is, it is the drum major instinct. And you know, you see people over and over again with the drum major instinct taking them over. And they just live their lives trying to outdo the Joneses. (Amen) They got to get this coat because this particular coat is a little better and a little better-looking than Mary’s coat. And I got to drive this car because it’s something about this car that makes my car a little better than my neighbor’s car. (Amen) I know a man who used to live in a thirty-five-thousand-dollar house. And other people started building thirty-five-thousand-dollar houses, so he built a seventy-five-thousand-dollar house. And then somebody else built a seventy-five-thousand-dollar house, and he built a hundred-thousand-dollar house. And I don’t know where he’s going to end up if he’s going to live his life trying to keep up with the Joneses.

There comes a time that the drum major instinct can become destructive. (Make it plain) And that’s where I want to move now. I want to move to the point of saying that if this instinct is not harnessed, it becomes a very dangerous, pernicious instinct. For instance, if it isn’t harnessed, it causes one’s personality to become distorted. I guess that’s the most damaging aspect of it: what it does to the personality. If it isn’t harnessed, you will end up day in and day out trying to deal with your ego problem by boasting. Have you ever heard people that—you know, and I’m sure you’ve met them—that really become sickening because they just sit up all the time talking about themselves. (Amen) And they just boast and boast and boast, and that’s the person who has not harnessed the drum major instinct.

And then it does other things to the personality. It causes you to lie about who you know sometimes. (Amen, Make it plain) There are some people who are influence peddlers. And in their attempt to deal with the drum major instinct, they have to try to identify with the so-called big-name people. (Yeah, Make it plain) And if you’re not careful, they will make you think they know somebody that they don’t really know. (Amen) They know them well, they sip tea with them, and they this-and-that. That happens to people.

And the other thing is that it causes one to engage ultimately in activities that are merely used to get attention. Criminologists tell us that some people are driven to crime because of this drum major instinct. They don’t feel that they are getting enough attention through the normal channels of social behavior, and so they turn to anti-social behavior in order to get attention, in order to feel important. (Yeah) And so they get that gun, and before they know it they robbed a bank in a quest for recognition, in a quest for importance.

And then the final great tragedy of the distorted personality is the fact that when one fails to harness this instinct, (Glory to God) he ends up trying to push others down in order to push himself up. (Amen) And whenever you do that, you engage in some of the most vicious activities. You will spread evil, vicious, lying gossip on people, because you are trying to pull them down in order to push yourself up. (Make it plain) And the great issue of life is to harness the drum major instinct.

Now the other problem is, when you don’t harness the drum major instinct—this uncontrolled aspect of it—is that it leads to snobbish exclusivism. It leads to snobbish exclusivism. (Make it plain) And you know, this is the danger of social clubs and fraternities—I’m in a fraternity; I’m in two or three—for sororities and all of these, I’m not talking against them. I’m saying it’s the danger. The danger is that they can become forces of classism and exclusivism where somehow you get a degree of satisfaction because you are in something exclusive. And that’s fulfilling something, you know—that I’m in this fraternity, and it’s the best fraternity in the world, and everybody can’t get in this fraternity. So it ends up, you know, a very exclusive kind of thing.

And you know, that can happen with the church; I know churches get in that bind sometimes. (Amen, Make it plain) I’ve been to churches, you know, and they say, “We have so many doctors, and so many school teachers, and so many lawyers, and so many businessmen in our church.” And that’s fine, because doctors need to go to church, and lawyers, and businessmen, teachers—they ought to be in church. But they say that—even the preacher sometimes will go all through that—they say that as if the other people don’t count. (Amen)

And the church is the one place where a doctor ought to forget that he’s a doctor. The church is the one place where a Ph.D. ought to forget that he’s a Ph.D. (Yes) The church is the one place that the school teacher ought to forget the degree she has behind her name. The church is the one place where the lawyer ought to forget that he’s a lawyer. And any church that violates the “whosoever will, let him come” doctrine is a dead, cold church, (Yes) and nothing but a little social club with a thin veneer of religiosity.

When the church is true to its nature, (Whoo) it says, “Whosoever will, let him come.” (Yes) And it does not supposed to satisfy the perverted uses of the drum major instinct. It’s the one place where everybody should be the same, standing before a common master and savior. (Yes, sir) And a recognition grows out of this—that all men are brothers because they are children (Yes) of a common father.

The drum major instinct can lead to exclusivism in one’s thinking and can lead one to feel that because he has some training, he’s a little better than that person who doesn’t have it. Or because he has some economic security, that he’s a little better than that person who doesn’t have it. And that’s the uncontrolled, perverted use of the drum major instinct.

Now the other thing is, that it leads to tragic—and we’ve seen it happen so often—tragic race prejudice. Many who have written about this problem—Lillian Smith used to say it beautifully in some of her books. And she would say it to the point of getting men and women to see the source of the problem. Do you know that a lot of the race problem grows out of the drum major instinct? A need that some people have to feel superior. A need that some people have to feel that they are first, and to feel that their white skin ordained them to be first. (Make it plain, today, ‘cause I’m against it, so help me God) And they have said over and over again in ways that we see with our own eyes. In fact, not too long ago, a man down in Mississippi said that God was a charter member of the White Citizens Council. And so God being the charter member means that everybody who’s in that has a kind of divinity, a kind of superiority. And think of what has happened in history as a result of this perverted use of the drum major instinct. It has led to the most tragic prejudice, the most tragic expressions of man’s inhumanity to man.

The other day I was saying, I always try to do a little converting when I’m in jail. And when we were in jail in Birmingham the other day, the white wardens and all enjoyed coming around the cell to talk about the race problem. And they were showing us where we were so wrong demonstrating. And they were showing us where segregation was so right. And they were showing us where intermarriage was so wrong. So I would get to preaching, and we would get to talking—calmly, because they wanted to talk about it. And then we got down one day to the point—that was the second or third day—to talk about where they lived, and how much they were earning. And when those brothers told me what they were earning, I said, “Now, you know what? You ought to be marching with us. [laughter] You’re just as poor as Negroes.” And I said, “You are put in the position of supporting your oppressor, because through prejudice and blindness, you fail to see that the same forces that oppress Negroes in American society oppress poor white people. (Yes) And all you are living on is the satisfaction of your skin being white, and the drum major instinct of thinking that you are somebody big because you are white. And you’re so poor you can’t send your children to school. You ought to be out here marching with every one of us every time we have a march.”

Now that’s a fact. That the poor white has been put into this position, where through blindness and prejudice, (Make it plain) he is forced to support his oppressors. And the only thing he has going for him is the false feeling that he’s superior because his skin is white—and can’t hardly eat and make his ends meet week in and week out. (Amen)

And not only does this thing go into the racial struggle, it goes into the struggle between nations. And I would submit to you this morning that what is wrong in the world today is that the nations of the world are engaged in a bitter, colossal contest for supremacy. And if something doesn’t happen to stop this trend, I’m sorely afraid that we won’t be here to talk about Jesus Christ and about God and about brotherhood too many more years. (Yeah) If somebody doesn’t bring an end to this suicidal thrust that we see in the world today, none of us are going to be around, because somebody’s going to make the mistake through our senseless blunderings of dropping a nuclear bomb somewhere. And then another one is going to drop. And don’t let anybody fool you, this can happen within a matter of seconds. (Amen) They have twenty-megaton bombs in Russia right now that can destroy a city as big as New York in three seconds, with everybody wiped away, and every building. And we can do the same thing to Russia and China.

But this is why we are drifting. And we are drifting there because nations are caught up with the drum major instinct. “I must be first.” “I must be supreme.” “Our nation must rule the world.” (Preach it) And I am sad to say that the nation in which we live is the supreme culprit. And I’m going to continue to say it to America, because I love this country too much to see the drift that it has taken.

God didn’t call America to do what she’s doing in the world now. (Preach it, preach it) God didn’t call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war as the war in Vietnam. And we are criminals in that war. We’ve committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I’m going to continue to say it. And we won’t stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation.

But God has a way of even putting nations in their place. (Amen) The God that I worship has a way of saying, “Don’t play with me.” (Yes) He has a way of saying, as the God of the Old Testament used to say to the Hebrews, “Don’t play with me, Israel. Don’t play with me, Babylon. (Yes) Be still and know that I’m God. And if you don’t stop your reckless course, I’ll rise up and break the backbone of your power.” (Yes) And that can happen to America. (Yes) Every now and then I go back and read Gibbons’ Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. And when I come and look at America, I say to myself, the parallels are frightening. And we have perverted the drum major instinct.

But let me rush on to my conclusion, because I want you to see what Jesus was really saying. What was the answer that Jesus gave these men? It’s very interesting. One would have thought that Jesus would have condemned them. One would have thought that Jesus would have said, “You are out of your place. You are selfish. Why would you raise such a question?”

But that isn’t what Jesus did; he did something altogether different. He said in substance, “Oh, I see, you want to be first. You want to be great. You want to be important. You want to be significant. Well, you ought to be. If you’re going to be my disciple, you must be.” But he reordered priorities. And he said, “Yes, don’t give up this instinct. It’s a good instinct if you use it right. (Yes) It’s a good instinct if you don’t distort it and pervert it. Don’t give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be first in love. (Amen) I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be first in generosity. That is what I want you to do.”

And he transformed the situation by giving a new definition of greatness. And you know how he said it? He said, “Now brethren, I can’t give you greatness. And really, I can’t make you first.” This is what Jesus said to James and John. “You must earn it. True greatness comes not by favoritism, but by fitness. And the right hand and the left are not mine to give, they belong to those who are prepared.” (Amen)

And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. (Amen) That’s a new definition of greatness.

And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, (Everybody) because everybody can serve. (Amen) You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. (All right) You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. (Amen) You only need a heart full of grace, (Yes, sir, Amen) a soul generated by love. (Yes) And you can be that servant.

I know a man—and I just want to talk about him a minute, and maybe you will discover who I’m talking about as I go down the way (Yeah) because he was a great one. And he just went about serving. He was born in an obscure village, (Yes, sir) the child of a poor peasant woman. And then he grew up in still another obscure village, where he worked as a carpenter until he was thirty years old. (Amen) Then for three years, he just got on his feet, and he was an itinerant preacher. And he went about doing some things. He didn’t have much. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. (Yes) He never owned a house. He never went to college. He never visited a big city. He never went two hundred miles from where he was born. He did none of the usual things that the world would associate with greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against him. They called him a rabble-rouser. They called him a troublemaker. They said he was an agitator. (Glory to God) He practiced civil disobedience; he broke injunctions. And so he was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. And the irony of it all is that his friends turned him over to them. (Amen) One of his closest friends denied him. Another of his friends turned him over to his enemies. And while he was dying, the people who killed him gambled for his clothing, the only possession that he had in the world. (Lord help him) When he was dead he was buried in a borrowed tomb, through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen centuries have come and gone and today he stands as the most influential figure that ever entered human history. All of the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned put together (Yes) have not affected the life of man on this earth (Amen) as much as that one solitary life. His name may be a familiar one. (Jesus) But today I can hear them talking about him. Every now and then somebody says, “He’s King of Kings.” (Yes) And again I can hear somebody saying, “He’s Lord of Lords.” Somewhere else I can hear somebody saying, “In Christ there is no East nor West.” (Yes) And then they go on and talk about, “In Him there’s no North and South, but one great Fellowship of Love throughout the whole wide world.” He didn’t have anything. (Amen) He just went around serving and doing good.

This morning, you can be on his right hand and his left hand if you serve. (Amen) It’s the only way in.

Every now and then I guess we all think realistically (Yes, sir) about that day when we will be victimized with what is life’s final common denominator—that something that we call death. We all think about it. And every now and then I think about my own death and I think about my own funeral. And I don’t think of it in a morbid sense. And every now and then I ask myself, “What is it that I would want said?” And I leave the word to you this morning.

If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. (Yes) And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize—that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards—that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school. (Yes)

     I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. (Yes)
     I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.
     I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question. (Amen)
     I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. (Yes)
     And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. (Yes)
     I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. (Lord)
     I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity. (Yes)

Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. (Amen) Say that I was a drum major for peace. (Yes) I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. (Yes) I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. (Amen) And that’s all I want to say.

         If I can help somebody as I pass along,
         If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
         If I can show somebody he’s traveling wrong,
         Then my living will not be in vain.
         If I can do my duty as a Christian ought,
         If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought,
         If I can spread the message as the master taught,
         Then my living will not be in vain.

Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, (Yes) not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition. But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth and in commitment to others, so that we can make of this old world a new world.

Well, he’s off a little on his economics and I can’t fathom why anyone would want to be a Drum Major but he’s absolutely right on manipulation of envy.

Feb 05

The Breakfast Club (Fly Eagles Fly)

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

FDR plans to ‘pack’ the Supreme Court; Byron de la Beckwith convicted of killing civil rights leader Medgar Evers; The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour premieres; William S. Burroughs and Hank Aaron born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say ‘I want to see the manager.’

William S. Burroughs

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Feb 04

ek’s Killer Chili

Ok, TMC threw it down tonight by bragging about her sister-in-law’s Chili which I’m sure is very good because it’s not at all hard or fussy, that’s why I cook it too.

Mine has a variable number of ingredients because it depends on how long you want to eat it (as with everything else when I cook just for myself a full recipe lasts until I am entirely sick and tired). This is a full recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cans of Beans (Different types, Black Beans are the best if you’re looking to downsize it)
  • 2 Large Sweet Onions (actually you can use 3, they reduce)
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic (Toss in a whole Head if you’re not going to chop them up, but you still have to clean it)
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil (depending on your pot, you may need more)
  • 4 Heaping Tablespoons of Chili Powder
  • 4 Measured Tablespoons of Cumin

Preparation:

So you peel and chop the Onion, and peel and chop or mince the Garlic depending if you’re going for the whole clove technique (you need more because the flavor is not as intense, at least you’re spared the chopping or mincing, you have to peel it anyway, just more cloves).

Umm… that’s the prep.

So you heat your Olive Oil to whatever temperature you’re comfortable with and toss in your Onions with a measured Tablespoon of Cumin and a heaping Tablespoon of Chili Powder and reduce them by half in volume. You’re not looking for a fond crust on the bottom or browning on your Onions (though if you like that you can).

When your Onions are reduced toss in your Garlic, stir and turn your heat to low. Add your first can of Beans (I recommend starting with the biggest ones) and another measured Tablespoon of Cumin and heaping Tablespoon of Chili Powder.

Yes you throw in the goo. That’s what makes it liquidy and not a solid gut wrenching mess. Deglaze the pot now if you need to, you’ll still need to scrape the bottom periodically and you might need to add water to achieve the consistency you desire- unheated it’s quite thick.

When you have bubbles again it’s time for the second can. I go for contrasting color Beans so light Pink and dark Red Kidney or a White Navy kind of mix things up. They all taste the same. You spice these the same as before and wait for them to heat.

Finally you put in the Black Beans (they are the smallest and cook the fastest), the last dose of 1 measured Tablespoon of Cumin and heaping Tablespoon of Chili Powder, turn your heat to barely a simmer, lid your pot (did I mention thick?), and let it meld.

Prep and cook time is about 30 minutes (well, TMC thinks I’m a terrible Sous because I take too long peeling the Garlic, but I like it clean with no paper), I try to give it an hour after the last can of Beans goes in but it’s edible from the git go.

The Result:

The Chili is for flavor. The Cumin is for heat. The Garlic is for Umami. The Onion is for sweet.

Now Richard and Emily complain constantly that this recipe is like a 5 Alarm Firehouse, but they barely use Salt and Pepper. “Good Beef doesn’t require any seasoning!” said my Grandmother who was allergic to just about everything. I favor a little BAM!

This recipe produces a very mild (and very vegetarian) Chili that is sweet and chili tasting with a slight heat after. If you like it hotter you can always dose it with your favorite hot sauce (I prefer milder ones with more vinegar). It’s best served with shredded Cheddar Cheese (extra sharp) on top and a nice slice of butter coated bread.

Good eats. Not kidding.

So, I write about things that are not political. I write about anything.

Feb 04

Superb Owl LII: Iggles and Patsies

I think I’ve mentioned I hate both these teams and I can easily think of 17 different things I’d rather be watching.

Except for the commercials.

Juste à côté. Recognize this one?

Yeah, who’d a thunk?

But it’s all about who you hate the most and it’s definitely the Patsies.

Why Tom Brady’s New England Patriots Are the Most Tainted Sports Dynasty Ever
by Robert Silverman, Daily Beast
02.03.18

I strongly suggest plunking down on your trusty Barcalounger at some point on Sunday and tuning in because finding a true, unambiguous villain—in sports at least—is hard to come by. The best part of it is, it doesn’t really matter.

First, despite all of the despicable things the Patriots are accused of doing, they’re hardly alone. Aside from the aforementioned issues with football itself, every team in every sport has played fast and loose with the rules at some point. That the Patriots are so brazen about it is a difference of degree, not kind. Second, it’s sports. Compared to the rest of the world, their offenses, shady marketing ploys and even lousy politics, are laughable and utterly unimportant. The universe has provided no shortage of genuinely awful and truly frightening people who not only abound, they’ve realized that they no longer need to feel inhibited by a sense of shame. RIP Shame. It had a good run.

Which is all the more reason why pointing a stubby finger and shouting “J’accuse!” at a professional sports franchise, and deeming it the be-all and end-all of awfulness, is so necessary. The Patriots are not the evil empire, to be sure. But they are a collection of miscreants who—unlike actual, real-world malevolent entities that never seem to receive any kind of comeuppance—might actually be pummeled into submission, if only for one glorious day. (Note: This will not happen. They’re going to win. Again.)

With that in mind, here are some of the more unforgivable sins perpetrated by the Patriots, who you should loathe with the fire of a thousand suns.

As previously mentioned, they cheat, and they do it a lot. ESPN’s Don Van Natta and Seth Wickersham took a deep dive into Spygate and discovered that over an eight-year stretch, right up until the moment when the New York Jets set up a sting to catch them, they were secretly recording opponents’ sidelines during games in order to decipher their signals. How often? Forty separate instances between 2000 and 2007, according to ESPN. They also allegedly sent low-level employees into visiting teams’ locker rooms to steal their play sheets, so the Pats would know opposing teams’ first 15-20 plays of the game.

When they got busted, their cozy relationship with Roger Goodell meant that not only weren’t they punished in a manner that might have dissuaded future bad acts; the commissioner tried to bury the scandal, going so far as to destroy the evidence the league had gathered during its brief, three-day investigation—which led to heavy criticism from then-Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA).

So when the Patriots got busted for cheating again, via Deflategate, enough NFL owners were still carrying a grudge that Goodell felt compelled to dole a draconian and kind of ridiculous four-game suspension for QB Brady, docked the team multiple draft picks, and imposed a tidy $1 million fine.

Brady also managed to convince a preferred charitable organization to funnel millions into his own foundation, and he ditched his previous partner, actress Bridget Moynahan, while she was pregnant for his current wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen.

As for owner Robert Kraft, he’s a billionaire sports owner. There are no halfway-decent billionaire sports owners, but this one reportedly stumped for Donald Trump’s regressive tax plan, donated $1 million to his inaugural committee, and gave the president his very own shiny Super Bowl ring last year. He also gave millions more to build regulation football fields in Israel, and dragged NFL legends overseas to serve as unwitting props for Bibi Netanyahu’s political agenda. Needless to say, Brady spent a year playing coy about his support for his longtime dear chum, Donald Trump, after a Make America Great Hat was spied in his locker.

Similarly, Belichick, a humorless and soulless shell of a human being and yes, possibly the best coach ever, sent a letter of support using uber-Trumpian prose that then-candidate Trump read aloud days before the 2016 election. When questioned about his political leanings, Belichick somehow managed to say with a straight face, “I’m not a political person.”

Oh, lest we forget: the whole crazy Aaron Hernandez situation…and the fact that actual Nazis are rooting for the Patriots:

So there you have it. Let us pray that somehow these all-time football legends screw up. If so, joy and kindness, peace and understanding, and flowers and sunshine and rainbows will spread across the globe, because the Patriots are very bad.

Couldn’t have said it better myself, which is why I quoted it.

So it’s the Iggles and the bonus is that they’ll have to figure out what to do with Nick Foles who’s another one of these Colin Kaepernick-type backups made good that Throwball has no place for since they spoil the Pro Wrestling style narrative. Besides, it will be fun to watch crazed Iggles fans scoot up those Crisco coated lamp posts.

In Stars Hollow I have the misfortune to be swamped by Patsie partisans who I can tell you from personal experience are even worse than BoSox addicts (I know, it’s hard to imagine) so I keep to myself, mostly go out at night, and dream about hillside caves and goats.

Feb 04

Puppy Bowl XIV

Hard to believe I have 14 of these things junking up my DVR when I should let them wash over and through me like the adorable animals they are.

Not that I don’t rewatch them sometimes when I’m feeling particularly in need of some cuteness and emotional support mind you, just that they’re all basically the same- puppies randomly wandering around a pen playing with chew toys or each other (I think that Alpha Dog posturing is supposed to be playing), taking the odd leak or dump (it’s what puppies do), and drinking out of toilets.

Ok, so they’re not toilets. They don’t flush and have a camera in the bottom, but still.

The scoring is incomprehensible and this year I’ll try to ignore it entirely because unless you’re in the pool it really doesn’t matter. Randomly they’ll replace the puppies much faster than I can type them up until all 30 or so adoption candidates are displayed.

Oh yeah, that’s what this is actually about, finding homes for orphaned companion animals and if you have room in your life for a dog (they’re very needy and dependent you know, I’ve had girlfriends like that and it was a positive relief when they left me, a dog will never leave you until it dies so you have that gut wrenching emotional disaster to anticipate) they will reward you with unconditional love and devotion. Studies show they’re much smarter than you think and are highly adept at manipulating you.

Don’t worry about this particular lot. They’re already in their new forever (well, for a dog, 15 – 20 years) homes but you could go down to your local shelter and rescue some other one whose only offense is that their previous human hated them (maybe for good reasons, they’re dogs).

Awww… ek, you seem pretty cynical about dogs.

Not really. I’ve had a lot of them, all gone now, and it is in fact a really big deal and commitment.

This is one reason I like the Kittie Halftime Show. It must be hell on the Kitties, dumped in a cage that reeks of Dogs and tortured with confetti and flashing lights and lasers, but ooh… aren’t they cute?

Cats are not cute. They don’t so much need humans (well, outside of that opposable thumb thing) as they tolerate them. Compare and contrast- after a hard day at work a dog will rush you at the door, sniff your crotch (you may like it, I find it kind of icky) and then dance around shouting, “I NEED TO PEE! Please take me outside to pee! Please, please, please, please, please, please.”

Well, you try holding it for 8 to 10 hours and tell me how you feel.

Cats on the other hand may or may not notice your homecoming at all and then with a stare that says, “You? Again?” The only times they are really interested is when their filtered water tastes impure (which is always) or they are out of food for which they will punish you by ignoring it when you prepare it.

Some people claim they desire adoration which they exhibit in actions like getting in between you and your newspaper, book, or TV screen, or tromp on your piano or computer keyboard. This is not true. They do it to punish you for falling short of their expectations, which are not high.

Now, I like pet rocks.

Feb 04

The Breakfast Club (Superb Owl Sunday)

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 February 4th

World War II’s Yalta Conference; O.J. Simpson found liable for the murders of his ex-wife and her friend; Patty Hearst kidnapped; the Massachusetts gay marriage ruling; aviator Charles Lindbergh born.

 

Breakfast Tune Roger Sprung & His Progressive Bluegrassers 1967 – Groundhog

This coming from the original mono pressing featuring Roger Sprung (5-string banjo), Jon Sholle (lead guitar), Jody Stecher (mandolin), Mike Ziller, Austin Gelzer (bass), Jackie Pack (dumbek drum), Gene Zimmerman (jaw harp), Richie Barron (drums), Gene Lowenger (fiddle), and Larry Dunn (guitar). Youtube embed is supposed to start at 42:57. If it doesnt work, follow the link to original, click show more and click Groundhog

 

Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below

 
Joe Kennedy Talked Tough About the Opioid Crisis, But Gives Pharma Firms a Pass
Lee Fang, The Intercept

IN HIS RESPONSE to the State of the Union on Tuesday night, Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., emphasized his concern for the “parent whose heart is shattered by a daughter in the grips of an opioid addiction,” promising a health care system that focuses on the addiction crisis.

But like many bipartisan promises to solve the opioid crisis, Kennedy is the latest politician to talk tough about solving the problem while giving the pharmaceutical firms at the center of it a pass. His most consequential action as a federal legislator, meanwhile, was to push a bill that gave the opioid industry a shot at watering down prescription guidelines first implemented by the Obama administration.

Asked for comment on Kennedy’s role in fighting the drug companies responsible for the opioid crisis, Kennedy’s office sent a statement focused on other ways the congressman has addressed opioid addiction. …

 
Two dead and 70 injured in South Carolina train crash
Associated Press in Cayce, South Carolina

A crash between an Amtrak passenger train and a CSX freight train in South Carolina on Sunday killed two people and injured about 70 others, authorities said.

The Amtrak train was heading from New York to Miami with about 139 passengers on board when the crash happened around 2.45am near Cayce, authorities said.

The injuries ranged from cuts and scratches to broken bones, Lexington County spokesman Harrison Cahill said. Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher said the two people killed were traveling on the Amtrak train. …

 
Union-Backed Democratic Congressman Rejects $15/hr Minimum Wage
Zaid Jilani, Ryan Grim, The Intercept

LONGTIME INCUMBENT DEMOCRATIC Rep. Dan Lipinski and his primary rival, Marie Newman, revealed gaping ideological differences over key issues during an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board over the weekend.

The gap could prove pivotal in an Illinois district that went for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary by 8 points.

In major areas, Lipinski and Newman were far apart. Newman has the backing of both women’s groups and those fighting for LGBT rights, as well as national progressive groups that argue Lipinski is out of step with his district. Lipinski, backed by the state machine, has significant labor backing — which makes his rejection during the interview of one of labor’s key priorities noteworthy. Audio of the exchange was provided to The Intercept by the Newman campaign. …

 
There Are 2 Vacant Investor-Owned Homes for Every Homeless Person in America
Carl Gibson, Grit Post

The difference between the greed of the wealthy and the precariousness of American workers is painfully stark when looking at vacant homes.

2016 figures from ATTOM Data Solutions — which publishes comprehensive housing data — show that wealthy investors are buying up more and more real estate as a moneymaking venture while housing prices and homelessness continue to skyrocket across America.

According to ATTOM, 76 percent of all vacant homes in America are owned by investors — amounting to approximately 1.1 million vacant residential investment properties. Many of these vacant homes are in economically distressed Rust Belt cities with high poverty rates, like Detroit, Michigan, neighboring Flint, and Youngstown, Ohio. The states with the highest investment property vacancy rate also have high poverty rates. Michigan leads the pack with 10.3 percent vacancy, Indiana at 9.8 percent, Alabama at 6.9 percent, and Mississippi at 6.6 percent. …

 
Six Insurgent Candidates Just Out-Raised Their Establishment Democratic Opponents
Ryan Grim, Lee Fang, The Intercept

AT LEAST SIX progressive insurgents managed to out-raise their establishment Democratic opponents in House races in the final quarter of 2017, a stunning development that threatens to upend the way the party goes about selecting candidates.

The fundraising upsets reflect a burst of progressive energy that is also powering Democrats more broadly. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, challenging Ted Cruz, once again out-raised the Texas senator. The National Journal counted some 30 Democrats out-raised incumbent Republicans this past quarter.

In House races across the country, the Democratic Party has endorsed or given support to particular candidates in competitive primaries, helping them raise big money from corporate PACs and high net-worth donors en route to amassing a war chest capable of taking on Republicans. That strategy, as The Intercept reported last week, shapes the kinds of candidates that end up representing the party, and the issues they focus on in Washington. …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something to think about over coffee prozac

New Orleans pulls 46 tons of Mardi Gras beads from storm drains
By Gina Cherelus,Reuters•January 26, 2018

The colorful beaded necklaces that are a signature of New Orleans’ annual Mardi Gras celebration have left the city known as “The Big Easy” with a big mess.

New Orleans city officials said on Thursday that more than 46 tons – or 93,000 pounds – of Carnival beads were among 7.2 million pounds of trash pulled from clogged catch basins along a five-block stretch of a downtown parade route, the Times-Picayune newspaper reported.

“Once you hear a number like that, there’s no going back,” Dani Galloway, interim director of the city’s Department of Public Works, said during a news conference on Thursday. “So we’ve got to do better.” …

Feb 03

“She wanted me to be her first, so that she would be good for her boyfriend.”

Umm… look. I’ve had what I would characterize as a fair amount of sexual experience, not Wilt Chamberlain levels (20 Thousand over 40 years for an average of 1 new woman every 17.64 hours. If you view that from the Mark Twain perspective you may find the holder willing but the candle weak so you’ll forgive me some skepticism.) but I’ve had a number of partners, somewhere in the range of more than 2 and less than 10.

What can I say? I’m chromosome damaged.

Not that I place Ladies on some untouchable pedestal and assume they are stronger in virtue or even aspire to that. I don’t pretend to understand what makes another human being tick, I have more than enough trouble with self awareness and I don’t much care about your actions unless they impact me.

Yeah, I’m selfish too. A hot mess. You should stay far, far away.

With that bit of introspection behind us let’s discuss Scott Baio.

For me, of course, his chief failings are that he is a Donald Trump supporter (one of very few celebrities that will admit that, he was even a “Big” name at the Republican National Convention- I suppose he wanted to give his moribund career a boost), and that he is a bad actor who dragged down Erin Moran in 2 seasons and inexplicably lasted 5 before Charles in Charge was given a merciful end in 1990.

Oh, and he molested Nicole Eggert, a fellow cast member, when she was 14 and he was 26. Did I mention *** Star ***? Power relationship, it’s everything.

He felt her up in his garage. You either know what that means or you don’t. When she was 17 even he admits he raped her.

“She wanted me to be her first, so that she would be good for her boyfriend.”

Folks, nobody ever says that except in a bad porn movie.

Why am I so exercised about this issue? My contention is that the way we socialize women is criminal. Culturally we raise them from birth to be submissive second (or lower) class citizens and they daily accept all kinds of behaviors (high heels? make up?) that are designed to compete for the sexual attention of males as if that is the ultimate validation of their worth.

This is wrong.

Don’t misunderstand me, women exhibit the full range of humanity from positive to negative just as men do. If you are not willing to deal with them as equals though you have a hole in your soul.

Feb 03

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.
Beer Bratwurst
Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Super Bowl Sunday and All the Fixings

Sunday is the big game, Super Bowl LII (That’s 52 for you Latin numerical illiterates) and a big food day. Besides the main event, there is a UCon woman’s basketball game at 1 PM ET to start you off, they are still undefeated this season, followed by Puppy Bowl, and Kitty Bowl. With all that cheering for your favorites you’re going to need sustenance, so here are a few recipes that will be a hit with the crowds and make you a Super Bowl hero.

Boneless Buffalo Wings

These fried and sauced chicken breast strips have all the spicy flavor of Buffalo wings—without the hassle of bones.

Beer Bratwurst

This is a simple, classic sausage; serve it on a crunchy roll with mustard and sauerkraut.

French Bread Pepperoni Pizzas

This classic French bread pizza is as easy to make from scratch as it is to grab from the freezer. Top the toasted French bread with sliced pepperoni and mozzarella, and the whole pizza can get an even spicier kick from a sprinkling of red-pepper flakes.

Creamy Avocado Dip with Scallions

Think of this creamy dip as a textural cross between guacamole and French onion dip. A sprinkling of scallions on top adds extra sharpness and a colorful finishing touch.

Simple Spinach Dip

Because everybody—everybody!—loves buttery and cream cheese-filled spinach-artichoke dip, make a double batch of this creamy, luscious dip.

Baked Three-Cheese Onion Dip with Chive and Peperoncini

Sometimes, you’re torn between a creamy and cool scoop of French onion dip with the melty, runny goodness of a queso dip. With this baked hybrid dip, you can stop this dip dilemma now. Add chopped chives and peperoncini to bring some balance to the dip.

Nachos with All the Fixings

Making your nacho toppings from scratch really is a power play. This full-of-fixings nacho tray loads up on beer-braised carnitas, dried-chile salsa, and guacamole without overloading your kitchen to-do list.

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Feb 03

Bizarro World- This IS A Big Deal! REALLY! Wait, where are you going?

Sometimes I think it’s instructive to sit back (strong drink optional, popcorn mandatory) and point and hoot at the delusions of the 30% racists, bigots, and misogynists.

Then again I used to watch The 700 Club (Hi Jay!) for shits and giggles.

I can not emphasise enough that sharp and heavy objects can cause expensive damage to your computer and that those on medication, especially for high blood pressure or mental illness like delusions or depression, should make sure they have taken their proper dosage before viewing this material.

Also, hands inside the car at all times, I’m serious.

Tucker Carlson

Sean Hannity

Laura Ingraham

Faux and Fiends

7 am

9 am

Or don’t look at all.

Anyway, if this is the high water mark, the flood tide of PR bullshit, it’s pretty pathetic.

知彼知己,百戰不殆;不知彼而知己,一勝一負;不知彼,不知己,每戰必殆 – 孫子

Know [the] other, know [the] self, hundred battles without danger; not knowing [the] other but know [the] self, one win one loss; not knowing [the] other, not knowing [the] self, every battle must [be] lost. – Sun Tzu

Apocryphally Sun Tzu got his job by taking 100 Court Concubines, dividing them into 2 teams of 50, and pitting these teams against each other in combat. After the first battle, which they refused to take seriously, he executed the leadership of both sides.

The next battle was quite serious.

Feb 03

The Breakfast Club (Thud)

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

The ‘day the music died’ during early rock ‘n roll; the Luna 9 probe lands on the Moon; the first woman to pilot a Space Shuttle; painter Norman Rockwell and composer Felix Mendelssohn born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

If you don’t have a good case, and you don’t have a good message, then shining a light on it is not going to get you very far.

Amal Clooney

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