Saturday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. de stijl says:

    Prince used to do a version of Creep live. I never knew this until today.

    The tchcha CHUNK of the og version was a head-spinner and mind blower when I first heard that.

    The Pixies can do slow-fast or hard-soft in abrupt and interesting fashion but that tchcha-cha Chunk in Creep is freaking epic.

    Notably, it does not change the played tempo, just the intensity. The rest of the song plays on quite leisurely on at the same beat. Re-listen. The tempo is the same. It just ramps up intensity from 2 to 10 abruptly. And the volume. There is no speed up.

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  2. Teve says:

    gVOR08 says:
    Friday, 2 July 2021 at 21:33

    @Sleeping Dog: I haven’t traveled all that much, but Boston is the worst I’ve ever seen, and I now live in Florida. The one that almost got me killed was discovering that at a four way stop, there’s no need for the second guy to stop if I already have. Massholes indeed.

    The only way to survive Miami traffic is depicted in the documentary Mad Max: Fury Road.

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  3. sam says:
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Eye of fire’: Gas leak sparks huge blaze on ocean surface off Mexico

    A fire on the ocean surface west of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula has been extinguished, state oil company Pemex said, blaming a gas leak from an underwater pipeline for sparking the blaze captured in videos that went viral.

    Bright orange flames jumping out of water resembling molten lava was dubbed an “eye of fire” on social media due to the blaze’s circular shape, as it raged a short distance from a Pemex oil platform early on Friday.

    The fire took more than five hours to fully put out, according to Pemex. It began in an underwater pipeline that connects to a platform at Pemex’s flagship Ku Maloob Zaap oil development, the company’s most important, four sources told Reuters earlier.

    Eoin Higgins
    @EoinHiggins_

    The ocean is on fire in the Gulf of Mexico after a pipeline ruptured. Good system.

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sam: This is probably just the beginning.

    From the Miami Herald:

    Crestview Towers was constructed in 1972 and is subject to the county’s 40-year recertification process, which requires older buildings to be inspected by structural engineers to determine whether they are still safe to live in.

    Willis Howard, Sorey’s chief of staff, said the Crestview association appeared to have missed or skipped its 40-year recertification, which would have been due in 2012. The inspections that led to the January report began last August.

    “It had been pending for years,” he said, adding the association was fined for every year that it missed filing the report. “They were seeing how long they could kick the can down the road.”

    I’d be careful drawing too much from any similarities between the 2 situations. The only common factor I can see right now is a latent conservative dislike of regulations and a reluctance to enforce them.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Arizona Republicans faced pressure from Trump and allies following election, records show

    The most aggressive pressure came from Arizona Republican Party chairwoman Kelli Ward, who tried to convince Republicans on the board to question the election results, even as the officials tried to instil confidence in them. At one point, she texted Hickman, “We need you to stop the counting.”

    She tried to convince Hickman and supervisors Steve Chucri and Bill Gates to call Trump attorney Sidney Powell, who filed lawsuits around the country alleging the election conspiracies. The lawsuits were all thrown out.

    Early on 20 November, when the board was scheduled to certify Maricopa county’s election results, Ward texted Gates, “Can we talk today now that the lawsuit is over? There are so many abnormalities that must be adjudicated. I know the Republican board doesn’t want to be remembered as the entity who led the charge to certify a fraudulent election.”

    After sending information alleging fraud, and shortly before the board voted to accept the election results, she texted him, “Sounds like your fellow Repubs are throwing in the towel. Very sad. And unAmerican.”

    She texted Chucri, “Seems you’re playing for the wrong team and people will remember. WRONG team.”

    Why is it every time I read of people like Ward trying to subvert the democratic process, the phrase “2nd Amendment solutions” pops into my head?

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  7. sam says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    From what I’ve been reading, here’s the similarity:

    “They were seeing how long they could kick the can down the road.”

    I suspect many condo associations in Florida have been engaging in the same behavior. But time will tell.

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    One of his famously pithy Rumsfeld rules, collected over a career of power in government and business, included this advice for people in the White House: “Remember the public trust. Strive to preserve and enhance the integrity of the office of the Presidency. Pledge to leave it stronger than when you came.”

    By Rumsfeld’s own standards, he failed. He destroyed the public trust, the integrity of the presidency, and left America’s reputation far weaker than when he came.

    Richard Wolffe

    Safe to say that RW was not a fan:

    Rumsfeld, like many hawks in those years after 9/11, liked to quote Winston Churchill. One of his famous Rumsfeld rules cites Churchill as saying: “Victory is never final. Defeat is never final. It is courage that counts.”

    Rumsfeld’s victories were illusions. His defeats will outlive him. And his much-vaunted courage was a smokescreen for lies, crimes and deaths. If he was an exemplary public servant, we need to reimagine what public service actually means.

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sam: We are in agreement there, but in that regard Florida is hardly unique.

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  10. Michael Cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’d be careful drawing too much from any similarities between the 2 situations. The only common factor I can see right now is a latent conservative dislike of regulations and a reluctance to enforce them.

    I expect a rash of these cases in the near future. The common factor in most of them will be a condo board that was aware of structural problems, and also knew that many of the owners would be financially ruined by a $15 million special assessment to cover the repairs.

    I don’t know how many members of the Surfside condo board are still alive, nor how much liability insurance the condo association provides for them. I can pretty much guarantee that it won’t be enough once the wrongful death lawsuits start.

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  11. sam says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I can pretty much guarantee that it won’t be enough once the wrongful death lawsuits start.

    I’ve thought about that. But who are they going to sue? Themselves? Isn’t it the case the owners resisted paying for the repairs?

    For years before the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South complex near Miami, the condo board wrestled with how to come up with the $15 million needed to fix the building’s dilapidated roof, a poorly designed pool deck and crumbling support columns.

    The problem: The homeowners’ association had just $800,000 in reserves, and getting the work done meant asking residents to shoulder huge special assessments ranging from $80,000 to $200,000 on each home. No one was eager to pay.

    “The dirtiest words in the community-association industry are ‘special assessment,’” Donna DiMaggio Berger, a lawyer for the board, said of the effort to get 135 homeowners — of varying means and of multiple nationalities — to agree on a plan to do the repairs.

    During the prolonged tumult over the needed renovations, several members of the board had quit in frustration.

    “People were quitting, and there were new people, and there was all kinds of stuff that was going on that was not pleasant,” said Max Friedman, a former member of the board.

    The deferred maintenance and inadequate savings at the Champlain Towers building are common dilemmas at condo associations across the country, where volunteer board members, sometimes with little expertise in financing or maintenance, find themselves dealing with vicious infighting with their neighbors and pressure to keep dues low. [Source]

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  12. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Teve:

    The only way to survive Miami traffic is depicted in the documentary Mad Max: Fury Road.

    Miami is a polite Sunday drive when compared to Dallas traffic.

    I’m originally a Detroiter. Detroiters drive fast. Fast and usually safe.

    Dallas is the Rollerball of driving. Three lane shifts with no indication of forethought or lane change indication.

    Likely video game influenced, with a liberal splash of the Daytona 500, and the resolve that you know that people wont f with you because everyone’s got a gun.

    Here in Colorado, if someone on I-70 is driving like a total ass, you can be guaranteed the car has Texas plates.

    Clearly the mantra is: If yer not first, yer last.

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  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @sam: But who are they going to sue? Themselves? Isn’t it the case the owners resisted paying for the repairs?

    I’ve been wondering about that too. It would appear to this nonlawyer that they themselves were responsible for maintenance and repairs.

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  14. Michael Cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’m really looking forward to what the new districts look like in Arizona when their redistricting commission finishes its work. The Republicans like Ward and Fann that have pushed this the hardest come from big sprawling rural districts. If the draft maps* recently released by Colorado’s commission are any indication, there will be noticeably fewer such districts for the 2022 election. Population growth in western states over the last decade has been almost exclusively an urban/suburban thing, and commission-drawn maps will reflect it.

    * The effect shows up clearly in the draft map for Congressional districts. The two traditional rural districts both grew enormously in geographic measure, while the remaining six districts (up from five) are all carved out of the Front Range urban corridor. And even then, two of the Front Range cities with populations over 100,000 had to be chopped off and stuck into one of those rural districts to make the numbers come out.

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  15. Michael Cain says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Dallas is the Rollerball of driving. Three lane shifts with no indication of forethought or lane change indication.

    I haven’t driven in Dallas for decades. I assume that the mixmaster has only gotten worse :^)

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  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A group of heavily-armed men were engaged in an ongoing stand-off on Saturday with Massachusetts police, prompting shelter-in-place orders in some areas and sparking massive delays on the holiday weekend as a portion of Interstate 95 remained shut down.

    The standoff began around 2am when police noticed two cars pulled over on I-95 with hazard lights on, authorities said at a Saturday press briefing. Between eight to 10 men were clad in military-style gear and carrying long guns and pistols, said Col Christopher Mason of Massachusetts state police. The men refused to put down their weapons or comply with authorities’ orders, claiming to be from a group “that does not recognize our laws”, police said.

    They took off into a wooded area. By mid-morning Saturday, two men had been arrested. Officials were using negotiators to interact with the other suspects.

    “Time is our ally in this and we will certainly utilize this,” Mason said.

    3 guesses as to the race of the armed idiots and the first 2 don’t count.

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  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: @Michael Cain:

    I have driven thru hell on earth, I mean Dallas in an ice storm.

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  18. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: I’ll still say Boston is worse, but I swear no one in FL knows where they’re going. It’s common to see someone abruptly cross three lanes of traffic in the last hundred feet before they turn.

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  19. Michael Cain says:

    @sam:

    I’ve thought about that. But who are they going to sue? Themselves? Isn’t it the case the owners resisted paying for the repairs?

    I’m sure it will be a mess. Still, the condo association is a distinct legal entity that owns a considerable amount of the property and has its own insurance. If nothing else, the insurance companies will be after each other: if a resident died in their condo because a commonly owned ceiling/floor collapsed on them, which insurance company pays out? The association’s, or the resident’s?

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  20. Mister Bluster says:

    The first time I was in Houston TX was in 1983 to work storm damage for the land-line telephone company after hurricane Alicia ripped up the place. Can’t remember what they called the freeways at the time. However it was clear to me that they weren’t wide enough as everyone drove on the safety lane/shoulder of the road at high speed (Texas trot) like it was a regular traffic lane to get to the next exit.
    I tried that in Charlottesville VA one time when traffic was backed up and my exit was in clear sight just ahead and I got a ticket. Of course if I had checked my rear view mirror and seen the rollers on
    the patrol car right behind me I probably wouldn’t have done it.

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  21. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    This is happening right near me. The group of armed men identifies itself as “The Rise of the Moors–Moorish American Arms.”

    Two of them have been taken into custody.

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  22. Michael Cain says:

    @gVOR08:

    I’ll still say Boston is worse…

    On the business trip when I was introduced to Boston traffic many years ago, I watched someone run through a red light at a five-way intersection waving a fistful of yellow and pink papers in the air. “What’s that?” I asked the local who was driving. “Rental car forms,” he replied. “Waving them is a signal that he’s late getting to the airport, driving a rental, and doesn’t care how much body damage gets done.”

    During the years when the company(ies) sent me all over, the standard I developed for judging local drivers was, “How many times did they just totally surprise me?” I always said that by that standard, California had the best drivers.

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  23. gVOR08 says:

    @sam: Atrios has a post noting the law establishing condominiums is 60 years old, and a lot of the resulting buildings are approaching old age, while managed by amateurs. Perhaps encouraging real estate developers to build high rises, knowing they would immediately walk away from them, has unintended consequences. And isn’t there something in the Bible about building a house on sand?

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  24. steve says:

    Florida is worst driving and I have driven in Dallas, Boston, Chicago, NYC, Philly and bunch of other places. The problem is the make up off he drivers. About 1/3 are retirees from NYC and the NE. They drive aggressively, cut you off then give you the finger. About 1/3 actually grew up in Florida. They grew up thinking Dukes of Hazard was a documentary. Cut them off and they will chase you down and try to kill you. Of the remainder a high percentage are the headless Cadillacs. Some land yacht cruising along in the middle lane going 25 mph slower than anyone else and coming up from behind you dont se anyone driving. When you pass them you see some very old person who can barely see over the top of the dashboard.

    When I lived there a regular item on the talk radio shows was whether or not people should have more rigorous testing when they got older. Some 90 plus year old, nearly blind, would back out fo their driveway and continue backing up on to their neighbors’ lawn and through the front picture window. Some politician who got a lot of votes from the older crowd would get interviewed explaining why this could happen to anyone and that person really needed to drive.

    Steve

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  25. Joe says:

    @Teve:
    I lived in Boston for 2 years (in college) and concluded early on that each driver’s responsibility ended at the edge of their peripheral vision when looking straight ahead. If you were not in that range of another driver’s vision, it was your problem, not theirs. By the same token, you had no obligation to turn your head and you really couldn’t because you were managing the traffic ahead of you.

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  26. CSK says:

    @Joe:
    I have a friend who happily drove in Rome for several years, but who hates driving in Boston.

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  27. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    Fury Road in the best big movie of the teens.

    George Miller is David Lean plus meticulously choreographed chaos and vehicular mayhem. And practical effects for the most part!

    His whole oeuvre is amazing if we all pretend that Mad Max 3 does not exist.

    The Marvel universe is paltry in comparison.

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  28. gVOR08 says:

    @steve:

    Of the remainder a high percentage are the headless Cadillacs.

    Anywhere else I avoid getting behind large trucks or busses that will be going slower than traffic. In FL I quit paying attention to it. There’s a “headless Cadillac”, or Buick, or other Maudie Frickert type (what’s the gender neutral form of Maudie?) in every lane. And that drives the “Dukes of Hazard” guys nuts.

    I’ve lived near Detroit and Dallas and regard the drivers as bad, but relatively safe. Anytime I see a Texas plate I’m confident the driver will do something stupid, illegal, or both within a mile. But I don’t care what you do as long as you’re predictable. And by that standard, CA is generally pretty good.

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  29. de stijl says:

    I once was the passenger when the dude driving ignored the huge ass Merge Left signs 7 times a row and blithely passed up several hundred dutiful cars only to honk and bull his way into the head of line when he had no choice but to merge.

    I wanted to die. At the very least I wanted to scoot down and hide.

    Never liked that guy much and after that incident he plummeted onto the TOXIC! Avoid by any means necessary list.

    I rate responsible and respectful driving behavior seriously. It’s like behaving decently to the person waiting on your table. Rudeness is inexcusable. Off-handed, lazy, self-absorbed, solipsistic rudeness is fucking appalling.

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  30. gVOR08 says:

    Foster Friess is dead.

    One of the biggest scumbags of recent decades, few did more to bring fascism to the United States than this billionaire wannabe cowboy from Wisconsin turned Wyoming Big Hat Guy who was more invested in people seeing him as the savior of right-wing values than in anything else. Friess was the biggest figure behind funding Turning Point USA and the Daily Howler with Tucker Carlson.

    We need a wealth tax.

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  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @steve: I’ve only been to Florida once–close to 40 years ago now on a trip to Orlando. I drove one time, from Orlando to Cape (?) Canaveral’s air and space museum. My experience was pretty uneventful other than that it was the first (and only so far) time I drove on a toll road. Seems like lots has changed since I was a kid.

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  32. gVOR08 says:

    While I’m quoting LGM, this, from a few days ago, is too good to not share:

    We here at LGM are big fans of JD Vance, who somehow managed to rise from the hardscrabble streets of the Cincinnati suburbs to the hallways of the Yale Law School, before making a bundle publishing hillbilly poverty porn, and becoming real life Bond villain Peter Thiel’s pseudo-Appalachian messenger boy.

    Vance’s current life goal is to fulfill Thiel’s New Gilded Age desire to buy himself his own personal US senator

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  33. gVOR08 says:

    @de stijl: I had a guy try to do that. I was in stopped traffic on the freeway and he pushed up the merge lane as far as he could until squeezed out by a concrete wall. He smiled all friendly and pointed ahead of me, asking to be let in. I really enjoyed smiling back and pointing behind me.

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  34. Michael Reynolds says:

    Northern California drivers are generous and considerate, whether on surface streets* or freeways.

    Los Angeles drivers are generous and considerate on surface streets. They’ll stop dead if a pedestrian even looks like they might be considering crossing the street sometimes in the next ten minutes. But on freeways? That’s blood sport. That’s The Purge with cars.

    *Yes, we do know that all streets are surface streets. We don’t know why we say this.

    I drove in Italy for about six months and kind of loved it. The Italians know how to drive, unlike most Americans. You bring your ‘A’ game to driving in Italy.

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  35. Stormy Dragon says:

    @de stijl:

    His whole oeuvre is amazing if we all pretend that Mad Max 3 does not exist.

    Counterpoint: Beyond Thunderdome is the Mad Max movie that had the biggest cultural impact. Almost all the quotes from the franchise that even people who have never seen the movies would recognize are from that movie. So while there’s certainly less spectacle than Fury Road or Road Warrior, it has the best characters and narrative.

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  36. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    And if you don’t believe me, well…. “TWO MEN ENTER, ONE MAN LEAVE!!”

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  37. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:
    Love it. I never could stand Vance, even when he was being lionized as the poor man’s Leo Tolstoy. Maybe especially when he was being lionized as the poor man’s Leo Tolstoy.

    I don’t know if Vance’s conversion to Trumpism (and the deletion of his anti-Trump tweets from 2016) will earn him much cred with the MAGAs. They already know about the vanished tweets.

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  38. gVOR08 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Much has changed in forty years. Orlando got huge, traffic is heavy, the toll roads are automatic, and the Kennedy Space Center is well worth a visit.

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  39. Michael Cain says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Yes, we do know that all streets are surface streets. We don’t know why we say this.

    I’ve always been interested in where the definite article plus number names came from (eg, “the 105”). My guess has always been it was originally “the 105 freeway” and got shortened over time. Rather than the idea that while there may be many highways numbered 105, this one is extra special. I recall back in the 1970s while I was in graduate school in Texas you could buy window decals that simply said “The University” in UT-Austin orange and white.

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  40. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: The internet never forgets, and neither does TFG. Vance has to get past Josh Mandel in the GOP primary. Mandel is an evil, sleazy, smarmy, but well funded career GOP.

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  41. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:
    I suppose it depends on which one of them grovels the most assiduously to Trump.

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  42. Moosebreath says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    “3 guesses as to the race of the armed idiots and the first 2 don’t count.”

    I suspect the chance of the armed idiots surviving to be taken into custody if they were members of certain other races is near zero. But pointing out institutional racism exists is forbidden.

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  43. CSK says:

    @Moosebreath:
    All 11 were taken into custody unharmed. No shots were fired on either side. All the suspects appear to be of African ancestry, at least from the photographs of them I saw.

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  44. Moosebreath says:

    @CSK:

    I am amazed, and owe the Massachusetts State Police an apology.

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  45. CSK says:

    @Moosebreath:
    The state police colonel couldn’t speak highly enough of the de-escalating skills of the trooper who handed the situation initially. Actually, all the troopers who handled this should be commended.

    The SPLC classifies this group–Rise of the Moors-Moorish American Arms–as an anti-government sovereign citizens group. But they don’t seem particularly violent based on what happened today.

    It must have been scary, though, for a civilian driving along Route 95 and suddenly encountering a group of heavily armed men blocking the way.

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  46. Kurtz says:

    @CSK: @OzarkHillbilly:

    Yeah, they are Moorish Sovereign Citizens.

    I did land on this while looking into that movement. I highly recommend this story about Black Baltimore drug dealers on trial for several murders using sovereign citizen arguments in Federal Court.

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  47. CSK says:

    @Kurtz:
    The sovereign citizen arguments obviously didn’t work for them.

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  48. Barry says:

    @sam: “This is probably just the beginning.”

    I imagine that the local building codes were sh*t, the enforcement was sh*t-squared, maintenance was probably never done after the Great Financial crash and that now the global warming has added unanticipated extra stress.

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  49. Barry says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “Why is it every time I read of people like Ward trying to subvert the democratic process, the phrase “2nd Amendment solutions” pops into my head?”

    Because that and money are the only languages they speak.

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  50. Barry says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: “I’m originally a Detroiter. Detroiters drive fast. Fast and usually safe.”

    80 MPH on cratered streets in the winter.

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  51. Barry says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Yes, we do know that all streets are surface streets. We don’t know why we say this.”

    It’s a Detroit thing. Much of the freeway system was dug down so that the crossing bridges could be level. And if you really want fun, there is I-696. Parts of it look like the Death Star trench scene from Star Wars, and people go 90MPH regularly. Except when something happens, and everybody hits the ‘instant stop’ switch, and go from 90 to 0.

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  52. Barry says:

    @CSK: “All 11 were taken into custody unharmed. No shots were fired on either side. All the suspects appear to be of African ancestry, at least from the photographs of them I saw.”

    Well, stranger things have happened.

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  53. CSK says:

    @Barry:
    It’s a bizarre story. This group is based in Rhode Island. They were on their way to Maine with their armaments and camping equipment to “train.” They stopped by the side of the highway to refuel, using gas they carried in cans. A trooper stopped to see if they needed assistance. Apparently none of the men had gun permits or driver’s licenses.

    I still don’t know how these guys ended up blockading Route 95. At any rate, there was no bloodshed. Two of the arrested men requested medical aid for preexisting conditions, which they seem to have received.

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  54. Roger says:

    @de stijl:
    Counterpoint: the zipper merge reduces traffic congestion and is being taught as the preferred method. The insistence on making sure that ass who didn’t wait in line doesn’t get ahead of me causes more problems than people using both lanes as long as possible.

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  55. grumpy realist says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: My suspicion is that the defense taken by any attorney called upon to defend the condo board will be “assumption of the risk.” The fact that the condo board was pushing to get the repairs done and it was the condo members who were balking at the payments is what will be relied upon.

    The one question is whether Florida is a comparative liability state or not….if it is, then the question will be how to divvy up the negligence of not repairing the place (also all the standard questions of duty of care, breach thereof, causation…I think we’ve got damages pretty well covered.)

    The other interesting question is whether the state or city will be trying to bring a case of criminal negligence for the deaths that occurred. I’m sure there will be some publicity-hogging politician who will try it, but IMHO that’s a long shot. After all, everyone was very surprised that the place fell down–including the condo board.

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  56. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: First time for everything.

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  57. Mister Bluster says:

    @Roger:..zipper merge
    Somewhere between the midwest and California in the last several years I saw a construction zone signed “Lane Ends Ahead”. “Use Both Lanes”. “Take Turns at Merge”. Drivers were actually doing that. I had never seen that signage before and have not seen it since.

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  58. dazedandconfused says:

    @CSK:
    A humorous video of a judge who had prepared himself to deal with sovereign citizen BS.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Sove06ZhgE

    BS may live high on the hog on the internet it face-plants right quick in court. In a way I feel bad for these self-deluded clowns. It will not go well for them.

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  59. de stijl says:

    Bleed-over from the Afghan thread.

    My quasi-boss (temporary duty assignment) was an ex-pat Irishman.

    He called a colleague “that fucking c**t”. She was female.

    I sort of lost it then and there. I told him he was smarter than that – that he had lived and worked in the US a dozen years or so.

    You absolutely cannot say that here. You know that. You know you know that yet you do it fairly regularly.

    If you drop a casual “tw@t” or a c bomb again I will go to HR and we both know I have witnesses.

    You need to monitor yourself and use work appropriate language starting now.

    Dude was widely regarded as a genius in his speciality. He was making $200 an hour in 2002 dollars plus a downtown apartment furnished. Weekend flights to and from coastal Virginia. He owned a horse farm in horse country, naturally. A fact of which he was quite keen to share.

    He was an insufferable dick and a jack-ass. As his CV indicated extremely good and gifted in a very narrow lane. Outside of that lane an arrogant dick.

    I fucking hate that prick. To this day decades later.

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  60. CSK says:

    @dazedandconfused:
    I commend Judge Hurley’s patience–and sense of humor. I’d have been screaming “Don’t bullshit me” at the top of my lungs.

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  61. de stijl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I need wide screen vehicular mayhem filmed from above!

    Intercut with POVs!

    In the Before Times prior to Gibson exposing himself as a jack-hole shit-heel on leaked audio by his ex, I had loved loved loved The Road Warrior. The spectacle of it. The look and pace of it. Loved it perhaps too intensely. Mad Max to a much smaller degree but many appreciate the practical driving effects in it.

    After that Gibson audio came out I could not abide it all. Made me nauseous. I paused, ejected, and never tried to watch it again. Life is too short.

    When Fury Road hit the screen I crept in cautiously on timid cat’s feet. Ready to flee and damn the cost of ticket. I left inflated and exhilarated.

    Even at my age I am pre K me smashing a Tonka truck into a Hot Wheels car and making “Kerunch” noises to myself.

    ReplyReply
  62. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Several places in the country can’t wrap their minds around the zipper merge. I read a piece where a Minnesota DOT official bemoaning the fact MN drivers wouldn’t do it.

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  63. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    NorCal drivers are super chill regularly. Even with SF/Oakland.

    My employer’s mothership was in SF and I had to go for ritual indoctrination fairly regularly. We had satellites in weird burbs and north into Sonoma. I was mostly downtown SF or up in Sonoma.

    NorCal drivers are diligent and remarkably cool. Nah, you go first, I’m in no hurry. This in the home turf of The French Connection.

    Speaking of Gene Hackman and San Francisco, The Conversation is one of my all-time favorite movies.

    The biggest bummer was when I went regularly was they had not yet built out the BART to the airport. Which seems like a glaring oversight.

    ReplyReply
  64. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Yes, we do know that all streets are surface streets. We don’t know why we say this.”

    Not to get all pedantic, but I believe it’s as opposed to freeways, which are often elevated above the streets in LA…

    ReplyReply
  65. Gustopher says:

    @sam:

    The deferred maintenance and inadequate savings at the Champlain Towers building are common dilemmas at condo associations across the country, where volunteer board members, sometimes with little expertise in financing or maintenance, find themselves dealing with vicious infighting with their neighbors and pressure to keep dues low.

    And this is a perfect description of America.

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  66. wr says:

    @Michael Cain: “I’ve always been interested in where the definite article plus number names came from (eg, “the 105”)”

    What has always struck me as odd is that in Southern California they always use the definite article — the 405, the 101 — while in Northern California they absolutely do not — you’re going on 101, as if it’s the name of a street.

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  67. de stijl says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I am a Minnesotan and the anecdote above happened in Minnesota.

    We politely decline to compete in a contest to determine who is the politest person in the room. It is our obsession. Moby Dick sized.

    Practical zipper merging would require a rewiring of people’s lifetime of in-grained accepted and encouraged individual and group behavior.

    ReplyReply
  68. CSK says:

    The Former Guy says he will make a very important announcement regarding Americans’ first amendment rights on July 7 at 11 a.m. He will be speaking from his golf course at Bedminster, NJ.

    I can hardly wait.

    ReplyReply
  69. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    I’ve lived in high-rises regular. Both for rent and for-mortgage (or cash up front). I am most naturally comfortable downtown and densely packed.

    In the condo buildings the board was a joke. Up-jumped jackasses.

    I understand the difference between a condo building and a co-op one to a second-hand degree. I never lived in a co-op. I get the concept of a co-op.

    In buildings where I lived the board had a tiny budget and threw parties in the common room or on the pool deck no one ever attended. Routinely threw their mail into the trash unread as it was bound to be uninteresting and needed no action from me.

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  70. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I don’t know how many members of the Surfside condo board are still alive, nor how much liability insurance the condo association provides for them.

    They have something even better: apparently Florida law makes it nearly impossible for a condo association member to sue the board members in their individual capacity for negligence or recklessness, so any lawsuits would have to prove they intentionally trying to cause the collapse.

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  71. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Cain:

    If nothing else, the insurance companies will be after each other: if a resident died in their condo because a commonly owned ceiling/floor collapsed on them, which insurance company pays out? The association’s, or the resident’s?

    The association’s insurance company is probably going to just walk away arguing that the three year delay in addressing the repairs voided their liability coverage.

    ReplyReply
  72. CSK says:

    w.fla.com breathlessly reports that dozens of people have lined up to hear ex-President Lardass ramble and babble this evening at the Sarasota Fairgrounds.

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  73. de stijl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The last high rise I bought a unit in I thought long and hard about torts and legal responsibility. When you buy a slot in a series of interconnected slots isa leak originating in my unit that damages the downstairs unit my fault or the building’s owner? I did not install the plumbing. My resposibility lies within the walls. Paint in is the building’s concern.

    I decided to buy a … I cannot recall the proper colloquial name. Bubble policy? That’s not it. Close. It’s tip of the tongue close….

    Anyway it was supercheap at like 12 bucks a month and if something happened and my downstair neighbor sued me I had insurance company lawyers to argue it was the building owner’s fault.

    It’s not a get-out-of-jail-free card, but makes it much more difficult and painful to try and sue me for inadvertent damage.

    Seriously, were it actually my fault, I would fess up and pay up. Screw those insurance vultures.

    ReplyReply
  74. Stormy Dragon says:

    @de stijl:

    Probably an HO-6 policy?

    The other thing you need your personal policy for is that even if something it ends up on the association’s policy, they often have relatively high deductibles (thousands of dollars) and your personal policy will normally cover the deductible on the association policy (this is what the “bubble” you remembered was referring to).

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  75. Stormy Dragon says:

    @de stijl:

    Personal condo insurance story: my unit had to replace a window and part of a wall due to a rotting issue. Under the condo associat rules, they were responsible for the wall and I was responsible for the window, but it wasn’t clear if the wall had failed first and damaged the window, or if the window had failed first and damaged the wall, so we ended up having to haggle a while over who’s responsibility it was to pay for it.

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  76. de stijl says:

    @CSK:

    Last I heard dozens were confirmed dead and ~ 140 were classified as missing.

    Trump is super easy pegged as not being able to read the room outside of partisan rallies glorifying him.

    He is notably shitty at it. Has been always. A baked in trait.

    It would be outrageous if a sun-burned couple flew in from Nepal, took a cab home, and found a pile of rubble where their condo used to be.

    Bets on when / if Trump turns on DeSantis?

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  77. Teve says:

    @CSK:

    In fact, most attendees at the Sarasota rally were all asking the same question Saturday: What’s he going to do?

    Others wanted Trump to address election results in Maricopa County, Arizona, where Trump has claimed that officials have deleted an entire election-related database. Maricopa officials have refuted that claim.

    Amy Mersereau attended the rally with her partner Paul Tiest. They drove from Polk County to start their summer vacation with words from Trump.

    “We just wanna know,” Mersereau said, “what’s the plan to get back into office?”

    Same as his plan to Lock Her Up. Nonexistent. His only actual plan is to keep trying to find ways to transfer your money into his pockets. You dupes.

    ReplyReply
  78. Teve says:

    Other attendees cheered and awaited Trump’s arrival. Some of the more unconventional Trump supporters even called to see more action from the polarizing former president.

    Bob Kunst says he’s been to 226 events for Trump in the past 12 years. He’s tired of the speeches and wants to see Trump “escalate.” He called for an iron fist when it comes to election results he believes were stolen.

    Bob Kunst with “boycott China” stickers.
    “How come all of these people who ripped you off and ripped off the country aren’t in jail,” Kunst said. “You’re the man in charge, do something. If you do the crime, you have to pay the time.”

    “I’m the dumbest motherfucker here!” He could have added, but didn’t.

    ReplyReply
  79. DrDaveT says:

    @de stijl:

    Prince used to do a version of Creep live.

    I’ll look for that.

    I’ve seen some awesome versions of this awesome song, but my favorite is still Haley Reinhardt with Postmodern Jukebox.

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  80. Teve says:

    A friend of mine is a computational biologist and for fun he studies datasets of all types, and after this disaster he studied a bunch of data on structure collapses, and he’s estimating that the final body count will be 200-300.

    ReplyReply
  81. DrDaveT says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    I’m originally a Detroiter. Detroiters drive fast. Fast and usually safe.

    On average a couple of times per year I need to drive the north/south segment of highway between Ann Arbor and Bay City. Peak insanity is somewhere around Flint, where the average speed is about 80 and half of the vehicles on the road would not pass inspection in a state that required it.

    That said, you’re right that there is much less weaving than you’d expect from people driving that fast. I’d say that’s made up for by the number of vehicles that are towing something — boats, ATVs, yard equipment, scrap metal — at those speeds.

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  82. de stijl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Exactly the complication I was trying to insure against.

    Owning a slot in a tall building has complicated issues to laypeople.

    You are a direct neighbor to four or eight others. Four core up down right left neighbors and four diagonally adjacent.

    Any which of who could be a trigger-happy litigation asshole.

    Plus it was a building where in the neighborhood of a third of the units were owned by someone but sub-leased to a renter which is a potential multiplier.

    I went conservative and bought the bubble thingy policy I could live to be a thousand and never, ever have to invoke once. Peace of mind was worth it.

    ReplyReply
  83. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    I mentioned the other day that Trump will never forgive DeSantis for thanking Biden for his support in the aftermath of the condo collapse.
    @Teve:
    What will Trump do? Whine about how the election was stolen from him.

    ReplyReply
  84. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Ah, you should here my version.
    I’m a crepe
    I’m a pancake.

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  85. Teve says:

    @Teve:

    “How come all of these people who ripped you off and ripped off the country aren’t in jail,” Kunst said. “You’re the man in charge, do something.

    If I had been the journalist, I would have spent the next 20 minutes pressing him on what exactly Trump could do, until I was probably physically attacked.

    Side note: Until he died two years ago I had a family member who was 68 years old and a Trump supporter and when he didn’t get his way in a family situation he would try to physically attack relatives. Nobody ever got seriously hurt, and nobody ever pressed charges, but he acted like a fucking toddler. Hated Clinton, disliked GWB for being a ‘liberal fag’, hated Obama because he wasn’t a ‘Real American’, loved Trump. Used to try to hit people when he didn’t get his way.

    And i doubt I have to explain what his sneer at Obama for not being a ‘Real American’ meant.

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  86. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Have driven in Italy. They’re pretty cool.
    Mind, was in the north.
    Italian saying:
    “In Turin traffic lights are regulations. In Milan they’re instructions. In Rome they’re indications. In Naples they’re suggestions. In Palermo they’re decorations.”

    Best drivers I’ve encountered: the French; quick, decisive, not especially aggressive, know the regs. and exercise common sense. I like driving in France. (Germans too likely to get huffy if anything is out of ordnung. Spanish all think they’re GP drivers. Brits vary a lot, from good to “ohmigod”)

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  87. gVOR08 says:

    @Barry:

    80 MPH on cratered streets in the winter.

    And back in the eighties, when I lived in Ann Arbor, there were apparently no replacements available in Detroit for bad shock absorbers. Wheels bouncing furiously.

    ReplyReply
  88. Kurtz says:

    @CSK:

    Oh no. They did not.

    ReplyReply
  89. de stijl says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Dude!

    You nod at me across the room and I will nod back. We are bonded for life now in a totally intermediated unmeaningful way. But I do have your back now!

    I listened to that version this morning. Plus the og version a few times in a row. Then the crappy live Prince versions that are basically filmed boot-legs with crap audio. Then rando bedroom person. From bedroom lo-fi to punk rock performed on stage I might have watched em all.

    Nothing beats that massively satisfying tchchacha CHUNK of the original. Unbelievably cathartic and abrupt.

    There used to be a band that did swing music versions of New Order songs as a goof until it caught on.

    Mexrissey does norteno inflected central Mexico Ciudad versions of Morissey songs. I recommend Estuvo Bien – their take on Suedehead.

    I found a Mexican version of Olympia, WA by Rancid that shot out the lights hard core. But with the name Sin Efectos I strongly suspect they were covering the NOFX version. A trad Mexican cover of a thrash cover of a fairly obscure punk song by a marginally known band is pretty fucking awesome in my book. Sin Efectos replaced Olympia with Jalisco – fucking brilliant!

    If you have not discovered this on your own, pick a handful of your favorite songs. Plug it into a music search engine of your choice and append cover at the end of the text. Click.

    You will find wild shit. 80% is boring bedroom acoustic covers, but 20% is unpredictable madness half of which is truly very interesting.

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  90. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    What the hell am I herbs?
    I don’t belong herbs

    So many poorly thought through Caesar cuts and floppy bowl cuts in that video. It must set OCD hair-dressers on fire.

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  91. CSK says:

    @Kurtz:
    Sorry, I don’t know what comment of mine you’re answering. That function no longer works for me. When I click on your name to see what you’re replying to, the column scrolls back to someone else’s post.

    ReplyReply
  92. JohnSF says:

    Anyway, never mind those no hopers Radiohead 🙂 :
    Here’s the tune: Screamager
    Memories. Ach.

    ReplyReply
  93. Michael Cain says:

    @CSK:

    That function no longer works for me. When I click on your name to see what you’re replying to, the column scrolls back to someone else’s post.

    I am so tempted some days to offer good-will support services to our hosts. I do some of the maintenance on another WordPress site. The “in reply to” links there just work in the sense of jumping to the appropriate comment. The five-minute edit timer just works. With no serious disrespect aimed at anyone, no site should experience some of the problems OTB seems to suffer. WordPress is not that broken.

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  94. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The association’s insurance company is probably going to just walk away arguing that the three year delay in addressing the repairs voided their liability coverage.

    Yeah. This was what I was trying to get at a couple of days ago.

    ReplyReply
  95. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    I haven’t even clicked yet but I am fucking plotzing. Whoever thought up Sceamager deserves the Nobel in teen spirit.

    Clicking … Now!

    ReplyReply
  96. JohnSF says:

    @JohnSF:
    Or also 1993
    (which I’ve just realised is actually a year after Radiohead released Creep thus spoiling my entire point but what the hell ROFLMAO)
    Cranes: Jewel

    ReplyReply
  97. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    [pauses 20 seconds in] Is one of the dudes actually wearing knee-length jorts?

    On purpose? In a video?

    ReplyReply
  98. Jax says:

    @Michael Cain: I, for one, would declare you the official OTB Angel of Mercy and send many thanks and accolades your way. 😉 All hail Michael!!

    ReplyReply
  99. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    ’twas the 90’s
    I think I had some shorts not unlike those. LOL
    (Us Brits is wild, baby.)

    ReplyReply
  100. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:
    You certainly are.

    ReplyReply
  101. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    That was magnificent! It was gnarly. I loved aggressively goateed singer in his adequateness.

    Remember The Darkness with I Believe In A Thing Called Love that simultaneously poked massive shade at mid 70s rock while still embracing it and made a fucking kick-ass song? This was not that. Major props for the band name, though.

    The Screamagers tried. As either parody or sincere effort I cannot properly discern.

    If the BTVS series needed a schmuck band at the Bronze to get snacked on by vamps Screamager was gonna be on that call sheet.

    I do not know if HIMYM ever got broadcast over there but one of the main characters Robin Chrebotski had a painful secret past where she was once a semi-popular teen popstar known as Robin Sparkles. The others were convinced she’d done Canadian adult movies. But, she recorded a one hit wonder titled Let’s Go To The Mall (Today)!

    Set in the 90s but it looks like it was shot in 1984 as was the custom then in Alberta.

    Canada is the Des Moines of North America.

    Let’s Go To Mall (Today)! is a brilliant meta pop song that sounds as if it were an alternate universe real Canadian hit in a sillier universe.

    It rhymes Tory with sorry. Tory the name not the political party.

    Brilliant! Watch it! Super highly recommended. It is Screamagers × the coolest Saskatoon, Saskatchewan mall circa 1992. No jorts, sadly.

    ReplyReply
  102. Jax says:

    @de stijl: I really love this guy’s voice, reminds me of Leonard Cohen….the girl…it works for this song, but she’s just a little too candy pop in the rest of their stuff.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iU5qp-cAtOU

    ReplyReply
  103. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Ahh..
    Band name was Therapy.
    Song was Screamager.

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  104. JohnSF says:

    @JohnSF:
    Sorry.
    Therapy?
    (Apparently the ? was significant)
    Northern Irish band.
    Another one of my favs from early 90’s (and ever?):
    Manic Street Preachers Motorcycle Emptiness

    ReplyReply
  105. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    Man! Sometimes I am a such a fucking tool. I try to be hip. I fail often.

    ReplyReply
  106. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    I know and fucking unapologetically love Manic Street Preachers.

    My friend turned me on the them fairly late in their run.

    The timelines don’t mesh, but my take was those lads were the UK’s version of Green Day.

    Stay Beautiful

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  107. JohnSF says:

    Before I go: two more:
    Catherine Wheel Crank
    Slowdive: When the Sun Hits

    ReplyReply
  108. JohnSF says:

    What the hell:
    Two last ones from 1992 (IIRC)
    Ride Twisterella
    SunDial Reflecter

    ReplyReply
  109. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    What’s your take on Snow Patrol? Northern Ireland day.

    I enjoy them, myself. Chocolate in particular.

    Altho frustratingly. A normal songwriter would put the bridge there and then follow up with chorus after. You lot did it backwards. Oddly compelling, still.

    ReplyReply
  110. de stijl says:

    @Jax:

    I really liked that a lot. Great tip!

    Not exactly Cohen but close enough so I get the comparison. It is a surprising voice outta that body.

    Beautifully shot video and cleverly constructed. That was fucking awesome!

    I am totally gonna steal his sleeve roll look. Bad-ass!

    Kick-ass recco. Thanks, love.

    ReplyReply

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