Political pundit Ann Coulter has never been shy about her love for the Grateful Dead, but Billboard recently made her take that love to the next level by publishing what is essentially an open love letter to the grateful group. She explains that she probably saw 67 shows, though her count was imprecise, and mostly between 1991 and 1995.“Other than a few shows in high school and college, I mostly followed them as a practicing lawyer from around 1991 to August 1995 when I had a bunch of Deadhead friends and we all had plenty of disposable income, so I saw a lot of shows in those four or five years.”She explains that there was a faction of Deadheads within her community growing up, which is how she became familiar with the group. “Contrary to some people’s image of the Dead, they were huge in my very affluent WASP hometown of New Canaan, Conn. There was a faction in favor of making “Truckin’” our prom song, but the sense of the senate went for some schmaltzy rainbow song instead. I bet no one from my high school class can remember what it was. We would have remembered “Truckin.’””“But still – you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a Deadhead dancing,” she writes in the article, putting her love for the Dead on full blast. She continues to talk about Deadheads, saying, “I like Deadheads because they’re very friendly, open-minded, individualistic people — not fake-open-minded and not a “mob of individualists.” Sometimes they’d ask why we’d decline the joints friendly Deadheads would pass around, but they were so charming about it. They weren’t offended or snippy, just genuinely interested. Deadheads are intellectually curious individuals.”Then she goes back to the band and starts naming some of her many favorite tunes:I can never pick a “favorite” song, just as I can’t pick a favorite Scalia dissent, but among the ones I love are: “Tennessee Jed,” “Althea,” “Stagger Lee”, “Eyes of the World,” “Loose Lucy,” “Franklin’s Tower,” “Deal,” “Sugar Magnolia,” “Unbroken Chain,” “Cassidy”, “Pride of Cucamonga,” “Uncle John’s Band,” “Ripple,” “Casey Jones,” “I Will Take You Home,” “Passenger,” “Mississippi Half-Step,” “Good Lovin’” and of course, the famous Mickey Hart rap version of “Fire on the Mountain.”It breaks my heart that the band never played “Pride of Cucamonga” in concert. That would have been as big a story as Brexit and probably would have rocked the stock market just as much. She recalls one final Grateful Dead concert experience at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, saying, “The Dead’s best venues were the outdoor concerts. I’ve been to a few, including one outside of Kansas City on the Fourth of July, but my fave was Shoreline Amphitheatre — a beautiful outdoor arena built on a landfill. The weather was great, you could buy California chardonnay by the glass and I had a bunch of Cornell deadheads out there. By day, we’d go around San Francisco or go sailing, and, by night, we’d go to see a psychedelic rock group.”And there you have it, an inside look at Ann Coulter’s love for the Grateful Dead. Read the full letter here.
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NASA is in the process of reshaping its aeronautics research program. Much of that work will be completed over the next four to five months. Once that work is done, Petersen said he expects Dryden will continue to have a vital role in that work. The proposed budget provides $3 billion for the space initiative, up $1.3 billion from the current budget. That effort includes the continued development of the CEV and the development of the launch systems that will carry crew and cargo to the international space station. “The bottom line is this: NASA’s plans are to bring the CEV online as close to 2010 as possible, but not later than 2014,” Griffen said. “Given the analysis we have today, we cannot set a more definitive target date for the CEV to our stakeholders in the White House and Congress. But I believe that with the budget proposed today, NASA and industry have a real opportunity to make the CEV operational much sooner than 2014.” NASA tentatively plans to fly the space shuttle 17 times between now and the shuttle’s retirement in 2010. Dryden supports space shuttle missions, including hosting about one out of every five landings. Jim Skeen, (661) 267-5743 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “We’ll be staying where we are now,” said Dryden director Kevin Petersen, calling the news “a little better than what we had a year ago.” Civil servants are roughly half of Dryden’s work force. The other workers are contractor personnel. The work Dryden expects to conduct in support of the space initiative includes flight testing an abort system to ensure a crew can exit a vehicle in an emergency during launch. Flight testing of hardware will begin in a 2008 time frame, Petersen said. Over the next six months to a year, Dryden workers will have a better feel for their role in the program, Petersen said. “I will ensure that all of our centers contribute to NASA’s primary mission of space exploration and discovery,” said NASA Administrator Mike Griffen. “We are beginning the process of assigning specific research programs and projects to appropriate NASA centers.” PALMDALE – NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, one of the region’s major employers, will keep its work-force numbers steady despite agency plans to cut aeronautics research funding by 18 percent. On Monday, NASA leadership unveiled a proposed $16.8 billion 2007 budget that features strong funding for space exploration, but reduces aeronautics funding 18 percent to $724 million. Aeronautics research accounts for roughly 75 percent of Dryden’s workload. The cut in aeronautics will be softened by efforts to spread work around on the initiative to return astronauts to the moon. Dryden is expected to play a role in the development of the agency’s next manned spacecraft, called the crew exploration vehicle or CEV. Last year, NASA announced plans that would have cut Dryden’s civil-servant staffing from 568 positions to 403 positions in 2007. Dryden trimmed its work force to just under 500 positions through normal attrition and voluntary buyouts.