Dull girl.

As usual, or rather, as is too often the case, I’m overbooked. For the next two days, I have committed to getting downtown in a state of bodily cleanliness and mental alertness by 10 a.m., which means this must be wrapped in the next 12 minutes, and pals? I don’t have much.

Figures, as I don’t feel as though I’ve left my house for anything other than a chore or a dire errand in days. It’s 7 degrees at the moment, which doesn’t exactly invite going out for a ramble.

But go out I must, and it’ll be good to get the blood circulating and see some new faces. In the meantime, I have some bloggage:

Sally Jenkins, WashPost sportswriter, takes a look at the just-completed Super Bowl and says: Enough. And says it well:

A tipping point was reached with this Super Bowl, for me. It was the screwed-over anger of those 1,250 people without seats that did it. Those travel-weary, cash-whipped fans paid small fortunes to go to the game, only to discover their stubs were no good, because fire marshals declared some sections unsafe. All of a sudden the whole thing seemed offensive. It was just too much.

For absurdity, how about those four Navy F-18s flying over the stadium – with its retractable roof closed? Everybody inside could only see the planes on the stadium’s video screens. It was strictly a two-second beauty shot. Know what it cost taxpayers? I’ll tell you: $450,000. (The Navy justifies the expense by saying it’s good for recruiting.)

Mark Bittman, after last week’s manifesto, presents the accompanying slogan: Eat real food. I am so glad I don’t watch Oprah. This would drive me insane:

Ms. Winfrey, who has been on more diets than the rest of us combined, challenged her staff to “go vegan” for a week. Intriguing, except her idea of surviving without meat and dairy — no explanation given for why we should go from too much to none — is to fill your shopping cart with fake versions of both, like meatless chicken breasts and dairy-less cheese.

Finally, what does it say about the newspapers in Fort Wayne that this week’s Richard Lugar talker, linked all day yesterday on memeorandum, was produced by one of the city’s anemic TV news departments? It contains snark material…

Lugar’s spacious Washington office is so covered with books that it looks like a library. The bookshelves are a testament to Lugar’s longevity.

(Wrong verb, trite modifier, etc. etc.)

…and the usual Hoosier politics jaw-droppers. Brian, I assume this Pat Miller is the radio host?

“[We’re saying to Lugar] thank you for what you’ve done. We respect you greatly as a person and for what you’ve done in the past. But to go forward, we feel it’s going to need to be a different candidate,” Tea Party activist Pat Miller told NewsChannel 15 in January.

I expect so, and having suffered through pieces of his show from time to time, I recall a host so dumb he made Mike Pence look like NPR material. That’s saying something.

So now it’s been 12 minutes, and I have to get away. Let’s hope for more tomorrow. Thanks, as always, for stopping by.

Posted at 8:37 am in Current events |

85 responses to “Dull girl.”

  1. LAMary said on February 9, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Of course Oprah would go vegan. Just eating unprocessed food would not be dramatic enough. I wonder if she tossed all her leather shoes and handbags too.
    Our whole household is sick, including me, but I managed to put a roasting chicken in the oven, cut some sweet potatoes into wedges, and saute some spinach and garlic. It was a simple good meal and it made us all feel a little better. O, I think that is what Mr. Bittman and Michele Obama are talking about. Not Tofurky.

    edit: I meant to mention yesterday that I read a great comment, I think on Gawker, about Keith Olbermann’s career plans when he first got booted from MSNBC. Someone suggested that Keith O and Regis Philbin should team up, drive around in a van and solve mysteries. But not on television.

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  2. Kim said on February 9, 2011 at 9:31 am

    My fear about dear Mark Bittman is that he’s hitting too many points in his new column to get new readers interested. I think he needs to go more Minimalist Mark as he sets his hook.
    Now, run, Nancy, run!

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  3. coozledad said on February 9, 2011 at 9:49 am

    The USDA is just a clearinghouse for the various food industry lobbies, increasingly the Ag Chem and genetically engineered seedstock companies.
    One simple way to subvert them would be to push for changes in zoning regulations so people who want to eat animal protein can have chickens in their yard, or even a dovecote in high density areas. We haven’t changed a lot from the Puritans who were starving while they watched six foot long lobsters crawl up onto the beaches at Plymouth, except we tend to legislate and nicenasty our way to hunger, as opposed to simply being stupid zealots.

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  4. Randy said on February 9, 2011 at 10:07 am

    “Not much” from Nancy is worth way more than 10,000 words from Mitch Albom. Just sayin’.

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  5. Deborah said on February 9, 2011 at 10:28 am

    LA Mary this sickness is long lasting and gets worse over time. I finally had to say enough and take off this morning from work. I wish I could take off the whole day but too much to do.

    Mark Bittman makes so much sense, it will be a pleasure to continue to read his opinions.

    5 degrees in Chicago now but will get up to 40 by Sunday.

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  6. Judybusy said on February 9, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I find myself checking the weather forecst, hoping it’ll change. Like a true Minnesotan, I always count the windchill as the true temp: -25 yesterday, -19 today (with air tempt of -5) and with a predicted air temp tonight of -11, I don’t even wanna think about tomorrow.

    I must say, I lose more and more respect for Oprah. If you’re gonna go vegan, look to the cuisines of India. They don’t use to much dairy, and thanks to various religious injunctions, their vegetarian options are nearly endless. Plus, all that garlic’s gotta be doing something! I’m solidly omnivore, but earlier in my life, ate mostly vegetarian, and made many a Thai/Chinese/Indian meal. The middle east also has some great options. Homemade baba ganoush is heavenly.

    LAMary, I love simple meals like that. Hope you continue to feel better.

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  7. nancy said on February 9, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I thought the foundation of Indian food was ghee — clarified butter. Which reminds me to cook something from my Madha Jaffrey book this weekend.

    Chinese is my go-to for vegan, but I’ve had vegan meals in vegetarian restaurants and nearly swooned, they were so good. (And rich.) Lots of purees and artful dressings. I generally stay away from any food pretending to be something else. Vegan “buttercream” is gross, and no-fat cookies are vile and sickeningly sweet. Tofurkey is a joke.

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  8. Suzanne said on February 9, 2011 at 10:43 am

    My daughter was in Italy last summer, and was amazed and impressed with how wonderfully healthy, tasty, and real the food was. I grew up in the midwest in the 60’s and 70’s and the farm fresh foods we ate were prepared very blandly. Herbs? What were those? I never knew garlic came any way but in powdered form, and didn’t know things like kale, chard, and fennel existed. Large vats of tasteless canned peas and carrots with no seasoning were the veggie of choice in school lunches. Even last year, my mo-in-law tried to tell my daughter that baking a cake from scratch was a waste of time. Didn’t she realize there were box mixes? With legions of people who grew up just like me, it’s not a surprise that change comes slowly. That, coupled with the modern mother’s competition of busy one-up-manship that gives points to those “just too busy to cook!”

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  9. harrison said on February 9, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Lugar not conservative…excuse me…reactionary enough.

    I have to laugh at these tea party clowns calling him not conservative enough. As if he ever voted against anything W. proposed. And as if he ever lifted a finger to stop them.

    He could have a fight to win re-nomination next year. It all depends who gets the vote out: the white collars (business interests) or the blue collars (working class nationalists). If he loses, I’ll have a good laugh at his expense.

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  10. LAMary said on February 9, 2011 at 10:49 am

    I took two days off work. Between the very sore throat, the cough, the low grade fever, earache and fatigue, I figured I would not be of much use other than to infect everyone else. Now I just have the sore throat and an occasional cough. The in house brit and one kid are still home hacking and wheezing.

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  11. LAMary said on February 9, 2011 at 10:50 am

    If you skip the cheese you can do some great Italian food as vegan. Personally I can’t skip a little bit of parmesan.

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  12. Scout said on February 9, 2011 at 11:01 am

    We’re vegetarians in this house, with one of us (not me) pretty much vegan. Our reasons for this are animal rights, with a nod to the effect that eating this way correctly has towards a healthy lifestyle. When approached from that angle, meat substitutes make more sense. Well prepared seitan and tempeh satisfy the need for variety and in some meals provide the basis that omnivores find in meats. (However, I agree ToFurkey is ghastly.) I guess what I’m saying is that it is easy to look at meat substitutes with scorn if you don’t know the motivation behind the choice.

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  13. brian stouder said on February 9, 2011 at 11:04 am

    The remarkable thing about Pat Miller is that WOWO fired Nance’s old on-air colleague Pat White to make room for him. While White had at least seen a little of the world (serving his country in the Vietnam-era Air Force) enroute to his worldview, Miller would exactly fit General Tommy Franks’ description of Douglas Feith (“the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth”). He reminds me of a dismissive line I once read in an essay (in New Yorker, if memory serves), describing someone as “often in error, but seldom in doubt”.

    Alex is probably right; Lugar will steamroll whoever the spittle producing angry white folks in the loosely networked Hoosier “tea party” fever swamps put up against him. But if Lugar should go down, I cannot help but believe that any breathing personage that the Democrats nominate will roll to victory in November of ’12, it being a presidential year and all.

    Della – loved your reminiscence of cock-fights in the last thread, despite that I still will not view Nance’s photographic link.

    I think I liked your narrative nonetheless, because if a picture is worth a thousand words, then the two or three hundred you wrote kept it in sufficiently soft focus!

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  14. nancy said on February 9, 2011 at 11:20 am

    All choices respected here, Scout. But you remind me of one of my favorite “King of the Hill” scenes, where Hank, suffering from constipation, investigates soy meat alternatives. First he’s shown “not dogs” and then the tofu substitute, “faux fu.”

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  15. brian stouder said on February 9, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Beb – I read that article about the shooting in your neighborhood, and it was a heart-breaker.

    Here’s wishing you and yours strength in the coming weeks and months, as this catastrophe does whatever it does, in your corner of the world.

    I was going to post about Jim Webb leaving the Senate, but the mood for that has left me

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  16. Joe Kobiela said on February 9, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I’m a proud member of PETA, People Eating Tasty Animals.
    Your choice is your choice, but I always wonder what we are suppose to due with all the cows ect if we don’t eat them? Let them starve? Over populate? As for winter, I’m tired of fighting ice and snow when I fly, but still get out and run then take a hot dry sauna. Havn’t been sick in years.
    Pilot Joe

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  17. LAMary said on February 9, 2011 at 11:50 am

    When the kids were little they liked Gardenburgers which didn’t taste like meat but were pretty tasty in general. They had a nice texture to them.

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  18. Jolene said on February 9, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Aaaargh! Jim Webb leaving the Senate is a tragedy. I cannot even imagine who the Democratic candidate will be, and the overwhelming likelihood is that George Allen, he of the “macaca moment,” will win. Allen is an officious, Republican slimeball who, let us recall, kept a Confederate flag in his study. He only lost by about 6,000 votes in 2006, so it’s highly likely that, against a weak Democratic candidate, he will win this time. Sigh. This is really depressing.

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  19. Jolene said on February 9, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Joe, I’m not a vegetarian, but I don’t think it’s really that hard to figure out what to do with cows. The answer: Stop breeding them. I could be wrong, but I believe that most bovine reproduction is the result of artificial insemination, so the answer is to stop doing it, or, if we want to keep producing dairy cows, do much less of it. And castrate most of the bulls. See, it’s easy.

    And, yes, my sympathies to you and your neighbors, beb. even if the people who were killed weren’t friends, it;s unsettling to have something like that occur so close to home. So sad for the family of the people who died, and now one more young man has ruined his life.

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  20. Linda said on February 9, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Oprah, Oprah, Oprah. Please stop. She is full of enthusiasms that don’t go the distance. It’s like someone who has found The Secret to Marital Bliss on their honeymoon. And discovers The Real True Secret to Marital Bliss on her next honeymoon with somebody else five years later. And The Realer Secret five years after that. On a honeymoon with someone else. On the subject of food, she needs to zip it for awhile and walk the walk, and then after a few years come back and share.

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  21. nancy said on February 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Oprah is the perfect example of someone with a bright IQ and driving ambition who has been simply ruined by ass-kissing. All that hanging out with the Obamas and delegating every last detail of her life to a staff of lackeys has stripped her of everything but her preening self-regard. Every successful person needs someone in their life who will say, “Really dumb idea, O.” I think she fired that person.

    Can you tell my office hours are a little empty? I’ve been here two hours and four people have shown up. Not pleased.

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  22. ROgirl said on February 9, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Some of those soyburgers cause intestinal distress. I had that experience about 5 years ago, don’t remember the maker, but don’t think it was Gardenburgers, which are made by Kellogg.

    Despite the flaws of Oprah’s approach, you have to give her credit for introducing the idea of veganism to a lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise give it the slightest thought. Mark Bittman is of course right, but his influence is mostly on other demographic groups.

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  23. alice said on February 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    “If Oprah jumped off a roof would you do it too?”

    Really, would they? Always wondered about that.

    I’m with Pilot Joe on the eats, and I’m glad my evolutionary forefathers & mothers were not vegan.

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  24. Julie Robinson said on February 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Oprah is pretty easy to make fun of and I’m no fan, but in her defense, she has to find material for five shows a week. That’s a lot of content. Other than that, I don’t disagree with any of these comments.

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  25. Joe Kobiela said on February 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Wouldn’t castrating the bulls go against peta principals? Peta goes crazy if you do anything to a animal. I think de-nutting them would really set them off. If we would stop breeding them wouldn’t that make them exinct? Seems that would go against peta also. What would we do with people like coozledad who have livestock?
    Pilot Joe

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  26. Connie said on February 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Sick here too, shaking with fever. Just ate my first meal since Monday evening and it was only toast and a tangerine.

    I just don’t get vegan. Vegetarian yes, but vegan? If you read the labels on those frozen not meat products they appear to be made from mystery chemicals. Chemicals good, meat bad?

    On yesterday’s subject of creationism in biology class I would refer you to
    http://parentingbeyondbelief.com/blog/ . If you click back a month or two you can read about the writer’s own experience with creationism in his kid’s biology class and how he dealt with it in an appropriate and civil manner.

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  27. Jolene said on February 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I was only addressing your question about what we’d do w/ the cows we have now if we didn’t eat them, Joe. Short answer: Stop producing them; don’t allow them to reproduce naturally. Over time, the problem would take care of itself. I’ll let PETA make its own case.

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  28. Bitter Scribe said on February 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Nancy, 12 minutes from you is better than 12 hours from most other bloggers.

    I was briefly acquainted with Sally Jenkins in college. (Dating myself.) A very pretty girl. I wondered at the time how her father Dan would like it if some guy behaved toward her the way men routinely treat women in “Semi-Tough” and his other books.

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  29. Rana said on February 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I think it’s not coincidence that a lot of fake food aimed at vegetarians* is very similar to the fake food aimed at dieters. The mentality is the same: rather than making a real change in diet and lifestyle, the customer trades healthy real food for something that tastes like the real thing. Honestly, given the choice between “bad for you” fatty-sweet food, or “bad for the environment” meat, and “healthy!” fake crap made out of synthetic chemicals, I’ll take the real stuff any day. The fake stuff is worse, both health-wise and environmentally, but the consumer gets to bask in the glow of having their cake and eating it without guilt. It’s a very clever bit of marketing.

    Did Oprah bother to explain the nutritional risks of going vegan without doing the research first? It’s not a way of eating that can be done safely without knowing how to combine amino acids, select for foods with the proper mix of vitamins, etc.

    *I don’t consider all “meat substitutes” and the like to be in the same category. Seitan and tofu are pretty clearly their own things, not fake meat – unlike, say, tofurky or boca burgers, which pretend to be meat through the magic of texture and artificial flavorings.

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  30. Rana said on February 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Also, there’s a middle ground between factory-farming cattle (and pigs, chickens, etc.) and letting them go extinct. Small farms, raising the animals in a humane fashion, are on solid ground both environmentally and ethnically (though, yes, the animals are still killed at the end, and I respect those who are unwilling to make such a choice). One doesn’t have to go cold turkey (heh) on meat to get that benefit; supporting small farmers with an occasional meal of home-grown grass-fed beef is a far greater threat to the factory-farming mentality.

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  31. Dave said on February 9, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Pat Miller has to come up with content, too, five days a week. His topic is pretty much the same thing, the same thing over and over and over.

    Pat White got worse over time, he had two or three or four points and that was it, preparation seemed to increasingly take no part in his daily schedule. No idea how he’s doing now but being on in the morning on WGL, he’s probably talking to himself.

    I’m certain that lots of these folks won’t be happy until things have returned to what they think the 18th century was like and then they would discover how much they wouldn’t like it.

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  32. beb said on February 9, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Brian Stouter @15. Thanks. I pointed a link to a newspaper account of the shooting on our street this week at the end of Tuesday’s comments. The shooter has supposedly confessed. He’s 19 and facing two life sentences. and I’m sure it will be without parole. What a waste.

    Turns out Comcast in Detroit carries “CurrentTV so I’;; be able to have my daily fix of Olbermann. People say he’s strident but when Republicans try to redefine rape so they won’t have to pay for a few more abortions or take away tax incentives on corporate health plans that come abortions the outrage is so acute that, really, Oblermann at his most over the top essays don’t begin to equal the rancidity that is the Republican party.

    When Dick Lugar becomes too moderate for Republicans who know the apocalypse is upon us.

    Going vegetarian — allowing for eggs, milk, butter and cheese, would be pretty easy. Cabbage stroginoff… hmmmm. Without eggs and dairy would be a lot harder. But for a week, yeah, if could be done.

    Most cows mat be breed by artificial insemination but I think that’s more for the convenience of the factory farmer. As far as I know most bulls can still breed most cows when given the chance. I bow to Coolzedad’s greater expertise in the area of animal sex.

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  33. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Nancy — http://rhosgobel.blogspot.com/2010/09/office-hours-vs-review-sessions-power.html

    Having wasted many hours providing mandatory office hours as well, I thought this was interesting, and has me thinking about how I’d use it in whenever I next teach History 151 or the like.

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  34. coozledad said on February 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    My livestock is a hedge against the rough times the Republicans are eternally working to dump in our laps.
    PETA people are generally people who will grow back into the upper middle class suburban enclaves from which they emerged, after the fashionable animal rights posture gets them fucked a couple times and they get tired of wearing mismatching socks.
    My cows and sheep are for dairy purposes in the event the Republicans manage to reinstitute the poll tax, limit suffrage to white trash and get their sleazy asses back in the White House so they can resume fucking things up again.
    We originally intended to leave the country for Canada,in 2006, but we had enough money to buy our own small country, albeit in the belly of the beast, and we went for it. Still, if things go south, we’ll have something to eat.
    I do think humans are due for a reevaluation of their intelligence vis-a-vis animals. It strikes me that humans are piss-poor adaptors, whose most striking characteristic is an aptitude for killing themselves through elective self starvation, hypothermia, or getting in big groups and charging each other with sharp objects. The lowly chicken, on the other hand, can fend for itself in a variety of environments and climates with just the brain in its ass.

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  35. Judybusy said on February 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Nancy, I first learned Indian cooking via the Moosewood cookbooks, and Katzen uses peanut oil. I could never go through so much ghee, so I’ve always just made my Indian food with oil.

    Rana, I agree with your comments about “fake meat”-that’s always been my take. And a rousing yes to smaller farmers! Some say we could never feed the world that way, but if we changed our food habits to follow Pollan’s advice, I bet it could be done. Think of the acreage dedicated to growing grains that end up as animal feed or junk food! Of course, as Bittman points out we’d all have to learn to cook and be a lot more concious of what we eat. It doesn’t have to be fancy or pretentious (touching on Sweet Juniper’s post from yesterday) just take a look at what LAMary had for dinner.

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  36. Jolene said on February 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    The review session idea is great, Jeff. Wish I’d thought of it when I was teaching. I too, usually, found myself alone in my office during most office hours. The only solution I came up with was to schedule very few of them, but make it clear that I was willing to arrange appointments at other times.

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  37. prospero said on February 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    It’s pretty obvious what Teabaggers find objectionable about Lugar. He is overtly intelligent, values knowledge, speaks English competently, and understands the way a representative democracy might work effectively if not for crippling prejudice, mendacity-larded invective in service to bigotry, and “exceptional” American greed, ignorance and jingoism.

    Holy shit, Lugar actually thinks the “founding fathers” expected members of the Senate to inform themselves on matters of foreign relations. That’s not in their Constitution. And Lugar believes that political differences and party animosities end at water’s edge. What sort of namby-pamby elitism is that? Of course, this all may change, now that Beck has leapt into the gaping abyss of ‘bagger’s foreign policy concerns. His mental health concerns are another matter altogether. This guy is absolutely, incoherently, ragingly, Savonorolaesquely insane.

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  38. Jolene said on February 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    It strikes me that humans are piss-poor adaptors, whose most striking characteristic is an aptitude for killing themselves through elective self starvation, hypothermia, or getting in big groups and charging each other with sharp objects.

    I was thinking along these lines last week when I was watching people in Egypt throw rocks at each other. All these years of what purports to be civilization, and people are still throwing rocks as a means of obtaining (or maintaining) political power. Very impressive.

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  39. prospero said on February 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm


    The rocks (and the camels) in Egypt represented the most advanced technology to which those people had recourse. If a similar encounter took place in Iraq now, where weapons outnumber people 2:1, it would have been AKs. Or else, it’s just emergent neo-classicism in Tahrir Square, with phalanxes and chariots in the offing.

    When Palestinians throw rocks at the heavily armed and armored IDF, they are using what they have available, and making a political statement about their own powerlessness and victimization by an overwhelming, cruel, mechanized state.

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  40. Joe Kobiela said on February 9, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Well any way were never going to eliminate cows, kinda pulling your chain a bit there Jolene. Will be finding my self in Greenville S.C. on Thursday, anyone know how to kill 8hr.Food? Place to run? any help?
    Pilot Joe

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  41. Suzanne said on February 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Dave @31, as I said yesterday, they “long for the good old days when science didn’t confront us with so many pesky facts, women and minorities knew their places, and the US took advantage of its God-given right to subdue the earth and everybody in it.”

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  42. coozledad said on February 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Jolene: Perriello ought to be able to beat that racist:

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  43. Paul said on February 9, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    I’ve never posted here before, but I have been a regular reader for quite some time, having been recommended here by one of you. I guess I qualify as a “spittle producing angry white (man) from the loosely networked Hoosier “tea party” fever swamp”. This is just one of many other characterizations of conservatives I have read here. I don’t think I spit when I talk and I’m sure I don’t live in a fever swamp. I would venture to say that I am no more angry today than many (most?) of you were when George W. Bush was president. In fact, I think some of you seem pretty angry still. Just a few weeks ago, I recall reading about things that some of you wish would happen to Dick Cheney (or Sarah Palin on a pretty regular basis for that matter).

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  44. Jolene said on February 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Agree, cooz. I forgot about Perriello when I posted earlier, but he would be a great candidate, and I think he’d do well in a statewide contest in Virginia. He is much less well known than George Allen, but lots of people who know Allen don’t like him, so there’s hope. Barack Obama will bring out a different set of voters than those who took part in last fall’s election, so that would be positive for Perriello too.

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  45. Heather said on February 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    I once had a client who used to work for Oprah who said they were good work friends until a cabal developed to keep outsiders away from her. She even had an old Chanel dress of O’s, but this woman was like a size 4 or 6, so it was strictly a memento. I told her she should sell it on eBay.

    My friend was put on a diet to reduce the amount of yeast in her body by an alternative-type health practitioner because she’d been really tired and had some other chronic complaints. She lost some weight (she was already quite thin) and said she felt a lot better. When she enumerated the long list of the things she couldn’t eat, I was incredulous. So what did she get to eat? Meat and vegetables. Not even fruit.

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  46. jcburns said on February 9, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Pilot Joe, a bunch of years ago I tried to find good food in Greenville, and didn’t do that good a job, until I stumbled on a Mediterranean food restaurant that was (this was the mid/late 90s) in an industrial park somewhere on the east side of town. Great hummus and the absolute best all-you-could-drink lemonade I ever had. I’ll have to find that place again someday, if still there. (Edit: ah, this is why we keep everything in Quicken. The Pita House, which we visited on November 22, 1993.)

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  47. LAMary said on February 9, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Off topic:

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  48. Dorothy said on February 9, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Pilot Joe: I can recommend a few places to eat since I lived there for 3 years (Sept. 2004 to Sept. 2007). If you like Mexican, you can’t beat Sabroso’s at 1860 Woodruff Road. It’s closer to Simpsonville than downtown actually. Downtown Greenville has lots of good places to eat. Trio’s on S. Main Street is terrific. Barley’s Tap Room has outstanding pizza and really good beer (but don’t take my word for it – I’m not a beer drinker. My husband and son loved it). Downtown is a really lovely place, and if you have time on your hands make sure you walk down Main Street to see the Liberty Bridge. It was brand new, opened shortly after we moved there, and it sits over the Reedy River Falls. Bring your camera. Mast General Store is a nice place to shop. I like Ayers Leather Shop as well. Have fun!

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  49. Julie Robinson said on February 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Hypocritical Republican politicians are never off topic, Mary. And Rep. Lee certainly fits the bill. Does anyone know if this has been picked up by the mainstream media?

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  50. Dorothy said on February 9, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Other opinions and views are always welcome here, Paul. I am sure that you’ll find yourself in the minority here, but I like to think we are a pretty tolerant group. But if you’re going to be praising $P to the crowd here, you’re going to get awfully strong push back. Can’t say you weren’t warned.

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  51. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 9, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Paul — keep reading, even commenting. Disdain doesn’t leave a mark, isn’t a terminal disease, and if you wash your hands, it isn’t even very contagious. This is a pretty tolerant crowd that shouldn’t be judged by the loudest voices; wayside taverns are like that.

    [on edit] Dorothy beat me to it! See, that’s a pub on all-you-can-eat nights – everyone has to lean in and holler a bit to have a conversation, and there’s always gonna be some crosstalk.

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  52. Sue said on February 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Welcome Paul, and thanks for the House Tea Party help in (probably temporarily) defeating the extension of the Patriot Act! I bless you in memory of my man Russ Feingold, whether you want me to or not. I’ll move over and let you squeeze in at the bar. I think it’s MMJeff’s round.

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  53. brian stouder said on February 9, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Paul – please note that whenever I refer to spittle-producing angry white men (who apparently reside in a fever swamp somewhere), present company is always excluded!

    Seriously, I attended Disgraced Former Representative Mark Souder’s “Town Hall Meeting” on healthcare reform (aka ObamaCare/socialist takeover/proto-nazi Death Panel plan) a few summers back, and THAT image (burned into my brain) was what I was referring to. Those teabaggers were definitely white, angry, and spittle-speckled fever swamp denizens.

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  54. Sue said on February 9, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Nothing to do with anything, but Athenae is having a rant about something over at First Draft and just gave a perfect description of your average Northerner in February:
    “we’ve all given up being fashionable and are just huddled in layers of fluff at the bus stops like angry overstuffed furniture”
    Angry overstuffed furniture. Oh good heavens that is exactly how I feel.

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  55. Jakash said on February 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    The afternoon radio gang on WLS in Chicago just did a segment on the H. Baals situation in Fort Wayne. The level of restrained, insightful discourse was about what one would have expected.

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  56. Deborah said on February 9, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Paul, old buddy, old pal. Welcome. It’s good to have all kinds here, it gets kind of boring when we’re all on the same page in comments. Not that Nancy ever gets boring in her posts, and by boring I don’t mean anything like boring gets you elsewhere. Just don’t expect us all to agree, what fun is that? We’re here because it’s eye opening and mind bending one way or the other.

    I’m a little looped on Theraflu so don’t mind me. Trying to get through a day off of work. I tried going in this afternoon but only made it for about an hour and a half. Cough, cough, cough.

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  57. Rana said on February 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    I have nothing but disdain and contempt for PETA. They’re sexist posers who care far more about stirring up shit than they do about animals. I mean, these are the sorts of people who think splattering women wearing their great-grandma’s coat with paint will end mink farming, and who believe that tossing a bunch of domesticated animals on the side of the road is “freeing” them, when in fact it’s dooming them to a short, terrified life followed by starvation or being eaten. They know little about actual animals, and what they need, and don’t really seem to care, either.

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  58. MaryRC said on February 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Jackash, was it anything like this post title I just saw on another blog? “Fort Wayne Scratches Harry Baals”

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  59. Connie said on February 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Nancy, are these the French ruin porn photographers you hosted around town a while back? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kisa-lala/detroit-the-ruins-of-an-e_b_810688.html

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  60. coozledad said on February 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    The Craigslist sex troll is looking at a lot of hush money, if he’s serious about playing ignorant. Mrs. Lee’s going to be wearing a lot of lobbyist-funded jewelry while she does her own trolling for something a little younger and not quite as dick pill dependent.

    My question for naked boy is if you’re going to purchase pectoral implants, why go with the Jimmy Olsens?

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  61. Jakash said on February 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Why, yes, MaryRC, that’s in the same ballpark.

    Regarding the political commentary on this blog, what bothers me about the references to $P/SheWho is trying to decide which moniker I prefer. Each is so good…

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  62. Jolene said on February 9, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Does anyone know if this has been picked up by the mainstream media?

    He seems to have talked to Fox News earlier today, saying only, “I have to work this out w/ my wife.” No kidding.

    I first saw it on Twitter earlier this afternoon, and his name is a trending topic there now. As you might guess, people are enjoying this news greatly. One person said, “He described himself as a divorced lobbyist, which he will be in two years.”

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  63. nancy said on February 9, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    No, my guys were TV journalists, reporter and videographer, and they worked for the French equivalent of PBS. Although, as I’ve pointed out many times before, they are hardly the only French guys plying their trade here. Jim at Sweet Juniper had a photo roundup a year or so ago, pictures he’d taken of them taking pictures, and they were so European-looking, it was hilarious. No ‘merican man really knows how to wrap a scarf properly.

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  64. Jolene said on February 9, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Wow! Chris Lee has resigned. Quick work. There must have been more on the way. Happened so recently that WaPo has only a headline on the web page. No story yet.

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  65. ac jones said on February 9, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Hi, Paul. This is an enjoyable blog for sure, but I’m with you on the demonization extended to folks of a different political persuasion. It’s a bit simple-minded. But I like the commenters and the links are great. I figure it’s not my tribe so I should keep my comments to myself, but for today–here’s to diversity.

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  66. ROgirl said on February 9, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Pilot Joe, the Blue Ridge Brewery in downtown Greenville is good.

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  67. Joe Kobiela said on February 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Thanks for all the info on Greenville, Im planning on running at Forham University, and I think I’ll try eating downtown. Paul welcome and stick around, I could use a little help on the right side.
    Pilot Joe

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  68. Jolene said on February 9, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    This review of Steven Tyler on American Idol is a lovely little bon bon. I don’t watch the show, but this review makes me think I should. Or perhaps I should just read more reviews by Jon Caramanica.

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  69. alex said on February 9, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    No ‘merican man really knows how to wrap a scarf properly.

    I beg to differ, Miss Thing. No freedom-fries-lovin’ commie hetero who doesn’t use antiperspirant wraps a scarf ’round his ass (or his noggin) better than moi.

    Just a few weeks ago, I recall reading about things that some of you wish would happen to Dick Cheney (or Sarah Palin on a pretty regular basis for that matter).

    Welcome, Paul. So, as a conservative, how do you think our vitriol compares with that of Dick (or Liz) Cheney? Or Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh? Are we as heavy-handed, disingenuous and callous? Are we authors of a liturgy that has the potential to become a favorite opiate of the masses?

    I’m on the record as acknowledging the difference between conservative and crazy. I take you at your word that you’re a conservative. This round’s on me, if you’re still standing.

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  70. LAMary said on February 9, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Chris Lee folded fast. Man. He either has no stomach for fighting or there’s more stuff to worry about.

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  71. coozledad said on February 9, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    I don’t give a rat’s ass what happens to Sarah Palin. As long as it doesn’t impact me. She’s a damned house fire. It’s interesting to watch, but someone is going to get fucked up.
    And Sarah feels the same way, I’m sure. Long as she’s got her nee nee, she don’t care bout nothin’.

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  72. moe99 said on February 9, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    LA Mary, Rep. Chris Lee’s resignation is either a sign that the GOP is going heavy, for now, on cheaters, or he does have more trash coming down the pike. I would note there are a number of GOP heavy weights who have suffered no consequences or did not resign for their transgressions, like John Ensign and David Vitter for starters.

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  73. Linda said on February 9, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Dude, wait, what? He resigned because he sent a shirtless pic of himself to a woman? David Vitter was doing whores, which is illegal except in some parts of Nevada, and he’s still in the saddle. But he’s in Louisiana, where a former governor once said he would be re-elected unless caught in bed with a dead woman or a live boy. You have to dig a hole to lower the bar that much.

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  74. coozledad said on February 9, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Linda: Louisiana must be sewn up pretty tight for Republicans through some sort of scheme brokered under the descendants of Huey Long. David Vitter wasn’t only doing whores, he was doing them in a shitty diaper. I know the Arcadians are different, but please.

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  75. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 9, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Sadly, if the GOP was going heavy on cheaters, the devastation would be as widespread as today’s snowcover across this blessed land. I’m guessing the revelations will continue for a while, until the cats find a new squeaky toy to play with.

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  76. beb said on February 9, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    I am truly amazed that Rep Chris Lee resigned so quickly. I assume that this flirtatious letter and only the most recent indiscretion on his part. Lee could also be a sacrificial goat since as a two term representative he’s barely be in government long enough to wear a groove on his Congressional chair. Vitter, Craig and the others had some seniority on their bones. Lee, not so much.

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  77. coozledad said on February 9, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Beb: It’s likely a sort of cribbage. Lee’s the lamb to give Boehner some breathing room. Wear the public out quickly on the latex fetishism, piglet fucking, feces painting, latrine breadcrust soaking permutations of the Republican party before you broach the subject of Boehner sliding accidentally into a lobbyist.
    Harmless, really. He’s on his way to Reagatude.

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  78. Craig Myers said on February 10, 2011 at 1:53 am

    I think I heard the other day that the Pat White show will be moving to the 3-6 p.m. time slot on WGL–right up against Pat Miller.

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  79. Dexter said on February 10, 2011 at 2:38 am

    I guess I am the one who lives in the fever swamp, although it was drained long, long ago. I saw a recent public TV special on the draining of The Great Black Swamp. Good stuff.
    When I tried my hand at vegetarianism in the mid-1990s, I ate a lot of Burger King Veggie Whoppers. Not on the menu, but they made ’em for us and charged us 99 cents, then $1.19. Pretty good, actually. I’d also order chicken tacos at Taco Bell and say “hold the chicken”. That always confused the kids at the counter.
    Did you see what Mark Buehrle , star pitcher for the White Sox said about how he and his wife were rooting for dog-killer Vick to get hurt this past football season? Strong stuff. Buehrle and his wife are stray-dog placers, and dog lovers supreme.

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  80. basset said on February 10, 2011 at 7:17 am

    I must have missed the original post about the scarf-wrappers… were they as rude and disdainful as the stereotype would suggest?

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  81. alex said on February 10, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Nah, basset. See Nance @ 63. I was just asserting that as an American queer I can go neck and neck sartorially with any hetero Frenchman. With tongue in cheek, of course, as I segued into a diatribe about maledictions in general. No offense to the French intended.

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  82. basset said on February 10, 2011 at 8:22 am

    as the son of a native Brit an appropriate amount of offense to the French is always intended here, tongue only partly in cheek…

    and, as a “stray-dog placer” myself, I recommend this site, probably have said something about it here before:


    when you mention @63 or @whatever number… I assume some of your readers are assigning a number to each post? I read this with Firefox, no numbers and under current sleep-deprived conditions I’m not sure I could count to 63 without help.

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  83. beb said on February 10, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Basset — I’m reading this with Firefox as well and there are numbers assigned to each post. They’re in light blue, which I admit is hard to read and appear to the left of the poster’s name. It would be nice if the numbers were a little darker (more visible) for us old folk.

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  84. Mark P. said on February 10, 2011 at 8:49 am

    basset, I’m using Safari and the comment numbers appear in very, very faint blue at the top left of the comment.

    We rescue and adopt out dogs all the time, because those fine, upstanding rednecks around here dump their dogs and cats along our rural road. Our current dog is a dumpee, and five of our six cats are also dumpees. It’s much, much harder to find a home for a cat than for a dog.

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  85. basset said on February 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    damn,you’re right. there they are. didn’t see ’em even when I was looking for ’em, thanks.

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