Free crack.

So many interesting things in the meeee-dya — every so often I like to say it like the pests who brayed it in my ear all these years — this weekend. I hardly know where to start. As many of you know, Detroit is having a moment in the national spotlight; Time magazine bought a house in town to be home base for its yearlong look at the city. Their first cover story is either this week or last, but I haven’t read it yet (although I bookmarked the blog). I’m catching up with everything else this weekend:

“On the Media” looks at poverty porn with the unnamed but unmistakable presence of Jim Griffioen, aka Sweet Juniper. (The piece slams Time magazine for its drive-by tactics, amusingly.)

The New York Times covers Mayor Dave Bing, the ol’ crepehanger.

Best of all was this WSJ feature, looking at the decline through the lens of a single house, which was once in the swankiest neighborhood in town and today is vacant and recently sold for a four-figure price. This was the part that caught my eye:

In 2005, (a previous owner, the Andrews) found a buyer, Kimberly Carpenter, willing to pay their $189,000 asking price. They were too relieved to question why Ms. Carpenter’s closing documents recorded the sales price as $250,000.

County records show Ms. Carpenter took out simultaneous loans of $200,000 and $50,000 from First NLC Financial Services, a unit of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, an Arlington, Va., investment bank. First NLC specialized in subprime mortgages — loans for borrowers with damaged credit.

At the time, Detroit was swept up in the subprime-lending frenzy that hit much of the country and eventually sparked the financial crisis and deep recession. Lenders became quick to loan to high-risk borrowers.

Ms. Carpenter, 37, says she was buying the house on behalf of her father, Lewis Maxwell, whose own credit record was too blemished. “My father handled all of that,” she says of the financial details. Her father, who worked on the Chrysler assembly line, died of cancer in 2007.

David and Ruth Andrews say Ms. Carpenter paid them $189,000. They say they don’t know what happened to the other $61,000 entered into sales records.

“I have no idea about any of that,” says Ms. Carpenter. “It’s over. It’s out of my head.”

OK, so clearly Carpenter is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, nor does she come from a long line of sharp knives. When I hear the Tea Party people complain that they’re being asked to bail out people who got in over their heads, foolishly signed papers they shouldn’t have signed, I’m sympathetic. But Carpenter at least lost the house and is in a world of financial hurt. Why are the NLC bankers not in jail? That’s what I want to know:

Ms. Carpenter quickly fell behind on her payments. In August, 2006, First NLC Financial bundled Ms. Carpenter’s first loan with a pool of other troubled mortgages and sold them to American Residential Equities, or ARE, a Miami company that specialized in buying bad loans.

First NLC Financial went into liquidation last January, dragged down by mortgage losses. Its parent company, FBR Group, became Arlington Asset Investment Corp. A spokesman for Arlington said the company can’t locate the original files on the Carpenter loans or comment on the lending decision.

By November 2006, ARE’s collection agents were after Ms. Carpenter for $218,348.53 on the $200,000 mortgage, according to county documents.

Good luck with that, ARE. I wonder where the folks are who pimped a quarter-million dollars to a woman who can’t even say, today, what happened to her. There’s enough blame in this disaster to slice it up like a big fat mortgage tranche. But I’ll be saying this until the end: When you open a store giving away free crack if you sign here and here and initial there, and if anyone expresses reservations you say, “Don’t worry, this is the special non-addictive crack we’re giving away” — when that happens, you really can’t complain that the neighborhood is suddenly full of crackheads.

Oh, well. Onward to the more uplifting things:

I’m not an opera fan by a long shot, but I enjoyed this piece about Peter Gelb, the new director of New York’s Metropolitan Opera. It was worth reading just to pluck this marvelous bit of jargon from the word-sluice: “park and bark,” used to describe singers who can’t act. In usage:

…He has commissioned new productions, some of works seldom seen in New York; signed up new singers, who don’t just “park and bark,” as he puts it, but actually act; and recruited directors from Broadway…

There was also a great piece, by an opera aficionado, looking at Barbra Streisand and her miraculous voice, which was bestowed upon a woman who only saw singing as a way to get to what she really wanted to do — acting. She doesn’t warm up, she doesn’t read music, she processes everything from her gut and ear:

“I hear these melodies,” she said. “I hear horn lines and string lines. That’s what’s fun about recording with an orchestra.” She can sing things, and composer-arrangers like Bill Ross or Jeremy Lubbock have the skill to write them down, she said.

She talked about recording with Marvin Hamlisch. “I can go, ‘That’s not the right chord, no, it has to be an 11th or a 9th or something,’ ” she said. “I just know that the chord has to be in contrast, it can’t just be this.” She sang a sustained husky pitch. “I’ll say: ‘It has to rub. I want that slight rub there.’ ”

It’s funny how, when Streisand was given the chance to just act and not sing, the results were pretty uniformly crapola — “Nuts,” “The Prince of Tides,” and so on — but all agree that what makes her singing special is how very emotional it is, i.e. how much acting she does while singing.

Finally, in the On Language column, a piece on “phantonyms” — words that sound like they should mean something, but don’t. They don’t discuss my personal pet peeve (infamous does not mean “really famous”), but it scratched a very specific itch.

On Language, of course, was William Safire’ column. Who is no longer with us.

Monday, Monday. Can’t trust that day. (If I may be excused a little John Phillips lyric.) Have a good one.

Posted at 2:10 am in Detroit life, Popculch |

59 responses to “Free crack.”

  1. jcburns said on September 28, 2009 at 4:32 am

    2:10 am!? It’s a school day, isn’t it? ( let me guess: wind and rain.)

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  2. nancy said on September 28, 2009 at 7:40 am

    I’m working until 2 every morning this week. And rising at the usual ridiculous hour. If I don’t kill someone by week’s end, call the Vatican and alert them to the miracle.

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  3. Lex said on September 28, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Hooper wants to know why “infamous” doesn’t mean “unfamous,” which I thought was a pretty good question for an 8-year-old who can’t spell. More troublingly, he’s going all meta on me with his reading lessons. On the one hand, I feel obliged to back his teacher. On the other hand, when the lesson material is so crappily worded, I’ve got to have at least some sympathy for his position.

    A friend with older kids sez I should start preparing now for the inevitable day when Hooper lands with a teacher who isn’t as smart as he is. Sounds like a good idea, I said; how do I prepare? “Oh, I have no idea,” she said, “but you need to prepare anyway. We didn’t, and it was a disaster.” Hee.

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  4. ROgirl said on September 28, 2009 at 8:11 am

    I was surprised the On Language column didn’t include spendthrift.

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  5. John said on September 28, 2009 at 8:57 am


    My son corrected his 3rd grade teacher who pronounced the “T” in tsunami. Needless to say, the year went downhill from that point.

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  6. Jim said on September 28, 2009 at 9:00 am

    I recall a line from “Three Amigos”: “He’s not just famous; he’s INfamous!”

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  7. KLG said on September 28, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Wow. THAT Dave Bing! Maybe the beloved city of my father’s teenage years in the late 1940s, and for the first year of my life in the mid-1950s, has a chance. Well, it could happen.

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  8. Peter said on September 28, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Jim, my favorite line from the Three Amigos was when El Guapo asked his deputy if he had a plethora of pinatas – “Do you know what a plethora is?”

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  9. Julie Robinson said on September 28, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Yep, Time started its series on Detroit this week. Haven’t read it yet, but I did peruse Nancy’s favorite Detroit author, Mitch Albom, who showed up in Parade yesterday. He was shilling for his new book, Have a Little Faith. And amusingly, when I looked up the title on Amazon, the page also suggested another book title, The Five Jerks You Meet on Earth.

    As a musician I’m always been awed by Barbra Stresiand’s voice. It’s a shame that she has often bestowed those golden pipes on marginal material. (I wanted to say “drecky”, is that a word?) But this one was produced by Diana Krall and includes pieces by Leonard Bernstein and Jacques Brel, so I have high hopes.

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  10. Dorothy said on September 28, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Thaying plethora juth maketh me tho happy!

    I myself am a fan of sniglets. I’m really hoping y’all are familiar with them:

    Then there are the people who use a word that sounds or looks like what they want to say but they use the wrong word. One of the favorites in my family is using “phantom” instead of “fathom.” My niece’s boss says it all the time, as in “I can’t even phantom how bad it would be if the Steelers lost to the Bengals!”

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  11. alex said on September 28, 2009 at 10:13 am

    How about those who flaunt the rules instead of flouting them?

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  12. LAMary said on September 28, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Julie, I’m with you. I could get a lot more interested in Barbra Streisand if she had never recorded Guilty with the BeeGees. What dreckiness.

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  13. ROgirl said on September 28, 2009 at 10:59 am

    A guy I once worked with told me that someone else in the company said “pacific” instead of “specific.” I’d never heard of that and thought he was joking, but it was true. It sounded like a speech impediment.

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  14. Rana said on September 28, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Peter, I love that line – and that movie – as well.

    Lex, as a kid I – and my brother – regularly found ourselves in your son’s soon-to-be situation. (The most notorious incident involved my brother and a debate about whether or not birds have whiskers. As it turns out, my brother was correct – some do.) The worst was the year one of my teachers was replaced by the substitute for most of the term; the woman was, to put it bluntly, an idiot, and not one that was good at hiding it, either.

    I guess my advice would be to tell your son to learn what he can despite such teachers, and to take it as an exercise in learning how to look for what they can teach him, and how to feign respect for people for whom you have little or none. Sometimes one can be surprised by what “dumb” people can teach you (smart is more a matter of processing speed than knowledge, in my opinion), so don’t assume that just because a teacher has typos in the homework you know more than they do. Remind him too that being disrespectful won’t get him off the hook for the homework, and it’ll make life harder. And he can always vent at home, where it’s safe to do so.

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  15. Sue said on September 28, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Lex, listen to Rana and then sit down and read together a whole bunch of Roald Dahl, in particular ‘Matilda’ and ‘Danny, The Champion of the World’, then discuss. Roald comes back again and again to themes about dealing with idiotic and dangerous adults in subversive and creative ways.

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  16. moe99 said on September 28, 2009 at 11:30 am

    As long as we are talking about a subset of malapropisms, let me mention my favorite: mondegreens.

    Jimi Hendrix singing Purple Haze, “S’cuse me while I kiss this guy.”

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  17. cosmo panzini said on September 28, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    All the talk of the great things happening to Dee-troit, and not a word about the Lions yesterday? And Streisand–Oy vey, how did she get so rich with such limited gifts?

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  18. Jean S said on September 28, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    oh, mondegreens my mondegreens, how I love thee…

    from an early Jon Carroll column, this adaptation of “God Bless America” lyrics: “through the night, with a light from a bulb.”

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  19. Sue said on September 28, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Cosmo, I don’t like Barbra but even I have to admit her talent is special.
    The thing that springs to mind whenever her name comes up, though, is television coverage I saw several years ago of some fundraiser she had at her place, for one of her liberal political causes. It was hilarious, all glittery and shiny with Barbra speaking to a group of apparently enraptured fellow liberals as a piano tinkled accompaniment to her speech. With that odd smacking noise she makes when she speaks, it had the feel of a parody but these people were dead serious in their adoration.
    Sound familiar? Such behavior is across the spectrum, apparently, and should be laughed at indescriminately.

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  20. kayak woman said on September 28, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I wonder if there is a word for my octogenarian mother’s tendency to substitute words. The most recent was when someone mentioned trifocals and, even though she knew that the conversation was about corrective lenses, she took off on a long explanation about her “tricycles” and how she didn’t need them any more after her recent cataract surgery.

    My favorite mondegreen (never heard that word before today, thanks, Moe!) also involves my mother, *many* years ago. After hearing an amateur duo sing “Leaving on a Jet Plane”, she asked, “why on earth would anyone sing about Lincoln on his death bed?”

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  21. Dave K. said on September 28, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Cosmo, Pilot Joe and Dexter both offered their congratulations late on the previous thread. I add my hearty “Well Done” as well. Maybe folks heard the score and thought “it must be a mistake…”.

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  22. coozledad said on September 28, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    A friend of mine said she couldn’t listen to Elvis Costello anymore after he released his country album. He’d become an anti-Semite, she said.
    She’d misheard the line
    “Why don’t you love me like you used to do?
    Why do you treat me like a worn out shoe?
    Why don’t you love me like you used to do?
    Why do you treat me like a one-eyed Jew?”

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  23. LAMary said on September 28, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    I’ve always liked “She’s got the wasted movement, Cherry.” by Neil Diamond.

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  24. Jeff Borden said on September 28, 2009 at 1:24 pm


    Reminds me of that scene in “Annie Hall,” where the Woody Allen character is convinced of another character’s anti-Semitism because he has asked, “Didn’t you,” which Woody’s ears hear as “Jew.”

    Every time I think the industry I gave more than three decades of my life to cannot get any crazier in its death throes, I read something that signals we have not yet hit bottom. I see the New York Times has assigned a staffer –whose identity will be kept secret to prevent him from being lobbied, apparently– to monitor the fever swamps of extreme opinions on radio, TV and the Internet because the paper apparently feels that it is not learning about important trends like birtherism and death panels soon enough.

    Aside from pitying the poor staffer who must listen daily to Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and the rest of the circus performers, I’m more than a little appalled that the nation’s paper of record is signaling that it must weigh in on and/or cover the fever dreams of some of these loons. Ugh.

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  25. beb said on September 28, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    For the longest tijme I thought the song was “going to the boat show” only to learn just recently that it was “going to the go-go.” Wow, that changes everything. Though, of the two I’d probably enjoy the boat show over a go-go.

    I felt smugly superior that I recognized most of the distinctions given in the On Language column.

    Speaking of keeping up with your children, recently I was waiting for my daughter’s bus to show it. It was running late, so I texted her asking where she was. She replied “en route.” Where the hell did she learn that word? Or now how to spell or use it correctly? It’s not a common conversational word.

    ROGirl, I think spendthrift is more an oxymoron than an phantonym.

    As a city worker I’m less than impressed by Bing’s plan to close a $300 million hole in the city budget through worker concessions. The problem is that even if he got everything he wanted it only comes to $40 million savings which doesn’t comes close to closing anything. He would do better to terminate outside contractors and take work back in-house where it can be done cheaper. (Becase municiple workers aren’t trying to make a profit on top of the work performed.)

    Maybe I’m just being crankly today.

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  26. Julie Robinson said on September 28, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Beb, you get a pass–anyday that includes contemplating layoffs in your workplace gives you the right to be cranky and crankly.

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  27. Sue said on September 28, 2009 at 2:18 pm

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  28. Dexter said on September 28, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I loved my fifth grade teacher, and as I looked back, I realized she was the best teacher I had , period.
    I really felt bad when I corrected her during geography. She said “YO-sem-eye-t”. I knew it was Yo-SEMM-uh -tee , because I watched cartoons and Yosemite Sam was a fave. Still, that dumb kid back then should have bit his stupid tongue.

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  29. 4dbirds said on September 28, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Well here in DC the callers to sports shows are ready to string up all the Redskins, their coach and especially their owner for losing to Detroit.

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  30. Dexter said on September 28, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Guantanamo prisoners escape being stuck in Standish, Michigan

    Think my “headline” is goofy? Get a load of the comments by readers of this story!

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  31. paddyo' said on September 28, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    ROgirl, in the tradition of “pacific,” David Letterman pokes fun at that kind of malapropism whenever he talks in his monologue about “statistics” as “satistics” …

    OK, Rocking Horse People, a round of marshmallow pies in honor of dear departed Lucy …

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  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 28, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    The Viceland story included this summary by Sweet Juniper – “Time magazine sent a 24-year-old guy to Detroit,” James Griffioen told me. “They wouldn’t let him rent a car, so he was dropped off in a cab downtown. He’s there for six hours and he’s supposed to write a feature article on Detroit. For Time. He had a meeting with the mayor in the morning, the mayor stood him up, then he had a meeting with me, and that was it.”

    I was interviewed for a Newsweek story that appears in three weeks, and i have to admit i’m simultaneously excited & terrified, given the general lack of starting knowledge the writer had coming into our situation, and the obvious constraints she was working under (non-existent per diem, not worth it to her to spend more than two days on site, and i can’t blame her for that). There’s pressure to find the splashy conflict in a story like ours, but we don’t need more conflict pumped up between community groups, even though we’d love to have a wider audience for our narrative.

    Unlike Detroiters, i can’t imagine getting to where i’d want to tell inquiring media sorts to stuff themselves, but if i saw myself quoted in a half dozen stories none of which helped our cause a bit, and maybe set it back a ways, i’m sure i could find wording that was clear but that i wouldn’t feel guilty about using with a stranger.

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  33. paddyo' said on September 28, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I’m more than mildly surprised at Jeff TMMO’s description of the terrible way our nation’s two “leading newsmagazines” are tossing off this assignment — what I’d call “doing the Detroit story” — but apparently not even making believe they’re doing it justice.

    “General lack of starting knowledge” is astounding, as is “lack of per diem” and, in Time’s case, the unwillingness even to rent a car — not to mention six-hours’ duty to pull off the Detroit story. Sheesh. (I recall Sweet Juniper’s blogpost some months ago on his experience squiring the Time writer around town after the mayor’s office stiffed him …)

    And if these are staffers and not “merely” freelancers (whom we all know tend to be treated like excrement by many, if not most editors big and small), it’s even worse.

    Which makes Time’s purchase of a house all the more amazing — though I gather than many houses in Motown are now cheaper than cars . . .

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  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 28, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    I believe both are freelancers, but since that describes a growing percentage (half?) of the content of Time & Newsweek . . . does this mean that editors will need to not fecally handle those writers in the future?

    And i’m not even remotely impressed by Time buying a house in Detroit, especially since i’m sure they did it a) to make a point about how cheaply you can do it, and b) since it was integrated into the story, they’ll take it off their taxes.

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  35. MichaelG said on September 28, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    My favorite mon­de­green (I even sent it in to Jon Carroll one time) is Neil Diamond’s “Cracklin’ Rosie Peed on the Floor”.

    The Sacto Bee is calling the Redskins “The Raiders of the East Coast” and goes on for a column with reasons and comparisons.

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  36. velvet goldmine said on September 28, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    There’s a bathroom on the right

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  37. Hexdecimal said on September 28, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Nuke, Nuke, Nuke, Nuke the girl – Gene Chandler

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  38. Jean S said on September 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    it’s a doggy dog world.

    I told you I love them!!

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 28, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Oh, and by the way — Betty was an anthropology major? Get. Out.

    Trivia point worth knowing is that Margaret Mead was a minister’s wife for five years before she decided to “cut loose.” But she and Luther Cressman hadn’t had a child yet (and Luther himself was preparing to leave the ministry to get his advanced degree in archaeology). Mead & Dr. Spock were big deals in the early 60s . . . hmmm.

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  40. deb said on September 28, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    dexter, in high school one of my english teachers read us a poem with the line “listen to the calliope.” she pronounced it KALL-ee-ope. sheesh.

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  41. Sue said on September 28, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Got you beat, Cooz, but Michigan beats us both.

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  42. coozledad said on September 28, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Sue: They’ve pretty much taken up here. I’m just as likely to trip over one. I’ll try and get some pictures of them hobnobbing with the goats.

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  43. Hexdecimal said on September 28, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    We don’t many deer here in AZ, but we do have Elk. One guy hit 7 of them; and he survived!

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  44. LAMary said on September 28, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    West Virginia wins for deer squashing.

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  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 28, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    I dunno, western Pennsylvania has the highest piles of carcasses on the roadsides (vs. OH & WV).

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  46. LAMary said on September 28, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    That map Sue linked shows a one in 39 chance of having a deer accident.
    I feel safe here in CA. One in 1488.

    Speaking of killing wildlife, Sarah Palin’s book will be coming out on 11/17. Better get in line now.

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  47. Dorothy said on September 28, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    My brother Dave thought the Bee Gees were singing about a “bald-headed woman” (more than a woman).

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  48. Connie said on September 28, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    I must admit that for years I wonder how it was “F**k the Casbah” could be played on the radio.

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  49. crazycatlady said on September 29, 2009 at 12:35 am

    ‘Climb every woman’ was about tall ladies? The real words are “I’m Every Woman’.

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  50. Dexter said on September 29, 2009 at 1:29 am

    I watched the Ken Burns thing. It was special to me because I learned a lot about the relationship between Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir. I have blogged here before about my awe-filled visits to Muir Woods and Yosemite National Park when I was in California when I was a young man. I drove to Yosemite a few times and like TR and Muir, I slept on an army poncho thrown on the ground , under the stars. Back on the coast, I walked around in Muir Woods totally awe struck.
    I had forgotten the little footnote I had read about the Hetch-Hetchy dam/reservoir project that broke John Muir’s heart and spirit.
    When I was a kid in school in Indiana, we were taught Indiana history.
    I wonder if California kids were taught about the political power play that was exerted to dam-up that wonderful valley a hundred years ago.
    I thought this show last night was well worth the time.

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  51. MarkH said on September 29, 2009 at 2:39 am

    What Dexter said. I’m watching episode 2 right now courtesy of the direct feed from PBS, and saw your post. How close we came to not having national parks, if not for the well-known Muir, and many others I had not heard of. TR certainly becomes a big hero when the power of the Antiquities Act is dropped in his lap. Then Hetch-Hetchy happened and broke Muir’s heart, as you said. The series is excellent and more than worth your time.

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  52. Deborah said on September 29, 2009 at 6:53 am

    MarkH, do you see a correlation between not having National Parks and not having National Healthcare? They are both interested in preserving our greatest National treasures that commerce was/is squandering. Are they not similar?

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  53. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 29, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Ask any hospital administrator – we have a national health care policy. That’s not saying “end of discussion,” but for context, it’s important to think it through from that angle. The debate is how big it should become, and whether it should be more state-by-state, or more federally managed.

    Right now, you have an implicit “right” to emergency care, unevenly (unequally) provided across the country through public hospital ERs. There’s broad agreement this is not enough, and may actually cost more than providing more comprehensive care. But jumping from that system to a “right” to equivalent care for all residents of the country, regardless of location — that’s comparable to going from a commitment to provide shelter for all citizens to making housing a right, and defining it as no less than 600 sq ft per person with private bathroom & kitchenette as a legal minimum standard. I can argue that getting to that outcome is desirable and morally incumbent on us, but still say that making it a right, when we have no idea how to pay for it and deliver it, simply puts the government simultaneously on the defensive and forces intrusion into the economy in a way that is very likely to actually impede the delivery of housing services to those getting it right now.

    Making the House/Senate plan level of health care a “civil right,” which is what i hear said with great sincerity and passion, is going to have more negative outcomes than positive ones, even beyond the unsustainability of that level across the board. It will take us back to the pre-1997 entitlement approach to governmental benefits, and the sticky trap of AFDC and litigation as social work. Add in that we couldn’t have afforded that cost, socially, even before 2008, and i gotta say “whoa.”

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  54. Lex said on September 29, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Rana: Hooper didn’t think the teacher was dumb; he was just stunned that she couldn’t see it his way, too. (And he’s a pretty polite kid. He just often finds himself confused, for good reason.)

    Sue: Dahl! Of course! Why didn’t I think of that? (smacks self in head)

    And for all interested in mondegreens, there’s Enjoy!

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  55. ROgirl said on September 29, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Good Vibrations always had me confused. I thought it was “gotta keep those love good vibrations a half man weather.”

    The real lyrics are pretty strange anyway: “gotta keep those lovin’ good vibrations a happenin’ with her.” Thank you, Brian Wilson.

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  56. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 29, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Flip side — by way of my wife, a former NPS naturalist ranger and PhD in non-formal education/natural resources interpretation: over 98% of all visitors to national parks never get more than 150 feet from their car.

    If i weren’t a conservative, i’d say there should be federal legislation requiring everyone to spend at least one week a year not using a car (special provision for disabled persons, etc.), and call for a national program to ensure that each person take at least two nature hikes a season. Ideally with Shelton Johnson.

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  57. Crabby said on September 29, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Big deer hangout around here (S. Ohio)

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  58. LAMary said on September 29, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Crabby, those are such perfect looking deer. I know they eat the garden and spread ticks and things, but, awwww. They look like Bambi.

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  59. Deborah said on September 29, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Everything you’ve said jeff (tmmo) about the cost being too high and dire outcomes of National Healthcare was said back then to try to keep the government from having and funding National Parks. And it didn’t happen.

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