10 years of political blogging with Charles P. Pierce

(Permanent musical accompaniment to the blog’s favorite Living Canadian last post of the week)

This week, a point of personal privilege.

Ten years ago this Sunday, I opened the doors of this shebeen for the first time. I was in Orlando, Florida for a comically irrelevant Republican straw poll as the GOP began the process that would end with Willard Romney as a candidate to run against President Barack Obama and lose to him. At this event in Florida, I first heard the names of Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Agenda 21 and the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s safe to say that I had no idea what I was doing.

I knew blogs, a regular reader of Atrios and TBogg, Josh Marshall and The Horse, the dreaded Digby and many others. From my perch in mainstream media, it seemed like these people were having fun. It also seemed like these were the places where the renegade spirit of the old alternative press had rested. This is where I started. I wrote a sports blog for the Boston Globe. I had contributed to a few political blogs, notably that of Eric Alterman Altercation, the American prospect under mountaineer Mike Tomasky, and the letters section of Jim Romenesko’s former essential media site. (Jim was an old friend of Marquette University, one of the freshmen that I was supposed to mentor as a senior.) I had also been in trouble with my full-time employer for the have done.

So, at the end of summer 2011, I jumped, not knowing how or where I was going to land. Since then it is safe to say that the world has been a rich target environment for a political blog. Watching prion disease slowly eat away at the higher functions of the conservative mind has been sadder and sadder for an increasingly sad mill. I started this last decade with the rise of the Tea Party and Obama’s second term, and ended with a country in the midst of a pandemic where people were fighting not against the disease, but the cure. . I started out with a gallbladder, the right patellar tendon I was born with, and never broken a bone or been hit by a car. As we move into the second decade, none of these things are more true.

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I mention this litany of hospitalizations because it brings me to what has surprised me most about the management of the Shebeen over the past 10 years: the community that has come together here. When I was lying down I have heard from so many of you that I choke on quite a regular basis. I can’t thank you all by name for making this place the happy joint that it is, but I have to extend a laurel and bold handshake to Friedman of the Plains, who never missed a deadline. on a Thursday, and which continues to provide us with stories from the great state of Oklahoma. A blessing for your house, young man. The rest of you know who you are. A blessing for all your homes too.

Personally, I am fortunate to have a wonderful, patient family, as well as an incomparable working family. I have now worked under three editors at Esquire: Michael Sebastian, who is our current boss; Jay Fielden; and David Granger, with whom I worked on this or that masthead for almost 30 years. The immediate Shebeen inspectors were Matt Sullivan, Mike Nizza, John Hendrickson and our current benevolent overlord, Jack Holmes. Other fingerprints on the murder weapon have been identified as belonging to Ben Boskovich, Elizabeth Sile and Natasha Zarinsky.

And so we beat, in the second decade, wrecks against the tide. Early on I wrote a lot about the idea of ​​a Commonwealth, and not just because I live there (God forbid!), But because it is at the heart of all that is good and just in this country, and Fick the beggars, as Brendan Behan said. “I believe we are lost here in America,” wrote Thomas Wolfe, “but I believe we will be found.” I go to light another traffic light in the dark. Hope someone is there to see it.


WWOZ Weekly Pick To Click: “I Ate Up The Apple Tree” (Pin Stripe Brass Band): Yeah, I still pretty much love New Orleans.

Weekly visit to the Pathe Archives: Here, from 1900, Queen Victoria visits Dublin. His previous visit had taken place in 1849, just after the worst of the Great Hunger. On both occasions, she was warmly welcomed. On this trip, which got off to a bad start because the Admiralty misplaced the Royal Yacht, she visited 52,000 school children in Phoenix Park. She stayed 22 days. A contemporary Irish writer by the name of Michael McCarthy wrote of his visit:

Those who have followed me to this point realize some of the difficulties and drawbacks in which the poor Irish Roman Catholics work; what a nightmare they are living; what a quagmire of hypocrisy they must pass through, until they reach solid ground either here or, more generally, in the United States and the colonies. To the eternal credit of the Catholics in Dublin, they now received Queen Victoria as she should have been received. I pay no attention to the fountain of wild words and writing that was allowed to play freely in Ireland just before and during the royal visit. It was well intentioned by those who spoke and wrote; everything had been set up, they thought, for the good of Ireland; but it has been valued at its fair value by the community, and little attention has been given to it.

The story is so cool.


Gilgamesh returns. No touch!

SAUL LOEBGetty Images

Remember when the US military guarded the oil fields in Iraq but left libraries and museums looted, and Rami said democracy was “messy,” and everyone laughed and laughed? He was working on a screenplay that had been written during President Bush’s previous war on Iraq. I mean, what was it, they were just artifacts from where the fucking civilization was born.

(Lord God, those were bad times.)

Well, Gilgamesh survived the smug old bastard, and now he can go home. From New York Times.

During the Persian Gulf War in 1991, according to Justice Ministry officials, the tablet was stolen from his museum, only to reappear in 2003, when a Jordanian antiquarian bought it, encrusted and illegible, from a London coin dealer. The reseller shipped the tablet to the United States without declaring its official entry, as required by law, officials said.

This, I believe, is known less formally as “contraband”, but keep going.

The fake letter traveled with the tablet as it was sold several times in different countries and eventually by Christie’s auction house in London in 2014. The tablet was purchased for $ 1,674,000 by Hobby Lobby, whose founder , Steve Green, wanted to include it among the major exhibitions presented at the Museum of the Bible, which he was building in Washington. The tablet was seized from the museum by Homeland Security Investigations in 2019. Mr Green said last year that he “trusted the wrong people to guide me and unwittingly dealt with unscrupulous dealers.” . Hobby Lobby consented to the confiscation of the tablet based on illegal imports of the tablet into the United States in 2003 and 2014, US officials said.

This is how an ancient Mesopotamian scribe began the long process of embarrassment of some heinous Christian crooks. And Gilgamesh is home again. Ninkasi’s blessings all around.


Is it a good day for dinosaur news, BBC? It’s always a good day for dinosaur news!

All she has is a section of rib with attached teeth. But even from that, the paleontologist can say that this is a new species of armored dinosaur and the oldest ankylosaur ever found. What’s more, it comes from Africa, Morocco, where these creatures have never been unearthed before. It’s pretty exciting but there is also something very strange about this ancient specimen. The tips are fused directly to the bone, and that’s a big headache, says Dr Maidment, affiliated with the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London.

Normally, you would expect the rib bones to be covered with muscle, then skin, and the armor – made of a protein called keratin, like your fingernails – to be laid on them. But that the tips are connected directly to the bone is just strange. On the one hand, you might think that it would restrict the extension of the muscles and make it difficult for the animal to move. “Honestly, it’s weird,” Dr Maidment told BBC News. “We do not see this in any other vertebrate that exists (still alive) or extinct anywhere. It is a completely new morphology in the history of life on Earth.

One of the main reasons I know dinosaurs lived then to make us happy now is that they still keep secrets that even modern scientists have been blinded by. “A totally new morphology” is a phrase that I would love to be able to type one day. And find an armored dinosaur in a place they’ve never been found before? It’s a Lost Dutchman dinosaur hunter mine.

Dr. Maidment’s team were so taken aback by the fossil that they wondered for a moment whether it could be a fake or not at all an ankylosaur; perhaps it was a never-before-identified monster fish. But with detailed analysis and further investigation, it was possible to rule out both alternatives.

You’ll have to look elsewhere for your monster fish, I guess. Please do so, however.

The second decade begins on Monday. The government is collapsing. There is no place like home. Wear well and play well, assholes. Stay above the snake line, wear that damn mask and, for Ninsaki’s sake, do the damn shots.

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