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Member since: Wed Feb 23, 2005, 03:32 PM
Number of posts: 6,887

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This will be our year.

I believe it.

Tonight I felt a sudden burst of sadness that Prince is dead.

Strange. Purple Rain popped up on the iPod. I know he's a weirdo; but damn, dude's got such skill.

It's more than that. He meant something hard to describe; artistic bravery, a finality, a perfection -- his public performances were dangerous, goddamned edgy, freaked out -- like the peak flower of reborn Hendrix cooked in the eighties, I don't know -- it felt like anything could happen.

I once tried not to like Prince. And old friend and I had a ritual, sitting down and smoking after work, and she would always put on his first album. It took time, but finally I got hooked.

I went to see every film; I think they were almost better than the music. I fell out somewhere after the Batman phase, but I never fell out of awe for the skill.

What is it about Prince? Dude's just beaming out. Beaming. Sizzling. Crazy Insecure masked by No Fear. Insistent. Dedicated.

He did the work.

I miss him, suddenly. Thought I had done my grieving for Prince, but no. That song is part of America, he's part of America, a part of history, and gone too soon.

Hmmm...why would our worst enemies support the GOP?

Why would they want to get rid of all environmental protections?

Why would they want to destroy the middle class and enrich the super-wealthy?

Why would they want to privatize and auction off public lands?

Why would they want to get rid of all immigrants?

Why would they want to destroy Obamacare?

Why would they want to do any of the things that Trump and the GOP are pushing?

Just so many questions. Hmmmm...

Could it be these things destabilize and weaken the United States? Gosh! That would be bad!

Enquiring Minds want to know why Paul Ryan will accept the conclusion but seems uninterested in what the conclusion implies.

The Journal Of Missed Connections

Next Door, a six-foot long two-hundred pound centipede that spit acid and live on small furry creatures hiding in the World Forest did not find the nest. The babies grew to full size and hopped to the water, and the smallest one was not taken into the centipede to be released when it was ripped open later by a much larger centipede. The smallest one would not grow up in the Sticky Tree, and the smallest one would not meet the larger female who would draw his blood high, and they would not mate and produce the New furry creature who would then evade the centipedes and survive in the Cliff Hole to make a new tribe. This would lead to the Very End Of The World much, much later when Costakci failed to see the shape in the dish and therefore did not have the Dream. Such a small thing to end the world, a mere molecule missed by the razor-sharp sniffer of the great predator centipede. Sometimes that is all it takes in the early days.

The day Catfish Cole ran away from the Black Armed Guard.

James W. Catfish Cole

And later, from the Lumbee Indians.

From Wikipedia:

Cole attended Grainger High School in Kinston, North Carolina, and served in the military during World War II. For a time, he drove a taxicab there and acquired his nickname. In 1953 he and his wife, Carolyn, began Southern Bible College in Marion, South Carolina. Cole was ordained into the ministry by the Wayside Baptist Church in Summerfield, North Carolina in 1958. While in Marion, he toured North Carolina and South Carolina as a tent evangelist and broadcast a Sunday morning radio program, "The Free Will Hour". During this period he became an active member of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, eventually becoming Grand Dragon in both North Carolina and South Carolina. Cole's rallies drew as many as 15,000. Cole incited violence against blacks, and after his rallies Klan motorcades often drove through black neighborhoods in order to terrorize the inhabitants (accompanied by the police, who maintained that they accompanied the Klan to keep order).


Dr. Albert E. Perry, a black doctor in Monroe, North Carolina, was presumed to be financing the local chapter of the NAACP, and consequently he received numerous death threats from the Klan. In 1957, Robert F. Williams, the president of the local chapter of the NAACP, organized a Black Armed Guard, made up mostly of World War II veterans, which began organizing for self-defense, and guarded Dr. Perry's house in shifts. Not making a mention of their race, the group sent a letter to the National Rifle Association asking for a charter, stating that they were a group of veterans who wanted to continue training in case they be called on to serve once again. The charter was granted.

Their preparations paid off on 5 October 1957, when Cole held a rally near Monroe. After the rally, a Klan motorcade headed to Dr. Perry's house, accompanied by shouting and the firing of weapons at houses along the way. When they reached Dr. Perry's house, the defenders returned fire from their fortified positions, and the Klan turned and ran. The city government in Monroe banned Klan motorcades the next day. After this unexpected resistance in Monroe, Cole directed his attention to the Lumbee in Robeson County.


Cole is best known for his harassment of the Lumbee Indians of Robeson County, North Carolina and received brief national attention in 1958 for his role in the Battle of Hayes Pond when armed Lumbees attacked a Klan rally and routed the Klansmen. Cole considered the Lumbee to be a "mongrel" race, and in 1957 began a campaign of harassment against them, announcing "There's about 30,000 half-breeds in Robeson County and we are going to have a cross burning and scare them up." Cole gave several speeches inciting whites against the Lumbee and staged a cross burning in St. Pauls, North Carolina at the home of a Lumbee woman he claimed was having an affair with a white man.


In the midst of Cole's campaign of terror against the Lumbee, Cole was warned by local law enforcement officials that his public speeches and demonstrations would provoke a reaction from the Lumbee. Undeterred, he called a Klan rally to be held on January 18, 1958, near the small town of Maxton where Cole predicted 5,000 Klansmen would remind the Lumbee of "their place". Realizing that the Lumbee would use this rally to muster together their own show of force, only 50 Klan members arrived to attend the rally. Cole and his fellow Klansmen were attacked by a heavily armed force of over 500 Lumbee Indians. The battle turned to a rout as Cole and the Klansmen fled into the nearby swamps.

I love this story. Full of good lessons.

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied.

Russians at the National Prayer Breakfast. Russians with their fingers in the voting rolls, and probably the tabulators. Russians determining US policy through their puppets. Russians making us do everything they want because no one can stop them from sticking their fingers in the back of our heads and making us dance.

Our vaunted, tremendous military spending didn't protect us at all. Our intelligence spending may be trying to help, but the political winds are blowing Russian because a large media presence is mouthing the words Russia chooses for them, and their methods are slowly working on a population that has been prepared for programming for fifty years.

It's getting close to the end, one way or the other. But I have to say this one thing -- people have been hurt. People have died, people have been traumatized, people have had their lives upended, and all decent people the world over have spent the last year bearing an intolerable weight on their souls.

A Democratic president would, with exactly the same evidence, be in prison now, and the Democratic Party destroyed forever. Any other non-white, non-conservative citizen of this nation would be in prison right now. This delay is the direct result of privilege -- for the wealthy, white, conservative, and boundaryless.

Justice is being denied to the nation because some people are more equal than others. It has always been this way, but it has never been more evident than right now.

Without justice there will be no peace, no stability, no place to stand. We will turn in on ourselves and balkanize, and the rest of the world will pick up our pieces. Justice will be forced to wait, perhaps for generations.

Mr. Mueller, I believe you are an honest officer of the law. But the time is coming soon when that role will become meaningless. There will be no law, only power. And that will mean the end of you, and us, in the roles we serve.

It's getting late, sir. The shadows are growing. We all understand the need for process, inequal as it may be for some. But there must come a moment when your process will vanish into the wind like dust.

Now or never has appeared on the horizon.

We're in a Cold Civil War.

I've seen analogies to 1930's Germany; I think they're not as relevant as the American Civil War and the Cold War.

Families and friends that have grown uncomfortable over a number of issues now grow to complete division over a single, simple, sticking point. This is fact versus fiction, community versus solipsism, love versus fear, spirituality versus dogmatic faith. Corporations and moneyed interests nervously wait to bet on the winner. It hasn't started, but everyone expects it to start. Cold. But civil war this is nonetheless.

These are people that embrace dominance and aggression as an implied absolute good; for these people community is a mask one wears, much as evangelical Christianity extols the virtues of Jesus while dabbling in the Prosperity Gospel, and they have drawn an untenable line in the sand. All over the country there are neighbors and business associates and co-workers eyeing each other, unable to speak of this issue any longer without voices raising and tempers flaring. No one wants to burn the bridges, no one truly wants to set it off on the local level -- Fox versus MSNBC is a very different thing than 104 Sycamore versus 105 Sycamore, or husband versus wife. It's safe on the internet, but most want to avoid personal confrontation.

It's been simmering for a year and now it's heating up. This one's not about human beings being bought and sold, this is about half the victims of an enemy sneak attack being unwilling to believe it. Conservatives have been placed in the unenviable position of denying all the evidence of their senses and seventeen intelligence agencies. Their foreign-owned media outlets blare absolute propaganda, words are starting to seethe with violent subtext, the world watches and power shifts like thermohaline circulation --

The Democratic and Republican contingents of the Scranton Rotary Club have always maintained a civil decorum, continuing to consume each other's casseroles and buy each other's goods and services. Lifelong friends, extended families, social groupings -- all bonds that are beginning to strain over this single sticking point.

If they prevail (and they cannot), it is the end of the United States. Democracy as practiced by Devin Nunes and Paul Ryan and Donald Trump is no democracy at all, but brute primal strong-man three-million-year-old tribalism that will collapse as it always does. If they do not prevail, conservative thought and the Republican Party will carry the stench of treason for generations. This. Is. Civil. Division.

So far, Cold. But Civil War, nonetheless.

Coming to a neighborhood near you.

Every Real American Is Fully Stressed Right Now; Therefore: This.

Couldn't find the Flip Wilson Show performance. That floored me back then.

This'll do.

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