Nazi Stephen Miller and the Breitbart Boyz
Nazi Stephen Miller needs another beating
An article in Breitbart about Nazi Stephen Miller is not surprising. But saying AnnThrax Coulter is a Breitbart contributor? How the disgusting have fallen.
One of the Breitbart drones, John Hayward, uses a good SEO technique to boost the site, writing about one of his colleagues. Ann Coulter? Hayward claims AnnThrax is a Breitbart contributor, but there’s no link to any of her work for the site. No matter, he’s essentially dropping a name to beat his drum. Or whatever else he was beating when he wrote this article.
Isn’t Breitbart dead?
I really thought I was done with Breitbart when my friend Lamar gained fame for killing the turd with a tweet back in 2012. We Democrats were riding high, working to put Barack Obama back into the White House for a second term. Like most of what has now become known as the “alt-right”, the writers at Breitbart were a bunch of whining racists, looking for something to latch on to. Breitbart himself was never that person. He had more money than the average wingnut blogger, and a lot of free time to promote himself, but there were others. Son of Erick was getting teevee-pundit gigs, and other leaders of the conservative crazy overshadowed him. Most assumed his death would cause his site and infrastructure to fold.
Clearly we were wrong.
Nazi Stephen Miller is a distasteful individual, and AnnThrax is all about praising him:
“I was describing Steve Miller to some reporter recently. I was on a plane at the time, so I was writing out adjectives, and at the end of the sentence, I said, ‘I’m not just listing adjectives; I’m actually pausing and thinking about each one. But the main ones are brilliant and patriotic,’” she recalled.
Of course, our friend Hayward here didn’t actually discuss this with AnnThrax. He’s quoting an article by talk show host Alex Marlow. He provides no links back to Marlow. Guess he isn’t a Breitbart contributor.
Senator Schumer hits home
Senator Schumer takes the lead, and that’s a good thing.
Michelle Goldberg’s piece in Slate last Monday, “How Chuck Schumer Found His Spine” is more about the overall #resistance to #Trannon, but it’s still encouraging to see that the efforts of Democrats are being felt in the DC Senate offices.
The main focal point of #resistance at this point is the “Indivisible” document. It’s full title is, “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda”. “Indivisible” was written by Democratic Congressional staffers to organize Democratic resistance. This is important for those of us who want the party to take the lead and grow into a force that will once again lead the country from the White House and Capitol Hill. As Goldberg points out, one of the authors of “Indivisible”, Ezra Levin, nails it:
“The idea that we can treat this administration as if it is normal, as if it is not actively undermining democracy, is really inappropriate to the moment. And I think the base feels that.”
Leading the Minority
And there it is. But let’s come back to Senator Schumer. With “Indivisible” groups springing up across the country, as well as other efforts to resist #Trannon, Democrats like Leader Schumer recognize just how upset we are:
We need to keep it up.
Judge James Robart
#Trannon’s Muslim Ban was blocked nationwide by a sweeping order issued by Judge James Robart in Washington State. This prompted Senator Schumer to speak out once again:
Another big takeaway here is the CNN article that Schumer cites. Since Kellyanne Conway, AKA “Patriot Barbie” announced that #Trannon surrogates would no longer appear on CNN, the network is, for now, telling the truth about 45* and his people. When POTUS* took to Da Twittah to attack Judge Robart, CNN did this excellent short profile on the man.
A CNN that tells the truth and a leader in the Senate spreading that message is an excellent boost to our opposition.
…and I can’t find my way home.
Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton at the Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007, with Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall
I’ve always been a purist about this song. The Blind Faith version on the Blind Faith album. Blind Faith were arguably the first “super group” in rock. Formed out of the wreckage of Cream, Blind Faith were Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech. Guillot would get mad at me for playing this and/or Traffic’s “Uninspired” at his house, complaining, I was chilling things down wayyyy too much.
When I answer online memes dealing with music, I usually point to The Beatles, then The Who as my big influences before diving head-first into ELP, Yes, and other syntho-rock. After graduation from UNO, I took a more mellow turn, which had something to do with not having to study. Therefore the consequences of partying didn’t loom large. Traffic and Blind Faith morphed into Winwood’s solo career, giving me a body of work to complement Jimmy Buffett for sitting and reading and thinking.
And writing. I’ll crank it up with the best of y’all in the car, but when I’m writing, I prefer it mellow. For the Dragons stories, I usually go for jazz. There’s too much of a disconnect for me to play tunes from my college years while writing teen stuff. The nonfiction and Talents stories, on the other hand, spring from so much of who I am and what I’ve done that the old stuff works out just fine. Whether it’s Southern rock, or acoustic Clapton or Winwood, I go right into a zone. As I get older, the trick is not to fall asleep while in the zone.
Writing is about teleporting to the places where the stories are. Music takes me there. It’s an overnight wonder and sensation. Sometimes it’s good for the story if I can’t find my way home…right away.
The Big Bopper
I was in eighth grade when Don McClean’s “American Pie” came out. WTIX-AM, “The Mighty 690” ran the song on an intense rotation, including their own interpretation voice-over. At that time, I was wrapped up in The Beatles and The Who. I knew who Buddy Holly was, but I was just too young for his music to have been an influence on me. I was just a couple of months old on February 3, 1959, and wouldn’t venture out of my cocoon of British Invasion and electronic rock until I hit university and started go going to “50s parties” in the late 70s. There were many other references in the song that hit closer to home, stuff from the late 1960s that were much more important to a 13-year old.
McClean held back for years when it came to discussing interpretations of “American Pie.” I like this particular quote of his on the subject of what the song means:
It means I don’t ever have to work again if I don’t want to.” Later, he stated, “You will find many interpretations of my lyrics but none of them by me … Sorry to leave you all on your own like this but long ago I realized that songwriters should make their statements and move on, maintaining a dignified silence.
Eventually he did admit that the song was his way of working out his feelings about the death of Buddy Holly. I can see how that grew into a run-down of many things music-related that struck him over time.
Buddy Holly wasn’t the only musician who departed on The Day The Music Died. Richie Valens was in that plane, along with J. P. Richardson, “The Big Bopper”. While certainly Holly and Valens were the bigger stars, Richardson was still popular, with that deep base voice.
One of the subjects I taught as a Social Studies teacher at Redeemer High in New Orleans in the early 1980s was Psychology. It was an elective, primarily for kids not taking World History as seniors, and some juniors who wanted to take four years of Social Studies. While I didn’t want the course to be a “blow off class”, I didn’t want it to be a hassle for the kids in Armbruster’s classes, which were honors/college prep. I also didn’t want the workload to be a burden for kids busting their asses just to graduate.
So, we watched a few movies. VCRs were a thing by then, so I wasn’t limited to 16mm school films. I could show theatrical releases. A couple of the kids suggested we should watch a film that had just come out on tape, “Ordinary People“. The film was based on the novel by Judith Guest, and was directed by Robert Redford. It was about a high school-aged young man, Conrad, (played by Timothy Hutton), who attempted suicide. The story explored Conrad’s relationship with his parents, played by Mary Tyler Moore and Donald Sutherland.
I was hesitant about showing the film in class, because of its R-rating, but it did win Best Picture. The R was for language and not nudity/sex, so I was on safe ground. Teens swear, after all. I booked the TV/VCR cart and I had a week where I felt like the football coach from the “Funky Winkerbean” comic strip. The film worked out nicely, because the boy, Conrad, saw a therapist regularly.
Psychology and Psychiatry
The therapy sessions were the hook/justification I needed to show the film in class. Though there are a lot of movies out there where characters see a shrink, this one was new and involved a teen. It really was a good fit. Conrad was a likeable character, and his parents were, well, parents. His mother, Beth was cold and always favored Conrad’s older brother, Buck. When Buck died in a boating accident and Conrad attempted suicide, Beth turned cold and mean. The character brought out a side of Mary Tyler Moore that was so different from Laura Petrie or Mary Richards. Here was the woman we all loved from comedy, playing a role where she was a really awful person. She played the character so well she won a Golden Globe and received an Oscar nomination. (Hutton won the Oscar for Supporting Actor, Redford for Director, and Hirsch was nominated.)
I never saw Mary Tyler Moore as just a comedienne ever again. When she passed earlier today, I immediately thought of “Ordinary People”.
Gonna miss MTM.
Cory Booker takes the lead
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) is a true leader. Watch this video. This is how a leader acts.
- Doesn’t denigrate others working in the resistance.
- Brings everyone in the effort together.
- Works to make things better.
- Sets a positive example.
- Establishes goals, works to meet them, then goes further.
This is what we want and expect from our Democratic Senators. They are truly a Thin Blue Line. There are times when they will be overwhelmed by the foolishness that is the Trump administration, yes. Overall, though, we want them to stand up for us in this dark time.
2018 isn’t far away
I look to and expect Senator Booker to do the right things for the United States. Is he Presidential? Absolutely? Will he be the right person to lead the Democratic effort to evict Trump from the White House in 2020? That remains to be seen. We’ve got four years on that. We’ve got midterm elections, where all of the House, 1/3 of the Senate, and over 35 governors will stand for election. For us to stop the evil that will come forth from the White House and Congress under Trump control, we need leaders who will motivate and encourage Democrats. We need leaders who, by their actions, demonstrate they have the best interests of the people and their states in mind.
So, we need women and men like Cory Booker.
While there are others in the Senate who will also stand up and make it clear they are part of the resistance. Senator Booker is not our only leader. He is a good model for others to observe and emulate.
I plan to commit to doing at least one thing for the #resistance and one thing to build up everyone working to better our country and our homes.
The Faith Based Left must stand up. Religious conservatives did this, we can do so as well.
Here’s how pros do things. You lose, you take a shower, have a drink, and get ready for the next game.
The Faith Based Left
So, as Jed would say, “What’s next?”
The left must accept that, for the next few years, we’re not getting anything out of government. SCOTUS goes back to 5-4, most likely with a replacement for Scalia that’s worse than Scalia himself. For the next two years, government is in total control of the Republican Party. We have to accept that fact and do what we can to mitigate its impact.
How do we do that? We need to become a faith-based community. What is our faith? That the United States of America is better than the vision the Republicans have for the country. There are a number of things we now cannot rely upon the government to support/nurture/fix:
- Health Care
- Criminal Justice
- LGBT Rights
These are just five areas right off the top of my head. Traditionally, we Democrats would use government to improve the position of all in these and so many other areas. That’s not happening now. We won’t have the federal government to help. We’re going to have to do them ourselves.
Fleshing out an agenda
Education. While liberals have always supported public education. We need to accept that funding for public education isn’t going to improve. Time to adopt the initiatives of the right, such as homeschooling.
Health Care. ACA is gone, count on it. So, maybe they’ll work something out on pre-existing conditions, but even that may go. We need to look to private solutions, community clinics, and other non-governmental solutions. We do it in the third world, we need to apply what we do well in our own country now.
Criminal Justice. The for-profit prison industry has been a disaster, and that’s not going to change with even greater Republican dominance of government. Public/Indigent defenders are barely funded as it is now. That’s not going to improve. Liberals are going to have to take the right to an attorney into the community. We need to nurture and support legal assistance clinics and private indigent defense practices.
LGBT Rights. Liberals need to do what religious conservatives did in the 1980s, infiltrate and reclaim local government. We know most gains in this area will get rolled back at the federal level, so we have to work from the bottom up. Elect school boards The Left must become a faith-based communitywhose members encourage diversity and tolerance. It starts now.
Poverty. We have to feed our communities. The government just isn’t going to do it.
These are thoughts off the top of my head after a very rude awakening this morning. We need to make it all happen.
Right to counsel
These days, the right to counsel, and the right against self-incrimination are things we pretty much take for granted. it wasn’t always so. Gideon’s Trumpet is a book about a major legal case that was decided by the US Supreme Court in 1963. The case involved a man in Florida, Clarence Earl Gideon. A court in Florida refused to appoint legal counsel for Gideon, because Florida law at the time only allowed for court-appointed defense lawyers in capital cases. Gideon was convicted of burglary, and sentenced to five years. After submitting a hand-written petition to the US Supreme Court, that body took up his case. That resulted in a 9-0 SCOTUS decision in Gideon’s favor. He was retried and, with the help of counsel, was acquitted by a jury after an hour of deliberation.
In 1965, Author Anthony Lewis wrote a book about Gideon v. Wainwright, the case. The book became a TV-movie in 1980.
There was a time, right around when my younger sister was born, that we were “between houses.” My parents wanted to buy a lot and build a house, so they decided to sell our house, and we lived in an apartment complex for a while. One of the things that I liked about apartment living was the bookmobile. The library came to me rather than the other way around, so that was a fun thing.
One of my dad’s friends was a librarian and drove the bookmobile. While I picked stuff to read, Mr. Jim would regularly choose a book for me. He checked it out in my name, and put it in my hands, on top of anything else I’d picked. Gideon’s Trumpet was one of those books.
The book fascinated me. The legal principles weren’t all that hard for a fifth-grader to comprehend. Lewis presented the background of the story, offered an interesting portrait of Abe Fortas, the attorney appointed to represent Gideon before SCOTUS. (Fortas went on to become a Justice himself.) I love pomp and circumstance. Lewis’s descriptions of oral arguments before the court were fascinating. The decision was landmark.
All defendants have the right to counsel. It’s a Big Deal, and it resonated with ten-year old me. I watched all the cop and lawyer shows on the teevee. I went on to join the debate team in high school. The notion of going to law school crossed my mind.
I didn’t forget that concept. It’s one of those things that stuck with me, through the years, just like the times when a friend who is an attorney would point out that bail is not punishment. Bail backs up a promise to appear for trial.
Other than traffic tickets, I’ve been fortunate to have never needed defense counsel in a criminal proceeding. I’ve had friends, colleagues, and others in my life who have been in that position. When I taught high school, one of my students was accused of murder in Jefferson Parish. I was 23 at the time. The case sent me reeling. There wasn’t much I could do, as I wasn’t directly involved, yet it still tore at me. He had representation. Still, the case was very upsetting for me.
There have been other cases, other people, who weren’t so fortunate. The idea that capital cases happened where lawyers slept through trial, and their clients ended up executed was incredibly disturbing.
Every defendant should have competent defense, even if, no, especially if their crimes will put them on death row or they will face life imprisonment. I knew this when I was ten. Clarence Earl Gideon made that much of an impression on me.
British Airways to LHR
It’s been decades since any airline offered nonstop service from New Orleans to London. British Airways announced that direct service, MSY to LHR, is to start next spring:
The airline will provide year-round service to London’s Heathrow Airport starting March 27. The 10-hour flights will depart New Orleans on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 3:40 p.m. central time and arrive at 7:40 a.m. London time. Passengers will travel on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which holds 214 passengers: 154 in economy class, 25 in premium economy and 35 in business.
This is a big boost for Louis Armstrong International Airport. It means more jobs, as New Orleans becomes a point of entry from the UK. Passengers coming from Canada clear ICE before departure.
British Airways plans to operate Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” jets for their MSY-LHR service. The B787s replace the current BA fleet of B767s. The Dreamliner is a wide body jet, like the 767s and 777s. Thirty-five business class seats means a lot of potential for frequent flyer upgrades. I’m not sure if BA works their upgrades like Delta, but if you have status and you’re in a “premium economy” seat, you’ll be the first to get upgraded. It’s always a pleasant experience to arrive at the airport and find out you’ll be sitting up front.
Getting an upgrade from coach to “up front” is nice, but it’s not what the airline wants. The airline wants paying customers in those thirty-five seats in business class. That’s why San Jose got BA service to LHR last year, instead of MSY:
The London flight is the culmination of several years of talks between British Airways and local business and tourism leaders. Last year, the airline chose to add a daily London flight to and from San Jose, Calif., instead of New Orleans, a blow to local lobbying efforts.
So, this is perfectly logical. Many of the Silly Valley companies allow their employees to book business class on flights more than eight hours. Those SJC-LHR flights no doubt are filled with full-fare passengers up front. Don’t rule out MSY as good business potential for British Airways, though. In these days of telecommuting, tech-industry employees can avoid the high cost of living in the bay area by living in a more appealing city like New Orleans.
Bottom Line to the Road Warrior
A nonstop from New Orleans to London is a long flight, about ten hours. Some travelers like the idea of getting comfortable, having dinner, then sleeping for eight hours or so, waking up at Heathrow. Others would rather fly the hour or so to ATL, or three hours to JFK, and have a shorter long haul flight across the ocean. Being able to clear ICE in New Orleans is a significant trade-off. It will be interesting to see if the flights increase in popularity, and more days are added to the schedule.
Oh, and if your return plans include staying at an airport hotel near Heathrow Terminal 5, be sure to check out the The White Horse, on Bath Road. It’s been around since 1601.
Suicide at Orleans Parish Prison
Seventeen-year old Dexter Allen is in the Jefferson Parish Correctional Facility in Gretna. In the city, the incredible mess that is Orleans Justice Center took another life. What makes this particularly sad is that this latest jail suicide was a juvenile.
Jaquin Thomas was pronounced dead at University Medical Center at 10:11 p.m., OPSO spokesman Philip Stelly said, after using a mattress cover to asphyxiate himself in his cell. The teenager had been jailed inside the Orleans Justice Center since his July 28 arrest on suspicion of second-degree murder and aggravated burglary, records show.
No Place for teenagers
Any suicide or attempt is a sad affair. Worse yet, locking up a teen in this prison is a terrible thing. Yes, he was charged with second-degree murder as an adult. That’s a serious situation. Jarvis DeBerry nails it, though, in his article on the suicide:
Jaquin was suspected of committing a crime more serious than Jerde’s, but if jail was considered inappropriate for the 21-year-old, it should have been considered the wrong place for the teenager. Charging a child as an adult does not magically transform him into an adult. It does not make that child any less vulnerable when thrown into a facility with people who are bigger, older and more hardened criminals.
Jailing teens in an adult prison is wrong. Still, it’s not a good idea to toss an alleged murderer into a juvenile facility. Teens accused of much more minor crimes are totally different. There has to be a way to balance this. Perhaps isolating serious juvenile offenders in one type of facility or the other.
Read the full article–Jarvis compares the situation Jaquin Thomas was in to that of a twenty-one-year old Tulane student. He demonstrates what #whiteprivilege gets you these days in New Orleans.