Federal Judge Has Doubts About Trump’s Border Wall

The Judge presiding over a case dealing with Trump's proposed border wall expressed doubts about the project. The President will no doubt be irked by the identity of that Judge.

A Federal Judge presiding over a lawsuit connected to President Trump’s plans to build a border wall along the U.S./Mexican border expressed doubts about the project in a hearing late last week, and the identity of the Judge in question is likely particularly irking to the President:

The federal judge whom President Trump characterized during his campaign as “a Mexican” and therefore biased against him said he would announce a ruling next week that could determine whether the government can proceed with its expedited plans to build a border wall.

District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel is presiding over a lawsuit filed by advocacy groups and the state of California challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s plans to bypass standard environmental-impact studies and rapidly expand barriers along the Mexican border.

Curiel said Friday that DHS has yet to explain why it must proceed so urgently in its construction plans.

“By waiving environmental protections, we are ignoring something that has been very important to Congress for the past 40, 50 years,” the judge told government attorneys. He asked them to provide more information by Tuesday and said he would issue his ruling soon after.

Galen N. Thorp, a government attorney representing the Department of Homeland Security, said DHS’s plans were consistent with congressional authorizations.

“This case is about plaintiffs’ opposition to Congress’s decision that border infrastructure can, in certain circumstances, be a higher priority” than environmental laws, Thorp said.

Plaintiffs in the suit argue that environmental waivers granted by Congress a decade ago involving matters of crucial border security cannot be applied to future wall construction. A ruling against DHS would likely delay the Trump administration’s plans to move rapidly if Congress provides billions in funding for the wall.

The plaintiffs said they are not challenging the government’s right to replace or maintain existing barriers, only “the projects they want to do now,” said Michael Cayaban, an attorney for the state of California.

Curiel was the judge in an unrelated class-action lawsuit against the president’s now-defunct Trump University, and the judge’s alleged bias against Trump became a running theme during his presidential campaign.

At a rally here in May 2016 that triggered protests, Trump blasted Curiel as “a hater of Donald Trump,” then continued to lash out after the judge ordered the release of internal Trump University documents related to the suit requested by The Washington Post.

Trump told supporters at the time that Curiel harbored a bias against the candidate’s plans for a border wall because the judge was “Spanish” and “a Mexican.”

Curiel’s parents were immigrants from Mexico. He was born in Indiana.

“Look, he’s proud of his heritage, okay?” Trump said of Curiel in a June 2016 interview with CNN. “He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico.”

Trump’s remarks were widely condemned at the time, but Curiel did not respond publicly. Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle the fraud claims in March, soon after moving into the White House.

Brian Segee, the lead attorney for the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity, a plaintiff in the suit, said his group is challenging DHS’s attempt to bypass standard procedure.

“Did Congress intend, as we argue, to limit the unprecedented and sweeping authority of the DHS secretary to do away with laws at will?” Segee said in an interview Friday. “Was that limited to specific fencing projects that have already been completed? Or was it perpetual authority that can be invoked now, or 10 years or 20 years from now?”

Trump is seeking $25 billion for enhanced border security, including hundreds of miles of new barrier construction. About one-third of the 2,000-mile border with Mexico has some form of wall or fencing, and the president’s proposal would extend the structure by about 300 miles, while replacing another 400 miles with more formidable barriers.

DHS is evaluating eight wall prototypes that are on exhibit outside San Diego, and each one is taller and more elaborate than almost anything currently in place.

Environmental groups suing the government say additional barriers will harm wildlife by cutting off their natural migration routes or access to the waters of the Rio Grande.

Stretching from the southern Rockies to the Gulf of Mexico, the river spans nearly two-thirds of the U.S.-Mexico boundary, passing through arid mountain regions and deserts where it is a vital water source for farmers, ranchers and wildlife. Large fauna cross the border in other remote areas where the international boundary is little more than a line on a map.

“The wall could preclude the movement of endangered species or other animals, like the jaguar, that move back and forth, leading to their potential extirpation in the United States,” Segee said.

As noted, the Judge in this particular case just happens to be Gonzalo Curiel, the same Judge that President Trump attacked during the Presidential campaign as being biased because his parents were Mexican. As I noted at the time, there was no factual basis for Trump’s assertion and that, in fact, Curiel’s rulings in the Trump “University” class action fraud case he was handling often were in Trump’s favor and there was no actual or apparent evidence suggesting that Curiell was in any respect biased against Trump because of his political views or his well-known vile comments about Mexiccan immigrants in general. As I noted at the time, Trump’s attorneys had never filed any motion with the court suggesting that Judge Curiel should recuse himself from hearing the case, although it’s unclear whether Trump may have tried to instruct them to do so.  If he had, they no doubt would have wisely advised him that such a motion would be denied and only served to undermine Trump’s legal position in the case. Ultimately, of course, Trump settled the case over which Curiel was presiding, and that settlement was approved in April of last year. 

The fact that Curiel is now presiding over this border wall case is, of course, purely coincidental. The ordinary practice in Federal District Courts is that cases are assigned to the available Judges on what is essentially a random basis, usually at the initial time that a particular lawsuit has been filed. Since the Court on which Curiel sits, the U.S. District Court for the South District of California, is one of the jurisdictions that would be most directly impacted by the border wall, he was among the ten sitting Judges and seven Senior Judges who could have been assigned the case. In any event, so far Trump has not had anything to say about Curiel’s assignment to the case or the reports about the doubts he expressed about the government’s position on the claims asserted in this particular case. Whether that will be true should Curiel rule against the government is, of course, a question we could learn the answer to later this week.

Leaving aside the coincidence of Judge Curiel being appointed to hear this particular case, this particular lawsuit is likely only one of the legal challenges that Trump’s wall would face if it actually moved forward. A wall that  actually stretched from the border from Tijuana, Mexico in the west to its most eastern point near Brownsville, Texas would face a vast number of legal challenges on a wide variety of issues. Many of these would include some of the same claims implicating long-standing environmental laws and international treaties on the environment that the lawsuit before Curiel does, as well as other related issues. Additionally, there would likely need to be a vast number of eminent domain claims filed due to the fact that many parts of the border in rural south Texas include areas of private property not currently under the control of the Border Patrol. Each of these cases could take years to resolve even if the White House tries to streamline the process by changing regulations. The cases would also be subject to appeal by whichever party ended up on the losing side of a particular ruling. In addition to all of this, of course, are the many practical and logistical roadblocks that a project like this would face.

In reality, of course, we are never going to see the kind of border wall that Trump and his supporters envisoned during the case. In many cases, it’s simply because such a wall would be impractical or logistically difficult to proceed with. This is especially true in those parts of the border that go through mountainous areas that even people seeking to get across the border illegally avoid due to the dangers they would face on their journey, but it also applies to other parts of the border where constructing a massive wall just doesn’t make any sense. This is why the current border barrier relies on a variety of techniques, including barbed wire fencing, electronic surveillance, drone technology, manned checkpoints and other means. Indeed, the White House has been quietly conceding for some time now that any “border wall” that does ultimately go forward at this point would consist of a variety of means to enhance border security, although Trump never mentions this when speaking to his supporters on the subject. Finally, of course, how the project proceeds will depend on what kind of funding the project receives from Congress and exactly what Congress authorizes that money to be spent on.

So, basically, there isn’t going to be a “border wall” like the one Trump promised, and Mexico isn’t going to pay for it.

Photo of border wall prototypes on display in San Diego via  The New York Times

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Donald Trump, Law and the Courts, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. de stijl says:

    From Doug’s post:

    As noted, the Judge in this particular case just happens to be Gonzalo Curiel, the same Judge that President Trump attacked during the Presidential campaign as being biased because his parents were Mexican.

    I don’t actually believe in Karma as a real force in the universe, but a sneaky and persistent part of my brain wants karma to be real. That part of my brain is very happy right now.




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  2. Slugger says:

    Looking at the picture has given me an idea. Is Christo still around? Trump should hire him to create an art installation along the border. The artist might choose silk instead of concrete. Maybe paint the panels with color fields á la Rothko. The wall could become a destination for aesthetes.
    I doubt that a wall can stop illegal immigrants. I remember when Boston was full of Irish guys without papers and Chinatown in NYC still has lots of undocumented Cantonese speakers. A wall on the border with Mexico won’t stop any crossers; it is purely a symbolic political statement. Let’s make it an artistic statement as well.




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  3. de stijl says:

    Also, IANAL, but this has bothered me since the Trump University ruling.

    Can a defendant just publicly declare that “I hate white men,” and then, “Since I’ve previously stated my antipathy towards white men, therefore I demand legal accommodation since the judge in the matter is white and male, he has heard my statement, and therefore cannot be fair in adjudicating this case since he will be biased against me.”

    That is utter BS, right? (I assume so, and hope so)

    It sounds like something a “Sovereign Citizen” type would employ.




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  4. de stijl says:

    @Slugger:

    I like where you’re going here, but I’ll offer a tweak.

    Instead of going for an intriguing, provocative Christo-style arty installation wall, go for raw concrete.

    Ugly Brutalist style. In your face slabs of gray annihilation.

    Every third one, add those grooves that those guys like to use to break up the monotony.

    (Side note: I don’t hate Brutalist architecture. My university had two Brutalist buildings that kind of worked as counterpoint to the rest of the buildings. That library was the ugliest f*cking building I’ve ever seen in my life, but it had panache.

    You know those old guys who’ve had a knock-around life? They’ve smoked too much, they’ve drank too much, they’re missing some teeth, they look like death incarnate, but they just walk around like, “Yeah, I’m not much to look at, in fact, I’m objectively ugly, but I’m a serious person, and you will treat me seriously, or I will rain holy hell down upon you!” I love those guys.

    That library building was the architectural equivalent to that guy.)




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  5. @de stijl:

    That is utter BS, right?

    Basically, yes. Which is why you never saw Trump’s lawyers make any argument that Judge Curiel should recuse himself in the Trump University case.




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  6. michael reynolds says:

    Something I learned about environmental impacts. Long ago there was a plan to build some new dams and push landfill further into San Francisco Bay as part of a plan to facilitate more building. The Army Corps of Engineers was tasked with examining the issue – long before so-called environmental statements were a commonplace.

    On its face the plan looked brilliant. The Corps built a massive, acre-sized scale model of the SF Bay and discovered that the expansion plan – the Reber Plan – would cause massive flooding and die-offs. Plan scuttled. The scale model still exists.

    It’s not always about snail darters.




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  7. grumpy realist says:

    @de stijl: There was one birther clown who tried something like that, saying that he didn’t accept the authority of female judges or attorneys, when appearing in front of a female judge. Didn’t work. They still slapped him down silly.

    (I’m too lazy to look up the case now, but it was a hoot.)




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  8. @michael reynolds:

    Exactly.

    Now imagine that process playing out over the entire 1,954 miles of the U.S. border with Mexico.

    This idea of Trump’s has always been absurd, lawsuits like this one are just starting to bring that to light.




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  9. @grumpy realist:

    This is why when someone asks me “Can someone argue (insert silly argument here) in Court?” I’m often tempted to respond “You can argue whatever you want, but you can also be laughed out of court and possibly sanctioned for making legally frivolous arguments.”




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  10. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. If they really want an environmental-friendly barrier that everyone could get behind, why don’t they just plant a whole bunch of saguaros and thorn bushes? Line the cacti up in a zigzag so they can grow together and plant thorn bushes in the middle? You could even have designed gaps that you could continually monitor, which would allow any animals to get through. Would certainly look much prettier than slabs of concrete.




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  11. de stijl says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I frickin love scale models! Next time I’m in the bay area it is top on my list.

    Have you ever seen the Memphis scale model of the lower Mississsippi? It is awesome! Plus, it’s outdoors and you can walk around in it. Definitely recommended.

    (Also, obscure Talking Heads reference:

    … Did I forget to mention, to mention Memphis
    Home of Elvis and the ancient Greeks
    Do I smell? I smell home cooking
    It’s only the river, it’s only the river.…)

    Also, go to Graceland. It is a hoot.




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  12. de stijl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    There was one birther clown who tried something like that, saying that he didn’t accept the authority of female judges or attorneys, when appearing in front of a female judge. Didn’t work.

    Orly Taitz, perhaps?

    Blast from the birtherism past.

    Which should be moot and an obscure reference, but the current POTUS made his political bones with birtherism.




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  13. de stijl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    why don’t they just plant a whole bunch of saguaros and thorn bushes?

    Saguaros take about 100 years to mature. I doubt the Trump team thinks deep time.

    Again, though, I like where you were going, like Slugger.

    If we had foresight, we could be planting the seeds for the The Great Mexican Thorn Barrier right now. The Great Wall Of China didn’t really prevent invaders the Eurasian Steppe from invading, but maybe this time…

    Maybe it wasn’t a bad idea, but just a good idea whose time has yet to come.

    You, like Slugger, are a deep thinker.




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  14. grumpy realist says:

    @de stijl: No, it was a REALLY crazy fruitcake who called himself Padwan something-or-other. I was following his travails on one of the law blogs which had a section devoted to the whole set of birther suits.

    Hard to believe, but yes, there are people crazier than Orly Taitz.




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  15. grumpy realist says:

    @de stijl: I was thinking about the saguaros when I remembered a friend of mine had started some from seed, left them on the roof for the summer, and come back to find they had all grown about three feet!

    If we had enough water (wait, isn’t the wall supposed to be by the Rio Grande?) we could always increase the initial buttressing by putting up grids and covering them with zucchini vines.

    A self-assembling, biological defense wall. What’s not to like? Trump will get his wall cheaply, we’ll have something that the environmentalists will love, and I’m sure the animals and people living nearby will love the zucchini.

    (Now we just have to figure out how to get the fresh-water sharks with laser beams attached to their heads into the Rio Grande. Given how low the water drops sometimes, we may need very tiny sharks…)




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  16. michael reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    I don’t think I’ve ever actually been to Memphis. If I have been it’d be on book tour and on book tour you see: airport, hotel, hotel bar, school, airport and the roads connecting same.

    The Bay Area model is down (or, up from SF) in Sausalito and is really kind of amazing, though it smells of chlorine. It reminds me oddly of one of those extravagantly extensive Hawaiian resort pools. Add some sad dolphins and a bar and you’d be all set.




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  17. de stijl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    who called himself Padwan something-or-other

    Maybe Padawan? Usually referred to as a Force-sensitive adolescent who trained in the Jedi Order to one day become a full-fledged Jedi.

    A birther dude who self-identifies as Anakin Skywalker? Sure! Why not? Young padawan Skywalker sure turned out to be a stand-up fella!

    Every now and again, you realize how utterly bonkers about one-quarter of the human race actually is.




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  18. de stijl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    A self-assembling, biological defense wall. What’s not to like?

    Nothing, and I mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING could ever go wrong with a self-assembling entity outside of our control. It’s brilliant!

    Oh, crap! What if Mexican Terminators travel back through time to eliminate us so that the very idea / concept of the Great Mexican Saguaro Thorn Barrier never enters the public discourse?

    Be on the alert.

    Stay frosty, my friend!




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  19. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: Are there any perennial zucchini vines? If so, we could have border security AND put a dent in the hunger/malnutrition problem.

    Perennial zucchini could be a more effective and impenetrable border than even vine maple. And intrusive as all get out, too!




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  20. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: Also the small shark is not a problem. Ask and Yahoo will answer:

    The smallest shark is the pygmy shark. It reaches a maximum length of 20 cm

    Unfortunately, it will have to be adapted to fresh water environment, but it does have the extra fear factor of luminescence so that crossers would know that the river is teeming with killer laser-totin’ sharks.




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  21. de stijl says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I don’t think I’ve ever actually been to Memphis. If I have been it’d be on book tour and on book tour you see: airport, hotel, hotel bar, school, airport and the roads connecting same.

    I have a policy: when I’m in a new place, I have to eat their food in the place that best captures that food. Not total Andrew Zimmern / Bizarre Foods eating, but just the best of that place. In Memphis wet ribs, in Cincy the Three-Way at The Skyline (disappointing IMO), in KC Arthur Bryant’s (awesome), in Minneapolis a Juicy Lucy at Matt’s (life transforming), like that.

    It gets you out of your room. You can usually soft-talk a contact into joining you because they want you to like their home town and hey like to indulge their civic pride.

    I have an issue / problem when I traveling. When I’m in a hotel room by myself, very often I feel like a ghost. Not figuratively, but kinda literally. That I’m not really here (or there, it gets confusing), that I’m the residue of a person who stayed here years ago and died in some mysterious manner.

    I’m never lonely at home, but I am always lonely on the road; it’s weird, but true.

    The worst experience is high rise hotels in smallish cities. You’re up high and can see for miles, and nothing is happening. You can see the quarter full parking lot and the bail bondsman and the McDonald’s across the street and think that you are everywhere and nowhere simultaneously.

    If I stay in a hotel room in a new town, I have to go out. I don’t really like going out that much, but if I’m traveling I must because not doing so sucks me into that ghost thinking thing.

    I rely on the civic pride of people I interact with to defeat that feeling of displacement and loneliness.

    Well, I meant it at the start to offer jaunty, well-meaning travel recommendations, but that veered pretty dark. It’s all true, but still, dark.

    Traveling is not to be trifled with; it has psychological consequences.




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  22. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds: I was in Memphis a couple times, but sort of like you all I ever saw was airports, motels, and factories. My only memory is ordering lunch in a Burger King. I’ll have milk. Puzzled look. Milk? Puzzled look. A carton of white milk? Oh my-ulk!




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  23. gVOR08 says:

    They brought in special forces guys with climbing gear to test those wall prototypes. Apparently they were really hard to climb and the guys weren’t allowed to drive to Tijuana and take a flight over the walls to San Diego.




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  24. de stijl says:

    @gVOR08:

    and the guys weren’t allowed to drive to Tijuana and take a flight over the walls to San Diego

    .

    If they got the donkey show and the ping-pong exhibition, then they’ve encountered TJ at it’s zenith.

    Apparently they were really hard to climb

    Just wait until we slather axle grease and pig fat all over that f*cker!

    Especially the pig fat; suck it, Muslim!




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  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @michael reynolds: It’s never about just snail darters, it’s about the ecosystem that snail darters live in.




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  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @grumpy realist: Suburban white people would just steal the saguaros for there yards. Wait a minute, they already do.




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  27. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    Can a defendant just publicly declare that “I hate white men,” and then, “Since I’ve previously stated my antipathy towards white men, therefore I demand legal accommodation since the judge in the matter is white and male, he has heard my statement, and therefore cannot be fair in adjudicating this case since he will be biased against me.”

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see a lawyer, somewhere, advance such an argument. For example, Andrew Anglin’s lawyer recently has put out the defense that neo-Nazi threats that invoke Holocaust imagery can’t be considered real threats, because the participants don’t believe the Holocaust happened. I’m not making this up.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/neo-nazi-holocaust-denial-legal-defense_us_5a612a5ce4b0125fd6354368




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  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08:

    Apparently they were really hard to climb

    Apparently SF guys don’t know about battery operated roto-hammers, bolts and SRT. In caving, there is no such thing as an unclimbable wall. I know guys who could be over one of those walls in about 30 minutes. And as soon as one gets over, so does everybody else.




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  29. wr says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker: “Are there any perennial zucchini vines?”

    No, but blackberry vines would do even better, since they are both perennial and thorned. Plusb, blackberries!




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  30. Mister Bluster says:

    So, basically, there isn’t going to be a “border wall” like the one Trump promised, and Mexico isn’t going to pay for it.

    Damn!

    Looks like those prototypes in the photo would make great drive in movie screens! Right on the border!
    Touch of Evil
    The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
    One side in English, one side in Spanish.




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  31. teve tory says:

    @gVOR08:

    @michael reynolds: I was in Memphis a couple times, but sort of like you all I ever saw was airports, motels, and factories. My only memory is ordering lunch in a Burger King. I’ll have milk. Puzzled look. Milk? Puzzled look. A carton of white milk? Oh my-ulk!

    I was lost in kentucky one time, looking for a town called Versailles. This was before smartphones. I didn’t have a map. I usually can get anywhere by asking successive locals how to get somewhere. I kept asking for Versailles. Nobody knew what the hell I was talking about. Gas station after gas station, blank looks. Then finally one guy says, “Wait…You mean Ver-Say-Lees?”

    It took willpower not to blurt out “you Fucking hillbillies.”




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  32. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    I’ve been monitoring the Gersh / Anglin situation for awhile now, and what puzzles me most is that Anglin attacked her because … wait for it … Gersh declined to represent Anglin’s mother in a real estate transaction.

    Anglin is a coddled little special snowflake who over-reacts to micro-aggressions, and his helicopter mother has to rescue him from the anxieties of interacting with the real world. He is the very model of the modern day SJWian.




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  33. michael reynolds says:

    @de stijl:

    We are very different people. I would never invite a local to join me for dinner, on the contrary I do all I can to avoid that sort of thing. When I toured in the US I always refused an accompanying publicist because I didn’t want to talk to anyone. In the UK I accept a publicist (and they are way professional) but they quickly catch on that I will often dine alone.

    And I savor that hotel feeling of being disconnected from the world, though I definitely get weird when I’m away from my wife. There’s an episode of Malcolm In The Middle (I think it’s called Robots and Bees) that does a nice send-up of husband-suddenly-wifeless.

    I like your idea of always eating something local. I do that when on vacation, and I’m off to Tromso, Norway and Amsterdam in a couple of weeks, which is not book tour, but is tax-deductible book research. I will avoid all familiar foods.




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  34. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    what puzzles me most is that Anglin attacked her because … wait for it … Gersh declined to represent Anglin’s mother in a real estate transaction.

    Not Anglin’s mother. Richard Spencer’s mother. They look after their own.

    Also, Gersh is a Joo. Or, rather, a Joo-iss.




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  35. michael reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:
    I once ordered a local aperitif in Venice, called Cynar. Pronounced chee-nar. But there are apparently many, many ways to say ‘chee-nar’ and only one the waiter could bring himself to understand. I’m pretty sure was just fwcking with me.




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  36. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    Richard Spencer’s mother.

    Dang, I knew that! I conflated the two.

    Off the top of my head without resorting to Google. Anglin is The Stormer publisher who is currently being pursued (I believe because of the Gersh case) to provide proof that he is no longer a US citizen as he claims through his lawyer.. He claims to be in Cambodia, but he could only plausibly be there on a tourist visa (and there have been sporadic, unsubstantiated reports that he has been seen in Pennsylvania recently)

    Whereas Spencer is the alt-Right speaker who was the instigator of the Charlottesville white power rally and famous for his “Heil Trump” salute on inauguration day.

    @Kylopod:

    Also, Gersh is a Joo. Or, rather, a Joo-iss.

    Well, duh! It’s no fun picking on someone unless you can photoshop the woman and her son in front of the Auschwitz Arbeit Macht Frei gate.

    I’m going to actually Google Anglin and Spencer now to see if I have them straight in my head.




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  37. de stijl says:

    OT: Seriously, check our Johnny Weir’s hair.

    @michael reynolds:

    I like your idea of always eating something local.

    I believe that it is not just eating the food, but experiencing it in the place that it is best known for. The holistic experience. I don’t know how to do that without hijacking some locals to step you through it.

    It can backfire spectacularly, though. I have had to choke down crappy food and interact with stupendously *normal* and, um, enthusiastic and exceedingly well-intentioned homers. I respond well to odd-balls, and I try to seek them out when I can.




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  38. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    I’m going to actually Google Anglin and Spencer now to see if I have them straight in my head.

    I think you’ve got it. I tend to categorize the alt-right personalities in my head based on how explicitly racist they are. Anglin is a full-blown, no-holds-barred, Hitler-loving neo-Nazi. Spencer is the guy credited with coining the term “alternative right.” He’s the type of white nationalist who tries to give the movement a respectable image (much like David Duke attempted to do a few decades ago). He avoids crude bigotry and talks heavily in abstract theory about being “identitarian” and maintaining one’s own culture and so forth.

    Anglin has been in a long-time feud with Milo, partly because Milo is gay and claims to be half-Jewish (a claim that has been reported as fact in many news outlets but has never actually been verified), and partly because Milo has attempted to sell the alt-right as a fundamentally nonracist movement of pranksters who are merely trying to bust the bubble of PC self-righteousness and who aren’t “really” bigots.




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  39. de stijl says:

    Googled Anglin and Spencer and I was essentially correct.

    Re Anglin: It’s actually called The Daily Stormer – I think I confused it with the original Der Stürmer.

    Re Spencer: He did not initiate The Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, but was a featured speaker.




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  40. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The Lumberjack World Championships guys and gals in Hayward, WI could scale any of the prototype walls in about 1.8 seconds.




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  41. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    It’s interesting to forcibly rely on one’s memory and knowledge in this era of Google. It’s daunting because when you are wrong, you’re gonna get busted.




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  42. de stijl says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The best bit ever from Malcolm In The Middle was Hal roller skate dancing to Funky Town and We are The Champions. It’s astounding that guy went to be Walter White.




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  43. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @wr: I’m in! I recommend the Himalayan variety. Thicker vines, larger sharper thorns, spreads like kudzu.




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  44. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    It’s interesting to forcibly rely on one’s memory and knowledge in this era of Google. It’s daunting because when you are wrong, you’re gonna get busted.

    A great deal of the time before I post, I’m glancing at Wikipedia and other sites to make sure I’ve gotten this or that fact right (especially because I’m a geek for election stats). But some things I just have memorized and I don’t even bother.

    Of course I occasionally get stuff wrong. (One howler I remember was that I posted here that Bill Clinton won Georgia by 9 points in 1996. In fact he lost the state that year, and he won it by a hair in 1992. This was a pure brain fart, where I mixed up his national lead with his share of the vote in GA.) That statement I just made about how Milo’s alleged Jewish ancestry hasn’t been confirmed is something I haven’t checked up on in at least a few months, though it definitely looked dubious the last time I looked. If I were a professional reporter writing a story, I’d have more of a responsibility to verify that Milo’s claim remains unverified, before I published any article about it.

    (Of course professional reporters make errors all the time; that’s why it’s a standard thing to see corrections to articles.)

    I’ve been swimming in the alt-right stuff for much of the past two years (and I’ve followed white nationalism for years before that). I’ve already read three books about the movement (a slight exaggeration, as two of those “books” are essentially long articles in book form) and various articles. You probably know more about the Anglin/Gersh episode than I do; I just happened to have read that HuffPost article recently and had the basic facts set to memory.




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  45. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: Don’t eat the lutefisk!

    I was a might leery of what was coming down the restaurant dish pipeline when running around Guangzhou but the only real out-of-the-ordinary Chinese dish we got served was the one with baby sea cucumbers and peppers. It wasn’t the sea cucumbers that made the dish nerve-wracking–it was the fact that they had used a whole melange of peppers of different spiciness but had cut them all into the same bite-size pieces, so the hotness level of any bite turned out to be culinary Russian roulette….




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  46. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    Have you read David Niewert? He has a blog , Orcinus, which he sporadically posts new stories to, but mostly now he writes books. Alt-America is his latest which I’ve not ordered yet, but his last called And Hell Followed With Her was excellent.

    He had a book in the mid aughts definitely worth investigating The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right (thanks, Google!)

    He was a youngish reporter in panhandle Idaho just a few miles from the newly established Aryan Nations compound and watched all that blow up.




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  47. de stijl says:

    I’m going to conduct a Malcolm In The Middle experiment. I have not watched a full episode in probably 15 years. Most of it is to look at Bryan Cranston before he became Walter White. I guess I should also see if youtube has the full episode of the Seinfeld anti-Dentite dentist episode also with Cranston.

    The roller skating episode is available and will hopefully be Cranston-centrric.




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  48. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    Have you read David Niewert?

    Yes. His book Alt-America was one of the the three books I alluded to that I read about the alt-right–specifically, the one that was not merely a “long article in book form.” I’ve talked about the book before here, and just last week I posted an excerpt from it.

    The two “long articles in book form” were George Hawley’s Making Sense of the Alt-Right and Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies: The Online Culture Wars from Tumblr and 4chan to the Alt-Right and Trump. The first is the best of the three for those who want a basic overview of the alt-right. The second is a rather amateurish publication, with neither an index nor bibliography, and a lot of spelling and grammar errors. (For some bizarre reason, the book repeatedly–but inconsistently–spells Pat Buchanan’s surname as “Buchannan.”) It focuses heavily on the social-media side of the alt-right and how the movement emerged organically from a trolling culture, with significant attention paid to Gamergate.

    I guess the alt-right is just too brief and recent a phenomenon to make a full-sized book about. Neiwert’s contribution is to contextualize it as part of a broader phenomenon of a radical-right resurgence in the US–something that’s been going on under the radar for years before Trump came along.




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  49. de stijl says:

    I’d totally forgotten the They Might Be Giants Boss Of Me theme song, which kicks butt. “Life is unfair”

    Good cold open

    Frankie Muniz is really young. Child centric shows always die when the principle get into that awkward 14 yo range. TV 2000 teen clothes look very 90’s. Everyone is suburban up-scale Urban Outfitters grunge.

    Why the hell did they decide to put the oldest kid in a military school? It’s disruptive to pacing.It’s a strange structure.

    Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) definitely sparkles. She’s playing sit-com mom knowingly.

    Funky Town has a waaay slower beat than I remember in my head; it’s like 70 bpm, where the version in my memory is ~90 -100 bpm. Cranston kills it. And he is in a surprising amount of the actual skating stunts. He’d obviously trained.

    Oh hell, I’d forgotten that too! Frankie Muniz always breaks the fourth wall in the show and talks directly to the camera / us.

    Hey! Two dudes at military school just fist bumped! In (looks up when S1 aired) 2000! That may be the ur-fist bump (tv version).

    It’s uncanny watching Cranston as Hal teach Muniz to skate and then consider seeing Mr. White teaching Jesse to cook. Hal is manipulative and demeaning and condescending, all the while he means to be trying trying to pass on technique and knowledge. Foreshadowing dun dun dun.

    Also, watching Hal interact with Lois is very evocative. It’s Walt and Skylar in a different time line.

    Malcolm just basically said “Well, f*ck you!” to dad. Muniz says “Well… [cut to big-rig’s brake’s screaming, cut back to] You!” And Cranston is standing there looking like he just been kneed in the nuts. (BTW, USA with Mr. Robot and SyFy with The Magicians now air un-bleeped “f*cks” as of this season.)

    There’s a 80s style getting ready for combat montage a la Rocky 3 or Rambo where Hal is strapping on his skates and his sparkly ice dancing-style headband to the the slow open of Queen’s We Are The Champions. It’s kinda reminiscent of Travolta in the horrific Staying Alive (aka Saturday Night Fever 2), but in a good way.

    Wow! I just looked up at the live TV and good god damn, but Johnny Weir has the awesomest pompadour! And Tara Lipinski is lookin’ fiiine!

    Cranston nails We Are The Champions. His twitching his arm out of the way of the post totally sells it.

    Back to the kid in military school. Why? It adds nothing.

    I do remember from other episodes that there was a school head honcho – Commandant Edwin Spangler, played by Daniel von Bargen (thank you Google) who was pretty awesome.

    They have a dot matrix printer! That scree-scree-jeet-jeet R2D2 sound. And then you got that mini-Doppler effect where the printer head spooky fast scooches over back to the left.
    Camera pans left to the massive CRT!

    Resolution is near. The kids are playing street hockey. (What town is this, exactly? Unless you live in the toniest of cul-de-sacs of Minnesota – think Edina – or Michigan – think Grosse Point, where does this take place? It’s like the idealized John Hughes version of Chicago exurbs a al Sixteen Candles.

    And we have resolution. The synthesis of street hockey and roller dancing allows Malcolm to score the winning goal powered by Lipps Inc. and Hal’s booty shakin’.

    That was illustrative. Halfway through I stopped seeing Cranston as Walter White but as Hal, but that is the power of well-designed narrative (let’s be honest, it’s just adequately above average.)

    The military school conceit for the oldest kid is just f*cking terrible. Cutting to that environment just short-circuits everything. (Except for Daniel von Bargen who is not in this episode, but curb stomps as a general rule – see Super Troopers for cinematic proof.)

    When this was made, they didn’t use the term “show runner”, but it looks like Linwood Boomer filled that role. This show has spark and it it probably boiled down to him and the core cast. He later was a consulting producer on The Mindy Project (which was a grade A show for the most part). He needs a new shot.

    Going back to that cold open. Which other series that rhymes with Snaking Sad had a definitively signature cold open to most episodes?




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  50. Mister Bluster says:

    Malcolm in the Middle
    Ida (Chloris Leachman)

    Can’t find the clip I was thinking of.
    Something about when she was growing up poor how she got a doll made out of a stick to play with for Christmas and she was glad to get it!

    These will have to do.
    Balls Lock
    Francis Spends Christmas with Grandma




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  51. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    (For some bizarre reason, the book repeatedly–but inconsistently–spells Pat Buchanan’s surname as “Buchannan.”

    That’s off-putting and disconcerting

    Perhaps Nagle has a Tom Tom Club “Genius Of Love” fixation.

    Bohannon, Bohannon. Bohannon.

    It is passingly strange that we’ve both been reading Niewert, and that you’d just quoted him recently here on OTB. He’s probably sold 10,000 copies of his last book. (Should be more in a more perfect world.)

    I call it serendipity, my friend.

    Niewert is a reporter first and foremost. We get names and dates and locations and quotes and background and setting and context. His later analysis is derived from those predecessors.

    He is thorough and fair to all of his sources, even those who hold abominable views.

    I must order Alt-America.

    In matters like this, I almost prefer long-form reads to book-length reads, because when you have to generate x number of pages, one must pad and elaborate and indulge in conjecture.

    I’m still trying to figure out whether the Proud Boys movement is worthy of attention or if it’s just a flash in the pan.

    And you are damn straight correct on the intersection of Gamergate with MRAs and the alt-Right.

    Gamergate is the key to understanding this, I believe. Gamergate mainstreamed unspeakable vileness into the broader culture. Doxxing and crowd-sourced harassment and blatant misogyny and anti-Semitism as totems of power and unity.

    Mob mentality first over-ruled decency and then supplanted it. The crowd determined that participants were Alphas and daring and laudable, and those who chose not to misbehave and to not cross societal boundaries on acceptable means of discourse were normies and Betas and weak.

    The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil. It’s for the lulz or to impress their peers.

    We cannot understand the alt-Right without understanding Gamergate.




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  52. de stijl says:

    Here is something I’m trying to understand:

    Why are anti-Semitic remarks very often couched as “ironic” or “jokes”, but misogyny is usually just flat-out vile words and hate?

    Is there some salutary effect of the Holocaust that makes these people cross that Jewish line cautiously in a way they do not consider when they talk about women?

    Also, I am thinking that Charlottesville was a huge missed opportunity in their eyes. What should have been a bold demonstration of America’s own and newly minted new Brown Shirts virtuously scrapping with the Leftist, commie antifas to preserve White, Confederate symbols was sullied by some out of control moron who ran down the counter-protesters (good), but killed Heather Heyer (not bad per se, but bad PR).

    Think of the symbology and messaging of the night before Heather Heyer was killed. Clean cut young White men in white shirts and khakis marching en masse as if they were the focal point of a Leni Riefenstahl camera with their tacky, bought in bulk from The Home Depot, tiki torches. (I imagine that dude in charge of props thought that those tiki torches they kind of looked like Roman fasces in the pic, so cool, I’ve nailed this!)

    Had Heather Heyer not been run down and killed by an evil little pus sore whose name I won’t type because f*ck him, this might have played out somewhat differently.

    All of the press coverage would have have been subtlety, but substantially different:

    “There was fighting in the streets of Charlottesville today. Police say x. Richard Spencer says y, antifa spokesperson says z. We are very concerned and will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds, blah, blah, blah.”

    That was the outcome they were hoping for. They wanted legitimacy.




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  53. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Have you seen Cloris Leachman on Raising Hope? She rocks really hard.




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  54. Kylopod says:

    @de stijl:

    Why are anti-Semitic remarks very often couched as “ironic” or “jokes”, but misogyny is usually just flat-out vile words and hate?

    I’m not sure I’ve noticed that before. Or at least, the “ironic” stuff isn’t confined to anti-Semitism but applied to a range of bigotry. Maybe not misogyny, but certainly racism and homophobia. As Milo Yiannopoulos and Allum Bokhari put it in their 2016 Breitbart article “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right”:

    Meanwhile, the alt-right openly crack jokes about the Holocaust, loudly — albeit almost entirely satirically — expresses its horror at “race-mixing,” and denounces the “degeneracy” of homosexuals… while inviting Jewish gays and mixed-race Breitbart reporters to their secret dinner parties. What gives?

    If you’re this far down the article, you’ll know some of the answers already. For the meme brigade, it’s just about having fun. They have no real problem with race-mixing, homosexuality, or even diverse societies: it’s just fun to watch the mayhem and outrage that erupts when those secular shibboleths are openly mocked.

    This kind of thing is not new. In the ’70s, punk rockers adopted Nazi symbols for the shock value. Malcolm McLaren (who was Jewish) handed swastikas out to the Sex Pistols. Of course there were some real white supremacists among this crowd (the neo-Nazi skinheads originated as a punk subculture), and it wasn’t always easy to tell who really meant it. For instance, the Dead Kennedys had a song called “California Uber Alles” and another in which they used the N-word. The lyrics to these songs were in fact left-wing and anti-racist, but it wasn’t always easy to make out what they were saying with their rapid-fire singing. Their song “Nazi Punks F*** Off” was evidently done in reaction to neo-Nazis showing up at their performances. I think Siouxsie & the Banshees’ song “Israel” was written for similar reasons. I read an interview with her in which she was asked why she used to wear Nazi armbands, and she explained that she saw it as being more the comic Nazis of Mel Brooks or Monty Python.

    From my perspective, a lot of this sounds like rationalization. They seized on Nazi imagery because it was about the most taboo subject in respectable society at the time. By the ’70s you could no longer shock people by being sexually provocative or using profanity. So, their adoption of Nazi symbols was at bottom nihilistic. Still, it’s notable that the history of invoking Nazis in a humorous context was something they used as cover. And, in a way, the humorous use of Nazis, as in “Springtime for Hitler,” was drawn from the same template. But The Producers was actually making a satirical point about the shock value of Nazis, rather than simply trying to utilize that shock value itself.

    In a way, it’s related to something I’ve noticed, which is that whenever the subject of cannibalism comes up, people start cracking jokes. When we’re confronted by the extremes of human barbarity, there’s a temptation to distance ourselves from it. And the Nazis definitely invited that reaction, with their ridiculous rallies, their goose-stepping, their funny-looking dictator ranting and raving before the camera. The Three Stooges and Charlie Chaplin had a field day with that stuff back in the early ’40s (though Chaplin later said he would never have made The Great Dictator if he had known about the death camps).

    By now, I think it’s become a cover not just for nihilism, but for the very bigotry it pretends to be mocking. To repeat what I wrote last year when this subject came up:

    Milo is the culmination of something that has been going on for a couple of decades, where “conservatism” has gradually morphed into trollism. Limbaugh planted the seeds in the ’90s, and Ann Coulter helped bring it to fruition the following decade. Baiting liberals wasn’t just something they did, it became practically their defining philosophy.

    The trick was to make reactionary attitudes seem cool and subversive, to make intolerance attractive by casting it as rebellion against an oppressive elite. Above all, it was a strategy for dealing with the way racism, sexism and other -isms were driven underground in the late 20th century. Since modern Western culture has long thrived on the destruction of taboos, the key to reviving traditional bigotry was to present it in a similar light. Trollism was the perfect vehicle for this revival because it was devilishly fun and provided them with an airtight excuse for anything that came out of their mouths–can’t you take a joke, people?!

    The alt-right seizes on the Nazi imagery because they think it’s “hilarious,” but it’s also a strategy for concealing their motives. They harass and threaten people using the most vile of imagery, but then as soon as anyone complains they say it’s merely “for the lulz,” and that anyone who took offense is a “snowflake.” It may not always involve swastikas, but that seems to be the easiest way to achieve that effect. Because, like, Mel Brooks.




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  55. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @teve tory: Actually, I knew a girl in grad school from Versailles. She was getting a PhD in French lit, of all things. Her visits home must have been interesting.




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  56. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    In the ’70s, punk rockers …

    I was a punk rocker in the late 70s.

    (In retrospect we were laughingly bad. Not just bad, but objectively horrible musicians and lyricists. By ’81 we were less than horrible – somewhere in the adequate range musically and less laughable lyrics, but still we sucked. We were in a town where there were real musicians [some were idiot-savants, but if an idiot who can barely read is a freakishly inventive guitarist and you aren’t, who is the idiot?] who had something real and important to say and I stopped because I was ashamed at my personal and our collective ineptitude. At best, we could be marginally adequate. Who wants to be almost adequate?)

    For instance, the Dead Kennedys had a song called “California Uber Alles” and another in which they used the N-word.

    California Uber Alles is an explicitly anti-fascist song. Which oddly casts then, and current, Governor Jerry Brown in the fascist role, well a sort of hippie compulsory yoga-type fascist. Yeah it’s stupid in retrospect. Still, catchy. And Biafra turns a decent phrase or two in the lyrics. It’s not bereft of talent.

    In the ’70s, punk rockers adopted Nazi symbols for the shock value. Malcolm McLaren (who was Jewish) handed swastikas out to the Sex Pistols.

    The Sex Pistols were the Monkees of punk. The Spice Girls of punk. The O-Town of punk. Prefab concept with personalities just slotted in. Sid literally could not play his instrument. It was a prop. Steve Jones played all the bass on Never Mind The Bollocks. Paul Cook could bash it pretty decent, and John Lydon was transcendant in the role of Johnny Rotten. (He actually turned out to be insightful with PiL in later years.)

    The lyrics to these songs were in fact left-wing and anti-racist, but it wasn’t always easy to make out what they were saying with their rapid-fire singing. Their song “Nazi Punks F*** Off” was evidently done in reaction to neo-Nazis showing up at their performances.

    I wore a “Nazi Punks F*ck Off”armband for years. No foolin’. I still own that armband, but I’d have to dig it out of a box in my storeroom.

    Minneapolis / St. Paul didn’t have a big Nazi punk contingent, in fact I can’t really think of anyone from there and then who went there. If there were those folks they would be basically get socially shunned out. That could be just self-selection out of groups that would condone or advocate that. In fact, it was quite explicitly an inclusivity of “Other” scene. There were quite a few out gay / lesbian folks, and others that weren’t out to the world or to their families, but were out to us. No one gave a sh*t. I’m listening to Bob Mould in the background as I am typing.

    If you could be counted upon not to flake and to show up and to do your job, you were gold. (Even punk can be Calvinist.)

    If there was a shared antipathy, it was against cops. Police routinely harassed you. They would thump on the boys and prey on the girls. And by prey on, I mean rape.

    I’m sure some of the boys were raped as well, but in that time we weren’t brave enough to broach that subject.

    I hope I never have to be inside a police building because I consider myself to be a circumspect and prudent person, and being there would be a sorely trying test.

    A Minneapolis street cop raped my girlfriend because it was a Tuesday and he was bored and horny. That was 35 years ago and I’m not over it yet, and I wasn’t the one who was raped.




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  57. gVOR08 says:

    @teve tory: We also have a Ver-say-ells in OH, and I expect you’re aware of My-lan MI.




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  58. al-Ameda says:

    If we’re going to go ‘conceptual’ here …

    My idea (concept) is that we build a wall composed of the debris of dismantled Trump hotels, Trump condominiums, and Trump resorts across the country, and if needed, around the world.

    And, yes, I’m okay with ‘Trump’ in gold lettering wherever the ‘Wall Art Commission’ deems it appropriate,




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  59. Mister Bluster says:

    @de stijl:..Raising Hope

    My TV at home does not get any channels. No streaming on my Netflix.
    There is still one Used DVD/CD store in town I can check for Raising Hope episodes.




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  60. michael reynolds says:

    @de stijl:

    I was never a big Pistols fan. I loved the Ramones – still do, in fact I paused Sheena to write this. And as you know, Sheena is a punk rocker, Sheena is. A punk rocker. Sheena is a punk rocker now-ow-ow-ow-ow. But I embraced 80’s punk and ska-punk (Rancid, Green Day, Offspring, Methadones, Dance Hall Crashers etc…) because they could all actually write lyrics and compose tunes. Not that she’s a punk, punk, punk rocker, punk, punk, punk rocker-er, isn’t brilliant but Tim Armstrong and Billy Joe Armstrong have a wee bit more depth.




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  61. de stijl says:

    @gVOR08:

    I had a gig in Des Moines where I would drive down on Sunday afternoon, work the week, and then drive back to Minneapolis on Friday.

    In DM I would be reading the local rag and there would be a story about some weird thing. Think strong arm robbery at a random convenience store and they would identify the shooter as Shooty McShootyface from Nevada.

    Then another story where woman is way-laid during a blizzard. Nevada woman trapped in car for three days on I-35.

    I’d react in my head like what bearing does the state the person was born in have to do with the rest of this story? This is odd.

    Then there would be a follow up.

    “Shooty McShootyface, the Nevada man accused of robbing the Kum and Go at 31st and University pled not guilty to all charges.”

    And my head was all “Why does this GD newspaper care so much that Shooty McShootyface was born in Nevada?” It adds exactly zero interest to the story. Why is “Nevada” in the headline? Or in the story for that matter, it makes no damn sense.

    And also, “How did I not know prior to this that there was a local convenience store chain actually called Kum and Go? Because that is totally effing awesome?”

    One Friday I was driving north towards home and about ten miles south of Ames, I saw a road sign “Nevada 3 M ->” pointing east.

    The lights came on. There’s this little town halfway between DM and Ames called Nevada. Actually pronounced ne-vay-da.

    Turns out that Shooty McShootyface was not a roguish puck gentleman bandit / raconteur from the exotic state of Nevada, but a piddly little exurban f*cknozzle who couldn’t figure out that brown fellas can pack heat too.

    The headline should have been “Savvy Sikh Shop-owner Shoots Suburban Sh1tstain in Shoulder”

    Newspapers like alliteration.

    Also, Kum and Go is an actual chain of stores. They are winkingly aware of their suggestive name and sell t-shirts and hats proudly declaring their brand.

    I own both a t-shirt and a hat with their logo because I am very easily amused.

    I gave my mom a Kum and Go pink camo t-shirt and she loved it. Mesa, AZ randos were appalled and bemused at her shirt, but she loved it. and that is all that matters.

    Also, there is another little town like ten miles SE of DM called Cumming. There is a bike trail and I believe some sort of bicycle race there and back. The town supports itself by selling shirts with the logo “I (heart emoji) Cumming”

    I own one of those shirts too. I am shameless.




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  62. Tony W says:

    Back to the wall…..

    It is interesting that little is being done about the actual problems happening within a few miles of this silly demo. Tunneling is a huge problem, as are drone boats washing up in Imperial Beach and nearby shoreline.

    If Mr. Magoo wants to build his wall as a symbolic monument, then I wish him luck getting Mexico to pay for it.

    Looking at parallels, however, I’d suggest that many more foreigners have entered China because of their wall, than have been kept out because of it.




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  63. de stijl says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I actually like Never Mind the Bollocks… because it’s fun and stupid and John Lydon sells it well. It’s surpisingly melodic for the time. There are definite pop elements. Like I said earlier it is The Spice girls version of punk, and Malcolm McClaren made millions.

    I also love The Ramones early stuff because it’s just fun and stupid and loud. Beat On The Brat With A Baseball Bat is a decent song, but an amazing bit of wordplay.

    Sheena is definitely a punk rocker. Dang it, now you’ve given me that ear-worm and it will take me a week to dislodge that sucker. Sheena is a punk rocker, Sheena is. A punk rocker. Sheena is a punk rocker now-ow-ow-ow-ow.

    The problem with punk is that is exactly one emotion allowed and that emotion is anger. Anger is fine; it has it has a place in our emotional palette, but it is very limiting. And I’m not really all that angry a person in my day-to-day.

    There would be these little internecine battles in the scene: are The Suburbs punk? Husker Du has complex lyrics acknowledging other emotions other than anger… Is that punk? The Replacements just got signed to Twin/Tone…Is that punk?

    It was so maddeningly limiting. Grr! Now I am angry looking back at it. There are more emotions than anger, and there more questions than “Is that punk?”




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  64. grumpy realist says:

    @de stijl: There’s a documentary DVD out about Queen full of snippets of interviews and performances.

    One of the more hilarious stories included was when Freddy Mercury met Sid Vicious:

    Wessex Studios, summer 1977. Queen are hard at work on their sixth album. In a neighbouring studio, the Sex Pistols are putting together Never Mind The Bollocks…. “So you’re the bloke that’s supposed to be bringing ballet to the masses?” asks a sneering Sid Vicious during a brief encounter in the conjoining corridor. “Ah, Mr Ferocious!” pipes back Freddie Mercury, “well, we’re trying our best!”




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  65. de stijl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Sid was a drug-addled moron who couldn’t play a lick, but he had attitude.

    Freddy, and Queen in general, deserved a good rhetorical kick in the crotch at that point of their career. Not saying that Sid was skilled or schooled in rhetoric, but the man did know how to kick a crotch.

    Hey. you’re a Rod Dreher nerd, I’ve seen your handle there. What’s going on with him?

    He keeps blasting out these 10,000 word posts that basically repeat “The West is dying” over and over. But he is strangely mute on the powerless college age jerks who own zero cultural power SJW’s, but look! I’ve discovered this intriguing link about these special snowflakes stepping outside of the bounds I believe they should be constrained by and that I will now blather on about for ~10,000 words front, but it basically boils down to “The West Is Dying!” and the real fascists are the Cultural Left or the media or the MTDs or the Enlightenment or the new pope.

    I am of the opinion that dude is going to go full-on red-pill alt-Right. Total face / heel turn. His id wants it so bad, you can tell, but his super-ego is restraining him so far.

    Look at his background. He’s changed religions three (arguably four) times already in his life and and counting.

    One third of his brain is crying out for that red pill. The id wants what it wants and is very persistent. He has probably unconsciously reckoned the media situation, he could be Richard Spencer 2.0 only more thoughtful. He could be the crunchy alt-Right thinker with the Le Corbusier classy / thoughtful eye-glasses. With Dante allusions and home-spun Wendell Berry / JD Vance truth-bombs.

    His last book is a sci-fi fantasy where the narratively chosen survivors have safely nestled themselves into a Benedict Option super fortress built to withstand the endless attacks from the culturally powerless college-aged SJW oriented uber snowflake vampires.

    Your take?




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  66. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    My TV at home does not get any channels. No streaming on my Netflix.
    There is still one Used DVD/CD store in town…

    Do you live in rural Somalia? You are bereft of basically every modern convenience.




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  67. de stijl says:

    My poison pill was Talking Heads and Elvis Costello. I don’t recall which was first but I know it was 1977. I distinctly recall listening to both of those records in autumn 1977.

    There was an escape from the all-anger all-the-time lyric jail.

    New wave wasn’t punk, and if you listened you were suspect. In modern day parlance I got woke.

    Woke AF.




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  68. grumpy realist says:

    @de stijl: I think that if Rod Dreher ambles any further towards the alt-right he’s going to pop what is left of his brain. He doesn’t have the “yah yah yah” jeering attitude that the alt-right has–as far as I can tell, the bulk of them are simply waving around Nazi insignae for Teh Lulz and in order to cause the SWJs to go purple. Half of the alt-right are drifters coming over from 4chan to epater les bourgeois..,

    Rod, by contrast, really honestly thinks that the world started going downhill ever since the Nominalists came on the scene. I see him more likely to run off and join the guys who are trying to replace Italian with Latin and bring back the Roman Empire.

    I’ll consider the alt-right serious when they get off their computers and start actually learning some of that Great Western Civilization they claim is so fantastic and want to defend against the darkie hordes. I’ll bet not a single one of them know Latin.




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  69. Tyrell says:

    @de stijl: Another activist federal judge.
    It is time to restore Constitutional government and a balance of power. See Convention of States – a grass roots movement to do that.




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  70. Mister Bluster says:

    @de stijl:..Somalia?

    I live in a land called the Fixed Income Community Alliance aka Social Security.
    I am grateful to have qualified for these benefits and Medicare for several years.
    In fact I was elated that there was a whopping 2.0% cost of living increase for SS in 2018.
    My joy was soon stifled when the increase in the Medicare premium deducted from the SS benefit amount left me with a payment just $1.00 (one dollar)/month more than it has been for the past few years.

    Not to worry.
    I have a part time job delivering the Carbondale Times and other free rags circulated by Thomas Publications here in Sleepytown.
    As for TV the local Buffalo Wild Wings has 56 big screens that allows me to watch multiple NBA/MLB/NFL games when they are in season.
    At home my DSL connection and AM/FM radio provide all the media I want.

    Somalis break the internet with viral ‘BarBar’ challenge
    Africanews




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  71. Mister Bluster says:

    @de stijl:..Somalia…

    I live in a land called the Fixed Income Community Alliance aka Social Security.
    I am grateful to have qualified for these benefits and Medicare for several years.
    In fact I was elated that there was a whopping 2.0% cost of living increase for SS in 2018.
    My joy was soon stifled when the increase in the Medicare premium deducted from the SS benefit amount left me with a payment just $1.00 (one dollar)/month more than it has been for the past few years.

    Not to worry.
    I have a part time job delivering the Carbondale Times and other free rags circulated by Thomas Publications here in Sleepytown.
    As for TV the local Buffalo Wild Wings has 56 big screens that allows me to watch multiple NBA/MLB/NFL games when they are in season.
    At home my DSL connection and AM/FM radio provide all the media I want.




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