Monday Morning Open Thread: Patriots’ Day

gyrocopter vs gop luckovich

(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)
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The real holiday, complete with Revolutionary reenactments in Lexington & Concord, not the phony 9/11 commemoration Dubya’s handlers tried to gin up when his ratings tanked. Doug Hughes should’ve waited a few days:

The letter carrier who caused a full-scale security review in Washington when he violated national airspace by landing his gyrocopter on Capitol Hill expressed frustration Sunday that his message wasn’t getting through.

Doug Hughes had hoped to raise awareness about the influence of big money in politics by deliberately breaking the law to deliver 535 letters — one for each member of Congress. Instead, the overwhelming focus has been about the gaps he exposed in national security

Hughes, 61, spoke as he returned to his home in Florida to await prosecution on charges of violating national airspace and operating an unregistered aircraft. He said his house arrest begins Monday, and he will wear an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet until a May 8 court hearing in Washington.

Hughes said people weren’t scared when they saw his gyrocopter. He said they waved as he flew in low and slow over the National Mall, over the reflecting pool and onto the Capitol’s West lawn…

Asked Sunday if he too thinks he’s a patriot or simply crazy, Hughes said. “Everyone gets to make up their own mind about me, that’s what I’d say.”

“But do you consider yourself a patriot?” a reporter asked. “No, I’m a mailman,” he said.

***********
Apart from the usual indignities, what’s on the agenda as we start another week?

gyrocopter dove of peace wilkinson

(Signe Wilkinson via GoComics.com)
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gyrocopter under arrest toles

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
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102 replies
  1. 1
    Schlemazel says:

    Odds are that should read “I WAS a mailman”. Poor deluded soul can be fired for this and adding the USPS logo to the copter probably means they can take his pension if they want to be vindictive. I hope for his sake that does not happen. I don’t see him getting lot of attention despite the overwhelming majority of American’s agreeing with him. It would be a shame if he paid such a high price for so little return.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    I’m torn on this one. Obviously, the issue he raises is a real one. In the other hand, it’s hard to believe a person of color could have lived to tell the tale if they tried this.

  3. 3
    David Koch says:

    This should give Cole a buzz. .

    President Barack Obama signals his approval of a Senate bill that seeks to lessen constrictions around the use of medical marijuana, saying the US should “follow the science as opposed to the ideology” on the issue.

    Speaking to CNN on Sunday, he suggested current policies on tobacco – as well as car seatbelts – could provide a model for federal policy on marijuana.

    “You know, we save tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of lives every single year,” he said. “We didn’t throw anybody in jail; we just made sure that they were well-informed and if somebody has an addiction, we made sure that we made it easy for them to get help.”

    “And I think we need to re-emphasize that approach [for marijuana], because we don’t want to encourage our kids to engage in drug use, but there are going to be more effective ways than, too often, the approach we’re taking today.”

  4. 4
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    On Morning Hoe, Hoe tells me Marco is a rock star; Nicolle sez it’s a strong field.

    OT: I have my regular home automation working. They did the timewarp and managed to get the hub to work.

  5. 5
    David Koch says:

    Meanwhile, you know who takes a backward conservative view of Pot

    “I think the feds should be attuned to the way marijuana is still used as a gateway drug and how the drug cartels from Latin America use marijuana to get footholds in states, so there can’t be a total absence of law enforcement,” she explained.

  6. 6
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Remind me again, why I quit drinking.

  7. 7
    ThresherK says:

    Marathon day. Time for the contact endorphins from volunteering as 30000 folks run 26.2 miles past me.

  8. 8
    David Koch says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: has he murdered any married interns he was having an affair this morning?

  9. 9
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @David Koch: He was making eyes at Nicolle.

  10. 10
    Ryan says:

    Every time I think about this event, I can’t help but think it could have been a Cheers episode.

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @Ryan:

    Heh. Good call.

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    I’m so old that I remember when being a rock star was a bad thing. 2008 seems like just yesterday. Sigh.

  13. 13
    David Koch says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: serious question, did any of the morons mention the poll CNN released 41 minutes ago showing Hillary leading the “strong field”, including Jeb!, by 17 pts (Page 9)??

  14. 14
    Fridaynext says:

    @Baud:

    That was my first thought. What exactly does a white man have to do to get shot by a law enforcement officer in this country?

  15. 15
    David Koch says:

    @Baud: they were so pathetic, they got kicked in the nuts by an airhead.

    It starts with a grave-sounding male narrator saying that Mr McCain is “‘like super old. Old enough to remember when dancing was a sin and beer was served in a bucket.”

    “Hey, America, I’m Paris Hilton and I’m a celebrity too. Only I am not from the olden days and I am not promising change like that other guy. I am just hot.”

    “But then that wrinkly, white-haired guy used me in his campaign ad. Which I guess means I am running for president – so thanks for the endorsement, white-haired dude.”

  16. 16
    danielx says:

    @David Koch:

    And not one candidate is likely to say anything a whole lot different, lest he or she end up on the various shit lists maintained by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Anything that threatens the funding pipeline in any way, you know.

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ryan: Or WKRP.

  18. 18
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @David Koch: No, they did not.

  19. 19
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Missouri, keeping it classy, always: 80 percent of police force resigns after Missouri town elects first African-American mayor

    Following the election of the town’s first African-American mayor, five of the six officers on a small Missouri town police force resigned en masse, reports KFVS.

    Former city clerk Tyrus Byrd was sworn in as mayor of Parma, Missouri on Tuesday only to find out that police officers, as well as the city attorney and a water treatment supervisor, had resigned before she took office.

  20. 20
    Schlemazel says:

    @Fridaynext:
    He called ahead of time & told them exactly what he was going to do. My guess is had he deviated from his “flight plan” he might have gotten lit up. Given that old white men are the ones most likely to try to blow something up in DC I’m not sure that they were smart in not shooting him down.

  21. 21
    Schlemazel says:

    @David Koch:
    Don’t be silly! If there is no horse race then they have nothing to cover so the race is always close & the odds favor the GOP.

  22. 22
    Kay says:

    @David Koch:

    She has to be happy with that poll. That is unequivocally good.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Sounds like a win to me.

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    She has to be happy with that poll. That is unequivocally good.

    Lol. Isn’t something like that the genesis of the “good news for John McCain” meme? Some talking head said McCain being behind Obama in the polls was good news for McCain?

  25. 25
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: I agree. She got rid of all the dead weight without lifting a finger.

  26. 26
    Botsplainer says:

    @Kay:

    Clearly this is the sign that the country is finally ready for a Real Progressive, like Dr St President Jill Stein, Ralph Nader, Darcy Burner or Dennis Kucinich. Why go with a drone user like Hill?

  27. 27
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Six police officers for a village of seven hundred and forty? Can you spell police state?

    The mayor should send a thank you note to all of those officers and perhaps think about hiring two new officers. Or better yet, ask the one officer left if he is interested in a career in water treatment. To hell with the attorney.

  28. 28
    the Conster says:

    The person who shot themselves to death in front of the Capitol carried a sign that said tax the one percent. That whole episode went right down the memory hole – the news reports I heard never mentioned it. Our media SUCKS.

  29. 29
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    The GOP candidates must hate that they’re all bunched up in the 38-41 range v Clinton. Surely Rand is unique! How can he be the same as Jeb-Marco-Ben-Scott?

  30. 30
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    Just reinstalled the drivers from my wifi/bluetooth adapter and the network problems seems to have vanished. I’ll head to bed and snuggle with me bitches(they have four legs and are female).

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    Jeb-Marco-Ben-Scott

    Wasn’t he one of the characters on The Waltons?

  32. 32
    Kay says:

    @Schlemazel:

    I don’t know how they can take his retirement. The Postal Service isn’t the military. It’s very much a seperate entity. They went from a pension to a 401-k like plan years ago. He may have a portion of both a pension and a retirement account, depending on when he was hired.

  33. 33
    Bystander says:

    Hillary did come late to the gay wedding reception so I will obviously vote for Jeb! Plus she had that contretemps with Amy Goodman. Good thing the Repubs have such a strong field or I’d be screwed.

  34. 34
    dmsilev says:

    @Baud:

    Lol. Isn’t something like that the genesis of the “good news for John McCain” meme? Some talking head said McCain being behind Obama in the polls was good news for McCain?

    No, that came from John McCain not remembering how many houses he owns, followed by Mark Halperin saying “this is excellent news for John McCain”. Because reasons.

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @dmsilev:

    Ah, thanks.
    @Bystander:

    did come late to the gay wedding reception

    This is the a second time I’ve heard this. Gotta link?

    Never mind. Google is my friend.

  36. 36

    Kickstarter!

    I don’t want to become the guy that just spams everyone but I’m having one of those autistic moments where I have absolutely no feel for how much mention of this is too much, given that it’s pretty much my whole life at the moment. So if I do push it too hard, I’d appreciate it if people would politely let me know.

    I don’t know how valuable this particular thread will be for that, though, since I’m headed to bed pretty soon.

  37. 37
    dmsilev says:

    @Baud: Going back and looking, it appears that Halperin’s “reasoning” was that the Obama campaign’s act of viciously forcing McCain to forget his real estate holdings would open the door for the McCain campaign to bring up Tony Rezko (remember him? Probably not) and William Ayers. And that would doom Obama, since McCain had been running such a high-minded campaign and the Obama camp was clearly unprepared for resisting a low-road attack.

    It was almost too much for _Cokie Roberts_ to swallow (she also appeared on the same panel).

  38. 38
    Kay says:

    @dmsilev:

    They have to make a big deal about small movements in polls. That doesn’t apply here yet but it will. In the 2012 election. John got invited to a meeting ‘o bloggers with Axelrod in DC. He didn’t want to go and (probably!) no one else did either so I went. It was in the summer, I don’t recall exactly when, but it was brutally hot in DC. I have free air miles and I like..going places so I went. Maybe June? Early summer.

    Axelrod opened the meeting by showing how the polls hadn’t really budged since April and Obama was ahead. Really puts the whole horse race in perspective. He wasn’t looking for what changed. He was looking for what stayed the same.

  39. 39
    Baud says:

    @dmsilev:

    I’m glad I don’t watch TV news.

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    And that’s why no one freaked out on the blogs in 2012.

  41. 41
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    We watched the broadcast news, cbs and abc. Both mentioned the man who flew over Capitol Hill, but there was no mention of WHY he did it. One of the networks made a very brief remark about the fact that his son had committed suicide by driving head-on into another car. The man was given a few seconds to talk, but the way it was edited we had NO IDEA what he was protesting.

    The networks gave us the impression that he was grief-stricken and deranged.

    As usual, the majority of voters who depend on only tv news get perhaps 1/3 of the story.

  42. 42
    Fridaynext says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    You left out the best part:

    “I think it was pretty dirty the way they all quit without giving her a chance,” resident Martha Miller said. “But I don’t think they hurt the town by quitting, because who needs six police for 740 people?”

    ETA: And if I understand that other gentleman correctly, they go days with no police patrols. Once you remove “keep black people down” from the cop’s job description, it’s amazing how few police a town like this really needs.

  43. 43
    debbie says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Over the weekend, I heard Rubio saying he’d done more than Hillary had. I’m thinking Ted Cruz will have more competition than he’d expected.

  44. 44
    Tommy says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    I have my regular home automation working. They did the timewarp and managed to get the hub to work.

    I just got a couple more Bluetooth bulbs and Bluetooth electrical outlet.

    With that said as much of a tech geek as I am if I am honest with myself the tech is neat but really not as useful as I thought. At least for me the concept seemed strong but the actual execution, not so much.

  45. 45

    Meanwhile, in Missouri there are almost as many republican gubernatorial candidates with big dollar donors as there are republican presidential candidates. There are no campaign contribution limits in Missouri.

  46. 46
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: The same Nicole who was in the tank for Palin?

  47. 47
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I assume they’re all corrupt and are worried about what the new mayer will find.

  48. 48

    Good morning and greetings from Gate A-5 at Tulsa International Airport as I make my way back to Miami after a weekend at a theatre festival in Kansas. I need coffee.

  49. 49
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Bersin: I keep threatening to put up an auction sign in front of the Legislature.

    @Patricia Kayden: Maybe, but I always go with Occam’s razor myself: They’re just blatant racists/misogynists. I actually suspect that she has been a pain in their backsides for years already and they just realize they can’t get away with the SOP anymore ’cause she won’t put up with it.

  50. 50
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    I think it’s probably really difficult not to get caught up in. I was fascinated by the Mitt Romney documentary because he’s obviously smart and he follows numbers, yet he believed he would win. There’s this great scene where his campaign people are trying to keep his spirits up and he’s looking at Florida county returns, just on a device, himself. He says really quietly something to the effect of “this isn’t good” so eventually his number sense trumped his belief.

  51. 51
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Kansas by way of Tulsa? That’s worse than going to LA by Omaha.

  52. 52
    NotMax says:

    @Mustang Bobby

    The number of people visiting B-J from Oklahoma just doubled.

    :)

  53. 53
    gvg says:

    Little Green Footballs was saying the previous mayor had been in office for 37 years. Something about some of the residents being surprised they had that many police officers. Other officials also quit. Something about hard drives wiped etc. The first conclusion over there was massive corruption and fear of audits. 2nd presumption lots of racist emails probably afraid the mayor would find. 3rd suggestion assume both.
    I technically live in a tiny town where the which was recently found to be full of corruption and nepotism. Family of elected officials get most of the jobs and millions disappeared, not covered up murder type things. I had no idea because I actually live on a lake in the nearby countryside and work in the nearby big town and never go into the town in question which is not much more than 2 crossroads with the schools the country people send their children too. However my area real estate is worth something so it got annexed by the town before I moved out there. Those who aren’t farmers or ranchers also work in the nearby big town or the other direction there is a big city not far. From the paper is appears the other actual towns people were surprised too, maybe not at the corruption, mostly that there were millions to be stolen.
    what we have learned from Ferguson and the background stories is that racism covers up corruption.

    I think Florida is in the process of auditiing all it’s small towns. Some are chosing to unincorperate. Frankly towns of 200 to 1000? seem pointless. It usually goes with a lot of ticking too which tends to be what gets people mad enough to cause the state to look at them.

    LGF recomendation is the mayor hires someone to audit everything. Also speculation that small time cops probably didn’t know how to really make the hard drives unrecoverable.

    That is just repeating the gist of what I read. Personally I could use a few more details into the story but its probably not known yet.

  54. 54

    @OzarkHillbilly: I was in Independence, Kansas, which is about 75 miles north of Tulsa. Got up at 5 to get the rental car returned and now settled in with free wifi that pops in and out.

  55. 55
    Tommy says:

    @Kay:

    I think it’s probably really difficult not to get caught up in.

    I try hard not to get caught up in it but I still do. I hope now I’ve gotten rid of cable and I don’t have MSNBC on for 12 hours a day as background noise it will be easier. The media needs a “story” to tell and if the story is nothing has really changed, well that doesn’t help so much with ratings.

    With that said what I find it very interesting is how my outlook on the world or just my blood pressure has changed since I got rid of 24/7 cable news. I still care about the same things, but I find myself not getting as worked up, upset, even mad about things I used to.

  56. 56
    Peale says:

    @debbie: I think it’s time for Rubio to rent out a college football stadium for an event. The groundswell for his candidacy is amazing. Is a rock star. Maybe this summer he can go to Europe to show how presidential he is. XD

  57. 57
    kc says:

    @Fridaynext:

    White people get shot all the fucking time by LE.

    And I’m already sick of this trend of liberals whining every time a white person doesn’t get shot by LE. The solution to excessive force by LE is not “kill more people.”

  58. 58
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mustang Bobby: I figured, I just couldn’t resist the chance to quote “Uneasy Rider”.

  59. 59
    NotMax says:

    @Peale

    Is a rock star.

    So is Justin Bieber.

  60. 60
    Betty Cracker says:

    The mailman story has been covered extensively in our local rag since he’s a local guy, so this media market is probably more aware of the issue he was trying to publicize than most. One thing that has been fascinating about the coverage is how conservatives — from paid columnists to the garden-variety wingnut loons who infest the newspaper article comments sections — try to spin the campaign finance angle.

    I don’t know the exact polling figures, but I do know that almost everyone acknowledges that money is corrupting democracy. The GOP shills who support Citizens United because it benefits their corporate masters can’t come right out and show the SKU tag on their asses. So instead, they’re making much out of the mailman’s union ties or claiming that for every Koch Bro there’s a George Soros — a falsehood that was published by a local columnist.

    I wish the mailman had designed his stunt more effectively. Of course the media isn’t interested in the content of the letters he wanted to deliver to congress. Maybe if he had dumped out fake money printed with a short message, that would have gotten the word out. Of course, it would also be littering. But my point is, I wish he had thought of a better way to draw attention to the issue.

  61. 61

    @OzarkHillbilly: Heh. Missed most of the heavy weather over the weekend, too, but it was a cool 46 F when I left Independence and just as cold when I stopped at the QT in Tulsa to top off the tank. Glad to be going back where it’s a bit warmer.

  62. 62
  63. 63
  64. 64
    Tommy says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I don’t know the exact polling figures, but I do know that almost everyone acknowledges that money is corrupting democracy.

    The polling numbers the Young Turks throw out almost on a daily basis has the numbers at around 80% of the population thinks money in politics is a problem. What is interesting is there is almost no different between liberals and conservatives.

    It would seem to me it is tough to get 80% of Americans to agree on anything. So running on getting money out of politics, even if you don’t really mean it, seems like a no-brainer.

  65. 65
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @the Conster: I didn’t know that. Only heard very briefly that someone committed suicide at the Capitol.

  66. 66
    raven says:

    @Keith G: Well, if the air defense was what it should have been the supersecret radar would have been able to see through the helmet and determine what color the intruder was. If they had not been white BLAMOOO!

  67. 67
  68. 68
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Maybe if he had dumped out fake money printed with a short message, that would have gotten the word out. Of course, it would also be littering.

    If he was black that would be considered counterfeiting.

  69. 69
    MomSense says:

    @Kay:

    That was Axelrod’s role though to look at the longer trends. My experience as someone who had numbers to meet was different. They had that election mapped with incredible detail and we pretty much knew exactly what we had to do to meet our goals. Yes, the trend was good but keeping that trend involved lots of local panic, redirecting of resources and calls from Chicago.

  70. 70
    Keith G says:

    @Betty Cracker: This sort of reminds me of the newspaper montage** in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.

    The important truth of the real story is being drowned out by the power of monied interests who are focusing the public on a false narrative.

    **This is not that scene, but the next one that ends that montage

  71. 71
    nancydarling says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: What I find interesting is that Parma, MO, a hamlet with just 700 plus people is 67.46% white and 29.45% black. There had to be more than a few white people voting for her. The losing, incumbent mayor had held the office for 37 years. Can you say “personal fiefdom”?

  72. 72
    Tommy says:

    @Keith G: In a somewhat related topic Digby over at Hullabaloo has been writing about this a lot recently, which is that many millionaires, big givers to campaigns, well their calls are not being returned. The billionaires with their PACs have become so powerful they are about all any politician needs anymore.

  73. 73
    Baud says:

    @raven:

    Only one way to find out.

  74. 74
    Face says:

    Hey, but they’re GREAT dogs, aren’t they? Just misunderstood and shit.

  75. 75
    rikyrah says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Following the election of the town’s first African-American mayor, five of the six officers on a small Missouri town police force resigned en masse, reports KFVS.

    Former city clerk Tyrus Byrd was sworn in as mayor of Parma, Missouri on Tuesday only to find out that police officers, as well as the city attorney and a water treatment supervisor, had resigned before she took office

    Good Riddance to all these muthaphuckas.

  76. 76
    Keith G says:

    @Tommy: In a way that is humorous, but it is an important data point (if it can be quantified) of how extreme the rot is becoming.

    I guess we have to dream of the day when a Democrat gets elected to the Presidency mainly on the support of a billionaire or two. And then the GOP obstructionists might be tempted to push reform before the re-election campaign begins.

  77. 77
    Keith G says:

    @Baud: @raven: Well, it is plainly on the record that the senior Senator from South Carolina wanted that air frame shot down no matter who or what the pilot was. He was not alone in that opinion. Luckily they were not at the scene.

  78. 78
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    I think it’s probably really difficult not to get caught up in. I was fascinated by the Mitt Romney documentary because he’s obviously smart and he follows numbers, yet he believed he would win. There’s this great scene where his campaign people are trying to keep his spirits up and he’s looking at Florida county returns, just on a device, himself. He says really quietly something to the effect of “this isn’t good” so eventually his number sense trumped his belief.

    Kay,

    I said it before, and I will continue to say it.

    Didn’t nobody have anything good to say about Willard UNLESS they were getting a check from him.

    I honestly believe that Willard was the GOP GRIFT for 2012.

    Nobody believed he was going to win, but they had to pretend to continue the checks.

  79. 79
    Elizabelle says:

    @the Conster: You’re not kidding re the suicide protester at the Capitol.

    But officials ruled out any larger plot. “There seems to be no nexus to terrorism or anything related to that,” said U.S. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine. The East Front of the Capitol reopened just before 4 p.m. But Lt. Kimberly Schneider, spokeswoman for the U.S. Capitol police, said an area near the building’s lower West Terrace will remain “closed until further notice as we continue our investigation.”

    The police declined to identify the man until his family could be notified.

    Police were also vague about the sign, saying only that it related to “social justice.” Bishop said two others who witnessed the shooting told him that it said, “Tax the one percent,” and that he seemed to raise it just before pulling the trigger.

    Most of the story is about the inconvenienced tourists and area residents.

    ETA: has anyone been following this story? Name of the suicide?

  80. 80
    Punchy says:

    @Fridaynext: What would be complete and utter hilarity is if they replaced a few of the cracker cops with a few darkies. Watch the townsfolk lose their fucking minds….

    This is bootheel MO territory. Appalachia of the Midwest. I bet half the population doesn’t know the Civil War is over.

  81. 81
    Gene108 says:

    @Tommy:

    Conservatives may think a lot of things are good in practice, but when the rubber meets the road and they realize those moves will help Democrats advance a liberal agenda they are all for money in politics.

    I saw this with regards to the voter disenfranchisement in Florida, in the 2000 Presidential election. The right-winger attitude was, who cares if law abiding citizens lost the right to vote because it helped our guy win.

  82. 82
    Gene108 says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Per the WaPo article officials are withholding info until the family is notified

  83. 83
    Baud says:

    @Gene108:

    when the rubber meets the road and they realize those moves will help Democrats advance a liberal agenda they are all for money in politics.

    This.

  84. 84
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Tried to ETA: the Bootheel is all cotton and rice. It has that plantation history and retains that plantation feel.

  85. 85
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Punchy: FYWP, ate my edit and original, try try again: The Bootheel is the northern end of the Mississippi Delta. The Ozarks are Appalachia of the Midwest.

    ETA: the Bootheel is all cotton and rice. It has that plantation history and retains that plantation feel.

  86. 86
    Elizabelle says:

    @Gene108:
    @the Conster:

    From blog called Wall Street on Parade:

    Yesterday, the Metropolitan Police Department released the young man’s name. He was Leo P. Thornton of Lincolnwood, Illinois. Based on what is currently known, the young man had traveled to Washington, D.C. for the express purpose of making a political statement with his sign and then ending his young life.

    The Chicago Tribune reported that “Thornton’s parents filed a missing persons report on the morning of April 11 after he never came home from work on April 10, Lincolnwood Deputy Police Chief John Walsh said.”

    Those are the tragic facts of the incident itself. But there is a broader tragedy: the vacuous handling of this story by corporate media. The Washington Post headlined the story with this: “Rhythms of Washington Return after Illinois Man’s Suicide Outside Capitol.” The message he delivered to his Congress – tax the one percent – has yet to be explored by any major news outlet in America in connection with this tragedy.

    The Chicago Tribune actually didn’t have that much to add:

    U.S. Capitol Police say Thornton had a backpack and a suitcase, which triggered a lockdown so the bags could be searched. Police say Thornton also was carrying some type of protest sign.

    …. According to [Lincolnwood Deputy Police Chief John] Walsh, Thornton’s parents said he had Asperger’s syndrome, which is a form of autism.

    Thornton had left his cell phone at home when he disappeared, and police said they didn’t know how he made it to D.C. His parents looked at his credit card activity and didn’t find any travel charges, police said.

  87. 87
    Elizabelle says:

    My comment in moderation; maybe too many links. Info on the late Leo P. Thornton’s suicide at the Capitol. He was only 22, and had Asperger’s.

    ETA: duh, and what’s really interesting is he carried a sign that said “Tax the one percent.” Some kind of sign, you know.

  88. 88
    Peale says:

    @Keith G: Have they given any thought to exactly where those missiles or anti-aircraft shells that “missed” would end up, along with the bits and pieces of a blown up helicopter? Are the people in Columbia Heights supposed to grin and bear it?

  89. 89
    the Conster says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that the unreported message on the sign was in exact opposition to what a Tea Party “patriot”‘s sign would say about Obama. Yeah, coincidence. That’s the ticket.

  90. 90
    Fridaynext says:

    @kc:
    Lighten up Francis.

    I wasn’t advocating shooting anyone, per se. Sometimes when a person points out a glaring incongruity in events and outcomes, it isn’t a call to reduce all behavior to the lowest common denominator, it is to highlight how some people are treated differently. It’s a common debate technique. (And a common technique for snarky, throw-away lines in blog comments)

    For example, in 1998 the country got itself into a tizzy over the pending execution of Karla Faye Tucker because she was a a relatively young, moderately good looking (by convicted murderer standards), white woman who had converted to born-again Christianity. Many people, including myself, who are anti-dreath penalty found ourselves asking loudly and often why she should get clemency when black men who converted to Islam didn’t, it’s not that we wanted her to die. We wanted people to confront the disparate treatment and, ultimately, how capricious the death penalty is in practice.

    Again, we weren’t advocating for more executions, but fewer.

    In this case, a man flew through the most protective airspace in America and landed within feet of what has to be one of the top ten expected terrorist targets in the world and did so without anyone panicking and start shooting. If that situation can be handled with professionalism and restraint, why not a man shopping for a toy gun at Wal Mart? If law enforcement can confront an armed compound of tax cheats and a pasture land freeloader who owes the government over a million dollars and not kill anyone, why does someone who is cheating for a few hundred dollars get choked to death in the street?

    Yes, white men are killed by LEO’s, but if you think skin color is a neutral variable here, you aren’t paying attention.

  91. 91
    Tenar Darell says:

    @the Conster: @Elizabelle: The thread is over, but you guys are making me wonder what kind of suicide or extravagant gesture would get the corporate media to actually talk about any of the signs or letters these protestors were carrying? Even great visuals didn’t work for Hughes, and apparently Thornton’s suicide didn’t take long enough for the media to film actual gory visuals. I’m kind of afraid of the macabre ideas my brain is suggesting. There must be a humorous alternative that gets the message across and into the media.

  92. 92
    Citizen_X says:

    @Keith G:

    Well, it is plainly on the record that the senior Senator from South Carolina wanted that air frame shot down no matter who or what the pilot was. He was not alone in that opinion. Luckily they were not at the scene.

    Yeesh. If Graham were commanding a destroyer on patrol in the Persian Gulf, we’d be shooting down a civilian airliner ever other week.

  93. 93
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Tenar Darell: I’ve wondered that too because, while I applaud Hughes’ courage and believe he was protesting a state of affairs that poses a much greater threat to democracy than al Qaeda and ISIS combined and squared, his stunt really didn’t do anything to illuminate the issue.

    I suggested above that, if instead of carrying a bin full of letters, the mailman had dumped fake money on the capitol with a message printed on it, that might have been more effective. Maybe not. But I’m thinking the message has to be integral to the stunt or it will be ignored.

  94. 94
    Elizabelle says:

    @Tenar Darell: Let’s keep that thought.

    Has to be something that will get past the media screen.

    ETA: Or even intrigue them. Shiny object. Camera ready.

  95. 95
    Elizabelle says:

    @Betty Cracker: Might you put up a thread of some of the local coverage on the gyroscope guy?

    I’ve been offline as much as possible lately, and don’t watch much news on TV or cable. So my knowledge of the guy going postal — gently — with a gyrocopter — is very limited.

    It’s sickening the stuff that doesn’t fit the Oh Noes! Another 911? passes unreported on.

    And Leo P. Thornton, who will never be 23, should not go unremembered either.

  96. 96
    Tenar Darell says:

    @Betty Cracker: @Elizabelle: I heard Srdja Popovic talk about ways to mock/gain attention to issues via protest in an interview with Jay Ackroyd. It sounded like there may be good ideas in his book.

    I wonder if you had a crew of people put up flyers around Congress like a pic of the politician with their biggest donor, “Senator from the State of Koch Brothers.” “Senator from the State of Walmart” etc. with “Tax the 1%” on the bottom… Make sure the flyers follow the politician around…. Chalk drawings in front of Congress for every night for 50 days? Make sure the art-making is filmed land passed on to news? Protest art that can be shared and re-mixed? Use the Bible, that Congress is selling our birthright(s) for a mess of pottage – and leave or paint bowls of stew around?

  97. 97
    Tenar Darell says:

    Catspeak, a cartoon for Anne Laurie.

  98. 98
    fidelio says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Ah, the Bootheel–where the Delta really begins.

    At least it will be easier to clean house that way. I’d start with an audit of every department where the head has so abruptly resigned…

  99. 99
    fidelio says:

    @Tenar Darell: Passing things on to the news services won’t do much good. As we have seen in the cases of Leo Thornton and Mr. Huges, inconvenient details simply get left out.

    Go with Youtube, Vimeo, and other media-sharing sites. And make sure it’s widely seen as funny–too often the left is too far up its own ass when it comes to attempts at wit and humor that catch the eye of a wide audience. You want to leave a mark on your target without giving people a reason to dismiss you right away.

    Also, based on my experience of dog and cat memes, you’ll have to throw out a lot of items to get a few that stick.

  100. 100
    Ruckus says:

    @NorthLeft12:
    If someone is on duty 24 hrs a day that’s 21 shifts. One person working 40 hrs is doing 5 shifts. You need 5 just to make the shifts work. Someone in the office to answer the phone and bingo you need 6 people to staff a 24 hr a day force. With 6 there are some overlap but not much. Now if you don’t need to have a 24 hr force then OK. And Mayberry had two but they had a smaller population and a town drunk to watch over.

  101. 101
    Mike G says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Yeesh. If Graham were commanding a destroyer on patrol in the Persian Gulf, we’d be shooting down a civilian airliner ever other week.

    Lindsey Graham is a panicky, pants-wetting coward. His statement that Obama “must do something about Islamic State before we are all killed!!” should have had him laughed out of DC, but he’s a made man in the corporate media so he continues to be taken seriously.

    Hughes notified the authorities of his flight beforehand. Hopefully someone in law enforcement realized that the worst a gyrocopter could do to the Capitol building is mess up the paint, as opposed to the political mess of shooting it down over DC.

  102. 102

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