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The day the music died

Even though the song has nothing to do with the Kennedy assassination, it’s become identified with it through the years. I was nine years old, I remember one girl (whose father was an FBI agent) telling us “the Communists did it.” I didn’t know why it happened, but it was the end of our innocence. We just didn’t know it yet.

Don McLean:

Take that, hippies

James Wolcott makes a disturbing point in reacting to the NYPD’s use of LRADs — Long Range Acoustic Devices, a.k.a. sound cannons — against Occupy Wall Street protesters. He quotes from an ACLU report on the damage inflicted on the human body by these devices, and writes:

This is what happens when counterterrorism becomes the justification for the high-tech, SWAT-team-mentality militarization of police enforcement. Had police departments possessed such weaponized disrupters during the civil rights era, they would have trained them on freedom marchers, so much tidier than the water cannons unleashed in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963.

The same battles are still being fought. The cops have a new arsenal, but the people have picture phones.

Coming up

Mercury goes retro tomorrow and then we have this solar eclipse in Sagittarius (which hits me directly, so that’s interesting for me).

As usual: If you’re going to buy anything electronic or mechanical, it’s better to wait until Dec. 14, when it finally goes direct. Double-check appointments (is it on Third St. at 1 o’clock, or on 1st St. at 3?) because it’s a time when we’re more easily confused. If you’re traveling, plan for delays.

But enjoy the fact that we frequently gain new insights into old problems during a retro, which reminds us that dead ends aren’t always.


I’m not on top of everything due to the sick and all, but I want to say that, like other progressives, I’m happy as a clam over the failure of the SUPERCOMMITTEE to come to an agreement on how to shred our social safety net.

But don’t assume the administration’s giving up on the Grand Bargain. They won’t.

GOP uglies gunning for EPA

Climate change? Just a rumor spread by Democrats and their bleeding-heart scientist friends. Predictably, the Republican presidential hopefuls are pretending environmental protection is an obstacle to job creation:

The Environmental Protection Agency is likely to play an unusually prominent role in the 2012 presidential election, reflecting ongoing partisan debate in Congress over the ties between environmental regulations and jobs.

“What we’re going to see in this cycle is a lot of bitterness. … It’s going to be more partisan than it’s ever been,” said GOP environmental strategist Chelsea Maxwell. “So the energy and environment issues will definitely creep into that.”

Yo, Dad, that’s a hit

The Doors didn’t even want to do “Hello, I Love You,” their second big hit. Jac Holzman, the head of Elektra Records, talked everyone involved into recording it after his 10-year-old son heard the band’s original demo and said, “Dad, I think that’s a hit single.”

Louie, Louie

Let’s just say that the likelihood of the very political Louis Freeh rocking the boat are slim indeed. He’s a disgusting little man, as you already know if you’ve followed his career:

Former FBI director Louis Freeh assures the internal investigation he was hired to lead to look into the circumstances surrounding the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal will be “completely independent.”

This follows a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer that Freeh had connections to a financial company that had a lucrative contract with Penn State.

Freeh’s spokeswoman Stef Goodsell aid, “Judge Freeh has no previous personal connection to Penn State University. Prior to its acquisition by Bank of America in 2006, MBNA entered into many commercial agreements with third parties. In his role as General Counsel of MBNA, Judge Freeh had no role in negotiating the company’s agreement with Penn State University which was entered into many years before Judge Freeh joined MBNA.”

Sunday in the park with Lt. John Pike

Almost overnight, the cop who pepper-sprayed a group of nonviolent students at UC Davis has become an art world fixture. I’m especially moved by Pike’s intrusion on the tranquil scene depicted in Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. More here.


Cash flow problems (a check didn’t clear in a timely manner). He’ll be back online as soon as it’s all straightened out.

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