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In Republican controlled states, the Invisible Hand holds up bridges!

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has vowed to repair a Green Bay bridge that carries 40,000 vehicles a day after it was recently closed when motorists suddenly complained about a 400-foot-long sagging section.

After shutting down the Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge on Wednesday, state officials said that that had no idea how long it would take to repair that nearly two-foot deep dip, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.

Raw Story


5:09 pm • Thursday • September 26, 2013

I understand Gov Walker with over it with a large load of mendacity.

10:11 pm • Thursday • September 26, 2013

@BobCens: Or he can prop it up with Teabagger bullshit/splooge/frothy mix of Santorum plus the Koch brothers’ bags of cash.

10:38 pm • Thursday • September 26, 2013

Saw Emanuel Bro #3 on Rachel. The doctor. Didn’t inherit the Asshole Gene.

11:08 pm • Thursday • September 26, 2013

Those callers are awful…calm. If I drove over a bridge in that condition, I’d need sedation after my 911 call.

Also, Gov. Walker? Frak you.

11:52 pm • Thursday • September 26, 2013

My bridge phobia is more justified every day.

12:06 am • Friday • September 27, 2013

@Mistress Cynica: Certain types really get me. And this thing came out of the blue. I was driving over a bridge I’d driven over for years, and I was pretty freaked out. Then I was freaked out because I was freaked out, and the wild rumpus began.

12:20 am • Friday • September 27, 2013

@Mistress Cynica: I’m still not quite cool about getting stuck on a SoCal bridge in traffic.

Then again, Mom used to cross the Narrows bridge as a kid. You know the one. You’ve seen the movie.

12:33 am • Friday • September 27, 2013

The solution is simple. Sell the Leo Frigo Bridge to the Koch brothers for $1. Give them an interest free loan to repair it. Let them operate it as a toll bridge (and there’s no reason the government should interfere with the tolls charged by a private business). Oh yeah, and rename it the Scott Walker Bridge.

12:50 am • Friday • September 27, 2013

@nojo: The middle of the Coronado bridge floats, so you have that…

1:05 am • Friday • September 27, 2013

@JNOV: Yeah, but it’s Washington crossing the 163 that’s between me and the coffeehouse.

3:21 am • Friday • September 27, 2013

Hey Benedick, if I remember correctly, as more and more these days I do not, you are an admirer of the work of William Gaddis. There is a piece on him in the Oct 10 NYROB. I read The Recognitions, J.R., and A Frolic Of his Own and liked them, especially The Recognitions.

9:21 am • Friday • September 27, 2013

@Dodgerblue: I do like Gaddis’s novels. Especially The Recognitions ( a title I can never remember). Is it in Frolic that the Episcopalian Church sues PepsiCola for copyright infringement? (Or is it the other way round?)

As I get older I find myself less receptive to the kind of mannerist style he exemplifies. Unless it’s kept short as with Ivy Comptom-Burnett, or Henry Green. More and more I come to think that writing is easy but cutting is hard.

I’ll read that piece later. I do think he’s woefully under-appreciated. Though perhaps he’s a star of college lit classes. I don’t know.

9:33 am • Friday • September 27, 2013

@Benedick: The article won’t make you like Gaddis as a person.

Off topic, I’m going to see “Enrique VIII” tonight, a Spanish-language take on the Shakespeare play from the Castilian perspective. They weren’t too happy about the whole Catherine of Aragon thing.

3:24 pm • Friday • September 27, 2013

This 1928 narrow-laned bridge freaks me out:

Sometimes it saves time over the Lincoln Tunnel, but I am never going to cross it again.

7:46 pm • Friday • September 27, 2013

There are two brand new bridges across the Ohio River under construction right now. Since Indiana and Kentucky lean way red I think I’ll stick with using the George Rogers Clark Memorial bridge that was dedicated by President Hoover. I’ve been told that bridge is so solidly built that new towboats test their engines by pushing against the supports.

Oddly neither state refused to take hundreds of millions of federal tax dollars to pay for the badly needed east end bridge and the totally bogus downtown bridge. I don’t think the Kochs have sent any bags of money, so thanks to all of you for chipping in.

11:49 pm • Friday • September 27, 2013

@nojo: Holy shit! That was here‽

12:24 am • Saturday • September 28, 2013

@Dodgerblue: I just watched a documentary about Judi Bari. It was incredibly sad.

What do you think about Earth First? I get the Bari court case. I dig activism, and from the clips I saw, I dig Judi’s style. I also have seen footage of Earth First! being incredibly aggressive, but I don’t know if what I’ve seen is a true depiction. Maybe there are splinter groups who, to me, cross the line from activism to assholery. I suppose that could be said of any activists, and so much depends on what one deems acceptable means to advance a cause.

1:11 am • Saturday • September 28, 2013

@JNOV: Galloping Gertie, aka the Tacoma Narrows Bridge? Yup. Dance, bridge, dance! Oops.

The replacement uses a metal grid to let the wind pass through the roadway, which scared the shit out of me as a kid. At least looking down.

1:21 am • Saturday • September 28, 2013

@JNOV: Did Earth First do the tree-spiking? Eugene was very sympathetic to the cause, but that particular tactic didn’t go down very well. Put the (blue collar) loggers at risk, while it merely annoyed the owners.

4:06 am • Saturday • September 28, 2013

@nojo: Yes to the tree spiking — a logger was almost killed, and that’s not what she wanted.

Judi was also a labor organizer and kept talking with the loggers. They asked her if she could get people to stop the spiking, and she did. She was an environmentalist who understood that logging was their way of earning a living. Some loggers were interviewed, and they said that they were worried about the rate at which they were cutting the old growth trees — they were about to cut down their future income. They hadn’t been cutting at such a rate until until logging companies were bought by Louisiana Pacific. Earth First and the loggers started talking about sustainability, and then she was almost killed by a pipe bomb planted in her car.

The loggers who were interviewed said that they trusted her.

2:35 pm • Saturday • September 28, 2013

@JNOV: Time from feelgood Earth Day to radicalization of extremists: Ten years.

You could provide a similar mapping of ASPCA to PETA — Peter Singer visited the UO in the mid-Eighties, and I had Issues with his concept of a “moral universe” that includes animals. Wolves are not bound by our silly ideas — respecting critters is a Good Thing, but ethics requires agency, and agency is exclusively human. You can shame a dog, but the dog doesn’t read it like we do.

And now, Greenpeace. So they attempt to board a Russian ship in the Arctic, and are shocked — Shocked! — that the Russians take maritime piracy seriously. If that was the point — a Gandhian play for publicity — fine. But don’t get all butthurt when the Russians react like they have every right to.

It all goes back to that turn around 1980, tree-spiking and monkeywrenching. Radical environmentalists see themselves as modern abolitionists. But those of us who might be otherwise sympathetic begin to regard them as Green Teabaggers.

2:41 pm • Saturday • September 28, 2013

@nojo: On the other hand, just try shaming a cat.

11:44 pm • Saturday • September 28, 2013

@nojo: A stray is wooing me.

Back to militant activism — is there a place for it?

The movie that started all this thinking is called The Forest for the Trees. It was made by the daughter of Dennis Cunningham. He represented the Weather Underground and the Black Panthers among others. His ex-wife, and the filmmaker’s mother, was a member of both. His daughter provided full disclosure (a little late in the film about her mother), and I expected the narrative to be sympathetic. The film was about the Bari case, but it was also about her father — aging, tired, not sure why he became a lawyer — he doesn’t think he’s the type of person who should be an attorney.

Howard Zinn makes an appearance, and Cunningham is pissed that Zinn and references to COINELPRO don’t make it into evidence during trial.

The question was, why arrest Bari in the hospital after she was blown up pretty good because she was the prime suspect in her own bombing? Why was she a suspect when she turned over death threats she’d received to the police? The case hinged on freedom of assembly and unlawful search and seizure (they ransacked her house while she was in the hospital jail
ward or wherever they treat jailed up folks with shattered pelvises).

My question is, even if at one point she was a craptastic person who advocated borderline, if not actual, terrorist tactics (and I’m not certain that she did), could she steer the movement in another direction? She died of breast cancer before her civil suit went to trial.

I think about charismatic public people who died by violence or by circumstance as they seemed to be opening their eyes and their minds to the effects of the shit they’d shoveled down others throats — people with huge followings who seemed to feel regret. Maybe they wanted to use their voices to try to modulate and diffuse something they’d ratcheted. I wonder if they could get their followers to see that ethical activism can advance and serve The Cause.

I think about people like Malcolm X, a horrific racist who still inspires people to be assholes thinking that “by any means necessary” means a fucking violent free for all for whatever. Malcolm seemed to be changing. He didn’t ignore the rumors about Elijah Mohammed; he investigated them and found the rumors to be truths. He broke off ties with that nutty fucking group despite being called a traitor to The Cause and receiving death threats.

He didn’t quite make it away from black nationalism, but he said he regretted the way he treated white people, which might mean that he was on his way to realizing that his racism and desire for segregation were wrong.

The Haj helped him move away from blanket blue-eyed devil crap. Religion was still a pitfall, but I still wonder how he would have turned out. Would he eventually have become another Elijah Mohammed? Would he become a closet atheist like MLK? Would his activism move from militant to conciliatory? I doubt he’d shift that far, if at all, but still…I wish I could have seen Bari’s and his lives play out and see how the directions they chose affected the people who followed them.

12:36 am • Sunday • September 29, 2013

@JNOV: Without passing judgment on your examples: Sow, reap. If, as is the common understanding, Malcolm was turning, he had already cast the seeds among his followers.

To take a less critical example: Late in his career, Richard Pryor swore off the word “nigger”. But the next generation of black comics were influenced by early Pryor. It was much too late to turn back that clock.

And “militant radicalism”? It all depends on the details, of course. I always fall back on Sherwood Anderson: Take your Truths too far, and they become lies, while you become a Grotesque. Happens in every direction, right and left.

12:10 pm • Sunday • September 29, 2013

@nojo: BTW, the cat won.

Off to work. Don’t think I’ll be furloughed but…

I have to look up Sherwood Anderson. ;-)

1:33 pm • Sunday • September 29, 2013

@JNOV: Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio, a collection of related short stories, 1919:

It was the truths that made the people grotesques. The old man had quite an elaborate theory concerning the matter. It was his notion that the moment one of the people took one of the truths to himself, called it his truth, and tried to live his life by it, he became a grotesque and the truth he embraced became a falsehood.

First came across that in the mid-80s, during Philosophy Days. It’s proven highly useful.

5:27 pm • Sunday • September 29, 2013

@nojo: thank you. I wish I still read real books.

5:30 pm • Sunday • September 29, 2013

Okay. Walt is about to have his comeuppance; however, we’re about to learn WTF happened with his billionaire friends. Or maybe not. Or maybe three versions.

How many times will his ego get in the way?

I have no words for my Jesse. He’s no bitch.

5:31 pm • Sunday • September 29, 2013

Maybe the sins of the father figure are being visited on the son.

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