Open Forum

Where you can't be off topic because there IS no topic.

The floor is yours.

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


  1. DeD says:

    Good morning, OTB fam. Question: If the current trend is to “Make America White Again,” what do all the revolutionaries propose be done with all us “colored folk?” Reading Metzl’s “Dying of Whiteness” and an article on The National Memo website this morning, the premise is that a good portion of white folks would rather suffer than share benefits with PoC. The current political climate demonstrates that a significant portion of whites want to take back what minute power was conceded to PoCs in prior decades and reverse the “shared power” trend.

    So, assuming a successful outcome, what do they propose to do with us?

  2. Teve says:
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DeD: They will put you in a box under a bridge, very similar to the box and bridge under which they sleep, so long as you do not have a curtain rod like theirs with which to cook the sparrow you are having for dinner.

  4. Kit says:


    So, assuming a successful outcome, what do they propose to do with us?

    I don’t believe Real Americans (TM) have had that conversation yet. Still, I can imagine them falling into one of the following camps:

    1) Figure out a way to keep benefits out of the hands of PoC. At one extreme, it means that no one gets cake. But much better would be some fair, objective means test that, well, you know, just happens to skew white.

    2) Separate but equal.

    3) Separate but unequal. Please don’t call it apartheid.

    4) States’ Rights. Please don’t call this slavery.

    5) Ship y’all back where you came from.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Headline at the top of the Guardian’s page: The lies have it: Republicans abandon truth in Trump impeachment defence

    Whatever did I unknowingly do to some random Chinese person that s/he would curse me with these interesting times?

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Facebook ads are spreading lies about anti-HIV drug PrEP. The company won’t act

    Since late summer, many LGBTQ+ Facebook users’ newsfeeds have begun to display medically incorrect targeted advertising. These ads pertain to Truvada, a one-pill-a-day pharmaceutical that has been demonstrated to reduce the likelihood of HIV transmissions by as much as 99%, making it a key mechanism in the decades-long fight against HIV/Aids.

    “Side Effects from taking an HIV Drug …” reads one badly punctuated message, full of random capitalizations. “The manufacturers had a safer drug & kept it secret … They kept selling the dangerous one.”

    That ad, which runs on Instagram as well as Facebook, is paid for by the Virginia law firm KBA Attorneys. It cites unspecified bone and kidney conditions as side-effects from Truvada, dangling the prospect of financial compensation from what appears to be a nascent product-liability lawsuit against manufacturer Gilead Sciences.


    Addressing the ad’s claim of bone damage, the San Francisco Aids Foundation says Truvada’s effects are “not clinically significant”, adding that it “has been shown to cause a 1% decrease in bone mineral density, a change that reverses once the medication is stopped.”


    The risk here isn’t so much that people may be misinformed as that it could roll back decades of hard-won progress against HIV/Aids. In working to transform the disease from a death sentence to a chronic condition that can be managed with appropriate treatment, public health advocates have worked tirelessly to establish trust and bring hard-to-reach populations like sex workers and intravenous drug users into the system.

    “Getting to Zero” has long been the mantra, a number that refers to zero new transmissions, zero deaths from complications arising from HIV/Aids and zero stigma. In San Francisco, the number of new infections citywide went from a recent peak of 453 in 2012 to a low of 197 last year. Organizations such as the San Francisco Aids Foundation have cited PrEP as a significant contributor to this success, always with the caveat that progress is fragile. Racial disparities remain, and hard-to-reach populations are often the first to fall out of care.

    Anti-vaxxers have a new cause.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Patrick S. Tomlinson
    ‏ @stealthygeek

    My following has demanded my story about 1,000 baby praying mantises. So, here we go. About fifteen years ago, I lived in Tampa Bay. If you’ve ever been, you know it’s hot, humid, and grows bugs big enough to mug you for drug money. 1/

    The whole thread is worth the trip.

  8. Kit says:


    Whatever did I unknowingly do to some random Chinese person that s/he would curse me with these interesting times?

    Are these times really so interesting? Sure, we are treated to the appalling spectacle of the right-wing freak show (I never suspected that Trump’s ass kissers would be planting their smooches from inside his anal cavity), but few questions are still worth asking after decades of analysis: Failure of politics; failure of capitalism; failure of education and communication.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Amazing deal’ or ‘capitulation’? Why the US-China trade truce may not last

    Brad Setser, a former US treasury economist and now a fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations thinktank in New York, said an impasse had been reached amid a growing sense in the US that China does not want a deal within the existing framework.

    “China won’t get a rollback of all tariffs and the US knows China is not going to moderate its economic model,” he says. “A limited deal is recognition that a broad deal is impossible. Both realise that phase one is all they can get.

    “But there is growing friction. China is no longer seen as on a trajectory that favours the US. It’s not going to evolve to bring closer integration with the US and others.”

    From a Chinese perspective, there is growing anger at US criticism of “internal matters” such as treatment of the Uighurs and Hong Kong. In a speech hours before the announcement on Friday, China’s minister of foreign affairs, Wang Yi, ignored the trade issue and excoriated the US for having “seriously damaged the hard-won mutual trust” between the two countries.

    His remarks indicate that the “decoupling” of the US and Chinese economies was reaching the point of no return. Despite promising to open up, China is not dismantling its state-led economy and is using state resources to help companies expand globally through the Belt and Road initiative and dominate key industries (a new “Made in China 2025” policy). Last week’s report that Xi Jinping has ordered all government offices to remove foreign-made computers and software underlines his intent.

    Scott Kennedy, senior adviser at Chinese business and economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, wrote: “In the short-term China and Xi Jinping are the clear winners. With only limited concessions, China has been able to preserve its mercantilist economic system and continue its discriminatory industrial policies at the expense of China’s trading partners and the global economy.”

  10. Bill says:

    Headline of the day-

    SuperShuttle airport business is shutting down for good at the end of the year

    From 1997 to 2001 I traveled from South Florida to LAX around 50-75 times. My ultimate destination was either Santa Monica or the Anaheim area and I never rented a car. I had no need for one.

    Before I began making the trips in Feb 97, a friend recommended SS to me. I used them every time and their service was good. On arrival at my hotel, one of the first things I’d do was make a reservation for my return trip to the airport.

    Till sometime in late 97 I used SS. See I was flying home on a red eye. I called and made a reservation like always. SS was supposed to pick me up at 11. They didn’t show. I called them and they insisted a van was coming to pick me up. Over a half hour late and still no shuttle, my hotel helped get me a cab. By the time I got to the gate at LAX, my flight was already boarding. Being a late arrival too, I missed out on any chance of getting a upgrade to First Class because of my elite Freq Flyer status. So I wasn’t too happy.

    I never used SS in Los Angeles ever again. Maybe 1 or 2 trips later, I met a Filipino named Hal Alfonso (My wife is a Filipina and I speak some Tagalog) who privately taxied people. From that time forward I used Hal whenever I came to Southern California.

    Sometimes I made trips to Dallas. I used SS then and in New Orleans or Las Vegas. My air traveling pretty much came to an end in 2002.

    RIP Super Shuttle

  11. Kathy says:


    Are these times really so interesting?

    This is always judged backwards: does this period in history make for interesting reading?

    No doubt the people who lived through major wars and periods of upheaval did not find their times “interesting.” But those who read bout them do.

  12. CSK says:

    You may have some breathing space. My take on the alt-right is that they regard Jews (excuse me, Joooooos, as they say) as a much greater imminent threat. Which is not to say, of course, that they have any use for POC. Getting rid of the Jews is, however, a matter of more urgency. Remember Charlottesville: “Jews will not replace us!”

  13. CSK says:

    Well, I just learned something absolutely fascinating at Donald Trump really isn’t fat. He just has to wear lots of body armor because the Democrats are trying to kill him.

    This does not account for the 9 lb. glob of blubber under his chin.

  14. Liberal Capitalist says:

    I never used SS in Los Angeles ever again.

    Capitalism, by design, is the only system that guarantees failure. Competition always wipes out an established company, as the established company is burdened by the weight of its own success.

    And, the new upstarts have gotten smart: They often keep the names of the established companies to keep that brand loyalty (see At&T)

  15. Jax says:

    This is interesting. Now that we know for certain McConnell and Co have no intention of conducting an impartial Senate trial, I’m beginning to think those who are calling for Pelosi to sit on the impeachment charges and continue investigating is the right idea. His strong-arming of Ukraine is most definitely NOT his only impeachable crime.

  16. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “Now that we know for certain McConnell and Co have no intention of conducting an impartial Senate trial…”

    Forgive me, but we always knew that they had no intention of conducting an impartial trial. The difference is that their sense of the political climate has changed to the point that they either can or need to declare their true mind on the issue.

  17. Kathy says:

    So let me tell you about my week:

    Monday I left work at 8 pm.
    Tuesday around 10 pm.
    Wednesday I left on Thursday at 5 am.
    Thursday I left around 11 pm (after getting back to work at 10:30 am)
    Friday I left on Saturday at 4 am.

    Saturday I woke around 10 am, had breakfast by 11, and went back to sleep by 11:15. I awoke again at 2 pm, puttered around trying to get the will to get dressed and go to the store. I ate around 3 pm, had another nap til 7 pm, decided not to go to the store, had dinner at 9, and went to bed at 10.

    It wasn’t entirely wasted. I ran an ep of Final Space, Season 2.

    And today, Sunday, I’m back at work, catching up on all the administrative crap I don’t have time to do during the week.

  18. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I honestly didn’t think they’d have the balls to say OUT LOUD that they weren’t going to do their constitutional duty. I figured they’d at least go through the motions to make it look good.

    I know, I know, I was giving them more credit than they’re due. 😉

  19. Jax says:

    @Kathy: I think you need a raise!!

  20. Kit says:


    This is always judged backwards: does this period in history make for interesting reading?

    Ok, so what’s your prediction? Will our times be judged interesting? 🙂

    I think that people with a passion for history tend to be drawn to beginnings and aftermaths, while more casual students get drawn to the climax. And my feeling is that we are in the early days of great change.

  21. Kathy says:


    I got one last year, so I don’t expect another one until sometime after I retire…

  22. Kathy says:


    Ok, so what’s your prediction?

    We’ll read like pre-WWI international tensions: thick, petty, and astonishment that people can be so stupid and short-sighted.

  23. Mister Bluster says:

    @DeD:..So, assuming a successful outcome, what do they propose to do with us?

    I suspect it will come as no suprise to you but I have heard too many white stinking bigots say it out loud to ignore. They want to kill you.
    For some reason they think that since I am white I want to hear this crap talk from them.
    I make it real clear to them that they are talking about friends of mine and that they should stay away from me and my family.
    So far I have resisted the urge to kick them in the ass as they skulk away.

  24. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Kathy, what is it that you do? Those are some brutal hours.

  25. Kathy says:


    Did you ever read “Bullshit Jobs” by David Graber?

    Ok, it’s not all BS at my job, but a lot of it is.

    We sell food and food services to government agencies (and a few private sector customers). Without going into much boring detail, the proposals we put together comprise about 4 to 5 five-inch binders of waste paper (well, 90% waste paper), including the price listings.

    The latter is my area of responsibility. it doesn’t sound too bad. It’s a listing of the products requested by the agencies, arranged in a table including description, quantities, brand, price, and amounts. It begins to sound a little bad when you consider we’re talking anywhere between 150 and 450 products. It gets worse when you consider a price list has to be divided into categories, like meats, fruits and vegetables, dairy, packaged goods, cold meats, and milk (sometimes also juice and concentrates).

    It gets really bad when an agency has subdivisions, and requires more than one price list. Say like 4, one for each division, no two alike. Sometimes a bunch of agencies band together so they’ll make their purchases in one go, and at a lower price, but each requires their own listing. the last such had 12 such divisions. The one due Wednesday has (checks file) six.

    I used to help collect the waste paper, but I’m largely out of that part of the job. that’s really mostly BS, since it has little actual practical effect on anything, but ti’s stressful due to deadlines. That’s why I got as out of it as I could. I mean, I can call someone at purchasing at 11 pom, or 2 am, and demand they dig up the price of vanilla extract, 110 to 150 ml., right NOW(*). I can’t call the manufacturer of cottage cheese and ask for an amended letter of their product line, or the lab to ask for an analysis of a different brand of sausage.

    (*)Of course, I try not to do that. Ideally I should have all my prices and brands ahead of time. Next best to that, I look up prices online and get approval from my supervisor to offer them that way. But sometimes I have to.

  26. EddieInCA says:



    Monday: Left home at 5:30am. 6:30am call. 8pm wrap (13hr shooting day), home at 9pm.
    Tusday: Left home at 6am, 8am call (more traffic for an 8am start), 9pm wrap, home at 10pm,
    Wednesday: Left home at 6:45am, 9am call (more traffic for an 9am start), 10;30pm wrap, home at 11:30pm
    Thursday: Left home at 11am, 12noon call, 1:30am wrap, home at 2am
    Fraturday: Left home at 2pm, 3:30pm call. 5am finish. home at 6am

    Total hours commuting: 10.25
    67.5 work hours:
    Total: 77.75

    Normal for film and TV in Los Angeles. One of the reasons I like working out of town is the lack of Traffic in places like South Florida, Texas, or Georgia.

  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jax: That’s why I’m open to it being driven by need. I think they can see how precarious the whole house of cards is. They’ve gotta keep their base active.

    ETA: @Kathy: Gooooooooooooooooooolllll~!

  28. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: WA! That’s way more complicated than what our company did in the 70s and 80s. Of course, we were only bidding on fresh farm produce and didn’t need to make catalogues, just bid sheets. Also, not nationwide; only for 3 or 4 regional base commissaries.

  29. Tyrell says:

    Since this is the season, I am wondering a few things. Doe anyone still go out in the woods to get their Christmas tree ? We did that a few times when I was young. I liked doing that.
    Some lessons: it is hard to find evergreens that are just the right size and shape.
    Most of the time you have to cut them shorter to get it in the house.
    But first you have to remove any bird nests.
    Regular pines dry out quickly, so keep it watered
    Cedars smell great and may have a nice shape, but shed a lot, and there is something about them that can cause itching.

    Does anyone have a resource on how to make Chrismons out of beads and wire? I have some old ones and would like to make some more, but I can’t find any directions. Some look complicated.
    We used to have bubble lights long ago. I would like to get some, but none of the stores had them.

  30. CSK says:

    @Tyrell: appears to have patterns for Chrismons. Use the search function.

  31. Bill says:

    A sucker is born every minute headline?-

    Babe Ruth’s 500th home run bat fetches more than $1 million at auction

    I view this story with extreme skepticism. Granted the Babe was a generous person, but this bat to have been used for 500th home run. I doubt it. People are crazy for potential sports memorabilia today. 90 years ago? Hardly at all.

  32. Jax says:
  33. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Some years ago we took a couple of courses on government acquisition procedures. Technical stuff aside, which would require long and tedious explanations, the key takeaway was “governments don’t buy goods or services, they buy papers.”

    This is not entirely true, as in the end they acquire goods or services. But the typical request for proposal includes anywhere from 50 to 75 pages of text detailing all the papers one must present, before the products in question even get any specific mention.

  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: Cedar is always more problematical as an indoor tree because the greenery tends to allow mold to flourish more than pine does and holds more. At least that’s what the allergist told me when I was younger.

    Never did cut down a tree. Didn’t have and ax/saw and couldn’t get a permit even if I’d had one. (All the trees not on farms are in national forests out here.)

  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: The papers part is familiar to me. For fresh produce on a bid, all we needed to do was list the items we wanted to bid on using an invoice sheet.

    And submit 25 copies over and above the 8 or 10 we needed for in-house use.

  36. de stijl says:

    I recently learned that David Byrne opened up to being Asberger’s on the spectrum.

    That is very intriguiging, and it totally makes sense (stop making sense).

    Perhaps I’m undereducated, but my understanding is that spectrum people prefer order over chaos and there are likely issues with empathy.

    I see Byrne as chaotic and empathetic.

    1977 and More Songs About Buildings and Food sort of prove that.


    True Stories is a wonky movie, but it is extremely compelling. It’s very there. I love it.

  37. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Invoices in Mexico these days are a complex matter, involving encrypted digital signatures, and two files each. To prevent fraud, don’t you know.

    Lest I give the impression everything in Mexico is needlessly complicated, Mexican banks are incredibly integrated among themselves. For example, any check from any deposited before noon in any other bank clears the next business day before noon. You can also pay any credit card issued by any bank at any other bank, though it may take a day to register in the issuing bank.

    So there’s that.

  38. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..any check from any deposited before noon in any other bank clears the next business day before noon. You can also pay any credit card issued by any bank at any other bank, though it may take a day to register in the issuing bank.

    Are there any fees involved?

  39. de stijl says:


    I find the wonky details of jobs fascinating.

    Used to be a process designer / engineer. I like that you shared. It fired up brain cells that haven’t been used recently.

    Digging in and asking how, why, what about, what if questions was fun. And I got paid well to do so. The win-win cliche.

    Documentation was a pain though. I know it’s necessary and why, but ugh.

    The fun was in thinking about and figuring out how to make it faster, better, less resource intensive, more integrated, etc. And then making it be.

    I did enjoy that.

  40. Kit says:

    @de stijl:

    The fun was in thinking about and figuring out how to make it faster, better, less resource intensive, more integrated, etc. And then making it be.

    For me, all the fun is in the analysis. Once I’ve cracked the problem, I start losing interest.

  41. de stijl says:


    I once worked someone out of his job.

    He was tasked with acquiring, collating, and integrating info that his boss’s boss’s boss wanted to see monthly.

    Turn some pulls into automated pushes, do some SQL magic, ask the right questions about how why when.

    Blaine (dude referenced earlier) got a promotion and a raise. He had spent his whole month on one task that I brought down to a half hour most of which was processing time. Push an icon, done before you get back from your pointless team meeting.

    That was a very satisfying gig. Two weeks of actual work and week for documentation.

    Plus they asked for me to come back later. That’s a story and a half when that happened.

  42. Kit says:

    @de stijl:
    My whole career has been in heavy industrial-strength solutions, so my jaw always drops when I see what a real wizard can accomplish by stringing together several common tools in unexpected ways. MacGyver crazy sh!t! Of course, when it breaks… In the end, it takes all types, and it can be really fun to see how bright guys get the job done in their own way.

  43. de stijl says:


    I encountered a woman who did a waterfall query with MS Access as the front end.

    It was brute-force inefficient, but so very genius. She pulled a huge dataset onto a server. Then ran a query against the previous query’s result set, then again, etc. Genius!

    A waterfall is where the results from the previous query are the input to the next, but you can peruse the set. Using straight SQL, it’s cumbersome. You have write out to temp dbs. Not hard, but fairly labor intensive.

    Credit score > 714, homeowner > 1 year, in these specified states, etc. Management wanted to see the fallout at each condition, so she needed to do a waterfall.

    She just thought about it and did it. That was astonishing. She found a way. A year out of college.

    Actually Access was perfect for the job. She created a query, pointed the next query at the results of the last, etc. If they wanted to shuffle the order of the conditions in the waterfall, she just pushed queries up and down the list in the macro builder.

    Freaking genius solution! Really inefficient and it took forever for a full run, but so so so cool that she dreamed it up.

    Btw, this may have inadvertently led to the mortgage market meltdown in 2008. Oops!

    Turns out we were pushing refi offers to people where it was not long term viable on purpose and then quickly selling the tainted paper into the secondary market asap.

    I did not know those facts then. I apologize.

  44. DrDaveT says:


    Ok, so what’s your prediction? Will our times be judged interesting?

    Yes, for the following reason:

    The current idioms for doing something unproductive when you need to be dealing with a looming crisis are “fiddling while Rome burns” and “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic”. History will have a new one, driven by the way the western world collapsed into self-destructive nativist bickering just as a global effort was needed to avert climate catastrophe.

    It took Europe nearly 1000 years to recover from the fall of Rome. How long it takes to recover from The New Reality will depend on whether the regional resource wars go nuclear, how much agricultural production is lost, etc.

  45. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I think with credit cards there may be. I don’t know for sure. It’s been like years since I did that. I usually pay at the issuing bank, or make a transfer. There are no fees for depositing checks.

  46. Kit says:

    This from The Guardian: Chuck Schumer says Senate trial without witnesses would be ‘cover-up’

    Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer criticized the White House for its handling of the impeachment inquiry, arguing a Senate trial without witnesses would be the equivalent of a “cover-up”.

    “Trials have witnesses. That’s what trials are all about,” Schumer told reporters at his press conference. “To engage a trial without the facts coming out is to engage in a cover-up.”

    Is it me or are Democrats finally starting to hit the right notes?

  47. Kit says:

    @de stijl:

    Btw, this may have inadvertently led to the mortgage market meltdown in 2008. Oops!

    I believe I said something about when it breaks…

  48. Kit says:

    I suspect that our age will be constantly run through the cheese grater, each historian trying to zero in on the exact moment that we tipped over the edge. Good times. Interesting times.

  49. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Between government’s appetite for paper, and the work “ethic” at this company, I think we could break you 🙂

  50. de stijl says:


    1994 will be a key and crucial turning point for future historians.



    Messaging as policy.

  51. Kit says:

    @de stijl:

    1994 will be a key and crucial turning point for future historians.

    Yeah. And for those of us who were in history, that’s a pretty good date for starting the clock and asking: how long did it take you to figure out that something was wrong? During the presidency of Clinton? Bush? Obama? Trump?…

  52. de stijl says:


    So far I am unbreakable.

    If I can institute a work flow process change that exceeds my fee, I win.

    It might not be the big win. I accept incrementalism. And I bill high.

  53. de stijl says:


    The year that started us on the path where Rs value party over country.

  54. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: Somewhere around 1980, where they finally fully embraced the Southern strategy. I’m thinking of Reagan’s State’s Rights speech but that might be just the thing that sticks in my memory. Maybe it was just him taking the next step and the party itself still had a little ways to go yet.

  55. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    My really BIG problem is a variant of PEBKAC (Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair, for those who didn’t know). There’s this mountain of work to do, and people keep interrupting me. Mostly people outside the department, which I can understand. But also from inside, who know how much work there is and who, 9 times out of ten, are waiting on my share to finish their proposal.

    It’s really amazing how much faster all work goes after 6 pm.

  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Reminds me of Korea, except no checks. At all. Can’t transact them anymore, AFAIK. Someone sent me a check for something once. Had to cash it at Western Union and deposit the cash. It’s all wire transfers and credit accounts there.

  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kit: We’ll know in 11 months.

  58. de stijl says:



    Don’t kill yourself for a job!

    Do not!

    One time I did a 107 hour week on a job where I was salaried. It was madness. I was a relative kid. So I knew no better. I worked every day weekends included on a project where I made salary. One time I went to work on Friday and came back home on Sunday afternoon. Routinely 80 – 90 hour weeks for 7 months for base salary.

    Work til exhaustion and beyond is abuse.

    These are the most important words I’ve ever typed.

    If your job is bad for your health either physical or mental, just walk away. You do not want random panic attacks, long term anxiety issues, etc.

    If it’s not fun, walk away. You are not letting anyone down. It’s a job. They are paying you for your experience and your time. If they want to change the contract on the time issue, then make them pay you more. Much, much more.

    Hint. They won’t. They have salary budgets they cannot exceed.

    Do not let your job ruin your life. Don’t. Do not. It is their issue that they piled too much work on you.

    If it is hurting your life just walk away.

  59. de stijl says:


    That is an interesting point. The Southern Strategy got its legs under Nixon. It served them well.

    It broke whatever you could call their soul in doing so, but it worked.

    Again, party over country. A bad choice they’ve repeatedly chosen.

    The Reagan kick-off speech in Philadelphia, MS with a state’s rights theme was a message to both black America and to white America. A very shameful message.

  60. de stijl says:

    Y’all know me for being stupid obsessed with Har Mar Superstar’s version of When You Were Mine.

    Ani Di Franco has a slow acoustic take. I like.

    I’m in an odd space. I actually prefer the cover over the original. An original by Prince himself.

    Har Mar Superstar’s version moves me more.

    Perhaps I’m an idiot.

    If so, whatever. I’ll choose happiness over cool kid cred anyday of the week.

  61. Jax says:

    @de stijl: I’m glad you showed back up, friend! I wish we were Facebook friends so I could show you the Dead South live. It was fabulous.

    The band’s tour manager texted me the night before and said bring the dang kids, regardless of it being 21+ only. They signed hats, tour posters, and Lyrik’s drum sticks and ukelele. Then they played a little private concert for them, since they couldn’t go to the actual show. They played their favorite song. I had some happy kids.

    The 21+ show was also awesome. They are so good live!

  62. de stijl says:

    Har Mar was the lamest mall. I think the anchor store was a Sears or a JC Penny. Trust me, it was super lame.

    But they had a four slot theater. And an arcade. I spent so much money there.

    Walk two blocks to Snelling, take the bus north. 45 cents.

    Proportionally, I spent the majority of my paltry disposable income at super crappy Har Mar mall. At that time, I was barely capable of feeding myself. I was such an idiot.

    I have an enduring fondness for that area of St. Paul.

    Btw, Har Mar Superstar kicks so much ass. He does not care what you think.

    I totally adore him.

  63. de stijl says:

    I kinda sorta knew Prince’s keyboardist. Not the doctor. The guy after. New Power Generation era.

    He was in some inconsequential band. I knew him enough to say, “Hey man. Nice to see you” at parties.

    He wasn’t even that good. But he was very pretty. Which is why he got hired.

    Yeah, he was in Geno’s band. I remember now.

    My quite drunk roommate banged dude’s then girlfriend who was also quite drunk in the the front seat of my car.

    They thought they were being sneaky. Drunk people are stupid. We could see it from the upstairs porch area where everyone was hanging out. It was uneventful and lasted maybe 3 minutes.

    Dude did not see. Maybe he was passed out? I do not recall. There was no drama situation anyway. People actually kept their mouths shut afterwards.

    I was most concerned about my car. I don’t enjoy sitting on someone else’s DNA. Seriously, it was a stick. Why did you idiots not go into the back?

    That was my brush with greatness.

    I did randomly meet Teller from Penn & Teller. He is not mute actually and seemed like a decent fella.

    Btw, Prince was tiny. Maybe 5 foot two or three. He was a wee man in stacked heeled shoes.

    Also met Gallagher and Joan Jett. Joan Jett is so fuckin cool. She is such a badass.

  64. de stijl says:

    Geno was a good friend.

    He could sing like an angel. He was so very good at it.

    He was a really good guy, but not very smart or savvy.

    He actually didn’t realize he was bi. He thought all guys were. That was a bizarre conversation.