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fishwax

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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 26,093

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The Wire's Bunny Colvin helps explain how we got here: "This drug thing, this ain't police work"

This drug thing, this ain't police work. No, it ain't. I mean, I can send any fool with a badge and a gun up on them corners and jack a crew and grab vials. But policing? I mean, you call something a war and pretty soon everybody gonna be running around acting like warriors. They gonna be running around on a damn crusade, storming corners, slapping on cuffs, racking up body counts. And when you at war, you need a fucking enemy. And pretty soon, damn near everybody on every corner is your fucking enemy. And soon the neighborhood that you're supposed to be policing, that's just occupied territory.


Bunny Colvin's speech--one of the best moments in the five great seasons of The Wire--has been running through my head the last couple of days, watching things flare up in Ferguson. There has been much discussion of the militarization of the police and what brought it about, and certainly the war on drugs (a war which has always been waged disproportionately against communities of color) is a major factor.

The clip

"When cops declare open season on journalists ..."

"When cops declare open season on journalists, when they feel free to declare any scene of "unlawful protest" a free fire zone, that will be a very ugly day - and not just for journalists."

---Hunter S. Thompson, "Strange Rumblings in Aztlan"

Of course, things were very ugly in Ferguson long before they started arresting journalists. But that quote comes to mind tonight, as the situation in Ferguson continues to

("Strange Rumblings in Aztlan" is an article he wrote for Rolling Stone about the death of journalist Ruben Salazar, who was killed by a wall-piercing tear gas canister fired by a deputy of the LA County Sheriff's Department during the Chicano Moratorium march against the Vietnam War.)

Nick Saban's Worst Nightmare -- Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners troll the Tide in New Orleans

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/10236203/oklahoma-beats-alabama-sugar-bowl

Stoops, though — can we give the man a pirate ship? Oklahoma's plan to stop the no. 3 Crimson Tide was so DNGAF it could have been its own 2008 subreddit. I realize this word gets overused on the Internet, but I was there in the Superdome, and what the Sooners did was just exquisite, exquisite trolling. Some football games are shootouts and some are chess matches; this was like watching a commenter ruin a blogger's day over and over again. The blogger keeps getting madder, because when you care enough to run a basic spell-check (= try to establish the running game) you shouldn't have to answer to some dude called pants_commander who has no respect for the shift key (= busts out an onside kick while leading by 14 with one minute left). But if the enduring image of Bama from this game was — apologies to AJ McCarron, who has many lovely trophies at his house — freshman running back Derrick Henry hog-plowing through the Oklahoma defense in the second half, the enduring image of Oklahoma was that ridiculous double–middle finger of a game-icing kick. It was probably an accident, which somehow made it more, not less, insulting. It was as though Stoops had partied so hard on the corpse of the SEC that he woke up with an unplanned tattoo.

Because Big Game Bob has, of course, invested important time over the last couple of seasons in airing some very vibrant emotions about the SEC and its dominance and its defenses. And while these were by letter narrowly confined to a critique of the media's tendency to ascribe depth to conferences that are merely very strong up top, they were in spirit nothing else but calling out Alabama, and Stoops knew this and still knows it. The word "propaganda" was deployed in an unkind spirit. And most of the country, including me, certainly, and also Vegas, which made the Sooners a 15-point underdog, saw this Sugar Bowl matchup as an opportunity for the Tide to exact bloody retribution — against Stoops for disrespecting them, against Auburn for dumping them out to New Orleans in the first place, against the kicking game for having the temerity to exist. Instead, infant quarterback Trevor Knight, who wasn't even a lock to start for Oklahoma, threw four touchdown passes, Alabama gave up 31 points in the first half after having surrendered a total of 52 first-half points in its previous 12 games, and Stoops blazed a fat chain of told-you-so doughnuts all over our national parking lot. He must have known he'd be on camera a lot, because he wore his nicest visor.

Afterward, a bunch of Oklahoma players piled onto a stage and broke ESPN. Did I mention that this game was amusing?

College Football Coaching Changes -- Post Your Rumors and Speculation

It's that time of year where the coaching carousel starts moving. Already there are some fairly prominent positions that are open:

Auburn fired Gene Chizik today, following a season where they went 3-9, didn't win a game in the SEC, and lost 49-0 to Alabama. Has there ever been a coach fired so soon after a national championship?

Arkansas declined to renew John L. Smith's contract. Arkansas started the season in the top 10, but went 4-8. Their only two conference wins were against Auburn and Kentucky, neither of whom won a conference game.

Tennessee fired Derek Dooley after last week's blowout loss to Vanderbilt. Maybe this time they'll hire someone based on their accomplishments rather than their last name.

California fired Jeff Tedford yesterday after 11 seasons.

North Carolina State fired Tom O'Brien, who led them to their third straight bowl game this year. It was, apparently, a disappointing season. (I checked the preseason polls, and NC State received all of three votes in the AP poll, so I'm not sure what the expectations were.)

Kentucky fired Joker Phillips back in early November, but I'm not sure anyone noticed.

There are also openings at Idaho (former WSU QB Jason Gesser has been the interim HC since they fired Robb Akey in October) and UTEP (Gesser's WSU coach Mike Price is retiring).


I'm sure there will be more (like Boston College, perhaps)--but those are the openings I'm aware of now. I think it's likely that Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops will be getting a head coaching job (he apparently interviewed for the Kentucky opening). So who else do you think is in line to move up in the ranks? What other jobs might open up?

9-year-old's DIY cardboard arcade gets flashmobbed

I haven't seen this posted here yet, but thought it was a pretty cool story. It's about a kid who built an elaborate arcade (instead of a lemonade stand, I suppose) in his father's used auto parts store. His first customer, surprised that the creative effort didn't draw more customers, set up a flashmob and made a short film about it, which you can watch below or at the website. Pretty creative and enterprising young fellow!

http://boingboing.net/2012/04/09/9-year-olds-diy-cardboard-ar.html

Nirvan says: "I just finished this short film about a 9-year-old boy's elaborate DIY cardboard arcade. Caine made his arcade using boxes from his dad's used auto parts store. He hadn't had many customers, so we set up a fun flashmob to make his day, and filmed his response. I hope it brings a smile to your day. P.S. Caine's Arcade is in East LA. You should visit it sometime - Caine is still building new additions!"


U of Virginia football player on hunger strike in solidarity with university workers

A yahoo article about Virginia Safety Joseph Williams: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/virginia-safety-joseph-williams-hunger-strike-university-workers-173337610.html

(Virginiasports.com)Rarely do we see student-athletes, football players, get involved in political matters that affect the universities where they play. We're not talking about student government, but the politics that happen within the university, disputes between workers or teachers and administration

Virginia safety Joseph Williams is changing that.

For the past eight days, Williams, a junior walk-on who has played in two games during his career, has been on a hunger strike "to protest the economic and social injustices perpetrated by the UVa administration against the vast majority of the University's service-sector employees."


And Joseph Williams explains his actions at michaelmoore.com: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/why-im-hunger-striking-uva

I am a third year studying Political and Social Thought, and a student-athlete at the University of Virginia. Last Friday, 12 University students began a hunger strike to protest the economic and social injustices perpetrated by the UVa administration against the vast majority of the University’s service-sector employees. I joined two days later; since then, 5 more students have joined the hunger strike, which is now closing in on in its 7th day. Although the University of Virginia - Thomas Jefferson’s brainchild and the only US university designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site - has the prestige and high moral traditions of other top institutions, levels of inequality exist here today that are reminiscent of Jefferson’s days as a slave-master and plantation owner - with one anonymous employee even referring to the University’s Grounds as “the plantation”.

Our University seeks to distinguish itself as a caring community and prides itself on traditions of honor and student self-governance. However, in our “caring community,” hundreds of contract employees may make as little as $7.25/hour while six out of the top ten highest paid state employees in Virginia hold administrative positions at the University. Many employees, mostly women and African Americans, do not receive enough pay for their basic necessities to exist in Charlottesville, where the cost of living is nearly 10% higher than the national average. This extreme inequality has disturbed and disillusioned students for decades, many of whom have tried to grapple with issues of race, class, and poverty in and out of the classroom. We have taken every conventional route towards this goal, garnered wide student, faculty and community support - yet our pleas have been consistently ignored and workers are still paid unjust wages.

On a personal level, this cause is one that hits very close to home. As one of four children supported by a single mother, I have experienced many periods of economic hardship in my life. Growing up, I moved over 30 times – including various stays in homeless shelters, the homes of family friends, and church basements. As a result of these experiences, I know firsthand what the economic struggle is like for many of these underpaid workers. One UVa employee anonymously shared that though she works full time for the University, over 40 hours a week, her family was still forced to go without electricity for nearly 3 months, unable to pay for the rent, electric bill and other basic necessities on the meager wages she is paid by the University. Such stories are the reason that I and countless other Living Wage supporters have chosen to take up this cause and give a voice to the many University employees who often cannot speak up for fear of retaliation from the administration.






10 Things to Watch During the 2012 Legislative Session

http://www.thelostogle.com/2012/02/03/10-things-to-watch-during-the-2012-legislative-session/#more-21234

So I guess they're going after OETA ... Also on the list, adjusting open records laws, income tax fights, and that guy who introduced the "no fetuses in food" bill.



2. OETA

Several legislators have expressed their feelings about the “edgy” Oklahoma Education Television Authority, which broadcasts such avant-garde programs like “This Old House,” and Gothers’ favorite the “Nightly Business Report.” Bills which would eliminate state funding of OETA have been introduced. This has been tried before but only a handful of legislators supported the effort. It may have more support this time, but Republican Rep. Doug Cox has the trump card. A year ago, when legislators were debating a bill which would have forced OETA to cut programing to pay for a new video system to live broadcast the House and Senate sessions, Cox, who represents a northeast corner of the state, told his colleagues:

“If I do anything that interferes with my folks’ ability to watch Lawrence Welk on OETA, they might cut me out of the will.”

Playing the Welk card is always a strong hand.

What are your go-to Oklahoma blogs?

I thought it might be useful to compile a list of Oklahoma-centric blogs worth following or knowing about.

The only one I regularly check, at this point, is The Lost Ogle, which is mostly an Oklahoma City blog with commentary on local news and culture. I think I first found them in a post ridiculing Sally Kern for her crazy homophobic comments back in 2008.

But I know there are other blogs out there, so what Oklahoma-centric blogs do you recommend and/or read regularly? Any topic is fine--progressive politics, right-wing blogs (to keep up with the crazy), sports, music, food, humor, business, whatever.

Oklahoma Literature -- what are your favorite books about Oklahoma?

When I think about Oklahoma in literature, three specific books come to mind: The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton), Where the Red Fern Grows (Wilson Rawls), and Sundown (John Joseph Mathews). The first two many people are likely familiar with (if not through the books than the film adaptations), but the third is perhaps not as well known.

Sundown is about an Osage man who goes to the University of Oklahoma and then serves in World War I before returning to his home. (It’s fascinating, if you’re an OU fan or alum, to read the parts of the book detailing the campus and community in the 1910s.) It is set against the oil boom of the early 20th century, and the turmoil that created within the Osage community and with white folks outside the community who sought to get hold of the resultant wealth. It’s a great book and when it was published in 1934 it was one of the very first published novels written by a Native American. Anyone here read it?

So what are your favorite books about Oklahoma or by Oklahomans?


In Oklahoma, nothing says Christmas quite like ...

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