Christmas is over and back in its box in the attic. The jet stream is blowing hard across the Great Lakes and pummeling us with sub-zero wind chills and lake effect snow, arctic clippers and blowing down across Ohio and, this week, that newest hyperbolic wild weather phenomena–the BOMB CYCLONE (oh how the marketing brahs at The Weather Channel must have sighed whilst excavating that gem of a meteorological wonder)–is hitting the mainstream, joining Snowmageddon and Polar Vortex in that rarefied caste of ratings-generating American Idol Weather Terminology.
This is not to undermine the effects of winter storms and the havoc they wreak. Every time it sleets south of Fredericksburg, Virginia dozens of Sons & Daughters of the Confederacy are lost to, or injured in, wholly avoidable automobile accidents. (HINT: Stay home, Beauregard, that white stuff is slippery.) And Boston got spanked by Flash floods that froze (WTF?) entire neighborhoods in place, which is messed up. But it is Boston and, well, karma. Right? Somebody has to bear the burden of the Patriots’ deal with the devil, and it ain’t going to be living Vegan Ken doll QB Tom “Quinoa Salad” Brady.
What does trouble me about these Twitter-friendly parade of ridiculous terminology is that shade they’re throwing on the time-honored, proven-to-be-accurate method of winter storm appraisal, the good old-fashioned Deck & Patio Furniture photo. For as long as I can remember (admittedly, not as long as I used to be able to remember), the severity of winter storms has been evaluated using observable scientific method, most recently on the internet but for many years before that in the form of viewer-submitted photos and filler coverage by local news teams. Three generations learned to analyze the critical level of a “weather event” through this observable, utterly reliable data.
How would I know what winter was bringing to my good, decades-long friend Sally, who lives far away in Montana, if she didn’t apprise me of winter conditions north of Yellowstone with timely and evocative imagery of her deck, live and up to date? That’s right. These are my actual friend’s actual photos of her actual furniture.
It goes without saying that the level of personal connection forged between me and my friend–or any one of the millions of Americans who annually apprise the world of their on-deck snow conditions (looks like Sally has a nice 7 inch base with a few inches of powder on top)–exceeds anything a few bozos with an old meteorology textbook can manage with their horror-film vocabulary.
And, final, overlook the community-building that comes from the ubiquity of patio-furniture. I don’t think it is overstatement to say that these photos–and the sense of kinship they evoke–are one of the deep and abiding bonds that hold us together as a nation, and as a people. Stick that in your Bomb Storm and smoke it, why don’t you.
Because it’s all about the kids when it comes down to it, right? One of my favorite covers of a Christmas classic.
I’m not sure that I’ve seen a better carol embodying everyone wonderful about Christmas. “Mischief and mayhem and songs to be sung” sounds just about right. I hope you have just a fraction of the fun you’ll see in this video.
In a fit of bluster tailor-made to appeal to Fox News and the Conspiricist Right’s reactionary gullibility, Papa John’s founder and CEO John “Papa” Schnatter blamed NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem for his struggling corporation’s plummeting sales figures.
“Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter said on a conference call with investors Wednesday. “The NFL has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.”
Schnatter joins the short but boisterous crowd of free speech opponents, polo-shirt racists, and drooling rednecks in their chorus of (add Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane-voice here, puttering over “Them Dukes, them Dukes”) who can’t stomach the cracking glass of the Old Boys Network as a broader, more diverse group of American voices demands to be heard--although one suspects Schnatter, who famously bemoaned the fact that he would have to raise the price of his pizzas by 14 cents each if compelled to provide basic health coverage to his employees, so he would cut employee hours instead (aside to Mr. Schnatter: I don’t by your “ketchup bread” so-called pizza, but if I did, I’d gladly throw in an extra quarter if it meant your people had health coverage, and you can keep the extra 11 cents for yourself.) He’s just another rich white guy bleating “how dare they” when somebody who doesn’t fit his antebellum idea of what voices deserve to be heard.
Maybe he should taste the product he is putting out. The fact that he includes dipping sauce for his pies, presumably to make the tasteless crust vaguely palatable is a hint. Papa John’s Pizza is the standard bearer of what we call, at our house, “lowest-common denominator” pizza. That means, when you’re at a high school football game or an acquaintance’s awkward evening of cheap beer and Cards Against Humanity, you shrug and maybe eat a piece. Two if find yourself drinking too much, but you don’t mumble primal “ughhheummmmmmm” like a hedonistic neanderthal the way you do when you order real pizza, from a pie joint that doesn’t literally pull the pizza off a conveyor belt. (Seriously, if you see a conveyor belt in a pizza shop RUN, don’t walk–find a real italian joint. Hell, you’re better off eating frozen pizza bagels
No, Papa John is looking for a scapegoat to explain his failing numbers to shareholders that have been ready to take him by the throat for a while now, and picking the NFL not only gives him a highly visible, controversial straw man to poke, it give him leverage to cut costs by feigning outrage and weaseling out of advertising commitments he’d made to the NFL. Clever, right?
Except few outside the spittle-stained turf of Sean Hannity, Alex “Immigrant Terrorist Catholics stole my brain” Jones, the the general Fox-Breitbart-InfoWars triangle are buying. Hilariously, DiGiorno frozen pizzas, which actually taste far better than Papa John’s, have been gleefully savaging Papa Johns on social media. And just yesterday Pizza Hut, which pushes out servicable corporate pies that taste like artisinal creative masterpieces compared to the Papa, bragged of their recent sales growth and pointedly stated that they’re not seeing any of the effects Schnatter claims. Ouch!
If you live within a day’s drive of Bloomington or Indianapolis, go to The Tap and give this guy’s beer a whirl. While it is true that he is allegedly related to me, and while it also seems that he wears the same sweatshirt every day, he really knows his way around beer. And now I’m thirsty. Sigh. Luckily I have some of his stuff in my fridge. Check out his profile.
Source:Jarrod May: The Tap
President Donald Trump catapulted the issue of growing numbers of athletes opting to “take a knee” during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner before their contests further into the limelight this past weekend, jumping in on the side of the hyper-patriotic conservative reactionaries who have been, predictably, popping gaskets over this form of protest since former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick first decided to sit out the anthem around this time last year. Trump spewed a typically vindictive, smirking and self-satisfied incitement, urging NFL owners to respond to protests by terminating any player who dares to take a knee.
“Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired,'” Trump said. “You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
The president doubled down on Twitter Saturday afternoon.
“If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect. … our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”
I wanted to write about this, but where to start? A sitting President who, already widely accused of white nationalist proclivities, profanely demands the revocation of fundamental rights for a prominent group of predominantly black young men who dare to speak up for a righteous cause? The now-customary Trump tactic of purposefully throwing a polarizing, divisive tantrum on the heels a a particularly bad news week? The pride-inspiring response of the NFL which, from top to bottom, demonstrated an admirable front of solidarity?
No, what gets me is the cheap rhetorical trick of equating the flag with veterans, and common protest with disrespect for veterans–a false equivalency that trivializes both the symbol of our nation and the men and women who have stood up to defend it or, too often, project its ideological will.
If one insists on waxing symbolic over the stars and stripes, it is compulsory to understand that the flag stands for so much more than military service, representing the core values–the unrealized ideals–upon which this nation was founded. Not just what we are, but what we purport to be, what we must aspire to be. Chief among these is free speech, particularly free speech in dissent.
The glory of the flag is that even the most disrespectful act against it as a symbol and, by extension, the institutions it represents, is turned into a sign of the strength. A protester burning a flag is at once showing her anger and disappointment while simultaneously demonstrating the freedoms the flag represents. In burning the flag, one proves its inviolability. You can’t really destroy the flag–burning its fibers only proves what it is supposed to stand for.
The flag does not need defense against committed young men who kneel before it to express their legitimate frustration and discontent in an inherently gentle act. Indeed, the flag protects them like a shield. In the same way, our veterans do not need to be protected from peaceful citizens who clasp hands, take a knee, and bow their heads quietly. Those veterans fought to preserve the right for these men to do so and, what’s more, both flag and fighting men and women are stronger than an imagined insult.
We recently had the first crisp evening that hinted at the changes to come, that feeling in the air that native Westsylvanians recognize as “a Football Night.” In the verges, the annual flora are showing wear, the color of goldenrod lines country roads and the counts of our prolific whitetail deer seen dead along the highways, stirred to their violent ends by the hormonal surges of the rut and the the instinctive understanding that food will soon be much less abundant. In the trees, the earliest leaves are already beginning to flush, and in the bars and coffee shops, restaurants and bakeries, the taps and pitchers and shelves are suddenly and predictably weighted by food and drink flavored with “Pumpkin Spice.” If you expected me to offer consolation, I apologize. I have none to give. Indeed, the words that might help are these: be strong and resolute. Like all tribulations, this too will pass.
Nobody ever accused Mrs. Farenthold of raising a gentleman, and unconventionally telegenic Blake Farenthold, apparent owner of website http://www.blowme.org and republican congressman from east Texas best known for a particularly unseemly sexual harassment complaint lodged against him (click here, beware eeeww factor), is not content to rest on his laurels. He likes to say that ethics investigators dismissed that charge, but only after he reached an undisclosed out of court settlement with the victim.
In a recent interview, the former right-wing radio schlock jock wanna-be lashed out at the failure of the dysfunctional Trump government’s inability to conjure up sufficient support to pass its deeply flawed repeal-and-replace of the Affordable Healthcare Act, placing the blame on “some female senators from the Northeast,” according to The Associated Press. Unable to muzzle his drooling yapper, the dashing troglodyte suggested what he felt was an appropriate solution. “If it was a guy from south Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style,” he bragged.
First of all: no, he wouldn’t. As Democratic Senator commented to Maine Republican Susan Collins, one the targets of Farenthold’s bile, “”Trust me — you know why he challenged you to a duel? Because you could beat the shit out of him.” Other Republicans who have come out strongly against the deeply flawed “TrumpCare” scheme include Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), either of which could easily thrash their corpulent colleague from way down south in Dixie.
True to form for all loudmouth bullies, Farenthold changed his tune once the story went viral, insisting that his venal rhetoric was all in good fun, his comments reflecting that ““Like the President, I am sick and tired of the left-wing biased media trying to make something out of nothing. This was clearly tongue in cheek”
Note the key phrase there: Like The President.
Plenty more to read about Farenthold, another one of those redneck republicans too full of themselves to even try to hide and hold back the stupid from foaming out of their mouths, and for this, Blake Farenthold has been nominated to the “back in business” Dumb Ass Hall of Fame.
*The Dumb Ass Hall of Fame regrets squandering the opportunities presented by the current democratically elected leadership of the United States of America and is, once again, welcoming nominations.
“The framed copy of Time Magazine was hung up in at least four of President Trump’s golf clubs, from South Florida to Scotland. Filling the entire cover was a photo of Donald Trump….”
“At 5 p.m. Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Time said that the magazine had asked the Trump Organization to remove the phony cover from the walls where it was on display.”
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