The octopus spider wants an open thread


From now on, whenever you see the dreaded octopus spider in a picture in this site, it means that you can write about whatever you want in the comments section, regardless of what the post is about!

Enjoy the freedom… But remember, words have consequences.

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  1. Knox
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    I’m not a big follower of adult cinema, but I think I might have to check out this Simpsons parody (SFW). The impersonations sound really good. They don’t show their Homer in the trailer, though, which I see as a big, red flag.,49942/

  2. Comic Guy
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Rush Limbaugh’s billboard, which was quietly removed from Tucson after the shooting.

  3. Edward
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    There’s not much meat on the rattle, is there?

  4. золотой
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I hated the television show Love American Style.

  5. Eel
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Will everyone do me a favor and not talk about the zodiac controversy?

  6. Kim
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    You need to find a way to get George Clooney on your puppet talk show when he’s in town.

  7. Oliva
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Re. Love American Style–if only I’d understood it was better not to like it! I was just so intrigued at some idea I got from it about being able to have my own apartment, became a central goal (grew up with nine siblings, three per room, so I really zoomed in on ideas about solo dwellings). That is all that I recall about that goofy show except that it was goofy and something about a guy dressed in red, white, and blue.

  8. Professor Y
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I hear that Neil Gaiman was doing something with the Simpsons. I pray to god this isn’t it.

  9. wolverbob
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Hey, at least the Mark Maynard “Hitler And Ypsilanti” video is back up on YouTube. For a while it was off due to copyright problems with the “Downfall” film people where the video is originally from.

  10. roots
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    There’s a really interesting piece in the New Yorker this week by Jill Lepore regarding the Constitution. It’ll make you wish you could reach back in time and give Benjamin Franklin a hug.

  11. Oliva
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Mark (and others), did you see this guest blog post by Michael Chabon (subbing for Ta-Nehesi Coates this week)? Think you’ll like it for a number of reasons–but maybe will help you give yourself some extra love for staying true to your blog, very ably, while you have an enormous whole life to live, be, and do.

  12. Mr. X
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Has there even been a case of an adult not losing his or her baby teeth? I’m not sure why, but I’ve got this stuck in my head. On a related note, wouldn’t it be cool if they could mix human and shark DNA so we could have people with rows of razor sharp teeth?

  13. wolverbob
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    With a hiatus going on right now with bicycle-powered cinema in Ypsi, what about a bicycle powered drawing machine? –

  14. Mystery
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Something for the conspiracy theorists among us. Loughner’s high school girlfriend, Ashley Figueroa, has made the following comment to the press.

    “I think he’s faking everything. I think the outburst that he had in class — I think he’s planned everything. I think that he has been planning this for some time.”

  15. Bob
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    “Has there even been a case of an adult not losing his or her baby teeth? ”

    Jack White definitely suffers from this affliction.

  16. bash
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    FE FY FO FUM…. I smell the woodchips of a puppet…. lol lol lol lol ypsi needs a flea market again……. we should sell advertising space on the facades of city hall to the highest bidder, (how many cars pass it daily)…. stop moving the cemetaries examples: store at normal & mich ave, phelp sellers hall emu, prospect park, dr’s office at grove and prospect…. hire a blight officer if we have 1 get a 2nd one…. become a more business friendly city. lower the property taxes… install a trolley…. get more business incubators…. make ypsi so damn booming rich that instead of a defecit and taxes it has a surplus and gives back to its citizens in profit sharing…. tare down all the condemed buildings and plant gardens and sell the produce to help pay for a part of it. for god sakes build a parking structure in this city… heck put ads on the yfd, ypd, ycua, and plow & salt cars and trucks just like nascar…. bring in a minor league baseball team… build a casino, convention center and hotel on water street. bring in the history channel to film it all as a reallity series called YPSIWOOD: a city in transition. about a city that goes from being a blue collar factory town to an entertainment meca during the worst economy since the 1930’s.

  17. DRich
    Posted January 14, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    I used to pretend to be sick so I could stay home from school and watch Love American Style, and then it always sucked.

    Everyone should watch more Hihao Miyazaki movies, even if you don’t have kids.

  18. Larry Seven Larry
    Posted January 15, 2011 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Patrick Elkins shaved his beard.

  19. Posted January 15, 2011 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I’m fairly new to the whole blogging, virtual town hall discussion thing, but I like this blog because I think it offers better discussion of local and national events and issues than any of the local papers does. Even it we don’t agree it’s far better than mining the Courier or for something meaningful to digest.

  20. Mr. X
    Posted January 15, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Anything fun going on in Ypsi or Ann Arbor this weekend? I heard that Laurie Andersen was going to be performing as some kid’s birthday party, but I don’t know where it is.

  21. Alice
    Posted January 15, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    There’s a benefit tonight at the Riverside Art Center for Denise Cutlip, an active community member here in Ypsi who is having serious health problems. Tickets are $25.

    Many of you know Denise for her tireless and unselfish volunteer work as the Operations Director for the Ypsilanti Crossroads Summer Festival. Many others know Denise through her many volunteer efforts on behalf of the greater Ypsilanti community. Please lend your support as we celebrate with our mutual friend.

    Saturday, January 15 · 6:00pm – 10:00pm
    Location Riverside Arts Center
    76 N Huron Street
    Ypsilanti, MI
    Created By
    YPSILANTI AREA EVENTS, Jan Krist, Annie CappsShow all (5)
    More Info $25.00 DONATION

    Hosted by Jan Krist, the Downtown Association of Ypsilanti, and the Ypsilanti Crossroads Summer Festival
    with generous support from the Riverside Arts Center

    All donations are appreciated and accepted at the event
    Donations are also gratefully accepted at
    100% of all donations go to Denise

    All Checks to be made payable to: “Downtown Association of Ypsilanti (DAY)”. All proceeds go to Denise.

    Jan Krist has put together an exceptional talent lineup which includes Dave Boutette, Chris Buhalis, Brian Brickley, Annie Capps, Robert Jones, John Latini, Nestle Quick, Potter’s Field, Jesse Sinatra and others.
    Opening reception begins at 6:00 PM with food & beverages (beer, wine & soft drinks). Additional food, beverages, and desserts provided during the intermission.

    Selected art works and other donated merchandise and gift certificates are available for bid during our silent auctions.

    Plentiful free parking is available on-street and at several nearby private and public parking lots.

    Additional information is available at the following:

    Ypsilanti Crossroads Summer Festival:

    Riverside Arts Center:

    Downtown Association of Ypsilanti:

    Ypsilanti Convention & Visitors Bureau:
    Jan Krist:

    Ypsilanti Area Events:

    Special thanks to all for your generous support!

  22. anon
    Posted January 15, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    This morning I was shocked to see a worker for my landlord out on our sidewalk pretty early this morning. “Wow, I thought, they are actually going to shovel my walk!” Then I peeked through the blinds and laughed outloud…the worker was sweeping the sidewalk off with a big push broom! I watched him for a while, never used a shovel…but he did put down salt after he “swept” the snow.

  23. Posted January 15, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m home with my sick husband. Hate being in on a weekend night but at least there’s football.

    Okay I’m done whining.

    I read that Rep. Giffords was taken off the ventilator! That’s good news!

  24. Posted January 16, 2011 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Is Mark OK? I saw that he’s wasted on the streets of Ypsi trying to film people at a bus stop.

  25. Meta
    Posted January 16, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Swiss whistleblower Rudolf Elmer plans to hand over offshore banking secrets of the rich and famous to WikiLeaks

  26. Posted January 16, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Good I hope he follows through with it. Independent journalists have suspected for some time that some of the big banks who have received bailout money are laundering the drug money of the cartel savages who are cutting people’s heads off on the Mexican border. I this info helps trace drug money and tax evasion, angering people who opposed the bailouts, and motivating people to take action. Hopefully this gives evidence of lots of tax evasion from big bankers and CEOs of corporations who have defense contracts with the U.S. government.

  27. Posted January 16, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Wikileaks is one of the reasons I look forward to getting up in the morning. I hope you’re right, David. I hope this is huge, and I hope it takes a lot of people down. (And thank you for the kind words above, David. It’s nice to know that people like what I do.)

    And, yes, Peter, I’m alive. I did have a couple of beers yesterday and take to the mean streets of Ypsi with a video camera, but I had a bodyguard. And I wasn’t wasted. And people in Ypsi are nice. But, yeah, I’m alive.

    I will try to respond to the rest of you later. But, now, I want to work on a new post.

  28. Posted January 16, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    And I suspect that most of you know this, but you can use Open Threads on this site however you like. If you’ve got a yard sale you want to promote, that’s OK. Or, if the mood strike you, you can review a local restaurant. I really don’t care. You can share love making techniques, or solicit advice on the treatment of infections. Whatever you want is OK with me.

  29. EOS
    Posted January 19, 2011 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie suggested in an interview published yesterday (1/18) that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health.

    Abercrombie told the Honolulu Star Advertiser he was searching within the Hawaii Department of Health to find definitive vital records that would prove Obama was born in Hawaii, because the continuing eligibility controversy could hurt the president’s chances of re-election in 2012.

    Tim Adams, a former senior elections clerk for the city and county of Honolulu in 2008, has maintained that there is no long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate on file with the Hawaii Department of Health and that neither Honolulu hospital – Queens Medical Center or Kapiolani Medical Center – has any record that Obama was born there.

    So far, the only birth document available on Obama is a Hawaii Certification of Live Birth that first appeared on the Internet during the 2008 presidential campaign.

    The Hawaii Department of Health has refused to authenticate the COLB posted on the Internet by and

    In 1961, Obama’s grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham, could have made an in-person report of a Hawaii birth even if the infant Barack Obama Jr. had been foreign-born.

    Similarly, the newspaper announcements of Obama’s birth do not prove he was born in Hawaii, since they could have been triggered by the grandparents registering the birth as Hawaiian, even if the baby was born elsewhere.

    Moreover, the address reported in the newspaper birth announcements was the home of the grandparents.

  30. Knox
    Posted January 19, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    I’d like to call you a douche in person, EOS. Where are you planning to be tonight at about 7:00?

  31. Posted January 19, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    EOS, were there commercial planes on 9/11?

  32. EOS
    Posted January 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Can’t handle the truth? I’m just reporting what the governor and county clerk have said. If he’s not really the Prez, then Obamacare isn’t a valid law.

    There were commercial planes on 9/11. But it wasn’t a commercial plane that hit the Pentagon – that was a missile.

  33. Posted January 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I can’t handle the truth. After all, you are a trusted source.

  34. EOS
    Posted January 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    First thing you said that I agree with! :-)

  35. Eel
    Posted January 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    The missile was shot out of the birth canal of Obama’s Socialist mother in Kenya.

  36. EOS
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Yesterday (1/19) it was reported that the new governor made another announcement.

    “Officials in Hawaii have tracked down papers indicating that President Obama was indeed born in their state, according to its new governor.

    Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who took office in December, told Honolulu’s Star-Advertiser on Tuesday that “our investigation” indicates there is a recording of his birth.

    “It actually exists in the archives, written down,” he said.”

    Great – show us the papers! If not, why not? That’s all that’s necessary to end all speculation.

  37. Oliva
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    EOS, Not sure in which state you were born and how they do things these days. But Pa., for example, has changed the way it issues birth certificates. Once upon a time I could simply request the so-called long form and get it, whereas now I have to fit my request into a category (“for what purpose”) and get the form the state deems appropriate for that category–no more “long form.” I believe a number of states have changed their method too. Am curious if you’ve encountered the same. (The subtext of the “birther” message is hurtful to so many–meant to be hurtful–would be nice if it would very soon be hushed once and for all.)

  38. Edward
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I never saw Reagan’s birth certificate. Nor have I read sworn statements by the attending physician.

  39. EOS
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    When I got my social security card issued in this state, I had to bring a copy of my official birth certificate to the Federal office to apply. I was born in Michigan. The form lists the hospital, the doctor, my parents names, and their places of birth. Since I have multiple copies of my official certificate, I haven’t requested a copy in the last decade, and don’t know what the form would look like today if I requested another copy.

    The “birthers” are not attempting to hurt anyone. They merely want to ensure that the Constitution has been complied with and any elected official must show documentation that they meet the requirements necessary to hold office.

    The importance of the long form in Obama’s case results from the practice of the State of Hawaii to have issued the “short form” certification of live birth to a large number of individuals who were foreign born. The State of Hawaii did this to grow their population of “state residents” quickly during the early 60’s when they first became a state. At the time Obama’s certification of live birth was issued, there was no requirement to have been born in the state.

    If we don’t think it is necessary today that the President be a natural born citizen, then we have the option of amending the Constitution. But in a country governed by laws, we cannot ignore the law. Obama can easily request a copy of the original birth certificate. His justification would be to proof that he is legitimately eligible to hold office. If he did so, and it is found to be a legitimate document, this issue would be hushed once and for all.

  40. Posted January 20, 2011 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    No, the “Birthers” are a band of bigots unwilling to believe that a black man can become President.

  41. EOS
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Yeah Peter, and I want Biden as President? I don’t like Obama because he’s a socialist and an extreme liberal, not because he has more pigmentation in his skin. You might attempt a reasoned response occasionally.

  42. John Galt
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I demand to see his penis and inspect it for proof of circumcision.

  43. Oliva
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    EOS, do you remember moderate Republicans like Michigan’s old governor Milliken? Obama is so much closer to his ilk than to an “extreme liberal.” A bright and very reasonable fellow actually–though he does alienate reasonable people on the left for his compromising stance. Those reasonable people might be tapping into the rich legacy of social democratic principles our forebears brought from Europe. I would love the American stories to be sure to include this legacy alongside the frontier / wild west narratives that usually get told. They’re at least as worthy and true.

    [JG: I heard recently that only 40 percent of American males are circumcised. Was surprised but intrigued. Maybe the president is with the majority on this one? If you get your proof, please let us know!]

  44. Oliva
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Oh, and while we’re broadening the scope of the American mythos, we have precious, rich legacies from this very land and from Africa and beyond. May all these stories be told–in classrooms, among ourselves, on cable news, even on the nearly godforsaken talk radio.

  45. Meta
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    The Atlantic has a god feature on Roger Ailes, the man behind Fox News.

  46. dragon
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Birtherism Part Deux–The Afterbirthers
    That dastardly Kenyan can fool the RNC, CIA, and the FBI but not EOS.

  47. Eel
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Muslims detest oral sex. You should demand to be allowed to blow the President, EOS. Judging from his response, you could learn a lot for your fellow Tea Partiers.

  48. Andrew Jason Clock
    Posted January 20, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Andy Ypsilanti is dead. I killed him.

  49. Sueprfly2
    Posted January 21, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Maybe octospider would like to meet octopie.

  50. Bob
    Posted January 21, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    though I’m sure certain ypshipsters with punk labels would argue that Jack hasn’t been worth a shit since the record he made before he made his first record…this was pretty freakin’ cool. Love the big band. I think it’s the guy from Steppin’ In It on bass and one of Jack’s older bros on piano.

  51. Andrew Jason Clock
    Posted January 21, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    I like her old band better.

  52. Bob
    Posted January 22, 2011 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    “like her old band better.”

    Joe Maphis was one of the best guitarists ever. He hasn’t played so good the last twenty-five years though.

  53. Andrew Jason Clock
    Posted January 22, 2011 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    I just think Jack went a little overboard on this one. Just too much bombast in this band, it takes away from the beauty of Wanda Jackson’s voice. It would have been a lot cooler, to me, if the production style was a little closer to Van Lear Rose. I understand you want to rock out with Wanda, but let the lady sing!

  54. Edward
    Posted January 22, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    This isn’t the place for it, but Jack has been a dick to some people in Detroit, most notably his former producer. The music is still OK, though.

  55. K2
    Posted February 7, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Must-see video on the night that Jackie Gleason and Nixon handled alien remains.

  56. Bob
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    This should have probably made the local news headlines. Last night Frank Allison quietly took the stage at Dave Boutette’s Woodruffs, open-mic night thing to do an unannounced set. Almost the first time he’s ventured in to public to sing since his throat affliction forced him into retirement more than fifteen years ago. Frank Allison, if you don’t know, is one of the greatest pop songwriters this area has ever produced. He owns and operates the Clinton movie theatre down the road.

  57. Edward
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    No shit, really? How was he? It’s been over 15 years since I’ve seen him play.

  58. Bob
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    His voice, if you know his condition, makes for a different approach. He taught himself to sing around the problem. It’s a more falsetto style and he seems to favor a Ukulele these days. But it’s still uniquely Frank, thank god. No one else like him. He has been writing songs all along and has some new stuff available if you check out his website Word is he’s looking to gig again in some capacity and he has some stuff coming up, including opening up for the Ypsitucky Colonels at the Circus bluegrass Wednesday soon. His new songs are as clever and original as ever.

  59. Meta
    Posted February 18, 2011 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    At least 24 have been killed in pro-democracy demonstrations in Lybia.

  60. Oliva
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I’ve said things here a few times about recent scholarship about George Washington, his slaves brought to the Philadelphia White House, and that he was skirting the law, but I was weak on substantiation and full meaning–still am but am trying to learn. Think maybe more cagey than criminal, letter of the law being more malleable than spirit of the law. On NPR’s “Tell Me More” on 21 Feb. 2011, Michel Martin interviewed two authors about the black history of the White House. Here’s a chunk (modest portion of interview, where copyright issues are concerned!) that relates to Washington–so very interesting and also sad:

    From Martin’s interview with Clarence Lusane, associate professor at American University’s School of International Service, author of The Black History of the White House and Kenneth Walsh, White House correspondents and author of Family of Freedom.

    Ken Walsh, you tell a fascinating story of actually the lengths to which George Washington went to hold onto his slaves in violation of the law in Philadelphia, where the presidency was at one point housed. Would you talk a little bit about that?

    Mr. WALSH: As Clarence said, the early presidents, you know, I saw it a little bit differently in that I was looking at the White House, per se. And 8 of the first 12 presidents had slaves in the White House. Many of our others presidents had slaves, but these people had them in the White House.

    But the point you’re raising, Washington realized that there was a law in Pennsylvania that allowed slaves to be free if they were in the state for six months. So he surreptitiously decided to send his slaves back to Mount Vernon within that six-month window so that they wouldn’t become free.

    And these early presidents had this notion, maybe they came to it late in life as Washington did, that slavery was wrong, but they didn’t do anything about it politically because they didn’t want to alienate the southern states. And we’ve seen that pattern through our history – all through our history in the United States.

    And, secondly, they didn’t want to disrupt their own livelihoods because they felt that slavery was essential to the running of their plantations. And that’s – so they kept slavery and didn’t really challenge it.

    MARTIN: Well, you talked about the fact that this was a deliberate stratagem in Washington’s part. You’ve delved very deeply into his correspondence in this matter.

    Mr. WALSH: Right.

    MARTIN: That shows that he was deliberately swapping out people to avoid the law.

    Mr. WALSH: He was. Right. And the people who he was talking to to help him arrange this sort of shuttle of his slaves, he said, don’t let anybody know about this. I want this to be deceptive. He was very open about that to his friends and within his family. He didn’t want the public to know because he didn’t want to have any question about his own integrity and yet he was defying the law.

    This is supposed to one of the great icons of American history, but we see this again and again that our presidents really did not live up to the early ideals of the country through most of our history.

    MARTIN: And, Clarence, he did not fully succeed. Will you tell that story? Actually, I found it rather heartbreaking as a mother, but tell me that story.

    Prof. LUSANE: Yeah, what Kenneth is referring to is the Gradual Abolition Act, which basically said people could be free if they stay six months. But there’s a loophole that if people left, then – and they came back, it would always start over. So that’s why, as Kenneth was pointing out, they were doing the rotation.

    But there were at least two people who were in Washington’s household while he was in Pennsylvania, who escaped. One was a woman named Ona Maria Judge. Fascinating young woman, early 20s, had mostly been enslaved to Martha Washington – would clean for her, dress her, help cook. She found out at one point that Martha was planning to give her away as a wedding gift to one of her relatives.

    And so, she decided that that would mean she probably would never get out of slavery. Because the Washingtons had kind of promised that once they died, they would free people who were enslaved to them. But if she was being sold or given away, that was not going to happen. So she made plans to escape. She was in touch with the free black community in Pennsylvania. And then one day in the spring of 1796, she took off.

    The Washingtons actually discovered where she was at. She ended up in New Hampshire. And Washington sent his nephew to try to coax her to come back. And he met with her and sat down and said, you know, basically things got out of control, but if you come back, we’ll basically set you free eventually. And her response was, well, I’m free now.

    Mr. WALSH: Right.

    Prof. LUSANE: That really doesn’t work and…

    MARTIN: And Martha was outraged at the ingratitude of this slave. And there’s another person who escaped even at the cost of leaving his daughter. Will you tell that story?

    Prof. LUSANE: Hercules. Hercules was Washington’s cook who was actually one of the most famous cooks in the country at the time and was extremely well known. But Hercules also took off towards the end of Washington’s presidency in 1797.

    MARTIN: And then what happened? You both quote this in your story, which, as I said, as a mother, I found heartbreaking. At some point had occasion to ask the child if she missed her dad. And what did she say?

    Prof. LUSANE: Right. It was a little girl and there was a visitor from France. And he knew that Hercules had escaped, so he asked the little girl, did she feel sad? And her response was, like, no, I’m happy that my father is free.

    Mr. WALSH: Yeah. Well, yeah, I actually, you know, I remember this line. She said, I miss my father, but I know that he is free and so I’m happy for him. . . .

    MARTIN: And (unintelligible). So, Ken Walsh, when did the practice of holding slaves in the White House, enslaved Americans, let’s put it that way, when did that practice end?

    Mr. WALSH: Well, Zachary Taylor was the last president to have slaves in the White House. And he died, I believe, in about 1850. But succeeding presidents had had slaves earlier in their lives. People don’t realize that, for instance, Grant, Ulysses Grant, the hero general of the Civil War, had had slaves earlier in his life. So did Andrew Johnson. This was a very common thing for American presidents.

    But Lincoln had amazing relationships with the African-Americans around him during the Civil War. These were emancipated African-Americans. A seamstress named Elizabeth Keckly and a valet named William Slade. And a lot of historians are particularly interested in William Slade because Lincoln actually consulted Slade on his major speeches, including the Gettysburg Address.

    He brought Slade with him to Gettysburg. And the night before the Gettysburg Address, he ran the most important lines and themes past Slade because he respected his judgment and thought he understood what everyday people would think and what themes would be resonant.

    So it’s really quite remarkable that he had this confidence in this African-American on his staff. But this has been common throughout our history. The people on the household staff have been confidantes and very much trusted by the presidents throughout American history.

  61. John Galt
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    What these “historians” refuse to tell you, however, is that once these former slaves had their freedom, they had to feed and clothe themselves. Freedom was no walk in the park. Most escaped slaves, if given the chance would gladly have returned to their masters, where they were fed well and got lots of fresh air and exercise. It was like a spa, only better, because you got to have lots of sex with wealthy white men.

  62. K2
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Sitting my my cube, listening to WWOZ, and imagining that I’m at Mardi Gras.

  63. Eel
    Posted March 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Two dogs were found near Sylvan Township, bound and mutilated with hatchets. They’ve since been euthanized. A reward is being offered for the perpetrator(s).

    One wonders where Huckabee’s son was.

  64. Posted March 15, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Wow. I never noticed that trackback.

    As for the horrible story about the dogs, it reminds me that there was a rash of dog killings a year or two ago. Was the person, or people, behind those ever found? And, if not, is it possible that these new cases are connected?

  65. Stephen
    Posted April 21, 2011 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Video of a naked man playing a real live gave of Frogger on Washtenaw.

  66. Stephen
    Posted April 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Today I learned that Malcolm X had “queer affinities”.

  67. Meta
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    A man who recorded a police shooting in Miami Beach hid his camera’s memory chip in his mouth as the police held a gun to his head and smashed his phone.

  68. McTill
    Posted June 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Bristol Palin lost her virginity drunk on wine coolers.

    That is all.

  69. Pwnage
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    The parent company of five of the largest college bookstores in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday.

    NBC Acquisition Corp.’s Nebraska Book Co. filed for bankruptcy in a bid to restructure $450 million in debt and reemerge as a financially lean company.

    The firm owns Campus Book Supply, Mike’s Bookstore and Ned’s Bookstore near Eastern Michigan University’s campus in Ypsilanti and Ulrich’s Bookstore and Michigan Book and Supply near the University of Michigan’s campus in Ann Arbor.

    The company, which has about 280 stores and some 2,500 workers, said it would continue to operate its stores and that the filing would have little impact on customers or workers.

  70. Bad Boy
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I’m lonely. Can we be friends? Here’s my picture.

  71. kk
    Posted July 4, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I just moved here and I don’t know where all of the clean public restrooms are. Can I have some guidance, please?

One Trackback

  1. By Cookie Puss on February 2, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    If I left an asparagus spear in my vagina all day, would it be cooked in time for dinner? This is a serious question.

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