Season Four of True Blood is really getting kind of dirty like late night skin-e-max or show-it-all-the-time.
In other words, I’m having to rewind a lot.
Season Four of True Blood is really getting kind of dirty like late night skin-e-max or show-it-all-the-time.
In other words, I’m having to rewind a lot.
Was sitting here planning my July 4th festivities, and remembered that one of my traditions for years was calling my best friend from active duty, Donald Geoffrey Wood. We talked a couple times a year, but we always talked on the 4th. He’s dead now, a victim of his own insane driving (he could do things behind the wheel I have never seen- a day on the autobahn with him in a BMW Alpina changed my life, and by changed, I mean shortened it by a couple years) and died in a car wreck at what I am sure were insane speeds, but I miss him and think about him all the time. Here we are, 20 years old, standing in some miserable piece of shit place in Kuwait:
When we got out of that shithole we went on leave together for a month long insane Hunter S. Thompson like journey that included a week and a half in New Orleans. But that is a story I will never, ever put into print.
You were my brother, Geoff. Love you.
Here’s another pic, off duty circa 1990:
Ahh, pastel Polo shirts.
No spoilers please.
I’ll rephrase–if anyone spoils it for anyone else, I’ll hunt you down and TP your house.
Feijoada or paella? Will Spain claim the one non age-restricted title it has never won or will Brazil retain its title? Add your thoughts.
Or maybe it’s just the Aspen Institute has it in for DougJ?… Via Garance Franke-Ruta, at the Atlantic, “Hillary Is the Strongest Non-Incumbent Ever“.
And we’ve already got a [semi]declared candidate from the Other Party, according to Robert Costa at the National Review:
Almost everybody has written off Rick Santorum as a 2016 contender — everybody, that is, except Rick Santorum.
Behind the scenes, the former Pennsylvania senator is quietly preparing for another presidential run. Trips to Iowa are in the works, he’s meeting daily with his advisers, and he’s already fine-tuning his message for the early primaries…
… For now, Santorum’s nonprofit organization, Patriot Voices, is his chief vehicle for staying in play. He’s working to develop the group into a film and educational outfit that informs voters about issues he considers important. Brabender tells me that more than 400 chapters of Patriot Voices are being formed. Those clusters of Santorum supporters will likely be important as he maneuvers to run again.
Nadine Maenza, the finance director for his 2012 campaign, has also been keeping the senator in touch with his major donors, including Foster Friess. According to several sources, Friess, the top financier of Santorum’s super PAC, has privately said that he’ll once again be a major backer.
“The presidential election is a long way away,” Santorum says. “I know we’re not on the front burner of anybody’s mind right now, and there’s a lot going on that’s getting people’s attention. But I’m going to stay out there, and you’ll see me in Iowa soon.”…
Most folks realize that we are all heading for our second taste of non-existence at a constant rate of one day per day (don’t give me none of those event horizon/Protoss portal/twins paradoxical time bending maundering, either you denizens of ‘con and SciFi channel) .
What’s more — and I’ll admit this may be the fifty-something me talking, so feel free to challenge this presumption in the comments — I’m guessing that most of us recognize certain rewards that accrue as we successfully complete each circuit ’round the sun. Losses too, of course, and more of them as the decades past (I’d love to reacquaint myself with my knees of twenty years ago, and certain summers, and the people now gone always and most of all).
But I wouldn’t want to give up what I’ve learned, the stuff I now know how to do, the way I come at the world with enough understanding to help me act each day with at least a bit more capacity than I had in my happy, high energy, dumb 20s (or 40s). What’s more I value evidence of that kind of accumulated judgment in folks who seek to lead me and my country (and world). I don’t think I’m entirely alone in this.*
Which is why I read this in today’s NYT with such…well…
Jonathan Martin’s piece on the GOP’s emerging strategy for dealing with the presumptive Hilary Clinton juggernaut is in fact a masterpiece of subtle knife work.
Anticlimactic? Perhaps, but third place leaves with a medal and fourth place with nothing. Add your thoughts.
[…] I want to focus not so much on the abortion rights issue, or on Davis as an individual, but on something else. Davis is a great example of the potentially large payoffs to progressives of diverting more activist energies away from national issues and towards the state and local elections ones.
Let me explain. First of all, I believe that progressives pay too much attention, relatively speaking, to national politics, especially at the presidential level. While electing a Democratic presidential is crucial, progressives who pin their hopes on electing a liberal president are all too likely to get burned. Historically, Americans have never tended to elect progressive presidents. For one thing, we have an electoral college which gives disproportionate representation to smaller, whiter, more conservative states. For another, the unprogressive mainstream media, wealthy poltical donors, and unelected political elites often more or less decide which candidates each party nominates, well before a single political primary vote is cast.
Read the whole post, it’s worth it. The only thing I’ll add about Davis is that I wish she’d run against Cornyn. I’m sure the Democratic consultant conventional wisdom is that a male Latino centrist would be Cornyn’s best challenger, but why not run Davis to make a hard-edged comparison between the two parties’ positions on women? Cornyn is probably not as dumb as Perry (who among us is?), so he probably won’t immediately stick his foot in his mouth when discussing Davis’ past as a single mom, but I’m sure his alligator-and-ostrich-skin shitkickers will occupy his oral cavity a few times if he’s faced with a Davis challenge.
The Post has a FISA story and some new NSA material that are worth a look. The FISA court judges are apparently butthurt because their secret court that approves almost every request for surveillance is being called a “rubber stamp”.
A classified 2009 draft report by the National Security Agency’s inspector general relayed some details about the interaction between the court’s judges and the NSA, which sought approval for the Bush administration’s top-secret domestic surveillance programs. The report was described in The Washington Post on June 16 and released in full Thursday by The Post and the British newspaper the Guardian.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, the former chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, took the highly unusual step Friday of voicing open frustration at the account in the report and court’s inability to explain its decisions.
“In my view, that draft report contains major omissions, and some inaccuracies, regarding the actions I took as Presiding Judge of the FISC and my interactions with Executive Branch officials,” Kollar-Kotelly said in a statement to The Post. It was her first public comment describing her work on the intelligence court.
The judges want to be able to release the legal justifications for their orders, if not the details of each order, which makes a lot of sense to me.
The Post also released some more slides from the PRISM presentation, and they have more hints about the “direct access” claim made in the initial coverage of the story:
Depending on the provider, the NSA may receive live notifications when a target logs on or sends an e-mail, or may monitor a voice, text or voice chat as it happens (noted on the first slide as “Surveillance”).
From faithful correspondent Marvel:
We’re eating stuff from the garden and loving it. Here in the Willamette Valley, it’s not quite warmed up to Summer temperatures yet, but with our mild Spring, we’re enjoying lots of cool-weather veggies from the garden, especially lettuces, spinach, kale, chard and shelling peas.
That said: we’re making progress with a few of our warm-weather friends, e.g., last night I ran out of a critical ingredient as I was putting together some yummy bean burgers, then remembered we planted several dozen out the the back yard. Our first (sweet) onion of the season tested SWELL!
Here in New England, my tomato plants are flourishing and starting to set fruit, but even the impulse-purchase hybrid Black Pearl we planted out in mid-May hasn’t ripened any of the bakers’ dozen of plump green ping-pong balls tantalizing us yet. My two sweet basil plants have doubled in size, but the lemon basil hasn’t gotten much bigger and it’s already trying to flower, dammit. I never have much luck with lemon basil — any advice?
The daylilies (hemerocallis), on the other hand, are exploding with blossoms. I should get some pictures while I can, but for the last week it’s been rainy and/or overcast, not to mention so hot and humid it’s like trying to work in the bathroom while somebody takes a hot shower.
How are things in your gardens this week?
Hello kiddies. Did you miss me?
I’ve been quite the jetsetter these last few months, and I regret that I have been neglecting you all. My psychologist, Doctor Manfredsen, says that my blogger fatigue is responding to treatment.
I’m currently holed up in a Moscow airport hotel with no wifi and cockroaches the size of fucking beagles. The blankets made crackling noises when I first sat down on them. Mind you, there’s lots of vodka and a cute night-manager with generous ideas about customer service. Life could be worse.
What are you listening to? Bonus points for gratuitous shirt off action.
(Last one via YellowJournalism)
So it turns out that Sean Parker, Facebook billionaire of the multi-million-dollar “Tolkien-inspired” wedding, is not going to take our callow, ill-informed internet mockery quietly! Reports Kevin Roose, at NYMag:
… Parker is so upset about his cruel treatment at the media’s hands that he wrote a 9,500-word essay-manifesto for TechCrunch detailing, at great length, the names he was called after the media began picking on him, the philosophy behind his wedding, and his views on the evolution of the media. (For those unfamiliar with publishing metrics, 9,500 words is a lot of words. If I submitted 9,500 words to my editor, I’d get committed.) The essay’s title is “Weddings Used to Be Sacred and Other Lessons About Internet Journalism,” and lo, it is a masterpiece — a love story, a Greek tragedy, a media rumination, a parable for our times, all wrapped up in one self-defensive package…
For your curated enjoyment, some excerpts from the Parker cri du coeur:
… The Monday after our wedding we woke up in our hotel room, newly married, and still buzzing from the most exciting day of our lives. With all the stresses and anxieties of wedding planning behind us, we were finally ready to relax, take a deep breath of ocean air, and enjoy the romance of being together in Big Sur. Many of our friends who lingered recounted their memories of the wedding, describing the event using words like “beautiful,” “tasteful,” “enchanted,” “epic,” and “a fantasy.” There was a kind of magic in the air, and most newlywed couples would have been free to bask in the afterglow of that moment….
We awoke that morning to a media backlash of epic proportions, a firestorm of press attacking our wedding with the most vitriolic language we’d ever seen in print. At the same time, a mob of Internet trolls, eco-zealots, and other angry folk from every corner of the Internet unleashed a fury of vulgar insults, flooding our email and Facebook pages…
If our friends were sending us congratulatory messages, we never saw them. If Alexandra’s friends were complimenting her choice of wedding dress, she missed those messages. Indeed, if anyone was saying anything nice about our wedding, it was completely lost in the noise, drowned in the sea of hateful, spiteful messages. Our marriage announcement and wedding photo on Facebook elicited hundreds of these messages from angry bystanders telling us to “fuck off,” and calling us “selfish,” “contemptible,” “disgusting,” and “hypocrites.” Descriptions of me included the words “douchebag” and “prick,” of my wife, the words “gold-digger” and “whore.” Luckily amongst the rabble were some unusually creative hate-mongers who managed to keep our attention by dispensing inventive insults like “douchemonster,” “jackassery,” “jackwagon” and, my personal favorite, “douche canoe.” (I have no idea what a “douche canoe” or a “jackwagon” is, but I’m assuming they are neither forms of transportation nor compliments.)…
As Parker goes on to explain, at length, the problem is that one just can’t buy good help any more, for all one’s internet-spawned millions:
… We had no obligation — legal, contractual or otherwise — to apply for permits. We weren’t the property owner, nor were we “leasing” the property from the owner. We had paid the hotel an event fee in order to make use of their campground for the purpose of hosting our wedding. We had no legal standing to apply for permits related to a property we didn’t own. Not only that, we couldn’t have known what permits were required short of asking the property owner, which we had done prior to renting the property, and the management of the hotel had informed us that none were required. It was incumbent upon the property owner to inform us of any land-use restrictions or permit issues related to the property.
From the outset we shared our plans for installing theatrical backdrops and other wedding-related equipment with the hotel. And the hotel was an active participant in the construction process — it wasn’t as if we were making preparations on Mars — this was all happening in the hotel’s backyard, and the hotel management was onsite every day supervising the project. They never hinted at any issues with the California Coastal Commission or any other government agency. In fact, I had not even heard of the California Coastal Commission until this incident. Why would I have? I don’t own any property in the California coastal zone. Had I known about any of these issues prior to renting the site, I would have taken my business elsewhere…
I am under the impression that almost everyone in modern America who’s thrown a wedding has a long list of grievances, other peoples’ pettiness/stupidity/venality/insensitivity, and tales of near- or actual disasters. Those of us who are not Facebook billionaires are confined to entertaining, or annoying, our immediate circle with these sagas. Sean Parker blames… The Internet:
…. When I got started in this industry almost 20 years ago, things were different. Back then there were no blogs, no Twitter or Facebook, and the editorial world was still a growing business. The reporters I interacted with diligently researched their stories, tracked down sources, conducted interviews, and even fact-checked their stories before publication. The trouble with online media is that there’s no incentive for them to do any of this. It’s easier to generate traffic with snarky stories than hard news, and there’s no downside for getting the facts of a story wrong, or even making it up entirely. The law offers no recourse, since being a “public figure” denies you, for all intents and purposes, any protection under libel laws. The blogs attack you, do their damage, and then move on to their next target. Now, because of the permanence of the Internet and the ease of Google, these vicious online attacks leave behind a reputational stain that is very difficult to wash out…
Regardless, I can’t escape the feeling that there is a kind of cosmic irony at work here. Readers of this publication are likely familiar with my career in the technology sector. I have spent more than a decade creating products built on the premise that the democratization of media was a good thing, that self-publishing, the free sharing of information, and the removal of the media “gatekeepers” would all lead to a freer, more open media — with the implied assumption that this was a “better” media. I practiced what I preached, both talking about and designing systems around the core belief that empowering people with the tools to more freely access and share information — be it music, links, photos, text, or any other form of media — could only make the world a better place….
Dude. You made the fortune that you are now abusing by empowering cyber-stalkers and encouraging everyone with internet access to get judge-y about total strangers’ aesthetic choices. If total strangers are using the internets to stalk you and get all judge-y about your aesthetic choices, this is not “cosmic irony”, it is “just desserts”. Since Benjamin Disraeli‘s advice is beyond you, learn to make use of another vastly popular internet invention and accept that you, and also the wedding you spent so much money and effort to throw, are a douche canoe.
Kind of a lazy Saturday, so I stopped by the general store to pick up some ground beef and buns to make hamburgers for dinner, and when I reached the bread stand right next to the checkout, saw that there was only one bag of buns left, so I told Mrs. Chambers “I’m taking the last buns, but I probably only need two, so if anyone comes rushing in and needs some, have them stop by and I will share.” I left, stopped by the parents house to drop some keys off, and by the time I got to my house, a family friend was standing outside with another neighbor while Walt had let himself in to look for the excess buns. I gave him half the pack, we all laughed, and went our separate ways.
Life in a small town.
Talk about whatever.
I should have seen this coming….Paula Deen is the right-wing noise machine’s martyr du jour.
The liberal anti-South media is trying to crucify Paula Deen. They accuse her of using a derogatory word to describe a black person.
Paula admitted she used the word — back in the 1980s – when a black guy walked into the bank, stuck a gun in her face and ordered her to hand over the cash.
The national media failed to mention that part of the story….
I don’t find the Paula Deen story so interesting except as it illustrates funny things about our society — the persistence of backwards attitudes about race and the ability of conservatives to fit everything into their victimization narrative.