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July 01, 2022 09:36 PM UTC

July 4th Weekend Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“The greatest patriotism is to tell your country when it is behaving dishonorably, foolishly, viciously.”

— Julian Barnes



63 thoughts on “July 4th Weekend Open Thread

  1. This is an amazing book – Cadillac Desert. The story of water in the west with all the stupidity, greed, corruption, etc. around it.

    And how the stand on their own two feet, we don’t want no stinking government, we did this ourselves culture out here is built on a breathtaking amount of federal largess that makes no financial sense.

    It’s amazing how conservatives are often actually major beneficiaries of what is a very socialist system.

      1. “Cadillac Desert” has been on my bookshelf since it came out in the late 1980s. Yes, it is still relevant today.

        I also recommend; if you can find it; “How to Create a Water Crisis,” by Frank Welsh, Johnson Books, Boulder CO, 1985. “Crisis” chronicles the Central Arizona Project and how such a boondoggle came into existence. Main opposition to the CAP came, in part, from another CAP (Citizens Against the Project) and the Maricopa Audubon Society.

        The closest Colorado equivalent back then was the infamous Two Forks Dam proposal, and its supporting water projects on the Western Slope, like the East Gore Canal. Two Forks finally was vetoed by a Republican EPA administrator, William Reilly, in November, 1990.

    1. " . . . amazing how conservatives are often actually major beneficiaries of what is a very socialist system."

      More than often — always.


  2. Legal question. Is it illegal to say or write obscenities in public? For example, if I had a sign on my car saying FUCK, is that illegal?

    And if so, is a flag in a car saying “FUCK BIDEN” also illegal? Or is it protected as political speech?

    1. I believe SCOTUS just ruled FUCK BIDEN is OK, but all other uses are punishable by public stoning, including the sex act the word describes.

    2. I’m not a lawyer, but I read a fair amount about communication, including First Amendment issues.

      Our government has attempted to provide some guidance beyond the “well, I know it when I see it” standard.  * Citizen’s Guide To U.S. Federal Law On Obscenity  *

      And some people have tried to clarify what is allowable for Profanity  “Under modern First Amendment jurisprudence profanity cannot categorically be banned but can be regulated in many situations.”  “the Supreme Court ruled that an individual could not be convicted under a local disturbing the peace law when he wore a jacket bearing the words “Fuck the Draft” into a California courthouse. In Cohen v. California (1971), Justice John Marshall Harlan II reasoned that “while the particular four-letter word being litigated here is perhaps more distasteful than most others of its genre, it is nevertheless often true that one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.” “

      “direct face-to-face personal insults or fighting words are not protected by the First Amendment.”

      Government can refuse to be a part of a profane display, so you most likely will not see Fuck as part of a license plate.  If the bureaucrat or the software is paying attention, 4fuxsake probably won’t be issued, either.  And schools and other locations may have a higher standard, so that FUCK BIDEN flag or bumper sticker might trigger a prosecution if the driver parked on its property or within 100 feet of an entrance to a polling place.

      With the current Supreme Court?  Who knows.  They’ve now flipped standing laws & opinions that lasted 108, 49, and 2 years.  They’ve justified their opinions with (at best) arguable historical interpretations.  I’ve not yet read the EPA opinion, but apparently they overlooked main lines of debate in order to say there is no “legislative intent.”



      1. I would also guess it's extremely situational. Obviously the F-bombs go off legally all over the place, on T-shirts, protest signs, cable TV, music, literature, political blogs, etc.

        Colorado has one law we might consider, CRS 18-9-111 (1) (b), basically saying obscene language can be a criminal act if done with intent to harass. I'm sure there are lots of nuances out there to find, in Colorado and elsewhere, but I'm just going to find this one today!

        1. That seems overly broad in construction re "intent to harass". 

          I think it would be easier to just accept your children are fucked. Then again people don't believe in abortion for 10 year old rape victims…

    3. We had someone (no one seemed to know who it was) driving the streets of Wray last week with a yuge *uck Biden flag.  These folks aren’t Mensa candidates. 

        1. If unknown, they probably live in suburban Wray, away from the center of the city.

          I'm sorta surprised you didn't mention a "Gas is too damn high" bumper sticker on a one ton truck.  Or other disconnections between message, actions, and location. . 

          1. This guy wasn’t local! Probably from a suburb of Last Chance!  We have a lot of smart, good people out here (which makes understanding MAGA even more perplexing). 

            We had a fascinating project going on in Wray last weekend. A crew came from Los Angeles and filmed, interviewed locals Fri-Sat. It’s a national project, ‘Civil’, that will launch in the Fall. It’s the brainchild of a Hollywood Director/Writer/Producer who believes that as Americans were more united than divided. He came to Wray first as he was looking for an area that was overwhelmingly MAGA. He chose Wray because he’s a neighbor and friend to my recently-departed aunt (a Wray native but has been in Cali since she graduated CSU in ‘55). It was alumni weekend so the town was full of natives.  I can’t tell you how fulfilling it was to watch him interview people in respectful ways (he’d pair up political opposites) and how, with a different narrative and tone, could get these folks to have grown-up conversations, finding common ground.  He had hoped to interview the Gov while in Colorado (he’s also a Princeton grad) but we couldn’t pull it off this time. Given Yuma County has been a hotbed for recall efforts we’d have enjoyed having the Governor weigh in on the challenges. 

            His next stop will be in an equally-blue/progressive district on the east coast with the same framework for interviews. 

            I’ll keep you posted on the national launch. 

            1. Good that SOMEONE is trying for civil dialogue and a push for common ground. 

              Polling isn't everything, but even experienced pros were stunned by the results they got in the Institute of Politics poll.  

              While Republicans and Democrats may hold distinct views on many things, there is one area in which they precisely mirror each other: their contempt for members of the opposite party.

              About three-quarters (73 percent) of voters who identify themselves as Republican agree that “Democrats are generally bullies who want to impose their political beliefs on those who disagree.” An almost identical percentage of Democrats (74 percent) express that view of Republicans. A similarly lopsided majority of each party holds that members of the other are “generally untruthful and are pushing disinformation.”

              1. Why would anyone be stunned? Most people live in  their teevee silos. Fox tells them Democrats hate America and that Dems are evil and should be destroyed. MSNBC is not as outwardly crass, but portrays Republicans as hayseed Bible bangers born with out brains.

                Fewer people read anything these days, let alone something from the other side.''


    4. I would say that it should be legal in light of Cohen v. California (Fuck the Draft case).  But I wouldn't bet on anything in the federal courts with the current SCOTUS

  3. From Huffington Post: One key offense would keep Trump out of federal office forever, Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks said on MSNBC Friday.

    Wine-Banks said the “best” crime for Trump is Title 18 of the U.S. Code, Section 2383 — the crime of “rebellion or insurrection” against the U.S. — because the penalty is tougher than just prison time.

    Bring it on, DOJ.

  4. It has come to the point where it is incumbent upon the DOJ to “fish or cut bait”. 

    My guess is Trump will announce soon, hoping a candidacy will shield him. I am convinced one of the things holding Garland back is the very real threat of violence on a nationwide basis. Trump has already shown he is just fine with hurting anyone who gets in his way.

    I suspect a significant number of his Orange Horde are eager to accommodate him.

    p.s.. On the occasion of our Independence Day, it is incumbent upon each of us to consider our personal commitment to our Constitution.

    1. Great to see you this week on your stomping grounds, Duke! In all the chaos of Tina, PewPew, etc. it’s easy to forget the stunning natural beauty of the west slope and why people live there. 

      1. You as well my friend. I'm hoping the remainder of your trip was uneventful…unless you stopped in Vegas and hit a jackpot!😀

        The Dylan show was very good. And…I confirmed the gig on the 31st…from 2 until 6. I just happened to run into my old band mate, Brian. Looks like he is going to join me. 

        It would be a real treat to see you in the audience.🙂

        1. I decided to drop down through Moab and Mexican Hat. Took a detour through the Moki Dugway and saw beauty I don’t know was possible. Southeastern Utah is a real treasure.

          I’ll have my people call your people and see if we can work something out!!

  5. Thanks, Duke. If the threat of violence prevents applying the rule of law, then we’re on our way to becoming a fascist nation.


    1. I think the problem (at least part of it) is that the regulators are doing a piss-poor job of justifying the reasons for the rules, in a million different areas. They seem to be relying on a very parental sounding "because we said so". 

      1. Federal regulations, rules, have a multi-month public comment period.  Comments need to be responded to and addressed.  It can take years to implement a rule.  Much of the language is legally required and each notice can be difficult to read.  It is a painful process.  Unless you are a special interest group and read the FRN for a reason you would not know of anything affecting you.  My program takes the comments seriously and we do change the proposed rules while at the same time attempting to meet the requirements of the statute.  It can be daunting.

        1. Your assessment is very accurate. In years past I was involved in rule making for the oil and gas industry.

          We seem to crave nuance and thoroughness in our world,  but seldom have the patience to deal with it.


        2. I think a large number of regulations are well thought out and well implemented. But the ones that aren't – they get all the publicity.

          And sometimes it's not the regulation, it's the implementation. We had a case at Windward where the DOR would not tell us if we should collect tax on one of our products. They said we needed to decide and if they disagreed, then they would sue us.

          Which is why I view the DOR as being antagonistic toward business.

  6. Nice story on AP this morning that helps reframe "Let's Go Brandon."

    Brandon Brown wanted a way to change the narrative behind the “Let’s go, Brandon” message after his first career NASCAR victory inadvertently fostered a chant that has been used to insult President Joe Biden.

    Brown found that new message thanks to the family of an 8-year-old boy with autism.

    Brandon Brundidge of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, was on a spring-break trip to Houston in March and saw signs with the “Let’s go, Brandon” phrase. He believed the signs were meant to encourage him. He consequently started trying activities he’d never attempted before, such as learning to swim and removing the training wheels from his bicycle.

    There are more details that make this an even better "feel good" holiday story.

  7. Mike Littwin in the Sun:

     In November, Colorado’s races should come down to inflation and Biden vs. Roe and Jan. 6

    Jan Wondra in the Arkansas Valley Voice

     For some in rural counties, Chaffee County included, a perverse right-wing streak prevails, where the candidates with the more extreme viewpoints (and those perpetuating the big lie about the 2020 election)  got the most votes.

    What does this mean? Whether in Chaffee, Rio Blanco, Custer, Weld, or Archuleta counties, those Republicans who are beginning to hoist Trump 2024 banners that proclaim their intention to “Take America Back” are letting the rest of us know that they have not gone away.

    This past week, driving back across the plains from a family reunion in the Northwoods of Wisconsin where I grew up, I was struck by those signs all along our travels. The signs were on the lawns of well-cared-for farms and fields that didn’t look as though they had been suffering. What do these fellow Americans want that they don’t have, I pondered?

    Well, they seem to want the world the way it was “before”; when men were men and women were — ?. They also want respect — and they want it now, which translated might mean they are used to the white male control structure propagated now by the white power movement — and darned if they are going to share it with the rest of us, except to tell us what-for

    1. 🎼”Boy, the way Glen Miller played…songs that made the Hit Parade.

      Guys like us, we had it made…those were the days.

      And you knew who you were then…girls were girls and men were men…Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again…

      Didn’t need no welfare state…

      Everybody pulled his weight..

      Gee…our old LaSalle ran great

      Those were the days.”🎶

      (from memory)

      Archie and Edith said it best…😉

      *this is in response to Littwins’ piece

      1. Thanks for the lyrics to “Those were the days”. I always wondered about rhe “ Old LaSalle” line.

        What a ground-breaking show that was- and I wish we had a similar show on now, about a MAGA conspiracist who longs for “The Good Old Days”.

  8. Happy 4th of July.  Let us remember the long war that brought an end to colonial status.

    The good news of the day:  Obviously, the III%ers are wrong.  It takes more than 3% of a population to bring about revolution.

    The bad news of the day:  there’s lots more than 3% who seem willing to consider “something else.” Poll from the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago “Our Precarious Democracy: Extreme Polarization and Alienation in Our Politics”  has something scary for nearly anyone, I think.  Poll report is here.  

    And 28 percent of voters, including 37 percent who have guns in their homes, agree that “it may be necessary at some point soon for citizens to take up arms against the government.” That view is held by one in three Republicans, including 45 percent of self-identified strong Republicans. Roughly one in three (35 percent) Independent voters and one in five Democrats agreed.

    Here’s hoping we can find a better way.  As Winston Churchill said:

    ‘Jaw, jaw and war, war Jaw, jaw is better than war, war.’ 1954, Washington. (Finest Hour 122, 15.)

    Winston Churchill’s official biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert, speaking of this quote, noted that Churchill actually said, ‘Meeting jaw to jaw is better than war.’ Four years later, during a visit to Australia, Harold Macmillan said the words usually—and wrongly—attributed to Churchill: “Jaw, jaw is better than war, war.” Credit: Harold Macmillan.

  9. Who said “He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us”

    The Declaration of Independence, referring to King George III.

    Sound like somebody else?

  10. Mass shooting in Highland Park, IL 6 dead two dozen injured by a sole gunman with a high powered rifle.  My hometown of Evanston, IL canceled all July 4th activities which is such a shame.  They did everything you’d imagine for a July 4th celebration:  running races, pie eating and egg tossing contests, and penny scrambles at the elementary schools; a huge parade with neighborhood floats (and Walt Disney himself one year!); fireworks at the Northwestern University stadium.  All canceled this year.  Sigh…..

    Weapons of war have no place in our society regardless of your age. Disagree? Then say hello to my little grenade launcher. Solution? Vote 100% Democratic until the GOP gets the message.

    1. My wife's been glued to it all day. She grew up in Chicago proper. Her dad still lives in Brookfield, and her sibs in other bedroom communities. 

    2. Grenade launchers are for wimps, Itlduso. For personal defense I prefer the flame thrower, though it is admittedly difficult to carry concealed.

      1. Obviously, and I'm sure Negev will back me up here, the answer to a random lone madman with a weapon of war having a psychotic breakdown is to have helicopter gunships patrolling the skies where ever 5 or more people are gathered, plus snipers positioned on rooftops, and armed checkpoints with barbed wire and searchlights checking papers on every block. 


          1. They are cops…I don’t know anyone who wants to restrict the munitions available to cops.

            You heard the gunfire from the videos. No one beyond law enforcement and the military should possess such fire power unless vetted, licensed, and restricted from passing the weapon to a different person.

            If I thought for a moment that the government was going to become a monarchy and come after me, I might feel differently. But that won’t happen unless and until the Orange Menace is somehow re-elected.

            1. The shooter was vetted and licensed by the IL state police via a Firearms Owner Identification Card (FOID) and is restricted from transfer without verification of buyer in possession of FOID as well and retain record of the sale for 10 years. By your own standards qualified to own the weapon. Prevention will take more.  

    3. Profoundly depressing. Events cancelled throughout the Chicago metro.  About 5 miles from where one of my uncles lives.  15 miles from some of our oldest friends.

      here's a few things helping to lift the gloom I felt:

      the rifle was recovered at the scene. [so it couldn't be used elsewhere]

      Highland Park’s police chief said the 22-year-old man identified as a person of interest in the shooting that killed at least six people, wounded at least 30 and sent hundreds of people fleeing from an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago on Monday [so they knew what to look for]

      Police earlier said Robert E. Crimo III should be considered armed and dangerous and was pulled over by police on Monday evening after a brief pursuit. [so he's off the streets]


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