Reading the paper in the morning is becoming a real challenge. Not the paper-paper, but…oh, how about the Freep? On a morning when nuclear disaster looms across the far Pacific, a Web headline:

Alice Cooper shocks at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction

I looked at that for a minute before clicking. Really, what could a 63-year-old Republican golfer do that would be considered shocking, even by the wet-behind-the-ears web staff? Appear before his monthly root touch-up? But I’ve heard Vincent Damon Furnier speak before; he’s a witty man who’s always in on his own joke. OK, you’ve got me. I’ll click.

Alice Cooper came into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a boa constrictor.

Cooper, also known as Vincent Furnier, wore a blood-splattered shirt and brought schoolkids along to sing “School’s Out.” It all seemed appropriate for a band that inductor Rob Zombie said invented the rock show.

That’s it? That’s the shock? A snake and a stain and a few kids? Kids sing on the original “School’s Out,” a hit delivered well past Alice Cooper’s prime, in my opinion. (I lost interest after “Love it to Death,” but all my peers found it.) Even at 14, I knew when I was being “shocked.” The last interview I heard with Furnier — I’m going to call him that, because Alice Cooper was the name of the band — he made a big deal out of putting one over on the squares, how parents were so terribly upset by him, but their kids knew it was just showbiz. For the record, I’d like to note that my parents were never upset by Alice Cooper, not even a little bit. I don’t think they were even aware of them. They followed the Don and Betty Draper model of adulthood, in the sense that they acted like adults and didn’t want to rap with me about what was goin’ down.

To my mind, Alice Cooper was the band made to order for Bob Greene. He went along on their 1973 tour, promoting “Muscle of Love,” an album I don’t recall making it into the collection of a single person I know. I bet whatever he wrote about them was really, really shocking.

I’m vamping here because I don’t want to read any more about Japan for a while. It’s making me very sorry I read Martin Cruz Smith’s novel “Wolves Eat Dogs,” in which Moscow militia investigator Arkady Renko follows a case to Chernobyl. I’m sorry I remember so well the passage where a scientist there tells the story of the night the reactor blew at a drunken party:

In a second the reactor coolant began to boil. The reactor hall started to pound. An engineer hit the panic switch for the control rods, but the rod channels in the reactor melted, the rods jammed, and superheated hydrogen blew off the roof, carrying reactor core, graphite and burning tar into the sky. A black fireball stood over the building, and a blue beam of ionized light shot from the open core. Fifty tons of radioactive fuel flew up, equal to fifty Hiroshima bombs. But the farce continued. Cool heads in the control room refused to believe they had done anything wrong. They sent a man down to check the core. He returned, his skin black from radiation, like a man who had seen the sun, to report there was no core. Since this was not an acceptable report, they sacrificed a second man, who returned in the same fatal condition. Now, of course, the men in the control room faced their greatest test of all: the call to Moscow.

It should be noted that no black fireballs have appeared in Japan, but I have to wonder about the 60 workers left behind, trying to cool this thing off. I wonder if this is a suicide mission. I note that the power company’s apology is being parsed in Japan, making me sorry I don’t understand all the nuances of the apology in Japanese culture. I should have paid more attention during our Japan worship/paranoia phase back in the ’80s.

So let’s go bloggering, eh?

Evan Bayh signs with Fox. I’m so totally, totally surprised! I saw him on the network news a few days back; he and his wife were in New Zealand when the earthquake hit there. Susan looked sort of puffy. Not fat-puffy, or crying-my-eyes-out-from-fear-of-aftershocks puffy, but more like my-life-sucks-and-I’m-self-medicating-with-box-wine puffy. She was always his greatest asset, a warm and funny charmer to balance his robotic affect; what happened, Hoosiers?

Does anyone have a more contemporary photo of Owsley Stanley? Although kudos to the NYT for this hit of microdot:

Mr. Stanley, the Dead’s former financial backer, pharmaceutical supplier and sound engineer, was in recent decades a reclusive, almost mythically enigmatic figure. He moved to Australia in the 1980s, as he explained in his rare interviews, so he might survive what he believed to be a coming Ice Age that would annihilate the Northern Hemisphere.

And after he got there, I guess he just liked the weather.

And that’s it for me, pals. A swell Tuesday to all.

Posted at 10:24 am in Current events, Popculch |

50 responses to “Unshockable.”

  1. harrison said on March 15, 2011 at 11:19 am

    She was always his greatest asset, a warm and funny charmer to balance his robotic affect; what happened, Hoosiers?

    Maybe she has seen the nothing behind the nothing and it has traumatized her.

    And he’s so opposite his old man, who was a true press-the-flesh politico but you could tell there was a human behind the act. It’s kind of like the preacher’s kid syndrome.

    I bet he’ll go over to the GOP but won’t do it unless his father dies because it would break Birch’s heart. I checked with Wikipedia and he’s still alive (born in 1928), but I don’t know his condition.

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  2. LAMary said on March 15, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Reading about Japan is heartbreaking. You can’t help the think of the terror people felt when it was clear this was not the usual sort of quake they go through, but a life altering event. Earthquakes start out slow and build, so you always pause to see where it’s going. It might be a little shudder or roll or it might keep going. I think the biggest I’ve ever felt was a 7.0 and the Japan quake was 3000 times bigger and lasted three minutes.

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  3. Bob (not Greene) said on March 15, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I would have been shocked had ol’ Vince NOT shown up with a boa. I mean, that was part of his schtick way back when. Are we so boring these days that bringing a boa onstage is “shocking”? Man, give me back the 1970s, when things were much more freewheeling. Is it just me, or is society just suffocated now? God, I feel like an old fart.

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  4. Scout said on March 15, 2011 at 11:30 am

    My very first concert sans parents was an Alice Cooper show. I was so high on hash that I might as well have been listening to the Billion Dollar Babies album in my basement for all I remembered of it later.

    Vincent/Alice lives in Phoenix, or actually Scottsdale or Paradise Valley. And yeah, he’s a big old loudmouth Republican asshole in plaid golf pants. He owns a restaurant called Alice Coopertown. Yet another embarrassing Arizonan that fits right in with the Jan Brewer, Joe Arpaio, Russell Pearce crowd. And now there’s a rumor that She-Who is planning to move here. She’ll fit right in.

    I do not regret in the least sleeping through Vincent’s concert back in ’73. I like to think I was foreshadowing my future disdain for him.

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  5. Jolene said on March 15, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I can’t help but think that Evan Bayh might not have found the post-Senate world as welcoming as he anticipated. When he resigned, he spoke of becoming a university president or running a foundation, but he doesn’t seem to have found a place to land in that world. Or maybe he’s just really interested in money and didn’t want to have to work very hard.

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  6. Catherine said on March 15, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I grew up protesting the building of a nuclear power plant near my hometown, a few miles from a previously unidentified offshore earthquake fault. So the whole situation in Japan feels like a giant “We told you so” to Pacific Gas & Electric (yes, the folks who brought you the gas line explosion in San Bruno). The situation is playing out just like our worst case, and it’s not the reactor that’s the biggest problem; it’s the effing fuel rods sitting in the cooling pond. The Chernobyl scenario is unlikely in Japan (or in California) because the reactors are so much better designed. But no one has yet designed a way out of the fuel rod/waste problem, and until they do, it’s not responsible to keep developing nuclear power.

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  7. Suzanne said on March 15, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Evan Bayh. All I can say is “Huh?” He was one of our better governors, and I think a good Senator. Midlife crisis? Makes ya wonder…

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  8. Jolene said on March 15, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Reading about Japan is heartbreaking.

    No kidding. The idea of a couple thousand people washing up on the beach like so many alewives is pretty grim.

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  9. Snarkworth said on March 15, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I was away from the internet over the weekend, and worried about Aaron, who had not been heard from in Japan. Came back this morning and rummaged through the comments for the wonderful news that he’s safe. Thanks so much for that, Moe.

    His story hit home because I have a son who teaches English in Beijing. Heard from a geographically challenged friend who was very worried about him. His being 1500 miles upwind puts my mind at rest.

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  10. Rana said on March 15, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I have a friend who’s trying to put together a clearinghouse of information for nonJapanese in Japan, so if anyone knows someone with translation skills, let me know. My friend’s a little swamped right now (he himself is in Tokyo), but you can email me and I’ll see about putting people in touch.

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  11. John G. Wallace said on March 15, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I’ve always been an advocate of nuclear power over fossil fuels, but I admit the Japanese disaster has been alarming. It’s like commerical aviation – we don’t think of the nearly 2 million Americans who fly every day but we sure recall the results when man or machine goes wrong.
    We now live about 30 miles or so from Florida Power and Light’s St. Lucie plant. The difference in the cost of energy here as opposed to Bluffton, In. is staggering. Of course Bluffton bought power from Indiana Michigan, and then jacked the expenses up by having their own city utilities department “deliver” the power and take a big cut.

    The house we rented in Bluffton was big, and drafty, and the house here is solid and energy efficient, but even in the hottest summer months here, with A/C set at 72 during the day, and everything else also electric my bill has never been much more than $200. In Bluffton we saw some $425 plus bills.

    Re: Japan and all the people without power I had an idea, think I read somewhere that this is possible. Could we take the older Ohio Class subs that no longer carry SLBM’s but now have been refitted for cruise missiles and special ops teams, dock them in Japan and connect them to the power grid? Places like Tokyo could use the power and it might end the need for rolling blackouts.

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  12. basset said on March 15, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I have a copy of “Billion Dollar Baby” around here somewhere. it’s not all THAT bad… by Bob standards, anyway. He did seem to describe the inner tensions pretty well.

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  13. Julie Robinson said on March 15, 2011 at 11:59 am

    The visuals from Japan are making me weep. Mostly I get my news in print, radio or online, but watching network news on the flatscreen is visceral and stunning. As image after worse image was shown, I was on the edge of my seat and still trying to wrap my head around it all. We were particularly struck by the hospital where the raging waters covered even the fourth floor. The rebuilding is going to be staggeringly long and hard.

    And that assumes that there isn’t a huge nuclear explosion. I pray that this will put an end to all the nonsense about nuclear being a clean fuel and a good alternative energy strategy in this country. The ginormous problems of nuclear have never been solved. Scientists still have figured out a good storage strategy, not to mention the more obvious problems like Japan is having now.

    Evan Bayh was never really a Democrat. He cut social services as governor of a then-prosperous state. Susan is finally realizing what a tool he is, thus the need for anesthetics.

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  14. coozledad said on March 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Alice must not have subscribed to Spy, otherwise he’d have known that accessorizing with a reptile is a symptom of being a “doomed publicity whore”.
    You got to watch out for people who go out in public with some exotic pet draped around their neck. It’s both a cry for help and an admission there’s nothing anyone can do.
    Sort of a Help me/kill me thing.

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  15. Bob (not Greene) said on March 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Please forgive if someone has already linked to these, but there’s a set of before and after photos on the New York Times website that’s just remarkable. It’s a like a goddamn nuclear bomb went off in some of these pictures.


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  16. paddyo' said on March 15, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Not to pile on, gang, but . . . beware the Ides of March.

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  17. nancy said on March 15, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    From the Tao Te Ching:

    Nothing in the world
    is as soft and yielding as water.
    Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible,
    nothing can surpass it.

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  18. nancy said on March 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Oh, and by the way: The slider on those NYT pictures is made possible, I’m told, HTML5. I’m further told HTML5 “rocks.” It certainly does in this case.

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  19. Jolene said on March 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I saw that report re the hospital too, Julie. It’s hard to imagine what a wall of water four stories high might look like–such power!

    Have been listening to the various experts talking about nuclear energy, as I suppose most of us have. Have learned quite a lot, but I don’t know where to come down. There are, currently, more than 100 nuclear power plants operating in the US, and the total number of deaths attributable to its use is zero. Lest we forget, 11 people died drilling for oil last year, and 29 coal miners died in one incident in West Virginia. Adverse environmental and health effects of these fuels are occurring all the time, but, because they’re part of the background that we’ve all lived with, we don;t get so upset about those problems.

    As in any complex engineering problem, the devil is in the details. (Before the Challenger blew up, who’d heard of O-rings? Who knew, before last summer, what a blowout preventer is?) There’ve been several explanations, having to do with the design of the backup systems, as to why the specific problems occurring in Japan couldn’t happen at any of the reactors in use here. Even if true, however, that doesn’t solve the problem of nuclear waste.

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  20. Sue said on March 15, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I was just catching up on yesterday’s comments and noticed a general depressed tone regarding some of the things going on with several state budgets, so I thought I’d lighten things up with a couple of news items from Wisconsin. Most of it isn’t being covered nationally or even locally, but blogs are linking all over the place.
    Most of the local Milwaukee news involves hand-wringing about the horrible damage done by protesters to the capitol grounds, democracy being so messy and all, and of course the big news is that the State Senate Majority leader is punishing the Wisconsin 14 by not letting them vote on anything for a couple of weeks. So, things continue as you’d expect.
    But… a few amusing and/or heartening things are happening.
    M&I Bank is experiencing a run as union members and supporters are pulling out their money, hundreds of thousands of dollars, in protest of the bank’s long-time backing of Scott Walker. National unions have figured out that it might be time to review where they are placing their investments, and have also contacted their counterparts in Canada to put pressure on the Canadian bank that is in the process of purchasing M&I.
    Protesters showed up at Senator Randy Hopper’s house (so mean of them) to picket his vote. His wife came out to talk to them and that’s when everyone found out that he had left her for a 25 year old lobbyist and was living most of the time in Madison. His wife signed the recall petition, so did his maid. Hopper states that he has an apartment in his district but now the question is will he resign or ride out the recall. Needless to say, a family values politician.
    A protest in a small northern Wisconsin town where Scott Walker was appearing at a fundraiser drew twice the population of the town.
    I don’t see this ending anytime soon. A great, roaring, pissed off populace doesn’t seem to be fading away like they’re supposed to.

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  21. Jolene said on March 15, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Your reference to a nuclear bomb, Bob (NG), reminded me of this picture. Last night, Anderson Cooper appeared to be standing on level ground, but he said he was, in fact, standing on ten feet of rubble. The whole landscape was covered in it.

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  22. ROgirl said on March 15, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Is Randy Hopper a lecherous rabbit?

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  23. velvet goldmine said on March 15, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Parsing Japan apologies is difficult; parsing the likely death toll is even harder. There seems to be various degrees of missing. You hear that officially 3200 people are missing, then your read one preficture alone can’t get in touch with about 10,000 people. And that the travel bureau has lost touch with about 1,000 of its foreign visitors known to have been touring the area. It’s not surprising — how can anyone get in touch with anyone, even if the parties are in reasonably good health, if there are no roads, no phones, etc? And when you have quake refugees and tsunami refugees and nuclear radiation refugees, one has the sense of ever-shifting refugee centers.

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  24. Kim said on March 15, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    The thing that is so gripping to me about all the tsunami footage residents shot is how a) they’re apparently trusting they’ll stay high enough above this wave to be safe; b) they are poised enough to keep taping the wave as it assaults their neighborhood; and c) they follow the wave only briefly, enough for a glimpse at the street just beyond (for another moment) the wave’s leading edge, where cars and bikes pass by unaware that their last moment on earth is upon them.

    Then, on those eye-in-the-sky type shots that show the wave like an arm clearing a set table, the criss-crossing roads where you can see cars and trucks just motoring along, unaware. Some of the vehicles stop, turn around and race toward another finger of the wave that will soon engulf them.

    I can’t stop thinking about those people.

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  25. Julie Robinson said on March 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Just to put things in perspective for me personally, my sister just called and has had a house fire. She is fine physically and I’m very thankful for that, but she is homeless and it looks like most of her stuff is gone too. It looks like I’ll be heading to Florida as soon as possible after we get our daughter on her way to Canada. She has serious health problems already and barely copes with life as is, so I’m sure she’s going to need help, and I feel blessed to be able to pick up and go.

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  26. Jolene said on March 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Your sister is lucky to have you, Julie. To go into a tough situation like that and be genuinely glad to be able to help–rather than feeling burdened–is a great gift of compassion.

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  27. Christy S. said on March 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    No kidding about Susan Bayh — I just looked up some of those NZ images. What the heck happened to her? I saw her not long ago and she was simply an older version of the Betty Draper beauty she was as Indiana’s first lady. But now — you’re right, something looks awry.

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  28. nancy said on March 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    I looked at the pictures again, too. It almost looks like she’s on some sort of steroidal drug, the kind that blows you up with moonface, like Jerry Lewis. Maybe she’s sick.

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  29. moe99 said on March 15, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Julie, best of luck to you and to your sister. Take care.

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  30. alex said on March 15, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    It almost looks like she’s on some sort of steroidal drug, the kind that blows you up with moonface, like Jerry Lewis.

    Well we all know Susan’s getting fat off of Eli Lily. It’s probably what drove Evan to scuttle his presidential ambitions and just go work K Street hisself.

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  31. prospero said on March 15, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    WAt sort of shit RE PEOPL43

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  32. nancy said on March 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    (muffled thump)

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  33. prospero said on March 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    VINCE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A SERIOUS BOOSTER, H;;s a no-brainer Detroit guy. He’a not Rob Tynwr, but nobody is. MC5 and SRC are the only way to inagine. Best by a mile, you don’t think anything about how we think. I mean what we think about your best interests. Isn’t the idea that abusers should be allowed to abuse beyond comprehension

    What is wrong with people? It’s ok to shoot your ex? If she just thought you were a scumbag?
    How does this disgusting stalker make his way? What is wrong with the law if it protects this shit-heads constitutional rights to stalk this woman?

    I love my daughter. I figure if she thinks Matt is OK, I’m quite cool with Matt. The keedo is awesome, and I love you both a lot. How do we think about what happens? What do we mean when we say we meant something else.?

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  34. John G. Wallace said on March 15, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Where in Florida? I’m near Sebastian on the East Coast, but between a Publisher on a 14-day trip for his primary business and a web developer behind on our “new” site, I’m just babysitting our FB pages.
    I’d offer any physical help if it wasn’t real far. Might be able to recover and save data from hard drives. I don’t really know you but this is a community of sorts and I consider us all neighbor’s of Nancy.

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  35. Liz said on March 15, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    To Sue, who is just enjoying the heck out of the run on the “anti-union” bank — did you enjoy all those unions shoving through contracts before March 25, so they could get theirs before feeding at the public trough is curtailed? And of course, the whole “contempt of court” is being dropped, but you don’t note that. And while you’re cheering on the whole “they’re pissed off” stuff, have you spent any time on the Milwaukee J-S website? If you read the comments there, I’d estimate it’s about 75 against unions, with MANY negative remarks about parasites, and living in the real world, etc. And I speak as the wife of a public empoyee, who nonetheless sees the rank opportunism that’s part of the union process. Really, I tell my husband? You’re supposed to cash in more than a year in sick pay? Really?

    But you don’t see anyting wrong with that, do you?

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  36. Linda said on March 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Re: Evan Bayh. Ezra Klein did an an awesome takedown of him in his blog today. It’s so wondrous that it has not one, but two money quotes:

    “But Bayh did not return to Indiana to teach. He did not, as he said he was thinking of doing, join a foundation. Rather, he went to the massive law firm McGuire Woods. And who does McGuire Woods work for? “Principal clients served from our Washington office include national energy companies, foreign countries, international manufacturing companies, trade associations and local and national businesses,” reads the company’s Web site. He followed that up by signing on as a senior adviser to Apollo Management Group, a giant public-equity firm. And, finally, this week, he joined Fox News as a contributor. It’s as if he’s systematically ticking off every poison he identified in the body politic and rushing to dump more of it into the water supply.”


    “In our last interview, Bayh complained of the poor opinion the public had of him and his colleagues. “They look at us like we’re worse than used-car salesmen.” Yes. They do. And this is why.”

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  37. Julie Robinson said on March 15, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Thank you all for your kindness, and John, what a sweet offer! Jeri lives way south of you, in the low-rent part* of Palm Beach County, and the one thing she picked up on her way out the door was her laptop. Do you like Indian River County? That’s where she lived her first few years and we thought it much nicer than Palm Beach.

    Liz, love your avatar!

    *That would be where the government workers can afford to live.

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  38. Linda said on March 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    I’m one of those wicked public union employees (although not in Wisconsin). I don’t get a year’s worth of sick leave when I retire. I have a grad degree and live a middle classed life. Before our place had a union, the well-educated workers at our place were sometimes eligible for food stamps. And if I were in one of those unions, I would shove through a contract before I could lose all my bargaining power. It would be no worse than the Republican Party of Ohio TWICE changing the staffing of legislative committees to keep their union-killing legislation alive. Unions aren’t run by saints, but they are all I see keeping run of the mill Americans in the middle class.

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  39. prospero said on March 15, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Have either of you considered the built up way of looikng at luoise

    erdrich? Probably not, but that is how to write.

    Nancy, ever consider the Louise Erdrich brilliance? Damn. she is one fine writer. The Last Report on the little No Horse if you think thats something that you can ignore, fuck off. That little No-Hhorse is so superb, we’d have to consider somebody being smart. She’s the second best 20th century female novelist. Its clear Margaret

    Atwood is best. Would you disagree? Faye Weldon? But she’s so pissed off? Have you read Alias Grace? Cat’s Eye? Oryx and Crake? My point is that women can write spectaular novels. Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.It is a spectacularly great book. I’m not saying it means dick, but it is a superior novel. It’s as good a book as Lemprierre’s Dictionary. and if you haven’t read that, you’ll love it. My feelings about gender and writing novels are shards. Nobody could convince me that Dickens is superior to either Bronte sister, though I must sau Charlotte beats. Wuthering Heights is a decidedly better book than Jane Eyre.

    What you think NANCY? Lemprierre’s Dictionary or some book by some chick?
    what say?


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  40. brian stouder said on March 15, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    If you read the comments there, I’d estimate it’s about 75 against unions, with MANY negative remarks about parasites, and living in the real world, etc. And I speak as the wife of a public empoyee, who nonetheless sees the rank opportunism that’s part of the union process.

    Huh. Leaving aside the scurrilous (and utterly banal) remarks that one may almost always observe scurrying beneath the posts at major media websites, I learned a fun fact this evening at a school board meeting, since you bring up “rank opportunism”.

    There is a charter school in what had been a YMCA villa here in town. One way and another, that facility draws public money, but it is run by a private, for-profit entity. The market value of the facility is about $1.2 million…..and the private, for-profit entity that operates there pays $700,000 in rent, per year.

    Hmmmmmmmmm. Forget “Waiting for Superman”; this school is apparently run by Lex Luthor, and overseen by a bunch of Jokers (to mix super hero villains!).

    Aside from that, the downward spiral of progressively worse news from Japan continues; the bottom seems to be literally be out of the tub.

    And to localize this, another fun fact I learned today was that the electricity we use here in Fort Wayne (from the Indiana & Michigan/American Electric Power grid) is 36% from nuclear power generation. And – they took our nuclear power plant – located just over the line in Michigan -offline yesterday….for routine maintenance and inspection, and NOT NOT NOT related at all, to world events or things going on in, say, Japan. (Regardless that Germany is specifically taking their plants offline in response to events in Japan, for inspections and examinations)

    I had one black humor moment this evening, when a nuclear physicist from Princeton visited Rachel Maddow. He was gamely answering questions and discussing this or that contingency which could occur – all of which sounded quite dire, and which tended to make one grit one’s teeth – when Rachel asked the man what would happen if all the water cooks off of the cooling pools where the spent fuel rods are. At that point, the good professor quite earnestly said something like “Oh – we’d be in real trouble, then!”. Hah!

    The laugh was quite transient though, as the evening progressed and word came that the remaining people working in the reactors were all pulled out. That left the experts I was watching visibly stunned, and overtly struggling to not simply say “RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!” or some such.

    I mean, wow. One way or another, this event will end – and now one is reduced all the way down to hoping that it somehow AVOIDS ending as BADLY as it possibly can – and this isn’t even stopping to consider all the people who are washing ashore (or who are now interred in the sea, or the mud) from the “conventional” catastrophe.

    And as selfish (or ethno-centric) as it surely sounds, this strikes me as prologue, for when it is America’s turn in the barrel. (I heard a flatly unimpressive assurance from someone – was it the SecEnergy guy? – that the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in Southern California is built to withstand a 7.0 earthquake. 7.0? On one hand, if he had said 9.5, one would have to be skeptical, but somehow 7.0 sounds so…undercard, or B-main, or bonus footage, y’know?)

    G’night, all

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  41. Crazycatlady said on March 16, 2011 at 12:19 am

    I enjoyed Alice Cooper. I saw him in concert at the Michigan State Fair back when he came here every year for a show. He’s a Republican now? So sad.

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  42. Catherine said on March 16, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Brian, Diablo Canyon is the one near my hometown. Here’s what the local paper said today: “Diablo Canyon is designed to withstand a 7.5 magnitude quake. Extensive studies done by seismologists with plant owners PG&E, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Geological Survey show that four earthquake faults in the vicinity of the plant could produce quakes of no more than 6.5 magnitude.” More here: http://bit.ly/e4oxXF
    And if you believe that, I’ve got an empty lot in San Bruno to sell you.

    As you note in the Rachel interview, the spent rods in the cooling pond are the most likely way for things to go seriously wrong. Because there are very few viable disposal methods, most plants just store the spent rods on site for YEARS. Gives a whole new meaning to the word “pond.”

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  43. Dexter said on March 16, 2011 at 2:00 am

    Owsley Stanley may have dispensed over five million doses of LSD, I read today.
    After Kesey’s journeys and adventures were documented in Wolfe’s book “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test”,the whole world knew about Owsley.
    In my barracks I heard lots of talk about Owsley acid, but I only remember a dozen or so fellow soldiers talking of dropping the famous drug, and I sort of doubted they really had taken the real thing.
    I spent almost the entire year of 1970 in Monterey and drugs were available to us from fellow soldiers or all we had to do was go into town or catch the Greyhound to San Francisco and it was everywhere.
    I had heard lectures in high school in 1967 warning of the dangers of LSD, and I guess I believed it all, and I never came close to trying Owsley acid or any other kind. I was only interested in avoiding it.
    Owsley is remembered today for LSD, but his sound engineering for many Bay Area rock and roll bands is what his greatest positive contribution was.
    Owsley Stanley was a genius and nobody is disputing that today.

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  44. DEdelstein said on March 16, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Reflexive (but love that reflex!) Bob Greene line had me laughing so hard I choked. God, he has been good to you, NN.

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  45. prospero said on March 16, 2011 at 4:50 am

    If Owsley distributed 5 mil tabs and construction paper squares, he was never a millionaire. Back in those days, it was about a couple dollars per trip. And a good time was had by practically everybody. Despite horror stories, I was part of that culture and nobody, including people that we might have thought vulnerable, ever had a terrivle experience. There were always people with them to reassure them. And it was ridiculously fun. I don’t believe for a minute it had any lasting effect, for good or ill. Just like a whole lot of schnapps without being drunk and with heightened senses and hallucinations. Felt the same from grain on occasion. I’m not advocating. I live with somebody that it would destroy. On the other hand, I think it’s harmless for most people. Somewhat educational, and certainly enjoyable. And, to this day, Alice covering the brilliant Aussie Rolf Harris, that also wrote Tie Me Kangaroo Down and the Court of King Caractacus, is a campsong and Lake Powell syaple for me and my brothers : Sunarise No animals but ourselves have ever been harmed accidentally or intentionally. We have scared the crap out of bats in bat caves in Utah. How many Alice whackjobs ever knew this was written buy the Tie Me Kangaroo Down guy? I think this is hilarious. And of course, like eveverybody that really loves classic Alice, there’s the Ballad of Dwight Fry. The guy was imaginative and eclectic, without a doubt. Somehow, it was that album, Love It To Death, that brought me together with the first love of my life, my daughters mother. Thanks Vince. Almost family values. Love It To Death is an excellent album, and I listen to it occasionally. We’ve got several hundred albums, how do we choose. More often than not, first six or seven Bob Dylan, Tonio K, Dexter Romweber, the Pogues, Screaming Blue Messiahs, SexPistols, Nick Drake, Van the Man, The KINKS, Tom Waits. It’s a bounty and I could eat a ton of acid and do nothing else with the rest of my life but listen to all of this and make chili and superb spaghetti sauce. The desert island. I’d probably take Dylan, but I wouldn’t rule out Tonio. It’s one thing to name yourself after a pretty good Welsh drunk poet, it’s another whole thing to choose a female character from a novel by a brilliant novelist of nihilist Germany.

    Dwxter, I’d say, in retrospect and only knowing you through this inadequate medium, you’d’a liked it. I will say, we were likely to set out on physical advetures that could have ended disastrously. Mostly in the wilds of Boston. On the duck pond ice. But with a street guy named Fenway Dick. Dick got exercised and swung a machete at my face. Chopped off a door molding and buried it in his foot, Amd I just stood there, unscathed. We contacted a neighbor to take care of Dick’s German Sheperd Palladin and took Genwy Dick to Mass General emergency room. I’ve no idea what went on with the cabbie with all of the bood in the floor of his backseat. I was with a friend of my brother’s named Stewart, who was a frightening linebacker from Chris’ Princeton team. He took care of the cabdriver. After a long time, we got Dick back to his apartment, with many stitches and recriminations, and hand-rolled cigarwttwa, It was a Lucy-level comedy of errors, but we muddled through, . Those are the sorts of bizarre things that happen if you try acid. And when it’s done it’s astounding, Terrifying, I guess, but you somehow get through. And you always end up meeting up with the people you dropped with in the first place, like there are strings attached and they are pulled back through a ring. Everybody ends up back together I’m not advocating, but the feeling and the expteriences, I wouldn’t trade them, and there is no way they they did me any harm. I’ve tried most drugs, and the intensely pschactive ones like LSD and other hallucinogens are harmless for most people, I;d guess, Opiates, particularly opium, are dangerous, You could just crawl into a hole, I know that’s nothing new, just personal experience. Weed? If you smoke a little pot to enhance a movie experience

    Big Whoop. Doan mean dick.

    Isn’t it alarming a network with no shows is going to can the Detroit cop show, which has gotten to be excellent? This show was undoubtedly supposed to be based on Michael Imperioli, but it’s ensemble, and Lieut Fancy is the best. Well, it’s not Homicide, but, shit, nothing is, including The Wire, which was so obviously robbed from Homicide, with cable trappings, it was amazing, and not as good. Not close.

    Anti-marijuana regulation is such an enormous waste of time it’s hard to imagine why anybody bothers, Legalize it, Tax it like alcohol, you morons.

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  46. Sue said on March 16, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Hey Liz, you might note that the contempt of court was dropped after I posted. And this group here, many of whom are journalists, have often discussed the low quality of comments on any newspaper website, although to be honest I have to admit that I always thought the Journal-Sentinel’s comments have a way to go before they reach the level of nastiness you read in the Chicago Tribune.
    OF COURSE there were many negative comments about parasites. And let’s not forget leeches, and glorified babysitters, etc.
    By the way, teachers in Slinger reopened their contract to give back over 1 million to the district a few days ago. But among the comments in the J-S are the words ‘sham’, ‘crock’, ‘self-serving’, ‘crap’, ‘propaganda’, etc.
    So I will consider the source if you will.
    The big thing I see wrong in this is that Wisconsin didn’t sign up to become a right-to-work state when they elected Walker.

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  47. coozledad said on March 16, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Liz: Is that gravatar Dick Morris’ inflamed asshole?
    Oh, and Joe Goebbels called. He wants his epithets back.

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  48. prospero said on March 16, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Cooz, Dick Morris has hos to rub the balm of Gilead on his inflamed asshole. That is a guy I’d actually like to beat to within an inch of his life

    And what designer was responsible for putting the nuke waste spent rods in cooling pools atop the containments? On its face, that seems incredibly stupid.

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  49. John G. Wallace said on March 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    It’s pretty nice where we live – we have a Vero Beach address but that’s 15 miles further south. Sebastian is a great little town and retains a lot of the old Florida feel, with a gorgeous downtown park on the Indian River with lots of walking trails, free boat launches, and places to fish.
    Vero itself can be either very affluent or very poor, with little left in between. Some of the poor communities like Wabasso and Gifford still have abandoned homes with fema tags from the 2004 hurricanes.
    The widening gap between the haves and the have nots gets more obvious as you head south, A Publix (supermarket, but somewhere between a nice Kroger or a Fresh Market) in St. Lucie County has a huge homeless encampment behind the store. Palm Beach County as you noted can be glitzy and very wealthy, or poor, with some areas in between.
    I’m really attracted to the southern end of Brevard County which is spotted with little fishing villages and no gated communities or upscale places. It’s like the Florida of old, with simple modest houses right on the water, and hopefully it will stay that way for a while.
    hope things work out for your sister; just figured if I could help I would. We’re all neighbors here even if I’m the neighbor whose dog’s get loose and run through everyone elses yard.

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  50. prospero said on March 16, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    ON Down the line.

    We have been sold out by normal folks. You bastards are so full of it nobody could imqgine, Rhe dangerouw whit on the roof You lyinng bastards..

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