Tuesday, October 31, 2017

3C&T: Always first with products for today

Click for full-size version

From Vox:
Mueller’s team describes Papadopoulos as a “proactive cooperator.” That’s a big deal.

Here’s why: Mueller purposely sealed the indictment and kept the arrest secret so that others wouldn’t know Papadopoulos was working with his team — because the probe might be using Papadopoulos to obtain even more information on possible Trump-Russia collusion.

The Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale reports that when prosecutors consider someone to be a “proactive cooperator,” it could signal that that person was wearing a wire. And if that’s true, that means Papadopoulos might’ve talked to Trump campaign officials with a wire on. That’s still speculative, of course, but it could pose a serious problem for Trump if officials with secrets to keep unknowingly divulged information to a wired-up Papadopoulos.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

How'd we stereo on radio before there was stereo radio?


The era of FM stereo radio began in June 1961, but the era of hi-fi stereo radio dates back to the 1950s.

But in the days before FM multiplex broadcasting, listening to stereo radio required two stations . . . and two radios, one AM and one FM. Or you could just buy a "binaural" AM-FM stereo tuner -- two dials, two tuning knobs, and in stereo mode, it would play AM and FM at the same time.

AM was on the left, FM on the right. (Unless, of course, it was the other way around. Or a complete free-for-all?)
 

What in the world would that have sounded like in, for instance, 1958? Let's take what we know about the capabilities of AM broadcasting and FM stations in the '50s, then see whether we can re-create the binaural AM-FM stereo experience.

It's November 1958. You're in Baton Rouge, La. It's 9 p.m. on a weeknight (Monday through Thursday), and you're in the mood to hear some WJBO "3-D" stereophonic sound on your new hi-fi setup.


ON YOUR NEW binaural high-fidelity tuner, your tune in 1150 on the AM dial. Left channel, check.

On the FM dial at 98.1 megacycles, you tune in WJBO's sister station, WBRL. Right channel, check.

Now it's time to sit back, relax and experience "music in three dimensions." For those of us back here in the future, the result sounds better than you would think.

Then again, so did AM radio in 1958. It's amazing what could be done with a wider AM bandwidth, owners who cared and well-engineered radios in listeners' homes.

I HOPE the following video demonstrates that, as I try to re-create what the WJBO-WBRL, AM-FM stereo pairing might have sounded like. I can't tell you how many times I redid this, trying to get the AM sound "right" . . . AM heard over excellent equipment, much better than what we're accustomed to today, from an era decades past.




I KEPT redoing this because I kept thinking, "No. This sounds too good. This can't be right."

And I kept saying this as someone who has a couple of AM-FM hi-fi tuners made in 1960 and knows that some amplitude-modulated stations, to this day, sound pretty decent on a true wideband tuner. This, despite the Federal Communications Commission -- in order to lessen interference and shoehorn more stations onto the dial three decades ago -- putting brick-wall limits on AM stations' frequency response out of the transmitter at 10 kHz.

A young person with good hearing can perceive frequencies up to 20 kHz.
 


But in 1958, many AM stations' transmitters had a frequency response almost as good as FM stations. FM's big advantage was in improved dynamic range, a lower noise floor and, as Steely Dan sang, "No static, no static at all."

Below is a rough representation of the frequency response of the "AM side" -- the left channel -- of the video above.


YOU'LL NOTE that I rolled off the low frequencies, just like a typical AM signal, then sharply rolled off the high end right below 15 kHz. I also bumped up the equalizer curve here and there to "sweeten" the sound a little, as an engineer would have done with even the rudimentary audio processing of the day. I tried not to overdo it. After all, I was worried that it sounded too good; I still wonder what I missed.

Too, the AM channel is more processed -- more compressed and a bit "louder" -- than the FM track. The reason? The easy answer is "That's what AM does."

The longer answer involves an attempt to, first, mimic the lesser dynamic range of AM broadcasting and, second, reflect that AM stations were much more heavily compressed and "hard-limited," because loudness equals distance and listenability on the noisy AM band.

Oh . . . I also added some "AM noise" to the "AM side" of the recording. Not too much, I hope, and not too little, either.

On the "FM side" of the soundtrack, I frankly worry that the audio may be too processed. Alternatively, however, if I were a chief engineer or a program director in 1958 and my AM-FM combo was going to dive into the "binaural stereo" thing . . . I'd want the FM side to match the AM side at least somewhat for loudness.

THAT'S IT for the technical and audio-geek minutiae. I doubt a normal person could stand much more.

Even if you're not a full-bore nerd like me, I hope you've still found a little fascination in this esoteric inquiry into one of the more forgotten aspects of hi-fi and broadcasting.

A phenomenon that births advertising like this (from 1959, after WBRL had changed call letters to WJBO-FM) -- not to mention a moniker like Soundascope Radio -- can't have been a total bust.


Saturday, October 21, 2017

3 Chords & the Truth: Hep to this jive . . . and that jive


This jive, that jive . . . we're hep to all that jive, Daddio. And Mama.

We live in a jive country in a jive world, and we're swingin' to some solid sounds on the Big Show this week -- and every week. What more can I say?

Well, I don't know, either.

So I guess we're cool on the content of the lil' hepcat hop we like to call 3 Chords & the Truth. Uh . . . we like to call it that, because that's its name.

But if you just want to call it the Serenade of Solid Sounds, you could do that, too. We're not picky.

Just so long as the good music drowns out the clunker notes of whatever lame tune the rest of the world is playing right now.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Diary of a mad white president . . . or just another day in hell


Donald Trump is the devil. And the devil is lord in America.

Since its founding, the United States has been a country with a guardian angel sitting on one broad shoulder and a demon on the other. Sometimes, we listen to the angel.

Other times, we invade Mexico because we can . . . and to grab some land. We go to war in defense of slavery. We pal around with Mr. Jim Crow. We decide 58,000 dead American soldiers is an acceptable price for not losing face in Vietnam. The list goes on.

Tiny hands and all
Now, one could be excused for believing that Americans have decided to skip the middleman altogether and just install the devil as president. Donald Trump, to be fair, is not the devil. But he is a devil. The difference is only a matter of lowerarchy.

The devil presides over his people from an oval office in which there are no corners to hide. Like the real deal below, he wouldn't think of harming a hair on our chinny-chin-chin -- directly. That, he convinces us to do ourselves, to ourselves.

Our devil in Washington is not the persecutor we're all looking for -- or at least the one the alleged Christians among his minionish base have been expecting forever. Ol' Devil Trump is the subverter we never saw coming.


Check that. Trump is the subverter we damn well saw coming, but kept trying to pass off as something else entirely.

In our nation's capital and in Anytown, the subverter-in-chief bids his victims forward one by one to tell each how he must offer up his immortal soul this day. One of today's dead men walking was retired Gen. John F. Kelly, White House chief of staff and Gold Star father.


"General," sayeth our demonic majesty, "you gotta get me out of this." "This," as we all now know, is the matter of what the president said to the young widow of Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson. Johnson was one of four soldiers killed in an ambush while serving as advisers to troops fighting Islamic extremists in Niger.

Kelly's mission, should he choose to accept it -- and he did -- would be to somehow normalize the grossly ham-handed, insensitive thing Trump said to Myeshia Johnson about her KIA husband, whose name he couldn't be bothered to utter. Probably because he couldn't remember it.

Trump's idea of comforting the stricken is to tell an Army widow that her husband “knew what he signed up for . . . but when it happens it hurts anyway.”

Kelly's idea of selling that to the American people as perfectly normal is "Why, that's exactly what my buddy said to me when my boy got killed in Afghanistan!"


That's a paraphrase boiled down by me. Here is what he actually told the assembled White House press corps. In this extract, Kelly starts out by explaining Trump had a question for him:
And he said to me, what do I say?

I said to him, sir, there's nothing you can do to lighten the burden on these families. But let me tell you what I tell them. Let me tell you what my best friend, Joe Dunford, told me, because he was my casualty officer. He said, Kel, he was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed. He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1 percent. He knew what the possibilities were, because we're at war.

And when he died — and the four cases we're talking about Niger, in my son's case, in Afghanistan — when he died, he was surrounded by the best men on this earth, his friends.

That's what the president tried to say to four families the other day.

I was stunned when I came to work yesterday morning and brokenhearted at what I saw a member of Congress doing, a member of Congress who listened in on a phone call from the president of the United States to a young wife, and in his way tried to express that opinion that he's a brave man, a fallen hero.

He knew what he was getting himself into, because he enlisted. There's no reason to enlist. He enlisted. And he was where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be, with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken.

That was the message. That was the message that was transmitted.

It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation, absolutely stuns me. And I thought at least that was sacred. You know, when I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country. Women were sacred, looked upon with great honor. That's obviously not the case anymore, as we see from recent cases. Life, the dignity of life was sacred. That's gone. Religion, that seems to be gone as well. Gold Star families, I think that left in the convention over the summer.

I just thought the selfless devotion that brings a man or woman to die on the battlefield, I just thought that that might be sacred.

And when I listened to this woman and what she was saying and what she was doing on TV, the only thing I could do to collect my thoughts was to go and walk among the finest men and women on this earth. And you can always find them, because they're in Arlington National Cemetery.
I DO NOT doubt that Kelly, the career military man, found comfort in his friend's words. I also do not doubt that Kelly's preferred script for these difficult conversations is entirely too complicated to be followed by "a fucking moron" with an emotional quotient measured in negative numbers.

So . . . here we are. Trump botched a script most people -- because common sense, sensitivity and basic human compassion -- would not follow when attempting to console a young war widow with two young children and a third on the way. Trump's words not only were heard by Mrs. Johnson, but by everyone in the funeral-home limousine as family and friends traveled to the airport to receive the body of Sgt. Johnson.

One of the family friends happened to be a member of Congress. Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.) had known the Johnson family for years. She also had been a mentor to Sgt. Johnson and his two brothers. She was his father's school principal years before.

And she was outraged by what she heard on speakerphone.

Too bad for her. The only unforgivable sin in the Church of Satan -- Trumpistan is to shine light on the sins of our father below.


When one disses the devil, the sulfurous one has any number of acolytes who will try to snuff out the light as they snuff out their own self-respect. In the case of Wilson, the Church of Satan lowerarchy -- at least in my viewing of what it's trying to pull off here -- went full-bore for racist stereotyping with no hesitation at all.  Let's review:
It stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation, absolutely stuns me. And I thought at least that was sacred. You know, when I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country. Women were sacred, looked upon with great honor. That's obviously not the case anymore, as we see from recent cases. Life, the dignity of life was sacred. That's gone. Religion, that seems to be gone as well. Gold Star families, I think that left in the convention over the summer.

I just thought the selfless devotion that brings a man or woman to die on the battlefield, I just thought that that might be sacred. 


IT TAKES little effort to read between those lines. After all, the Trumpian base isn't that bright, and its attention span isn't that long. That said, the multitude of Trump's minions are outdistancing the there-are-none-so-blind White House press (who maybe need to get out more) on this one.

Briefly, the White House is sending the nearly unmistakable message that Frederica Wilson is just another crazy, angry black woman who's simply out to stir up shit and lay waste to every social norm precious to proper white Americans.

We're to see the congresswoman as some sort of malevolent Madea, out to throw a potful of hot grits in the face of the Great White Dope Hope, then cold-cock him with the empty pot. Right before she tears up Arlington National Cemetery via unlawful use of a front-end loader.


That's the message our government wants to send to alt-white America, which is the only one that matters to the devil.

Not so long ago, which seems like a lifetime ago, presidents didn't talk like this. Presidents didn't send staffers out to pull stunts like this. Richard Nixon, for God's sake, would not have been so brazen or so emotionally stunted -- and that's saying something.


 That's obviously not the case anymore, as we see from recent cases.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

There are worse things than taking a knee

'Well, I guess he knew what he was getting into.'
-- Donald Trump
speaking to pregnant
widow of Green Beret

I am from south Louisiana. When I was growing up, there were certain colorful words you might have used to describe such a "man" as Donald Trump.

One who just said what he said to the pregnant widow of a Green Beret killed in combat in Niger.

"Goddamn son of a bitch" would be where the description began. The rest I must leave to your imagination.


The tragedy of my home state -- the tragedy of my country -- is that so few still have the moral imagination or the moral vocabulary to call a goddamn son of a bitch a "goddamn son of a bitch" when they see the goddamn son of a bitch.

Worse, we elected the goddamn son of a bitch president of the seemingly God-damned United States of America.

CBS News continues where I no longer can:

Sgt. La David Johnson
President Trump told the widow of one of the soldiers killed in Niger that he "knew what he was getting into," said U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Miami), who said she was in the car during the phone call.

Myeshia Johnson was on her way to the airport to greet the remains of her husband, Army Sgt. La David Johnson, when she received the call from the commander-in-chief, CBS Miami reports.

"David was a young man from our community who gave his life for our country," Wilson told CBS Miami. "He's a hero. I was in the car when President Trump called. He never said the word hero. He said to the wife, 'Well, I guess he knew what he was getting into.' How insensitive can you be?"

*  *  *

CBS Miami reports that after it reached out to Wilson a second time, she repeated that the president told Myeshia that her husband knew what he was signing up for when he enlisted, adding "it still hurts." Wilson said Myeshia was livid and "cried forever" after Trump's call.

Johnson was killed Oct. 4th with three other soldiers in Niger. U.S. officials said they believe extremists linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) were responsible for the attack.

The U.S. and Niger forces in a joint patrol were leaving a meeting with tribal leaders and were in trucks. They were ambushed by 40-50 militants in vehicles and on motorcycles.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

3 Chords & the Truth: God save the Welk


There's no future, no future, no future for Welk. Or is there?

That is the existential question we face this week on 3 Chords & the Truth.

The other day, if you've been hanging around these climes, you may have met Sheena. Sheena was a punk rocker. Now, Sheena's a mom with a problem.

As we learned then:
You've put safety pins in all the right places. Your hair is perfectly spiked. You have all your favorite punk rock albums in hand, and now you're heading for your brand-new Stereo Theater home-entertainment center.

And what do you find? Judy and little Jeffy are watching reruns of the
Lawrence Welk Show on public television. "F*@# THAT S#!%!" your mind is screaming as you set the LPs on the kitchen table and check on the popovers you've got in the Magic Maid oven.

It's a dilemma. You believe in your children's right to explore -- to
even embrace -- new ideas, no matter how bizarre or radical. Even when it's the Lawrence Welk Show. After all, you experimented with Welk back in high school, and it's not like you became an addict or anything. BUT . . . BUT . . . YOU JUST WANT TO SIT BACK AND LISTEN TO YOUR OLD CLASH AND SEX PISTOLS RECORDS, DAMMIT!

It Just Isn't. Fair.

You pensively tug on the safety pin in your cheek -- OUCH!-- as you
take a pull on your fifth of Early Times. There must be a reasonable way to untangle this musical disconnect threatening to pull apart your family.

And the ladies in the PTA definitely frown upon child murder.

What to do?
WELL, here's what you do. You listen to this week's edition of the Big Show. It is here that we bridge the gap, learn the young'uns and remind us old'uns about the central truth of this here program.

There's only two kinds of music: good and bad. The bad, we don't mess with.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Fear and loathing in high-school radio


Who's the leader of the station that's made for you and me?

N-O-T  Y-O-U,  teen-age disc joc-key.

And when it comes to our public schools and the people who run them, the exercise of authority over the inmates students can, indeed, quickly become a real Mickey Mouse operation. This usually comes down to raw politics . . . and the sad reality that once they turn 18, the kids who sat in the back of the classroom are eligible to vote for school board.

Another other sad reality -- and this is one teenagers generally learn long before graduation -- is that what you learn in civics class is 75 percent aspiration and only 25 percent actual execution.

Take your constitutional rights as public-school students, for example. Despite the case law on, say, high-schoolers' First Amendment rights being pretty well settled since the early 1970s -- and since 1943 in the case of those choosing to not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance or the national anthem -- every year, some principal or some school board will try to show some dissident somewhere who the real boss is.

I think you can get the right answer to this question even without the benefit of a multiple-choice exam.

So, every year some principal tries to censor or shut down some high school newspaper or, this year, threaten prep football players with "fire and fury" if they take a knee against racial injustice during the Star-Spangled Banner on Friday night. And unless the student knows a really good lawyer. . . .

Because people are stupid, politicians feel the need to be even stupider. It's a matter of solidarity with the electorate. Mostly, though, it's a matter of getting re-elected.

WBRH bumper sticker, circa 1978
WHEN I was growing up in Louisiana, and on the student side of the power equation, things could get a little weird.  This had a lot to do with how politics pervade everything in Louisiana . . . and how politics in the Gret Stet tend to have this certain Venezuelan je ne sais quoi.

This is where the "fear, loathing and radio" part of the post kicks in.

In any banana republic, the first lesson one learns -- or else -- is not to piss off the Maximum Leader. This goes double for the party newspaper and state radio. When the party organ is your local high-school newspaper and state radio is, for instance, the student beacon of Hometown High, students may have their First Amendment rights, but the Maximum Leaders in the principal's office and on the school board still have leverage.

Like money, for instance. Like the power to hire or fire faculty, for another. Like just shutting this troublesome radio station the hell down. When push comes to shove, "freedom of the press" belongs to him who owns one.

Does the Maximum Leader have to threaten a thing? Nope. Sane employees with house notes to pay and kids to feed know who butters their toast. And Maximum Leader Is Watching YOU.

August 1977
IN THE CASE of WBRH, the radio voice of Baton Rouge Magnet High School, the licensee isn't the Autonomous Students of Baton Rouge High. It is the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board.

Can the state exercise prior restraint against students who staff official, publicly funded media? Theoretically, no, if Maximum Leader cares to pay lip service to the U.S. Constitution.

But does the constitution require the state to fund a radio station or any other official organ? As far as I know . . . no. There's always an angle.

Especially in Louisiana, a state filled with geometry savants.

In banana republics, the peasants always are seditious, Maximum Leader always has an itchy trigger finger, and the employees on the bottom of the government's food chain always are nervous.

WBRH radio now takes you to the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, where Smiley Anders' universally read local column has just rolled off the press. It is June 1, 1981.


IT IS DELUSIONAL to think that everybody who was anybody at the East Baton Rouge Parish schools central office didn't either read, hear about or field jokesters' telephone calls about Smiley Anders' column that day.

It likewise would be delusional to think that the WBRH general manager, radio broadcasting and electronics teacher John Dobbs, didn't quite reasonably think "Oh, shit . . ." when he saw Smiley's column. Or was told about it in no uncertain terms.


We again take you to the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, where Smiley Anders' universally read local column has just rolled off the press. It is June 3, 1981.


MY LAST airshift at WBRH came a couple of years before that -- I graduated in May 1979. And it's true: It was a tradition and, thus, a coincidence.

But there's no denying that it was an epic and happy coincidence. Well, not for Mr. Dobbs, but still . . . coincidence or not, in the world of student media, you take your shots when you're able, and you count your victories when you can.


In my student-media days, I counted a few victories. I also racked up some defeats and collected a couple of battle scars.

First, there was the time I helped introduce Baton Rouge to the Sex Pistols when I brought my British-import 45 of "God Save the Queen" to the studios of 90.1 FM. Maximum Leader was watching. Or listening, actually.

After a few spins during the fall of 1977, "God Save the Queen" was as banned in Baton Rouge as it was on the BBC. Mr. Dobbs even confiscated my 45. I got it back when I promised never to bring it back.


Then, maybe a couple of months later, there was the time we had Fannie Godwin on Teen Forum, the 20-watt, high-school FM radio version of Meet the Press. I'm sure it was indistinguishable from Bill Monroe's NBC program but for the acne.

Godwin was a local activist, vice-president of the Baton Rouge ACLU chapter and a "school board watcher," meaning "watchdog" in regular American English. In the fall of 1977, the organization had undertaken the controversial, nay, subversive practice of . . . passing out booklets to high-school students informing them about their constitutional rights.


IN 1977, this was a full-blown, red-alert controversy in Baton Rouge. I'm sure it would be today, too. 

The Other Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook informed East Baton Rouge Parish students, right there on the cover, that "You are not in the Army. You are not in prison. It only seems like it. . . ." This was because 40 years ago in my hometown, in most high schools, it seemed like you were in the Army. In a few, notably Zachary High School under Obergrüppenführer Jerry Boudreaux, some freethinkers swore it was a lot more like a prison.

This seems to be the part that got folks the most riled up. Naturally, it involved the First Amendment.
You can speak your mind, wear buttons, and arm bands, hand out literature, picket, form clubs and invite speakers, all on school grounds as long as you don't clearly interrupt the normal school process. It will be up to the administration to prove disruption. You do not need prior permission (even though the parish handbook says you do) to speak, wear buttons, hold meetings, and form clubs.
 
THE PARISH school board called the Zachary High administration, parents, students and good Christian townspeople of Zachary before it to mount a defense against the horrible allegations with which the American Civil Liberties Union was filling reporters' minds -- and stories.

Obergrüppenführer Boudreaux denied all. Parents decried the civil-liberties troublemakers. Students took the microphone to pull what we'd later come to recognize as total Tracy Flick moves.

"A former Zachary student, who did not give his name, said he was 'unlucky enough' to have also attended other high schools," State-Times reporter Linda Lightfoot wrote in the Sept. 16, 1977, edition of the evening paper. 
"Nobody makes us salute the flag," he said. "We are proud to be a Christian community.“

He added that the "ACLU is dead wrong if it is saying Jerry Boudreaux is running the school in a totalitarian manner."

Darwin Williams. a senior at Zachary, said a "glint of Communism" shows through in the ACLU literature.

Jill Wilson, editor at the Zachary High school paper, said that the ACLU leaflet seemed to imply that she could say anything she wanted to say in the school paper. “Well, I don't want it that way," she said.
State-Times, Sept. 16, 1977. Click for full-size version

IN ZACHARY, obviously there was no pravda in Izvestia and no izvestia in Pravda.

This was the milieu amid which WBRH had Fannie Godwin, second-ranking "commie" in all the parish, on Teen Forum. Charles Knighten was the moderator; I was one of the panelists.

We were keen to know about these constitutional rights students possessed. And we talked much about the ACLU's alternative student handbook.

A just-graduated friend -- a former WBRH staffer -- had dropped by the studio as we were about to tape the program. He told me of pre-performance prayers by the drama students and teacher, suggesting that would make for a good line of questioning.

It was a good topic to quiz the local ACLU vice-president about. If you were (1.) an independent journalist at (2.) a news-media outlet (3.) somewhere in the United States of America.

My journalism and civics teachers would have told me I was, WBRH was, and Louisiana was. Facts on the ground would come to indicate (1.) no, (2.) no, and (3.) "What have you been smoking?"


We thought the show went swimmingly and that Fannie was a great guest. After all, her needling of members during school board meetings surely was high performance art before anyone had heard of performance art.

Someone somewhere in the Maximum Leader ranks thought otherwise. Apparently, I had passed classified material to the enemy.

I was off the Teen Forum panel. And I don't think Teen Forum was back for a second season.


SO, what have I learned in these 40 years since my high-school radio days?

Well . . . I'll tell you.

I've learned that WBRH is made of sturdy stuff. Baton Rouge High's FM station has survived many Maximum Leaders in the school board central office, has endured the politics that infest every single damn thing in my home state, and has grown exponentially despite it all . . . by sticking to the music. Teen Forum still is dead as a door nail, though.

I've learned that digging through old hometown newspapers from one's salad days sure knocks the rose color off your glasses right quick. Ugliness in black and white beats the crap out of nostalgia and sentimentalism every time. (I also am reminded of why I got the hell out of Baton Rouge -- for the last time -- nearly 30 years ago. According to contemporary headlines, things there haven't much improved.)


I've learned that even though I disagree with the ACLU on some things, America damn well needs the ACLU.

Finally, I've learned from the latest effort by "good, Christian Americans" to vilify and intimidate those who, in protest of injustice, take a knee for the national anthem that some things never change. At all.

I have learned that, in this country, there is a wide gulf between the rights society tells people they possess and the rights society permits them to exercise in peace.
 

BATON ROUGE HIGH,  God bless it, was not the Army and was not a prison. Despite the best malevolent efforts of Louisiana's various Maximum Leaders, my old school was a great old school . . . and still is. There, I learned pretty much everything I needed to know in life.

College was just for the advanced degree in drinking.