+ Tucker Carlson’s transformation from the brattish scion of a “Deep State” diplomat and former head of Voice of America to a bow-tie-wearing talk show smart-aleck into the white working-class tribune of Fox Populi is one of the greatest acts of political crossdressing in American history.
+ As in all these cases, Tucker’s offense wasn’t his racism or lies or on-air libels but threatening the bottom-line of the Boss. There are many more Tuckers being test-driven now in Rupert’s Body Shop.
+ When Tucker was asked the pressing question of our time, “What is a woman?” He apparently answered with the C-word.
+ We are meant to believe that the man who built his media empire by running photos of topless women (many of them barely legal teenagers) on page 3 of The Sun every day for 44 years fired Tucker Carlson for being a misogynist.
+ Is this the best the NYT has dug up about the offenses of Fox’s Wanker of Mass Destruction? “In video obtained by The Times…Mr. Carlson is shown discussing his “postmenopausal fans” … and in another video, he is overheard describing a woman he finds “yummy.”” Yummy?
+ Someone said Tucker sounds like a sober Charlie Sheen. Sounds about right.
+ Some of us are old enough to remember when Rupert fired himself, his son James, Les Hinton (head of Dow Jones), and his favorite editor, Rebekah Brooks, after the phone-hacking scandal and not much changed at NewsCorp., politically or in terms of their “journalistic” practices.
+ The fact that FoxNews apparently has an executive charged with amassing kompromat files on some of its biggest stars, including Tucker Carlson, is one of the Foxiest things ever.
+ FoxNews doesn’t seem to be dialing it back. Laura Ingraham this week: Democrats “believe that everyone in this audience, every one of you sitting here tonight, they — if they could, I really believe they would shut you down, whether put you in a camp, or put you — send you away somewhere so you’re never heard from again.”
+ Like many authoritarian demagogues, Tucker Carlson, who once interviewed romance novel cover boy Fabio on the dynamics of the California economy, seems to be a truly weird person. His obsessions–filth, bizarre animal stories (“sex crazed pandas” and “psycho raccoons”), obesity, bodily excrescences, the subliminal sexual messages of candy, testicle tanning–which he regularly inflicted on his audiences, range far beyond the usual tabloid grotesqueries and border on the pathological.
+ Still, we tend to vastly overstate the influence of cable-news bobbleheads like Tucker Carlson. On his best nights, Carlson had around 3 million watched his show for at least a couple of minutes, less than 1 percent of the US population. So, literally almost no one was watching him, which is how it should be.
+ The day after Fox fired Carlson and CNN booted Don Lemon, ABC terminated Nate Silver. Silver’s smug, poll-driven prognostications on just about everything had as pernicious an effect on political life in the US as the racist ranting of Tucker Carlson. Good riddance to both.
+ According to Nate Silver, Nate Silver had a 99.5% chance of keeping his job.
+ There’s rampant speculation over what “possessed” Rupert to fire Carlson, but I think we’ve finally located someone who’s divined the answer: demons.
There have been a lot of theories floated about what prompted Fox News to abruptly fire Tucker Carlson, but MAGA pastor Shane Vaughn knows what really happened: "We know that Tucker Carlson was a victim of demonic power." pic.twitter.com/9v1PpCa9ew
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) April 26, 2023
+ Wars are getting longer and bloodier. The average armed conflict in the mid-1980s had been going for about 13 years; by 2021 that figure had risen to 20 years. In Mali alone, there are around 70 ongoing conflicts, mostly over land and grazing rights.
+ Number of Ukrainians displaced by the Russian invasion: 13.6 million (5.4 displaced within Ukraine, 8.2 having fled to other European nations.)
+ After the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, Gen. Keith Alexander, the former head of the National Security Agency, received a $700,000 contract from Saudi Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s “cybercollege.” The Pentagon had fought to keep the terms of the contract a secret.
+ Meanwhile, the government of Japan is financing the $250,000 a year salary at the Hudson Institute of H.R. McMaster, the man who once insanely urged Trump to launch a “bloody nose” missile strike on North Korea.
+ Not to be outdone, Biden agreed this week to send nuclear-armed submarines to the Korea peninsula for the first time in four decades. Peace out…
+ Apparently, the Washington Post doesn’t think the Biden administration is being tough enough on … Syria! To refresh your memory, the US unleashed airstrikes on Syria on March 24th of this year.
+ How T.E. Lawrence became an Officer: When World War I broke out, TE Lawrence was summoned from the Sinai, where he was searching in vain for any shred of archaeological evidence for Moses’ 40 years of aimless meandering in the desert, to London and put to work at the Geographical Section of the War Office as a cartographer. One day Gen. Henry Rawlinson, who would later command the internecine slaughter at the Somme, walked in and demanded to see maps of Belgium. Lawrence emerged in civilian clothes carrying the scrolls of half-inch-to-the-mile topos and the officious Rawlinson had a meltdown over the young academic’s appearance. “I will only talk to an officer!” Rawlinson thundered. The problem was that there were only two men in the Geographical Section, neither officers. So a commission for Lawrence was swiftly cobbled together and he was sent off to the nearby Army and Navy Store to be sized up for a second lieutenant’s uniform. (Lawrence’s uniform–as well as his commission–had to be specifically tailored, because unlike the lanky Peter O’Toole in David Lean’s film, the real Lawrence fell short of the minimum height requirement for regular service in the British Army.) Within months, he’d be swaddling himself in Arab desert garb to the profound irritation of Generals Murray and Allenby. (See: Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson)
+ We continue to read justifications from professional contrarians like Malcolm Gladwell for the fire-bombing of Tokyo and the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as the most “humane” ways to end the war on Imperial Japan, as if the Japanese were too deluded to see the inevitable closing upon its shores. But by 1945, their once powerful Navy and Air Force had largely been destroyed and when the US fleet neared Okinawa it included 40 aircraft carriers, 200 destroyers, and 18 battleships. The fleet faced no surface opposition from the Japanese. (See Paul Kennedy’s Victory at Sea: Naval Power and the Transformation of the Global Order in World Two)
+ Speaking of Okinawa, our friend Doug Lummis sent this edifying video explaining how the island is being exploited for the US and Taiwan’s taunting of China…
+ From a US Army intelligence report on occupied Berlin in 1946: “To the average Berliner, an American is just a Russian with his pants pressed.”
+ Nine days after Neil Gorsuch was appointed to the Supreme Court, Brian Duffy, the head of Greenberg Traurig (one of the biggest DC law firms, who has steady flow of cases before the Court) bought a forty-acre property in Colorado Gorsuch had been trying to sell for two years. The justice failed to disclose the identity of the purchaser. The purchase price for the land and 3,000 square foot “cabin” was $1.85 million. Greenberg Traurig has had at least 22 cases before the court after Duffy purchased Gorsuch’s property.
+ As he showered Clarence Thomas was free trips and luxury flights, Dallas real estate tycoon Harlan Crow secretly bought a second citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis, a notorious tax haven in the Cayman Islands.
+ It appears “dark money” accounting methods were the working precedent for Supreme Court justices before Alito legalized it for politicians in Citizens United.
+ Alito to the Wall Street Journal on the leak of his abortion ruling (likely by him): “I personally have a pretty good idea who is responsible, but that’s different from the level of proof that is needed to name somebody.” Why’s he suddenly being so shy? He’s sent people to the death chamber on much less proof.
+ This is all you need to know about Democrats: they signed 110 blue slip approvals for Trump nominated judges and are now kvetching that Republicans, who have signed only 17 to date in Biden’s term, haven’t returned the favor.
+ With Feinstein AWOL, Joe Manchin is now the decisive vote in the Senate and he just used it to help the Republicans pass a bill lowering emissions standards for the trucking industry.
+ Obama’s former Solicitor General Neal Katyal made his 5oth appearance before the Supreme Court this week, arguing a “forfeiture” case for Hennepin County, Minnesota, which seized a 94-year-old woman’s home, sold it, and then pocketed the profits. Katyal says he psyches himself up to argue this big cases by listening to “U2, Daft Punk and the Flaming Lips.” And some people wanted Biden to put him on the Supreme Court!
+ States with near-total abortion bans saw a 10.5% decrease in OB-GYN applicants who were M.D. seniors this year.
+ Even Professor Irwin Corey couldn’t parody Harris….
VP HARRIS: "I think it's very important […] for us at every moment in time & certainly this one, to see the moment in time in which we exist & are present & to be able to contextualize it — to understand where we exist in the history and in the moment — as it relates not only… pic.twitter.com/rGukASSxgc
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 26, 2023
+ Democracy in America Update: In an effort keep pro-abortion ballot measures from passing, the Republican-led legislature in Missouri is poised put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that increases the approval threshold for proposed constitutional amendments to 60 percent, from 50 percent. Voters, however, won’t likely know that this is what the measure would do that. The proposal specifies that it be described on the ballot only as “a measure to require voters to be properly registered U.S. citizens and Missouri residents.” It’s worth noting that this is something the Missouri state Constitution already requires.
+ Last week, Rep. Zooey Zephyr, the first openly trans legislator in Montana, spoke out on floor of the House about the dangers of the state’s anti-trans bill, warning lawmakers they’d have “blood on their hands” if it was passed. In response, the leaders of the House refused to let her speak for three days. Two days later, they voted to censure her and barred her from speaking for the remainder of the session.
+ Iphigenia in Helena. These people are willing to sacrifice their own kids to summon the political winds by proving they aren’t “woke.”
Montana bill sponsor: I prefer my transgender daughter commit suicide rather than allow her to transition.
– Rep. Kerri Seekins-Crowe (R)pic.twitter.com/28e1aCWiR7
— The Intellectualist (@highbrow_nobrow) April 27, 2023
+ Megan Hunt, a Democratic state senator in Nebraska, is being investigated over her filibuster of an anti-trans bill. A conservative lawyer filed an ethics complaint charging that Hunt stands to financially benefit from blocking the bill because she has a trans son. (Note: Medicaid hasn’t covered gender-affirming healthcare in Nebraska since 1990.)
+ It sure looks like San Francisco’s former Fire Commissioner, Don Carmignani, is going around dousing homeless people with bear spray and then blaming them for unprovoked attacks…
EXCLUSIVE: Defense attorneys for the man accused of attacking former SF Fire Commissioner Don Carmignani say the person shown in this video bear spraying a homeless person in the face appears to be Carmignani.
The video, taken in November 2021, is part of a trove of new evidence… pic.twitter.com/tLaUqqDGjP
— The San Francisco Standard (@sfstandard) April 26, 2023
+ Myles Cosgrove, the former Louisville cop who shot Breonna Taylor, was hired by the Carroll County, Kentucky Sheriff’s Office.
+ They say there are a million ways to die in New York City. Maybe so, but this way is becoming more and more familiar, especially if you’re a black male. Last week, Kawaski Trawick accidentally locked himself out of his NYC apartment while he was cooking. He called the fire department, who let him back in. In the meantime, Trawick’s neighbor saw him standing in the hallway holding a knife (butter) and called the NYPD. The cops show up, break into his apartment and startle Trawick, who had resumed cooking in his kitchen. He asks the cops to leave. They say no and demand he drop the knife (butter). Then one cop tasers Trawick and the other shoots him. The two cops wait at least 4 minutes before rendering any medical aid. By then, Trawick has bled out and is dead.
+ More than two years ago Anthony Alvarez was shot to death by a Chicago police officer during a foot pursuit. This week the city moved to fire the officer (Sammy Encarnacion) who initiated that fatal chase– but over entirely different charges of “serious misconduct” made several years before.
+ According to a new report by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), San Diego Police are nearly seven times more likely to use force on Black suspects than they are on White and Hispanic suspects.
+ An internal review by the LAPD disclosed that since 2018, its officers have been involved in 4,203 vehicle pursuits, more than a quarter of which ended in injuries or deaths. More than half of those injured in these chases were bystanders.
+ A long-running study by Northwestern University finds that one-in-four youths who spent time in the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center were shot or killed in the years following their release.
+ It doesn’t get much more obscene than this. A couple of weeks ago, Gentner Drummond, the Attorney General for the state of Oklahoma, asked the Court of Criminal Appeals to vacate the conviction of death row inmate Richard Glossip. Citing the misleading testimony of the main witness in the case, a mentally-disturbed man named Justin Sneed, who actually committed the murder, Drummond told the court: “The state has reached the difficult conclusion that the conviction of Glossip was obtained with the benefit of material misstatements to the jury by its key witness.” Drummond wasn’t alone. The prosecutor in Glossip’s case also wants the conviction overturned, as do many members of the Oklahoma legislature, fearing the state is on the verge of putting to death an innocent man. But the appeals court swiftly rejected the request, coldly saying: “Glossip has exhausted every avenue and we have found no legal or factual ground which would require relief in this case.” The appeals court’s denial was followed by the OK Board of Pardon and Parole decision to deny a clemency request for Glossip on a 2-2 vote. His execution date is set for 5/18, unless the Supreme Court intervenes.
+ Damien Echols, Jesse Miskelley and James Baldwin, the so-called Memphis Three, were convicted for the 1993 murder of three young boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. Echols spent 18 years on death row, before being released. Even though Echols, Miskelley and Baldwin were freed, their convictions have never been overturned. Now an Arkansas court has refused Echols’ request for DNA testing that could prove who really killed Chris Byers, Stevie Branch, and Michael Moore.
+ Similarly, Tennessee has refused to test DNA evidence that could prove the state executed an innocent man (Sedley Alley) 2006. After to Tennessee law, Alley is the only person who could have filed a petition for post-conviction DNA testing.
+ Maurice Jimmerson was arrested by police in Albany, Georgia in 2013, along with four other men for a double murder. Two of Jimmerson’s co-defendants were acquitted by a jury in 2017. But Jimmerson has yet to even go trial and has spent the last 10 years in the Dougherty County Jail. At this point, Jimmerson, who has pleaded not guilty, doesn’t even have a lawyer, due to a shortage of public defenders in rural Georgia. Maurice was 22 when he was arrested. He’s now 32 and still doesn’t have a trial date.
+ Texas police are still arresting lots of people on marijuana charges, most of them Black or Hispanic. According to data collected by Austin Sanders at the Austin Chronicle, of those arrested on pot charges last year:
49% – Hispanic
34% – Black
17% – White
1% – Asian
The racial composition of Travis County is:
48% – White
34% – Hispanic
8% – Black
7% – Asian
+ While we’re still thinking about Texas, under HB13, the bill which would give teachers in the state a $25,000 stipend if they agree to arm themselves at school, would also confer upon them the same kind of qualified immunity enjoyed by police.
+ From 1910 to 1920, lynchings and racial violence led to the death or disappearance of nearly 5,000 people of Mexican descent in the U.S.
+ The city of Minneapolis is facing a federal lawsuit after revelation that the city’s police officers spied on members of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for years without any legitimate purpose.
+ Moody’s on Kevin McCarthy’s debt limit/spending cut plan: “Under [McCarthy’s] legislation, GDP growth is so weak that employment declines in the first three quarters of 2024, and the unemployment rate rises by more than a percentage point to 4.6% by the fourth quarter of 2024.”
+ According to a study by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, middle-income taxpayers in Texas pay 9.4 percent of their income in state and local taxes, a rate that’s higher than the same income brackets in California.
+ An investigation by its student newspaper revealed that Columbia University, using 184 different pseudonyms, is the largest private landowner in New York City.
+ Meanwhile, half NYCs households don’t have enough money to comfortably hold down an apartment, access sufficient food and basic health care, and transportation.
+ According to the Financial Times, London households make about 15 percent more per year than the rest of the country. But after you subtract housing costs a family in the UK’s capital city is no better off than the national average.
+ Huw Pill, a senior executive at the Bank of England, says Britons must stop whining and learn to accept the fact that most of them are poorer. Pill asserted that an unwillingness to accept the nation’s economic decline was a driving force behind inflation. ‘People need to accept that they’re worse off and stop trying to maintain their real spending power by bidding up prices.’”
+ What kind of Replacement Theory will the FoxNews bobbleheads call this? According to the latest Census Data, Baltimore has lost twice as many Black residents than white residents, with about 57,000 Black residents leaving the city between 2010 and 2020.
+ For each mile walked, Black pedestrians were more than twice as likely to be hit and killed by a vehicle as white walkers. For Black cyclists, the fatality risk per mile was 4.5 times as high as that for white cyclists.
+ Canceled Tucker Carlson Show: Why are Black people more likely to run into cars driven by Whites? Carjackings gone wrong? When will it be safe to drive America’s streets again?
+ Four “life skills” instructors at an elementary school in Brownsburg, Indiana face criminal charges after investigators say they told a 7-year-old special education student to eat his own vomit with a spoon.
+ The median age of a person in India 20 years old, while in China it’s 50.
+ 23 years after children in Kenya received deworming pills in school, their own kids had significantly lower risk of dying before their 5th birthday, compared to the comparison group.
+ According to a new pre-print report by Bloom Labs published on bioRXiv, the “species most correlated with SARS2 are fish (catfish and large-mouth bass) and livestock, followed by humans. Raccoon dogs are bamboo rats negatively correlated with SARS2.” So much for the raccoon dog Covid origin boomlet. But I do appreciate these various zoonotic theories because if the only way Americans learn their geography is through war perhaps they’ll begin to learn about Asian wildlife (bamboo rats, pangolins, horseshoe bats) through viruses.
+ Florida’s surgeon general, Joseph Ladapo, secretly changed a study’s conclusions on the safety of Covid vaccines, and then used the bowdlerized study to justify his boss Ron DeSantis’ anti-vaxx crusade.
+ In the payola scandal, which the Twitter Blue scam greatly resembles, at least the records got played even if the artists didn’t get paid.
+ Under free-speech champion Elon Musk, Twitter’s own data, as disclosed in a piece on the tech site Rest of the World, shows that the company has received 971 government demands for censorship of posts or surveillance of Twitter users and fully complied with 808 of them while partially complying in another 154 other cases. Many of the requests came from India and Turkey. Before Musk took the helm, Twitter’s full compliance rate was around 50 percent; since the takeover, it is now over 80 percent.
+ According to Tucker Carlson-wannabe Ben Shapiro, local communities should be able to ban “men wearing traditional female clothing in public.” By the same logic, I guess, local communities should also be free to force women to wear “traditional female clothing in public” This is how “Sharia Law” will come to America.
+ Right on cue, the Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has issued a two-page “dress code and grooming policy,” which Miller, who normally walks around in a cowboy hat and six-shooter pin on his lapel, defended by saying, “We don’t want a man come dressed in drag, or vice versa.” Will women in the Ag Department have to dress like Dale Evans and ride to work on Buttermilk?
+ Looks like they did a nice job touching up that Confederate battle flag painting for the big reopening after a fire had closed the high school in Buchanan County, Virginia…
+ Honestly, Hunter Biden is the only Biden I can relate to. His father is much more of a moral monster than he is and one of Joe’s few redeeming qualities is that he seems to love his fuck-up (aren’t we all?) of a son, even as the exposure of his transgressions threatens the thing Biden cares about the most in his life: his political career. If having sex, getting high and trading on the position of your powerful father is “corrupt,” then that’s been the default position of wayward sons in almost every dynastic family since the Emperor Augustus….
+ Location of gunshot wounds on the body of Manuel Téran, according to the Dekalb County Medical Examiner.
+ According to Peter Singer, “if Americans were to replace 50 percent of all animal-based foods with plant-based alternatives by 2030, that alone would help them get a quarter of the way toward hitting the U.S. climate target under the Paris agreement.”
+ Since 2008, the planet has absorbed nearly as much heat as it did in the previous 45 years. Most of the extra energy has gone into the oceans.
+ By the end of the century, carbon-collecting northern peat bogs could become carbon emitters.
+ The global rice shortage is now the greatest in 20 years: “At the global level, the most evident impact of the global rice deficit has been, and still is, decade-high rice prices.”
+ Police in Broward County declined to charge a Florida man who shot at two Instacart workers who went to deliver groceries at the wrong home.
+ Sea surface temperatures off the east coast of North America in March were 13.8C higher than the 1981-2011 average.
+ Internal documents from Shell admit that meeting the 1.5C climate goal would require an immediate end to fossil fuel growth.
+ Carbon capture is proving to be an even bigger fraud than carbon credits. Chevron’s Gorgon gas project off Western Australia is now emitting by more 50% CO2 even though it is home to the world’s largest industrial carbon capture and storage system. Meanwhile, the amount of CO2 stored underground at the LNG facility has fallen steeply in the last three years.
+ The failed launch of the SpaceX Starship started a 3.5 acre fire, sent debris thousands of feet into the air and spread potentially toxic ash, dust and sand for miles around the Boca Chica, Texas, spaceport.
+ The wider the gap between rich and poor the higher the mortality rates during periods of flooding.
+ The UK is exporting is plastic problem to poor countries, first to Poland and now, increasingly, to Turkey, where it ships an average of 575 tons of plastic trash every day.
+ As oases dry up, Morocco is entering its eighth year of drought, with no end in sight.
+ A new study in Nature Communications argues that no one is exempt from risk of killer heat waves: “Our global assessment shows that statistically implausible extremes have occurred in 31% of regions between 1959 and 2021, with no apparent spatial or temporal pattern…It appears that such extremes could occur anywhere and at any time. This suggests that everywhere needs to be prepared for a heatwave so extreme it is deemed implausible based on the current observational record.”
+ According to the Department of Energy, Wyoming and Oklahoma have the highest registrations per capita of light-duty vehicles (cars, trucks and vans weighing less than 8,500 lbs.), at 1,112 and 1,057 per 1,000 people respectively, while the more urban District of Columbia has the lowest number—just 480 registered vehicles per 1,000 people–followed by New York with 576 per 1,000 people. The average number of light-duty vehicle registrations per 1,000 people for the United States in 2022 was 847. By contrast, EU nations average 560 light-duty vehicles per thousand people, while China has about 226 per thousand people.
+ One in three cars sold in China last year were electric.
+ 7,000: number of hours sewage poured into London-area rivers and streams last year.
+ As global warming drives the range of southern tree species northward, ecologists predict that palmettos could be growing in DC by the end of the century.
+ Since 1700, at least two-thirds of the suitable habitat for Asian elephants has been destroyed.
+ While the Atlantic Ocean is rising inexorably, the East Coast shorefront is sinking. According to a new study in Nature, the Atlantic Coast is dropping by several millimeters per year. In Charleston and the Chesapeake Bay region, it’s up to 5 millimeters. In some areas of Delaware, it’s sinking at twice that rate. Seems like a bad combination.
+ The latest pearls of wisdom from a senior member of the world’s “greatest deliberative body…”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) says climate change will be good for the U.S. because it will be less cold: "Global warming will actually be beneficial … Why wouldn't we take comfort in that? … Y'know, concerned if you're in the hot region of Africa … but we're in good shape." pic.twitter.com/gJifCUhFnT
— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) April 26, 2023
+ Tell it to the coral reefs, Senator: the latest IPCC report predicts that 1.5C of warming will result in the death of between 70 and 90 percent of the world’s tropical and subtropical coral reefs. If the planet warms at 2C, 99% of these reefs will be lost by 2050.
+ I interviewed the great Harry Belafonte three times, twice about Cuba and once about his relationship with the Native American activist and poet John Trudell. I intend on writing about Belafonte in the weeks to come, but for today here’s the story of how Bob Dylan made his first recorded performance on Belafonte’s 1962 record, The Midnight Special, as a last minute substitute for Sonny Terry, whose plane had been grounded in Memphis by a thunderstorm.
Belafonte described the strange encounter with the young Dylan in a 2010 interview with MOJO magazine:
My guitarist Millard Thomas, said, ‘Well, there’s this kid I see all the time down in the Village, and he does that whole Sonny thing. He sleeps and dreams it.’ So I said, ‘We don’t have a choice I guess. Go find him.’
And this skinny kid appeared and he had a paper sack with him full of harmonicas in different keys. I played the song for him and he pulled one out of the bag, dipped it in water, and played through a single take, and it was great. I loved it. I asked him if wanted to try another take and he said, ‘No.’ I asked him if he wanted to hear it back and he said, ‘No.’ He just headed for the door and threw the harmonica in the trashcan on his way out.
I remember thinking. Does he have that much disdain for what I’m doing? But I found out later that he bought his harps at the Woolworth drugstore. They were cheap ones and once he’d gotten them wet and really played through them as hard as he did, they were finished. It wasn’t until decades later, when he wrote that book [Chronicles: Volume One], that I read what he really felt about me, and I tell you, I got very, very choked up. I had admired him all along, and no matter what he did or said, I was just a stone, stone fan.
+ During his federal trial on conspiracy charges, the rapper Pras Michel, who performed with the Fugees, admitted that he had served as “a voluntary informant” for the FBI on several occasions regarding China’s efforts to extradite exiled billionaire Guo Wengui.
+ When Lizzo rolled into Knoxville last week she populated her stage with drag queens as a protest against new legislation in the state designed to restrict drag performances in public.
+ Meanwhile, Vincent DeLorenzo, a Catholic priest from Flint, Michigan, pled guilty this week to charges of criminal child sexual molestation, including the sexual assault on a 5-year-old boy after a funeral service the priest officiated for the child’s relative in 1987.
+ Over a 30 year period, Eric Uller, a Santa Monica police employee, molested more than 200 kids, some as young as 8-years old. Police were aware of his criminal behavior as far back as the mid-1990s and took no action.
+ Is there a better metaphor for our cultural entropy than the fact that many fashionistas are paying a premium to have people working in sweatshop conditions manufacture holes in their jeans?
— Prison_Health (@Prison_Health) April 25, 2023
+ At least 33% of adults in New Jersey now smoke marijuana, most of them buying it legally.
+ Charles Bukowski: “I disliked weekends. Everybody was out on the streets. Everybody was playing Ping-Pong or mowing their lawn or polishing their car or going to the supermarket or the beach or to the park. Crowds everywhere. Monday was my favorite day.”
+ Here’s John le Carré, the best English novelist of the last century, refusing an invitation to speak at a literary festival in 2008: “I read no modern fiction at all and don’t read the literary prints so I have absolutely no idea who the big lit. cats are or what they’ve written.”
+ Among a vast range of other talents, WEB DuBois was an innovator in the design of infographics, many of which are now on display in an exhibit titled Deconstructing Power at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in NYC.
+ It lends a deeper meaning to “The Waste Land” to learn from his most recent biographer Robert Crawford (Eliot After The Waste Land) that Long Tom Eliot’s reading voice conveyed the sound of someone being strangled.
Masquerading as a Man with a Reason
What I’m reading this week…
The Last Cold Place: a Field Season Studying Penguins in Antarctica
Naira de Gracia
Friends of Israel: the Backlash Against Palestine Solidarity
When the Smoke Cleared: The 1968 Rebellions and the Unfinished Battle for Civil Rights in the Nation’s Capital
(The New Press)
What I’m listening to this week…
Touch My Soul
In Between Thoughts…a New World
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Rose City Band
The Fog Pictures
“The fog pictures grow charming. There is an idea in them now. People are detached little decorations etched upon a mist. The cat has eaten up the monstrous clock and people have rid themselves of their routine, which was to tumble and scurry among its cogs and levers. They are done with life, with buying and selling and with the perpetual errand. And they have become a swarm of little ornaments. Men and women denuded of the city. Their outlines posture quaintly in the mist. Their little faces say, “The clock is gone. There is nothing any more to make us alive. So we have become our unconnected selves.” (Ben Hecht, A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago)