Archive for July 15th, 2012

If American sheriffs had the humor, wisdom, and modesty of Sheriff Andy Taylor; if their deputies were allotted one bullet which had to be carried in a pocket; this site would be unnecessary.  –  Patrick from Popehat

As I explained in last Sunday’s column, I’m currently guest-blogging on The Agitator along with Ken and Patrick from Popehat, Baylen Linnekin of Keep Food Legal, and Drew Johnson, libertarian journalist and opinion editor of the Chattanooga Free Press.  For the duration of that gig, every Sunday I’m going to do a sequel to the first column, in which I call your attention to what I published at The Agitator in the preceding week, and starting today to what my fellow guest-bloggers have posted also; Sunday is also the day I’ll feature pictures of my own pups in Radley’s “Sunday Afternoon Dog Blogging” feature.

Ken White was first out of the gate on July 2nd with “Deserve’s Got Nothing To Do With It”, a powerful essay about Rodney King’s death:

…portraying Rodney King as a hero, or as a villain, plays into the central narrative of our criminal justice system, one that offers the ultimate excuse for cutting corners, giving police the benefit of the doubt, looking the other way at constitutional violations, putting our thumbs on the state’s end of the scales of justice.  He got what he deserved — that’s what one side says, cutting through facts and law and reasoned analysis to pure us vs. them.  He didn’t deserve that,  says the other side, unwittingly lending support to the implicit argument that there are some who do.  But deserve’s got nothing to do with it.  Heroism and villainy have nothing to do with it.  We have to demand that everyone be treated justly, whether our viscera tell us that they do not deserve the rule of law at all.  Rodney King should have been spared excessive force not because he’d earned  respite, but because we extend it to everyone…because it’s…foolish and perilous to let the state (or the mob) decide who deserves rights and who doesn’t…

Ken also wrote “Wanted for Contempt of Cop” (two activists’ pictures and home address are printed on a “Wanted”-style poster by the NYPD), “Happy Independence Day:  A Story About Becoming An American”, “The Way It’s Supposed To Work” (an innocent woman spent two months in jail even though everyone agreed she didn’t do anything), and “What Else Are Lake Charles Police Afraid Of?” (an example of the increasingly-common crime of cops trespassing in people’s yards and murdering their dogs).

Ken’s blogging partner Patrick is the second most prolific of the guest bloggers so far (after yours truly), with thirteen posts to his credit; he started quietly with a links column, some dog pictures  and a goodbye to Andy Griffith from which my  epigram was drawn.  Next he explained “Why I Hate ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’”, posted two music videos for the site’s “Five Star Fridays” feature, and blew everyone away with the brilliant “So. It Has Come To This” (the TSA, Pulp Fiction style) and “Screwtape Wept”  (another cop murders another dog, seen through the eyes of C.S. Lewis’ fictional devil).  In between he gave us “Ernest Borgnine?  I Thought You Were Dead!”, a satire on the US Army changing its uniforms again, and a quick laugh at the clueless prognostications of the world’s most overrated economist, Paul Krugman; he then finished the week with another music video and a list of rejected band names.

Baylen Linnekin and Drew Johnson opted for more formal introductions than the Popehat guys did, then Baylen followed with a links column, an article about a challenge to California’s foie gras ban and a linked list of other recent food bans.  He also posted “Food, Drink and the Declaration of Independence”, “English-Only Beer Sales? ¡No, Gracias!”, and a Food Song Edition of “Five Star Fridays”.  Drew wrote about a Tennessee government program to force poor people to take handouts they don’t want, a social experiment conducted on Facebook, Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccination campaign and a pork project called “The National First Ladies’ Museum”; he’s also posted a links page and a video of a disgraced congressman telling a joke in his resignation speech.

On Tuesday I published “By Any Other Name”, a composite essay drawn from several previous columns on this site about terms for hookers and when it’s appropriate to use them; I also cross-posted my Friday the 13th column and a whole lot of links:

On Wednesday I reported that Islamists had called for the Great Pyramids of Egypt to be destroyed as “symbols of paganism”, but fortunately that turned out to be a hoax (though as I pointed out Thursday, a sadly credible one).  I also got spanked for misinterpreting what was going on in this clam video, and so tried to make up for it with “New Orleans Ladies” for “Five Star Friday” and this unusual performance of “What a Wonderful World” on Thursday.

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