My labor today is elsewhere.

Hey, pals. I spent the morning writing a column for, which some of you might enjoy. Here’s the top:

For many years, center-left people like me knew who the bad guys were — the religious right. We learned to recognize their code words, their iterations and mash-ups of “family,” “values,” “faith” and “life.” (They, in turn, knew ours — “diversity,” “tolerance,” “embrace” and the all-important “people of” usage.) I suppose, in the back of my mind, I knew the pendulum would swing away from them someday, but as long as they could get respect from the people who spent my tax money, the watchword was vigilance.

What I didn’t expect was the emotion I felt watching the strange, bumbling comedy at the War Memorial Thursday night (March 25), where a little-known Grosse Pointe Farms group called Point of Relevance sponsored a presentation by one Linda Harvey, a Columbus, Ohio woman whose group, Mission: America, seeks — quoting from their website here — “to equip Christians with current, accurate information about cultural issues such as feminism, homosexuality, education and New Age influences.” Harvey came expecting to speak to the like-minded Point of Relevance. But they were outnumbered by a crowd of my people, scrambled via social networks and e-mail, holding signs and itching for a confrontation.

As a journalist, I’ve seen many such divided crowds, taunting one another. But I’ve never looked at the other side and felt this: Pity.

You can read the rest here. I’m not much for the cross-posting thing — most of you live elsewhere, I know — but I can’t be two people, people!

Besides, I have some good bloggage today:

Hank found a photo from the White House’s Flickr stream, and got a pretty good blog post out of it. It’s of special interest to those of you who write, for the living or for the love. If you follow his link back to the original on Flickr, you can blow the photo up huge and examine it in detail. It’s worth it.

But don’t stay there — on the White House’s photostream — too long. You can get lost in there.

This letter, “from a doctor who will not comply,” is racing around the internets. I’m calling b.s. on it. From the too-generic name (Linda Johnston, MD) to the suspicious lack of any identifying details (city or even state of practice), to the casual use of questionable statistics (Obamacare creates 150 new government agencies), to the oddly literate, flowing prose, the letter is pegging my meter. The time-stamp on my Facebook call on this was about 8:30 a.m. I’ll apologize if I’m wrong, but if I’m right, I want credit.

And while we’re on the subject of doctors, real ones, I know the one in this NYT story today. Mike Mirro is a cardiologist in Fort Wayne, one of the very very best, and this story is important. Read.

With that, I’m out. Have a great weekend.

Posted at 10:38 am in Current events, Media |

61 responses to “My labor today is elsewhere.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 26, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Second the bs call — smells like it, the best test.

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  2. Sue said on March 26, 2010 at 11:42 am

    What’s happened with physician groups in my area is that an aggressive, top-down organization began purchasing groups and hospitals about 15 years ago. It didn’t take long for the remaining groups to see what was happening to the doctors who had become employees for this group (let’s just say physicians lost autonomy), and the remaining groups and hospitals began forming ties themselves, sometimes loose (just forming buying groups) and sometimes more structured (hospitals and physician groups forming partnerships). I think it’s actually been a good thing, although pretty nerve-wracking because some of the behavior has been almost predatory. One of the problems around here is competitive hospital-building, and that has caused some hard feelings and will probably kill at least one of the groups – there’s not enough money to keep all that health care afloat.
    And re the Doctor Who Will Not Comply – nothing on yet, but the letter has all the red flags that they look for.

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  3. beb said on March 26, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I don’t know if Doctors Who Will Not Comply is legit, but I don’t recall anything about anything MAKING them do anything. And if they are so unhappy with doing the job they trained for I’m sure there are other positions they are apply for, like working for insurance companies telling you that your medical procedure are unnecessary and too expensive and therefore they won’t pay for it.

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  4. Claire said on March 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I know Linda Harvey – in high school I was friends with her daughter. Her anti-homosexuality group had a big conference about converting from homosexuality when I was on my hs paper and my co-editor and I did a big story on it. I’m not surprised she’s still around, but you’re so right in your article. The question of homosexuality is over and she totally lost.

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  5. Julie Robinson. said on March 26, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    OT: Brian wrote about Neil LaBute’s lecture here last night, and I’m happy to tell you that the man is a good tipper. My son served him breakfast this morning and his tip was more than the bill. And that’s my feel-good story of the day.

    I’m wondering about this remake of Death at a Funeral he’s directing, though. The British version is only a couple of years old and gets the high rating of peeyourpantsfunny from me. Hope this one isn’t a sell out, although it looks like Peter Dinklage is reprising his role. Rent the original if you need some good silly laughs.

    We watched The Time Traveler’s Wife last night and not since Benjamin Button have I cared less about the fate of two beautiful leads. Boring and confusing, and I had read the book.

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  6. moe99 said on March 26, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Julie, I didn’t much care for the book either and I probably was the lone dissenter at my book club.

    More bloggage. Did you know that the teabagger Vanderboegh, the fellow who’s been enciting his teabagger friends to violence, gets by on government disability? And he doesn’t see the irony. At all.

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  7. Dorothy said on March 26, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I agree about getting lost in the White House photographers’ photos at flickr. I added them (it?) a few months ago and it’s one of my favorite places to browse. Once in awhile there’s a shot of Bo and being such a dog lover, those are the ones that really make me smile. And thank you for the post/link to your GrossePointeToday entry. That gives me a good deal of hope that maybe the country has not complete lost it’s collective mind, and perhaps we’ll get back on track soon with rational, compassionate people trumping the homophobes and teabagging numbskulls.

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  8. Rana said on March 26, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Given that the legislation is about reforming insurance practices, and says little or nothing about actual health care or doctors, I say it’s a bunch of hooey.

    Besides, I already file my own insurance claims when I go to the dentist. It saves me money, because the dentist offers me a discount if I do it, and I can’t imagine that I’m alone in that. So, oooo…. scary, a doctor might do it too!

    I had to laugh a little reading Hank’s comments on the colors of teachers’ correcting pens. One of the first things I learned in grad school, facing my first pile of papers to grade, was to use pencil.

    (You never know when you might change your mind about a comment, need to correct a mal-formed letter, or erase a question mark about something the student finally answers at the very end.)

    I don’t know any of my colleagues who use pen, of any color, except for the final grade at the end of the comments. These days, I do all my grading online – no hard copies at all.

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  9. prospero said on March 26, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Why Hot Tub Time Machine deserves a break:

    1. No J. Apatow involved. Those are stupid movies.

    2. No bitten in the nuts by a dog joke. (I’m just gussing.)

    3, John Cusack’s in it, and thia guy is brilliant, and if you don’t believe that, warch Natty Gann or Being John Malkovich.
    4. It’s the best movie title since Snakss, which the inestimable Samuel Jackson agreed to make when he heard the title.

    Would you all agree, Michael Caine is as good as it gets. Sir Michael.

    Michael Caine famously said somethng about making the stinkers so he had the cash in hand to make the good ones. Tht’s whTSteven King ssaid about The Arand.Sean Connery probably agrees. Those two guys made The Man Who Would Be King, as good a movie as any of you ever saw.Katherin Hepburn never had to make a bad movie, It was all a factory running 24 houra. Bringing Up Bzby

    I don’t know. Do you think Dressed to kill is amazing, or don’t you?

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  10. Jeff Borden said on March 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm


    One of my friends won two tickets to a a screening for “Hot Tub Time Machine,” so I saw it a couple of weeks ago. I can’t really recommend it, per se, as it celebrates the standard gross outs that are part and parcel for this kind of buddy movie. If you are anxious to see a squirrel knocked off its perch by a torrent of projectile vomit, this is your movie. But I did laugh out loud more than once and Rob Cordry is pretty damned funny in a very, very out there kind of way. And it is good to see the angular Crispin Glover in a movie again.

    “HTTM” plays fair. You know what you are getting when you walk inside the theater. It’s getting mostly three-star reviews, so who knows how long it will be playing? It’s not “Something About Mary,” which remains one of my favorite comedies, but it’s not completely worthless, either.

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  11. brian stouder said on March 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Julie – that is a very nice story. The other day Nance referred to people who are just naturally quick or who have a natural edge (whether intuitively or cognitively, or whatever), and that’s how LaBute comes across. Listening to him talk, he clearly has it goin’ on. And still, he radiates pleasantness in a nerdy-nice way; he reminded me of Rachel Maddow, in the way he spoke.

    Jeff – I answered you at the end of the last thread; that Plouffe lecture sounds great!

    Here’s hoping for the best for Dennis Hopper, who is apparently near the end. I may have to rent some Hopper movies (Blue Velvet leaps to mind; not a spectacular ‘Hopper movie’, but he’s in there, and Isabella Rosalini is quite spectacular in there)

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  12. prospero said on March 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Pity? Tbey can’t be thar srupid unless in tentional. One Republicn say one single thing they said that was true about health care reform, One zinglw thing tht was remotelly true. Letg’s hear it. One thing anybody said tht remotely pproched the truth? One simgle time they approached telling the truth? Well they didn’t nd they still got their mssive paychecks They got payed big bucka for not xoing their jobs beczuze the shrink government moronz fell them to and they are zych morons they listen t Glenn Beck, There is no possiblle way you can stupider thzn that.

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  13. Deborah said on March 26, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Nancy, you’ve put together another vitamin packed post. Enjoyed your article in GrossePointeToday, especially the line about the “Christian filibuster”. You’re so right, it’s getting more and more pitiful to be a far right-winger. Finally.

    And Hank’s post was great too, thanks for the link to it.

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  14. Scout said on March 26, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Nancy, I absolutely love you for this column. Already linked to it from my FB page. You are a fabulous writer, which is why your blog is my first internet visit every morning with several check backs during the day to see what the rest of the bunch has to say.

    And yes, that soon-to-be-viral-within-the-circles-of-thems-who-want-to-believe-it smells like SPAM to me too.

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  15. moe99 said on March 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Forgot my ps and qs. I, too love your column, Nancy. My youngest brother is gay and I’ve been extra sensitive to this issue since he told me back in 1983.

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  16. Jeff Borden said on March 26, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I hate to be the poop in the punchbowl, but here in deep blue Illinois the GOP gubernatorial candidate is a hard right-winger from downstate who not only opposes gay marriage, but even gay civil unions. (He also opposes abortions, even in the case of rape or incest, though he generously will allow it to save the life of the mother.) His chances are not that remote. The Democratic Party in Illinois is filthy dirty. It might be enough to throw a majority of votes toward this trog.

    I agree the gay issue is pretty much settled. When you read about a very out high school lesbian girl in rural Mississippi –even in the context of her sexuality leading to the cancellation of her school’s prom– you have to figure there are visible gay citizens pretty much everywhere. . .even in the darkest corners of Crackerville, USA. Yet there remains a very sizable group of people who refuse to accept it and they can’t be discounted even if their numbers continue to dwindle.

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  17. judybusy said on March 26, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    I really appreciate all the gay-positive comments! I think we have come a long way, but from my view, there is a loooong way to go. We know the obvious lack of rights, but there are other things many straight people usually aren’t aware of.

    For example, there are certain parts of the country I would never move to simply because my partner and I would not be welcome. Also on the books in the supposedly blue state of Minnesota, where we live now: in 1998 or so, the state legislature made it illegal to allow local governments to offer same-sex benefits. I work for the county, so, if I wanted to, I couldn’t put my partner on my benefits. I formerly worked for a hospital that did allow this, but then I paid an extra $175 each month in taxes for the portion the hospital paid towards the insurance.

    So, yeah, there are a few of us on TV and many people think this is not an issue, but it’s far from over. On a very personal note, my father has not really spoken to me since I came out to him in 2001. It’s bigotry, pure and simple. So, it means so much to hear everyone here say such supportive things.

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  18. Jeff Borden said on March 26, 2010 at 3:23 pm


    I am truly sorry your father has acted in this manner. I hope his heart softens over the years and you have a rapprochement. It’s terribly sad to withdraw affection from a child simply because she is being true to herself.

    The numbers of homophobes and haters continues to decline as Nancy’s column notes quite clearly. It will take a long while before we’re all on the same page, but I no longer get the sense this is an energizing issue for the right-wingers.

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  19. Dorothy said on March 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Judy my heart hurts for you to read about the falling out with your father. I have a niece who is gay, a couple of cousins, loads of friends (theatre ones and not theatre ones) so I have long wondered why in God’s name would anyone just hate a group of people for who or what they are. It’s just beyond my ability to imagine thinking that way. One of the international students I’ve met this year at Kenyon has not even come out to his family in Europe, and talks to me more openly than his own mother. I think that’s a crime and a shame and astounds me all at the same time. The only thing I can think of to do when I hear about situations like yours and this student is to pray that God opens the hearts and minds of the people who are unaccepting of their loved ones.

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  20. nancy said on March 26, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Judy, If I hadn’t been so in love with making gay jokes in that column, I would have mentioned something else I noticed: If you singled out the people under 40 in that room last night, every single one was on the pro-gay side. Even conservative young adults have gotten this message, I think. That’s why I said it’s just over. These skirmishes that we’re fighting now, over the definition of marriage and all that, that’s all they are — skirmishes. There will always be a few people like your father, who probably still loves you very much, but just can’t reconcile that with what he’s always believed about homosexuality. But for the most part, the battle’s won.

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  21. judybusy said on March 26, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Oh, I dunno if it’s waning, Jeff. I still see a lot of states voting against marital rights. Time is on our side, though, as the youth typically could care less about orientation. Also, the lack of action on DADT is to me, an indication of how the right could still use it as hugely distracting issue. I believe that’s the main reason Obama just hasn’t issued an executive order eliminating it.

    Edit: Thanks, Dorothy and Nancy. I hope you’re right that it’s just skirmishes! It’s people like you who give all of us hope.

    Thanks for your thoughts on my dad. The (hopefully rarer) rupture in families because of homophobia is something the ranters probably don’t give much thought to, but I believe they help fuel the fires. Imagine what might be if those people ranted AGAINST homophobia! The rest of the family aren’t PFLAG, but at least they have come around, best as their backwards religion will let them. If I suddenly announced I’d met a nice man, I’m positive there’d be no tears shed, or questions asked. Thank goodness for all my awesome friends, who are more like family to me in reality. (and many of them have super cool families who “get it.”) Also, my partner’s family is awesome, and has been since day 1!

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  22. Catherine said on March 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    “maybe it’s time to lay down the culture-war arms and watch “Glee” together.” Perfect way to wrap up the week, heck, the decade.

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  23. Julie Robinson. said on March 26, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    More Glee, less hate! My first boyfriend was gay although he couldn’t verbalize it at the time. He was such a sweet and loving boy and my heart breaks a little everytime I think about his rocky path and eventual AIDS diagnosis and death. I’m positive that someday in heaven we’ll be in another musical together. His family never understood why he couldn’t be a football star like his older brothers and treated him as an outcast even before he was out. I’m so sorry that you have also been treated badly, Judy. I can’t even imagine how much it would hurt to be rejected by a parent.

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  24. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 26, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    If you need a Dennis Hopper movie this next week, there is only one choice.

    “Hoosiers.” (Go Butler, Go Boilers!)

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  25. Joe Kobiela said on March 26, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Want a feel good happy movie this weekend? Go out and see How to train your dragon. Went with the wife and movie critic daughter and thought it was great. Saw the 3-d version and the stuff they do with animation is fantastic.
    Pilot Joe

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  26. Dexter said on March 26, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    brianstouder: “Blue Velvet” is indeed a spectacular Hopper film. His Frank Booth character is one of the most memorable roles ever.
    Of course, Hopper also was in “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant”, and he goes back even farther than that. His apex has to be 1986, when he turned in a body of work that very well be the best year any actor ever had. He played the wacko Feck in “River’s Edge”, in which his girlfriend was a goddam blow-up sex doll; he played the aforementioned Frank Booth, and he also played Shooter in “Hoosiers”. All in one year. Man…
    Hopper’s art collection is top-of-the-world; he’s made many more millions of dollars dealing his art collection around than he ever made in movies.
    I became aware of him in 1969. I rode a bus to a bad part of town in San Antonio , where I was stuck for three months once. That movie had more of an impact on 1969 society than anybody remembers. I was 20 years old and it just fried me. It’s not easy to recall the emotions I had back then when I saw it back in San Antone, but it is still a worthwhile way to spend an evening in the home theater room.
    Man, you folks hear about the shooting in Waterloo, Indiana, today? Time to turn on WANE TV for an update….some guy shot his wife…US 6 is closed…S.W.A.T. squad in place…many rounds fired…what de HAIL?

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    • nancy said on March 26, 2010 at 6:17 pm

      I covered and/or recall two or maybe three murder-suicides of entire families in Waterloo. That town needs a new motto for the city-limits signs.

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  27. Deborah said on March 26, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Dennis Hopper movies, don’t forget the classics “Easy Rider” and “Apocalypse Now”. Dennis Hopper was a regular in Northern New Mexico, he has left his mark there. May his last days be peaceful and filled with the serenity of knowing he enriched people’s lives with his life’s work.

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  28. Jeff Borden said on March 26, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    I just saw Dennis Hopper get gunned down by Burt Lancaster in “Gunfight at O.K. Corral,” where he played one of the younger members of the Clanton clan. Then, caught him the next night as the hired killer Lyle from Dallas in “Red Rock West,” one of the slickest and most entertaining of the neo-noir films, where he’s decked out in black Western-style clothing and driving a wicked black boattail 1972 Buick Riviera.

    He generally enriched just about every movie he ever appeared in over the decades. And few can play wound-too-tightly crazy like Hopper.

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  29. alex said on March 26, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Isn’t Waterloo the place where a Klan leader took some news reporters hostage one time? Then he got murdered by his own son a few years later? I was in Chicago then and didn’t get all the particulars.

    Kind of a shame the place turned into such a pit. In the nineteenth century Waterloo was home to the father and sister of the very progressive lawyer, abolitionist and underground railroad stationmaster Rush Richard Sloane of Sandusky, Ohio. A fair part of the town was platted by the Reverend Sanford Bassett, also a noted abolitionist.

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  30. LAMary said on March 26, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Trying out another gravatar. I wanted something very SoCal.

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  31. crinoidgirl said on March 26, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Jeff (tmmo) –

    My thanks, as well, for yesterday’s synopsis of Plouffe’s talk.

    And I’m also trying out my gravatar.

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  32. nancy said on March 26, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    The best info I can find on Jeff Berry (the Indiana Klan leader) is that his kid “nearly” killed him, by punching him in the head. Where? Where else? At a backyard barbecue in Spencerville. (Pause for all the Hoosiers to snicker.)

    I can’t remember if the hostage situation was in Waterloo, but it might as well have been. That was one grim-ass town, last I was there.

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  33. brian stouder said on March 26, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Hopper in Apocalypse Now was good stuff, indeed. It always seemed to me that somehow the counter-culture/Easy Rider thing stuck to Peter Fonda more than to Hopper and the others (Nicholson?), and limited him.

    The Waterloo thing is indeed a terrible story. Really, I’ve always had a good impression of Waterloo; Pam and the women go to a very beautiful, large Victorian(?) B&B there each year for scrapbooking weekends; plus they still have that drive-in movie.

    But I have always had a bad impression of Fremont, Indiana, as a place where families get wiped out by dad or grandpa.

    On the more general subject of unpleasant news, Pam and I have had our ears turned toward Carmel, an affluent northern suburb of Indianapolis. Some folks miss no opportunity to whack how “urban” (read “black”) school systems operate (such as FWCS or the Indianapolis public schools, for example) but are stone silent (if not stonewalling outright) about what goes on at suburban (read “white”) school systems.

    An example –

    Posted: Mar 15, 2010 4:52 PM EDT
    Updated: Mar 15, 2010 6:03 PM EDT

    Hamilton County – The City of Carmel has released a less-censored version of the police report surrounding the investigation of an alleged assault in a high school locker room. The document was released Monday afternoon.

    Our 13 Investigates team has been trying to get more information police initially blacked out in earlier reports. The latest, less-censored version of the police report regarding a locker room assault comes after numerous challenges by 13 Investigates to the City of Carmel. Our latest inquiry was Monday morning. Sgt. Phillip Hobson writes that he arranged a meeting with school administration to inform them of additional incidents that may have occurred after the 17-year-old victim reported “on-going” issues in the locker room. According to the report, there was an altercation in the locker room and the victim stated that he was held down by as many as two people and an unnamed person pulled down his shorts. A mother of a student was contacted, as well as Child Protective Services.

    There’s an ongoing story from the same area about “hazing” (read “rape”) on school buses down there – as a sort of tradition(!),,0,4021989.story

    Many of you are flooding our phones and email, shocked and frustrated by the police department and school district’s actions of not being more forthright. I can’t tell you how much FOX59 agrees with you and appreciates your complimentary notes of our efforts to dig deeper and uncover the truth. To be clear, this alleged incident happened more than a month ago – Friday, January 22nd. Despite four adults being on the school bus at the time, the school district maintains it did not know about the allegations until Tuesday, February 16th. We are now more than a week later – February 24th – and the school and police still maintain they can’t give basic, public information about what they are investigating happened on that school bus.

    but we digress

    And totally aside from that sort of news, my question for Nance is: What the hell is going on in the world of Big Pharma? Completely aside from Health Care Reform – what’s this about super-star criminals invading precisely the right warehouse on the right night (and during a driving rain storm); cutting through the roof and using ropes to rapel down atop the right drugs, so as to steal $75 million worth of them??

    I mean, wow.


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  34. alex said on March 26, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Spencerville’s a stone’s throw from Waterloo and also from where I live, another outcropping on the Auburn Moraine, a/k/a Redneck Ridge. We’re supposed to be getting a poopoo pipe into Fort Wayne once they figure out how to cross Cedar Creek with it and it’ll cost a hundred some bucks a month once it’s installed. By then the mortgage crisis will be over and with any luck I can flip my pretty parcel to an MBA or JD and move further into the hinterlands, but here’s hoping not next door to a Klansman.

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  35. Denice B said on March 27, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Outstanding column, Nancy. Linda and her ilk are truly being left behind as the rest of us move forward. Even as they face rebuke from us, they see it as a gift from their God as proof of their righteousness. Bah, humbug. Gay rights are rights for us all.

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  36. Dexter said on March 27, 2010 at 2:43 am

    Wow, the coppers shot Wayne King, a Butler man, who was doing the terrorizing, and killed him. He was 38, his wife was 40, and she was choppered to Fort Wayne with massive gunshot wounds to both legs. Two kids escaped to the neighbor’s and the neighbor called the sheriff’s office.
    I have a million stories about Waterloo since I visited my grandparents there as a small child, and then I lived there as a youth and went to the old Waterloo High School. I was really in-tune with the place as I knew almost everybody from having a Journal-Gazette route for four years.
    I saw a home film from 1938 a few years ago…Waterloo was a busy, thriving place, movie houses, two lumber yards, root beer & ice cream stands, two truck stops, several grocery stores, at least five barbers, at least four restaurants, I could go on, but that paints a picture of the way it was.
    The first murder I recall was in 1964 or so. One of my paper route customers had a son named Mervyn Tuttle. He was shot dead, and the next Monday the principal took the entire senior class to the murder site to look for the murder bullet. I wasn’t a senior so I missed the excitement. They never found it as I recall.
    Years later on C. Rd. 28 east a father killed his family, later another murder on the same road, later still a mile outside the town limits a son killed his parents, and the big one happened right behind my parents’ house, when a man named Gingery ( as I recall, anyway)killed his wife, his five kids, and himself. Yep, I go visit my brother once a week or so and that damn house is still there, maybe fifty yards southwest of “our” house, where my brother still resides. I can’t go there without thinking about what happened there. A for-real “psycho house”, in my eye.
    Just five miles south on Co. Rd. 35 , about 18 years ago I think, some satanists used a barn for ritualistic torture of a kid and some animals, but I can’t recall if the kid was killed or if he survived…Alex? You remember that story? The barn was near Co. Rd 40 and 35.
    Nance, Waterloo is a grim place, very little work there, most people shop in Auburn, but there still is life there. I keep a little motorcycle in my brother’s garage and on nice days if I am there I ride it around for a few minutes, thinking of the ghosts of my past. My old school was torn down 30 years ago, most of my old drinking buddies are dead, but a few times a year I stop at the cemetery and check on the parents’ gravestones. Vandals destroyed many stones two years ago. What a lovely town.
    Hell, we couldn’t even keep a web site going! A webmaster set up a very nice site with threads available to comment on Waterloo history and many other things, but it seems I was the only one recording old memories, and within 18 months the site came down.

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  37. Joe Kobiela said on March 27, 2010 at 8:06 am

    I went to school with the Gingrey kids, they were from Garrett. Their old man worked at dana in Auburn. There were I think 11 kids total living in a 3 room house. I went to school with the oldest daughter who managed to get away after high school and joined the navy became a high ranking nurse. The old man used to stich up the kids if they got cut. The cult killing were a bunch of carney’s. The barn sat on what is now the bridgwater golf course on morningstar road. Dekalb county is not really that bad. I would rather live here then the big city any day.
    Pilot Joe

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  38. alex said on March 27, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Didn’t know about the satanists and the barn, Dex, but an ex-wife of an in-law is currently renting in the Gingery house, which has been up for sale forever but no one wants to buy it when they hear the story. She would consider it if she could get her life together enough to obtain financing.

    I spend a fair amount of time in Waterloo because my partner and some of his family members own a fair chunk of property on the south side of the tracks including the rental storage units and the office of their steel erection business. We spend a lot of time on Hamilton Lake and pass through Waterloo all the time.

    On Edit: Wow, just saw in the news that a train derailed in Waterloo last night right in front of the property and spilled coal all over the damned place.

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  39. moe99 said on March 27, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Alex, my grandfather owned a cottage on Hamilton Lake and I heard stories from my dad about memorable vacations there. They sold it in the midst of the Depression for $2,000.

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  40. prospero said on March 27, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Accusations Fly Between Parties Over Threats and Vandalism.

    Seriously, NYTimes? Seriously Republicans? I don’t think anybody but an Eric Cantor staffer shot a bullet through his window, anymore than I believe, despite his obviously grandiose opinion of himself, one in ten Americans has a clue who he is. Jeanne Schmidt, that was one of her alters. Mad Progressives borrowed a gun from the Teabagger next door to shoot at Eric Cantor? I suppose it’s possible that Republican Teabag rabble just want to shoot up a Congressperson, but considering the timing and their problems with reality and verisimilitude, I think the right-wingers here staged things. He’s the next Newt, but how many Americans have a clue who Eric Cantor is? Nobody posted his address on Freeperworld.

    Whatever. The Times head is such total bullshit, it makes you wonder whatever became of the Liberal Media. That bullet at Eric Cantor’s place. It landed on the floor about 2 inches beyond the pane of glass. Inflammatory Fox News rhetoric, Sarah Palin’s crossshairs, will probably get somebody killed. But seriously, when you see the way these people do business, you have to figure that’s what they meant to happen in the first place.

    Maybe it’s me, but the prevailing journalistic compunction to say that both sides are as bad as the opponent is anti-journalistic. Your supposed to identify the liars and malfeasors. In this particular case, you’ve got Teabaggers stirred up by Republicans threatening members of Congress with decidedly racist and homophobic overtones. This blithe “both sides do it” crapola is inexcusable.

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  41. alex said on March 27, 2010 at 11:56 am

    moe, there’s a part of Hamilton Lake that is protected by some kind of agreement where nothing can be redeveloped and the cottages are all just as they were a hundred years ago. It’s called Circle Park, right behind Cold Springs. Beautiful spot, if you ever want to see what it must have looked like back in the day.

    Just came back from Waterloo, that Bermuda Triangle of bad news these days, with pix from the train wreck. My partner’s shop was spared by a few feet, although the siding was pelted with coal and it’s full of holes. They had a speedboat and some trailers that had to be pulled out of the mountain of coal, but they survived pretty well. Amazing sight, the twisted and torn wreckage and the giant train wheels scattered all over the place and the spilled coal. I took some pix and I’m about to e-mail them to Nance.

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  42. brian stouder said on March 27, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Alex, quite often – including just the other day – when the young folks and I head for home from Gramma’s house, we’ll head west on Berry (from Anthony), and as you reach downtown there’s an extended view of a sweeping curve on the railroad line. Often as not, there will be a coal train sitting there, and you can see dozens of these huge railcars, all identically heaped full.

    It always prompts me to ask the same rhetorical question (“how much of that coal must bounce out as it goes down the road?”), and the kids always roll their eyes.

    And now we know that when one of those things derails, all those clumps of coal become missiles

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  43. MichaelG said on March 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    We haven’t heard from Whitebeard in a while. Anybody know how he is?

    I filled out my census form today. Just to be safe I wore rubber gloves and a tinfoil hat. I used a sponge to moisten the envelope flap. So that’s me. Still one step ahead.

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  44. brian stouder said on March 27, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    By the way, that was indeed an interesting and substantive article that Nance linked, in the NY Times. In further appreciation of the wonderful link Nance offered of President Obama’s corrected remarks, I have two style quibbles for you newsies, from the NY Times piece on the changing medical industry.

    First, compare these two sentences:

    This helps explain why the American Medical Association — long opposed to health care reforms — gave at least a tepid endorsement to Mr. Obama’s overhaul effort.


    Dr. Michael Mirro of Fort Wayne, Ind., is among those caught in the tide.

    Excuse me – but what’s wrong with President Obama? The man earned the title, and will have it the rest of his life, just as surely as Doctor Mirro earned his (and indeed, all through the article, the doctors get referred to as doctors, and not as private people with no public title).

    The second style quibble is that I lost count how many sentences began with the word “and”. Surely this cannot be OK in their style book?

    And* even if it is OK to start a sentence with the word “and”, this sentence should have drawn the blue pencil, yes?

    And so organized health systems are seen as a way to increase quality and lower costs, in part because salaried doctors may order fewer procedures than those in private practice.

    “And so”?

    *so to speak

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  45. Dexter said on March 28, 2010 at 2:33 am

    Here’s some video of the Waterloo train wreck of March 26, 2010.

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  46. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 28, 2010 at 7:44 am

    NYTimes style is “President” first usage, “Mr. Obama” second usage — did it with Bush, Clinton, and as far back as Martin Van Buren, I believe.

    Ditto with “the Reverend Gill” first usage, “Mr. Gill” second, etc., which some cleric or clergy fan gets agitated about at least once’t or twice’t a year. Long-standing practice.

    Read this, and also learn about dwarves vs. midgets:

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  47. coozledad said on March 28, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    How does a gal get the nickname “Chainsaw”? Does she snore?

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  48. MichaelG said on March 28, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Good Lord, Cooze. Just look at Wendy Linebacker’s picture. I wouldn’t want to get close enough to find out if she snores.

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  49. coozledad said on March 28, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    She looks more like a “Tank” or “Killdozer” to me. Maybe it’s the pants.

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  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 28, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Fake trend, no?

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  51. brian stouder said on March 28, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Jeff, interesting links. I suppose ‘style’ is, by definition, arbitrary.

    Still, it strikes me as nonsensical that Dr Mirro (and the others) remains a “Dr.” all through the article, while the president – and any Reverend, for that matter – gets reduced to the common “Mr.” (or “Ms.”) thereafter. Why the exception for medical doctors?

    I find that quite as annoying as their stupid acronym rules!

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  52. brian stouder said on March 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    There is a genuinely irritating video from yesterday’s Fox News broadcast, wherein Neil Cavuto interviews Ted Nugent about the recently passed health care insurance reform .

    Ted spends several minutes in a sort of bloody swine soliloquy, repeatedly referring to the president and the Democratic members of congress as “pigs” who we need to “shoot”; and to people who need health care as “pigs” squealing for redistribution of wealth.

    And Cavuto plays the straightman, laughing it up and saying “of course you’re joking” – whereupon Ted misses the cue and continues on about how he’s a pig farmer and is used to killing pigs, etc etc.

    So the Fox is well and truly in the hen house, and is actively trying to get all the pigs* slaughtered

    * defined as – people we disagree with, but who we cannot defeat at the polls

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  53. nancy said on March 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    For what it’s worth, Brian, I was also struck by the use of the honorific for Mike Mirro in subsequent usages, but then I remembered the NYT has its own style, and uses courtesy titles for everyone. Choosing a story randomly from the website right now…

    The Pentagon announced the release of the American, Issa T. Salomi, late Saturday, although he had been released two days before. In response, the Shiite militant group known as the League of the Righteous released a statement on the Internet saying the release was in exchange for the Iraqi government agreeing to release four detained militants.

    Mr. Salomi, an American citizen who grew up in Iraq before fleeing the country in 1991, had worked as a linguist for the United States Army since 2007. He disappeared in Baghdad on Jan. 23, and shortly after the videotape surfaced.

    While the kidnapping of foreigners here was once a regular occurrence, Mr. Salomi’s abduction is believed to be the first of an American in over a year.

    Vivian Tilley, a niece of Mr. Salomi’s who was serving as a family spokesperson, said her uncle would return to the United States in about a week. Ms. Tilley said the family was not given any details of how the American military and the Federal Bureau of Investigation arranged for her uncle’s release.

    I guess M.D.s get to be “Dr.” on second reference. Fun fact to know and tell: PhDs are not to be called “Dr.” at all, although it’s been a while since I’ve had my head in the AP stylebook and that may have changed. It’s supposed to be “Bob Smith, who has a doctorate in…” and “Smith” subsequently. It still rankles when I see school superintendents called “Dr.” Advanced degrees in education are the easiest ones to get in the world, outside of the ones you buy via mail-order.

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  54. jcburns said on March 28, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Then there are the Reverend Doctors, which we seem to have in some abundance here in Atlanta. A propos of your topic, two points.

    1) I’d like to break into the NYT and steal about 80% of the periods they use for acronyms.

    2) My style guide in a nutshell on honorifics is: WWMLD? What would Mr. Loaf do?

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  55. brian stouder said on March 28, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Say – you Michiganders should check out Nate Silver’s analysis of the Michigan State Spartans under Tom Izzo; pretty entertaining stuff.

    (and his disclaimer that he himself is an East Lansing boy!)

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  56. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 28, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Most of those, J.C., are D.Mins., which truly rile me. They’ve been a device to keep cash flow for seminaries going — most of them are absolute jokes of a degree, let alone for getting called “Rev. Dr.” I’m sure there are solid D.Min. programs out there somewhere, but I haven’t run into any . . . my wife having an earned Ph.D., and she never goes by Dr., I find the new trend irritating in the extreme.

    The double whammy, to me, is that most modern-era seminary M.Div.’s are a 90 credit hour, rigorous, thesis defense culminating program which is a real challenge to earn in full. But then they offer a flimsy D.Min. for you to do six or seven years later, largely by mail, mostly for pay, and it makes religious degree training look shallow by extension.

    Since half of all seminaries are expected to close/merge/reformulate entirely in the next five years, I guess it’s all a moot point.

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  57. beb said on March 29, 2010 at 7:46 am

    FBI rounded up some militia in Michigan last night. Michigan – First in unemployment, first in right wing (religious) nutjobs!

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  58. John said on March 29, 2010 at 8:52 am

    coozledad @48:

    Wendy Lineweaver is standing next to a person identified as “Chainsaw”. That is not her nickname.

    As Jeff (TMMO) always points out, we are all God’s children.

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  59. MichaelG said on March 29, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Yeah, John, but some are the little shu shus and some are step children.

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  60. Deborah said on March 29, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Jeff (tmmo) that link on USA Today about seminaries is interesting. I think it shows clearly that the Evangelical wave is waning. I always thought it would, it didn’t seem sustainable over the long haul.

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