Jesus Lived in a Police State

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“There is no evidence that Jesus himself openly advocated violent actions. But he was certainly no pacifist. “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace, but the sword” (Matthew 10:34 | Luke 12:51).” ― Reza Aslan, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth Those living through this present age of SWAT team raids, police shootings of unarmed citizens, …continue…

The Difficulty in Getting to School

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I went to back out but it wouldn’t move. I checked the gear; it was in reverse so I tried again. Nada. I shifted into drive; it jerked forward. Okay, good. So, I put it back into reverse but again it just revved. Damn thing. After a while, I just quit, threw my hands up as they say, dropped the thing into neutral, and got out. It looked awful, a big, sloping dent on the driver’s side door, a spider-web crack on the windshield, growing colonies of rust bubbles on the hood. I lit a cigarette and, with a bunch of smirking faces looking on (motherfuckers!), I pushed it out.

I went straight to the Texaco. The mechanic, a woman in a form-fitting jumpsuit named Monica, told me to leave it. “I’ll put it up on the rack, hon.” The next morning, when I showed up, tired and anxious—I needed the damn thing—she was in the garage behind a clunky desk, heavy metal blaring from a boombox. She was painting her nails red, the fumes from the polish mixing with those from the pump. Barely looking up from them—they were as short as mine—she told me I needed a new transmission. “A rebuilt one will be cheaper and I got this guy in Southie . . .”

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Primitive

Primitive

Before Anthony Rienzi was married with two daughters and working for a marketing startup in North Carolina, he used to steal girls’ underwear.

Rienzi was the panty-pilfering bandit of Louis Pasteur Middle School in Little Neck, Queens. His heists started in the seventh grade and ended—as far as I know—when Corinne K. died in a car crash on Little Neck Parkway.

Rienzi was never caught. He’s never confessed. I’m the only one who knows about the jobs he pulled. We were best friends.

This morning Rienzi sent me a friend request on Facebook. We haven’t spoken in nearly two decades, and there he is, an older, thumbnail version of the kid I used to eat lunch with every day.

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Why Are Americans Paying to Be Searched, Spied On, Shot At and Robbed Blind by the Government?

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“To force a man to pay for the violation of his own liberty is indeed an addition of insult to injury.”—Benjamin Tucker, 19th century advocate of American individualist anarchism The State Department wants $400,000 to purchase a fiberglass sculpture of a camel looking at a needle for its new embassy in Pakistan. They’ve already spent their allotted $630,000 to increase the number of “likes” and fans on their Facebook and Twitter …continue…

Beaujolais Day

Beaujolais Day

The guidebook promised “a revered afternoon,” the city would stop, people would spill out of the cafés and brasseries, and, sure, there were plenty of signs in the windows: Le Beaujolais Noveau Est Arrivé!, but most places were empty, apparently no real rush to uncork the first bottles. So, until things picked up, if they ever would, I thought I’d do something quite ordinary, my laundry, and when I got it spinning, a full load at the Lav-Club on the rue Frédéric-Sauton, I walked the few blocks to Le Vermeer Café.

It was quiet inside. Three Sorbonne students were playing cards by the toiletries; a collie was asleep by the coat rack.

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Cheyenne Greene and the Pastor Blaster

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The words “fifteen years,” from the judge’s mouth, hit him with a monstrous force. “I haven’t killed no one!” And it was then, in the fury of the moment, with the click of the handcuffs, the cold metallic grips, that he began looking at life differently.

Later, he would tell the pastor: “I was playing a game I could never win, and I guess like a lot of dudes, I got caught up in a false reality. Up was down. Open was closed. No was yes.” And locked up he had plenty of time to think about it. All along, he had thought he was game tight but it took only one mistake: a telephone call to a DEA informant about a few white hot kilos rolling down from Chapel Hill, and it was game over, Cheyenne.

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‘Just Salute and Follow Orders’: When Secrecy and Surveillance Trump the Rule of Law

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Indeed, the American people have been cheated and lied to for so long that we’ve arrived at a stage of disbelief and skepticism. So when the Obama administration announces that it will be rolling out proposals to rein in the NSA bulk collection of data about Americans’ private communications, you’d be perfectly justified in wondering what other far-fetched schemes they plan to sell you next.

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Forever 27

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April 5th marks the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s membership to that infamous 27 club. It is a club with a large musical membership, a club many seem to think only a few well known names have joined. The reality is that this exclusively tragic club has a lot more members than the likes of Cobain, Hendrix, Joplin and Winehouse.

Alexander Levy was a talented Brazilian composer and the first member of the 27 club.

Levy was born in 1864 in Sao Paulo. He brought a Latin fusion of classical music to the fore but, in 1892 before anymore of his greatness could be realised, he died at the age of 27. His death occurred suddenly and the cause is still unknown.

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