Friday Free For All brought to you by Cafe Luwak


Just as MSNBC’s Morning Joe program is now sponsored by Starbucks, at least for the month of June, is sponsored by the wonderfully terrific weekend breakfast bar at Ypsilanti’s Cafe Luwak… I would go on and gush some more about the succulent sausage, the mouth-watering french toast and such, but I’m afraid of what Jon Stewart might think. So, I’ll leave it at that for now.

OK, so this is an open thread. For those of you new to the internet, that means that you can write about whatever you want in the comments section. The only thing I’d ask is that, if you came here to discuss the renaming of the Ypsitucky Jamboree, you jump back to the previous thread, where there’s a quite lively, and often incredibly funny debate taking place. Other than that, though, anything’s on the table, from Meagan Fox’s toe thumbs to the whole brewhaha over David Letterman’s comments about Sara Palin’s daughter. So, if you had a run-in with an angry banana that you’ve always wanted to write about, now’s your chance. Or, there’s always the swine flu pandemic. Seriously, you will never again have a chance like this to raise awareness about the giant jellyfish that are coming for us, or the power of jeans to incite violence against women. Or, I suppose, if we have to, we could chat about that government report on the threat of violence from individuals on the extreme right that had everyone so up in arms a month or so ago, and how… you know…. it’s kind of actually come to pass, what with Dr. Tiller’s murder last week, and the shooting at the Holocaust Museum yesterday. Really, anything you want to talk about is OK with me, just so long as it doesn’t upset the good folks at Cafe Luwak, where you should all eat at least once this coming weekend.

Oh, and to get a printable copy of the Cafe Luwak weekend breakfast buffet coupon, just click here.

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  1. Brackinald Achery
    Posted June 11, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    It’s kind of nice to see overblown swine flu hysteria again. I kinda missed it. Y’know, I kinda miss Saddam too, but not in an insensitive-to-his-victems way.

  2. Posted June 11, 2009 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of Saddam, do you remember that, when we hanged his brother, we didn’t do the calculation right, and his head popped off? I think we made the rope too long. I’m not sure why that popped into my head. Maybe I’m tired… And you should follow all of those links in the post. There’s some good stuff in there.

  3. Posted June 11, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    OK, I have something that’s open thread worthy… I saw the movie The Wrestler last night and I’m still trying to wrap my mind around that series of scenes with the chick who has the firefighter fetish. What was up with that?

  4. Posted June 11, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    My dog has fallen asleep on my foot, and I want to go to bed.

  5. Oliva
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Red-winged blackbirds seem to be making a comeback after a few years of being scant around here (invasive sea-oat-looking plant in so many ditches, supplanting cattails, seemed to be the culprit, but maybe something else was responsible). But what a good thing to see so many red-winged blackbirds again.

  6. Bird Watcher
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Maybe it’s these red winged black birds, risen from the dead, that are killing all the other birds in Ypsi.

    Can there be such a thing as zombie birds?

    Iggy Pop has a record called Zombie Birdhouse.

  7. Meta
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    From Think Progress:

    The Very Real Threat Of Extremism

    Yesterday’s tragic shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, by an “88-year-old white supremacist,” is the latest in a string of right-wing extremist attacks. The number of hate groups such as the “Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, racist skinheads and Black separatists” operating in the United States is at an all-time high, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Moreover, gun purchases since President Obama’s election surged. However, when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) declassified a report “detailing potential increases in right-wing extremism” in April, right-wing commentators and Republican politicians decried the report as a politically motivated attack on all conservatives. They claimed that “the Obama administration is targeting conservatives and others simply because they disagree with administration policies and proposals.” Ignoring that the report — like a similar one describing the threat of left-wing extremists — was commissioned by the Bush administration, conservatives called for the resignation of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. Media Matters Action Fund’s Matt Finkelstein asks, “Will Republicans admit that their partisan ‘outrage’ was misplaced?”

    A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE: The declassified DHS report warned, “Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.” The report further warned, “The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.” This description reflected recent extremist violence, including the July 2008 shooting spree in a Knoxville church “because of its liberal teachings,” a thwarted attempt to assassinate Obama in October by two neo-Nazi skinheads, and “a racially motivated rape and murder spree in Brockton, MA” by a 22-year-old white supremacist the “day after Barack Obama was inaugurated.” Since the report was issued last April, the trail of death has continued. “We have seen not only the murder of an abortion physician by a member of the radical right, but the murders of five law enforcement officers — three police officers in Pittsburgh, two sheriff’s deputies in Florida by radical right-wing extremists,” SPLC’s Mark Potok told CNN. “It’s really been quite an extraordinary period.” The Pittsburgh shooter “feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns,” and the Florida killer was “severely disturbed that Barack Obama had been elected President.” In an incident earlier this month, a “lone wolf” American Muslim extremist “shot and killed Army Pvt. William Long” outside a Little Rock, AR, mall in anger over the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    CONSERVATIVES VS. EXTREMISTS: Conservative politicians led the attack on the DHS report. Both House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) called it “offensive.” Others went further: Gun advocate Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) claimed “the report has no intelligence value and only serves to blur our constitutional protections, such as the Second Amendment,” and Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) argued that “it looks like the extremists are those running the DHS.” “What is the Department of Homeland Security calling us now?” Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) asked at an April 15 tea party protest. “Extremists? Well, give me a button.” “Now if you disagree with that liberal path that President Obama’s taken the country down,” Fox News’ Sean Hannity claimed, “you may soon catch the attention of the Department of Homeland Security.” Texas Rep. John Carter (R-TX), after demanding Napolitano’s firing on the House floor, told Politico, “Singling out political opponents for working against the ruling party is precisely the tactic of every tyrannical government from Red China to Venezuela.” As Mother Jones’s James Ridgeway observed, “Conservatives haven’t been branded dangerous extremists by DHS or the Obama administration; they’ve branded themselves.”

    ‘WARNING US FOR A REASON’: Following the Holocaust Museum shooting, two Fox News personalities, Shepard Smith and Catherine Herridge, suggested that critics of DHS’s report on right-wing extremism should re-think their objections. “The right went absolutely bonkers” over the report, said Smith, adding that DHS was “warning us for a reason.” Though some conservatives have concluded that the recent string of right-wing violence has “vindicated” the DHS report, many others disagree. Blogger and Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin, who led the charge against the DHS report, approvingly linked to a military blogger that called Smith and Herridge “pathetic.” Malkin’s Hot Air colleague, Ed Morrissey, defended the criticism of the report by claiming that it didn’t “mention anti-semitism at all.” But as Huffington Post’s Sam Stein points out, the DHS report “warned specifically about an upswing of anti-Semitic behavior.” “At this point it’s little consolation,” CBS News’s Charles Cooper observes, “but Department of Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano turned out to be more prescient about domestic extremism than many of her critics.”

  8. Cam
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Fuck zombie birds. Let’s talk about x-ray fuckin’ vision!

  9. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Ah, dead birds and zobies, and the KKK. Here is a pointless thread I can really get behind

  10. Ded Bird
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    On the extremist thing, did you see Paul Krugman’s column today?

    If not, here it is.

    Back in April, there was a huge fuss over an internal report by the Department of Homeland Security warning that current conditions resemble those in the early 1990s — a time marked by an upsurge of right-wing extremism that culminated in the Oklahoma City bombing.

    Conservatives were outraged. The chairman of the Republican National Committee denounced the report as an attempt to “segment out conservatives in this country who have a different philosophy or view from this administration” and label them as terrorists.

    But with the murder of Dr. George Tiller by an anti-abortion fanatic, closely followed by a shooting by a white supremacist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the analysis looks prescient.

    There is, however, one important thing that the D.H.S. report didn’t say: Today, as in the early years of the Clinton administration but to an even greater extent, right-wing extremism is being systematically fed by the conservative media and political establishment.

    Now, for the most part, the likes of Fox News and the R.N.C. haven’t directly incited violence, despite Bill O’Reilly’s declarations that “some” called Dr. Tiller “Tiller the Baby Killer,” that he had “blood on his hands,” and that he was a “guy operating a death mill.” But they have gone out of their way to provide a platform for conspiracy theories and apocalyptic rhetoric, just as they did the last time a Democrat held the White House.

    And at this point, whatever dividing line there was between mainstream conservatism and the black-helicopter crowd seems to have been virtually erased.

    Exhibit A for the mainstreaming of right-wing extremism is Fox News’s new star, Glenn Beck. Here we have a network where, like it or not, millions of Americans get their news — and it gives daily airtime to a commentator who, among other things, warned viewers that the Federal Emergency Management Agency might be building concentration camps as part of the Obama administration’s “totalitarian” agenda (although he eventually conceded that nothing of the kind was happening).

    But let’s not neglect the print news media. In the Bush years, The Washington Times became an important media player because it was widely regarded as the Bush administration’s house organ. Earlier this week, the newspaper saw fit to run an opinion piece declaring that President Obama “not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself,” and that in any case he has “aligned himself” with the radical Muslim Brotherhood.

    And then there’s Rush Limbaugh. His rants today aren’t very different from his rants in 1993. But he occupies a different position in the scheme of things. Remember, during the Bush years Mr. Limbaugh became very much a political insider. Indeed, according to a recent Gallup survey, 10 percent of Republicans now consider him the “main person who speaks for the Republican Party today,” putting him in a three-way tie with Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich. So when Mr. Limbaugh peddles conspiracy theories — suggesting, for example, that fears over swine flu were being hyped “to get people to respond to government orders” — that’s a case of the conservative media establishment joining hands with the lunatic fringe.

    It’s not surprising, then, that politicians are doing the same thing. The R.N.C. says that “the Democratic Party is dedicated to restructuring American society along socialist ideals.” And when Jon Voight, the actor, told the audience at a Republican fund-raiser this week that the president is a “false prophet” and that “we and we alone are the right frame of mind to free this nation from this Obama oppression,” Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, thanked him, saying that he “really enjoyed” the remarks.

    Credit where credit is due. Some figures in the conservative media have refused to go along with the big hate — people like Fox’s Shepard Smith and Catherine Herridge, who debunked the attacks on that Homeland Security report two months ago. But this doesn’t change the broad picture, which is that supposedly respectable news organizations and political figures are giving aid and comfort to dangerous extremism.

    What will the consequences be? Nobody knows, of course, although the analysts at Homeland Security fretted that things may turn out even worse than in the 1990s — that thanks, in part, to the election of an African-American president, “the threat posed by lone wolves and small terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years.”

    And that’s a threat to take seriously. Yes, the worst terrorist attack in our history was perpetrated by a foreign conspiracy. But the second worst, the Oklahoma City bombing, was perpetrated by an all-American lunatic. Politicians and media organizations wind up such people at their, and our, peril.

  11. Fran
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    According to TV Newser, FOX News spent 1 minute and 50 seconds on the Holocaust Museum killing last night, during prime-time. A right wing extremist attacking the Holocaust museum, it would seem, isn’t as important as David Letterman’s comments about Palin’s daughter.

  12. Posted June 12, 2009 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Iggy Pop fucking rules. He’s like 60-something and he could still kick our asses.

    I looked at the paper last night, right before bed. I saw your website mentioned on the front page :) I then had a dream that I bought a new house and with it came this 2 story, former barn with glass windows and screens. Next door lived you (who I’ve only seen in FB pictures, btw) and my other pal Jeff. You had some sort of party house with a bunch of people living in it. And you were grilling these huge slabs of ribs, which were pork and thus I couldn’t eat (my husband had some though).

    Analyze, please.

  13. Brackinald Achery
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    All right wing folks are potential domestic terrorists, all muslims are potential foreign terrorists, all black people are potential criminals, all W.A.S.P.’s are rich bigot snobs, all Irish people are potential drunken louts, all Portuguese people are fat-fingered fishermen, all pre-judging individuals by the sins of other individuals is moronic.

  14. Brackinald Achery
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Yes, being a fat-fingered fisherman is a sin.

  15. Brackinald Achery
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

  16. Lisele
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I saw a bluebird in Rec Park and it DID make me very happy. WOW. And I saw and oriole in Bird Hills. Birds are magick; more so if not ded.

  17. Lisele
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I’d also like to clear up the misunderstanding about my name, also. It is not pronounced “lee-ZELL,” and it is not French. It is Yiddish, a common diminutive. So it would be pronounced, “LEE-suh-leh.” It’s used affectionately, like if you were really loving on your grandma, you would call her “BUBB-ele.” We used to always call our girls “Shanele” and “Stacele.”

    Now you know.

  18. Shanster
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for clearing that up, I’ve been mispronouncing it in my head. I thought it was an alternate spelling of Liesel (LEE- zel), like the beautiful 16-going-on-17 Von Trapp daughter.

  19. Shanster
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    who was not at the New York Yankees game last week.

  20. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    The Yankees? Aren’t they the ones behind the Anti-tucky movement?

  21. TJ
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Is the hardware store closed on Sunday for religious reasons, or do they just not want the business?

  22. Lisele
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Or maybe they just have lives.

  23. Posted June 12, 2009 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    I thought it rhymed with this.

  24. Posted June 12, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I just found out that the gym closes in 15 minutes, so I’m on to my next plan… Going to the co-op to buy pomegranate wine.

  25. Posted June 12, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and I got an email today from someone on the crew of the DeNiro movie. This person didn’t say whether or not DeNiro had seen it, but apparently my drawing from the other day is circulating. I figure there’s about a 5% chance that he’ll see it and a .25% that he’ll respond, but I’ll keep you posted.

  26. Posted June 12, 2009 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    And I should mention that you don’t have to live in Ypsi to use the Luwak coupon. They’ll let Hollywood types eat there too.

  27. Posted June 12, 2009 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    What rhymes with ibex, Jake?

  28. Stu
    Posted June 12, 2009 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    All of our societal cynicism would have been averted if someone had just invented flying cars and laser guns.


  29. Posted June 12, 2009 at 6:52 pm | Permalink


  30. Fran
    Posted June 13, 2009 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Please post a photo of hockey god Sidney Crosby on the front page lifting Lord Stanley’s cup. It would really brighten a lot of peoples days.

  31. Posted June 13, 2009 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    man, that brunch at Cafe Luwak is really nice. I went there this morning with some friends and we all loved it. Well, the six year old didnt like the sausage but I can say that is no reflection on the sausage there as I had lots of sausage and it was all tasty. As usual, the staff there go above and beyond. My printer doesnt work and I had forgotten to print the coupon at work. I had my 10 year old guest reproduce the coupon with her drawing pencils. She did a pretty good job, imho. Anyways, the staff accepted it which is awesome!

  32. Posted June 13, 2009 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    That’s so cool, Lynne. I’m glad to hear it worked… and that you liked the buffet.

  33. Posted June 14, 2009 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Lynne, I am really glad you enjoyed the buffet.

    If anyone tried to stop in before nine today, I appologize for not being open. My main breakfast cook quit this morning without telling us. We knew she was leaving, but she said she would work till the end of the month. Needless to say, when Forrest and I arrived a little before eight, the place was dark, and nothing had been started. We immediately started working on getting things going since we were already two hours behind. Forrest kicked me off of the grill saying he had been watching the cook, and he was sure he could do it. By nine we were open, and the buffet was setup for the most part. I wouldnt say it was the best buffet day we have had, but given the circumstances, I think Forrest did an amazing job. He cooked almost all the food. I helped with a few omelets and waffles. We did have some times where we were out of a lot on the buffet, but overall I dont think it was too bad. We got a number of coupons from the MM.COM blog today, so I hope everyone was satisfied.

  34. Suzie
    Posted June 14, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Jim – We came by just after 9 and had no idea that you’d been scrambling to get stuff ready. Buffet was great!

  35. Posted June 14, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Best of luck finding a good replacement, Jim…. Assuming, of course, that Forrest doesn’t want the gig full-time.

  36. Posted June 14, 2009 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    I think Forrest really enjoyed doing it today, but I doubt he wants to do it all the time. He really likes riding with the Bike Ypsi group, and I dont think he would be willing to give up on all the weekend rides. My main cook will be helping out, and we have someone lined up to start next weekend, so hopefully he will be good. It is nice to know that Forrest can jump in as a backup though. I think if we had known and had gotten to the cafe at 6:00 am like the cook normally would, he could have done it all without any hiccups.

    I have to say I am a pretty proud parent this evening. Out of all the adults I have working for me, there isnt one that could have done what my 14 year old son did today. He worked his ass off, and he enjoyed doing it. I may not be the best parent in the world, but no one will ever be able to say my son doesnt have a good work ethic.

  37. Anonymatt
    Posted June 15, 2009 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    What day of the week is June 31, 2009? I don’t see it on my calendar.

  38. Posted June 15, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Shameless self-promotion alert:

    We’re playing Top of the Park this Tuesday at 7:00 pm.

    I heard we were left out of the Current, so this is a Mark Maynard exclusive.

  39. Sue WHo
    Posted June 15, 2009 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Are you sure you were asked to play Top of the Park, your royal Blackness?

  40. Posted June 15, 2009 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Uh… prettty sure… I just go where Joe Cooter tells me and he hasn’t led me astray so far.

  41. Posted June 15, 2009 at 4:28 pm | Permalink


    Nobody calls Joe a liar.


  42. Posted June 15, 2009 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    We should start a thread about Joe.

    Speaking of Joe, does he get a color? Or are colors only for lead singers?

    We could have a vote to determine his color.

    Yellow Joe has a nice ring to it, but it could be taken the wrong way.

  43. Posted June 15, 2009 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Black is not a color, unlike the color “cooter.”

  44. Posted June 15, 2009 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    What is it, then? A state of mind?

    And I thought that cooters ran a vast range of colors. Then again, I haven’t traveled much.

  45. Oliva
    Posted June 15, 2009 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Been meaning to ask if anybody else has been getting extra steep medical bills for routine things like blood tests and balking by the insurance company, which pays a smaller and smaller portion and tries not to do that. Is it just us, or is it happening to other people?

  46. stainedtaintedcooter
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    Mark wrote, “And I thought that cooters ran a vast range of colors.”

    Like a rainbow? Like when you spill gasoline on rain-soaked asphalt? What a poetic, cooter-like image. Like greasy roast beef swimming “au jus”?
    p.s. I am not Joe. I am Patrick. Have to think of a new name.

  47. Posted June 16, 2009 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Black is the absence of color, which is why it’s so damn humble to put in front of a lead singer’s name.

  48. Van
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I met a woman with a stained glass cooter once. At a Dead show.

  49. sigh
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I made this argument, it didn’t work with my wife.

    Journal of Reproductive Immunology, Volume 46, Issue 2, Pages 155-166

    Correlation between oral sex and a low incidence of preeclampsia: a role for soluble HLA in seminal fluid?
    Carin A Koelmana, Audrey B.C Coumansb, Hans W Nijmanb, Ilias I.N Doxiadisa, Gustaaf A Dekkerb, Frans H.J Claasa
    Received 12 January 1999; received in revised form 20 October 1999; accepted 24 November 1999.
    The involvement of immune mechanisms in the aetiology of preeclampsia is often suggested. Normal pregnancy is thought to be associated with a state of tolerance to the foreign antigens of the fetus, whereas in preeclamptic women this immunological tolerance might be hampered. The present study shows that oral sex and swallowing sperm is correlated with a diminished occurrence of preeclampsia which fits in the existing idea that a paternal factor is involved in the occurrence of preeclampsia. Because pregnancy has many similarities with transplantation, we hypothesize that induction of allogeneic tolerance to the paternal HLA molecules of the fetus may be crucial. Recent data suggest that exposure, and especially oral exposure to soluble HLA (sHLA) or HLA derived peptides can lead to transplantation tolerance. Similarly, sHLA antigens, that are present in the seminal plasma, might cause tolerance in the mother to paternal antigens. In order to test whether this indeed may be the case, we investigated whether sHLA antigens are present in seminal plasma. Using a specific ELISA we detected sHLA class I molecules in seminal plasma. The level varied between individuals and was related to the level in plasma. Further studies showed that these sHLA class I molecules included classical HLA class I alleles, such as sHLA-A2, -B7, -B51, -B35 and sHLA-A9. Preliminary data show lower levels of sHLA in seminal plasma in the preeclampsia group, although not significantly different from the control group. An extension of the present study is necessary to verify this hypothesis.

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