Plainly wrong.

Forty minutes to write this today. No, 35 — I have to leave room for personal grooming before taking Kate to the orthodontist. In the summer, that’s a five-minute job. Still.

And another e-mail just arrived in flames. This might be a 20-minute effort after all.

One of my Facebook friends posted a picture last night that he took with his iPhone, of two Amish guys in a Burger King. He’s a photographer, and is aware of the Amish aversion to having their photos taken, but the gist seemed to be wow! they eat fast food!, and comments followed indicating wow! I saw one buying gasoline once! and wow! maybe they were afraid of being turned in! and excuse me, but what? For eating a hamburger?

The Amish — they’re just like us. Srsly. Nothing those folks do drops my jaw anymore. The last time it did, it was when I saw a man driving his buggy along Rt. 37 in Indiana, talking on his cell phone. There was a lot of public discussion then about cell use while driving, so it was more the humor of the sight that killed me than anything else. But my time in the Hoosier state inured me to Amish weirdness of all sorts; my first screenplay, the one I wrote for Screenwriting 310, was about the Amish. I’m still proud of the scene of the buggy drag race, which ends in tragedy (for one of the horses), and is based on a story I read in one of the Adams County papers years ago. Non-Amish guy wakes up to see a dead horse lying in the road in front of his country home. Turns out it was involved in a head-on collision during a drag race and died at the scene. Everyone involved — the two racers (teenage boys, natch) and the unlucky oncoming buggy driver — was named Schwartz. No one was related.

That incident was followed by a string of drunken-driving incidents involving horses trotting merrily through intersections while their drivers slept it off in the back, in one memorable case among two dozen empties rolling around.

Now comes one of those July 1 law changes in Indiana, in this case a new requirement that anyone buying alcohol show photo ID, regardless of age. And while the Amish may drink and use cell phones and computers and eat Whoppers, they don’t allow their pictures to be taken, and hence cannot buy beer. Ahem:

Indiana’s NewsCenter visited Geneva’s Case and Quart, where the owner said about 25-percent of her business is with Amish customers. In fact, while conducting the interview an Amish man is in his 60’s was refused a sale because he didn’t have a photo ID.

I see two possibilities for the Plain People:

1) Add photography to their list of accommodations to the modern world. Having already embraced cell phones, power tools and drinking, it doesn’t seem like much of a stretch, or;

2) Take a page from the teen handbook, hang around outside the store and ask other customers to do the buying. I’m sure Coozledad would be happy to help.

And that, pals, is 20 minutes. Hop to the bathroom, hop to the day. I’ll be back later.

Posted at 10:08 am in Current events |

67 responses to “Plainly wrong.”

  1. coozledad said on July 20, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I’m not sure they want to pay my cut.
    You wonder why the Amish drink commercial beer anyway. Especially when they could put those young’uns to work making it.
    I still don’t understand the impulse to hitch up a horse when you’ve been drinking. It’s easy enough to get killed doing it sober. In fact, It’s what led to my grandfather quitting drink. He’d been beating a mule in the barn after he got back from the liquor house, and it decided it had enough of his shit. Stomped his ass sober.

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  2. Jeff Borden said on July 20, 2010 at 10:29 am

    We must’ve had more conservative Amish where I was growing up. At least one or two were killed every year because they refused to put the big, orange “slow-moving vehicle” symbol on the back of their black buggies. An Englishman topping a hill in the dark in his car would occasionally flatten buggy, horse and man, the only illumination on the buggy being a pathetic, battery-powered bicycle light. I also recall the orange glow of lanterns from inside their farm houses.

    I guess even the Amish need to keep up with the times.

    I think this may be the only Amish joke I know:

    What is this?
    Clop, clop, clop, BANG, clop, clop, clop.
    An Amish drive-by shooting.

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  3. Deborah said on July 20, 2010 at 10:50 am

    The first time I saw a bunch of Amish folks walking around the city of Chicago I did a double take. It seemed like such a juxtaposition, country folk in the big bad city. It made me think of this cartoon from the New Yorker done by a college art professor I had many moons ago:

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  4. crinoidgirl said on July 20, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I got a full-time job playing with research and information in Ann Arbor today, for a really good salary and benefits!! After 1.5 years of semi-employment. Just wanted to tell my friends here.

    Now back to our regular programming…

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  5. LAMary said on July 20, 2010 at 10:55 am

    The Amish I used to see as a kid visiting my great aunt Annie in Pennsylvania seemed pretty on board with all the restrictions. Of course that was before cell phones and lots of other modern cool things existed so there was less to avoid. Even my great aunt Annie had outdoor plumbing, a root cellar and a pump handle in her kitchen sink and she wasn’t Amish.

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  6. Linda said on July 20, 2010 at 10:56 am

    My sis has a weekend place in Amish country (in Michiana), and apparently every community’s elders decide how much modernity they want. Cell phones are often a compromise needed to run a business, and some communities have decided that if the cell phone is kept in a barn, it’s o.k., because it doesn’t interfere with your personal life.

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  7. Sue said on July 20, 2010 at 10:57 am

    c-girl, that’s great! You’re the second person this week that I’ve heard is back after a long scary underemployment period.

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  8. Amy said on July 20, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Well, they have English drive them places, so why not buy beer.

    When I understood that the fundamental Amish principle wasn’t anti-modernity itself, but non-dependence on that modern world and its structures, especially government, more of their practices made sense. So, the more liberal Amish have their own electrical generators – they just don’t plug into the grid. Amish with cell phones have prepaid phones, not contracts.

    I do remember taking a tour of one of those Amish centers around FW, and the woman, non-Amish, who’d lived among the Amish for years, being fairly cynical about Amish casuitry, telling how tired she got of Amish coming to her house constantly wanting to use her phone.

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  9. alex said on July 20, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Congrats, crinoid!

    I was just reading somewhere that Indiana’s controversial photo ID law for voting also discriminates against the Amish. What surprised me, however, was the assertion in the article that the Amish largely lean Democratic and that the Republicans in the statehouse aren’t about to grant them an exemption.

    The law has already been challenged in court on the grounds that it discriminates against the poor and the elderly who may not possess driver’s licenses, but it was upheld.

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  10. 4dbirds said on July 20, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Congratulations crinoidgirl! Take a little bit from your first paycheck and slurge on yourself.

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  11. nancy said on July 20, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Amy is right. It’s not anti-technology, it’s how to keep technology from taking over your family and spiritual life. There’s also a strong taboo against indebtedness. So yes, you can have a cell phone, because it’s hard to run a business without one. You can have power tools out in the barn, because you can’t really be a cabinetmaker without them. But they run off a gas generator, and the cell phone is a prepaid burner.

    I think the thing about buttons and zippers has something to do with not wanting to look “military” in any way.

    My biggest shock in visiting the Amish — besides the food, which I think we’ve discussed here before — was the style of their homes. In my head, I conflated Amish with Shakers, and expected rooms with a certain elegant and lovely simplicity to them, but no. Most of the furniture was crude benches, knocked together with no style whatsoever, with wood screws not even countersunk, much less capped. A coat of super-shiny, heavy-duty varnish covered everything, a guess so you don’t have to do it twice. There were one or two seemingly store-bought chairs for the adults, and, of course, the hissing Coleman lantern hanging in the middle of everything. Not exactly the soft glow of candlelight.

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  12. Jeff Borden said on July 20, 2010 at 11:35 am

    If anyone is particularly interested in Amish life, I recommend a neat little documentary called “The Devil’s Playground.” It follows a group of young Amish adults through the year-long “rumspringa,” where they are allowed to sample all the sins and vices of the outside world to their heart’s content. At the end of the year, they can choose to return to the community, but if they leave, they are never allowed to return.

    I found myself admiring the Amish for allowing their young people to make the decision for themselves. As much as we all proclaim ourselves as Christians, Jews, Muslims, whatever, the vast majority of us practice the religion into which we were born. I didn’t choose Catholicism. It was my mom’s religion and my father had agreed that I be raised Catholic, which the priests demanded back in 1947.

    So, I tip my hat to the Amish. I was also tremendously moved by their reaction a few years ago, when a nutcase shot up an Amish school and killed several girls. No eye for an eye for the Amish. They immediately forgave the shooter and prayed for him and his family. I thought it was one of the most remarkable examples of real Christianity I’ve ever heard.

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  13. ROgirl said on July 20, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Since Shakers didn’t have sex, they had more time to think about the furniture they were making.

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  14. Dorothy said on July 20, 2010 at 11:38 am

    So happy for you c-girl!! Having gone through two long periods of a spouse being unemployed, I can certainly share your joy. Now if only my two older brothers (aged 60 and 57) could find a job I’d really celebrate.

    I see Amish every day, either in Gambier where I work, driving past my house or on the roads around Mount Vernon. I have never seen one using a cell phone but I’m sure many do. Where in the world do they plug them in to recharge? On the generator out in the barn? That borrowing the phone thing would irritate the piss out of me,too.

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  15. Joe Kobiela said on July 20, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Q. If 90% of the people in heaven are Amish, what are the other 10%?
    A. Van Drivers
    I once had a Amish guy that wanted to learn to fly, he was in his 60’s I actually gave him about 20hr of dual instr. he was a pretty good stick, unfortunatly he couldn’t read so there was no way to pass the written test.
    Pilot Joe

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  16. bobolink said on July 20, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Amy #8: Thanks for the vocab word, new to me, casuistry! Love it. Now to work it into conversation … won’t be hard, examples abound!

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  17. Judybusy said on July 20, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    That’s great news, crinoid girl! I can’t imaginge your relief! And Ann Arbor’s a cool place, I’ve heard….

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  18. Jolene said on July 20, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Great news, c’girl. I’m very happy for you. Hope that, in addition to a paycheck, the job provides all the benefits–psychic, social, intellectual–that good work can.

    Joe, very nice story re transporting Special Olympians. I have a cousin w/ Down syndrome, now in his sixties, who participated for many years, and it was a great thing for him and his family.

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  19. alex said on July 20, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    One of my college anthropology profs once explained that the Amish are fundamentally a communal people and their theology doesn’t forbid technology, but rather any sort of self-aggrandizement. People are taught from an early age not to differentiate themselves through their dress or other external trappings. This is why they eschew buttons and zippers on clothing instead of hooks; likewise being photographed. Even the more liberal annabaptist sects that allow ownership of motor vehicles don’t allow flashy cars, just stripped-down plain black sedans.

    One thing I find very curious is that in Allen County, where I live, the Amish tend to live on farms that look like they’re right out of a picture book, so tidy you wouldn’t hesitate to eat off the ground. In Steuben County, on the other hand, I’ve seen communities of Amish who are quite squalid in their living habits, with garbage-strewn properties and badly neglected homes. Wonder how the tone gets set with regard to upkeep, as most Amish communities seem to like things clean and orderly.

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  20. kayak woman said on July 20, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Congratulations, Crinoid Girl. Ann Arbor is hot this summer and a bit over-rated in general but I love it here anyway.

    And I think our country’s alcohol laws in general are crazy but I don’t have anything coherent to say about that, so I’ll keep my trap shut.

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  21. Dexter said on July 20, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Well, I live in house that is Amish-theme deco…I shit you not. My wife takes great fascination to them and we have prints of praying and buggying Amish on ever wall, and figurines and all sorts of bric-a-brac in baskets around here.
    It’s been like this for 25 years—I don’t even “see” it anymore. Her fave is a huge print of a buggy driven along a path, some trees (no leaves, of course!) on the side of the roadway, geese following the buggy, little faceless kids riding in the wagon…gawd, I fucking hate that monstrosity. But really, I usually don’t notice it…anymore. Shit.

    All through the 1970s and 1980 I’d frequently stop at Cricket’s Tavern in Auburn, Indiana. Amish would come there and buy cases and cases of canned beer. They could have gotten it a lot cheaper at The House of Spirits a block away, but I never saw an Amish in that store. (and of course I was there once a day for decades, too)
    My neighbor three doors down got involved in a horrible car-buggy crash about 20 years ago. She is paralyzed from the accident, gets around with a straw navigation system , in a wheelchair, lost her home, confined to a nursing facility. It was around midnight, on Road 37, of course, and alcohol was not a factor, but ‘slow buggy at midnight’ was a factor.
    I worked with a lady whose retired husband worked for the Amish, providing transpo and doing things for them that they were not allowed to do for themselves. The worst thing was her report of Sunday routine: something like six hours in church. No wonder they kept all that beer around for afters.

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  22. Dexter said on July 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I was driving through Waterloo, Indiana a month ago and decided to dash into the Waterloo liquor store just to buy a Powerball ticket. The owner and his wife were there, and of course I was a stranger. Now listen to this: I had to provide a picture ID to buy a goddam lottery ticket. This was because the owner was starting the new routine early. I just joked about it with him a little…he said everybody had to provide a driver’s license if they walked through that door. He said he has some people come in five times a day, and each time they have to provide that picture ID.
    Buy a stick of gum? ID. Pick up a News-Sentinel? ID. Well, I object, but I don’t normally patronize those places anymore anyway. And never again. It’s ridiculous. Sure, if I was buying booze…and lottery, maybe, because I think one is supposed to be of a certain age to buy LOTTO…but it’s just creepy to have to practically wear an ID badge to go into a store.

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  23. Sue said on July 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    ‘but it’s just creepy to have to prac­ti­cally wear an ID badge to go into a store.’
    Unless you live in Arizona.

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  24. basset said on July 20, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    We used to buy milk from the Amish down in Daviess County, wonderful stuff in half-gallon glass bottles with about an inch of cream on top – then the state made them stop because they were cooling it in springhouses instead of electric refrigerators.

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  25. MRMARK said on July 20, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    On our recent visit back to FTW we went to the Zoo while most were watching the TRF parade. We encountered many Amish at the Zoo. Although we were used to seeing them on the east side of FTW, having been in Atlanta for 10+ years…how can I say…you don’t see them down here. (I didn’t sneak any photos of them either.)

    I’m gathering a wonderful short set of photos from last weekend’s visit to Savannah, GA (hint – don’t go in July its HHHHOOOOOTTTT) Enjoy!

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  26. elaine said on July 20, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    “The Amish — they’re just like us.”
    I’ll say. A few years back, while waiting in the First Circle of Hell (aka the Amtrak station in Chicago) I overheard an Amish couple telling someone that they were returning from Arizona. The couple, who lived in Pennsylvania, had taken their teenage daughter out there to a treatment center for individuals suffering from anorexia.

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  27. Connie said on July 20, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    If you go to the Middlebury Public Library you are likely to see Amish men using the computers. It’s the only way to get Indiana unemployment benefits.

    Around here Meijer’s and Walmart have buggy hitches in their parking lots.

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  28. Barbara said on July 20, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    I lived for several years in South-Central Pennsylvania, where there weren’t many Amish, but there was a lot of the same culture. I worked with a young man who was raised “black-bumper Mennonite” who, even though he left the faith, couldn’t be persuaded to wear any color other than black or blue.

    And he had the controlling girlfriend from hell, but I don’t think his upbringing had anything to do with it.

    I don’t know if you’d get Amish to get picture IDs. Didn’t they have some sort of issue with birth certificates in Ohio? (hazy memory)

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  29. Amy said on July 20, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    There’s an Amish/Mennonite Florida vacation spot – Pinecraft, near Sarasota:

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  30. Julie Robinson said on July 20, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Crinoid girl, what good news! I’m really pleased to hear it. My DH was just saying that he is asked about jobs by someone almost everyday, and that many of the askers are desperate. He isn’t in the hiring business, either, and isn’t sure why people think he can find them one. I think it’s that he appears successful, but he also appears kind and caring (which he is).

    Funny we were discussing Catholicism and birth control yesterday since the Amish have similar beliefs. My biggest beef is that they yank kids out of school around the end of middle school. No one should be denied education.

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  31. Dorothy said on July 20, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Okay thread hijack. Not sure if you guys will find this funny but I’ll try. My daughter told me about this website, for people sick and tired of reading about their friends’ babies on Facebook.

    and this one sort of mentions religion, which is one of our topics today:

    and this one just because:

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  32. Sue said on July 20, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Wow, Breitbart ACORNs another one, with the help of people who should have learned by now that when he’s involved they should probably investigate a little further before helping with the destruction:

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  33. Deborah said on July 20, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Back to the Amish. I too always thought that they were very clean and tidy until I went to an Amish farm ages ago in southern Missouri (Ozarks) to buy an Amish rocker. The house was filthy and the kids running around were filthier. I’m sure there are all kinds just like in every culture. Amish rockers are pretty cool looking. I don’t have the rocker any more, my ex wanted it. If you’ve never seen one:

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  34. Judybusy said on July 20, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Dorothy, love the PBR ultrasound!

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  35. Jeff Borden said on July 20, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I saw that, Sue. The USDA lady not only changed her ways, but the elderly wife of the farmer she is accused of shorting because he is Caucasian credits the black woman with helping them save their farm. And she refers to her as “a lifelong friend.”

    After eight years of unapologetic mis-, mal- and non-feasance by the Bush Administration, it’s jarring to see how quickly the government cashiers a veteran staffer when a right-wing hatemonger like Breitbart starts showcasing heavily edited tape.

    Tell me again about the liberal media, Lenny.

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  36. Dexter said on July 20, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    I remember a morning about 20 years ago when I was biking past our local Amtrak stop and I pulled in to chat with my friend who is the local stationmaster. There were about thirty Amish awaiting the train, heading east . They were returning to Pennsylvania from a funeral.
    They spoke only German.
    Their gene pool is fucked up, too. The Fort Wayne hospitals get a lot of traffic from Amish with disorders that baffle the best scientists.

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  37. coozledad said on July 20, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Vilsack needs to be publicly upbraided and fired, the coward.
    And the USDA employee should do the country a favor and sue Breitbart’s neuticles off.

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  38. Rana said on July 20, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    crinoidgirl *high five*

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  39. Jeff Borden said on July 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    It’s appalling how quickly they threw the USDA lady to the right-wing wolves. As I understand it, she was speaking at the NAACP about the error of her actions almost 25 years ago, and what she had learned about them, namely, the color of the skin did not matter. What was important was the need.

    Apparently, Andrew Breitbart is just going to take the occasional potshot and hope to claim another victim of color. With the USDA lady and the poor schlubs from ACORN who were set up by his little proto-fratboy James O’Keefe, Breitbart himself is responsible for at least four black people losing their jobs. Yeah but he’s standing up for that most oppressed of all minorites — the straight, white man. Lord, how they are suffering.

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  40. Scout said on July 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    I grew up in Lancaster County, PA and my childhood impression of the Amish was that they smelled to high heaven in the summer. I learned this is due to the fact that they do not use deodorant and bathe with some kind of funky lye soap.

    I’m happy for you, crinoid-girl. Your good news offsets my lay-off as of the end of this week. How joyous to be looking for work at the age of 52 in Arizona, where the recession hasn’t even hit bottom yet… and thanks to the lovely Gov Brewer is sure to remain in free-fall due to boycotts!

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  41. Jolene said on July 20, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Oh Scout, I’m sorry to hear that news. What sort of work have you been doing?

    I lived in Tucson for five happy years (1985-1990), and it makes me really sad to hear both how tough things are in AZ now both economically and politically. I think I heard somewhere that half of all mortgages in AZ were under water–an unbelievable number.

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  42. coozledad said on July 20, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Wow, Scout. I am so sorry to hear that.

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  43. Rana said on July 20, 2010 at 5:45 pm


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  44. crinoidgirl said on July 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Scout, I’m really sorry to hear it, but I know how you feel. I’m 53, and live in the Detroit area. Michigan’s unemployment rate was 13.2% in June. We lost the top spot to Nevada.

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  45. Jolene said on July 20, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Interesting story re genetic disorders among the Amish, Dexter. There’s actually a special clinic devoted to research and treatment of those disorders in Pennsylvania. Pretty terrible.

    The Pennsylvania Amish have also been famous for their puppy mills, something the state has recently acted to control.

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  46. nancy said on July 20, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    For a while in the ’80s, the local Amish in Indiana had a gig making non-functional wagons, used as display tables for the goods at Bath & Body Works. They could throw any out-of-round wheels on them, and the rest was just a flat platform with maybe a rudimentary seat. The idea was to look old-timey and homey. Then they’d slap a light coat of paint on, and turn it over to the kids, who would bang on it with chains and rub with sandpaper and otherwise “distress” them.

    Alan tried to write a story about this, but the suppliers weren’t interested. Probably signed a vow of silence with Limited Brands.

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  47. Deborah said on July 20, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Nancy, great story about Amish kids banging on “antiques”. Makes me think about how Picasso had his kids pee on his sculptures to help with the patina.

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  48. joodyb said on July 20, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    yay for crinoid-girl! but boo for scout. and we’re entering the second (bigger) dip. much stress yet to endure on the econ horizon.

    i grew up amongst the amish in Ohio. no one else ever worked on our barns or buildings that i can recall. young John Miller just finished up Phase 1 of the last big barn standing; he has a cell phone, or that never would have come to pass.
    we witnessed some of the Pinehurst crowd on our last FLA trip. they were in Punta Gorda. a town i only needed to see once, btw. but i’m not a FLA person.
    i’ve noticed that as you move West, the communities wax more liberal.

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  49. Denice B. said on July 20, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Indeed there is a sort of culture shock here in Indiana. I can’t get used to seeing Amish at WalMart! They pile in vans and come in droves driven by English jitney drivers. And even at home in Detroit, we see Amish at Greenfield Village and struggle to remember they are not a part of the Village People ™! Amish in roller blades, working in restaurants, doing normal stuff. For more Amish good stuff, Kevin Williams does a column called ‘The Amish Cook’ And has his own web site all about good Amish cooking and culture. He’s also on Facebook if anyone is interested.

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  50. Deborah said on July 20, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Crinoidgirl congrats! Scout sorry to hear that. I was absolutely certain that I was going to be laid off a year and a half ago. I was dead sure, but lo and behold it didn’t happen. Then I was the only one left in my department. Now things are picking up and hopefully will stay that way and continue to improve. I keep saying that there is a little part of me that hopes I get laid off, so I don’t have to slog back to the salt mines every day, but I wonder if that’s really true. It would be hard to know what I really think unless/until it happens. I would be very sorry to see the health care go, I know that’s true.

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  51. alex said on July 20, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    The Amish Cook? What’s he do, take a can of generic pork ‘n’ beans, dump it in a pan and call it a column? Oh, slap me. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that, probably involving a Jello mold, 7-Up and marshmallows. I thought that column was written by a deceased woman. Is this gentleman her ghost writer?

    I occasionally shop in the Amish stores around here and except for the produce (which seldom looks as clean as it does in the supermarket, but always tastes better) these places are generally just giant pantries of prepared foods.

    On edit: Sorry at the news, Scout. I’m not sure what the Republicans are thinking by voting against extended relief for the unemployed. They think the unemployed don’t vote?

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  52. Jolene said on July 20, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Wow! Just watched the full speech given by Shirley Sherrod, the woman who was fired from USDA. It’s a wonderful story of overcoming loss, commitment to making the world better, and, ultimately, coming to see which distinctions matter and which don’t. It’s very obvious that even her initial impulse to be less than maximally helpful to the white farmer was almost immediately overcome and that she, in fact, helped him a great deal.

    This woman sounds like a model of decency, not to mention an advocate for all the ways of living that conservatives claim to value–commitment to education for herself and others, a long marriage, deeply rooted in her community, religious, a proponent of striving in school and work, and a believer in free enterprise.

    Boy, did she get screwed. Andrew Breitbart should be hung–or at least never listened to again–and she should get a huge apology from the Obama administration.

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  53. Little Bird said on July 20, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    I take the train a lot, and it’s fairly common to see large groups of Amish folk traveling together. They bring their own food and drink, and keep to themselves. Mostly I’ve seen young(ish) married couples in groups. They all speak german to each other, and avoid talking to other travelers.
    I’ve always heard that the buttons and zippers thing was that those things aren’t “plain” enough, too decorative.
    Mennonites tend to dress in a somewhat similar fashion, and are often mistaken for Amish, so if the women are wearing a dress with pretty much any pattern in the fabric, they’re probably Mennonite.
    I could, of course, be completely wrong about this.

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  54. coozledad said on July 20, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Breitbart (Poppymatus Cunni) doesn’t need hanging so much, as he’s pretty much hung himself on this one. If Sherrod doesn’t sue him until he has to donate organs to pay his legal fees, maybe the NAACP will.
    Vilsack, on the other hand, is the biotech industry’s go-to subhuman. He’s all the shitty bosses of the world rolled into one amorphous stinking puddle of dreck. And I’m beginning to doubt the administration has the political will to flush him.

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  55. basset said on July 20, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    We just bought a load of Amish furniture, made somewhere in Ohio… dining room set, hutch, bedroom set. Pretty soon we’ll have a house to put it in… painting starts tomorrow, we are aiming for a Sept. 1 movein.

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  56. Joe Kobiela said on July 20, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    The Amish cook is written by the DEAD womans daughter. Also its not that the mean Republicans wanted to deni benefits to people that had been unemployed for 99 weeks, they just wanted to pay for it with part of the money that hasn’t been spent from the stimulas package,instead of pulling it out of thin air.I was wondering why anyone was worried about it anyway, I thought the unemployment rate was suppose to go down after the stimulas got passed. Oh well well just have to “blame Bush again”and can any one explain how six monthes ago the health care package was absolutly NOT a tax, but now it is?? and if it’s a tax and I make LESS than $250,000.00 was I lied to?
    Pilot Joe

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  57. moe99 said on July 21, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Joe K, you sould go read some of Paul Krugman’s columns. He’s the Nobel Prize winning economist. And his point is that the stimulus was not large enough. that’s why we’re having the long drawn out recession. YOu only need to look back at the FDR administrations, particularly in 1937 to see the truth of what Krugman is saying. It’s counterintuitive to some degree, but you need to spend sufficieint money to put more people back on their feet. Why, I wouldn’t mind if later term unemployment required work with it. Sort of a revived Civilian Conservation Corps.

    And Crinoid Girl: congrats and best wishes on the new job. And Scout, here’s hoping that your employment future turns rosy.

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  58. Dexter said on July 21, 2010 at 12:44 am

    Jolene, I am going to be very crude here, because this needs a lot of attention paid to it: Ms. Sherrod took the biggest political fucking since Ken Blackwell of Ohio kept voters at bay and stole the election away from Sen. John Kerry in 2004.
    For me, this story is one of deceit and hate, “snookering” is what Norah McDonnell called it on msnbc. Yet, I guess it’s not criminal. So she’s fired , and chalking up another point is FOX News. I can’t stand it.

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  59. Jolene said on July 21, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Joe, the estimates I’ve seen says that 2.5-3 million people are earning money as a result of the stimulus package. Without it, rather than 9.5%, the unemployment rate would likely be 11 or 12%.

    I don’t understand your point re healthcare.

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  60. nancy said on July 21, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Ahead of the curve, once again.

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  61. Rana said on July 21, 2010 at 4:32 am

    Denise – are they Amish, or Mennonite? I ask because we have a fair number of the latter around here, and while they certainly stand out in their dress, they are not as strict as the Amish (being allowed to own and operate trucks, work in restaurants, wear colorful buttons on their hand-sewn dresses, etc.)

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  62. coozledad said on July 21, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Dexter: Sherrod’s father was killed by Klansmen when she was 17: That’s what gets me. That’s part of the subtext of the speech. Everybody in that hall knows she’s a victim of terrorism, and that’s what lends the speech its power. It’s about redemption and forgiveness, two things the Right is too deeply emotionally crippled to grasp.
    I’ve heard some oiks talking about the SPLC having outlasted its usefulness. Bullshit. Yesterday they arrested three protesters in Raleigh because a handful of white-flight transplants on the school board are trying to resegregate the schools. The board’s sole black member was handcuffed by the (invariably scummy) Raleigh police as he tried to quiet things down.
    The Republicans want an apartheid state. What Po White don’t understand is he’s going to be on the outside, too.

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  63. alex said on July 21, 2010 at 8:24 am

    The Sherrod story would tug at the heartstrings of any decent human being. Too bad Obama doesn’t have the balls to fire Vilsack and appoint Sherrod to his position as head of the USDA. That would not only be a just resolution to this ridiculous turn of events but would probably go a long way toward shoring up people’s faith in this president.

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  64. coozledad said on July 21, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Alex: The number for Vilsack’s office is 202-720-3631. Call him and tell him he needs to pull over and resign immediately.

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  65. Jolene said on July 21, 2010 at 9:43 am

    You can also send email to Vilsack at:

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  66. brian stouder said on July 21, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I’m 100% with what Alex said; at the very least, this state of affairs will be disappointing, if it is allowed to stand.

    And, honestly, this remark from Deborah genuinely threw me into confusion, for a few moments!

    I’m sure there are all kinds just like in every cul­ture. Amish rock­ers are pretty cool look­ing.

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  67. Deborah said on July 21, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Amish rockers, heavy metal rockers, same difference.

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