A few words about words.

I’m criminally tired today, to the point that a third cup of coffee is not the solution. What is? Short Attention Span Bloggage Theater, that’s what!

A lede that made me laugh:

British Oscar winner Kate Winslet has revealed exclusively to marie claire magazine that she was bullied as a child and lived with the nickname ‘Blubber’.

When I started as a freelancer, I thought maybe I’d pitch some stuff to women’s magazines, even though other freelancers warned me off with waving arms — “they’re run by insane people, they make ridiculous assignments, they change their minds when you’re 90 percent done and expect you to redo the whole thing for no more money, and they take forever to pay.” I never did much pitching to them, as it turned out; they didn’t like my ideas, so I turned my efforts elsewhere. The only person I’ve even heard of who is successful with the lady books writes under a pseudonym, so as not to sully her more upmarket reputation as an respected essayist.

But mostly I’m discouraged by, you know, reading them. Someone sat down at a keyboard and had to actually write that stuff about Kate Winslet. I hope they had as much fun writing as I did reading. It’s the “has revealed exclusively” that slays me every time, that Hedda Hopper/Deadline USA/stop-the-presses usage that only serves to underline the triviality of the revelation. It’s a staple on the gossip blogs. Someone is always revealing something exclusively to some ink-stained hack. In fact, I think they’ll keep calling themselves ink-stained hacks well into this century, long after ink has gone the way of quill pens.

That was my favorite part of “Shakespeare in Love” — the scenes of Will at work, sharpening his pens, dipping and scratching, the ink gradually spreading up his fingers. You had to be motivated to be a writer, once. Which reminds me of my favorite passage from that Christopher Buckley piece we discussed earlier in the week:

He fired up his computers. He hunched unsteadily over his keyboard. I hovered behind, ready to catch him if he pitched forward.

“I’m going to have to dictate to you,” he said.

“I’m a little rusty at WordStar,” I said. “It’s been a quarter-century or so.”

Pup still used the word-processing system he first learned in the early 1980s. Generations of his computer gurus had had to install this antiquated system in his increasingly sophisticated computers, which were like F-22 fighter jets with the controls of a Sopwith Camel.

WordStar, jeez. I hadn’t thought of that in a thousand years. I can’t even remember what word processor I used back in the Cenozoic era, on my very first IBM PC — WordPerfect, maybe? The thing required so many floppy swaps that I went back to the typewriter after the novelty wore off, and stayed there for a few years, until we bought our first Mac and adopted MS Word, a program I have come to loathe. Lately I’ve been doing most of my in-and-out writing on Google Docs. Walter Feigenson has an amusing recollection on his intersection with the Buckleys and WordStar, prompted by the same passage.

Right before my last Mac died I downloaded WriteRoom, which is sort of like WordStar for those of us who suffer from fatigue-induced ADD — green letters, black screen, no distractions.

Finally, Jim at Sweet Juniper is not only ten times the reporter I am, he puts me to shame with his curiosity. He’s the full-time dad to two little kids, and he still finds time to photograph dozens of bottles of hobo pee. If you don’t click that link, you will be sorry.

I was working my way through this story about today’s GOP dilemma — a broader party or a purer one? the headline asks — when it occurred to me this is exactly what some were saying, with great pleasure, when the current pope was elected. It would be a smaller church once Benedict XVI drove out all the lesser souls, but a purer one, and yes, that was exactly the word they used — purer. And while the Catholic church and the Republican party have very different missions in the world, it’s interesting that both are having the very same discussion, isn’t it?

I’d make my own observations about it, but as I may have told you: I’m tired. You feel free.

And now it’s 10 a.m. Work beckons.

Posted at 10:04 am in Current events, Detroit life, Media |

41 responses to “A few words about words.”

  1. Connie said on April 30, 2009 at 10:19 am

    My first was PFS Write, accompanied by the wonderful and magical PFS File. No GUI of course, remember those type face codes that you actually had to imbed into your doc. Then years of Word Perfect along with Quattro Pro, both of which I still miss after 9 years in a Microsoft shop. And Groupwise as well.

    My first spreadsheet was Multiplan, on an IBM PC with two floppy drives. The software was on two floppies, the help files were on another, and your data on yet another. We called it flipping floppies. Oh how I loved my first hard drive, all of 40 megs.

    You know if you stare at a color then look at a white wall you will see the complementary color of the one at which you were looking. I would spend many hours working on spreadsheets on that green on black monitor, and as I drove home the white stripes on the street were all hot pink.

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  2. MitchAlbumFan said on April 30, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Write Room/Dark Room (PC version) are Godsends. No other single gimmick has upped my writing productivity more than Dark Room.

    Okay, lemme get this straight…

    – The Left moves as far to the left as they can move.

    – They put all their capital behind MoveOn.org, the militant conscience of the Left.

    – The Left runs the most Liberal candidate possible without applying jumper cables to the decomposing chest of Saul Alinski.

    – The Left moves to their ideological base.

    – The Left wins, and wins, and wins.

    AND THEN the Left – THE LEFT, FOR GOD’S SAKE! – Advises THE RIGHT to chill out, eschew their core values, and move more toward the milquetoast center.

    Riiiiiiiight. Yeah. That’s a great idea. Thanks for the advice. The last two Republican pro-spending, pro-immigration, quasi-Socialists that either campaigned for or occupied the White House worked out so well.

    The Republicans ran a douche candidate in ’08. Period. In ’04 it was a battle between two douche candidates. Dubya had the advantage of being “the douche we know.”

    If the Republicans want to win… if anybody wants to win, don’t run a douche candidate.

    Obama is an inexperienced, naive hypocrite who will actively damage the long term fiscal health of this country in his four year term.

    He is not, however, a douche.

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 30, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Ahhhh — Commodore 64/128, and i thought i was in the future, with my air car waiting around the next corner (by ’85, tops). Paper Clip for wp, Calc Result for spreadsheet (and generating some of my first real income in college), and i was slow to go to WordPerf because i was already stuck in my ways.

    I had forgotten about the weird patterns on the white walls as you went out for more coffee! Pink stripes and more . . . and no drugs involved.

    There was some other C128 word processing program i had to use occasionally on another guy’s computer, but i can’t recall the name. We used it when we were generating text as Dan Lawrence was writing “Telengard.” Good times, good times.

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  4. brian stouder said on April 30, 2009 at 11:00 am

    This whole “smaller/purer” experiment is about to get a real-world test.

    We are told (continually) that bankruptcy is a positive good (while government has NO legitimate role to play in the operation of ‘free markets’*) ; contracts can be changed and deadwood can be cleared, etc etc.

    And now Chrysler is reportedly going to declare bankruptcy.

    In the most crass terms, I think President Obama and his administration have played this perfectly; they made every effort – including a literal last-minute effort to stave off bankruptcy, before some hedge-fund guys(!!??) who hold bonds NIXED the deal and sent the whole shebang into bankruptcy.

    Maybe this will work out just as well as the acolytes of the Immaculate Markets fervently believe that it must….in any case, the bet has been called

    *I think the term “free market” is a sloppy solopsism (of sorts); what does it really mean? “Free” of government, I suppose – but is THAT real freedom? What if your business has copyrights and patents? We want those respected and protected, right? And if we COULD imagine a market totally free of government, what are the odds that it would consist of one massive monopoly, with one giant player that makes all the rules? (my guess: 99.99% probable)

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  5. JPK said on April 30, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Oh my god — Telengard. Now there’s a blast from the past. First computer game, via the Commodore 64 of course, that I ever found myself obsessing over all night and well into next mornings. With a friend of mine. In the basement at his parents’ place. Good grief. Memories.

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  6. coozledad said on April 30, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I’m whupped too. Yesterday were blessed(??) with another calf, and it wasn’t interested in standing up for several hours, so we were already somewhat distressed about that. Calpurnia, the heifer, went into heat, and Llewd, the bull, proceeded to jump the fence. Tammie saw him from the back porch window while he was still ensnared between the crumpled woven wire and a couple of strands of barbed wire.
    She managed to get to Calpurnia and snap a chain on her halter just as Llewd managed to free his testicles from the fence. When I got there Llewd was just about to mount his daughter and make us a lovely, line bred two-headed state fair attraction, while Tammie tried to pull her away on the chain, getting her thumb caught in the links and pretty well mashed. I just ran up and got between Llewd and the object of his desire, fully conscious that I might be about to have a look at my own intestines. I grew up hearing that you didn’t want to be between the bull and the heifer at this time, and an old James Ellroy quote kept running through my head, something to the effect of “One thing you can say about the guy at the bottom of a Mongolian clusterfuck: Dude’s gonna get fucked.”
    But he didn’t notice me. I was able to hold him up at the gate to the lower pasture while Calpurnia escaped with her chastity.
    In the meantime one of the loopier sheep had busted into the apple orchard and we had to drag our already tired asses over and get the brainless fucker out before it put paid to a couple of months hard labor.
    I hope the neighbors can’t hear very well, or they’d have heard stuff like this over the way:
    “You can’t fuck her-She’s your Goddamn daughter!”
    “He’s your daddy, you stupid bitch! We don’t need another moron!”
    “Llewd, I’ll be damned if I don’t shoot your ass! Get the fuck back in that fence”
    “Oh fuck! Sheep’s in the orchard. Can I get the gun, now?”
    “Get the fuck out of here you little bastard, or I’ll fucking cook your ass!”
    “Yeah, go ahead and eat some trees, you dead motherfucker!”

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  7. moe99 said on April 30, 2009 at 11:31 am

    C’dad. There is no response after your diary entry. What a day!

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  8. brian stouder said on April 30, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Obama is an inexperienced, naive hypocrite who will actively damage the long term fiscal health of this country in his four year term. He is not, however, a douche.

    I think that was about as close to a chilled-out “compliment” as the president will ever get from Dwight (et al)!

    I don’t understand the “inexperienced, naive hypocrite” part…”inexperience” is fair enough, I suppose – given that anyone who’s not an incumbent will make an inexperienced president…but what is a naive hypocrite?

    I can envision a naive pollyanna or a naive Cassandra; but a ‘naive hypocrite’ would have to be a sideways mix, where we somehow know that the person naively believes one thing but then hypocritically acts in another way…???

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  9. Rana said on April 30, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Nancy, have you heard about Scrivener? It’s one of those nicely efficient with just enough bells and whistles writing programs. It’s mostly aimed at screenwriters, but it works well as a regular word-processing program too.

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  10. Catherine said on April 30, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Coozledad, I practically spit my breakfast yogurt onto the computer screen. So, I just got an email from a friend who teaches 6th grade. She’s on a weeklong trip with her class right now, and her account of it sounded weirdly like your day…minus the incest.

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  11. mark said on April 30, 2009 at 12:48 pm


    The government has a very important role to play in the market. It has to protect and enforce contracts (with blind-fold in place) and it has to prevent force and fraud.

    Some of the Chrysler bond holders, who happen to be hedge funds, are apparently being offered what they think is considerably less than they would get in a bankruptcy. Other bond holders, banks, are OK with this deal. Of course banks are currently getting 0% money and all sorts of goodies from the government. Hedge funds are not.

    The UAW (but not the retirees, including my father) is getting far more (under the Obama proposal) in equity than anyone else. They get a multiple of their investment, not a reduced percentage.

    The problem is with government picking the winners and losers. Republicans perfected this black art over the last 8 years, with special tax breaks and protectionist legislation for favorite industries. Forget investing in plant, training and research, invest in lobbyists and congressmen.

    Those hedge funds that Obama just demonized on TV hold money for pension funds and private investors, states and municipalities. They have a fiduciary responsibility to their customers. How do you tell them “We took 25 cents on the dollar because the President asked us to, instead of the 40 cents we could get in a bankruptcy?”

    Government wants to pick the winners- banks, unions, favorite industries. But somebody has to take the loss for the last decade of foolishness. So far, the answer has been to let the next generation of taxpayer take the hit.

    The GM situation may be even more of a nightmare. Many of the GM bond holders hedged their investment by buying credit default swaps on the GM debt they hold. They may actually do very well if GM defaults/bankruptcy because they have a claim on their “insurance.”

    Of course, that claim most likely goes back to AIG, which has been needing constant infusions of tax dollars to pay claims. Just to complicate it further, some of those bonds, and CDS rights, belong to foreign governments. Some of those governments could shake our house of cards by cutting back on their purchase of treasury bills.

    It seems to me we can either follow contract law or let the taxpayer absorb all of the losses. Obama can demonize “speculators” (also known as lenders, investors and savers)all he wants, but some of them are apparently willing to take their contract rights and go to court. Should be interesting.

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  12. Jenflex said on April 30, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    CDad, that was the biggest laugh I have had in a long time.

    Anyone else remember Bank Street Writer…on an Apple ][?

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  13. Jean S said on April 30, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Cdad, I have a serious case of the giggles. Thankyas!

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  14. Gasman said on April 30, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    I’m glad to see that you are, as always, deliberating eschewing hyperbole.

    “The Left moves as far to the left as they can move.”

    You have probably never interacted with anyone more liberal than I am, and this administration, let alone the Democratic Party is nowhere near being considered truly liberal, let alone “as far to the left as they can move.” There is just no factual basis for that statement.

    It would also be major news if the Dems ever resembled a truly organized party. We tend to be all over the map. There has never been much party discipline exhibited or recognized. The marching in unison stuff is more the style of the those on the right. We simply can’t be bothered with that level of conformity.

    One of the reasons that the Republicans in general and the conservatives in particular (they are fast becoming synonymous) are a dying breed is because of this seemingly pathological need to employ inflated hyperbole when describing the other side. This need to exaggerate is a self defeating strategy. Like the currency in Zimbabwe, inflation renders your words meaningless. The lies and the floridly embellished rhetoric no longer attract attention. So the right’s strategy is to become even more infantile and unbelievable. You guys have cried “wolf” far too many times. It is not working.

    Scarcely over 20% of the electorate identifies themselves as Republican. That statistic is self inflicted. If the Republican Party is ever to become a truly national party again it must broaden, not narrow its base. Yet, what passes as the brainpower within the party seems hell-bent on perpetuating the circular firing squad strategy that has proved to be so successful as of late.

    As Dr. Phil might say, “How’s that workin’ out for ya’?”

    I actually hope that the Republicans, or whatever is left of them after the blood letting is finished, can emerge as a cohesive party that offers up something other ‘No, no, no, no, no, NO!” It would be nice to have an alternative.

    As it stands, I cannot in good conscience even consider voting for a party that is willing to trash our Constitution, our values, and even our national security for the sake of maintaining near dictatorial single party rule. That strikes me as the epitome of what it means to be unAmerican.

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  15. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 30, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    JPK, my apologies for your lost hours — if you made offerings at the Temple of Anubis, i am proudly somewhat to blame. (And if you met Thoth-Amon as an NPC, that’s me; talk about misspent hours.)

    Then there’s the reality-based world of CDad and birthin’ them babies. Huzzah for doing some real activity amongst all our virtual pixel-pushing.

    (Gasman, you’ll recall Will Rogers – “I’m not a member of any organized political party, i’m a Democrat!” If Mitch/Dwight thinks the denizens here on the left are as left as it gets, he don’t get out much, do he?)

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  16. jeff borden said on April 30, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Dwight is just a tiresome hack. I’m probably left of Gasman socially but would prefer a more conservative approach to our finances. What Dwight and his pals up on Planet Wingnuttia will never process is that President Obama is a moderate, which used to be a good thing in this country until the loonies decided it wasn’t. Who can forget the lovely metaphor offered by John Ashcroft that the only things you find in the middle of the road are moderates and dead skunks.

    Calling a brilliant, well-traveled and well-read man like President Obama “naive” after eight years of being led by a man who had only left the USA twice to visit Mexico, who was governor of a state where the governor’s position is largely ceremonial, who had failed at every single business venture he’d ever undertaken makes me wonder what word Dwight used to describe George W. Bush??

    The GOP is going to remain a player in the Old Confederacy and the sparsely populated Plains states. Good thing Dwight likes grits and sweet iced tea, right Dwight??

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  17. Gasman said on April 30, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    jeff borden,
    That would be a feat if you were socially left of me. When asked to describe myself politically I said the following:

    Imagine a linear representation of the political spectrum. We see the familiar faces: Gore Vidal, Molly Ivins, Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, oh, and look, there’s Al Franken. Excuse me. SENATOR Al Franken. As we move further toward the left we encounter Ghandi, then Buddha. A bit later is Jesus Christ Himself. Someone asks “Where’s Greg?” (That is my given name, oddly not Gasman.) Then someone spots a figure way down the left on the horizon and says, “oh, there he is.”

    Having said that, I have never voted “straight ticket” in my life. I frequently vote all Democratic, but as a matter of principle don’t use the straight ticket option. I am liberal, but I am also pragmatic and am open to considering differing philosophies if they are presented fairly and honestly. I do not and will not, however, compromise on issues of civil liberties or social justice. To do so cheapens our democracy and our standing in the world.

    Disagree with Obama if you must, but one charge that absolutely cannot be leveled at him is naivete. Most of the right leaning talking heads have given him high marks for intellect and composure. He is a very skilled politician who appears to be very shrewd in his dealings with the members of Congress from both parties.

    It is sure nice to have a president who is articulate, thoughtful, calm, and apparently truthful. A welcome change from the swaggering imbecile that spent eight long years flipping off the world. The experiment with having an arrogant, ignorant liar as president was not a winning strategy for anyone.

    I also was pleased to hear President Obama restate that, yes indeed as the rest of the world knows, warterboarding is torture.

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  18. Sue said on April 30, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Cooz, stop complaining. Yesterday one of my cats shredded a whole roll of toilet paper. On the carpet, no less. I’m exhausted.

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  19. John said on April 30, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Jeff B.,

    Not to defend the man but merely to correct the record:
    “Bush’s foreign travels have been limited to three visits to Mexico, two trips to Israel, a three-day Thanksgiving visit in Rome with one of his daughters in 1998 and a six-week excursion to China with his parents in 1975 when his father was the U.S. envoy to Beijing.”

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  20. Jim in FL said on April 30, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Don’t forget GWB’s trip to Iraq one Thanksgiving, to server the troops a turkey table decoration.

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  21. Gasman said on April 30, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Olympia Snowe, one of the two remaining Republican moderates within the Senate said the following yesterday in the NYT:

    There is no plausible scenario under which Republicans can grow into a majority while shrinking our ideological confines and continuing to retract into a regional party. Ideological purity is not the ticket back to the promised land of governing majorities — indeed, it was when we began to emphasize social issues to the detriment of some of our basic tenets as a party that we encountered an electoral backlash.

    We can’t continue to fold our philosophical tent into an umbrella under which only a select few are worthy to stand. Rather, we should view an expansion of diversity within the party as a triumph that will broaden our appeal.

    If some adults do not emerge from within the GOP, and very soon, they may well become nothing more than a relic of American history.

    Note, it’s not just liberals making the charge.

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  22. LAMary said on April 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    I don’t want to hear about it Cooz. I’m on Jury Duty. I’m sitting here waiting to be placed on another panel. First one I was on this morning disappeared when we went to lunch break and the defendant decided to change his plea to guilty.
    Catherine, what he was guilty of was holding up Portos in Burbank. His fellow gang members all got found guilty two courtooms down, so he figured his chances were not good.

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  23. moe99 said on April 30, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    I asked someone who knows a bit about hedge funds for his reaction to the statement that interfering with what hedge funds are entitled to hurts retirees, and this was his response:

    “I think that is extremely unlikely for almost anybody, and certainly not true for any substantial number of people. Only a bizarrely incompetent hedge fund would be so heavily invested in Chrysler bonds (or any other specific investment) with somebody’s retirement money that even a total loss of that investment would affect anybody’s ability to retire. Individuals who could wind up in that situation wouldn’t be on a list of qualified hedge fund investors in the first place, and those whose retirement funds invested with a hedge fund wouldn’t have all of their money with any one hedge fund, either. There would almost certainly be multiple layers of diversification between a potential retiree and Chrysler bonds.

    What is likely true is that the current holders of Chrysler bonds bought them after “the troubles” became apparent. People who had retirement money heavily invested in Chrysler bonds should have been steered away from taking or maintaining a heavy position in something like that a long time ago, and would likely have sold and taken a loss (or a paper loss measured from some high water mark in the past), which is how the “vulture funds” and hedge funds that own those bonds today acquired them.”

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  24. Catherine said on April 30, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Not Porto’s! I hope no potato balls were harmed.

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  25. coozledad said on April 30, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Jury duty does suck. I think I’d rather have a sprain. Even a broken toe.

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  26. joodyb said on April 30, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    cooz, you made my day. i’m guessing your neighbors are already pretty understanding or they’d have left by now.

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  27. alex said on April 30, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Edit: Shot the moon, then drew up my pants. Fifteen minutes of fame, reconsidered.

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  28. LA Mary said on April 30, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Actually it was Mara Salvatrucha, a pretty vicious gang, that held up Portos, tied up the staff, and used violence on some. We didn’t get the details of the violence. This all happened in December of 2007. I don’t remember it, but there was a very tough looking guy sitting there, getting the vibe that the prospective jurors all had a fondness for potato balls and would not take lightly any crimes inflicted on the purveyors of those potato balls.

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  29. coozledad said on April 30, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    I thought it was pretty good, Alex. I just wish there was an edit feature for everyday life. I’d have to set up a refrigerator closer to the computer, though.
    For beverages and snacks.

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  30. mark said on April 30, 2009 at 11:11 pm


    In 2005, 15% of all public pension plan monies were invested with hedge funds. Don’t know the current figure, probably less. But that doesn’t include corporate pension plans and mutual funds.

    And I don’t care if all the money in every hedge fund belongs to the King of Saudi Arabia. It’s not Obama’s money and the hedge fund has a fiduciary duty not to give it away. If Obama wants to buy an auto company for the UAW, just raise taxes on the top one-half of one percent who are going to pay for everything else.

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  31. brian stouder said on May 1, 2009 at 12:06 am

    Well, so long Justice Souter!

    And now let us see what ‘naive hypocrite’ President Obama can come up with.

    Presumeably he has a long list of possibilities, thanks to his own background and experience, not even to mention his wife’s.

    You know, seriously, it would be intriguing to name someone like Hillary Clinton to the Court. Since she has actually run for and won elective office, her understanding of our democracy would be tremendously illuminating in that exceptionally powerful and pretty comprehensively undemocratic institution…

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  32. Gasman said on May 1, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Since President Obama is as far to the left as he can be, I’m sure that he’ll nominate William Ayers to the Supreme Court. After all, that’s been his plan all along. I’ll bet Al Franken and/or Keith Olbermann are next on the list for his next appointments.

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  33. CrazyCatLady said on May 1, 2009 at 12:52 am

    Hobo pee. What a collection of liquid sunshine! Oddly beautiful, yet repugnant nonetheless. It reminds me of the ‘Trucker Bombs’ I occasional notice on the freeways in Detroit. Pop, water, Gatorade or ice tea bottles filled with golden yellow liquid, tossed at the side of the road by truckers on a long haul. Or maybe even fearful drivers avoiding stops in town. Where ever they come from, there they are. Sparkling in the sun…YUCK!!!!!!!!

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  34. Gasman said on May 1, 2009 at 12:56 am

    Jeff (tmmo),
    A very surprising statistic: according to the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, regular church goers are more likely to support torture.

    More than half of people who attend services at least once a week — 54 percent — said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is “often” or “sometimes” justified. Only 42 percent of people who “seldom or never” go to services agreed…

    White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified — more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.

    I am appalled and very much surprised by those numbers. I’m not sure how you could have even a passing familiarity with the New Testament and the life and words of Jesus Christ and endorse that philosophy.

    However, as a Presbyterian, I was pleased to read the following:

    The religious group most likely to say torture is never justified was Protestant denominations — such as Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians — categorized as “mainline” Protestants, in contrast to evangelicals. Just over three in 10 of them said torture is never justified.

    Interesting. I would not have thought that torture would be a very valuable evangelical tool.

    At First Presbyterian in Santa Fe, we had a “torture is wrong” banner up until President Obama officially banned the practice. I cannot not think of anything more antithetical to the Gospel than the notion that any professed disciple of Christ could be content to endorse such barbarous inhumanity. Whom would Jesus torture?

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  35. moe99 said on May 1, 2009 at 1:54 am

    mark–you’ve not proven anything with respect to hedge fund money being invested a) on behalf of pensions (2005 is 4 years ago, if you hadn’t noticed) and b)in Chrysler bonds. IIRC most investment in Chrysler bonds is of recent vintage, i.e. the bond ownership has turned over, so anyone who curently holds it, had to know there was more than enough risk when they bought into it. Given that the bondholders are late to the party, their petulance strikes me as just that.

    In fact, in thinking about the plague of entitlement sensibility, epitomized in the Chrysler bondholders, it seems to me that it goes much further in current society and can be ascribed as the root cause of the evangelicals’ belief in the efficacy and legality of torture. This sense of entitlement can also be seen in the current Republicans’ self destruction. The world owes them a living, one that is living large.

    Forget others’ rights, if it interferes with their god given right to make a buck at the corporation’s (and the workers’) expense. And forget others’ rights if we need to get information and justification for our going to war against Iraq in 2003, particularly if they are just Muslims.

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  36. Dexter said on May 1, 2009 at 3:10 am

    It’s huge news that Justice Souter is retiring…a repugg-appointee, he’s been a friend of the working class for nearly two decades…he wants to return permanently to his Weare, NH home. The home is modest, to say the least. google it if you’re interested.
    Word is that Obama will appoint a woman, as 76 year-old Ginsburg stands alone .
    She is not retiring until her 80’s she says.

    Surprising , to me, is that the UAW will own 55% of Chrysler-Fiat USA when they emerge from bankruptcy in June.

    I do not see the beauty of the piss bottles. They are just piss bottles, which litter the US highways, but not like they used to, around here anyway.
    It never was all that bad here, but I have been places where piss bottles were all over the roadway-sides.

    Most disgusting parking lot I have seen was the Motel 6 in Charleston, WV…from our car to the office my wife and I saw several used condoms just laying on the blacktop drive…we got there late, and the car-action was quite active …lots of occupied cars.
    One family were utilizing a hillbilly hot-tub…they had commandeered a garden hose and were running water into the back of their pickup truck, and the whole family were sitting in the bed of the truck, getting sprayed . They must have had a liner because the water was overflowing the bed.

    I remember when the fax machine was invented…Bob Greene wrote that it would change society in astounding ways.

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  37. Dexter said on May 1, 2009 at 3:12 am

    MAY DAY!
    The International Working Man’s holiday.

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  38. mark said on May 1, 2009 at 5:42 am

    Yes, moe, bond holders wanting to be repaid=torture loving evangelicals=muslim hating reublicans. Brilliant, and I hope the party was a lot of fun.

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  39. moe99 said on May 1, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Why mark, you’re straying into ad hominem territory! If that’s all you have….

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  40. moe99 said on May 1, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Bloomberg seems to agree that the hedge funds lost a big game of chicken they tried to play with Obama, and if they continue, they will garner even more opprobrium.


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  41. moe99 said on May 1, 2009 at 7:02 pm


    just a bit more info to put up here on the true nature of the Chrysler hedge fund investors for future reference.

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