Spooky business.

I overachieved on the candy front yesterday. My lesson to you: Don’t ever shop for candy when you’re hungry. Ah, but trick-or-treat hours are promised to be more or less perfect, so I’m sure we’ll sell out. Yesterday’s DetNews had a story about trick-or-treat tourism, which is nothing new here or anywhere else, but may be exacerbated this year by foreclosure:

In several Metro Detroit neighborhoods battered by home foreclosures, the spookiest thing this Halloween is the dramatic numbers of empty homes and “For Sale” signs. With as many as 63,453 homes now for sale in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Livingston counties — many of them empty — once-well-lighted houses now sit vacant, and some parents say they’ll be seeking greener trick-or-treating pastures elsewhere. Several of those who stay behind are stocking fewer bags of candy.

Our neighborhood here, like our neighborhood in Fort Wayne, always gets a million outside kids — it must have that magical combination of middle-class stability, maximum density and young children in residence that rings all the cherries. This used to bug me, but doesn’t anymore. Not everyone can be from Leave it to Beaver-ville, and I wouldn’t want to take my kid door-to-door in many neighborhoods, either.

In the meantime, who wants a peanut-butter cup?

(Speaking of which, among the ten thousand irrational food fears my own little girl insists on cultivating is this one: She loves peanut butter, hates peanuts. The other day Alton Brown had a show on peanuts, and demonstrated how easy it is to make peanut butter. I paused it, called Kate into the room, and made her watch how peanut-butter is made: Throw some peanuts in a food processor, turn it on, presto, peanut butter. She watched, and said, “I still don’t like peanuts.” That’s my girl.)

Because I have a lot to do today, short shrift but good bloggage for a lazy Friday:

While I enjoyed this piece on a mathematician who “cracked the code” of the opening chord of “A Hard Day’s Night,” I wish some editor would have reined in the writer who called it “the most famous chord in rock ‘n’ roll.” Oh reeeeeallly? Want to have that debate over a million beers? I’m sure it can be arranged.

In David Edelstein’s review of “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” he concludes with an unnecessarily complicated question:

Now, I could be wrong about this: Perhaps Rogen is catnip to the ladies, the Daniel Craig of sex farce. But this is not a man who appears to take good care of his body, and the movie doesn’t use his lack of physical appeal as a source of laughs—as Apatow sort of did in “Knocked Up.” The way Smith treats Rogen strikes me as the way he’d treat a young Tom Hanks or Jason Segel of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” or Justin Long (who has an overlong cameo as a gay-porn actor)—the quick-witted nerd who could also be a dreamboat. But when Rogen sheds his clothes and climbs atop the lovely Banks and the bells ring and the fireworks explode, well … Imagine if James Franco played Zack, and Miri was an out-of-shape woman with bad skin and a big honker. Can there be that much of a double standard when it comes to actors’ looks?

Answer: Yes.

Speaking of movies, the trailer for “Gran Torino” is online. This is the Clint Eastwood movie shot in and around the Pointes last summer (while we, ironically, toured Carmel, Calif., Clint’s hometown). The good news: It’s clearly the GP. The bad news: Looks like a fairly crappy movie, i.e. “Dirty Harry: The McCain Years.”

Speaking of McCain, why why why is the campaign doing stuff like this? I mean: Way to court the youth vote, gramps.

Anne Hull stops in at Liberty University to see how the war for McCain is being fought at the insular-right-wing-Christian-raised-in-a-bubble level. (Short answer: Who fucking cares?) Still a good read.

Off to bake cupcakes. Happy Halloween.

Posted at 10:21 am in Current events, Movies, Same ol' same ol' |

75 responses to “Spooky business.”

  1. John said on October 31, 2008 at 11:02 am

    My goal is not to make laws Christian but to make government as small as possible so you can be as biblically Christian as you so choose.

    Am I off base here but are there laws that prevent Americans from being “biblical Christians”?

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  2. nancy said on October 31, 2008 at 11:07 am

    To these folks, every law they disagree with is a yoke of unbearable weight that, yes, keeps them from biblical Christianity.

    When I was hosting a radio talk show, I once had a long, enervating chat with a caller who said he wanted to live in the early 19th century, “when government wasn’t all up in your business all the time.” I started asking him how, exactly, government was all up in his business, and he ran out of steam almost immediately after “taxes.”

    I should avoid reading stories like that, because they just remind me of how uncharitable I’m feeling toward the opposition in recent days. The more people reject what they’re selling, the uglier they get. I not only want their product off the shelves, I want their store shut down.

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  3. Andrea said on October 31, 2008 at 11:09 am

    John, I was just getting ready to post the same exact quote. I didn’t understand it at all!

    It must be pretty easy for Miss Ayendi to dismiss welfare programs and complain that Americans have gotten “soft” as a college student perched in a $50K SUV.

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  4. mark said on October 31, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Why does the McCain capmpaign do this? Because they have to. Unfortunately, there are people who think that McCain does not have the right to speak without interruption. This is a lesser evil than having them removed during the speech.

    Why did Obama just remove reps from Washington Post, Dallas Morning-Times and NY Post from his campaign plane, even though all have been covering him from the beginning and serve major markets?

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  5. mark said on October 31, 2008 at 11:15 am

    As a follow-up to my answer about the McCain Campaign: Because there are people who not only refuse to buy what he is selling, but want to stop him from selling to others. A “shut his store down” kind of thing.

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  6. nancy said on October 31, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Shut the fuck up, Mark. McCain’s people booted those people from his speech not because they were wearing Obama T-shirts, but because of how they looked. And one of them had already voted — for McCain.

    The GOP has pioneered this bubble strategy — don’t let the president, don’t let the candidate, see hecklers, picket signs, anyone who’s not 100 percent on-the-bus. You see how it’s worked for them so far. Good luck keeping that store open; I think you’re losing market share fast.

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  7. jcburns said on October 31, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Mark, they were booted before the speech started!

    “Apparently, they had been identified by those [McCain] staffers as potential protesters within the event.”

    So don’t just strike the freedom of speech…McCain’s staff engages in what amounts to prior restraint, and (the punch line) ends out taking their own supporters. People who have voted for them! How do they “have” do do this?

    There is no emoticon for how hilarious and tragic I think this is.

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  8. mark said on October 31, 2008 at 11:36 am


    I understand that. Yes, it is “prior restraint”. It is unfortunate but, for whatever reason, some people go to these events to shout down the speaker. They don’t want his/her ideas to be heard.

    If it removed some of McCain’s supporters, that is kind of comical. But it is a private event.

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  9. mark said on October 31, 2008 at 11:39 am


    That is the way it is supposed to work. Bad ideas and bad plans, so long as they are lawful, are allowed to fail because they are bad, not because we prevent people from looking at the merchandise.

    You run the show here, so if your instruction was literal, my apologies. I’ll run along elsewhere.

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  10. derwood said on October 31, 2008 at 11:40 am

    so…I don’t like peanuts either…but love peanut butter. Nuts in general should be outlawed and never ever ever put into a cookie, brownie or cake.


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  11. moe99 said on October 31, 2008 at 11:40 am

    It is not a private event, sorry Mark. It is a public event, particularly as McCain has accepted government funding for his campaign.

    Give me a cite to legal precedent that says an appearance by presidential campaign at a public venue is a private event. N. Iowa University is a public institution.

    Oh, and Mark, please provide a cite for your allegation that Obama has removed media from his plane. I could not find it doing a google search.

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  12. jcburns said on October 31, 2008 at 11:42 am

    The Onion, circa 1993:
    Uneducated Forklift Driver To Address Nation On Rush Limbaugh Radio Show
    Nation Eagerly Awaits Ohio Man’s Profound Insight Into Current Events
    (although they had him in Lima, not Holland, Ohio…they were off by about 77 miles.)


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  13. nancy said on October 31, 2008 at 11:48 am

    The press-plane story is tangentially covered here, but I guess Drudge made a big to-do out of it, because of the reporters who were told their seats were no longer available, all the papers had endorsed McCain.

    Said the Dallas reporter’s editor:

    But we don’t have evidence that the newspaper’s endorsement of Sen. McCain had any bearing on the campaign’s decision to boot us from the plane. No one from the campaign every mentioned it to Todd. (And for the record, he as a reporter, and I as the editor in charge of political coverage, had absolutely no input or knowledge of the endorsement. That’s handled by a different department on a different floor. I didn’t even know about the editorial board’s choice until I read it in the paper a couple of Sundays ago.)

    We think the Obama campaign’s decision is to some degree more a function of limited seats, and while we’re a large regional newspaper, we’re not national and we’re not in a swing state. We’ve been on the road with them at key moments, but we’ve not been along for the entire ride, like, say, The New York Times and The Associated Press.

    And then the punch line:

    For what it’s worth, we’ve had the same trouble with the McCain campaign. One of our reporters dropped off earlier this week when space became an issue, and we’re only getting back on with McCain tomorrow for the final weekend because they, unlike the Obama campaign, are adding a second plane.

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  14. Connie said on October 31, 2008 at 11:55 am

    We have turned into Halloween grinches since our kid left for college two years ago. We turn off all the lights and hunker down. I live in a small country subdivision – four streets in a square plus one cul de sac – and it was becoming obvious that we were only getting “commuter” trick or treaters.

    We encourage dressing up for the holiday at work. Today I am the tattooed librarian. Not a great pic, the tattoo says born to read.

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  15. brian stouder said on October 31, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Connie, that’s a GREAT pic – but where’s the rest of you?

    (I mean, yes – that view of you – or any woman – is what would remain in my brain….but always nice to have a face, too!)

    Happy Halloween, y’all!

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  16. Catherine said on October 31, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    We get trick-or-treat tourists, too, as well as high schoolers. I say bring it on. My candy bowl runneth over, at least for right now. Why not share?

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  17. John said on October 31, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Love the tat! No tramp stamp to match? Inquiring (and dirty) minds want to know.

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  18. Connie said on October 31, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Sorry John. After the pic I added some “READ” tattoos to my hands and other places. I keep them in my desk drawer for the rare occasion a child visits my office.

    Brian, we have a house rule that he may not put my face on his blog. Which didn’t stop him from putting this up a few weeks ago: http://elmores.net/round-here/comments.php?id=1470_0_1_33_C . Aah, that natural blonde, I remember it well.

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  19. brian stouder said on October 31, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Connie – another great pic!! Forget Mad Men – you’re one of the Bibliography Babes!

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  20. Connie said on October 31, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Thanks Brian. Just remember the pic is 30 years old.

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  21. brian stouder said on October 31, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Connie – I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed – but the picture captures an unimistakeable ’70’s vibe – for those of us who were prom (or wedding?) attending teenagers, then!

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  22. Dexter said on October 31, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    …any of you folks know what protocol is if a candidate dies before the election? Surely the veep doesn’t step up and get the slot, right? Does the party re-convene and re-nominate?
    How long would the election be postponed? Well, if such a thing should happen, they just ought to let Baseball Commish Bud Selig handle it. He’s good at just making shit up along the way.
    Game 5 of the World Series happened to fall on a day that had pretty good weather until about 9:30 PM.
    Both teams involved jointly and individually approached Selig and said they wanted to play the game in the daylight, because it was a certainty very heavy rain was a-comin’ later on.
    Selig had a shit-fit…cried how he had no say in this…the TV network (FOX) controlled it, and by god, they can damn well play in the cold monsoon rain! And so they did…and had to suffer a rainout and suspended game…as Selig changed all the rules along the way, and even so, did not even tell TV announcers Buck & McCarver what was going on.
    So, if the election becomes a bit fucked-up, call on Selig…he is quite a fixer.

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  23. caliban said on October 31, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    “Joe’s with us today — Joe, where are you? Where is Joe? Is Joe with us here today? Joe, I thought you were here today. All right, well, you’re all Joe the Plumber, so all of you stand up!”

    — John McCain at a rally yesterday in Defiance, Ohio. The famous plumber-with-a-publicist made it to a later rally in Sandusky, Ohio.

    This reminds me of an old joke. Two morons are walking along and find a dismembered leg. First says to second, ‘That looks like Joe’s leg.’ Eventually, they Joe’s disembodied head: ‘Joe! Joe! Are you alright!?’

    Sums up the decomposing campaign succinctly.

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  24. Connie said on October 31, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Yes Brian, totally 70s, in fact the dress is made of qiana. quiana? That slick disco shirt poly however it’s spelled.

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  25. Dorothy said on October 31, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Connie looks like you got hitched about 11 months before we did. My 29th anniversary was this past Monday (the 27th).

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  26. Catherine said on October 31, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    LOVE the wedding pictures! Congratulations to both of you, and here’s to 30 more.

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  27. Julie Robinson said on October 31, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Connie and Dorothy, we are of an era. Aug 18, 1979 for us, so also coming up on 30. No wedding photos have been digitized yet, but I will say that brown tuxes were popular back then. I couldn’t quite tell–did you also go for the ruffled shirt? We thought brown was quite a conservative choice, what with lime green and pastel blue being so prevalent. I also eschewed a veil and went with flowers in my hair. Did you-all both write your own vows? I don’t seem to see that much these days.

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  28. Connie said on October 31, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Nope. Did the classic do you take this ……. vows. And the flowers in the hair were specifically designed to clip off from the flower band on the big brimmed hat. Which fell off every time someone hugged me, so didn’t last much past the ceremony.

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  29. Dexter said on October 31, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Ah, geez…all sentimental here…recalling my own wedding day…my wife decided to not go through with it , so I did what I had to do…

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  30. brian stouder said on October 31, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Dexter – that’s a marvelous green dress (and nice party hats, too!)

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  31. mark said on October 31, 2008 at 2:28 pm


    The fourth paragraph of the article Nancy linked to quotes the university security guy describing it as a private event. If you think McCain’s acceptance of public campaign money changes things, perhaps you could support the assertion that you make instead of asking me to disprove the point. Would you be satisfied if I said I just read the few thousand pages of federal cmpaign finance laws and regulations and, nope, what you claim isn’t in there?

    I’m pretty sure the McCain people are paying for planes, hotel rooms and pizza with the federal bucks too, but I don’t think I can que up for a ride, a rest or a slice.

    Nancy also answered the issue you raised about the Obama/media story.

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  32. jcburns said on October 31, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Yeah, the University security guy, that noted constitutional scholar, described it as a private event.

    This is what bothers me about, oh, the St. Paul police (AND the Denver police) abusing protestors and the Secret Service keeping members of the press from interviewing rally attendees and, well, I could go on.

    They, officers of the law, seem to have no clue about the legality of their tactics, and, in a post-9/11 world, seem very comfortable when asked to be jackbooted thugs…ejecting and arresting without cause. Give them those Orwellian looking riot helmets (adding a nice layer of robotic anonymity) and marching orders that aren’t vetted, by, say, city or state prosecutors, and then, weeks after the event and the charges are dropped, just emit an “oh, well” as another component of our freedoms are taken away.

    I’d really like to see more law enforcement people stand up and say “hey, wait, these are not the laws and freedoms I’ve sworn to enforce.”

    And Mark, I saw Obama (again) in Des Moines quiet a heckler in the crowd…with just his leadership skills. That heckler was not pre-charged with a crime and screened out.

    Nor should he have been.

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  33. Jolene said on October 31, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    WaPo’s Marc Fisher had a good column this week that connects w/ the Anne Hull article Nancy pointed to. Playing off the “real Virginia” remark of McCain advisor, Nancy Pfotenhauer, he went to a Palin rally in Fredericksburg and asked people how you’d know whether you were in the real Virginia. One response:

    “when the big issue is hunting. People who are for hunting and the Second Amendment are going to vote Republican to protect against radical socialist communist views. It’s also about faith: I don’t see how any person who believes in Jesus Christ could vote for Obama or any Democrat.”

    Nice Christian attitude, eh? His web chat, held yesterday, focused on that column, and the discussion was pretty interesting. Here’s a comment from Marc that confirms what the polls are showing re Palin narrowing fan base.

    At the Palin rally this week, some people carried signs that said “Keep America Jesusful–Palin for President.” But there was a real difference in the crowd at this Palin rally as compared to the one in September in Fairfax–at that one, there was a real mix of people, both strong conservatives from the home-schooling, stay-at-home-mother, church-driven political activism crowd as well as traditional fiscal conservatives and even good old Republican moderates. But this time, it was that first crowd that totally dominated. The moderates and independents were gone. That may say something about Virginia’s direction next week.

    It also says something about the challenges that are going to confront the Republican party after this election. I’ve commented before about the diminished appeal of the party to well-heeled professionals, and they have practically zero appeal to minorities, whose numbers are growing. Hard to see how they’re going to survive if the only people ready to sign on after this election are Palin’s fans.

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  34. Jolene said on October 31, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Mark, I don’t really care who paid for the event. McCain is applying to be president of all the people. No one should be excluded in advance. Speaking to hand-picked crowds was a Bush 2004 tactic. We don’t need any more of it.

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  35. John said on October 31, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Connie, you are quite the looker in your photo, but then again, what bride isn’t beautiful?

    Betsy and I will celebrate 29 years next Groundhog’s Day.

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  36. alex said on October 31, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Say, Mark, whaddaya think of this:


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  37. joodyb said on October 31, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    veering back to the culturally superficial (where i mostly reside these days), in re the reviewer’s compulsion to dissect the presumably dubious appeal of Seth Rogen, has he never SEEN Kevin Smith?
    in interviews i’ve seen, the director clearly fancies himself to be a desirable male. for what it’s worth.

    oh! i forgot to say Qiana is a registered trademark! Still! Thanks, Dupont!

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  38. mark said on October 31, 2008 at 3:52 pm


    I only read the first three paragraphs or so; tell me if I need to read more to get the point. What i read sounded like clap-trap and kind of “prima donna”-ish. I didn’t figure out what the heck the First Amendment has to do with it.

    Palin is ripping on Obama for his associations. I don’t know where the line is on “negative” criticisms (as opposed to heaping praise on your opponent), but i’m comfortable calling it negative. I think Obama’s associations are fair game and they concern me, even if i’m in the minority. Still “negative” stuff to me. Of course I’m voting much more against Obama than for McCain.

    But Palin sounds foolish worrying about how the press characterizes her characterizations of Obama’s associations, and more foolish mentioning the First Amendment. In small defense of her, I’ve known many bright people who held very misinformed views about the First Amendment.

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  39. mark said on October 31, 2008 at 4:04 pm


    I think that is a fair criticism, but even Obama’s people draw some lines about what will be allowed at his events.

    I don’t like anybody shouting down people who are engaged in a scheduled presentation of lawful, non-violent ideas. I pray Obama doesn’t win, but I wouldn’t dream of going to an event to try to disrupt it. The end doesn’t justify the means.

    I gave the correct answer to Nancv’s question. If Mccain was as glib and quick on his feet with hecklers as Obama is, he might fear them less. Instead, he stands behind the podium looking helpless, and the secret Service guys temporarily stiffen, until the big mouths are hauled away. He pays a political price either way.

    So what is the right answer in this class? McCain woke up and said “I’m a mean Maverick this morning, let’s go generate some bad publicity roughing up college kids”? They did it because there is not a single functioning brain cell left in the republican party? Har-Har. And the peanut gallery goes wild.

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  40. moe99 said on October 31, 2008 at 4:20 pm


    If individuals attending a campaign event, held on public property start to misbehave by shouting, yelling or otherwise trying to impede the crowd’s hearing and understanding of the candidate, the police have the right to swoop in and get rid of them because by that behavior, they are interfering with the speaker’s first amendment right to be heard.

    But, if an individual is tossed out of the rally, simply because in the subjective opinion of a campaign flack, they ‘look’ like they’re going to cause trouble, then whose rights are being infringed now? I believe that if a candidate for president of the US is taking federal funds and is campaigning on public property at an event that is ostensibly open to the public (to be distinguished from a $1000 a plate dinner type of thing), they are holding a public event and as such, they have to have a better reason than “she looks like she is going to disrupt an event.” I don’t even think wearing a shirt or carrying a sign with the name of the opponent is sufficient to keep someone out, but I can see where that is a gray area. But I will not cede that point without a fight either.

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  41. paddyo' said on October 31, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    What moe99 said, double.

    Here in Denver the last time around — well no, actually, it was AFTER, in March 2005, so shame on the GOP further — BubbleBoyBush’s roadshow goons made-believe they were Secret Service (this was a sitting president, remember) and barred three “suspect” folks from a rally in the suburb of Aurora, even though they had the required TICKETS (handed out by the party) to attend and had already gone through metal-detector screening with everyone else. . .

    Their crime? Apparently they were seen getting out of a car in the parking lot with an anti-war bumpersticker . . .

    More recently, an ex-Denver Post reporter, semi-retired (part-time librarian), was hauled off by two of Denver’s NOT-finest from outside — OUTSIDE! — a McCain town hall about a month and a half before the Dem convention. The town hall was in the city’s performing arts center, a VERY public facility. Her crime? She held a sign that read: “McCain = Bush” . . .

    Whether or not someone wants to speak out (or “disrupt,” as Mark suggests) an event, this is supposedly a country where freedom of speech is not suppressed. But you know what? If someone disrupts, he or she usually gets “escorted” out . . .
    In fact, it happens with some regularity on Capitol Hill, and no big deal . . .

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  42. joodyb said on October 31, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    I’d agree on the general populace’s understanding of the First Amendment. I don’t think she is unusual in her customized extrapolations of what the Constitution can do for her. and to pick up on the ‘i’m a mean maverick this morning’ concept, that is precisely where mccain has lost people along the way. he says one bully thing and does something else. ‘i’m suspending my campaign – but not really.’ ‘i won’t debate unless there’s a resolution, but wait, ok, i will.’ not following through on the simplest of declarations has eroded all his credibility. and he’s done it all along. that’s not about not being Bush, in my estimation.

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  43. Linda said on October 31, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Re: Seth Rogen. NO GODDAMN FEMALE. ON EARTH. wants to see him in a sex comedy. He is only in them because he fulfills a male fantasy that hot women want shlubby losers. Not for any other reason. And frankly, that’s infuriating. In the old days, women got Cary Grant as a sex symbol, because it was understood that only hot, smart, sophisticated men in movies, as in life, got beautiful women. And not only is he homely, his characters are losers. We once got Grant, now we get nada.

    Worse, it has created a feeling among young men that even if they are nobody in particular, they are somehow entitled to beautiful women, and that said women who don’t fall over them rhyme with witch. You hear this in ‘net threads all the time.

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  44. brian stouder said on October 31, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Well, you still get Brad Pitt and Leo DiCaprio (spelling?) – who appear to be beautiful human beings, even to guys like me!

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  45. Gasman said on October 31, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Late to the game here, but I find it interesting that McCain screens his crowds and Obama doesn’t. Accordingly, Obama should be getting far more protesters/hecklers than McCain. Yet, all are welcome at Obama and Biden rallies. Note that the story said they weren’t doing anything, someone thought that they LOOKED like they might do something. Where is the justice in that attitude? I’ll bet that you look like you’re up to something, so maybe we should just lock you up in advance.

    If you recall a few weeks back there was a couple that were not allowed to enter a McCain/Palin rally here in Albuquerque the Saturday after the R convention. The woman shouted, “Go Obama!” merely as friendly banter to Obama supporters and for that thoughtcrime she was not allowed to enter the rally. That incident and the one above are chickenshit and you know it. What happened to free speech? Which candidate sounds more fascist in the way they treat the public?

    It’s also a chickenshit cop-out to claim these are “private” events. Nonsense. Obama’s are just as “private” yet there is no record of people being tossed out. He has even engaged the hecklers. The McCain campaign is so fearful of dissent and protests that they have to throw out their own people if they don’t “look” like they support McCain. Country First. How is “preemptively” booting people from a rally respecting anybody’s first amendment rights? Are McCain’s claims to the first amendment any greater than those who were booted? I would think that a lawyer could come up with a better defense than that.

    The Republicans have used up all their chits and are going to get their asses handed to them come Tuesday. They have no one to blame but themselves. Quit making excuses for them.

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  46. Linda said on October 31, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Brian, your point is well taken. I guess who I’m mad at is Jude Apatow. He gave us an attractive male sex comedy lead in 40 Year Old Virgin–you can’t geek up Steve Carell too much. But after that…and in combination with the fat guy/hot wife combo so common in tv sitcoms, it gets a little much.

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  47. Jolene said on October 31, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Lisa deMoraes, the WaPo TV columnist, refers to the “fat guy/hot wife” combo as “Male Pattern Optimism,” which is a pretty funny term for what seems to be a pretty common condition.

    As evidence, I give you the kinds of things men say in personals ad, mainly having to do w/ age. Example: SWM, 45, seeking SWF 25-47. I once saw a real ad placed by a 70-year-old man who wanted to meet women between the ages of 18 and 71. I kid you not.

    That said, I think Seth Rogen is kinda cute. Juvenile, but funny and has an unusual and appealing voice.

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  48. basset said on October 31, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    so if the “Hard Day’s Night” chord is not the single most recognizable chord in rock, I don’t know what is… you could probably make a case for the Chuck Berry E chord, it shows up in a LOT of songs though. As far as one chord that just SAYS one song, “HDN” would have to be it.

    guess I’ll have to go buy this month’s Guitar Player magazine, though, because that link didn’t say what the chord actually is. or was.

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  49. brian stouder said on October 31, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    basset, I dunno bupkis about music, BUT – the first 5 notes of the Rolling Stones’ “I can’t get no satisfaction” LEAPS to mind….or for that matter, the ’60’s nightclub riffy beginning to the superb Doors’ tune Light My Fire is nothing if not evocative (of that one song and that one group and that one era)

    And as for that (marvelous) phrase “Male Pattern Optimism”, I recall thinking that when I was a teenager, and we watched reruns (which were old even then!) of The Honeymooners; why would a beautiful woman be with Ralph Cramden?

    More recently, Ray Romano is handsome enough, but how could such a self-centered, provincial dolt keep such a completely beautiful and intelligent wife, as played by Patricia Heaton?

    Honestly – the most compelling couple on television to Pam and I consists of Jon and Kate Gosselin (might have mis-spelled that) who have a series on one of the cable channels (tlc?). They have twins and sextuplets, and their ‘reality’ show is oddly compelling, very funny, and has more truth than one would guess it could have.

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  50. coozledad said on October 31, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    I’ve had a couple of arguments with some angry Republicans at the polls, and if I didn’t already have some kind of vicious cold and feel like shit anyway, it would probably make me feel sad. As it is, I just feel like doing what I had a splendid opportunity to do today, which was demonstrate my immaturity to a group of young people.
    One of the local Democratic party people teaches high school, and he needed our beater of a truck to use as an anchor for his Young Dems club to march in the homecoming parade. My wife drove, and we loaded up the back of the truck with kids shouting and throwing candy along the parade route. I hung out the window of the truck taking pictures and occasionally shouting stuff like “Vote for hope: Not for the dope!” and “Keep the money in the shack. Don’t send it to Iraq!” (The nice thing about parades is you’re always running up on fresh victims who only realize you’re a yammering idiot a second or two after you’ve passed them.)
    The poor kids on the truck got the sad, sad sight of an old man who’s been in opposition too long and has become steadily unhinged. I think they had enough of the residuum of adolescent cruelty to enjoy the spectacle of it, at least mildly.

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  51. MaryRC said on October 31, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    I’m with Kate. Peanut butter, yes. Peanuts, no.

    But it can only be peanut butter on bread, with or without jelly. Not with or in anything else.

    Reese’s cups — waste of chocolate. Satay sauce — waste of whatever it is that the sauce covers. Peanut butter cookies — bleccch.

    I think there’s something about the saltiness and oiliness of peanuts that is moderated by the blandness and sweetness of the bread, but overwhelms anything else.

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  52. brian stouder said on October 31, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    coozledad – you’re OK!

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  53. Gasman said on October 31, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    As for the “Hard Day’s Night” chord being the single most recognizable chord in rock, I’m not so sure. I’ve been a guitarist for 40 years and a recording engineer for about 28 and I’d never heard that old saw until today. I also know about using FFT (Fast Fourier Transfer) analysis and it won’t reveal instrumentation, only frequency. My trained ears don’t hear a piano. I’m not saying it’s not there, I’m just saying I don’t hear it. So much of the article sounds like crap, both on a musical and recording engineering level.

    As a guitarist, I can think of a way to easily get a 12 string Rick to sound like that – scordatura, or re-tuning. Retune it for the initial chord only. George Martin is a classically trained musician and a recording engineer in the European tonmeister tradition, as such, he was very inventive with overdubbing, reverse playback, and other recording techniques that were at that time cutting edge. Martin would have been quick to use a scordatura guitar. I might be wrong, but it doesn’t sound like much of a mystery.

    Has anybody thought to ask Ringo or Paul?

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  54. Catherine said on October 31, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    The Male Pattern Optimism thing is pretty annoying… but Seth Rogen is pretty funny, and in my book funny is approximately equal to sexy.

    They have to really be funny, though, not Ray Romano-funny.

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  55. Linda said on October 31, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Heard about the death of Studs Terkle today, and it makes me way sad. He would have enjoyed seeing Obama get elected. I sincerely hope I don’t have to get as old as he was to see good governance come back on a federal level.

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  56. MaryRC said on October 31, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Imagine if James Franco played Zack, and Miri was an out-of-shape woman with bad skin and a big honker. Can there be that much of a double standard when it comes to actors’ looks?

    Yeah, I had the same response to that one too. Do male movie critics (and viewers) all look like Seth Rogan but think they’re James Franco, is that it?

    But although I’ve enjoyed their performances I’ve never particularly thought of Tom Hanks or Justin Long as
    dreamboat-league either.

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  57. joodyb said on October 31, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    This east of river Twin Town is full of Ray Romanos, lemme tell ya. I don’t even think the phrase ‘god’s gift to women’ is funny any more, it’s so true. oddly Old Country, in the annoying way.

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  58. Hooiser said on October 31, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    JTP didn’t show up in Defiance, OH? But 4,000 school kids did. If my kids had been shuttled off to a McCain rally I’d be mad as hell. My tax payer $ spent on one-sided political claptrap. Will as much time and money be spent ‘teaching’ the opponents ideals? Why not? Does the Defiance Public School System accept federal funding? Someone should investigate that!

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  59. Jolene said on October 31, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    I thought that field trip to the McCain rally was kind of odd, too. I don’t mind the idea of the visit, in general. One could make an argument that it’s a form of civic participation that’s worth witnessing and that the older kids, at least, will always remember it. But there must have been some provision for exposure to the other side. Have any of you Buckeyes read or heard anything about this?

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  60. Gasman said on October 31, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Did the Defiance School Board get approval from every parent? I’m betting not. Sounds blatantly illegal to me.

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  61. beb said on October 31, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Imagine if James Franco played Zack, and Miri was an out-of-shape woman with bad skin and a big honker. Can there be that much of a double standard when it comes to actors’ looks?

    Can anyone explain Sarah Jessica Parker’s career. What a honker she has, and nothing else is attractive either.

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  62. MichaelG said on October 31, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Sad about Studs Terkel but he was 96. That’s all you get. He was one of the truly greats.

    “Male Pattern Optimism” is a terrific phrase. I love Lisa de Moraes.

    I like peanuts and I like peanut butter. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are too sweet for me. My teeth curl up in the fetal position when I eat one.

    Mark, it’s amazing how you and your Republican brethren willfully miss the point. Morality to you folks means “If you don’t go to jail, it’s OK”. Nothing about legality, nothing about what’s good or bad, right or wrong, nothing about what’s honorable or not. Simply jail or no. Just ask that brave and honorable American I. Lewis Libby. No modern Republican would ever do anything merely because it was the decent thing to do. The right wing ideology has to be served first.

    To explain: Nancy’s point was not that it was legal or illegal to toss suspected Obama supporters; it was that the Republicans were shooting themselves in the foot in any effort to attract college age voters in a college town. But that’s OK. You don’t ordinarily go to jail for shooting yourself in the foot.

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  63. Linda said on October 31, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    Yeah, MichaelG, Studs was lucky to have lived that long. But if he could only have lived a few days longer, so see the great party that will unfold in his town.

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  64. coozledad said on October 31, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    I think this is probably a symptom of my age group, but I find most women attractive, unless they’ve suffered some grave physical misfortune. And then me and alcohol can work something out. Then there’s the whole personality thing. If I’m going to have an imaginary relationship with a woman, she’d better goddamned well be a Madame De Stael in the bed as well as the salon. I think I’ve lost track of this.
    What is it with folks believing that image conscious people have sex that resembles ours? I just have to say that women are the ones who have to do more than their fair share of of Matterhorn climbing in the “fucking the uglies” department, and that Ghandi is totally overrated as a humanitarian.

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  65. Catherine said on October 31, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    I think we need to relax about the field trip. I’m assuming that permission slips were in place and anyone who wanted to opt out, could. Any school district that doesn’t follow that protocol is asking for a world of hurt. A school in SF recently sent a first grade class on a field trip to the wedding of their female first grade teacher to her longtime female companion, in City Hall. They had the protocol in place and 2 families opted out. The asst principal’s point was, it’s a teachable moment, so I OKed it. I think the same goes for any rally in a presidential campaign. Yes, even Bob Barr’s (she said through gritted teeth).

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  66. Gasman said on October 31, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Remember, we’re talking Defiance, Ohio. Not exactly the bastion of constitutional scholarship. I would not assume that they had universal parental consent.

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  67. MichaelG said on November 1, 2008 at 12:32 am

    Yeah, you’re right about the timing, Linda.

    Interesting how as I’ve gotten older, the things I find attractive in women have grown and changed.

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  68. mark said on November 1, 2008 at 1:45 am

    Michael G.-

    Perhaps you should read the thread again. Nancy asked “why, why, why” and I gave my opinion as to the why. I said nothing about the legality until moe asked me to cite legal precedent. I don’t think I commented on the morality of the act at all, other than to respond “fair criticism” to Jolene’s statement that we don’t need another president who plays only to hand picked crowds. You go ahead and worry about the morality of it; I’m still stuck on the morality of 1 in every 100 US adults (and 1 in 10 adult black males) residing in a jail or prison, genocide in Darfur, alcohol and cigarette taxes (and lotteries) that knowingly burden the poorest, and a few other things.

    And of course who can argue with your assertion that “No modern Republican would ever do anything merely because it was the decent thing to do.” We all know that no soldier killed, wounded or even knowingly endangered in the course of protecting a comrade or a civilian was a Republican. The police and firefighters that climbed up the twin towers were all Democrats or perhaps Independents; the Republicans were in hiding or kicking the injured. The hundreds of thousands who volunteer an hour or two each week to tutor a child have never cast a Republican ballot. Modern Republicans don’t kiss their mothers goodbye, open a door for another, give a word of encouragement, or say thank you without an ulterior motive.

    And I’ll bet you stand behind Obama in his desire to change the tone of our political discourse. Way, way, way behind him.

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  69. Connie said on November 1, 2008 at 8:53 am

    John, thanks for the lovely compliment.

    Coozledad you crack me up.

    Male pattern optimism did too. I know lots of those guys.

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  70. moe99 said on November 1, 2008 at 11:03 am

    mark, go back and read the posts. you’re trending into victimology territory with your reshuffle of the facts.

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  71. MichaelG said on November 1, 2008 at 11:43 am

    I’ll stick by what I said concerning Nancy’s original post, Mark. Things became muddied when you started wringing your hands about poor Sen. McCain’s First Amendment right to speak only to people who love him. I somehow missed the change of topic to Darfur, prison racism, drugs, etc.

    As far as Republicans and decency go, you’ve created your own reductio ad absurdum. Once again here as above, in a typical burst of Republican rhetoric, you throw out clouds of BS to both avoid and fog the issue. Again: you say you are a lawyer. The way you constantly require somebody to draw a picture for you makes me glad you’re not mine. I was talking about Republican politicians, Mark, not cops, not G.I.s , not firemen. But you really knew that, didn’t you.

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  72. Catherine said on November 1, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Gasman, looks like the Defiance SD did get parental permission. Article doesn’t say whether anyone opted out: http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/webwatch/2008/10/ohio_students_bussed_to_mccain.html

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  73. Crabby said on November 1, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    George Harrison said he and John played Fadd9, Paul played D on the D string at the 12th fret. I have the same model guitar as George was playing, a Ric 360/12 and Fadd9 sounds right on it (but not so much on just a 6-string). I like and play a lot of Byrd’s songs so a Ric 12 is a must-have for me for that characteristic jangle-y tone.

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  74. Gasman said on November 1, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    The political quote of the day is dedicated to those Republicans who cannot tolerate opposing thought, to those who find it impossible to compete in the open marketplace of ideas, to those who must denigrate their opponents as socialists, communists, or as friends and allies of terrorists:

    “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” – Thurgood Marshall

    I guess their conduct pays themselves the opposite of the “highest tribute.”

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