D.A.H.O.F. Nominees: Sarah Braasch & The Merritt Lake Oakland Charcoal Nazi

Thank all gods–the tall ones and the small ones the jiggly ones and firm ones–for dumb asses, because without dumb asses I’d have slipped completely from this blog altogether. Fortunately, just like Michael Corleone, “Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in!” The dumb asses, I mean. They do the pulling.

sarah-braasch-11We’re singling out a particular sub-grouping of racist dumb-asses today, with our improbably similar nominees, Yale career student Sarah Brasch, who brought down the clenched fist of justice on her dormitory neighbor for the insidious crime of…napping while black. (I know what you’re thinking: how dare they! These black people and their fatigue, the nerve of them!) On the other side of the continent, her doppleganger, the as-yet-unidentified Merritt Lake Charcoal Nazi a.k.a. The Barbie Nazi, who saved the entire city of Oakland, and neighboring Bay Area communities, from those who dared to “barbecue while black.”

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I’ve had a realization while processing the nominations, and I don’t mean the one where I drop to my knees and thank fate that I was born a white man in America. I’m not proud. I don’t feel good about that, but it is a whole hell of a lot safer for me and my children. Among the comments for a youtube video of the charcoal incident, the question was posited: do white people think 911 is there for them to call any time they feel uncomfortable or scared?

Well sure we do! We’ve got TV. We’ve got the internet. When was the last time a redneckScreenshot(2).png with a license to kill wrapped his sweaty palm around my esophagus–or yours?–and squeezed, then threw me to the ground like a rag doll and charged me with resisting arrest when I squirmed and struggled for a breath?  We are pretty used to the cops coming when we call and strangling, bashing, kicking, and shooting holes in all the people who make us scared. It’s a better benefit than anything the AARP offers–and The White Club is pretty much free. Hell, they pay you!

The discussion for these nominations is: are these people just evil, or just stupid? Evil can’t be grounds for a DAHOF nomination, but stupidity can. And as much as I want to think otherwise, these women probably aren’t evil, but they do make it easier to understand how great minds as far back as Plato have considered the merits of a philosophy so barbarous as eugenics. To paraphrase Sarah Palin, “Cull baby, cull.”

Too far? Yes. Yes I know it was. And I’m sorry.

What we’re looking at here is traditional fear-rooted ignorance. Recall that the KKK was formed as a self-defense brotherhood by ex-confederates (like all the male heroes in Gone With the Wind–when they rush out in the middle of the night, and dear sweet Ashley is gravely wounded, they were out doing Night Rides, lashing out violently against the threat they believed was posed by freed slaves and carpetbaggers. Poor sweet beautiful Ashley wasn’t evil–just terrified of the new realities of the the Reconstruction.

Our nominees have no karma (that we know of) to fear, but they fear none-the-less, a fear that is wrapped–like one of those little crescent rolls around a cocktail wienie–by ignorance. The Charcoal Nazi, like many martinets, clings to her interpretation of rules in a sadly futile attempt to bring order to a chaotic reality she’s unequipped to navigate. Ms. Braasch is no different. Both women’s’ smug and self-righteous facades belie defective creatures fumblingly struggling to impose control over whatever happens to scare them. Ms. Braasch, who has spent most of her 43 years accumulating a trophy case full of doctoral degrees, is clearly incapable of functioning in a community setting. We don’t have a lot of information on the Charcoal Nazi, but dollars to doughnuts she exhibits some similar traits: unreasonable anger at a world that defies her expectations–one of which we can assume was racial primacy.

It could be a difficult to sort this out, but in the end, Dumbassedness® is not necessarily a function of stupidity or racism, though are three are often symptoms of the same malady. The accomplished dumb ass exhibits selective ignorance, blinding cruelty, intellectual laziness/lack of curiosity, and the paralyzing paucity of imagination. Given such criteria, both women’s nominations are approved.

 

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Evangelicals LOVE Trump No Matter Who & How Often He’s Slipped The Schmeckle

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This is a photo-shopped composite picture–Fake News!–but it’s useful here. A picture worth a thousand words and all that..and it certainly got your attention.

The Washington Post just threw us an interesting article on the unwillingness of Evangelicals to condemn Donald Trump for his serial philandering, ultimately explaining the moral hypocrisy on white christian nationalism, irrational fear of islam, and a certain cold-tempered pragmatism that suggests they would excuse the excesses of Satan himself, should the devil suddenly call out for a Pro-Life, Anti-Gay, Unfettered Second Amendment political campaign platform.

It is a compelling argument and quite worthy of the 3 minutes it takes to read, but by no means but by no means should we regard the seeming disconnect between values and conduct as purely related to racial and religious identity and all their attendant fears and bigotries.

There’s a good deal of self-identification at work, as well. It is difficult to find a place so rife with illicit and immoral conduct than a protestant church. Don’t take that on my word. Statistically, despite decreasing numbers, American Evangelicals have the highest divorce rate (and highest rate of domestic violence) among all religious groupings, including non-believers (Atheists have the lowest rates).

And who can blame them? All that energy and intensity has to go somewhere, and it often goes into each other’s spouses. And why not? Forgiveness is at close at hand. They get Trump. They understand how difficult it is to keep things zipped up. God has his plan, after all. It wouldn’t happen if HE didn’t want it to (so slip out of that girdle, Mildred). Pots don’t call kettles black. Stones and glass houses. etc. etc.

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D.A.H.O.F: Jamie Gilt

D U M B – A S S   H A L L   OF   F A M E   N O M I N A T I O N

I shouldn’t need an excuse to circle back around to my poor, mistreated, attention-starved blog–or the millions, thousands, hundreds, dozens of eager readers who breathlessly await my oracular musings. Nevertheless, when life gives you lemons…

Okay, so no lemons. Instead, we got Jamie Gilt, the outspoken Florida horse mommy who loves her guns. A profuse poster of pro-firearm propaganda and fetishist rhetoric, who had reportedly been bragging of late about her 4-year-old son’s proficiency at the shooting range, Ms. Gilt recently threw this bit of wisdom up on the internet:
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Silly rabbit. A few days ago, this upright, outspoken, patriotic (these colors don’t run, dammit!) saw her worst feats come to light when she was brutally gunned down…by said 4-year-old, who capped her from the backseat of their moving vehicle while she was driving and he was playing with her .45 automatic in the back seat.

Doh! Ms. Gilt gets automatic acceptance into the Dumb Ass Hall of Fame.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3484064/Pro-gun-poster-girl-shot-four-year-old-son-driving-Florida-boy-pistol-seat-truck.html

https://www.snopes.com/news/2016/03/09/jamie-gilt/

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/20160817/jamie-gilt-gun-advocate-shot-by-her-4-year-old-son-remains-infamous-six-months-later

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Trump Tower: Don’t Worry, It’s Just PANTS ON FIRE.

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http://thehill.com/homenews/news/367870-fire-crews-responding-to-fire-at-trump-tower

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/trump-tower-new-york-catches-fire-smoke-seen-billowing-roof-1654247

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It’s Snowy Deck & Patio Furniture Season

_99149104_20171210_145801Christmas 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.

winter-snow-outdoor-furniture_lwtirzWhat 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 winterizing-snowviewer-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.

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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.

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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.

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Danielle LoPresti: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Because it’s all about the kids when it comes down to it, right? One of my favorite covers of a Christmas classic.

 

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Dropkick Murphys: The Season’s Upon Us

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.

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Papa John Blames NFL Protesters For Sales Plummet

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  • Desperate to justify falling profits to shareholders.
  • Mocked by DiGiorno
  • Pizza Hut says they’re doing just fine, thank you.

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 bagel_bites_package_cheese_pepperonimumble 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 Screenshot_16John’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!

 

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Jarrod May At The Tap Brewery, Bloomington, Indiana

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

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Don’t Equate Protest With Disrespect

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.

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