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Whipping post

Not such great audio, but a great cover by the Cold Stares:


Just came back from having dinner in Chinatown with a friend. A couple of kids who looked like college students were stopped at the light; they were driving a shiny new white car and asked me for directions to an intersection in Kensington. I was trying to mentally place it, and I said, “What are you looking for?” They laughed and smiled and the young man said charmingly, “Oh, we really want Kensington and Somerset.” I told them how to get there, they thanked me and drove off.

It took a minute for it to sink in. They were going to one of the worst drug corners in the city.

And all I could think about was how healthy and well-taken-care-of they both looked, and how soon that was probably going to change. If I’d realized sooner, I would have screamed at them to go home and stop ruining the neighborhood.


From Greg Sargent (via Digby):

The ultra wealthy will spend a whole lot of undisclosed money on a whole lot of ads filled with a whole lot of lies designed to dupe a whole lot of struggling Americans into believing that their number one problem in life is a rag-tag band of nose-ringed hippies who somehow managed to compel our media to tentatively begin a discussion about this, and the very modest actions we should take to begin to change it.

Update: And it just might work.

We love you, Joe Pa

Here we are again, wondering where to draw the line between fans and fanatics, admirers and cultists, loyalty and blind obedience to the great leader. More here.

Perfect storm

Of course, if the Dems win, we’ll have to fight them just as hard – maybe harder:

As Zuccotti Park’s protesters prepare for winter, determined to carry the Occupy Wall Street movement’s message through the cold season and beyond, a perfect political storm is forming that might help Democrats keep the White House in 2012 – despite stubbornly high unemployment and a frustratingly slow economic recovery.

The storm stems from the OWS movement’s growing popular appeal, as a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll finds that an overwhelming majority of Americans (over three quarters) think the country’s current economic structure “favors a very small portion of the rich over the rest of the country” – echoing the protesters’ calls to reduce the power of major banks and end tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.

The finding comes after a new census measure found that a new record number of Americans (49.1 million) now live in poverty, after accounting for rising medical costs and other expenses. In addition, a Congressional Budget Office study recently corroborated the historic exacerbation of the country’s income inequality (or widening gap between the so-called 1% and 99%). Both developments are likely to stir new debate over changes to Social Security, Medicare, and other programs that assist the poor as a congressional Super Committee approaches the November 23 deadline to make cuts of over $1 trillion to the federal budget.

Penthouse hookers

I forgot to mention there was a police raid at the Penthouse club near my house. My response is pretty similar to that of Chip, my favorite local blogger.

This kind of goes back to the all-too-common pattern of marriage as a fight over commodities. (I’ll never forget the woman who told me she would fight a divorce tooth and nail, not because she gave a shit about her husband or the effect of the divorce on her kids, but because “I’ll be goddamned if my lifestyle’s going to suffer because he can’t keep his pants zipped.” Interesting priorities!)

Apparently the wives of these guys called the cops because the husbands were blowing too much money on the strippers. (They didn’t seem to care that their husbands were going to the club, only that they were spending the huge wads of cash.) Husbands compulsively spending the rent on strippers is a not-unfamiliar tale these days, as you will know if you read tabloids.

Whenever I drive past the club, I occasionally fantasize about taking pictures of the license plates, running the tags and then charging a slight fee for withholding the information from their wives. But I never do, because I figure if hubby’s spending all his time at titty bars, that’s a marriage with enough problems already and they don’t need me adding to the mess.

Like a hurricane


The Playboy interview

With the wonderful Craig Ferguson!

Imagine that. Do you suppose these tests are the reason drilling companies keep refusing to list the chemicals they use, calling it a “proprietary secret”? It’s horrifying to see where our energy consumption has taken us:

As the country awaits results from a nationwide safety study on the natural gas drilling process of fracking, a separate government investigation into contamination in a place where residents have long complained that drilling fouled their water has turned up alarming levels of underground pollution.

A pair of environmental monitoring wells drilled deep into an aquifer in Pavillion, Wyo., contain high levels of cancer-causing compounds and at least one chemical commonly used in hydraulic fracturing, according to new water test results released yesterday by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The findings are consistent with water samples the EPA has collected from at least 42 homes in the area since 2008, when ProPublica began reporting on foul water and health concerns in Pavillion and the agency started investigating reports of contamination there.

Last year — after warning residents not to drink or cook with the water and to ventilate their homes when they showered — the EPA drilled the monitoring wells to get a more precise picture of the extent of the contamination.
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Cowgirl in the sand

Crazy Horse:

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