Cast in bronze.

I’d like to go on the record to register my astonishment at how much discussion the RoboCop statue question has engendered hereabouts, but I really shouldn’t be too surprised — this is exactly the sort of topic for which talk radio, blogs and newspaper columns were invented, the equivalent of a bag of potato chips.

It all started when the mayor’s staff, in responding to a tweet, nixed the idea of a permanent RoboCop, and from there, the internet swung into action. It took just six days to raise $50,000 via Kickstarter, which should be more than enough to pay an artist’s foundry bill and stick him somewhere on the riverfront. As for all the arguments against, which boil down to It’s Not Serious and There’s a Better Way to Spend $50K, I say (shrug).

My thinking may have been influenced by a weekend in lovely Milwaukee last year, where you’ll recall I met yet another fictional character who lived in a real city, represented in statue form:

The Bronze Fonz stands there all day, offering photo ops for all. Fun fact: Sylvester Stallone funded his own Rocky statue, and was miffed when the Philadelphia art museum refused to place it at the top of the steps.

Of course, if it were up to me, I’d add ED-209…

…as a salute to the glitches in all of us.

For what it’s worth, I recall liking that movie. It had the usual ridiculous Paul Verhoeven ultra-violence, and a coke-fueled cynicism that will always be associated with the Reagan administration, in my memory. Peter Weller carries the lead role acting mainly with his mouth, an impressive achievement. There’s a show that seems to be playing on all background TVs throughout, called “I’d Buy THAT for a Dollar!” I want to see that show someday. As for Detroit being the model for our dystopian future, I remind you the film was shot almost entirely in Dallas.

So, who watched “Jeopardy!” this week? I didn’t see all three nights of Watson’s triumph, but I saw enough. The revelation, for me, was in how much we need more carbon-based life forms like Ken Jennings. I’d forgotten how much I missed him — a guy who wears celebrity lightly and always keeps his sense of humor, proof that fame doesn’t turn everyone into Sarah Palin.

The new governor of Ohio — not a Sarah Palin, but a cocky shit in his own right — stepped in it recently, calling a Columbus police officer who issued him a ticket an “idiot” in a public forum. Because I believe police are entirely capable of being idiots just like the rest of us, I watched the dashboard video of the stop. Didn’t see anything idiotic going on. I’d forgotten those Columbus P.D. uniforms, with the white shirts and hats. There was a story a few years back about a couple of Columbus cops doing something heroic — I forget what. They were photographed sometime after the heroism, and were cited by supervisors for not wearing their hats, as per department policy. Now that’s idiocy, guv’nor. Just so’s you know.

So, this has been something of a meander today, eh? Any more bloggage? A little:

The Amish Bernie Madoff. Priceless.

Come the revolution, I hope women like this are sentenced to life in Carhartt coveralls:

After Ana Pettus, a 42-year-old mother who lives in Dallas, watched a gold minidress with a plunging, fringed V-neck go down the runway at the Balmain show in Paris last year, she knew she had to have it. She bought the piece—she wears it as a tunic instead of a dress—along with three others from the fall 2010 collection at the Paris boutique of the luxury French fashion house. Price tag: €55,150, or about $74,000.

Fashion weeks in New York, Paris and Milan generate a tremendous amount of press and buzz for some of the world’s most expensive clothes. But many of the runway styles are actually purchased by a small group of customers, not all of them from the isle of Manhattan. And unlike celebrities and socialites, who often get designer clothes at no charge in exchange for publicity, these customers pay full price.

Things not to do when you’re pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving: Start drinking from a bottle of scotch and play the “don’t you know who I am?” card. Adios, Miguel Cabrera.

And adios to you, too. Have a great Thursday.

Posted at 9:57 am in Current events, Movies |

45 responses to “Cast in bronze.”

  1. harrison said on February 17, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Cabrera’s alcohol blood level was 0.26 percent, according to police. That’s a little more than three times the legal limit in most states now. Dan Patrick just announced that on his radio sports show.

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  2. Carolyn said on February 17, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Robocop reminds me of the angst in Salem, Ma., a few years ago over a plan to place a statue of Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery there.
    An old Boston Globe story about it mentions the Mary Tyler Moore statue in Minneapolis and the Bob Newhart statue in Chicago.
    And I do admit that on a recent visit to husband Bill’s hometown we made a trek to see Samantha.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on February 17, 2011 at 10:24 am

    We saw enough of Jeopardy to be convinced that Watson had an unfair advantage in being able to electronically buzz in faster than the shell-shocked humans. It got painful to watch. But Ken Jennings has indeed worn his celebrity with humility and grace. Plus, he looks a bit like a beloved nephew of ours who is also a geek but with high social intelligence, so he makes me smile.

    The creeping crud going around has finally hit me and I am blowing off all my responsibilities today to see if a day in bed can nip it in the bud. Fingers crossed.

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 17, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Re: Ken Jennings (who was on NPR Tuesday, not very successfully not saying that he got whipped by the chip) — his good humor has been wonderfully evident all through, including his Final Jeopardy screen:

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  5. Sue said on February 17, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Off topic, but I have a question for those more internet-savvy than I.
    Russ Feingold (my man Russ) has started a PAC for progressives. I went to the site with the intent of joining and there was a notice that the site was down due to overwhelming traffic. However, there was a spot to sign up, and a spot to click to donate, and a spot to click to go to the facebook site.
    That doesn’t seem right. If the site is down how come I can conveniently give them my contact information and send money? I got into the site once yesterday but haven’t gotten anything but this down notice since. I want to contact them and ask them why the donation site doesn’t seem to be a secure site (no request for that credit card cvv thing or whatever it’s called, no little lock icon) but I can’t until the site is back up.
    What do you think – is the ‘overwhelming traffic’ message a marketing tactic? I love Russ but I won’t tolerate being manipulated.

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  6. Dorothy said on February 17, 2011 at 10:30 am

    We watched all three nights and it was just as Julie says – painful to watch! Did anyone really expect a different outcome? The other human player (sorry, cannot recall his name) rocked back and forth in place entirely too much and made me feel seasick. Which was only a switch up to how I’ve been feeling since Sunday morning – sore throat that became a nasty cough. The doc said on Tuesday that it was just a virus and I got a cough syrup with codeine script. Still sound like crap (but my boss told me this morning I sounded sultry! Boss is a lady – no offense was taken) but I’m back to work after 3 days off.

    Oh and don’t get me started on John Kasich. On election night he chortled like a 14 year old into the news microphones: I’M GONNA BE GOVERNOR!!!! I knew it would be all down hill from that point.

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  7. Peter said on February 17, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Oh, that Jeopardy thing was brutal. As if I needed another reminder of my senility.

    I don’t know if it’s cause and effect, but yesterday it dawned on me that the young ones in my office are flying along on BIM and Sketchup and animation, and it took me almost an hour to find a command on Adobe Acrobat. I would have complained about it in the office but it dawned on me that I would just sound like Abe Simpson.

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  8. Dorothy said on February 17, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Hey on a happier note I’m about to go meet Jonathan Franzen and have him sign my copy of “Freedom”! He was on campus last night but I didn’t go since I was still coughing and didn’t want to disrupt his speech. I heard it was very well attended and a good way to spend about 2 hours. He’s having a smaller gathering at Common Hour starting at 11:10 AM.

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  9. alex said on February 17, 2011 at 10:43 am

    What was interesting to me were the questions Watson blew. For instance, in what city are the airports named for a famous war hero and a famous war battle? Watson said Toronto. I knew it had to be Chicago because 1) it had to be a city with two airports and 2) one of Chicago’s airports is Midway (as in the Battle of–never did know who O’Hare was).

    So obviously, in addition to those involving idioms, there are certain types of questions that simply don’t compute.


    Detroit should have its RoboCop just as Milwaukee has its Bronz Fonz. And we should have our Harry Balls, who’s becoming every bit as famous.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on February 17, 2011 at 10:53 am

    The rest of the family went to Rick Steves last night but I kept my germs at home. DH learned much; DD has already traveled much in the Rick Steves manner, ie as a local. They got back late so I haven’t been able to pump them for more yet.

    Diane Rehm has military women who have been raped on this hour. It’s painful and angering to hear their stories.

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  11. Bill said on February 17, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Alex, Wikipedia has the goods on Edward “Butch” O’Hare:'Hare

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  12. nancy said on February 17, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Gene Weingarten says Ken Jennings is a better writer than he is. High praise, but he’s certainly in the ballpark:

    Watson has lots in common with a top-ranked human Jeopardy! player: It’s very smart, very fast, speaks in an uneven monotone, and has never known the touch of a woman.

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  13. Suzanne said on February 17, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I opted for Rick Steves instead of Watson. It was an excellent talk. His speech centered around understanding how other cultures differ from ours and getting a grasp of how they see us, and that this is why it is important to travel. His discussion of his visit to Iran was especially enlightening, although his little minute or two aside about his support for legalizing marijuana was a bit odd, although he did make some good points. The auditorium was packed! If only I could afford to visit some of the places he spoke of…

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  14. alice said on February 17, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Not being from Dallas, where does one wear a gold minidress with a plunging, fringed V-neck, as a tunic or not?

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  15. nancy said on February 17, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Dallas, silly!

    Seriously, Dallas is a place that tolerates and even celebrates that sort of over-the-topness in women’s clothing. Even strictly business, non-gold-minidress sort of dressing there is a little too showy for my taste. They invented big hair, after all.

    And a woman who spends $74,000 on a single item of clothing is going to figure out a place to wear it, even if it’s only to Starbucks. Sorry the e-edition didn’t include the photo, which the print edition carried — it’s the fringey batshit number. I expect she’s wearing it in a grocery store right now.

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  16. Jolene said on February 17, 2011 at 11:48 am

    The Ken Jennings piece on Slate is delightful. He did a WaPo webchat earlier in the week that was also pretty charming.

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  17. alex said on February 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I recall someone in the advertising business telling me that Barneys New York got off to a very bad start in Dallas because the stylists in their salon had never done teased blonde beehive bouffants before and the salon was decorated with images of brunettes wearing short, sophisticated styles.

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  18. Mark P. said on February 17, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    I didn’t see any of the human-vs-computer show, but based on descriptions, it’s easy to get at least the sense of what’s going on with the computer part of that match-up. Watson is being a computer running a program, which is very, very different from what a human does. The errors especially show the difference. People have been referring to artificial intelligence, but what Watson demonstrates is not really intelligence; it’s really just a well-programmed lookup table. I do not fear for my place as a human, I look forward to extending my external database and retrieval system.

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  19. beb said on February 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Re Miguel Cabrera. There’s an episode of “Cops” I think, where a woman is pulled over for drinking. While the cop is writing up her ticket she askes, “I didn’t think cops gave tickets to pretty woman.” “They don’t,” the cop said and handed her her ticket. When Cabrera says, “do you know who I am?” The only answer is “A common drunk under arrest.”

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  20. Cathy D. said on February 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    HAHA. Before I read the explaining paragraph I thought the (Fonz) picture was of Herman Munster.

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  21. Sue said on February 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    beb, and then there’s the joke about the lady who tries to charm her way out of a ticket by asking the cop who pulled her over “Are you selling tickets to the Policemen’s Ball?” and he replies “Policemen don’t have balls”.
    It’s an old joke.

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  22. Linda said on February 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    “Do you know who I am?” Supposedly, when Ice T asked the same thing after being pulled over in NY, the cop said, “I know who you are and I don’t give a f*ck!” Also a winning answer.

    Kasich is a douche who generally feels he is above mortals, so calling a cop an idiot is about par for the course. He also wanted to have his swearing in private, and to bar the press (from which he backed down). Also to make the Dept of Development private (with public money, of course), and have its handing out of cash to businesses exempt from state sunshine and public meeting laws. Oh, and bar public employees from collective bargaining. I guess it’s good to be king.

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  23. Jakash said on February 17, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I didn’t pay much attention to Ken Jennings when he was in the midst of his original rise to fame. But I have been impressed by his humorous, good-natured attitude with regard to this Watson event. I was going to post that very quote that NN highlighted above from his Slate piece; too late, alas. He does mention there that he ended up deciding to settle for trying to beat Brad Rutter when he realized his chances against Watson were slim. I believe this is why he only wagered $1000 at the end — he wanted to be sure to be the “winning” carbon-based life form. Also, I thought this was an interesting comment somebody posted to the NYT article:
    “The Humans were set up. Some questions are better answered with computer intelligence, others with human intelligence. With two humans to dilute that pool, Watson won. With two Watsons competing, Jennings might have won.”

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  24. Deborah said on February 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Nancy, if you could get a custom bronze sculpture for $50,000 that would be a bargain. If it’s a duplicate, made from existing molds that’s a different story. I’m not fond of those streetside bronzes of people sitting on benches etc. They give me the creeps, especially when they have color on them, not an overall patina which can be nice, but different colors for clothes etc (like the Fonz one).

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  25. nancy said on February 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    He said something cheeky in the WashPost chat, something like, “Face it, IBM, you’ve created SkyNet. Own it.” Such a funny Mormon.

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  26. Rana said on February 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Being polite to a cop with the power to give you a ticket is just common sense, at least for most people. Cheerfully saying thank you upon receiving said ticket – as one traffic school instructor insisted we should all do – is another matter.

    How we all glared at her… even the sweet little old man in the group.

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  27. Jakash said on February 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    If anyone’s interested, a sidebar to the New York Times article about Jeopardy offered a chance to challenge Watson to a game. Not exactly like the real thing, but fun, nonetheless.
    Edit: Sorry about the redundancy. After reading Dexter’s comment, I see that Jeff (tmmo) already posted that game on Tuesday. D’oh!

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  28. Dexter said on February 17, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    CathyD: I agree…very much Herman-ish.

    Ken Jennings was beaten like a red-headed stepchild by Watson. It was just ridiculous…I only watched five minutes of that stupid show.
    Some of here at nn.c played with Watson yesterday and beat him, and I would have, too, if only I had known the birthplace of Brahms…so we must have been getting Watson-lite, or Ken Jennings is a fraud…and we know that isn’t true.

    I love Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers…he is such a great hitter.
    I wrote to my friends how proud I was of his recovery-in-progress.
    Today I came into the house after my noon meeting and saw this news of his setback. It’s a long, painful road, and Miguel has to start over. I hope he sees his sickness can have an upturn and be contained, that he can stop this behavior and get better. I wish he had been at my meeting this noon. Our topic was “One Day At A Time—what it means to you”.
    I will be interested to see what the Tigers do with him. They are paying him twenty million dollars this year. He obviously is having grave issues—maybe pressure is getting to him—maybe family problems, self-doubt…depression? Whatever, this is so sad. And James Buchanan scotch whisky? Is that good stuff or rotgut? I mean, I never heard of it.

    Also, lots of talk about the Republicans ramming a bill that essentially will legalize murder of abortion doctors in South Dakota. It’s way-complicated, believe me…I spent almost an hour reading all the web-stuff I could find…but it’s bizarre as hell.

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  29. Dexter said on February 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    anyway…I posted a comment at The Freep regarding Rosenberg’s story:

    2:49 PM

    I just returned from an AA meeting to read about this . Our topic was ‘one day at a time’. Miguel needs help…if he feels like he may be an alcoholic he should go to anonymous meetings and say so…he does not have to say it to the press. We in AA must remain anonymous in press, radio, (TV) and films. This is so when one of us drinks, we don’t get piled on as an ineffective program.
    We only receive a one-day reprieve from our higher power , to receive strength to stay sober just for today. Saying we can never drink again is usually a set-up for a crushing hell-raising bender.
    We alcoholics need to hit a bottom…sometimes a hard bottom, to shake our foundation and make us realize we are killing ourselves and making our lives a living hell. A few beers in the clubhouse are OK for most players, slugging scots whisky out of a jug is another matter.
    AA was my answer…18 years and no alcohol. Is Miguel ready? Maybe….

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  30. Kim said on February 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I remember reading a police report where the motorist did exactly what Miguel did – start chugging from the bottle. The cops said it was one of the classic, brilliant drunk moves to cast doubt on whether the breathalyzer test done at the station reflected the booze chugged on the scene or earlier. Seem to recall they said it worked.

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  31. Bitter Scribe said on February 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Once a cop told me a story of a drunk who got in a crash, and while waiting for the police to show, produced a bottle of whiskey and said to the guy he had just hit, “Sir, I need a shot to steady my nerves. My hands are shaking so badly I can’t open this bottle. Will you do it for me?” The guy did, and the drunk chugged, with the intent, as described above, of skunking the Breathalyzer. By getting the other driver to open the bottle, he cleared himself of an open-liquor charge, too.

    Of course, he was lucky the other guy didn’t take the bottle and smack him upside the head with it.

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  32. 4dbirds said on February 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Are there abortion doctors? Aren’t physicians who perform abortions ob/gyns?

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  33. Dexter said on February 17, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    4dbirds…yes, in the stories I was referring to the doctors were referred to as ob-gyns. An interesting bit to the story is that there are zero South Dakota docs who perform abortions…the abortionists come over from Minnesota. These are the ones these Republicans want to assassinate. Like I said..bizarre.

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  34. Dexter said on February 17, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I heard this from a fellow drunk; it happened years ago. In Garrett, Indiana, a senior cop pulled over a drunk driver. The cop knew the drunk, but he just had to take him in. Well, the guy’s house was on the way to the jail, and the drunk said “Hey! I REALLY gotta pi$$ ! Stop by my house and let me pee or I will have to pi$$ in your seat here.”
    Same story…the cop let him go in his own toilet…then the drunk dashed to the fridge and grabbed a beer and chugged it.
    Now, I heard it second hand, but the guy said the cop called him a son-of-a-bitch and promised he would get him next time. The cop left saying something like “you had better get that car towed right now or I will impound it in an hour.” And that’s how the story ended. No nuthin’.

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  35. prospero said on February 17, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    4dbirds I think it’s fair to say there are obs that heve turned their paractices over to abortions to make sure women in parts of the US have recourse, when practitioners have been terrified to provide the service by targeted murders, clinic bombings and other terrorist tactics. Still, calling them abortion doctors is certainly part of the demonizing. This is more of that LCD Frank Luntz horeepuckey, which was the ultimate Carl Rove bullcrap as a political tactic. Do these bastards like Huckabee? Good luck. He let a guy out of jail that went to Portland and killed four cops.

    But Republicans are shameless. We’ll balance the budget on cutting WIC funding and Home haeating aid to poor people. I live in what must be one of the most schizoid counties in the US. Beafort, SC. We have Hilton Head Island. And we have north of the Broad River, where the servants to lush life styles live and take the public transit that doesn’t go both directions. Te LCTransit brings the employees to the Island at the start of their shift and carries them home when the beds are made and the sheets are all clean as a whistle. Many of these moms that work at the Big House rely on head start. Nobody has ever tried to claim Head Start isn’t productive, except maybe that asshole Raygun who was unaware as a young man there were actual pickaninnies. And these moms stand in front of me at te grocery store with their WIC cerificates. Now if this is a Christian nation, whatever you do. How do these whited sepulchers get away with this Welfare Queen shit? If we’re a Jesus nation, and given my personal regard for the way Jesus thought we’re supposed to treat others, No problem. We blow up the defense budget, which isn’t doing anything for anybody but killing them. The country is rampant with neoon weenies calling Afghanistan Obama’s War. Yeah right you morons. Eight years, than two trying to extricate with the least damage.

    Meantime, did W ever count a single expenditure on the invasions in the budget? Nope. Did an adult actually have to acknowledge the money had been spent? Well somebody did have to. The money was spent. It wasn’t like taking a header off a device. Cheney colluded to make this fucking dope the President. They lied beyond comprehension. Seriously, you piggie Pig Pigs qssholes? Seriously? It isn’t remotely funny. Two grotesquely fatass judges that claim to despise jusixiL ctivism, They go all judicial activism. Recuwe? Not a word we understand. No shit. Are you people nuts? How does Cheney not recuse himself? He ate the4DBIRDSasshole’s lunch. This is recuse central. He can’t possibly say this. It’s a no brqiner. You can’t even come close claiming he didn’t just lie

    scalia didn’t lie hisass off? AND THAT’S REPUBLICANSMARE BULLSHIT I KNOW I’MM SOME ASSHLE. THERE IS NO WY i think qbout you. Athletics is so importqntmA

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  36. Deborah said on February 17, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    I’m sitting in a bar on State St. Sipping a gin martini and having a snack waiting to go to the mayoral debate at one of the theaters on Randolph. I got a ticket to it through work, they had 2 to distribute and I got one. I just hope I can keep from coughing a lot. I did pretty good on that last night during Les Miz but it was a struggle. I’ll let you know how the debate goes, should be interesting.

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  37. Julie Robinson said on February 17, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Prospero, my sister works for WIC in Palm Beach County, which, like Hilton Head has lots of rich people. These rich people pay their gardeners and housekeepers crap, and of course offer no benefits. They scrape by because of WIC, and yes, Head Start. So if you want to infer that the taxpayers are subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich, you’ll get no argument here.

    I have also been a Head Start volunteer and the beginning/ending difference in the kids is striking and heartening. It was rewarding to watch the kids flourish and grow. Not incidentally, they also get health care such as shots, glasses, and dental care as part of Head Start, which all contribute to their well-being.

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  38. alex said on February 17, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Julie, I spent Y2K New Year’s in Coconut Grove, Miami, where Madonna and OJ were residing at the time. (No sightings to report, but that’s not where I’m going with this, although OJ was in the news at the time for some brawl he got into with a heckler.) Although my hosts didn’t have live-in help, the people who originally built their house evidently did. There was an inhumanely small apartment along the inside wall of the garage where someone had lived, and seeing it haunts me to this day. Talk about getting paid crap and no benefits. Here’s betting some of the good china got used as a bedpan.

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  39. Deborah said on February 17, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    I’m back from the mayoral debate and I’m here to tell you that I’m proud to live in Chicago and there are no slouches running for mayor here. I’m no fan of Carol Mosley Braun but she is sharp, and I mean sharp. All 4 of the candidates are clearly leaders head and shoulders above the fray of candidates that I listen to on TV on a daily basis. It was clear from the get go that Rahm was the man to beat. The other candidates either went out of their way to point out something they agreed with him about or something they disagreed with him about. And here’s something you don’t get to see when you watch a debate on TV, that is how the candidates engage and focus on each other. Because when you watch on TV the camera is on the speaker. It was interesting how the other candidates looked at their notes when they weren’t speaking, or into the middle distance but Rahm was riveted on whoever was speaking. He watched each one as they were speaking and often nodded which made it seem that he agreed with some of the things they said. Have you guessed that Rahm is my man? They didn’t let him slough anything off, they put it to him and he responded. Of the candidates on stage he was the taller one, and he’s not a big guy by any means. His voice was the weakest, kind of hard to hear sometimes. But he’s still my man. Let’s see if he can get enough votes next Tuesday to avoid an April runoff, which many people are predicting. The place was packed,thousands of people, an extremely diverse crowd, all colors, all ethnicities, all ages and everyone was intensely interested in what was going down. I am so proud of my city right now.

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  40. MarkH said on February 17, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Prospy, before you go off on republican heating oil cuts for the needy as a budget balancer, refresh your memory on what our president has recently proposed:

    Not all abortion docs are ob-gyns. In the vein of South Dakota, the only resident doc performing abortions in the state of Wyoming lives in our county and he’s a GP, with some ob training.

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  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 17, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Got to talk to Paul Rusesabagina tonight, the man played by Dan Cheadle in “Hotel Rwanda.” I hope my son (12) caught a hint of what kind of person we were talking to; haven’t shown him the movie yet, but it’s obviously time.

    His insight into what it means to get people to talk *to* you, as opposed to most talking *at* — and how you can change even evil intentions by getting that sort of dialogue started — was inspiring. That, and his rueful chuckle about how handing over enough champagne to get killers relaxed didn’t hurt in starting that sort of conversation . . . quite an experience.

    The frightening part of a conversation, for me in my weekday life and as I imagined his situation & struggles, is when you start to make that sort of human connection in conversation, and then you see them literally catch themselves, shake their head, and go back to the stilted, stylized language of objectification — of you, of themselves, of the people (sometimes their own children) you’re trying to talk about. That sort of intentional retreat back into non-human interaction is hard to overcome a second time.

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  42. prospero said on February 18, 2011 at 1:35 am

    The great band, Screaming Blue Messiahs, had a brilliant somg, MegaCity One, that was obviously based on Robo. They also had a brilliant song about will the real Martians please stand up?
    Mark H please elucodate? How does starving the poorest of us help? Does that put people to work? Please explain how Republicans have any intention of putting people to work. They don’t have any intention of doing anything of the sort. Lwtting bastards that never in their lives reated wealth, but inherited it, does not enhanxe the economy. These people that get all the cash from the tax cuts don;t create jobs, They sit on the jof-making apparatus. it serves their money=making bizarrw shit to keep people unemployed to boost their stock holdings. These people strangle the economy, because it enriches them. On paper. They certainly don’t give a shit about anything remotely reflecting the real economy. In the long run, they’ll eat the rich, because when all is said and done, they will have no more money for rich people to steal. When the middle class is poor, who will these vampires feed off?

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  43. prospero said on February 18, 2011 at 2:20 am

    The Lara Logan stoey reminds me of Lisa Olson and the soectacularly bootish behavior of the Pats.
    the Patriots sucj. They omsosted that Robert Edwards play the flag football rookie game at the Pro=Bowl, Tjey insisted they had his back. They japped on Robert Edwards so fast it was fritening. Running backs famously have a two or three year window, and the league eats them alive. The best in years was Terrell Davis. Two years so good and he’s out. This is the classic union situation. Do owners play? Nope. Do owner’s risk injuries? Nope. How do NFL Owners have skin in the game? they do not. It’s like every professional sport. The players are the game.

    Owners wish they could have played That jerk that owns the Broncos. he wishes he could have run that 4.4 Champ could always run. He wishes he could jump like that. Daniel Snyder? Eat your heart out. Champ Bailey can still run faster than any wideouts, and he can still drill them/ The difference between Champ and Deion is that champ leaves a mark when he buroes somebody. When he can’t p;ay shut=down corner, and he still does, he can move to safety. He hits like like Hines Ward.

    No joke, Champ is a hitting machine. He’s got the speed and the hands to play corner, better than just about anybocy. Nobody even tries to throw on him, to this day. There is no sense in it. He’s just too good. He runs faster than the receivers. gots better hands, and he’s smarteer.

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  44. Halloween Jack said on February 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    The “chug some booze and skunk the Breathalyzer” stories sound like urban legends to me. If they think you’ve just had a drink, the cops will wait a while before doing the Breathalyzer to get a more accurate BAC reading. Also, when I read that it was James Buchanan’s scotch, and before I googled to see that it was a commercial brand, my reaction was, “Damn–I would have saved that for some other occasion than chugging in my car, even if he was one of the worst presidents ever.”

    WRT the Robocop statue: well, it’s your city, but I think it’s a great idea. As chance would have it, I just watched the first movie this past week for the first time in many years, and it holds up very, very well; I think that Verhoeven is a better director than he often gets credit for, although not necessarily as good of a director as he needs to be, sometimes. If a small town in Illinois can have a full-color statue of a fictional character that happens to be associated with a fictional city of the same name as the town, hey, what the hell. I agree about Weller’s acting; the scene where he takes off his helmet (undoing screws that go deep into his skull, a small but brilliant touch that in and of itself shows you just how far he is from human) is just heartbreaking, and Weller’s face perfectly conveys the depth of Murphy’s pain and terror.

    That thing with Kasich, along with Scott Walker and Chris Christie, makes me wonder if there’s some sort of pool among the new GOP governors to see who can be the biggest asshole. Seriously.

    The fashion article reminds me of something that I think was written (and drawn) by the cartoonist Dylan Horrocks, about the main clientele of many European designers, the ones who come up with what I think of as stunt fashion–you know, the really outlandish stuff: the wives of Arabian sheiks, who buy the stuff to wear exclusively for their husbands, because no one else will see them in it. Could be true.

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  45. brian stouder said on February 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Jack – you’ve about got me talked into picking up Robocop from the dollar rental section!

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