A day away.

There comes a time, when one is burning the candle at both ends, when it’s wise to snuff out one end, at least. I’m wondering if it’s entirely healthy to be checking the iPhone for updates on how Obama did at Notre Dame when your only child is trying on swimsuits at Macy’s. Decided the president, and the world, could get along without me for the afternoon.

This was in Ann Arbor, by the way. We went over to deliver Saturday’s sleepover guest back home, and stayed to check out the fairy doors. We found two; here’s one:

Fairy door

Here’s a Flickr page compiled by someone with more time, initiative and enthusiasm for the Ann Arbor-ness of the whole fairy-door concept, something I can’t quite explain. Fortunately, others already have.

What’s so Ann Arbor about fairy doors? You’d have to be there, but let me put it this way: One of the places we found one was a bookstore called Crazy Wisdom, your basic alt-lifestyles depot, up to and including the upstairs tearoom for the monthly witches’ meeting. Their fairy door was in the astrology section, which in this place was a little like classic literature.

I love Ann Arbor. These are my peeps.

After checking out of the news cycle I tried very hard not to pay attention to Barry at the Dome, but it was impossible. My quick verdict: Meh, although what he said was probably all he could say, and it seemed to go over pretty well. If it had been my commencement, I’d have felt badly used — is there any other issue where everything that can be said, has been said? But some people made it the elephant in the room, and it had to be acknowledged. Dialogue? Good luck with that. The very reason this issue is still around is that some people think “dialogue” consists of saying one thing over and over, maybe changing the wording slightly, but giving not an inch. Entering this debate is like being slowly strangled to death.

I gave up my hopes for a compromise on reproductive-health issues when the so-called conscience clauses went on the table. In this day and age, I can scarcely imagine there’s a health-care worker out there “forced” to participate in abortions against their will, but I can bet there are a lot of pushy, nosy, pious little jerks behind pharmacy counters who can’t fill a prescription for birth-control pills without running to confession afterward, and to the extent this person’s “conscience” had to be protected — well, that’s where I leave the discussion table.

I’m a hard-liner now, and I learned it from example.

I see Randall Terry is a Catholic now. Talk about a fish the Pope should have thrown back in the rancid pond that spawned him. I covered the Fort Wayne Operation Rescue arrest-a-thon, back in the day, and I believe Terry was either there or bestowing his support from afar, like Burt Reynolds in “Citizen Ruth.” When H-hour came, I watched a woman crawl under the belly of a police horse to take her place on the welcome mat of the clinic they’d chosen to blockade. Now I’m going to see a person lose a hand, I thought, in the fraught few seconds it took a very nimble horse to pick his way through that mess of humanity without hurting anyone. These were some very bad people.

One of the local leaders, as I recall, had infertility issues in his marriage. He, too, thought birth-control should be illegal. Proud to be an American!

I have a dentist appointment in 20 minutes, so I best floss ‘n’ go. One bit of bloggage you will enjoy, from the Wall Street Journal: Why you should never ever ever ruin Scotch whiskey with ice, a position I can back 100 percent, and have ever since a nice lady waylaid me in the duty-free mall at Heathrow and poured me a little sample shot of 12-year-old Macallan, neat. It was as sweet as candy, as complex as a Russian novel. I haven’t taken ice, or water, in Scotch since. And I still drink Macallan. That was some effective marketing.

ADDED: Didn’t I once call myself journalism’s canary in a coal mine? Ahem:

For decades, successful newspaper reporters and editors have looked forward to university fellowships as a chance to take a mid-career sabbatical and recharge their batteries. But the crop of fellows set to enter this year’s most prestigious programs, whose names are just now being announced, shows how much that pattern is changing. …“People are afraid that if they leave, at a time when newspapers are laying people off, their jobs won’t be waiting when they come back — and they’re right to think that,” said Charles R. Eisendrath, director of the Knight-Wallace Fellows at Michigan.

Yes, I’d say they are. Still, I wouldn’t have traded that year in Ann Arbor for all the job security in the world. It was, in every good way, a life-changing experience.

Posted at 8:45 am in Current events |

83 responses to “A day away.”

  1. brian stouder said on May 18, 2009 at 9:29 am

    We went over to deliver Saturday’s sleepover guest back home, and stayed to check out the fairy doors.

    Well – we can match that! The girls and I loaded up and went to the (marvelous!) Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo on Sunday, and ended up ‘through the looking glass’! No kidding – we had just emerged from the Australia-After-Dark building (where the bats and the striped possum and the thing that looks like a porcupine reside), and we ran smack into the Queen of Hearts, and said hello to Alice, and snapped some photos with the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter, and then took in a 20 minute performance (by the Fort Wayne Ballet) that was simply sublime! No kidding – you could “go ask Alice”

    edit: the only thing was – after the performance, Chloe (who will be 5 next month) did theatrical twirls and jumps…the goats in the contact area liked that!

    866 chars

  2. jeff borden said on May 18, 2009 at 10:05 am

    As soon as right-to-lifers start advocating for the use of effective contraceptives as the first step in reducing abortions, I will take the anti-abortion movement more seriously. This will not happen because so much of the movement is invested in the notion that sex is solely for procreation. It’s easy to get the feeling that if these folks were ever successful in outlawing abortion, birth control pills, IUDs, condoms, etc. would be next on their hit list.

    Perhaps the O-man’s speech yesterday was not one of his more memorably eloquent, but this guy is still cooler than the other side of the moon. After eight years of stammering incoherence, it’s beyond refreshing to have someone who can speakly clearly and intelligently as the leader of the free world.

    766 chars

  3. Colleen said on May 18, 2009 at 10:40 am

    “After eight years of stammering incoherence, it’s beyond refreshing to have someone who can speakly clearly and intelligently as the leader of the free world.”

    Yes. This.

    IMO, we need to come at sex ed and the whole issue from what IS, not what we think should be. Teens will have sex. Contraception will fail. Contraception will not be used. We need clearer sex ed, and I think it needs to cover the FEELING part of it….as in, your brain may think you don’t want to do this when you are 15, but when things get hot and heavy and feeling good, it’s going to be hard to just say no. Witness all the “good Christian girls” who find themselve “in trouble”.

    667 chars

  4. jeff borden said on May 18, 2009 at 11:09 am


    This sounds like a “no brainer,” but so many of the right-to-life advocates are not only vehemently opposed to any kind of birth control, but also to the teaching of sex education. Generally, the reasoning is that if we talk about sex, the kids will get interested in it.

    I was blessed to have my sex education taught in my freshman year at an all boys Catholic high school by a no nonsense, no giggling kind of instructor. Lord knows my folks, bless them, did not want to undertake this mission. We heard straight talk, though I recall an extremely detailed examination of the many kinds of sexually transmitted diseases that awaited those who would choose to be promiscuous. (This was in the pre-AIDS, pre-herpes mid-1960s.)

    As you note, young people awash in hormones are going to make mistakes, no matter how much religious or moral training they have received. Look at the case of Bristol Palin, whose mother is a very public and very conservative Christian who is actively involved in the lives of her children. Yet this young lady still wound up pregnant while a high school student.

    I’m no fan of young teens hooking up for many, many reasons, but the fact is they are hooking up. If we accept this reality instead of wishing we were back in an “Ozzie & Harriet” world, we’d make sure all young people received honest, effective advice on contraception.

    1386 chars

  5. LA Mary said on May 18, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Brian, that porcupiney thing is an echidna (ee-kid-na). My kids spent many summers at Zoo Camp, and older son still claims echidnas are his favorite animal. Personally, I’m a snow leopard fan. Giraffes are a close second.

    221 chars

  6. brian stouder said on May 18, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Mary – Right you are! And the echidna was lunching rather energetically – normally we don’t see him move.

    The thing that makes us climb the hill and go to the Australian Adventure is the big aquariams where the sharks and rays are…and the jelly fish. They move in such an ethereal way – visually arresting, really.

    But an old fave of mine is the binturong (probably mis-spelled) – who is nocturnal and therefore almost always asleep when we see her. (looks like a mini-bear, and resides in the Indonesian Rain Forest area). But every once in a great while we happen upon her when she’s awake – which is funny stuff!

    Our giraffes are off display just now – a major new African Adventure area will have a grand opening in two weeks (complete with lions) – but when they return, we will be able to feed and interact with them.

    Of course, the monkeys and apes are always interesting and entertaining…but another great favorite of ours is the lemur (spelling?) area! Those creatures are non-stop!

    1007 chars

  7. coozledad said on May 18, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    There’s a new fossil find that suggests hominids evolved from a type of lemur.
    My wife used to feed the bush babies at the Psych Dept. at Duke, as part of her work/study program. She says they always reminded her of George Jones.Could it be the ancestors of country musicians diverged from hominidae millions of years ago?

    323 chars

  8. brian stouder said on May 18, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Could it be the ancestors of country musicians diverged from hominidae millions of years ago?

    It could be; I noted that a few penguins were determinedly humping each other ‘in broad daylight’ – mercifully off to one side and to the rear (that is – of the display area!); possibly ancestors of rock musicians spring from penguins, eh?*

    *And indeed – seeing ‘nature take its course’ prompted a few questions and remarks from the young folks, which dad responded to – and then it was time to see the sea lions, whereupon they (mercifully) dropped the subject.

    569 chars

  9. coozledad said on May 18, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I did a little substitute teaching for awhile, and filled in for a teacher’s aide during a seventh grade field trip to the zoo in Asheboro. At the baboon compound, a female was presenting her inflamed bottom to an elderly male. He kept picking his flaccid penis up, dropping it, and shaking his head dejectedly. I knew one of the kids would seize the opportunity to make an ass of me. I tried to get back toward the reptile exhibit, but one of the kids ambushed me and asked me to explain it. The pisser. I started talking about the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, and how if they just quit looking at it, things would return to normal.

    638 chars

  10. Dorothy said on May 18, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Brian your last paragraph (@ 8 above) reminded me of when we bought our third dog in 1995. We were chatting with his owners about his parentage just before we took him home. His mother was their English setter, Lacey. And the father of the pups was a very old Golden Retriever named Tucker who lived a few houses away. The owner told us that her kids alerted her to Lacey and Tucker’s behavior a few months previous with this announcement: MOM!! Tucker and Lacy are dancing!!!

    481 chars

  11. kayak woman said on May 18, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    I made a rare appearance at the Ann Arbor Hudson’s Macy’s on Saturday, kicking and screaming as I dragged myself in the door. I would much rather have been playing with my iPhone than looking for “business casual” clothing for my baggy old body. Although I’m sure I would have been doing something other than checking up on Obama at Notre Dame…

    363 chars

  12. Scout said on May 18, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    The irony of the thinking of those who believe that a return to the so-called traditional values of the Ozzie and Harriet years as a substitute for comprehensive sex ed and easily available contraception is that most first born children of that era were the product of a shotgun wedding. I submit myself as Exhibit A. Teen sex then, now and forever going forward is not something that will go away just because people with deeply held beliefs wish it would. Never gonna happen.

    479 chars

  13. Julie Robinson said on May 18, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Our rural Illinois school system taught contraception as an integral part of sex ed back in the early 70s. No controversy. What a surprise to move here and find out it was a big deal. No pregnancies in my class either. Okay, it was a small class, only 176, but still.

    My folks were like Jeff’s and didn’t want to talk, but since Mom was a librarian books would constantly appear on the bookshelf. They ran the gamut from the doctrinaire church stuff to Our Bodies, Ourselves.

    483 chars

  14. brian stouder said on May 18, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Dorothy – Too funny! But with the male lead having a name like “Tucker” – I thought the punchline was headed another way!

    And btw – the Mellon book I’ve been reading keeps making me wonder what you’d think of it; Pittsburgh is the genuine star of the book. The author maligns the place so often that one begins to admire the scrappy boom town (and surrounding area) – and when Andrew Mellon marries the (ultimately) villainous and unkind Nora (from the UK) – who HATES Pittsburgh – one feels almost Kennedyesque (‘eih bin ein Pittsburgher”, so to say)

    555 chars

  15. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 18, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Nancy, i had wondered if you thought there was a wee bit of the punitive in what happened after your fellowship, but you never quite said so and i thought it rude to ask. FWIW, there’s a Clergy Study Leave program through the Lilly Endowment, and anecdotally pastors have noticed that clergy who get these leaves (which specifically include money for the congregation to get a supply or interim pastor for the term of absence) tend to move on about a year later. Could be simple math — average time in a pulpit is 4.4 years in mainline Prot churches, and you might not think to apply for one of these until you’d been there for a year or three — but the implication is that resentful coots shove you off and/or up the temperature in the pot until you hop.

    759 chars

  16. Danny said on May 18, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    We went to a pro-life rally with some of our friends yesterday. What an awesome day and a great group of speakers.

    One was Lila Rose, a 20-year-old student at UCLA and an extremely poised and intelligent young women. She has been very active in exposing the truth about Planned Parenthood and the abortion clinics, at times posing as 13-year-old who has supposedly been impregnated by a 30-something “boyfriend.” The clinics will tell her:

    1. That they will “take care of her” by giving her an abortion.

    2. That either they should not pursue the man or have no interest in doing so.

    3. That no one, including parents, need to know about this.

    And some of these undercover investigations are on video on youtube. I believe there is also a recording of a phone conversation with Planned Parenthood where they are excitedly willing to take a donation to support the abortion of black babies only.

    Other speakers included a woman who has gone through terrible anguish since an abortion that she was talked into as a confused teenager and another who did not have an abortion despite the fact that her son might be born with AIDS and learning disabilities. When she introduced her developmentally disabled son who was smiling from ear to ear, I teared up.

    More than a few of the speakers were prominient leaders in the African-American community who spoke to the fact that Planned Parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger, a supprter of eugenics ala Hitler and that the overwhelming majority of abortion clinics are set up in minority communities.

    So as difficult as this may be for some to hear, it needs to be said becasue there is another side to this that most of you don’t support. Abortion leaves one dead and one wounded and it is a travesty that there is not only a pervasive acceptance in our culture towards counselling a woman to turn against her very own flesh, but that every reasonable measure in favor of life is vehemently rejected by the advocates of abortion.

    Who could reasonably object to having sonograms available at abortion clinics so that women can have one last chance to reflect deeply before making one of the most important decsions in their lives? Who could reasonably reject outlawing the abomination that is “partial-birth” abortion? Who among you are against even the most reasonable parental notifcation laws an would like to hear about your teenage daughter having an abortion with only the counselling of a stranger who has a vested inerest in seeing that abortions get performed so that they can keep there funding?

    So, Nance, I think that you and others need take another look before you take a “hard line” and carp about a couple of misguided pharmacists.

    Oh and let me save caliban/michaelj and a few others some time by saying that I fully anticpate a lot of arguments about:

    1. The fact that you are “Catholic” or “Christian,” but can’t be bothered about this issue because you are so enlightened and it’s just a cultural thing for you anyway.

    2. That in order to fully discuss this issue, we must absolutely conflate it with a discussion of Torture-WaterBoarding, Cheney-Bush-Haliburton, Kerry-Swiftboat, or Teilhard-frickin’-de-Chardin.

    3221 chars

  17. brian stouder said on May 18, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    And another thing about when Andy Mellon’s marriage to his very young wife ended; when Andy filed for divorce, he did so on the grounds of adultry. In circa-1908 Pennsylvania, alleging adultry entitled the respondant to a jury trial – the LAST thing on earth that Mellon wanted.

    So, AFTER filing for divorce, and after Nora made it clear that she was going to encircle Andrew with a fiery and scandalous public jury trial…..Andy had the law retroactively changed! It took all of two weeks to accomplish this – and the Pittsburgh papers were stone silent about it. The Philadelphia papers were NOT, and soon the story of the heartless, rich plutocrat who was not just above the law, but in fact the owner of the law, (and was using the law to squash the individual rights of this poor woman, the mother of his two children, etc etc) was creating a sensation across the state, and the country. (The law change was accomplished so quickly and quietly – and so undeniably for specifically ONE person’s benefit [a Mellon], that the legislators, for their part, expressed surprise that they had voted for it!).

    1131 chars

  18. Hoosier said on May 18, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Nance, Randall Terry moved back to FW last year from Kansas (Oklahoma?), wherever he fled to to escape prosecution here. He bought the building on Webster Street where they used to do abortions and the Bishop came to ‘clease’ and sanctify the bldg. Last Friday, when some protesters went on campus and were busted, Terry stayed on the other side of the street,’cause someone had to stay out of jail to lead the protest and he was the only one capable of doing so. Reminds me of an old Law and Order episode.
    Danny if you don’t approve of abortion, don’t have one. Keep your nose out of others reproductive issues.

    618 chars

  19. alex said on May 18, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Danny, you’ve maligned Margaret Sanger pretty badly there. She was teaching birth control. To call her “a supporter of eugenics a la Hitler” is the kind of crap that makes reasonable people dismiss you and the folks leading your little sideshow yesterday as the fanatics you are.

    279 chars

  20. Jenine said on May 18, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    I’m going to try the natural history redirect. Last week I noticed a small hawk, some sort of accipter, diving past the top of a tall pine tree on campus where I work. It dove and screeched several times as though it was trying to drive away something at the top of the tree. I walked under the tree and when I looked up could see what looked like a nest and the underside of a *huge* bird. It looked big enough to be a cream colored goose up there. It must have been a red tailed hawk. I wondered if the red tail was raiding the little hawk’s nest. But then I saw a squirrel hanging out on a lower branch and looking up at all the commotion. So I thought maybe the little hawk was hoping for a squirrel scrap. I went back today to look again and there were at least two squirrels chattering in the nest and no hawks in evidence. No moral to this story, I just like seeing the critters that are around.

    902 chars

  21. jeff borden said on May 18, 2009 at 2:24 pm


    Simple question: Do you support unfettered access to contraceptives and comprehensive sex education to combat unwanted preganancies? If not, why not?

    The best way to prevent abortions is to prevent pregnancies, no? I don’t want to burden you with being the spokesman for the right-to-life movement, but why are so many of these folks opposed to condoms and contraceptives?

    385 chars

  22. Dorothy said on May 18, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Brian what’s the name of the book you are referring to? Is it “Mellon: An American Life” by David Cannadine? Sounds very interesting. I might put it on reserve at our library. My husband would definitely enjoy reading that – we both like history/biographical books.

    Nancy I placed a sizable order at Amazon.com this morning and I hope I did it right so you could get your 4% of the order!

    393 chars

  23. Dave K. said on May 18, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Speaking of “Nature’s Way”, this weekend my wife and I were driving along the White River, north of Indianapolis, on our way to a graduation dinner/party for our daughter’s boyfriend. (Bonge’s Tavern, Perkinsville, IN. Very cool but completely off-topic). We saw a rabbit chasing and actually leaping at a crow, who apparently had just taken flight from a grassy field. When we arrived at our destination, we asked our daughter if she had seen the rabbit chasing the crow. (We were following her car, when you see where Bonge’s is located, you’ll understand). She said, “Yes, it was chasing the crow because he had a baby rabbit in his talon’s and was trying to take off with it!”.

    685 chars

  24. brian stouder said on May 18, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Jenine –

    Last weekend we were at a park west of town (the kids call it ‘the Castle park’ because it has a big wooden structure to play within; it’s out near Homestead Highschool, on Aboite Center Road), when a very large bird (hawk? Couldn’t tell you) swooped low as 8 or 10 enraged sparrows harried her. The large bird turned and wheeled right above us, and we could cleary see that she had ‘picked up dinner’ at the expense of the sparrow family.

    Finally – the large bird flew out to a wooden structure in an open area (I think it was a bulletin board/shelter along the running path) and landed. The sparrows dove and dove – and furiously complained – but the wind was heavy Saturday, and between fighting the wind and the futility of further disputing the fate of their fine feathered little brother or sister, it quieted down and the big bird flew off to finish her meal, unmolested

    895 chars

  25. Danny said on May 18, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Jeff b, yes, I do support contraception and comprehensive sex education at an appropraite age. I thought that what Colleen noted about “FEELING” was interesting.

    And I’m really not sure why some people oppose contraceptives. It makes little sense. For the Catholics, Sola Scriptura would be better than Sola Eglesia. Church doctrine is so much more authoritative and cogent when it aligns with Scripture.

    Alex, I know you’re not shedding any tears for Margaret Sanger, so give it a rest. So like you to nit pick at a fraction of fiber of an argument and ignore the larger, substantive part. Perhaps you could move on to correcting grammar or spelling. You’ll probably have better luck there becasue I’m a poor typist and am too busy to bother with spell check here. Have fun.

    EDIT: Oh and for folks who want to “redirect,” that’s cool, but please keep in mind that Nancy brought this up. Not I.

    910 chars

  26. brian stouder said on May 18, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Dorothy – that’s the book, indeed. It’s good stuff, although Cannadine lays it on pretty thickly here and there (for example, his photo captions are almost comically melodramatic)

    179 chars

  27. Scout said on May 18, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Danny, Alex may or may not actually have a dog in this hunt, but I do; going after Sanger dilutes your message. I am not a proponent of eugenics but, there is a difference between negative and positive eugenics and to compare her to Hitler is disingenuous, to say the least. Pointing this out is not the same as correcting someone’s grammar.

    343 chars

  28. Dorothy said on May 18, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Brian you might be interested in this: http://www.tcpulse.com/2006/11/19/news/mellonlecture/

    93 chars

  29. alex said on May 18, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    My point, Danny, is that invoking Hitler is never appropriate and you know better. So you give it a rest, along with all of your other snide inanities which I’m not nitpicking about because they’re not worthy of a response.

    223 chars

  30. jeff borden said on May 18, 2009 at 3:06 pm


    Thanks for your thoughtful answer. More of this kind of thinking would probably lead to a drastic decrease in abortions. Hopefully, some of the anti-sex zealots will come to understand this eventually.

    211 chars

  31. LA Mary said on May 18, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    “I believe there is also a recording of a phone conversation with Planned Parenthood where they are excitedly willing to take a donation to support the abortion of black babies only.”

    You believe it, but you don’t know it. I don’t believe it.

    “That no one, including parents, need to know about this.”

    But they could know about it. It’s up the woman getting the abortion to decide who she tells.

    “That either they should not pursue the man or have no interest in doing so.”

    The police should pursue the man, not a clinic. It’s statutory rape.

    Planned Parenthood is in low income neighborhoods to provide women’s health care and contraception at low cost. When I was in college, I went to Planned Parenthood for birth control. They aren’t Nazis or murderers.
    Those who can afford it can go to their OB/GYN for abortions. Those who can’t afford private care can go to Planned Parenthood. I know women who have had abortions, and not one of them has done it without a lot of soul searching and regret.
    You can oppose abortion without distorting or inventing facts. I understand opposing it, really. I understand the need to keep it as an option as well.

    1172 chars

  32. Danny said on May 18, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Scout, I appreciate your point that the argument against Sanger may be, if not disingenuous, at least hyperbolic enough to dilute the message, but I am not saying that arguing against is the same as correcting grammar. What I am saying is that it is an fairly minor part of the argument that was made on behalf of life yesterday and to latch upon that one minor point, while ignoring the rest, is akin to pointing out grammar faux-pas’.

    Mary, I have heard the phone conversation I referenced when it was broadcast on KFI-AM 640 (a local station for you with the biggest audience in LA) about a year ago on John and Ken’s show during afternoon drive time. There was no doubt about the “excitedly willing” part. What I was unsure about was if it was Lila Rose or someone else.

    As far as parental consent, calling a 13-year-old a woman is quite a stretch and the reason that the clinic did not want to notify the authorities was because then it would delay or scrap the scheduling of the abortion (probably because the parents would then be notified). I’d say that notifying the authorities that a 32-yer old had sex with a 13-year-old would be high on my priorities even if it isn’t my job description.

    1209 chars

  33. LA Mary said on May 18, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Danny, I think even a thirteen year old should have the option of telling her parents or not. If the pregnancy is the result of incest, she should have access to an abortion without the permission of the man who impregnated her.

    228 chars

  34. Danny said on May 18, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    She described the 32-year-old man as her boyfriend, not as a relative. So it wasn’t an incest situation and the clinic should have wanted to report this.

    154 chars

  35. nancy said on May 18, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Hoosier, I don’t think Randall Terry is from Fort Wayne. His local cat’s paw in the ’80s was a guy named Wendell Brane, and I think he has vamoosed the city as well. I know about the clinic change in ownership, but I don’t believe those two were involved in it.

    261 chars

  36. Jim in Fla said on May 18, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    I bothers me that a 20 year old is posing as a 13 year old, and falsely stating that she was raped (sex with an underage girl is never consensual under the law). In my opinion, she has no credibility.

    200 chars

  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 18, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I’d not heard a distinction between positive and negative eugenics before, and that’s slicing the bologna pretty thin, but it’s a viable distinction. Sanger was pretty enthusiastically interested in aggressive sterilization of the unfit, and unfit was defined pretty broadly in the teens and twenties of the last century.

    In terms of sociological history, not theology (that’s above my pay grade), Catholics have an institutional reaction to contraception and sterilization because largely ethnic Catholic minority groups were on the list right after mental defectives and “coloreds” for governmental intervention in their, um, “reproductive health.” The allergic reaction is still strong.

    Ironically, the broad outlines of the torture debate echo where many of us come down on the abortion debate — there may be no good reason to be absolutist about the grayer, grainier end of the distinction, as to where torture starts or where life begins, but it is the “coarsening effect on the culture” in general that makes advocates on both issues say they have to take a stance of “from the very beginning, no exceptions.” No torture and no parsing of definitions, just don’t do it, just as many say they aren’t sure they want to say “life begins at conception,” but they know somewhere around 22 weeks they are sure it is life, so it only seems safe to push the line back to the brightest line before that viability horizon.

    1429 chars

  38. Danny said on May 18, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Jeff B, I wanted to thank you for your thoughtful comments regarding your rethinking of the attacks leveled against Carrie Prejean in the media. I don’t know if you saw her news conference with Trump, but her remarks were extremely heartfelt and compelling. She seems like a really nice young lady.

    In an odd coincidence, yesterday, after the pro-life rally, we took our friends who were celebrating their anniversary over a few blocks to a nice, local seafood restaurant on the bay. We were sitting at the oyster bar enjoying the ambience of watching the chef cook for people at the counter when in walks Carrie Prejean with her boyfriend and another gal and sits down across from us. The girls went over to give her a hug and chat with her (I think I mentioned that Carrie goes to a church associated with ours). Her pastor was supposed to be at the rally, but had to cancel due to illness.

    899 chars

  39. nancy said on May 18, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Oh, and as for Margaret Sanger: One of the most interesting classes at Michigan that I didn’t take was audited by one of my colleagues, who was studying medical issues. I forget the name of the class, but the gist was to look at how society’s values have been shaped by medicine and medical technology, and vice versa. They spent a lot of time talking about the eugenics movement of the early 20th century, and you are making a huge mistake in linking it to Hitler or any other genocidal movement.

    Their understanding of retardation and other common birth defects was fairly limited, to begin with. They didn’t know about DNA and mutations; they thought Down syndrome, for example, was simply a trait that was carried, tragically, through family lines, like color patterns in livestock coats. They thought if you could stop these people from reproducing, within one generation you could wipe out this human tragedy. Remember, this was before government safety nets, when even middle-class people lived much closer to the edge of economic oblivion, and caring for a child like this could much more easily push one over.

    Look at how many people who today know they carry the gene for Huntington’s disease and are choosing not to have biological children, and you get a sense of the thinking.

    Of course this idea of selectively breeding humans was batted around among bad people, too. But the best description of the American eugenics movement I ever heard was a friend who described it as a parlor game played by intellectuals.

    1536 chars

  40. Danny said on May 18, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Jim in Fla, I think she was younger when she posed as a 13-year-old. May even have been 16 or 17. She’s had strong pro-life convictions since a very young age. Anyway, if you are questioning her credibility because you don’t believe her, it is documented in video. If you are questioning her credibilty because you think she is dishonest for doing a sting operation, then I guess you are against sting operations in general.

    If the latter is the case, I wonder how consistently you apply your view.

    507 chars

  41. Dexter said on May 18, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I wonder how I missed Macallan? I always preferred Glenfiddich but Glenlivet was fine, too. After all these years I can still recall exactly what Scotch tastes like, too bad I drank up my life’s share of cocktails by age 43. A shot, neat, is the way to go.

    259 chars

  42. Danny said on May 18, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Okay, just saw an article on SI regarding Hall of Fame voting on Steroid-Era baseball players. Though Pete Rose is not one of these, does any here think that Pete should not be in the Hall?

    190 chars

  43. brian stouder said on May 18, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    I was a HUGE Pete Rose fan, back in the day; he embodied all that was best about baseball, and the all-powerful early and mid ’70’s Cincinnati Reds. But he broke the unbreakable rule, and spent years as an unrepentant liar – he disgraced himself.

    I’ll go this far: let him in the Hall after he dies, and after they let Shoeless Joe Jackson in; and not before.

    And on an unrelated note, here’s a 75th anniversary that snuck up on me. (The Warren Beatty/Faye Dunaway movie colors whatever I thought I knew about these people)


    an excerpt:

    From their meeting in 1930 in a Dallas suburb to their deaths in a roadside field, Bonnie and Clyde were believed responsible for at least a dozen killings, including 9 police officers. They became celebrities as they crisscrossed the Midwest and the South, robbing banks and stores with a group of criminals known as the Barrow Gang.

    But public interest turned to outrage as their body count grew. Three killings of police over a few days in April 1934 sparked a new effort by Texas Rangers to get them.The Texas posse members were in Shreveport in mid-May when they learned from an informant that Bonnie and Clyde planned to visit a home in Bienville Parish, near Gibsland. Knowing the routes in and out were few, they set up an ambush along a state highway and waited. Half a dozen Texas rangers, sheriff’s deputies and local police officers hid in the woods for two days and two nights. They’d just about given up when Bonnie and Clyde hurtled toward them in a stolen Ford and the shooting began.

    1621 chars

  44. Hoosier said on May 18, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Nance, see what happens when you get old, the memory goes…guess I got that one really screwed up. I’ll have to do some research so I can see what really happened!
    My bad.

    174 chars

  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 18, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    “Parlor game,” chief?


    On the other hand, i will affirm that much of what goes by the label “eugenics” from the late 19th and early 20th century is not quite what you think when you get into it. For a community project here in Granville, OH, i’ve been doing a ton of reading in primary sources about the speeches and writings of Victoria Woodhull, first woman to run for president of the United States (first woman stockbroker on the NYSE, first woman publisher of a major city newspaper, first to publish in English Marx & Engels’ “Communist Manifesto,” et cetera). I can assure you that just when you think you know what she’s getting at, read another twenty pages and realize she’s saying something intriguingly different. “Free love,” to take the most dramatic example, meant to her primarily “only willing partners, ideally in a loving marriage, and even then only by mutual consent.”

    But the public policy blunt end of the fine distinctions about reducing the numbers of the “unfit” usually came in poorhouse and county infirmary surgeries, and Holmes’ infamous “three generations of idiots is enough.” Of course, when Holmes said “idiots,” he could mean anyone not born within earshot of Beacon Hill’s morning cannon, and that’s how it got interpreted in more than a few locations, in this country and in Europe.

    1386 chars

  46. jeff borden said on May 18, 2009 at 5:28 pm


    Agreed on Pete Rose. He’s a lying, cheating disgrace. Yeah, he was a helluva baseball player, but his inability to confront his gambling problems in an honest manner has utterly negated any sympathy I might’ve felt for him. If he does deserve to be in the Hall, I like your sugggestion. Do it when he’s dead.

    Re: the film “Bonnie and Clyde.” It blew me away when I saw it as a high schooler because it was the first time I’d ever experienced such bloody and shocking violence in a movie. (The Westerns, etc. I’d seen as a younger kid were so very tame. The most you ever saw of a gunshot wound was a spot on the cowboy’s shirt.) The turning point in the tone of the film to me is the sequence that starts out being played for laughs, as Bonnie and Clyde exit a bank only to find C.W. has decided to park the stolen car. His error allows a bank employee to leap onto the running board as the bandits are driving away. Clyde shoots the banker in the face –a big, bloody closeup of grue splashing on the window– and the film turns dark, dark, dark.

    I’ve always appreciated John Dillinger’s assessment of the real Bonnie and Clyde as pathetic but violent amateurs. And Mad Magaine’s savage takedown of the glamorization of Bonnie and Clyde might’ve been their angriest parody ever. The drawings were by the immortal Mort Drucker, who in the final panel depicted Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons and Michael J. Pollard as uniformed Nazis in a new film called, “Eva and Dolph.”

    1515 chars

  47. Jim in Fla said on May 18, 2009 at 5:32 pm


    I’m not opposed to sting operations. I am opposed to entrapment. She lied about her age and her circumstances to “get a story”. She’s certainly biased. If she had to lie to get the story, how can we trust she’s presenting the story truthfully and objectively? I still believe she has no credibility.

    309 chars

  48. caliban said on May 18, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    If Randall Terry is a Catholic now, he should be denied Communion for advocating murder of abortion docs, for advocating the death penalty, for aiding and abetting Eric Robert Rudolph, and for lending his support to the purveyors of Shock and Awe. In the global reality of things, the people that marred graduation for a bunch of Notre Dame matriculants are an ant-farms-worth of Catholics.

    Most of these people believe as I do that abortion is wrong, but like most Catholics, I believe that supporting a one-party christianopoly without addressing life issues like advancing poverty by upward distribution of wealth, incarcerating minorities, and institutionalizing poverty for political purposes is a greater evil.

    There were about 40 Catholic Bishops that objected to the President speaking at Notre Dame. You wouldn’t know this from the coverage, but there are something like 320 Bishops. These guys have the same axe to grind as Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, and I wouldn’t question anybody’s beliefs, but consider, does Karl Rove give a shit about the fate of the unborn?

    The President’s not a Catholic, and he may not overtly espouse the view that mankind and creation in general are God becoming God, but he’s at least a closet and at best an empatheric Teillhardian. When he says we work for a common goal based on social justice, I’m inclined to make him an honorary Catholic. The opposing view is so seriously imbedded in divisive politics, it’s their commitment to life that’s suspect.

    The protests were minuscule in relation to the coverage, and Obama’s response is at least sensible, if what you want is to render abortion non-existent if it isn’t for medical causes. As a Catholic, I’m sick and tired of being connected to idiocy like the Schiavo Watch. That poor woman’s brain wasn’t even jello. Of course, her family was reluctant to let go of her. To have some shitheel like Frist make her death political when his family’s HMO bean-counters consigned people with a conceivable chance to death, at the same time, for cost-effectiveness, I don’t know. I find this odious.

    Unlike most of these zealots, I’m a devout Catholic who’s ever been instructed by abusive nuns or scripture, andd by Aquinas and by St. Augustine (my confirmation name). I think it’s wrong. None of these people have the slightest clue what they’re talking about.

    I believe that, in the current situation, anybody that thinks abortion is wrong would do anything possible to make it not happen. So I’d have to believe assholes like Randall Terry don’t care about anything aside from screwing over the Constitution.

    2618 chars

  49. Danny said on May 18, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    About a year ago, Pete was visiting the local sports station and sat around with some other guys swapping old baseball stories for several hours on air. That is some of the most enjoyable radio I’ve ever heard in my life.

    4,256 hits. Without steroids. I think he belongs in now, but I could live with post-humously.

    321 chars

  50. caliban said on May 18, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    This business about stem cells? Do you (opponents) have clue about how any of this research works? This killing fetuses crap is such a lie it’s almost too much an out and out lie to consider. There are lots of them. Bush said they were sacrosanct. Why? Nobody was going to make a real kid, and nobody’s cloned anybody yet. This is a strawman.

    342 chars

  51. whitebeard said on May 18, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Jeff TMMO wrote” For a community project here in Granville, OH, i’ve been doing a ton of reading in primary sources about the speeches and writings of Victoria Woodhull, first woman to run for president of the United States (first woman stockbroker on the NYSE, first woman publisher of a major city newspaper, first to publish in English Marx & Engels’ “Communist Manifesto,” et cetera).
    My wife is a descendant of Victoria Claflin Woodhull but her elders did not talk much about Victoria’s doings. My wife’s grandmother was an active suffragist and a courageous reporter in Chicago’s criminal courts who left reporting to work at home writing the newspaper serial “Revelations of a Wife” so she could devote herself to raising her two children.
    We did some research a few decades back and there was not that much to read then, but I see this afternoon that the available material has mushroomed.

    911 chars

  52. caliban said on May 18, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    How does the use of steroids have to do with hitting homeruns? Well. Only an idiot would think it does. Steroids might make some sort of difference if you’re putting shot, but probably not.

    The idea that steroids have anything to with HRs is idiotic. HRs come from perfect vision and bat on ball. The entire idea is entirely stupid.

    Hank Aarron is an icon. What he did was to be consistently very good for a long time. Great hitter, mediocre rbi. Decent fielder, nodt great and great arm when he was a kid, clutch good. Manny, brilliant hitter, good fielder with reasonable arm. Clutch, I take Manny, every time.

    These things overwhelm me at times. Simply put, if somebody wants to tell me I should think one way or another and they show me Randall Terry, that asshole thought pro-life was the Atlanta bomber. Nothing says pro-life like apotheosizing some dirty little piece of shit like Wric Robert Rudolph. He’s a hero for defending the unborn. He disfigured a nurse that never meant anyuthing but the best for the young women she counseled.

    DThis guy was pro-life? He packed a bunch of nails into a bomb, to make his point that life was sacred? These nitwits will tell you W was pro-life, when W mocked Tammi Faye Tucker. Ya’ll know who ATammi Faye Tucker is?

    Tammi Fay Tucker is that woman that W thought was some some sort of idiot when he hadn’t proved himself some sort of idiot. There is just no fetting around the fact that these assholes thought the Constitution was just something they could ignore.

    1530 chars

  53. LA Mary said on May 18, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    “Most of these people believe as I do that abortion is wrong, but like most Catholics, I believe that supporting a one-party christianopoly without addressing life issues like advancing poverty by upward distribution of wealth, incarcerating minorities, and institutionalizing poverty for political purposes is a greater evil.”

    Well put.

    340 chars

  54. Dorothy said on May 18, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    BIG thumbs down from me WTR Pete Rose being in the Hall of Fame. I’m not sure if he even should be after he’s long gone. Just my opinion.

    139 chars

  55. Danny said on May 18, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    How does the use of steroids have to do with hitting homeruns?


    Once again, michaelj, while steroids will not make you a hitter, they will make you stronger and increase your bat speed. So if you are already a good hitter, you will hit more homers and get longer looks at pitches before you have to commit to a swing, all courtesy of the increased bat speed.

    Also quicker recovery times from injuries means less time on the DL and more potential at bats.

    And just so you know, the swift boat vets can hit better than Kerry who we all know cheated and took steroids. That doesn’t make sense to me, but I’m sure it will to you.

    655 chars

  56. Deborah said on May 18, 2009 at 8:14 pm


    There are bad eggs everywhere. To single out a few instances where someone got bad advice at Planned Parenthood doesn’t make all of it bad. Not doing anything about a 13 year old getting pregnant by a 30 something year old boyfriend is wrong in my mind and should not have happened… if it were a true situation. But the 13 year old wasn’t really 13, and wasn’t really pregnant, right? And may not have been a very good actress to boot, so we have no idea what the real situation was like. It makes a story that some people love to latch onto.

    554 chars

  57. caliban said on May 18, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Baloney on bat speed. That is nonsense. There may be some muscle building but anything to do with baseball, only an idiot tdhinks it works. Manny was using one of those enhancements, and he’s embarrassed.

    Bat speed? Bat Speed? You can’t be dumber.Bat Speed? No jke, that is the single most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard about how guys hit. They hit because they are better hitters. Barry Bonds is so much a better hitter that anybody that says he isn’t is a moron. He could just hit better than anybody else, you understand?

    Here’s the deal if you aren’t stupid. Barry is the best player that ever lived.Best pitcher is Sandy Koufax.

    640 chars

  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 18, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Whitebeard — i’m assuming a Claflin sister of Victoria? She had a son who was, in the parlance of the day, an “imbecile” (could be Downs, or some other major developmental disability; lived to adulthood but had no language skills), and Zulu Maude never married, so she had no descendants. Her sisters had quite a few, though; Tennessee, Utica, and Helen are all i can think of without pulling out the files at home.

    Love to hear more, though; we have the only monument other than Tewkesbury Abbey’s monument in England, where she died, and we just raised a pile of money to have the mechanical clock that is her Granville memorial fixed, with her “statue” marching around at the top of the hour soon to be once again on display.

    734 chars

  59. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 18, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    [Separate comment]

    Caliban, it’s statements like “There are lots of them.” that keep people like me pro-life.

    112 chars

  60. caliban said on May 18, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Rabdall Terry? That asshole isn’t any kind of a Catholid, He thinks youre just supposed to kill them all. Bo joke. Randall Terry is the biggest liar in the history of mankind. He believes he knows about lifw but ne believes in the death penalty.

    245 chars

  61. Hattie said on May 18, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    The important thing,and let us not forget this, is that men must rule over women’s reproduction. If women could simply decide how many children they wanted, what would become of us?
    I understand the need some have to interfere in the lives of others. Having no lives of their own, or perhaps being mentally ill, they simply cannot let women alone.

    349 chars

  62. alex said on May 18, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Interesting about Victoria Woodhull. Free love, as I always understood it, was a nineteenth-century communal phenomenon that took place even right here in Hoosierland. The religious argument touted in its favor was that it broke people of the sin of jealousy, and its practitioners, as far as anyone knows, were earnest about it.

    329 chars

  63. Danny said on May 18, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    To paraphrase a clever post from a while ago:

    Hattie, another load of straw men just arrived. Where do you want them?

    120 chars

  64. beb said on May 18, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    I’ve never been able to see the red tail on a red tail hawk. Maybe they were some other species. Maybe it was because the one time I see them is driving I94 to Indiana, and they go past the car too fast for me to ever get a good focus on them. I’m probably seeing turkey buzzards. A few weeks back while at the Detroit Zoo a number of their buzzards and vultures were soaring on a thermal around the center of the park. They were spectacular. They wing spans immense.

    Coolzedad from back around post 7, zoologists have long believed that lemurs, monkeys, apes and humans all evolved from the same common ancestor, who probably looked like a lemur. What has zoologists excited is the discover of what appears to be that common ancestor (Take that creationists!).

    772 chars

  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 18, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    That’s “complex marriage” (talk about your award winning labels!) that you’re describing, Alex, which was a feature, not a bug, of the Oneida Colony and John Humphrey Noyes. Quite a story — the wikipedia, as i recall, is pretty accurate and thorough.

    You have to look at early Mormonism and its “complex marriage” aka polygamy in that context, at least the Joseph Smith phase through the 1830s and 1840s. Brigham Young took it in a slightly different direction from 1856 on out in Utah, but the roots are part of the same millenial hope to “reform” marriage, which took many and interesting forms.

    603 chars

  66. ellen said on May 18, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Would I want to know if my teenage daughter was seeking an abortion. Absolutely. If there was some reason why my teenage daughter could not tell me, would I want the abortion to be performed in a proper clinic by a licensed practitioner, like Planned Parenthood, so that any potential complications would be minimized? Absolutely. Obama doesn’t seem to be departing from the Clinton-era policy goal of “safe, legal, and rare.”

    426 chars

  67. Danny said on May 18, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Okay, michaelj. Bat speed. If steroids don’t help, why was just about every other player (as it seems) doing them in the majors? For fun? No. They were doing them because they do help and they wanted a competitive advantage over their opponenets. The proliferation of home runs in the 1990’s coincides exactly with the increased use of steroids. It isn’t by accident or other means that dozens of baseball players gained about 30 pounds of lean muscle mass and that several of these enhanced players proceeded to crush the ball with such regularity that they broke Roger Maris’ single season home run record in consecutive seasons. Not convinced? Read a few of these articles.

    Scientific American

    New York Times

    San Diego Tribune

    1032 chars

  68. brian stouder said on May 18, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    and let us not forget this…that men must rule over women’s reproduction.

    Hattie’s point is all too easily glossed over, and yet she points to an enormous truth.

    Many years ago, I might have engaged in today’s nn.c abortion discussion right at the drop of the hat, and maybe even compared the moral questions surrounding abortion to the moral questions that once surrounded human slavery (which the Supreme Court also upheld, once upon a time). Way back in the day, when I was in the Conservative Book Club and reading National Review, I got to the right of my Republican dad (and he flatly – and rightly! – rejected my 2-dimensional thinking on women’s privacy rights)

    But as an old guy myself now, that sort of fuss and feathers is out of me. But even if it weren’t; even if I agreed with Danny, I’d have to admit that there is no serious political impulse to introduce a ban on abortions that would satisfy the Notre Dame protesters (for example)

    Think of it; the Republican party of 2004 had the presidency and control of both houses of congress, and if that party wanted to act on “the abortion issue” that many of them ran on – they had only to pass a bill banning it, and have the president sign it; and yet they did NO SUCH THING, at all. (In essence, they told their social-issue stalwarts ‘thanks for your vote’ and then got naked and jumped into bed with their chamber of commerce and plutocrat stalwarts)

    I argued this point with a fairly rabid anti-Obama/anti-abortion guy at work – by way of pointing out that all his “single-issue” voting for the past several decades had achieved absolutely nothing other than making him ‘easy pickings’ for the do-nothing Republican Party. His counter-argument was that the Supreme Court would of course simply strike down any such legislation – prompting me to ask how that could possibly excuse such a (presumeably) cataclysmic dereliction of duty by the anti-abortion Republican Congressional leadership and the Republican president.

    If they really believe this stuff – they should have done their part, and acted in accord with how they ran for office; they should have delivered (so to speak) for all the single-issue voters like my colleague, yes?

    Let the Supreme Court do whatever it’s going to do – but ACT, yes?

    But no. Hell no. The issue was much too useful as a free-floater than as a governing agenda item

    2432 chars

  69. whitebeard said on May 18, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Jeff TMMO, Re: “Whitebeard — i’m assuming a Claflin sister of Victoria?” My bad, I meant the Claflin clan, not Woodhull herself, There apparently was some connection between the Claflin line and the Chicago Coleman line and my wife’s grandmother was a Springer, another line tied closely to the Coleman line.
    When I suggested one day to my wife’s uncle that he hadn’t fully explained Victoria Woodhull, he answered with a Leprechaun-like smile “that he didn’t intend to”

    475 chars

  70. Scout said on May 18, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Brian, a big amen to you. That the anti choice party ran the show from tits to tail and never made a single move to overturn Roe v. Wade speaks volumes about their dedication to the issue for anything other than a useful wedge. Funny how their voters never held the Bush admin’s feet to the fire but are working themselves into a fresh lather now that Obama is president.

    373 chars

  71. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 18, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    The family, as best as i’ve found, included 8 sisters and 2 brothers — from oldest to youngest, Margaret Ann, Mary (or Polly), both born in PA, then in OH, Maldon, Hebern (or Hebron), Victoria California, Utica Vantitia, Tennessee Celeste (or Tennie C.), and Odessa Maldiva who died as a baby. Daughters Delia and Hester Ann were born at some point among the others, but like Odessa, died very young.

    (Back home, have notes at hand.)

    438 chars

  72. MaryRC said on May 19, 2009 at 12:09 am

    most first born children of that era were the product of a shotgun wedding

    One of my cousins a couple of generations back was the product of a shotgun wedding (well, before the wedding, actually) and it’s believed that a shotgun actually made an appearance at one point. My great-grandfather was no-one to mess with, apparently. The groom left town immediately after the wedding, never to be heard of again. My great-grandfather bought his daughter a house and helped her financially and so did her brothers. Things turned out okay for her and her daughter as long as she was able to call herself Mrs. but she was lucky to have her family behind her. This would have been somewhere between 1895 and 1900. Growing up in a rural community where everyone’s past is an open book, including your own family’s, takes care of any romantic ideas you might have of a halcyon past where everyone was a saint and babies were brought by the stork.

    952 chars

  73. Dexter said on May 19, 2009 at 12:27 am

    I am a lifelong baseball fan and reader of everything I could get my hands on for the past fifty years. I too, thought it was a disgrace that Shoeless Joe Jackson was banned from O.B. (organized baseball)
    Then just one article flipped me. The late Jerome Holtzman (Sun-Times, Trib) studied the case against Jackson in depth, and wrote on his findings.
    Here’s the money-shot: Jackson took the dirty money and was only sorry the players got shorted by the gamblers regarding the pay-off.

    The whole story is to be had by clicking the URL above.

    Pete Rose was crooked as a dog’s hind leg. Why should he be in the Hall? He gambled in spite of knowing he was blatantly shitting on everything the game stands for.
    He should never make the Hall of Fame.

    787 chars

  74. MaryRC said on May 19, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Randall Terry. What a piece of work. After 18 years of marriage he left his wife for his assistant and defaulted on child support while he and his bride used funds he raised from pro-life supporters to build a mansion in a gated community in Florida. He publicly disowned one of his adopted children when the young man came out as gay. I don’t think there’s anything that guy wouldn’t stoop to.

    398 chars

  75. Dexter said on May 19, 2009 at 12:32 am

    Obama was cool as a cucumber as he reiterated his stance on a two-state solution with Binyamin Netanyahu yesterday. I hope Obama enlists Jimmy Carter as an adviser in this critical area.

    265 chars

  76. Mosef said on May 19, 2009 at 1:18 am

    If abortion is so a-okay, why should it be rare, as in safe-legal-rare? If it should be rare, then that implies there is something wrong with it, an assessment that one does not hear from the pro-abortion folks. Whether or not this wrong-doing should be legal is another question, but the discussion cannot be had because the pro-abortion groups refuse to admit the truth that it is a gruesome business that involves the death of a living creature. And that is why it should be rare. Whether a woman has the right to decide to eliminate the life of a nascent human cannot be debated unless one begins from the truth that the procedure involves the taking of one life for the benefit of another.
    As for the tired “why should anyone else have a say in this” argument, it is quite simple. Society has a duty to protect the weak and defenseless. It matters to me whether someone down the street is abusing a child, even if the child isn’t mine. It matters to me whether an unborn child who cannot speak for itself is killed. Would you say of a murderer, “well, it is their right to decide who to kill. I personally wouldn’t kill anyone, but it’s not my place to tell other people what to do.”
    I used to think quite differently about this topic, but then I had kids of my own. One day my young son was listening to the raio with me and asked what an abortion is. When I told him he said emphatically, “Well that CAN’T be legal!” And it hit me like a ton of bricks. Babies are not the enemy.

    1501 chars

  77. caliban said on May 19, 2009 at 5:19 am

    Randall Terry always was so sure he knew who ought to be killed. He made people targets. He aided and abetted in nurders. Put his as ib jail. And is
    making fun of Tammy Fae Tucker pro-life? These bastards don’t give a shit, and they got the Death House in Texas ro prove it. Culture of life. Fuck you, you spectacularly choosey murderers.

    There is no doubt Cheney would have llked to have nurdered Tenet before Tenet lied his ass off to Congress. Bob Graham wrote it all down, Tenet was ling his ass off. He was scared shitless of Cheney.

    AReally, are Americans this godamned stupid?

    595 chars

  78. alex said on May 19, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Jeff (tmmo), we had a Quaker meeting not far from here, in Camden (now Pennville) in Jay County, that was excommunicated for practicing complex marriage. Two of its members, Lindley Ninde (whose ancestors were closely associated with John Wesley) and Beulah Puckett Ninde (who was the niece of Levi Coffin), came to Fort Wayne and worked on behalf of the antislavery cause. Lindley was an attorney and his daughter-in-law, a lady named Joel Roberts Ninde, became a celebrated local architect. Also in their circle was Dr. Mary Frame Myers Thomas, said to have been the first female physician west of the Alleghenies, who I believe eventually ran Bryn Mawr College.

    Brian, there certainly are some parallels between the antislavery and anti-abortion movements, but also enormous differences. In reading Levi Coffin’s memoirs, I recall some anecdotes about how he managed to elicit support from the sexual scolds of the period, who were otherwise indifferent to the plight of the slave. Coffin took a beautiful woman with him to their churches and meetings, an ex-slave who appeared to be as caucasian as anyone in the room. When it was revealed that she was the product of a southern gentleman fornicating with one of the dozens of women he owned, and that she was representative of a whole class of enslaved people in the south, the congregants were easily won over to the other side of the issue.

    1400 chars

  79. Colleen said on May 19, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Nitpick: Karla Faye Tucker

    I think it is safe to say that no one thinks abortion is GOOD. Even those of us who are vehemently pro choice. I am NOT pro abortion. I think a woman “chooses” to have an abortion the same way a trapped animal “chooses” to gnaw off its own leg to get out of a trap.

    I know what choice I would make for MYSELF if the stick turned blue. But I cannot presume to make that choice for other woman. That’s the bottom line for me.

    462 chars

  80. nancy said on May 19, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Similarly, Colleen, the same people who say, “why should it be ‘rare’ if there’s nothing wrong with it, huh? huh?” also squirm when asked how long we’ll be imprisoning women and doctors for seeking out and delivering the service once the Republic of Gilead comes to pass. “Of course we won’t be putting women in jail,” they say, and the question naturally follows: If abortion is murder, why wouldn’t you punish people who facilitate it?

    The answer: It’s different.

    Well, exactly.

    488 chars

  81. jeff borden said on May 19, 2009 at 9:01 am

    The abortion issue is also an economic issue for both political parties. Each use it to raise money. Perhaps this is one reason why a Republican Congress and a conservative (as if) Republican president backed by a conservative Supreme Court did squat about abortion legislation. It’s a rain-maker issue.

    303 chars

  82. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 19, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Not disagreeing entirely on that, JeffB (and others who’ve said that), but there’s also the fact that both sides are scared to death of what will follow Roe v. Wade. Answer, even with Jennifer Granholm on the court, is “no one knows.” I think we will see in the semi-near future the issue turned back largely to the states, and some states will be more expansive on abortion rights, others more restrictive, and litigation will proceed from that basis. For a number of reasons, including (emphatically) the rainmaker issue, both sides dislike the federalist solution, but it’s where the science and neo-natal technology is taking the legal doctrine.

    Roe is, of course, dead law walking, due to the fact that it’s rooted in outdated semi-science; the infamous non-medical trimester plan. There’s no saving it, it’s gone already — the debate is what, federally, it will be replaced by.

    891 chars

  83. jeff borden said on May 19, 2009 at 9:37 am

    I agree. We’ll eventually be back to a patch work of states. Legal abortion will be available, but it won’t be as convenient. Back the mezoic era of my college years(1969-1973) in Ohio, earnest couples would come by every now and then seeking a few bucks to help spirit the young lady off to New York State, where the procedure was legal. There were clinics that offered transportation to and from the airports and New York was only a few hours away from campus by car. This would probably break along Red State/Blue State lines, I guess.

    538 chars