Still Calling

local news

Vintage 1945 Kay C-1 Upright Bass for Sale

Hey kids,

As y’all know I’m moving. As a result I’m getting rid of a lot of stuff, including my extra upright bass, a vintage 1945 Kay C-1.

1946 Kay

(For whatever reason, the photo loaded upside down. Click to view right-side up)
Normally a bass like this goes from anywhere from $2000-$2500, but it needs two small repairs, so I’m knocking off a few hundred bucks. To be specific, it needs to be re-glued along the lower bout and top, on the bass side of the instrument. Also, the headstock had a collision with a door frame and the E tuning key needs to be replaced. It still winds, but you need a vice grip. I priced out the cost of both repairs and settled on $1800.

You can get a decent idea of the sound here:

Hit me up in comments if you’re interested. I’m looking to sell in the Philadelphia/NJ/NY/DE/DC area, and can’t ship.

Jim Kenney For Mayor, Chris Sawyer for Sheriff

I very much like the biographical ad. Although any candidate for mayor in Philly –especially in Philly- comes with baggage, I’m an unabashed supporter of Jim Kenney. I think he’ll make a great mayor. Learn more.

And while I’m on local politics, let me remind you that the BEST candidate for sheriff in this corrupt little town is anti-blight activist, the scourge of slumlords, and perhaps the only Republican I can vote for in good conscience, Chris Sawyer. I know him personally (well, through his blog, Philadelinquency, which I read almost every day), and the man is a fighter, insightful, smart, highly informed about the city’s real estate and light problems, and most importantly he is not owned by anyone.

You can’t vote for him in the primary if you’re a Democrat… but no one says you have to vote for Jewell Williams, who has been more of the same.

UPDATE: A great post by Sawyer, which gives you an idea of why I’ll gladly volunteer and vote for this kind of Republican.

SEPTA Forced to Run Racist PSA Campaign

hitler ad

SEPTA Forced to Carry Pam Gellar’s Racist PSA:

Philadelphia’s transit system has been ordered to accept provocative ads [by the American Freedom Defense Initiative] that include a 1941 photograph of Adolf Hitler with a former Arab leader after a federal judge ruled in favour of a pro-Israel group’s free-speech lawsuit.

The proposed bus ads carry a tagline saying: “Jew Hatred: It’s in the Quran”.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority believes the ads violate “minimal civility standards” and will consider an appeal. The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported on Wednesday’s ruling by US district judge Mitchell Goldberg.

For those of you that have never heard about the American Freedom Defense Initiative, they are a far-right, anti-Muslim hate group listed at the Southern Poverty Law Center, and their co-founder Pam Geller is a well-known nutball, crazy enough to drive people like Charles Johnson -once a vocally right-wing ideologue who gave her her first platform- away from conservatism altogether:

One thing you’ll discover in the article is that Pamela Geller got her start on the internet by commenting at my site, Little Green Footballs. She posted more than 6,000 comments at LGF in our earlier days, when our comment moderation policy was much more laissez faire than it is now.

As I said to the Times, in those days, Geller was often the first one to take the rhetoric over the top, and the target of her rage was usually (but not always) Muslims. And not just militants or terrorists, but all Muslims; Geller was quite clear, and stated often, that she didn’t believe in the idea of a “moderate Islam” at all. (Ironically, this is an opinion she shares with the leaders of al-Qaida, who insist that all Muslims must follow their extreme interpretation of Islam.)

Several years ago, I made a very public break with Geller and her allies, such as Robert Spencer, because of their increasing radicalisation and willingness to make alliances with far rightwing anti-Islam parties in Europe, such as Belgium’s Vlaams Belang and Britain’s English Defence League.

Indeed, when Geller held her anti-Islam rally in Manhattan this year on 11 September, she invited representatives of the English Defence League to attend. This turned into a bit of an embarrassment when one of the EDL leaders was refused entry to the United States because of “entry form irregularities”, and the others had their hotel rooms searched by the FBI.

There’s a much uglier side to Pamela Geller, however, that was missed by Barnard and Feuer and needs to be pointed out: in addition to her anti-Muslim activities, Geller often supports and glorifies people who can only be described as white supremacists and genocidal war criminals.

The AFDI ads violate minimal civility standards the same way gang-bang porn is inappropriate for first graders. They are no different than putting up signs reading “BLACK PEOPLE: STILL PISSED AT WHITES OVER SLAVERY SO WATCH YOUR BACK” or “MEXICANS: OUT FOR YOUR JOB.” They serve one purpose, and that is to sow distrust, hate, and fear. And never mind the message it sends to adults: imagine how that’s absorbed by impressionable children who are too young to tune out such propaganda for what it is, and how that plays out in neighborhoods and schools.

All decent Philadelphians, conservative and liberal alike, should be outraged. And from what I’ve seen blowing up Twitter and Facebook, folks are brainstorming how to respond to this. This is, after all, a city that was founded SPECIFICALLY on the principle of religious tolerance. There are thousands of Muslims in our city, and somehow Philadelphia hasn’t become a hotbed of ISIS activity and jihad. Prediction: expect numerous incidents of quiet (and not so quiet) vandalism and people removing the posters by any means necessary, if the Facebook comments I’ve been reading are any indication:

That’s why if I see one, I will just rip it down. I’ll take the risk of arrest and a fine.

I’d graffiti them first. Get silly. “You know who else liked Hitler? ITALIANS.” Or sticker over it with the picture of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam.

Thought bubble: “This dude is nuts. I’m gonna play along because he’s got Panzers, but you know he’ll try putting us in the ovens sooner or later.”

I hope all the fine graffiti artists of the greater Philadelphia area help take care of the problem! (if they go up).

We definitely need to aggressively attack and alter these ads, or remove them or whatever.

Well, I was curious about just what we COULD do, so I spoke to Jerri Williams, Director of Media Relations at SEPTA about what next steps. She confirmed to me that the transit authority is considering appealing the decision and that they are not at all happy. In the meantime, I asked “Is there anything I can do? because frankly, when and if I see one of these signs, I’m gonna be tempted to tear it down. I’m half-Jewish and I don’t like the way this portrays ME, never mind what it says about Muslims. Hell, a lot of the time when I’m on a bus or trolley the operator’s a Muslim, I can’t imagine how THEY feel. And I sure don’t want my kid seeing that.” She agreed -I didn’t tape the call- but warned me that if one DID decide to deface or remove a poster, one is almost certainly subject to some kind of penalty.

So proceed at your own risk. But as a fairly regular SEPTA rider, I doubt any driver will object. They have enough to worry about as it is, and if you don’t call attention to yourself, they probably won’t even notice.

There’s precedent for defacement in San Francisco, where decals of Ms. Marvel — a teenaged Muslim Pakistani-American superhero- have been strategically used to subvert the AFDI’s ugly propaganda.


That’s all well and good, but what can SEPTA do? Some ideas Williams and I batted about were running simultaneous ads, placed directly next to the AFDI’s filth, to serve as a disclaimer. I’d go a little farther. First, I would make sure the AFDI’s ad buy was revenue neutral: I would use use as much of the AFDI’s ad revenue to fund the responses. If the cost of producing/designing the response leaves a surplus, donate that money to an organization that would make the collective empty heads at AFDI explode, like CAIR. Or a mosque one of SEPTA’s drivers attends.

Second, the sign shouldn’t just be a disclaimer. It should openly, brutally, and mercilessly mock the AFDI and their leadership by name. IANAL (but I will certainly check with one) but as long as SEPTA is voicing an opinion, it’s protected by law. So perhaps a sign that reads:

SEPTA works hard to keep our subway system free of trash and then the AFDI forces us to post THS garbage. Call the AFDI, tell ’em Philly says clean up your act.

The First Amendment guarantees the AFDI the right to plaster our cars with pictures of Hitler. Thankfully, it gives you the right to tell the AFDI that kind of attytood isn’t welcome in the City of Brotherly Love. Call ’em at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

Bet that picture of Hitler’s making your morning commute better, eh Joe Sixpack? Call the sparkleponies at the AFDI and tell ’em thanks for making your day THAT MUCH BRIGHTER. Oh, and tell ’em SEPTA sent you.

Make those dingalings wish they’d never set eyes on Philly. Because mark my words, you don’t wanna let them cross that line, or next it’s gonna be the pro-life crowd with the pictures of bloody dead babies. And after that the Westboro Baptist Church. And ya know, it’s not even because they don’t have a right to believe the things they do, or say the things they say, as obnoxious as they may be. I’m not gonna question that.

It’s because at goddamn 8:30 am, when you’re on your way to some shitty fucking job you don’t even want to go, while you have to drop off your blubbery kid at day care on the way, that’s the last thing you want to see: some picture of Hitler glaring down on you telling you that Muslims are Nazis. Am I wrong about this, Philly? DOES ANYONE IN THIS CITY WANT TO LOOK AT HITLER ON THEIR WAY TO SHOPRITE AND BACK??

No, no we don’t. I haven’t lived in that many cities, but here in Philly we have a bonafide poet driving our trolleys:

…and Mike Fuller, who makes everyone’s commute a little nicer, is supposed to share the stage with the fear-mongering garbage-faces from the AFDI?

Hells no. The AFDI can go pound sand. Our city is better than you, and your ads are gonna be the biggest waste of money since your parents paid to raise you to adulthood instead of having an abortion.