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Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,884

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Bike path.

The Wreckers' Grand Canyon Intentions

Sarana Riggs, left, with Save the Confluence, and Roger Clark, program director for the Grand Canyon Trust, above the confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers, where a proposed billion dollar development project, the Grand Canyon Escalade, would be located, in Arizona, Nov. 20, 2014. The proposed development is the latest, and arguably the most ambitious, in a long and contentious history of attempts by developers to build near the Grand Canyon, a national landmark which draws 4.5 million people a year. (Monica Almeida/The New York Times)

The Wreckers' Grand Canyon Intentions
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Saturday 21 February 2015

Twenty years ago, my friend Kevin and I piled our ragged belongings into the back of his Chevy beater and drove from Massachusetts to California. It was November and we were worried about weather, so we dove south and traversed the country in a giant loop. We stopped in DC to visit friends, stopped in Alabama to visit family, and stopped in New Orleans for a night that will live in infamy.

From there it was on to Texas to visit more friends...and after that, we were on our own - no more friends or family to offer a bed for the night - so we decided to bomb straight through the second half of the trip and not stop until we got to San Francisco.

Which we did, with one exception: we paused at the Grand Canyon. We pulled into the entrance at three o'clock in the morning, the only ones there. As we drove up the long route, deer and jackrabbits flashed past the headlights. We parked in a viewing area on the western rim of the massive gorge, which was nothing but a vast black hole at that hour.

Kevin wrapped himself in a blanket and immediately passed out - we'd been driving non-stop since College Station, Texas - but I couldn't sleep. I stood at the rail before the canyon with the cold November air on my face. Above shined the Milky Way like I'd never seen it, before me was that fathomless darkness, and in my exhausted, elated state, I felt as if I was swimming in space. I stood, and stared, and contemplated all the turns of fate that had brought me to that place.

And then the sun rose, and devoured the darkness, replacing it with an astonishment of color, a riot of hues, and it was the most beautiful and fulfilling moment I have ever shared with Nature. The sunlight poured through the windshield and woke Kevin up. He gave a brief honk of the horn and startled me out of my reverie. I dumped myself into the driver's seat, pulled out, and we didn't stop until we hit Clement Street. I needed no sleep; if God exists, I spent that night and morning staring into Her face, and it changed me forever.

If an organization called Confluence Partners has its way, however, not long from now the next person to stand in that spot and watch the sunrise will be presented with a different vision: a 420-acre strip mall perched on the eastern rim of the Canyon, complete with stores, chain restaurants, a massive RV park, and a gondola to carry swaths of American laziness past all that natural beauty straight to the canyon floor...but only after they enjoy some jalapeno poppers and a large Diet Coke at Chili's.

It is difficult to wrap one's mind around an idea so comprehensively awful as this. They are called "Confluence Partners" because the project looks to be built at the confluence of the Colorado River and the Little Colorado River, which are only the lifeblood of the ecosystem there. A massive construction project, followed by the arrival of thousands of people and cars with their attendant garbage and petroleum fumes, will obliterate the environment in one of the planet's most glorious natural habitats.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/29221-the-wreckers-grand-canyon-intentions

Ten Years Ago Today

"No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun – for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax – This won’t hurt."

Here's to ya, Doc. You broke my heart...but you went out with one of the greatest parting lines in history.

"Relax - This won't hurt."

...and then bang. Your way. Your way, always.

"Tonight I will drink to you all evening long." -- Barleyjuice

So here's some surrealism for your morning coffee

My daughter Lola's favorite toy right now is a little figurine of Santa from the old Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV show; he looks more like an elderly cobbler than a traditional Santa, to be frank, but whatever. The toy has a button on it, and when she pushes it, the Santa spouts lines from the show. She pushes the button all the time.

Meanwhile, I've got the Beastie Boys' "License to Ill" on in her play area. She likes to dance to the beats, and I'm not worried about the lyrics because she doesn't understand them. Soon enough, I'm going to transition her to The Meters, but not yet.

Finally, she has been singing her favorite song - the ABC song - incessantly.

This is what my house sounds like:

"Livin' at home is such a drag Merry Christmas H-I-J-K your mom threw away your best porno mag the island of misfit toys W-X-Y and Z you gotta fight for your right to Merry Christmas!"

Who needs drugs.

This guy did it right.

You may have heard of the "parking wars" in Boston that take place after significant snowfall. You break your ass to shovel a spot out, and when you drive out of it, you place all manner of items - chairs, trash barrels, pianos - in the spot to claim it as MINE so no one parks there.

It is a sacred tradition, and only terrible jerks violate it...to their peril. People flip all the way out when their spot gets stolen, especially during winters like this, when keeping the spot clear involves back-breaking labor (Where am I going to put the snow? Oh, I'll just walk every shovelful 100 feet that way, no biggie). People who steal snow spots have had their windshields caved in, their cars keyed, their tires slashed. It's a no-fucking-around situation.

This guy did it right.

‘Guy Took My Spot ... So I Put the Snow Back’

Vengeance is indeed a dish best served cold...and the fact that the car had NY plates is what makes this art.

Stop. Just f-----g stop.

This is my road.

Thanks, winter. We've had enough now.

The distilled essence of New England this winter

My road:

Lola of the tundra

Angry White American Man

A song in memory of Deah Barakat, 23, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and Razan Abu-Salha, 19, killed on Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 by a deranged man. The particular form of derangement suffered by the killer, Craig Stephen Hicks, is a sort of anti-theist variation of the "disenfranchised white American male with illusions of grandeur" syndrome, and this is what I'm attempting to explore in this composition.


He was 46 years old, he had 2 parking places
He got angry if one of the residents took one of the visitor spaces
In the apartment complex that might provide one little clue
That this middle-aged man had accomplished little that he set out to do

He spewed anger at all of his neighbors and he hated religion so much
Maybe that's why he moved to the Bible Belt, because hatred is such a good crutch
He spewed anger about all religions with his back against the wall
Why stop at just hating one of them when you can just hate them all
Another angry white American man with a gun
Another angry white American man

He was 46 years old, he didn't live among his peers
Neighbors mostly younger by about 24 years
Neighbors from all over, some in religious dress
But what in hell the man was thinking, we can only try to guess

He was 46 years old, his neighbors had a meeting last year
To talk over what they might do about this man they feared
He carried a loaded pistol, no telling what might inspire
Him to pull it out one day and fire, fire, fire

-- David Rovics

FBI Probes Rash of Fraudulent State Tax Returns Filed Through TurboTax

FBI Probes Rash of Fraudulent State Tax Returns Filed Through TurboTax

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