Category Archives: Blogosphere

A sorta, kinda Virtual Front Page on a mushy news day

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This is one of those in-between kinds of days in which there’s no really overriding news. So you get the weird phenomenon of all of these news entities having completely different lede stories. Which might not be interesting to you, but is to me.

Here they are, in no particular order — since they’re all ledes, right?…

  1. Russian Energy Giant Finds Kremlin Links Cut Both Ways (NYT) — Which is all about EU going after Gazprom. This is after the EU went after Google. But I think that’s kinda different, don’t you?
  2. Google Unveils Wireless Service Called ‘Project Fi’ (WSJ) — Of all these stories, I may be the most interested in this one. But as an editor, I don’t consider it the most important, and would lede with it. And when I read that it won’t work with iPhones, I lose personal interest as well…
  3. S.C. agency changes policies after lawsuit by transgender teen (The State) — Lemme explain this to you: It seems that she… I mean, it seems that he… well, I lack the vocabulary. I tell you what, though: Cases such as this are a good argument for bringing back the inclusive “he.” They still do it in Spanish, after all…
  4. Senate OKs Human-Trafficking Bill, Paving Way For Attorney General Vote (NPR) — Actually, it’s a little hard to tell from the NPR site what they consider to be the lede, but I think this is it. On second thought, I doubt that they even think about it at NPR.
  5. Italy ‘at war’ with migrant smugglers (BBC) — This ongoing story, of course, gets bigger play over across the pond.
  6. Pentagon races to move inmates at Guantanamo (WashPost) — I think “from” probably says it better than “at” — but it wouldn’t have fit in this three-deck hed.

How’s that for a Smörgåsbord?

At long last, the House stands up to the governor on roads

Finally, the House has done what it always had to do if it were to act rationally on financing road construction — raise the tax designed for that purpose, which had been kept ridiculously low:

The South Carolina House passed a bill Wednesday to pay to repair the state’s crumbling roads by increasing the state’s gas tax by 10 cents a gallon.

The proposal, which would raise roughly $427 million a year, passed 87-20, a large enough margin in the GOP-dominated House to survive a veto threat by Republican Gov. Nikki Haley.

State Rep. Gary Simrill, R-York, said the “strong vote” shows House members are serious about fixing S.C. roads….

Here’s hoping House members continue to stand up against the governor’s nonsensical stance, and that the Senate acts reasonably as well.

So far, the governor has reacted in a predictable manner, demagoguing on Facebook rather than engaging lawmakers.

At Pearl Harbor, a vision out of South Carolina

C-47

Burl Burlingame is still posting pictures of fantastic sunsets over Pearl Harbor and tagging me with them, making me wish I could still be there — as if I needed such prompting. There’s nothing like a Pacific sunset.

Anyway, this morning I was looking for something unrelated among my pictures from my recent trip, and ran across this one that I had failed to share when I wrote about visiting Burl’s aviation museum on Ford Island.

It was a touch of home, one rivaling those sunsets in pulchritude.

On a display next to a C-47 — something that fills me with nostalgia, since it’s the first aircraft I ever flew on (in South America, over the Andes, when I was about 9 or 10) — there it was: The most popular pinup of South Carolina model Jewel Flowers Evans, whose face and figure was made famous by artist Rolf Armstrong.

Her obituary in The State in 2006 called her “probably the number one pin-up girl of all time.” Whether she was or not, she gets my vote. Here are some other images of her, including this photo that is apparently from the same session in 1941 that produced the one on the nose of that plane.

Anyway, that very same image ran on The State‘s obit page when she died, something that startled me sufficiently that I wrote about it on my then-young blog.

It was a nice surprise to see her again while visiting old haunts in Hawaii…

pinup

Open Thread for Wednesday, April 15, 2015

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Some possible topics. Feel free to add your own…

  1. Anybody have anything to say about Tax Day? – I certainly don’t, but I thought I’d ask.
  2. Japan Tops China as Largest U.S. Bondholder — Hmmm. I wonder if this has anything to do with the major financial transaction I pulled off recently in Japan. Probably not… In any case, what does it really all mean? That we’ll start resenting the Japanese more than the Chinese?
  3. EU accuses Google Shopping of search ‘abuse’ — Why do these furriners kept pestering our mega-corporations?
  4. David Chase explains ‘Sopranos’ ending — again. Can we stop asking him about it now? — Hey, it’s more interesting than international financial news, right?
  5. This CEO raised all his employees’ salaries to at least $70,000 by cutting his own — I’d like to work for THAT guy — but I don’t want to move to Seattle
  6. Hey, that’s my granddaughter at thestate.com — For several days now, a photo of my eldest granddaughter — she’s 18 now — has been on The State‘s main page, under “Top Photos.” That’s her on the far right, Jennifer Garner on the far left. If you click on it, it doesn’t have my granddaughter’s name. It says “Tiffany Jaspers” instead. My granddaughter took her place at the last moment — and then was honored as the top model of the night! She’s a dancer, and has a LOT of stage presence.

top model

Virtual Front Page, Tuesday, April 14, 2015

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Our top headlines. Basically, we have two strong lede stories. Some outlets are leading with one; some with the other:

  1. Obama removes Cuba from list of terror sponsors (WashPost) — Apparently, the future has arrived.
  2. Obama Says He Would Sign Bipartisan Bill on Iran Deal (NYT) — Hey, how did this happen? Are there some Republicans reacting to the news that POTUS will sign by saying, “Maybe we did something wrong here?”
  3. Medicaid expansion advocates in SC ask foes to at least consider options (The State) — Wouldn’t that be nice, for those folks to consider reason for just a moment? This story’s old now, but important. And did you see the long letter to the editor this morning headlined, Single-payer would work better in SC than private health-insurance system? To which one wants to say, duh…
  4. Soul singer Percy Sledge dies aged 74 (BBC) — All there is to say about that is this. Wow. Wow. He articulated one of the core eternal verities, with an eloquence seldom matched.
  5. The surprising downsides of being clever (BBC) — People think it must be wonderful to know you’re the smartest person in the room. But as Holly Hunter famously revealed, “It’s awful!”
  6. ‘Free-range’ parents plan to file lawsuit after police pick up children (WashPost) — Those trend-bucking Maryland parents let their kids, 10 and six, walk home alone again, and the cops hauled them in again. And hey, the story’s co-written by my old friend Brigid Schulte!

So far, I have a perfect score on the SAT (Twitter version)

Of course, I’ve only answered two questions so far — yesterday’s and today’s. But a journey of a thousand miles begins with, etc.

Since some of y’all shared my enthusiasm for quizzes — well, for quizzes that I ace, not for abominations such as that cursed Slate news quiz — I thought I would call your attention to this, the Official SAT Question of the Day feed.

Enjoy…

When the package is in Thai, you just have to guess

Bryan Caskey posted this on his blog last night, about the small tokens I brought back to show my appreciation for his handling this blog while I was out of the country:

Gifts from Thailand are not always what they seem.

Everyone knows the saying “Beware Greeks bearing gifts.” However, most people are not aware of the somewhat lesser-known saying “Beware of Americans bearing gifts from Thailand.” Oh yeah, it’s totally a saying. Go look it up.

I had some firsthand experience with an American bearing gifts from Thailand when a friend of mine brought me back some gifts from his trip to Thailand. I was surprised and gratified that he even thought of me, because I didn’t really think I merited a gift to begin with.
In any event, the first gift was really wonderful. it was a silk necktie. A tie. A Thai tie, to be exact. I love telling people that I have a Thai tie. Here’s the my Thai tie, actually tied:
My Thai tie
It’s actually quite snappy. I actually prefer red ties, and the elephant look is very Asian. All in all, it’s a smashingly successful gift. I wear a tie pretty much everyday, so the cliche gift of a tie is actually a good gift for me.
In any event, the second gift was a lot funnier, or at least it ended up being funnier. After giving me the tie, Brad pulled out a little candy bag, which he said he picked up for me, because it said “M16″ on the packaging.
So, figure this is candy, right? The little cartoonish-smiley face guy in the upper lefthand corner is playful, right? I think we both kind of figured that it would be a fruit candy that would be some sort of Thailand jolly rancher, or something.
A couple of days went by, but eventually I figured that I’d open up the Thailand candy and maybe try it. I mean, how weird could it possibly be, it’s candy!
Yeah.
Seeds
Just seeds. Just plain ol’ seeds. Not candy seeds. Not chocolate covered seeds. Not seeds dipped in yogurt. Just seeds. Joke’s on me, I guess. I think I could plant them and grow some Thai-watermelons. In fact, that’s actually what I did. I’ll let you know how that turns out.
By the way, Brad. I think you should have declared this agricultural product to US Customs upon your return. Oh well. I’m sure no one will know. Our secret.

Actually, we did try to bring back some papaya seeds — the gift of a hostess, who lives on a farm in Nakhon Ratchasima, who was distressed to learn that we don’t have papayas growing in OUR yard back home.

We were looking forward to planting them and cherishing the plants to see if they could possibly survive. But in a fit of conscience I showed them to the agricultural inspection guy in Hawaii, and he confiscated them. The clincher was the large, dead beetle that had crawled into the plastic bag with the seeds. I think he might have let them go without the bug…

Who knew they sold, as food, the one part of the watermelon that we’ve bred out of our watermelons in the States? Hey, maybe that’s what happened to all the seeds that used to be in melons over here — they get packaged up and sent to Thailand…

The unraveling of Todd Kincannon

I’ve never known quite what to think, much less say, about local attorney, former state GOP director and social media provocateur Todd Kincannon.

Some of his detractors on the Web have less trouble labeling him, although they sometimes seem to be trying too hard, I suppose in an effort to match his own vitriol. The characterizations come across as strained: “chinless monster,” “Tea Party troll,” “‘Family Values’ Lunatic,” “‘Pro-Life’ Sociopath,” and so forth.

Not that he hasn’t asked for it (in fact, he has seemed to relish the attention).

The couple or three times I’ve met him, he’s seemed a contained, respectful young man, although eager to be heard — not very different from most ambitious young white men one finds in the background of the GOP these days. Of course, I haven’t seen him in a while. The last time was when we appeared together on Cynthia Hardy’s talk show on WACH-Fox, and that was several years back.

But the Todd Kincannon who has roamed the internet with marked aggression in recent years has been something else — a disturbing figure, a sort of poster boy for the phenomenon whereby social media bring out the very worst in some people.

He’s been banned from Twitter, his weapon of choice, twice for such eruptions as:

zulus ebola

And, if you’ll forgive me for repeating it, his most infamous utterance:

todd1

This seems a good time to make a point about words and the way they are abused in our political discourse…

A lot of people, particularly on the left, have a penchant for calling people they disagree with “hateful.” I’ll see the word “hate” used, and I’ll compare it to the comment or position that it’s applied to, and it just doesn’t match up.

Those Tweets from Todd Kincannon? Now those are hateful, even if he’s only doing it to get attention. Just for future reference, this is the standard for the word.

Back to our topic…

Todd is in the news again:

A former executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party arrested Monday for charge of criminal domestic violence has been released on a $5,000 bond.JJTKINCANNONMUG

James John Todd Kincannon, 33, who is also an attorney, was arrested in connection with an earlier incident that caused his wife to tell deputies she was fearful for her life, Lexington County Sheriff Lewis McCarty said in a statement released Monday.

Ashley Griffith stated to deputies that on March 26 she was involved in an altercation with her husband who became angry with her after the two left an event, an arrest warrant alleges. According to the warrant, Griffith told deputies that Kincannon yelled at her and used profanity while driving near Irmo. Griffith also said that she lowered her window and yelled at passing motorists to help her while she pleaded with Kincannon to stop the car.

Griffith said Kincannon began driving the motor vehicle erratically and avoiding traffic lights while driving at a high rate of speed, the arrest warrant alleges. Griffith then tried to exit the car but Kincannon grabbed her arm in order to stop her…

For his part, Kincannon blames his behavior on the prescription, non-narcotic antitussive benzonatate: “I’d never taken it before, and took it for the first time last night. Basically, I went completely crazy after taking it.”

Folks, I’ve taken benzonatate. I took a LOT of it early this year, when I was having trouble functioning because of a cough I couldn’t get rid of. For a couple of weeks, I took it every eight hours. It helped some. It did not make me violent, or lead to any sort of out-of-control behavior. Yes, drugs affect different people different ways — the old prescription asthma medication Tedral used to make me paranoid if I took it with caffeine. I really thought people around me were deliberately trying to upset me. But I didn’t do anything about it, because I knew the reaction was irrational.

Benzonatate

Benzonatate

Of course, he does claim that he did the ONE thing you are never supposed to do with benzonatate: bite down on the capsule and break it before swallowing it. As Wikipedia warns, “Excessive absorption of benzonatate will occur if the gelcaps are chewed or allowed to dissolve in the mouth. This may lead to an overdose of the drug. Overdose of benzonatate may manifest as central nervous system side effects, such as mental confusion and hallucination, restlessness and tremors.”

Still, I don’t find benzonatate to be a persuasive explanation. It seems a bit too neat. It suggests that he’ll be fine if you keep him away from cough suppressants. And social media (was he on benzonatate when he posted those Tweets? no, because he said this was the first time he’d had it). And, I suppose, red kryptonite.

Here’s hoping Todd Kincannon gets it together, and soon. What we’ve seen over the last couple of years is the spectacle of a man unraveling. Now that it’s gotten to the point of violence, it’s pretty scary…

Burl posts picture that says ‘eat your hearts out!’

schooners

Burl Burlingame posted today on Facebook a better shot of a sunset from Schooners, the restaurant right on Pearl Harbor where he took us to dinner after giving us the tour of Ford Island. In this shot, Ford Island (where Burl “works”) is between us and the sun going down behind the Waianae mountains. Off to the left is the causeway out to the island. To the right is McGrew Point Navy officer housing, where my family lived briefly just before I left for college.

Sigh…

He said he was there celebrating National Beer Day. Probably with a Newcastle, I’m guessing.

My second greatest regret from our time on the island (the greatest being that we couldn’t stay longer) is that I didn’t get a Primo. I had never had Primo. During my very brief time as a legal drinker in the islands (that week or so I was there over Christmas vacation, 1971), I never had a Primo. It was considered cooler to drink Olympia, so I did. Nor did I ever eat poi, strangely enough.

I rectified that, at least. The last thing we did before heading to the airport to leave was to have lunch at Ono Hawaiian Foods, a wonderfully downhome, unpretentious, authentic eatery. We had da kine pig and poi, and it was great. Pictures of the food and the place are below.

No, not as beautiful as what Burl posted, but it was good. We ordered and shared the Combination Plate — kalua pig and laulau, pipikaula, lomi salmon, haupia, and poi. (The poi is the purplish-gray stuff in the blue bowl.}

Ono

poi

Open Thread for Monday, April 6, 2015

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Here are a few items for consideration; feel free to add your own…

How ’bout them Lady Gamecocks? — I may be a bit late with the congratulations, now that the ride has ended, but what a ride, huh?

The horrific campus rape story that wasn’tRolling Stone admits to the most fundamental journalistic failures, although no one will be fired. How did it happen? Not because the magazine lied, but because Rolling Stone so wanted it to be true. Further investigation would have spoiled it. A lawsuit is in the works.

The end of baseball cards? — Yet another indicator in the long, slow slide of what to me is still the proper national pastime.

Rand Paul seems to stray from libertarian roots as he courts GOP base — Interesting piece in the WashPost today. So, Doug, does this make him a phony like all the rest?

Or, anything else y’all want to talk about.

Virtual Front Page for Thursday, April 2, 2016

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I haven’t done one of these for awhile, out of laziness. I’ll start to do one, but I can’t find six stories that I think are worth a front. So I cop out and do an Open Thread instead. But were this an actual newspaper, I’d have to come up with six (OK, given the demise of the broadsheet, more like five, or even four) whether they were worthy or not.

So as a matter of discipline, I’m going to make myself do this. Fortunately, we do have a serious lede story today:

  1. Nuclear ‘framework’ reached — And no, I don’t know what to think of it. Not enough information. Not even Lindsey Graham knows what he thinks yet. But the link is to the WashPost story, and they’ve got a bunch of sidebars you can read. Here’s the NYT version and here’s the WSJ and here’s The Guardian. Have at them. They all appear to have extensive reports.
  2. 147 DIE IN KENYA UNIVERSITY ATTACK —  Shabab militants claimed responsibility, because they’re the kind of twisted ____s who would be proud of something like this.
  3. Belk department stores considering selling — This was the biggest thing I saw locally. It’s been slow.
  4. Two New York women arrested for trying to build homemade bomb — Their being women raises it to front-page level. Case of woman-bites-dog, you might say.
  5. At Boeing, Innovation Means Small Steps, Not Giant Leaps — A WSJ piece looking at the company that now looms so large in the SC legend.
  6. A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky – Speaking of aviation… for those who enjoyed reading about Burl’s museum… a gee-whiz story about the $400,000 helmet that comes with the F-35.

My worlds are colliding! Doug and Burl meet

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Well, this is cool…

Some of y’all may know that Doug Ross and family are in Hawaii right now. They arrived a few days after we left.

Anyway, I’d been trying to get Doug and Burl Burlingame together. And a little while ago, about an hour after I put up the previous post about the time spent with Burl in Hawaii, Burl himself sent me this photo in a text.

In the photo above, Burl is apparently teaching the “shaka” sign to Doug, who seems to be picking up on it pretty well. The same back at you, bruddahs!

I’m glad they got a chance to meet, and I hope Doug and the fam have a great time in the islands!

Open Thread for Tuesday, March 31, 2015

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Kind of a slow news day. But here are some possible topics:

1. Darius Rucker tells ‘Today’ Hootie & the Blowfish will reunite — If you’re a Midlands resident of a certain age, this has got to be kind of exciting, right?

2. Airline admits it knew of co-pilot’s depression in ’09 – I’m really glad that I’m not in charge of crisis management at this airline.

3. Comedy Central stands by new Daily Show host Trevor Noah — Wow, that didn’t take long. I mean, how about letting a guy at least get into the room before you jump him?

4. Iran Nuclear Talks Deadline Will Be Extended By A Day, U.S. Says — And will that make all the difference? Will another day cause Iran to change its mind about wanting to be a nuclear power?

… or whatever y’all want to talk about…

Now that’s MY kind of infographic

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I ran across this on Pinterest while researching this previous post.

You can keep your infographics about the national debt and such; this is the kind I like.

And I say that even though Maxim’s usual sort of “graphic” is more like this.

I really appreciate that someone took the time to work this out. I’ve gotta get me a job like that…

The whole ‘red state/blue state’ thing is backwards

"Red state, blue state" by Angr - self-made; base map is Image:Blank US Map.svg. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Red_state,_blue_state.svg#/media/File:Red_state,_blue_state.svg

“Red state, blue state” by Angr – self-made; base map is Image:Blank US Map.svg. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Red_state,_blue_state.svg#/media/File:Red_state,_blue_state.svg

While I was gone, one of my ADCO colleagues pinned this item on Pinterest, and my attention was drawn to it today when I saw it had gotten some repins.

It was a fun graphic from Digital Information World about all the associations we have with various colors. But what grabbed my attention was the observations about the political meanings of two colors in particular:

red

blue

Indeed, I have found this whole business of calling conservative states “red” and liberal states “blue” confusing ever since it got started.

Red has always been the color of revolution, of overturning the status quo, of charging the ramparts in the cause of radical change. Blue is the natural color of conservativism, as in blueblood, or the blue associated with royalty. Red is hot and dynamic, while blue is cool, sedate, satisfied with the status quo.

So why have we so widely accepted the opposite in recent years? Well, it was pretty random. Here’s Wikipedia’s account:

This terminology came into use in the United States presidential election of 2000 on an episode of the Today show on October 30, 2000. According to AlterNet and The Washington Post, the terms were coined by journalist Tim Russert, during his televised coverage of the 2000 presidential election.[1] That was not the first election during which the news media used colored maps to depict voter preferences in the various states, but it was the first time a standard color scheme took hold; the colors were often reversed or different colors used before the 2000 election.

It was just that random. Whoever made up the graphic just happened to use those colors that day, and it stuck, contrary to all reason.

And in the very next graf, Wikipedia acknowledges the contradiction:

This reverses a long-standing convention ofpolitical colors where red symbols (such as the Red Flag or Red Star) are associated with revolutionary movements, and conservative movements often choose blue as a contrasting color.[2]

That’s right. Anyway, it still bugs me…

The governor has really crossed a line when she’s managed to provoke Lucas to this extent

middle school

When I saw the above headline this morning, I immediately assumed that the quote came from a Democrat.

Not that most Republicans in the Legislature wouldn’t have been peeved at the governor over her latest outburst. In fact, privately, they would probably be more perturbed than the Dems.

But there’s a protocol to these kinds of things. Most lawmakers of both parties may be ticked off, but the Republican response to their own governor will normally be more muted, in terms of on-the-record comments, while the Democrats will say the over-the-top stuff in an effort to, well, get quoted in a headline. Because there’s no political cost for them in doing so.

So my eyebrows rose considerably when I read this part of the story:

Speaker Lucas took to the House floor Wednesday — flanked by House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister, R-Greenville, and House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, D-Richland — and called the governor’s remarks unwarranted and unprovoked.

The speaker said the governor’s comments were inappropriate when speaking of lawmakers who include military veterans and working mothers.

“I believe the comments of the governor were below (her) office,” Lucas said. “I believe these are serious times with serious issues, and they demand serious people with serious answers — not name calling, not middle-school insults that serve no purpose but to poison the well.”…

The governor has really outdone herself this time.

We know she never had a good relationship with the former speaker. But he’s gone now, and good riddance. And he’s been replaced by a guy with a reputation for trying hard to work constructively with everyone, including Democrats, and especially with the governor of his own party.

Given Lucas’ reputation, he must have reached the point of thinking things are pretty far gone to have gotten up and said something like that.

Not that he’s wrong. “Middle school insults” is pretty much dead-on. I was thinking just this morning that the way our governor uses social media reminds me of the “slam books” that used to get passed around campus when I was in junior high in New Orleans all those years ago. If you don’t know what a slam book is, boys and girls, it’s like a particularly virulent form of low-tech Facebook. It was a notebook that got passed around, and kids would write things “slamming” their classmates, competing with each other to see who could be the most insulting.

But he must have concluded that things could not be improved by walking down to the governor’s office and having a chat with her. And that, as I say, indicates a pretty bad situation, the kind Strother Martin would decry as “a failure to communicate.”

Which is bad in terms of our chances for sound policy to come out of the State House.

After a couple of years in which not much got done while Bobby Harrell underwent his political Götterdämmerung, I had hoped for a more productive atmosphere in the State House. This does not bode well…

Below you can see and hear the governor making the remarks in question:

Open Thread for Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Was it a sitcom or a game show?

Was it a sitcom or a game show?

I’m trying to bring myself back down to Earth by reminding myself that not EVERY moment of my trip was ecstatic. There was, for instance, those several hours we were trapped on a bus that was supposed to be air-conditioned and wasn’t, watching a loud Thai TV show that was some sort of cross between a sitcom and a game show — hard to describe, especially since I didn’t understand a word of what was being said.

Of course, other than that, every moment was fantastic, and even that brief experience I’m trying to remember as negative was interesting… so it’s going to take me awhile to adjust to ordinary routine. Bear with me. And be patient as I unfold bits and pieces of our trip and share them with you, beyond what you’ve already seen on social media.

In the meantime, here’s some stuff for y’all to discuss:

  1. Hey, didn’t Bryan do an awesome job while I was gone? — Be careful. That’s a fargin’ trick question. No, seriously, I’m deeply appreciative of what he did to allow me to concentrate on being a tourist, which was pretty all-consuming. Now, I’d appreciate some feedback: What did Bryan do that you’d like to see more of going forward here on the blog? Maybe that can be arranged…
  2. Bergdahl charged with desertion — Well, this was pretty much predictable from the moment the president swapped five high-value Taliban terrorists to get this guy back.What a mess. What an embarrassment for the country. But I’m glad the Army is confronting the problem, and not just ignoring what happened.
  3. Legislature tries to do the right thing in spite of governor — Trying to catch up on the latest bad craziness here in SC. At long last, lawmakers are facing up to the fact that we need to raise the gas tax, and doing it despite the governor’s insistence that we won’t ALLOW us to have a tax increase, even if we want one. No, really; I’m not making that up.
  4. FBI still needs to get better at countering terrorism — That’s the conclusion of a review of how well the agency has been doing with implementing reforms after 9/11.
  5. White House going overboard in anti-Bibi rhetoric — Things seem to have hit a new low with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough saying “an occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end.”

Or, whatever y’all want to talk about…

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This is your Free Period

Since Brad’s away, and (just between us) we all know I’m the cool teacher, we don’t have to be serious all the time. So consider this post your “free period”.

I’m not sure if any of y’all have heard of Shorpy, but if you’re interested in old, vintage photos, you’ll be able to spend hours there killing time. It’s all safe for work, as long as you’re allowed to waste time at work, that is. It’s free to browse, and one nice feature is that It’s searchable, so you can search for locations, topics, or whatever.

I didn’t directly embed any of the photos here because of some legal stuff, but just to get you started, here’s a cool photo of some girls and guns that came up when I searched for “rifles”. Here’s one from Aiken, SC in 1905, and here’s one of King Street, Charleston in 1910.

In any event, lots of neat photos. Anyone else have an interesting website they’d like to share with the rest of the class?

You are present at the revolution

Caskey Tie

There is nothing wrong with your computer. Do not attempt to refresh the page. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We can reduce the focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. For the next two weeks, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to…

As you may know, Brad will be jetting off to Thailand on Saturday, and will be gone for a fortnight. We wish him happy travels.

Why say Brad in the third person? Because, I, Bryan Caskey, will be filling in as “Editor of the Blog” while Brad is gone. We may (or may not) have a peaceful transition when he returns.

Brad will do his best to post during his travels, but the iPad he will be carrying is of limited utility for that purpose. Be kind to me, for I hold the keys to the kingdom. I can be bribed, but I am not cheap.

On a more serious note, if you need help for comment moderation, need to report a technical problem, have any suggested topics, or otherwise need assistance, you may e-mail me at bryancaskey@fastmail.net

There’s not much more that I am at liberty to say right now, because Brad is standing over me and dictating this message to me while I learn the WordPress interface. The fun begins on Saturday.

That is all, carry on. Talk amongst yourselves.

Open Thread for Wednesday, March 4, 2015

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Well, I hate to do back-to-back Open Threads like this, but it’s a busy week.

Here’s what I’m seeing out there…

  1. Judge stops firing of SC State president — What a mess, I confess. So… is there anything anyone can do about this situation? Not that I think firing this guy who didn’t actually create the mess is the solution…
  2. High Court Divided at Health-Law Argument — Does it bother anyone else when reporters and editors try to guess how the court will rule based on the hearing? It’s always kinda bugged me…
  3. U.S. Calls on Ferguson to Overhaul Its Justice System — The cop at the center of the probe was cleared of wrongdoing, but the whole city government was essentially indicted in this report.

Anything else y’all want to mention?