Stops at all donut shops.

I see more of these around here than I did in Indiana. In Royal Oak the other day:

policeinterceptor

That is, a Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor, still the best all-purpose cop car of the era, now retired to the private sector. I assume they’re great on the straightaway, less so in the corners, can idle until the cows come home and have lots of butt-funk and spilled coffee in the seat cushions. Alan and I went to a dinner thing earlier in the year, and sat with someone who drove one, decommissioned from an unknown p.d. somewhere in the area. It needed a good deal of work in the low four-figure price range, he said, but once he got it running right? Awesome.

Of course, like the example above, you always hope you can find one with the black-and-white paint job and cow catcher intact. I wonder if, like an old fire horse, it tries to respond when called for backup.

OK, then. It’s Friday, and my attention is preoccupied with the weekend’s activity, the 48 Hour Film Project, beginning today at 7 p.m., concluding, duh, 48 hours later. I guess this entitles me to display a badge:

I’ll be Twittering it — hashtag #48hourfilm — which should duplicate to my Facebook status, and if you really want to know what a clusterbang is like, well, hey, tune in! Possible brief updates here, too. I dunno.

Here’s something else I’ve been meaning to post for a while; it came up in my drug searching this week. It’s an AP story about the effective legalization of marijuana in California. If you read the New Yorker story a few months ago, little here is all that shocking, but it’s still…shocking. If you’re old enough to have lived through criminalization, decriminalization, recriminalization and now de facto legalization, it’s hard to believe what it’s come to. You can now get butt-kicking pot over the counter with nothing more than the additional bureaucratic step of getting a winking doctor to write you a scrip. Voters approved medical marijuana use in Michigan last year, so I’m paying close attention.

To be sure, I’m not crazy about this; the last thing the world needs is more impaired drivers. On the other hand? It’s pot. I’m reminded on a nice exchange in “Jackie Brown,” Samuel L. Jackson and Bridget Fonda:

ORDELL I’m serious, you smoke too much of that shit. That shit robs you of your ambition.

MELANIE Not if your ambition is to get high and watch T.V.

In other news that turns up when one of your search terms in “prescription drugs,” an Australian daily is reporting Michael Jackson had a chemo port — essentially, a permanent IV site — in his neck. No link; story’s gone; it must be vile libel. Disregard what I just said.

Thanks to Hank Stuever, who posted it on his Facebook yesterday, this is my daughter’s new favorite YouTube video, and perhaps mine, too:

And finally, speak now or forever hold your peace. If ever a video deserved to go viral, it’s this one:

I remember how crestfallen my Catholic bride friends were, when the priest told them they couldn’t play “Here Comes the Bride” in the church. Wait until they getta loada this.

Off to obsess, worry and have stage fright. Starting gun at 7! Think I’ll go ride my bike.

Posted at 10:15 am in Current events, Detroit life, Popculch |
 

94 responses to “Stops at all donut shops.”

  1. MarkH said on July 24, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Not to worry, Nance. I was perusing ebay a few weeks ago and was surprised to see dealers hawking BRAND NEW, unsold police Crown Vics. Some had the black & white scheme, but about half had nice stealth colors like silver, all-white, gray, etc. Low tax reveues keeping municipalities from following through with the purchase, maybe? So, you can leave your own donut and coffee stains…

  2. brian stouder said on July 24, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Hey! In the ongoing NN.c parlor game of ‘find a typo’, I claim one victory point for this one: “And finally, speak now or for­ever hold your peace.” since I believe the saying is “forever hold your piece!

    Aside from that, when I saw the header and the Blues Brothers cop car, I was braced for another go-round about the stupid cop in Cambridge, and it was a very pleasant surprise that we were NOT headed that way…and it was a bonus that the ‘butt funk and spilled coffee’ riff made me guffaw!

    Anyway – break a leg!

  3. Joe Kobiela said on July 24, 2009 at 10:38 am

    In the world of charter pilot you get to drive all sorts of crew cars. I have had everything from a 1978 Thunderbird in Alabama, a 1975 School bus yellow Chevy suburban in Indiana, all the way to a brand new Jaguar in Cincinnati. The most fun was in n-Mich with a Ford Police interceptor, It still had the spot lights on it, foot on the brake and floor it and man could you smoke the tires. Loved the clown video, but thought the wedding one was great. Some one put a lot of thought into that. I kept thinking, that is one big wedding party and I bet they had one HELL of a reception. I always thought we should have used our original Golden Retriever “Baron” as our ring bearer at our wedding.
    Pilot Joe

  4. kim said on July 24, 2009 at 10:39 am

    I loved that wedding video. Sets the tone for the entire marriage- keep your sense of humor, folks!

  5. 4dbirds said on July 24, 2009 at 10:41 am

    OMG! Were those actually bridesmaid dresses that could be worn again?

  6. Dorothy said on July 24, 2009 at 10:42 am

    I’ve been away from a computer pretty much this week and so I apologize for jumping in late to this discussion, but I felt I had to get my ideas off my chest.

    Has it not occurred to anyone that both parties (Gates and Crowley) were wrong in their behavior for this Cambridge arrest? I saw a clip of Gates on the Tom Joyner morning show today. He was describing the officer asking him for identification. Gates replied “Yes, let me get it for you” and he proceeded to leave the living room and walk into his kitchen. Then he started yelling that the police officer followed him into the kitchen “WITHOUT MY PERMISSION!”. Anyone with a brain should know a cop would not let someone walk away to “get something” elsewhere in the house without following them, to be sure a weapon is not being handled. Gates was being purposely disruptive without giving any thought to how he would look to the police officers. He WAS acting like a raving lunatic, and I think most of it was self-generated, not a reaction to how he was being treated. I really think there are people who use the “race card” to an unfair advantage and this guy did that.

    The officer was also on the TODAY show this morning and from what he said, I think he had started to respond appropriately, but when it escalated into a shouting match, he could have diffused the situation much better than he did. Just a few weeks ago I participated, as part of the acting community here in Mount Vernon, with police training. We acted the parts of variously disturbed people – drug addict, bi-polar personality, elderly woman with dementia (that was me). It was called Crisis Intervention Training. The officers were dressed in complete uniform and it was all pretty realistic – as realistic as you can get in a pretend situation.

    After each skit/interaction there was a question and answer period for feedback to the officers. And as actors, we were also encouraged to tell them how they made us feel – did we feel threatened, comforted, protected, etc. I have no idea how common this kind of training is throughout the country. I would hope most departments do something resembling this. It was very eye opening and gave me much insight into what the police have to deal with. To lay blame in only one direction in this debacle is not fair to either party.

  7. ROgirl said on July 24, 2009 at 10:47 am

    I agree with Joe about the reception for that wedding, and I’m still laughing over the clown video.

    Whenever I see those old cop cars around I think they’re still operational and slow down. There are a few around Royal Oak.

  8. moe99 said on July 24, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Loved the wedding video, Nance and am forwarding it to my daughter, 24, should she ever decide to get married after medical school.

  9. Dorothy said on July 24, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Loved that wedding video, too! I saw it on the TODAY show this morning and found myself laughing out loud, especially when the bride came down the aisle. If I had to do it over again, I’d like to do something like this at my wedding. Anything to break away from tradition, I say!

  10. coozledad said on July 24, 2009 at 11:00 am

    The second Youtube reminds me of having to play guitar and sing at a friend’s wedding. The mother of the bride had a couple of requests, one of which was a contemporary geriatric hit by John Denver and Julio Iglesias. I was afraid of what would happen if I committed it to memory, so I sprung for the sheet music, played it through a couple of times with the church organist at the rehearsal and thought that would be enough.
    So once the bride and groom are both at the altar, I launch into this thing, reading the sheet music and noticing there’s no organ accompaniment. The organist looks a lot like the then current Pope, and sleeps like him too. Soundly. I begin gently kicking his leg, then increasing the intensity as it appears he will not wake up in time to turn the sheet music for me.
    I arrive at the bar where the page has to be turned and he’s slumped and fallen to one side. I fear he is dead. Looking from the balcony over the crowd, everyone, bride and groom included, has turned to watch me grab the old man and try and return him to a sitting position. One of our mutual acquaintances who’s almost certainly consumed a quart of George Dickel by this point, as it’s past noon, is beginning to weep.
    I was pretty small at this point physically, so there was no question of heaving the old bastard over the balcony, but I was willing to give it an effort. He finally woke up after I’d turned the page and resumed playing.

  11. LAMary said on July 24, 2009 at 11:03 am

    More weddings should be like that one, or at least in the spirit of that one. It was probably like a great party and no one went into debt for a decade paying for it.

  12. Jolene said on July 24, 2009 at 11:16 am

    My niece is getting married in a couple of weeks. Am going to send her this and suggest that she consider taking this approach to her ceremony.

    And, brian, you need to keep looking for typos, as it’s “Speak now or forever hold your peace”, meaning, ” . . . or be quiet.”

  13. KLG said on July 24, 2009 at 11:28 am

    I would gladly pay for a wedding for my 25-year-old daughter if she had one like that!

  14. brian stouder said on July 24, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Thanks, Jolene! – I’ve lost my Victory Point and earned a demerit!

    http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/hold.html

  15. Jolene said on July 24, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Love the errors site, Brian. Thanks for the link.

  16. Sue said on July 24, 2009 at 11:45 am

    *sniff* I love weddings.
    None of those gentlemen should have been able to dance like that. The practice sessions must have been hilarious.

  17. Jen said on July 24, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Loved both videos today! The clown one made me laugh out loud. Thank goodness I was reading your blog at home today instead of the office! Eventually they’re going to start thinking I’m crazy, I laugh so often at Internet stuff. (It’s especially bad because I have a pretty loud laugh.)

    The wedding video is great too! I love seeing people who actually have fun and go against the grain on weddings. People act like their wedding determines how their marriage goes, but usually the people with low-key weddings are the ones with good marriages.

    I also bet that that couple had a fun reception, which seems to be a rarity. Most receptions I’ve been to were obnoxious. At ours, we had cold meat sandwiches, potato salad, chips, M&Ms, cupcakes & a keg of beer. Our guests were able to eat before we got there. (Such a rarity – I’ve waited over an hour for people to get to the reception hall!) We had a good DJ who played lots of fun songs. It was just a big, fun party! If I had it to do over again, I probably would have just eloped somewhere fun and thrown a big party when we got back. At any rate, it was fun.

  18. Jeff Borden said on July 24, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Back in the mid-1980s, when I would visit Los Angeles as a TV critic, I had reserved a Ford Thunderbird from an off-brand rental unit near LAX. When I arrived, there was nary a T-Bird in sight, so they rented me an enormous white Crown Victoria four-door. While it did have whitewall tires and full wheel covers, the front end looked exactly like the vehicles in use by all the law enforcement types, so anyone glancing in the rearview mirror figured they were being tailed by an unmarked unit. It was just the thing for getting around on the 405 and the 101. I’d simply pull into the left lane and almost every car in front of me would give way. Whatta blast.

    In Chicago, most old cop cars become cabs. They have heavy duty everything installed at the factory, so they are durable choices for taxi drivers. And they are not cheap. Several lots in town sell old police cars. Former highway patrol cars fetch much more than city cars, likely because they have highway miles and not the stop `n’ go city mileage on the odometer. Sadly, the Crown Vics in Chicago are being replaced by the smaller Chevy Impalas and the much larger Chevy Tahoes, which the police chief likes because the coppers sit up so much higher, they have a better view of the streets around them.

    Not much choice for departments these days. When I was a cop reporter, the cruisers and unmarked cars included Ford Torinos, Ford LTDs, Plymouth Satellites, Dodge Polaras, Pontiac LeMans, Plymouth Valiants, Plymouth Furys, Dodge Monacos, Chevy Malibus, Chevy Impalas, etc. Those were the days.

  19. derwood said on July 24, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    The wedding video has gone around work and several other places. I thought it was a scream. Co-worker is getting married in November, told him I expected dancing during the walk down the aisle.

    daron

    Oh, and clown…funny stuff.

  20. Lex said on July 24, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    People, where are your priorities? We need to know: Was the TV injured?

    My favorite cop car evah, which I encountered when covering cops back in the mid-1980s, was a N.C. Highway Patrol Ford Mustang.

  21. Nick said on July 24, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Sorry to to hock a loogie into the punch bowl, but the wedding processional video redefined the term “attention whore” for me.

    Everyone in the place is staring directly at you and you look fabulous.

    Does one really need more attention than that?

    Maybe I’m just jealous because I can’t dance.

  22. moe99 said on July 24, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/011470.html#011470

    editing fun.

    And Nick, get in the spirit, man! Those kids are so happy and everyone in that church is having so much fun. I loved seeing the little old lady in the front clapping along.

  23. deb said on July 24, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    i would love to know what denomination that church was. my money’s on united methodist or the united church of christ…maybe unitarian? jeff (tmmo), any guesses?

  24. MichaelG said on July 24, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    I once had a job at a Humboldt County CHP field office in a hamlet up in the Golden Triangle. There was an absolutely mind boggling number of Cadillac Escalades in that little town. It seems to be the Official Ride of the Growers. I had a conversation with one of the officers about the town and its economic engine. The cops didn’t much bother with a force that was much greater than they and also accepted the reality that cannabis is nowhere near the horrible drug some would have us believe. Common sense prevailed. The CHP officer, who was a single mother, had other issues with the growers. “They’re bad citizens” she said. (I need help with punctuation here) They made lots of money but didn’t participate in PTA or other school or community functions. They had a contempt for law abiding citizens and their kids all seemed to be little snots with attitudes. The officer wasn’t bitter or pissed off, just matter of fact in her description of things.

    By the way, I have been to CHP field offices from Crescent City to El Centro and I find CHP officers to be intelligent, sensible and professional. In the world of police officers they’re the cream of the crop for my money.

    There is a bill working its way through the legislature that would legalize marijuana. The Gov has expressed tepid support. We’ll see.

    I loved the marriage video. The clown one not so much. I’m not a big fan of pratfall humor, especially when it appears someone might have hurt them self.

    Had a Mercury Grand Marquis once that I drove from San Diego to El Centro and back. One didn’t so much drive it through the mountain curves as herd it. Also a Lincoln Town from Ontario to Barstow and return. Same thing. It was not a joy to drive up and down Cajon Pass.

    Two questions: Where’s Gasman and has Michael Jackson been buried yet?

  25. moe99 said on July 24, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    And Jeff tmmo is scarce these days, too.

  26. Christy S. said on July 24, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Not sure how the tune to “Here Comes the Bride” ever became that when it was originally written as a funeral march. Then again, with some weddings/marriages, there is a direct correlation.

  27. Snarkworth said on July 24, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    deb, probably not Unitarian-Universalist, because there’s a cross and statue of Jesus by the altar. But the woman minister and the general air of jollity and humor suggest a similarly liberal denomination.

  28. MarkH said on July 24, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    MichaelG, if these are the type of surreptitious weed growers who are armed and dangerous protecting their crop, I can see why a cop might see them as “bad citizens”. Years ago, while doing energy exploration in the forests on Oregon, the rangers warned us about them. Also, I highly recommend the Grand Marquis in it’s ultimate badass American 4-door cruier form, the Mercury Marauder from 2003-04. Better tuned suspension and 302HP V8, outperformed cop Crown Vics; never sold well, though.

    Hey, Jeff B., act fast! It’s in your neighborhood:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2004-P71-ONLY-36K-MILES-CRUISE-CONTROL-NO-RESERVE_W0QQitemZ120450826779QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Cars_Trucks?hash=item1c0b6dc21b&_trksid=p4506.c0.m245&_trkparms=65%3A-1%7C39%3A1

  29. Julie Robinson said on July 24, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Seems like Jeff tmmo said he was going off to camp for a couple of weeks. Better him than me.
    Mixed emotions here about the wedding video. Weddings are joyous and I know most people think they are just a big party. But they are also about making sacred vows and the use of secular music rubs me the wrong way. Perhaps this should have happened at the reception hall, not the church. Church lady now signing off.

  30. Christy S. said on July 24, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Scratch that funeral march correlation — I think I’ve confused that with another tune. Or another marriage.

  31. Michael said on July 24, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Butt-funk?

  32. Rana said on July 24, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    I like the wedding – it’s happy and fun, and it’s clear that everyone is truly joyful about the marriage to come. As D and I plan our wedding, we want it to be both a commitment to each other and a celebration of family and friends. I don’t actually see the seriousness of the vows as incompatible with the joy of joining our families together – my sense of the sacred is one that encompasses goofy dancing and muddy bare feet as well as solemn rites and fancy dress. Since we’ll be in it for the long haul, we want the joyous as well as the solemn to be there from the beginning – and it seems that these folks feel that way too.

    But then I’m a hippy-granola pantheistic UU, so your own mileage may vary. *grin*

  33. Dorothy said on July 24, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Jeff (tmmo)’s last entry on Facebook was Saturday July 18th. He is camping at Buckskin Scout Reservation in West Virginia.

    Thought I’d ask the pool of regulars here for advice on finding a nursing facility for my father-in-law, who had a stroke on Monday. He’s in the hospital in Pittsburgh and will not be able to return to his home. Any suggestions from others who have had to deal with this situation? He’s 3 hours away from us and I know he’s never going to come and live with us. Even if I were not working outside our home he would refuse to come. I dread what lies ahead of us. Mike is an only child so there’s no one else to chime in with suggestions.

  34. Sue said on July 24, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Dorothy, can’t help much here but I suggest you immediately get in touch with the hospital social worker. The hospital should have put you together with one already. If they don’t have one you’re in the wrong hospital.

  35. Jolene said on July 24, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    MSNBC has an article about the wedding video. They were on the Today show this AM, and the whole wedding party is going to be there to repeat their performance tomorrow AM. No indication as to the denomination of the church. Further sleuthing revealed that the wedding took place at Christ Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minnesota.

    Lutheranism, it seems, ain’t what it used to be.

  36. Dorothy said on July 24, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Thanks Sue – I think Mike is meeting with the social worker today. It took awhile to get him out of the ER, then in ICU he was there for 2 days. It was an issue of needing a bed and none being available.

  37. LAMary said on July 24, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Dorothy, you might want to look into assisted living. There is a company called A Place for Mom which can give you referrals. I sort of know the guy who started the company, and I also used them to find a place for my father in law. It has worked out fine. They search by your budget, location, and the medical needs of the person in question. They have a website.
    If you don’t want to go through them (there is no charge, by the way) I would advise looking at facilities which are non-profit. Quakers, Mennonites and other groups have good facilities and tend to be a little less expensive. I know when I used to recruit for long term care/assisted living, some of the best nurses and administrators would ONLY work for non profits, even if they were paid less.
    Our hostess here can give you my email address if you want to contact me directly.

  38. LAMary said on July 24, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    A Place for Mom does nursing homes too, by the way.

  39. John said on July 24, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    I’m guessing ALC and not the Missouri Synod, Jolene.

  40. Dorothy said on July 24, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks Mary. I know so little about this whole industry. And I’m pretty sure we have to go to a place that is Medicare approved. We’ll probably have to sell his house – he will never be able to live there again if the damage from the stroke is permanent. Mike and I can certainly not afford to pay for this ourselves. He has a little bit of money, but not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Maybe $60,000 tops. The house might be worth $50,000. I hear Medicare takes the house as payment – this is not going to be fun, wading into this new world.

  41. Dexter said on July 24, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Great videos!

    Cop car? Too much idling…if you plan on installing a new engine immediately, you’ll be OK, sez my mechanic buddy.

  42. judybusy said on July 24, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Dorothy, please do have Mike talk with the social worker about the financial end of things. There also may be agencies, such as Volunteers of America, who can give you guidance. Some attorneys also specialize in the area of estate planning/resourece management in just these situations. There are also private case managers that can help families through these issues. Questions about these resources would be good to ask the social worker. (I am a social worker by trade, but in psychiatry, and so my knowledge of geriatrics is not as robust.)Also, here in Minnesota, you can look up nursing home ratings, and I assume one can do the same in PA. I would google “nursing home ratings Pennsylvania.”

    Also, when I did do nursing home placements, we were under a lot of pressure to discharge from the hospital ASAP, so although I tried to place people in good situations, to be honest, sometimes that pressure trumped all. It really helped if a family did some visiting and had suggestions, which I would do my best to honor. So, try research things as best you can and try to get up to see him once he is placed. I also liked the suggestion of assisted living.

    Also, many states have funds available to help people live in their homes, to try to keep them out of the nursing home. In MN, this is called Elderly Waivered Services. Depending on how serious the stroke was, this may be an option now or after some rehabilitation.

    I wish you well during this difficult time, and hope Mike’s dad ends up in a good situation where he can receive good care.

  43. Sue said on July 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Dorothy, can you check your dad’s records? Did he have an attorney or a safe deposit box, someone or something that might indicate that he has already looked into this and reframed his finances to prepare for it? My in-laws are remarkably closed-mouthed about what they have done – beyond telling us that their funeral “preplanning” has been taken care of, we have no idea if they have protected their assets. Is it at all possible that he has already put his house into a trust or something without telling you? Assuming that you are not able to communicate with him, you probably need to search the house. He probably hasn’t done any of the asset-protection stuff if he hasn’t told you, though, unless he gave his attorney the access instead of you.
    And one other thing that I have heard of, re nursing homes: I understand almost all of them require you to sign an arbitration agreement, in which you agree, if something bad happens, not to sue for malpractice but take the issue to an arbitrator instead. My limited understanding of this is that it puts a stranglehold on the family because no matter what happens you are at the mercy of some arbitrator who works within the system, and you can’t get into most nursing homes without this agreement.

  44. Crazycatlady said on July 24, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    On the eve of our 30th wedding anniversary I couldn’t help but love that wedding video. This is going to set off a big trend in joyful ceremonies as opposed to those somber and god-drenched formal weddings. I want to see an anniversary dance from that couple in 30 years! lol

  45. LAMary said on July 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    You can see nursing home ratings for all states at Medicare.gov.

    If your father in law was in the military there may be some benefits available, as well as any pensions he might have from employers. The site I mentioned will steer you towards places that fit the funds available.

  46. Jolene said on July 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Dorothy: Pittsburgh has very good services for elderly Jewish people, including a nursing home and`assisted living facility on Squirrel Hill. As I recall, your family is Catholic, so your FIL might not be comfortable there, but the Jewish Association on Aging might be a good source of info re other resources in the community. It’s a little round-about, but it might be worth a phone call.

  47. Sue said on July 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    OhMyGracious. Another major American newspaper meets a horrible fate.
    http://www.theonion.com/content/index

  48. Colleen said on July 24, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    I think I’m with Julie on this one. And there’s no way that was LCMS. Had to be ELCA. LCMS doesn’t let the wimmenfolk do anything but altar guild. (aka, do the dishes and laundry)

    We had a traditional LCMS wedding (then a One True convalidation later). We’re happy, we laugh, we have a great marriage. I don’t think going traditional or non has any kind of correlation with what kind of marriage you have.

    Now cake smashing, that DOES correlate….

  49. 4dbirds said on July 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Is the cake smashing where the bride and/or groom smash cake in each other faces? I HATE that. I always think there’s some issues going on there. Why would someone do such an aggressive act on the day you exchange vows?

  50. Jen said on July 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Dorothy, check with the area agency on aging in the area. My husband is a case manager for the one in our region, and they do a lot to help families in the same type of situation. It’s the case manager’s job to help you wade through all the Medicare paperwork and all that jazz. They can help your father-in-law get placed in a nursing home or get any other kind of help that you’ll need.

    The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging Web site is here: http://www.n4a.org/

    It appears the one that covers Pittsburgh is here: http://www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/olderadults.aspx

    4dbirds, I agree with the cake smashing. I put a little dab of frosting on my husband’s nose to be cute at our reception, but actually smashing a cake in the face of the person you just married seems like a bad idea…

  51. Sue said on July 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    I’ve been lurking over at Balloon Juice for about the last 45 minutes, reading the comments on a birther entry. Interesting (paraphrased) observations from some of the commenters:
    Obama is in part responsible for the Holocaust shooting because he did not release his birth certificate and therefore did not address the shooter’s concerns.
    Obama purposely gave that provocative answer about “behaving stupidly” at his press conference in order to draw attention away from health care, because he knew that Harry Reid was going to make the announcement yesterday pulling the issue.
    The MSM is engaging in a conspiracy to keep the Republican party down, by having all these insane guests on making fools of themselves.
    Most of these things are making sense in an “alternate universe” kind of way.

  52. MarkH said on July 24, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Unfortunately, Sue, the birther issue will never die, despite CNN’s Jon Klein declaring the story dead:

    http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/cnn/jon_klein_on_birthers_it_seems_this_story_is_dead_122546.asp

    That’s why I far prefer your link to the Onion. Hilarious.

  53. Rana said on July 24, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Chiming in to agree about the distastefulness of the cake-smashing. My mother always retorts, with a sort of withering scorn, that she and my father very politely fed each other their bites of cake – she uses the same tone of voice that my grandfather (her father) used to reserve for when he thought that a given individual was trash or scum but didn’t want to say so outright. (My grandfather was both very polite and had decided opinions.)

    The other things that are both tacky and gross are the money dance and the garter fling. We’re also not very big fans of the bang-glasses-until-the-couple-kisses and the crass “trying to be funny but failing due to crudity” best man speech. Joyous fun and laughter are great – hootchiness and passive aggressive insults are terribly out of place.

  54. Dexter said on July 24, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Crazycatlady: Yes! This is the best off-kilter thing since the biker funeral episode on Six Feet Under a few years ago. After that episode, everybody on the boards wrote they wanted a biker funeral.

  55. Colleen said on July 24, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Gotta be careful when calling the money dance “tacky”. For some cultures, that is absolutely how it’s done. Hungarian weddings, for instance, have the best man going around yelling “the bride is for sale” and people give large sums of money to dance with her. There are lots of other cultures where no one bats an eye, because that’s how it’s done.

    Now a cash bar…..my family (including the poor immigrant side) had never IMAGINED such a thing until they got to Indiana.

  56. mark said on July 24, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Dorothy,

    Two thoughts.

    First, if your father-in-law has immediate need of skiled nursing care, don’t assist with or permit discharge from the hospital until you know exactly where he is headed and on what terms. The hospital will want him out as soon as his stay is no longer medically necessary ant or/treatment rather than maintenance care. But they also can’t just shove him out the front door.

    2. Don’t obligate yourself or spouse for his nursing home care. Most homes will try to get as many signaures as possible at the time of admittance. Some will refuse admittance unless other arrangements are already made. On three separate occasssions friends have sought my help, which was to no benefit, because they signed or co-signed for financial responsibility, and then discovered there were gaps of several months or more in insurance coverage and/or Medicaid availability.

    Your in-law may have plenty of resources or insurance, in which case my thoughts don’t matter. Good luck to you and your husband.

    Edit:

    Dorothy, Just read one of your latrer post and it sounds like there isn’t a big pot of money. My recollection is that the medicare benefit is limited in both time and amount, unless things changed in the last few years. If his stay runs more than a year or two, he will burn through ready cash quickly and may have to be qualified for Medicaid. A good nursing home will have someone that can walk you through this. A good elder law attorney should know this are and be able to give decent advice for a couple of hours of time.

    But please do not obligate yourself for the bills, even contingently. You don’t need to and doing so often blows up. And I now see that sue, jen lamary and others have given you some good advice. Next time I’ll read the whole thread before I hunt and peck a response.

  57. Rana said on July 24, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Colleen, I get what you’re saying… but, ugh. “The bride is for sale”? Really? That’s not just tacky, that’s… disturbing.

    It’s not so much the money, for me, as the notion that you have to (or get to) pay money in order to interact with a person you presumably love and care for, or that, because you paid money, they must be nice to you. Imagine skeezy Uncle Whatsit paying for a beery slow dance, for example, or your beloved nephew having to sit out until someone coughs up some cash for him to buy a dance with you.

    I attended a Laotian wedding once, in which money was given to the couple, but it was very respectful and polite – guests tied a roll of money with a string, and then tied it to the wrists of either the bride or the groom, who were sitting on a carpet in the middle of the room. Very different feel than your typical money dance, which always feels rather akin to tucking cash in a stripper’s g-string to me.

    Agree on the cash bar thing. Making invited guests pay always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Either cut the budget elsewhere, or man up and accept the cost, or don’t serve alcoholic drinks at all.

  58. LAMary said on July 24, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    My two sisters in law are Italian and both carried white satin bags on their wrists at the reception to hold the envelopes of cash relatives gave them.

  59. deb said on July 24, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    a co-worker tells me that at serbian weddings, the bride’s friends spend an evening making little rosemary sachets to distribute to the guests. (she doesn’t know why; i suggested because rosemary is the herb of remembrance, but that’s just a guess.) this packet-making sounds charming, but she says it’s much more tedious than you might think. the brides keep doing it, though, because each guest receives the sachet with an envelope for a cash gift for the couple. (that is the only gift people are expected to provide.) if the bride forsakes the rosemary, older guests are stingy with their cash.

    i rather like this idea. cuts right to the chase, without the spectacle of the guests stuffing cash into the couple’s wedding clothes. besides, anything that spares me a slog through somebody’s gift registry is a gift in itself.

  60. brian stouder said on July 24, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    OK, I gotta channel Caliban (with apologies, to him!) a little bit.

    Yesterday evening Shelby and I were driving across town, and the song American Pie came up on the radio – so we turned up the volume a little, and took the long way home, and took it all in again. It always turns my ear, and this time (for whatever reason) it was all the more striking. That song, with its catchey melody and lyrical hooks like ‘drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry’ is easy to listen to and always pleasant…but as I get older, the earnestly elegiac quality of that song increasingly asserts itself upon me. Shelby asked what this and that meant in the lyrics, and I gave her my best guesses – and defaulted to the basic answer with regard to any poetry, which is that it cannot really have any meaning seperate from the listener’s perception of it.

    I think I sort of get it; Buddy Holly and self-assured Hope and Change (in the form of a young and charismatic president) abruptly leave the scene, and we reel; and then they are replaced by (seemingly) less hopeful, more cynical stand-ins such as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles – so that only in hindsight, many years later, can we see and begin to understand what we lost, way back when, and say ‘good-bye’.

    But to cut to the chase, here we are in 2009, and in another time of Hope and Change, and with a fresh crop of young folks (with paper routes?) who are taking all this in, and who are saying Hello to their own ideal Miss American Pie.

    All I really want, is to see this through; maybe this generation can outlast the Birthers and the ‘reverse racist’ Party of No/Know Nothing nativists this time; maybe Miss American Pie will set a spell, take her shoes off, or go for a ride with us to the levee, in the Chevy, and we won’t have to say to her “goodbye”.

    And for a complete non-sequitur, there’s this: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32130778/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/

    The most striking thing to me is, the house in Dearborn has absolutely beautiful shrubs; my hedges have never, ever looked that GOOD….but then again, I don’t have 120 dead dogs in the freezers, either. (maybe when we’re in Dearborn next week we’ll drive by that house)

    PS – when Pam and I were married, the one thing I insisted on was a soda pop dispenser; it had icy cold Diet Coke, regular Coke, and Sprite. If folks wanted beer – they were on their own

  61. Sue said on July 24, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    I think the money dance thing is more a way to help struggling kids than a grab for cash. I’ve never seen it in the suburbs near Chicago where I grew up but it’s quite common, I hear, in Southern IL where my nephew happily left the NW suburbs behind to marry a Carbondale girl. The money dance went on for awhile at the wedding, and I happily paid bucks to dance with my nephew AND his new wife. I see it as just a nice way for everyone to give a little extra help.

  62. MichaelG said on July 24, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    My daughter got married in a lovely old Portuguese Catholic church in Sacramento. We had the reception at a private club in Auburn. Sit down dinner for many and open bar and all the trimmings. They did the bouquet and the garter thing which both seemed a little staged to me but it’s customary and it was Steph’s wedding and I wasn’t about to object. Nobody even suggested that stupid cake in the face thing. The DJ got a little out of hand thinking it was all about him and I had to do a bit of serious counseling but he came around when I reminded him who was paying. In my experience these DJ guys are all assholes. In the end we had a great and memorable party which should be the whole point of a wedding. I don’t want to think of the cost. My original idea had been to provide $50 and two bus tickets to Reno but that didn’t go over so well. My lovely wife did, however, caution Stephanie that this was the only one. Next time she wasn’t even getting the bus tickets. They’re still together after eleven years or so.

    Tomorrow (Sat) I’m going to the zoo with my once wife and the two grand kids. I’m looking forward to that. More than I want to admit to myself.

  63. basset said on July 24, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    went to a Polish/German wedding in Michigan City a few years ago which featured a card table full of blackberry brandy shots at the end of the receiving line – you’d hug the bride, shake the groom’s hand, and do a shot.

    first time I’d ever seen disposable shot glasses.

    they used the Polish name for the brandy, can anyone help my memory on this? we’d go in these little neighborhood bars, kind of places where you’d get a Pabst and a Kessler’s down in Martin or Daviess counties, and a beer and a shot meant an Old Style or the equivalent and a… whatever they called it.

  64. velvet goldmine said on July 25, 2009 at 12:10 am

    Dorothy, First, I’m sorry about your father-in-law. I hope you and your husband find good help out there for him.

    I agree with you about the Gates controversy. These “Bonfire of the Vanities” incidents, in which people see the events out of their own prisms of experience, and then proceed to fan the flames six ways to Sunday, became increasingly complex. Like you, I suspect we have two men who were a little too big for their britches crossing paths — and hilarity ensues!

    I was surprised to find that my incredibly liberal Massachusetts friend was of the opinion that Obama owed the Cambridge police an apology (there is an opinion poll on the topic going around Facebook. As it turns out, she had kind of a knee-jerk (in my opinion) response as someone from a blue-collar background growing up Cambridge-adjacent.

    So now you’ve got this issue of townies vs. Harvard elite, rather than, or on top, of black vs. white. There are a lot of people who are tired of the above-it-all attitude of that neighborhood (apparently). And it does make you wonder how many Cambridge cops actually live in that town.

    I don’t pretend to know all the boundaries and socio-economic blah blah blah. Again, it’s just one of these Tom Wolfe layers that makes we wish the whole thing would just go away. But if that three-beers in the White House scenario ever comes to pass, I’m sure it will be made of awkward.

  65. coozledad said on July 25, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Good lord. What high concept!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20t4gBf_1d4&feature=PlayList&p=B98F0FD8406BC91B&playnext=1&playnext_from=

  66. moe99 said on July 25, 2009 at 12:23 am

    basset: slivovitz? I lived for a year (1978-79)in Brussels with a couple from Poland, who had escaped the Nazis in WW2 because the husband was a chemist with a Swiss pharmaceutical company and when Krystal nacht came to Brussels, they decamped to the pharmaceutical factory, which had the guise of neutrality and lived there and no one ratted them out for the duration of the war. They had given their son up to a Gentile couple who lived in the country. He later became the dean of the law school at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles (the ‘Libre’ part simply denotes that there is no connection to the Catholic Church–sort of a state university connotation). I, instead got my LLM in Internationl Law from the Vrije Universiteit Bruxelles. There was a dividing line between the Flamands and the Belges. And that was typified by the universities. Any way, my hosts, one night offered me Polish vodka which had a picture of a buffalo on it and within the bottle was a stem of grass, which M. Ingber said was the grass that the Polish buffalo used to eat. No idea, but it burned going down.

    Anyway, I think slivovitz may be what you are looking for.

    Moe—Channeling Caliban a bit myself tonight.

  67. Dexter said on July 25, 2009 at 12:50 am

    basset…Google reports indicate the word you’re trying to recall is winiac.

  68. Dexter said on July 25, 2009 at 2:10 am

    I read a lot about old cop cars y’day…this was most surprising: a Chevy beat the stuffing out of a Crown Vic in 1996…here’s a blurb:

    The vehicle is constructed for pedal to the metal performance and handling. My favorite police car of all time is the 96 Chevy caprice with the 9c1 package.

    In my professional opinion this was the cream of the crop in heavy-duty police car manufacturing. The 1996 Chevy caprice police interceptor was built with the corvette LT1 engine with a 4 bolt main block and all the heavy-duty hoses and accessories that GM could find.

    This police interceptor had 16-inch tires and Gm’s 3.73 or even 4.11 positraction rear differential. The engine included gm’s most powerful high-energy ignition system and dual exhaust to help let the LT1 350 V8 breath.

    The electrical system was also upgraded with a high out put alternator, Gear reduction high torque starter and extra capacity dual battery’s to help handle all the electronics you would find on a police car.

    The package was very well balanced. It was fast and handled great. I have driven these cars many times and lets just say I would smile the whole time.

    I worked for a Chevy dealership in 1996 and performed warranty repairs on these vehicles. I had a police officer tell me a great story.

    His department had half crown vics and half caprices. When they would patrol on I 295 in New Jersey they would sometimes get into high-speed pursuit situations.

    He described in great detail how he would blow by the crown vics that had wide open throttle with his caprice not even at 75% throttle.

    The officers in this department would fight over the caprices and the loser’s got the Fords.The caprice I speak of can still be found at some gsa auctions and other police car auctions.

    The Chevy police car reached its peak in 1996 with the 9C1. Then Chevy got out of the police car game for a couple of years because they killed the full frame Chevy caprice all together.” SOURCE http://searchwarp.com/swa143930.htm

  69. Jolene said on July 25, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Sarah Kaufman, the WaPo dance critic really liked the wedding video.

  70. ROgirl said on July 25, 2009 at 11:10 am

    This was on the Today show this morning (I was at the gym).

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/32141897#32141897

  71. brian stouder said on July 25, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Speed: I always thought the Plymouth Fury police cars of a certain vintage (1971? ’72?) were the definitive Police Cars; the front grill had a determined, not quite angry look.

    Bad time in Formula One; Felipe Massa is fortunate to still be alive today, if he still is. In qualifying, a heavy spring came off another car, and 4 seconds later Massa’s Ferrari came down the track, and the thing bounded right into Massa’s helmet, cracking his skull. But then Massa was still hurtling along at whatever insane speed, and went straight off the track and into a tire wall, snapping his head forward and breaking the base of his skull, the sort of injury that killed Dale Earnhardt a few years ago before the Head and Neck restraint system (“HANS”).

    After seeing this on the tv coverage (all they knew at that moment was that Massa was conscious – but they did load him on a chopper and transport him to hospital), the girls and I went for a drive to get some skittles and soda pop at the gas station. It was a beautiful late July day today, and as we drove home again, on Bluffton Road not far from the airport, a motorcycle was coming the other way.

    Actually, it was hurtling toward us – and the fellow stradled on the thing had popped a wheelie. He was coming at us at a tremendous speed – on one wheel – and his engine was screaming. I began slowing and moving to the further-right, and when he zoomed past us we could feel the air hit our minivan.

    For a second, I thought of dialing 911 on that death-seeking idiot, but what would that accomplish? In my mirrors, I could see him set the damned thing back down, and wobble into the (empty) oncoming lane – but he was as gone as a rifle shot. All I knew was male, white, no helmet, no brains.

    If he’d have hit us, we’d all be bad memories right now. Speed, indeed.

  72. Deborah said on July 25, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    It’s Venetian night in Chicago tonight, boats decked out with lights galore. We just got back from a picnic concert at Millenium Park, good food, wine and Opera. Pretty amazing. Back home looking down on the lake, pretty soon the fireworks will start. what a great city!

  73. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 25, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Dorothy — just got back from camp, and it looks like you’ve gotten beaucoups wisdom already.

    So, i can only return with this extended allusion/observation/movie quote:

    Jake: What is this?
    Elwood: What’s what?
    Jake: This car. This stupid car. Where’s the Cadillac? The Caddy, where’s the Caddy?
    Elwood The what?
    Jake: The Cadillac we used to have! The Bluesmobile!
    Elwood Traded it.
    Jake: You traded the Bluesmobile for this?!
    Elwood: No … for a microphone.
    Jake: A microphone? [pause] Okay, I can see that. But what the hell is this?
    Elwood: I picked it up at the Mount Prospect police auction last spring. It’s an old Mount Prospect police car. They were practically giving them away.
    Jake: Well thank you, pal. The day I get out of prison, my own brother comes to pick me up in a police car.
    Elwood You don’t like it?
    Jake: [pause] No, I don’t like it.
    [Elwood jumps the car over what’s known in Chicago as a bascule bridge, basically a drawbridge]
    Jake: [impressed] Car’s got a lot of pickup.
    Elwood: It’s got a cop motor, a 440-cubic-inch plant. It’s got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. It’s a model made before catalytic converters, so it’ll run good on regular gas. What do you say? Is it the new Bluesmobile or what?
    [Jake tries to use the car’s lighter, but it does not work; he throws it out the window]
    Jake: Fix the cigarette lighter.

  74. Dexter said on July 26, 2009 at 12:26 am

    JmmO: That old mall burned a couple days ago.

  75. MichaelG said on July 26, 2009 at 12:50 am

    Had a terrific day with my once wife and the grandkids at the zoo. Best of all the two young ones had a great time as well. Sofia,the almost two year old, was absolutely captivated by the flamingos. You should have seen her stuff her face with the zoo’s crappy fast food mac and cheese. Dominic (and yeah, I bought him the dumb stuff he wanted at the zoo store, so what?) was a perfect big brother. T had a good time as well and we have a repeat get together in Auburn with the kids in two weeks. May seem like small stuff but it’s large for me.

  76. coozledad said on July 26, 2009 at 7:46 am

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090725/ap_on_re_us/us_camping_for_freedom_2
    Will the new plates say “Live free or die under a federally mandated healthcare system”? Ooops. Forgot. Won’t be any plates.

  77. basset said on July 26, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Meanwhile, and totally unrelated, Basset the Younger and I rode up to Hodgenville, Kentucky yesterday for a look at Abraham Lincoln’s natal land – walked on the old family farm in a field he used to work, and drank out of the same creek.

    The liquor… I don’t think “winiac” was it, will get hold of the couple (they’re still together) and find a definitive answer.

  78. brian stouder said on July 26, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Basset – very cool! We’ve not done Hodgenville (yet) – our next outing is more aimed at Henry Ford.

    And, welcome back Jeff tmmo!

  79. moe99 said on July 26, 2009 at 10:28 am

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slivovitz

  80. Dorothy said on July 26, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Yins guys are trying to think of the word “boilermaker” to describe a shot in a beer.

    Thanks Velvet – I can’t believe more of the clear-thinking minds who frequent this spot did not see it more the way we did – fault lay in both directions in that situation.

    Big thanks to all who chimed in. We already DID go to his safety deposit box, Mike talked with a social worker before he left Pittsburgh on Friday. Right now we’re sort of in a “wait and see” approach. He’s got growths on his bladder, kidney and other lower parts that he doesn’t want biopsied (not Mike, his dad), so it’s probably terminal cancer in addition to the stroke(s) he had Monday. All in all, not a good outcome lies ahead for sure. Our kids are very glad they both got to go in and see their Grandad this week, just in case it takes a very bad turn soon.
    p.s. Welcome back Jeff tmmo!! And I got to meet yet another sometime-commenter here at nn.c – Kirk, from the C-bus Dispatch. He came to have lunch with Mark Ellis last Thursday. One of these days we’re gonna have to do a road trip, Jeff & Kirk, and head to Detroit to see Nancy and more of the Followers of Nancy.

  81. Dexter said on July 26, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Lance Armstrong said Alberto Contador has some weaknesses but Lance isn’t going to discuss them, as Lance has a new team-in-the-making, the Radio Shack team.
    I remembered the old Radio Shack commercials for computers, the Tandy 1000. Superior, right?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJHOYw88f1Y

    And the finish was magnificent on the laps of the Champs Elysee. Mark Cavendish, aka “The Missile” (pronounced by our Brit commentator, Phil Liggett, as “MISS-isle”) won the coveted Paris final stage of Le Tour de France. His trophy was a wonderful glass heron sculpture, I think…whatever, it was beautiful.
    Armstrong stood on the podium with third overall, as Andy Schleck, from Luxembourg, took second, and Schleck also won the white jersey as best young rider, his last race in the “young category”.
    This tour was actually one of method before surprise…pretty much no major surprises, but to a cycling fan, still good stuff. Both Schleck and Armstrong stated they will be back next year, going straight after Contador, and it should be titanic, Lance and Alberto no longer teammates, as Team Astana is likely history.

  82. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 26, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Gotta recommend to anyone passing through the Allegheny Highlands of West Virginia (hey, why are you laughing? it could happen) that you stop at the Green Bank National Radio Telescope. Totally, totally geekilicious. New RT built in 2000, and the entry visitor’s center has in the front driveway the actual original homebrew RT built by Grote Reber in Wheaton IL in 1937 with $4000 of his own money, including a Model T axle for parts. That, and a Milky Way with sharply defined edges every night down by Frost, WV last week — no moon, no lights nearby, and a lake to reflect it in.

    So i stop by a Barnes & Noble on the way home today, to find the Atlantic August fiction issue, and find that a fellow named, um, Bob Geene? Greene, maybe — he apparently invented daily newspaper journalism in Columbus, Ohio some years back, and wrote a book about it. Anybody around here know anything about this historical memoir? (Ducks.)

  83. Jolene said on July 26, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Thanks Vel­vet — I can’t believe more of the clear-thinking minds who fre­quent this spot did not see it more the way we did — fault lay in both direc­tions in that sit­u­a­tion.

    Dorothy, I think many people recognized that Professor Gates might not have behaved particularly well–at least I did. Still, I believe the person carrying the gun, the person whose occupation it is to handle difficult interactions with citizens and who presents himself as an expert on police-community issues regarding race, has the greater burden to make sure the situation doesn’t get out of hand.

  84. Deborah said on July 26, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    And Jolene (and Dorothy) the 5’7″, 150 pound, guy with the cane who just got back from a trip to China and had a cold, who was in his own home might be a little peeved to find himself a suspect of a crime that was non-existent. I love the way Obama handled it by inviting Crowley and Gates to the White House for a beer. Cool. Did anybody read Maureen Dowd today, pretty good synopsis. And I don’t usually like what Modo has to say.

  85. moe99 said on July 26, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Deborah,
    Agree with you on the MoDo opinion piece today.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/opinion/26dowd.html?pagewanted=print

    Now my limited understanding of the crime Gates was charged with, disturbing the peace, was that as long as he was in his house, it was not ‘public’ and thus the peace could not have been disturbed. Once he was on his porch, it is ‘arguably’ public and the charge was filed. However, Massachusetts may have done away with this altogether, so that could be why it was dropped. Another point is whether the ‘crowd’ outside the house was there because of the ruckus Gates was making, or whether they were drawn by the fact that there were a number of policemen on the lawn–kind of like a car accident. Hopefully this will all be discussed during the beer session.

  86. MichaelG said on July 26, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    You can see my posts on this subject from the other day. Forget all the technical bullshit about who was where. I still see Gates as one of those assholes roaming around out there with his antennae fully deployed, quivering for any hint of racial slur, real or imagined, ready to react, secure in his elite Harvard professorhood. Crowley as one of those cops estranged from the people he is supposed to support, living in an us vs. them world who was sensitive to any hint of disrespect to his cophood or manhood. I see a pair of jerks on a collision course whose impact does no credit to blacks who have a real beef or to cops who, in the tough job they do, also have their beef. I think the incident needs to be seen in this light. Hysterical screeds on either’s behalf do nobody any good. They’re nothing but a couple of chumps who deserve one another. Obama’s beer fest should be BYOB.

  87. brian stouder said on July 26, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    MichaelG – I respectfully (and comprehensively)disagree, but aside from that, it was good to hear that you and yours had a pleasant weekend.

    We just finished watching “The Reader” – and with regard to Kate Winslet naked, I give that movie 5 stars!

    The movie itself is a bit of a trainwreck with the Nazi overlay, and Ralph Fiennes is to knuckly-gnawing angst as Arnold Schwarzenegger is to pithy sayings and glinty eyes – or Adrienne Barbeau to plunging cleavage.

    I suppose the real theme of the movie is intimate power; the romantic power shifts back and forth between young-Ralph (“Michael”) and Kate(“Hannah”), before she gives up some of her power, and then grabs it back again, before losing it all; whereas he becomes more powerful, before disintegrating into hand-gnawing inaction – if not outright cowardice.

    Anyway – an all-in-all good movie

  88. moe99 said on July 26, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Eugene Volokh is a noted conservative law school professor at UCLA who has put together a first rate legal blog. Here is what Eric Pozner at http://www.volokh.com has to say about the Massachusetts statute that was used to charge Gates, and its judicial interpretation:

    http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2009_07_19-2009_07_25.shtml#1248465451

  89. Dorothy said on July 27, 2009 at 8:26 am

    I agree with you both, Deborah and Jolene, but the police officer has no control over the behavior of a man who was acting belligerent and disagreeable without fully thinking about how that would look to someone who does not know him. How can the police officer be blamed for the situation getting out of hand if the guy would not shut up and settle down?? Putting race and a cane and his age aside, it’s never right to yell and harass a person of authority who has a gun. You keep a civil tongue in your head and get that smart-ass stuff out of your system after they leave. I already stated I thought both men did not behave entirely as they should have. But it’s my opinion that the officer was only reacting to the way Gates was behaving. Maybe it’s because I have relatives in law enforcement that I’m not able to get on board with those more aligned with Professor Gates. I hope that I’m being fair and clear-eyed with my evaluation of what transpired. But none of us was there – none of us can say with 100% certainty which way the burden of blame lies.

  90. moe99 said on July 27, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Dorothy, I think you actually state it in your piece: the officer was “reacting” to Gates. That’s when it’s lost. An officer is trained to not react if the sitaution is not physically dangerous to others. I’m Sure it was hard on the psyche to have to listen to an old fart half his size verbally berate him, but even under the Massachusetts law, that is not disorderly conduct and he probably knew that, if his training was up to date. I like to hope that our society is flexible enough to allow for give and take–I’m reading The Book Thief right now and its description of being an ordinary citizen in Germany during WW2 is chilling. I can see how easy it is to get there from here.

  91. coozledad said on July 27, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Moe: I think we got part of the way there in the post 9/11 hysteria, and the media-orchestrated Bush-worship. We’ve got our own little Iron Guard or Ustashe just waiting for an excuse to spring into action. Shit, there was a sandwich shop run by Coptic Christians from Egypt in Oxford, NC and some filthy huckster of a pastor denounced them from the pulpit saying they cheered as the towers came down. The white trash just ate it up.The funny thing was, I heard some Baptist fuckheads accusing the Methodists of funneling money to Al Quaeda.
    When this society breaks down, it’ll be a circular firing squad like no one has ever seen.

  92. LAMary said on July 27, 2009 at 10:50 am

    I think that guys with certain degrees of fame or power or money can get all “do you know who I am” with cops no matter what race they are. Cops should walk it off unless something really bad is going on because it’s never going to work out well. Imagine Donald Trump in the situation Gates was in. Or Keith Olbermann. Bill O’Reilly. I think they would all be jerks.

  93. Dorothy said on July 27, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Yes I agree Moe. The police officer did over react. I think I said that way up at comment #6. That’s how the whole thing became such a mess. What gets my dander up is those who are accusing only the officer of bad behavior. I think it was equally shared.

  94. moe99 said on July 27, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Just got this in from a constitutional law professor and wanted to share with the group:

    “MA construes its disorderly conduct statute narrowly because it has to in order to avoid having it declared unconstitutional on its face; like every other state, it is bound by Lewis v. City of New Orleans, 415 U.S. 130 (1974), http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=us&vol=415&invol=130 and by City of Houston v. Hill, 482 U.S. 451 (1987) http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=482&invol=451 Speech cannot be the basis for a disorderly conduct arrest unless it threatens an imminent breach of the peace. As the Court observed in Hill, ‘The freedom of individuals verbally to oppose or challenge police action without thereby risking arrest is one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state.’ If that is true for Hill on a street corner, it is even more surely true in one’s home.”