Rules of the road.

At every some point on a long drive, the radio fades, you’re tired of whatever you brought to amuse you via the iPod, the old CD you didn’t know was in the car (“Let it Bleed”) has been played twice, and then you turn to your inner resources.

(Five years ago or so, I instituted a summer reading requirement for Kate. For this, she was teased relentlessly by some pinhead little brat from around the way. I overheard Kate defending herself one day: “My mom wants me to have inner resources!” she protested. Can’t say that it worked, down the road. The adjustment to camp that flipped her out the most? Giving up her phone and iPod for TEN WHOLE DAYS.)

It would also seem you also start writing in the second person. Let’s stop that.

Anyway, I was deep in a reverie about something, perhaps related to “Let it Bleed,” when I moved into the orbit of another driver. I was traveling 75, on cruise control. He was traveling 73. I came up behind him to pass on the left. He didn’t move. I gave him a minute or two. He didn’t move. So I went around him on the right.

I HATE doing that. I’m told it’s legal in Michigan to pass on the right if there’s another escape option for the passed driver — basically, if they’re in the center lane of a multi-lane freeway. Most of the freeways around here are like that, so everyone does it, and assumes it’s just legal, period. Certainly the police don’t seem to enforce it. Even after six years, it still freaks me out, and I still hate it. People need to be aware of their speed relative to the flow of traffic, and adjust their lane accordingly. You know, the way I do. Needless to say, the world isn’t perfect, and all our automotive technology serves to do in the grand scheme of things is insulate a driver better from the road around him or her. (A few years ago, a toddler in Detroit died when her neck was caught between the back-seat window and its frame, a confusing and tragic turn of events that raised more questions than any account of it ever answered. It took long minutes for her to suffocate, during which her grandmother — seated, what, 18 inches away? — failed to notice the child was in distress. In what may be the world’s only instance of a useful, clarifying comment left on a newspaper website, a woman who claimed to have witnessed the incident said the driver was listening to recordings of a charismatic preacher at an ear-splitting volume, which continued to play as she finally got a clue and stopped, and the scene descended into chaos. What a fucking surreal sight that must have been.)

Anyway, I passed him. Two minutes later, he passed me on the left, going downhill. Then resumed going two miles per hour slower, still in the left lane.

Options: Speed up to 80, leave him in the dust, put a wide berth between Mr. Left Lane and myself. Or hold my course and speed and growl a little. Guess which one I chose? Do you think I’m an angry person?

I once drove from Fort Wayne to Philadelphia with a co-worker who hated the right lane. “I’m afraid I’m going to hit the guardrail,” she said. I pointed out that we were driving my Honda CRX, a two-seater the approximate size of a roller skate, and that we could put another one abreast of us in the same lane and still not even come close to the guardrail. I mentioned the rules of the road, and safety. This took about the first 30 minutes of her driving leg, and none of it worked. “I guess it’s just one of my quirks,” she said, as drivers passed on the right, throwing furious scowls at us, every one of which was felt by me, the passenger. I tried to perfect an expression that said, “Sorry, but she’s got this phobia; what can you do?” It mixed a half-inch shrug with a demi-eye roll, and wasn’t particularly successful. The next time we stopped for gas, I took the wheel, and did most of the driving thereafter.

Mr. Left Lane passed me again when I had to cancel the cruise for a knot of slower trucks. The hue of his skin and the little Mexican flag he had dangling from the rear-view suggested that perhaps he learned to drive in another nation. Well. That explains everything, doesn’t it, Left-Lane Ortega? Your formative years were spent motoring in Mexico City, and you don’t know that on a wide, well-maintained American freeway, you DO NOT CRUISE IN THE LEFT LANE. THE LEFT LANE IS FOR PASSING. Didn’t anyone teach you that? I thought for a while about the crowded world cities I’ve been in (not many), and how crazy the traffic was. Coming into Buenos Aires from the airport in 2003, the driver of our van took us down the Avenida 9 de Julio, 9 de Julio being Argentina’s independence day but there’s also about that many lanes going in each direction. Wikipedia says seven. I say bullshit. There appeared to be at least 20. Driving it was colorful enough, but crossing as a pedestrian was insane. The light changed, and if you sprinted, you could make it to the median before waiting out another cycle to cross the 20 lanes on the other side. I imagine, if you were driving there, or someplace like it, you wouldn’t pick up the usual courtesies about lane usage.

Another memory from 2003: A fellow Fellow at U of M called her cell and retrieved a voice mail from a friend in Cairo, saying, “We miss you.” To end the message, her friend held his phone up to the traffic noise for a full minute. It made her laugh, and she played it for a fellow Middle East traveler. “Nothing like it,” he said. “Just one long honk, all the time.”

I was considering all this, then surfaced to look for Left-Lane Ortega. Nowhere in sight. He’d exited while I was constructing this elaborate narrative about his sub-par driving skills. And I hadn’t noticed. Oh, well.

Shortly thereafter, it was time to catch my own exit and deposit Kate at camp. I left her in the rehearsal space, where she had to audition for the grand sorting of skills. All around were kids honking saxes and trumpets, her fellow jazzbos. And that was the last I’ll see her until a week from Sunday, although I hope she’ll write.

And it seems I’ve run out of time with this ridiculous run-on blog entry. Eleven hundred words about driving? Who am I, James Lileks?

Just one bit of bloggage:

A new book, a “cultural history of shoplifting,” which interests me because it’s one crime I never, ever indulged in. Nothing is more chickenshit than thievery, in my opinion, but your mileage may vary.

Have a great weekend, all. It’s already in progress, here.

Posted at 9:11 am in Same ol' same ol' |

74 responses to “Rules of the road.”

  1. Lex said on July 1, 2011 at 9:40 am

    One thing I noticed about the Italian freeways: Yeah, everybody drove fast, but they seemed to pay a HELL of a lot more attention to what was going on around them than American drivers do. I felt much safer doing 110 in Italy than I do doing 70 here.

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  2. coozledad said on July 1, 2011 at 9:43 am

    I’m always amused by those car commercials that talk about “driving pleasure”. I don’t know what they’re talking about. Being microseconds from a possible grisly death isn’t pleasure, even if you throw in a complimentary handjob.
    Too many people are tempted to act out in their cars. Highways are just junior high schools where the kids think their little bubbles of steel give them even greater invincibility.
    And you know who else liked driving?

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  3. brian stouder said on July 1, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Often, when we’re cruising down the highway, the game is to guess which other motorist is texting. This is all too easy when they drift onto the shoulder and then fade left, left, left and over the centerline.

    Our new 15 years and 11 months old Beginners Permit driver is all too eager to stay to the right; we’ve not yet side-swiped anything, but ol’ dad has bellowed “LEFT LEFT LEFT” a few times (followed by the thought that, really, his mom should have him drive more often, with her!).

    Aside from that, I must say that when our almost-13 year old daughter disappeared for a week earlier this summer, I disliked it; the daily operations of our household were negatively impacted.

    (I suppose it was the foreshadow that disturbed me)

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  4. ROGirl said on July 1, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I happen to have just gotten back from a road trip to New York where I visited a cousin who lives about an hour north of the city. Those 18 wheelers just scare the bejsesus out of me. The farther east you go the land gets hillier, the road gets windier and the trucks go weaving in and out from the right lane to the left as they pass slower trucks and cars. Traffic starts backing up behind them as they go up the steep hills and as that goes on for miles more trucks pull out into the left lane.

    Gas was cheapest in Ohio. 30 to 40 cents a gallon cheaper than Michigan, due to taxes, I assume. I filled up on the turnpike and it was still a lot cheaper than Michigan.

    I also went to NY to audition for Jeopardy. I took the online test earlier this year and was invited to the audition, so I went. I’m in the contestant pool for the next 18 months and was told that contestants have a 1 in 4 chance of being invited on the show.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 1, 2011 at 10:04 am

    They need a sorting hat. [/geekery]

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  6. Suzanne said on July 1, 2011 at 10:07 am

    I was astounded when each kid got his/her learner’s permit, and I had to sit, white knuckled and forcing myself to breathe in the passenger seat, at how those dang mailboxes are so CLOSE to the edge of the road! I vowed I would not put my foot through the floor board and scream “Are you going to STOP????” like my mother had, so I had the constant mantra of “You might want to ease away from the edge just a bit. Just a bit. Just a bit.” Driving with a kid on a learner’s permit is something I am thrilled I never have to do again.

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  7. Bruce Fields said on July 1, 2011 at 10:21 am

    “At every point on a long drive…”

    That sounds exhausting! (Shouldn’t that be “At some point on every long drive”? Or did my math studies leave me with an overly literal interpretation of that kind of statement?)

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  8. Connie said on July 1, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Brian, we are having our second summer with no child at home at all, and it still seems weird. Even though we moved away and this is not really her home, and she’s a grown up grad student. Kid news is good, she seems to be enjoying her summer, first in Germany, has moved on to Oxford for the rest of the summer, and ran into Hugh Grant in a pub the other night.

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  9. brian stouder said on July 1, 2011 at 10:37 am

    and ran into Hugh Grant in a pub the other night

    Now THERE’s a story to be told!

    Was he a lollipop man (LA MAry’s term for the Leading Men with big heads perched on smallish bodies)? Was there a beautiful woman on his arm? Did he laugh uproariously at inappropriate jokes?

    DO tell!

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  10. alex said on July 1, 2011 at 10:55 am

    From what I recall hearing of Hugh Grant’s exploits, I’d be scared for anyone’s daughter who encountered him in a bar. Then, again, I seem to recall he rather had a thing for trannies. Or maybe that was Danny Bonaduce. It’s been a lifetime ago since I suffered through an episode of Entertainment Tonight so it’s all kind of scrambled in my senescent brain.

    Re: native Mexican drivers, their rules of the road are definitely different than ours if the drivers in Wicker Park in Chicago circa 1990 were any indication. Being a pedestrian around there required having eyes in the back of your head. They seemed to have absolutely no regard for signs, signals or obstacles of any sort. I recall Royko once describing it as if they were all operating spaceships.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on July 1, 2011 at 11:05 am

    My early driving fear was also a head-on crash so I hugged the right, so much that once I ran off the edge on a country road and got a flat. Which was, as my dad saw it, a teachable moment on changing a tire. He’d be sad that today my self-reliance extends only as far as dialing AAA so they could change the stupid tire.

    Audiobooks are great for making the hours fly on long trips.

    In stupid politician tricks, exhibit A is Indiana’s new ban on texting and driving that takes effect today. It does not ban posting to Facebook, looking up a movie time, or watching a video on your phone. But our representatives get to bray that they have made our roads safer. I ask you.

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  12. nancy said on July 1, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Bruce, you’re right. I remind you that filling this blog is what I do while I’m drinking my morning coffee. The earlier in the process it is, the more likely I was puffy-eyed and fuzzy-brained. As it is, I’m lucky to get a chance to reread before the day kicks in, so I guess I’m fortunate it isn’t worse.

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  13. coozledad said on July 1, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Speaking of senescent brains, Walker needs to get a shock collar for this bitter old bastard.
    The only job I can see this boy being able to hold down is a parts warehouse clerk, alone with his clipboard, a pint of Jim Beam, and a check-in every once in a while to make sure he hasn’t got a stack of strangulation victims stashed under a tarp in the fire exit.

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  14. Connie said on July 1, 2011 at 11:24 am

    From what I’ve heard it was a busy crowded Oxford pub and he was there in the crowd and she even brushed up against him. So I got an “I touched Hugh Grant” message, but she wasn’t near as excited as the 2008 “I shook Obama’s hand” message.

    My daughter just spent 3 weeks wandering Europe on her own after her six weeks at Speyer University, (Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Leipzig,) and I wasn’t too worried. She is self possessed and in charge, a one time athlete and weightlifter, an experienced lifeguard, and could handle Hugh Grant if necessary.

    We do feel like we are stalking her on Facebook.

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  15. jcburns said on July 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Our Italy and Sicily experience (driving for a month over there) matches Lex’s. People concentrate on their driving. They drive fast, they drive “crazy” (by US standards, that means squeaking into tight places), but their focus is on the road. I swear to you, over all that time, we saw fewer than 5 people talking on cell phones and driving. (One of those, stuck solidly in traffic, was holding his phone out with both hands and screaming at it, beet-red, at the top of his lungs.)

    I just saw (and had to maneuver past) 8 people on cell phones in the 4 miles back from my Dad’s house to here—the norm in Atlanta.

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  16. Dave said on July 1, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Only four, JC? We sometimes start counting for amusement, it sometimes seems that one out of every two drivers is carrying on a cellphone conversation.

    Julie Robinson, I hadn’t realized that about the text ban, silly Hoosier politicians.

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  17. Sue said on July 1, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Cooz, Justice Prosser would have to kill a fellow conservative judge with five different weapons in the middle of Lambeau field during a Chicago-Green Bay game watched by the entire state before his little anger issues are taken seriously. And then half the state would justify it by assuming he was stressed because Aaron got another concussion and the Packers were losing.
    Just joking, but not really.
    Scott Walker has been very careful in his comments about this, I give him credit for that. Since Justice Prosser has publicly stated his support for Walker’s policies, Walker’s low-key response is telling.
    Putting aside the indisputable fact that these justices hate each other equally, it still appears that Prosser will continue to be given the benefit of the doubt at the expense of the people on the receiving end of either his words or actions until there is a very public meltdown (another one, not including the ones he became famous for as a politician) of ridiculous proportions.

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  18. 4dbirds said on July 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    “Or maybe that was Danny Bonaduce” I played poker with Danny Bonaduce a couple of years ago in Atlantic City. His girlfriend was lovely, a regular looking, (not the big boobed, pumped up lips kind of girlfriend) who chatted with me about teaching and education. This irritated Danny who said he didn’t need to go to college because he was too busy getting rich.

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  19. Deborah said on July 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    When I tried teaching Little Bird how to drive when she was a teen, I had a Miata, with a stick shift naturally. I ended up having her learn from a professional service on an automatic, she got her license and never drove again, except one time that I know of. I was a basket case while I tried to teach her. Because of her neurological condition she has trouble with balance and depth perception, but we didn’t know that was what was going on until years later.

    On various trips my husband drove a rental car in Italy. I was usually white knuckled in the passenger seat, with my braking foot permanently slammed against the floor. One time in Rome we had just ventured out only a couple of blocks from the rental car place and a car got so close to us that it flipped the side view mirror forward, the mirror instantly popped back in place when the car passed. So that must happen all the time, and they’ve figured out how to make the mirrors flexible.

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  20. Jeff Borden said on July 1, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    If only Judge Prosser would strangle Gov. Walker, everything would be fine.

    I’m supposed to meet some friends in Milwaukee in August for a baseball game and I’m wavering about the event because I don’t want to spend a single dime in Wisconsin while that slack-jawed goober and his minions in the legislature continue to pummel the working man and woman.

    Ah, well. If the political blogs I read are accurately interpreting polling data, the right-wing loon governors in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Florida will be helpful to Obama’s reelection because they typify the right-wing agenda in the starkest terms.

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  21. Heather said on July 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Driving in Rome will take years off your life. I only drove from the rental car place to the ring road and I’m surprised my hair didn’t turn white. Driving in the rest of Italy is, as others have reported, a treat.

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  22. Sue said on July 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Here’s something that might help you make your decision, Jeff:
    Milwaukee has been one of the special targets in this ongoing budget and budget repair battle. It’s getting hit – hard – in education, social services and public transportation. It votes largely Democratic and will also probably feel the effects of the new voter suppression law, oh sorry, the new voter’s rights law or whatever they are calling it.
    Milwaukee needs your support. If the pendulum ever begins to swing the other way, Milwaukee voters will play a large part. So head out to the baseball game and then see if you can spend a few bucks in the City itself. It’s a beautiful city with lots to see and do and it’s a manageable size for tourist stuff.

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  23. cosmo panzini said on July 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Loved your post today Nance. Here I was walking around thinking I was the only dumb sumabitch on the planet who believed the left lane is for passing.
    On another subject, looks like the case v. Dominique Strauss-Kahn has crumbled. Let’s see, first there was the Duke lacrosse team mess. When that one went into the shitter, heads rolled and I believe the state’s attorney in that one was disbarred. Then the resurrection of the Roman Polanski thing, which no one who was involved in it wanted anything to do with, turned out to have been an attempt by the prosecutor in LA County to generate some pub for his run for state attorney general. He lost, btw. Now comes before us DSK. You’d think that the more doctrinaire among us, those who rushed to judgment in all three of these instances, might learn a thing or two. But maybe not. They’ll probably continue to clog up the left lane of life secure in knowing that although it’s hard to see much with their heads jammed up their asses, it’s real warm up in there.

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  24. MarkH said on July 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Hey, Jeff Borden, I know you’re kicking yourself for missing this last year. Well, you have another chance this weekend. Our neighbors over the hill in Driggs, Idaho are bringing him back:

    And, the same as last year, Beck will be up against a Widespread Panic concert at Grand Targhee Resort. To be fair, this is not Jon Huntsman, but his decidedly further right brother, Dave, behind the Beckfest.

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  25. Little Bird said on July 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    And that one time that I drove I was in the right lane the whole way from West County to the Central West End. I was terrified. And a little pissed off. I was 22 and the girl who owned the car was so drunk she was passing out into me from the passengers seat while her buddy was puking out the rear drivers side window. We were followed by the cops for a couple of miles, but they didn’t pull us over (thank GOD). I guess they could see the girl in the front seat falling into me repeatedly while I tried to keep her in her own seat. This may be why I’ve never driven since.

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  26. prospero said on July 1, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Life in the old girl yet. Glad to hear it, on an amazing new recording by Sister Ree.

    Rome driving is truly hilarious. I used to have breakfast in a cafe across the street from the Coliseum, looking out at the Arco di Constantino, when I was in Rome. The traffic jam was preternatural. And driving on the sidewalks common.

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  27. Joe Kobiela said on July 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Ms. Nall
    Lets see, Nice house in the Burbs, check, boat at the marina, check, cottage on the Coldwater chain, check, Daughter off to music camp, check, complaing about Mexican drivers, check. Well I think that confirms it, your turning into a conservitive!! Have a great holiday Nancy, your writing and all the people that chime in here make my day. Off to Auburn Alabama for a pick up.
    Happy 4th everyone,
    Pilot Joe

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  28. alex said on July 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Cosmo, I read about the Strauss-Kahn affair and it’s not so much that the state’s case has crumbled, but rather that the defense has discovered some past crimes of dishonesty on the part of the accuser that might impugn her credibility. It doesn’t mean nothing happened. There was evidence of sex between both parties, but now the prosecution will have a hard time convincing anyone that the accuser is a believable witness. It’s possible that there are chambermaids who do double duty as hookers when the opportunity arises, then cry rape if they feel they’ve been stiffed. In any case, Strauss-Kahn doesn’t come out of this smelling like a rose, and the prosecution doesn’t come out smelling as bad as it did in the other two cases you mention.

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  29. MarkH said on July 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Alex, the state’s case is crumbling:

    The defense team will do what defense teams do, certainly, capitalize on the prosecution’s weaknesses. But prosecutors came forward with their doubts and now have little if any faith in the accuser’s story itself.

    Evidence of a sexual encounter is still there, to be sure, which indicates Strauss-Kahn is a louse. But the case of criminal forcible rape may be all but over. All the details are yet to come out, but at best the accuser does not look good here, unfortunately.

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  30. alex said on July 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm


    At least the prosecution was forthright about its doubts about its own case. How often do you see that happening?

    As for the chambermaid, she has done a great disservice to those in genuine need of political asylum whose true stories may now be met with a great deal more skepticism. I’ve read where this already happens, that gay people fleeing political oppression are being encouraged to dress in drag and fem it up lest the INS not believe them.

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  31. moe99 said on July 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    I am betting that it was the defense that leaked the letter. Her prior behavior puts her veracity in question, just like his prior assaults on women should put his to the test. So it’s a draw. And that does not meet the criminal standards for a conviction. Truly unfortunate all the way around.

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  32. Dexter said on July 1, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    NetJets is reducing their frames from fourteen jet bodies to eight, and some pilots will probably have to go bye-bye. My daughter’s man, the pilot, has seniority enough to stay, but he may take a job in China and leave the USA for a while on a temporary status gig. Now here is the surprise to me: he said Chinese pilots are as bad as the typical Asian drivers are, meaning “poor”.
    I have driven for decades and yes, some Asian drivers are hesitant and awkward, but no worse than these horrible teenage drivers who are so negligent and old folks who can no longer operate a vehicle safely at all.
    During my year in California I drove all over San Francisco frequently, a city with many Asian drivers, and we all got along. Now my daughter’s man says Chinese pilots are horrible pilots and NetJets needs Americans to go coach them…hence, a possible new work environment for him.
    He told me that on a plane with both a pilot and First Officer being Chinese, the F.O. will not call off a potential troublesome landing even though he is reading something wicked on the dials and guages. Respect for elders of rank, he said.
    Once my first wife and I visited her sister in Eagle Rock, LA, and we drove the sister’s old Oldsmobile down to the San Diego Zoo. The speed limit was 55 then, but no one did 55…except sister, who only drove 50, and did it the left lane all the way to San Diego.
    Now one might think we surely got the bird about a thousand times on that trip, but I guess SoCal drivers are so used to almost anything, we appeared to be simply more weirdos on the freeway.
    And we think we have it bad? Scroll down to “Traffic” on this page and read about driving in Vietnam.
    I drove an ambulance at times in a large city in Vietnam and encountered a common sense atmosphere and it was a delight to drive a vehicle. Now it appears it ain’t no fun no mo.

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  33. Cynthia said on July 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Walker and those despicable Wisconsin Repubs have really done it this time:

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  34. brian stouder said on July 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Cynthia, that was an interesting article, and I will be very, very pleased if I can end up agreeing with you.

    Let me just say, though, that while Byron York might not be the very last man on Earth that I would immediately believe (about anything), he is way, way toward the very end of the list

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  35. prospero said on July 1, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    From the DS-K story:

    According to the two law-enforcement officials, the woman had a phone conversation with an incarcerated man within a day of her encounter with Strauss-Kahn in which she discussed the possible benefits of pursuing the charges against him. The conversation was recorded.

    That man, the investigators learned, had been arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana. He was among a number of individuals who made multiple cash deposits, totaling about $100,000, into the woman’s bank account in the past two years. The deposits were made in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia and New York.

    This is positively bizarre. Who the hell are the “number of individuals depositing money into this woman’s bank accounts”? Is Sarkozy one of them?

    Republicans say the most asinine things. Swetheart of the teabaggers and farm subsidies.

    Buffons like Scott Walker are either mendacious as hell or dumb as grunt.

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  36. mark said on July 1, 2011 at 6:32 pm


    The link on VN traffic fits my experience over the last decade, but the description of Highway 1 provided by Anthony Bourdain in “A Cook’s Tour” is more entertaining and really captures the life-flashing-before-my-eyes terror I felt 10 years ago while traveling Highway 1 from Saigon to Phan Tiet, during Tet, no less. A very enjoyable book by Bourdain, by the way.

    I think this link will give the text of “Highway of Death”:

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  37. prospero said on July 1, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Bryan those pension and health care contribution increases were concessions devised by the teachers union in response to budget shortfalls. They had next to nothing to do with anything Scott Walker did or did not do. It seems pretty stupid to act triumphal about this school system running a surplus on the backs of teachers by removing a free period from teachers’ schedules. That is bullshit. I have taught in a public high school, and this sort of nickel and diming will cause good teachers to look for better jobs with better working conditions. People have no bloody idea of the time required to prepare lessons grade papers and tests, etc. Also, anybody that followed this story even perfunctorily knows Wisconsin had no budget shortfall until Walker dreamed up a bunch of gratuitous business tax cuts to create the situation intentionally.

    Walker says that collective bargaining is an entitlement. Bullshit Governor dickhead. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed by the UN after World War II (and drafted and adopted by the US), says that collective bargaining is in fact a human right. Oh, yes, there it is, in Article 23 of the Universal Declaration:

    4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

    Of course after eight years of W, human rights is pretty much a quaint sort of concern to Republicans.

    Furthermore, the NLRA specifically establishes a right to bargain collectively. So which is it Scott? Lying or ignorance?

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  38. prospero said on July 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Mark, that Highway 1 account is a riot.

    Surprised nobody commented on the demise of the Oxford comma.

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  39. Sue said on July 1, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Hey guys,
    Let me weigh in on the Scott Walker union stuff. It became obvious early on that Scott & Co. had planned this in advance, all bases were covered. Governor Walker had tried a lot of stuff while he was Milwaukee County Executive and kept getting hauled into court and losing, costing the county serious money. When he got into the Governor’s office, the way he got around the rules was by changing the rules, but he couldn’t have gotten anything done without people all over the state electing like-minded candidates to help him. No, he never said “I will kill the unions” on the campaign trail but lots of public employees voted for him because they thought all the ‘brown bag’ rhetoric somehow wasn’t going to affect them, when a simple internet search of his professional record would have alerted them. Scott Walker got into office with the help of union members who were contemptuous of their own unions while benefitting from the negotiated benefits. I know because I work with a lot of them. And now that their unions have to be recertified every year by a vote of the majority of the membership (not a majority of who bothers to show up for the vote), and now that union members don’t have to pay dues if they don’t want to, union locals are going to die all over the state because these idiots who took their own benefits for granted won’t be able to see that they should protect what’s left on the chance that someday things might get better for the workers of Wisconsin.
    Here’s what’s not getting out about the budget because everyone’s concentrating on the union aspect of it, which is valid but polarizing and not likely to change anyone’s mind:
    People are going to lose their homes because of this budget, and people are going to die. Someone had to pay for the tax cuts being given to corporations without a requirement that any of them create jobs, and the someones who are going to pay include more than just union members/public employees. Two tax credits intended to help the working poor are being cut; money for health care for the poor is being cut; and OF COURSE money for women’s health is going going gone because we can’t have those poor sluts asking for birth control or a pap smear, especially when we can convince people that women’s health care money = rampant abortions.
    One final thing that’s not getting out, and is poorly understood even by Wisconsin’s citizens: The money that public employees are giving up is being matched and often exceeded in almost every community in the state by cuts to local governments and school districts. So, it’s a draw or a net loss except for the fact that hundreds of people in each community suddenly have that much less money, and less money means less shopping. Local economies are going to take a hit, from coffee shops to restaurants to grocery stores. Local economies will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    Sorry for the long rant. Personally I’ve just about had it, but I live in an area that continues to think that what’s coming is only going to happen to people who deserve it.
    I am sick of the heartlessness around me, not just by my elected representatives.
    **Edit: oops, let me clarify. By ‘union members’, I mean public employee unions. Private unions aren’t affected. Yet.

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  40. Linda said on July 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    So, Cynthia, the world got better because of concessions that teachers offered to make anyway, and Walker gets to take credit? I and my union made concessions (public library in Ohio) when we last had budget cuts, and we didn’t have to lose our right to collectively bargain (although Kasich is trying to rob us of that). We did it so some of our members could keep their jobs and our institution could be decently staffed.

    And the Washington Examiner sees better times ahead without pesky union action. I see something different: the recruiters from the southwest who go through the midwest recruiting cops and teachers will have an easier time of it in the future. If you aren’t going to make great money anyway, why not do it in a warmer place?

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  41. Deborah said on July 2, 2011 at 12:48 am

    Sue, very astute synopsis, thanks for that.

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  42. moe99 said on July 2, 2011 at 4:20 am

    Took a drive out in the country when I was back in Lexington last weekend, and looked at all the pretty horse farms that remain. And I thought of all the landed estates in England that have been broken up over the past century and a half because of war and the restructuring of English society, and it hit me. We are regressing back in this country to the landed, moneyed interests that we supposedly left behind when we revolted against England. All of those tax breaks for the wealthy that Bush put in place and Obama was too cautious to repeal, guarantee that our top 1% never have to even worry for a nanosecond that their share of the pie won’t continue to increase at the expense of most of the rest of us. After Ta Nehisi Coates recommended it, I’ve been reading The Thirty Years War by CV Wedgewood, which was written in 1938, with shivers of recognition of how history can repeat itself, even 300+ years later. Wedgewood discusses how the 17th century witnessed a rise in religious fervor in reaction to the Renaissance secularism, and how this was tied into the war and became the Catholics vs. the Lutherans v. the Calvinists in the fighting, except that sometimes the sides would change and, for example, Cardinal Richelieu would support the Huguenots over the Catholics, when it suited his ends. As did everyone else in the game. How the economies had moved from feudalism to money based, except the landed still held the power without the money needed to maintain order–only in emergencies like war did the rulers have the authority to raise taxes. And how mercenary forces were created by nations such as Sweden, that rode roughshod over Europe, which went from 20 million to 13 1/2 million by the end of the conflict. And of course, my favorite: the defenestration of Prague.

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  43. Cynthia said on July 2, 2011 at 8:11 am

    I tried to find an article about the Kaukauna school district’s new surplus written by a reporter/publication that you would find acceptable, but no luck. Nothing in the NY Times, Washington Post, or LA Times. Hmmmm…..why do you think that is?

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  44. alex said on July 2, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Wowee, the chambermaid’s web of deceit is quite extraordinary. They even have a recorded phone conversation wherein she was scheming with a prison inmate to profit from the incident. She has bank accounts all over the U.S. where it’s intimated that she’s laundering money for criminals. I have a feeling she’ll be doing some hard time before they deport her ass.

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  45. coozledad said on July 2, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Cynthia: Well, Occam’s razor would tend to suggest it’s because it’s bullshit, like everything else at the NRO. These are the idiots who’ve just this week referred to Mark Halperin as” a liberal, who called the president a dick on a liberal show”. Joe Scar? A liberal?
    The NRO is a rosary for old racists and arse crawlers to the monied. A Cliff’s Notes for the people still interested in defending the previous administration from gross criminal negligence.
    You won’t find their drivel anywhere else because it simply doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. It’s by turns loaded with apologetics for a church that sequesters childfuckers, and even promotes writers who harbor unhealthy feelings for pubescent girls.You can bet those NRO cruises are pretty much leather-fetish watersports parties when they’re not waxing nostalgic for separate but equal accommodations, or the missed opportunity to get in on the “right” side in WWII.

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  46. basset said on July 2, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Respect for elders of rank… some years ago a Japanese DC-8 freighter hit a mountain in Alaska due to pilot error. The pilot had gotten on the plane stumbling drunk after a layover in Anchorage, but none of the crew would call him on it, so everyone died.

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  47. prospero said on July 2, 2011 at 9:54 am

    L. A. Times? Seriously? That alleged paper may as well be owned by Reverend Moon so far as it’s political bias is concerned. They employ Max Boot and one of Mrs. Goldberg’s idiot sons. No way am I going to hear anything funnier today than suggesting that LAT is part of the lamestream liberal establishment press. No offense, but that is ignorant of facts.

    The crummy tub-cheese school district’s savings are a result of concessions from the teachers’ union requiring greater contributions for pension and health insurance. These concessions were proposed by the union in …GASP!!!… collective bargaining. What sort of freaking idiot is going to ascribe any credit to Walker for the situation. The proposals preceded Walker’s ignorant assault on human rights and US law, and those evil teachers. The single salient fact about the Goober governor Walker is that he came into office with the state in decent financial shape. He wanted to pick a fight and attack public employee unions, and unions in general. So he told a bunch of businesse to take a break on paying taxes to create a “crisis” Anybody want to claiim that was governing responsibly?

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  48. prospero said on July 2, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Moe@42. That is a fascinating insight into the American reactionary great 18th Century mindset.

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  49. coozledad said on July 2, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    This has been haunting me: if Marcus Bachmann can “cure homosexuality”, why was his wife photographed with her tongue in a Bush?

    Y’know, every now and then
    I think you might like to hear something from me and ol’ Marcus
    Nice and easy.
    But there’s just one thing.
    You see Marcus don’t ever grab me up and slap me against the wall
    Nice and easy.
    He calls me his crazy-eyed Saxon wench
    and we rock every damn terra-cotta pot off his gardening table.
    After all, we’re up against an army of barbarians
    trying to sack Marcus’ “gates of Rome”.
    So we’re going to take the beginning of this song and do it
    in Christian love.
    Then we’re going to finish with gleaming brimstone missiles of hellfire.
    This is the way we shame Mary.

    We had a good job farmin’ babies
    mixing infant formula every night and day
    But I started losin buttloads of sleep
    Worryin’ the lil’ fuckers might turn out gay
    Big wheels started to turnin’
    My pockets was already a burnin’
    Now we rollin, rollin,
    rollin in da money.
    Well I’ve cleaned a few pipes down in Memphis
    Pulled a few sailors down in New Orleans
    But I never saw the green stuff in my wallet
    Til I figured how to grow straights from queens

    Big Checks keep on coming
    “Shame, Mary!” Keeps ’em a bumming!
    Now we’re rollin’,rollin,rollin in da money!

    If you come down to the clinic
    There you gonna find us healing the sick
    You don’t have to worry, we got federal dollars.
    Marcus gonna tell you where to put your dick.


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  50. kayak woman said on July 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I’m late to this — busy yesterday moving my 90-year-old mom (stubborn? why yes!) into assisted living. What I hate is when I am in the left lane trying to pass someone and there is a *slow* car (or two or three) ahead of me so it is taking forever to pass. And then some knucklehead peels out to pass me on the right only to discover that there is a *car* in that lane. The one *I* am trying to pass! This happens *all* the time on the I75 SUV Speedway, especially between Detroit and wherever the traffic thins out “up north”.

    I have no idea if that paragraph made sense. If it didn’t, it’s because I’ve been hanging around with my mother too much lately. Have a great weekend and hope Kate has fun at camp. I’m an Interlochen all-state camp veteran and loved it!!!

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  51. MichaelG said on July 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    I got the impression that the changes to the teachers’ deductions, working conditions and so forth may have been offered at some point by the teachers’ union but that in the end, with the new legislation, they were simply imposed by the cheese pot district. The changes as presented in the comment by Cynthia don’t seem that unreasonable on the face of it. What must be scary for the teachers is that it appears as if the district can impose whatever new conditions they wish next year or next month and those may not be so reasonable. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    Driving in Vietnam certainly is an adventure. I drove there during the war a hundred years ago. A lot of the roads are very narrow so that driving is a constant game of chicken. The protocol is supposed to be that each oncoming vehicle puts two wheels off the pavement onto the shoulder. You can guess how that worked with a bunch of testosterone loaded GIs. In those days the locals drove a lot of ancient, clapped out French stuff and surplus American military vehicles, some dating back to WWII, along with a potpourri of later model European and Canadian things. Japanese rolling stock was just starting to show up. There were colorful buses loaded with people, pigs, chickens and stuff, American civilian contractors driving eighteen wheelers, Army transportation and supply units also driving big rigs and a large assortment of other military folks driving five tons, deuce and a halfs, three quarter tons and jeeps. Every mile or so there would be an elderly truck by the side of the road with the rear resting on blocks while the rear axle was changed. I have never figured out why or how they busted so many differentials. I was young and goofy and it was lots of fun. I loved the competition. I was riding with a friend in a deuce and a half one day when we banged mirrors with an oncomer. The busted glass flew behind our heads, across the back of the cab and out the window on my side.

    When I last traveled to Vietnam around ten years ago things seemed mostly the same except that there are a lot more cars now and a bazillion 50 and 100cc bikes. The cars are Korean and Japanese as are the bikes. Make that two or three bazillion bikes. At that time there were lots of old Russian trucks dating to the eighties. Heavy, crude and ugly. The balance of trucks are mostly Korean and Japanese.

    There isn’t much of a car rental business. Or wasn’t ten years ago. The drill is that you hire a car and driver or take a taxi. Taxis are cheap.

    Interestingly, I made that trip from Saigon (HCMC) to Can Tho in a minivan. It was every bit as wild and chaotic as Bourdain relates. You can’t exaggerate. I thought it was fun. It was on that trip that my brother in law talked me into eating a balut egg while we were waiting for a ferry.

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  52. prospero said on July 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Cooze, that’s clever and terribly unfair. Cynthis probably thinks she been ganged up on. Darling, find a link to somebody that isn’t a teabagging idiot. Anybody remotely credible instead of some dumbass that’s a made i the sade birther idiot. I’ve been ganged up on by these folks. I believe that Babdiss camp folks are quite likely to have diddled. Actually, I can say for a fact. And I think the entire idea this is peculiar to priests is pure horseshit. So you see kiddo, it’s all relative. I went to a Babdiss camp in Memphis when I was a littele kid. Now if you tell me I’m remembering things wrong, You mean all those recovered memories about priests may be horseshit. You see the problem. Catholics were perverts but them born again shitheels were’nt. The flagrant shit isn’t obvious. Especially when the Babdiss. Them babdiss diddled like it was going out of style.
    they want to claim they didn’t? The were big-time diddlers, but lets blame it on Catholics. These people are the most obvious shithead ever.y have more money than God. I was most certainly molested by some dumbass Babdiss. Now what have people to say about this.? Catholics are evil? That is what you assholes say. If it had not been for Irish people and the Catholic Church, there would have been no Rennaissance. No joke, how are people supposed to consider? Do any of you anti-Catholics think the Rennaissance might have taken place without the Catholic Church. I’m not sure what to say about any of this. The Church ran the world and made sure it was forward thinking. Who funded Galileo, for instance? No shit? Put up with dumbasses? It has been a kinda unfair swarm over Cynthia I used to be inlove with a woman that called herself Cyndi. But I knew there was only one Cyndi and I preferred to think of this wonderful woman as Cynthia. And to this da, I love her as Cynthia. I hope she gets that someplace. We were ver close. It is bizarre shit. Whatever you might think. Seriosly Cynthia, I have taken a beating., even when I was clearly right. Are we kidding? These shitheels just lied their asses off.

    What I’d say. I am seriously smarter than y’all are. I don’t know. maybe not, Sure as shit smarter in the long run. What ever we might think about really good righting. Let me ask you this. Is Raymond Chandler a better writer or Hemingwsay? This seems to me like a no brainer. Great writer or hack. Is this worth considering? Who does anybody think there is a consideration? Seriously, does anybody think Hemingway could actually write to save his life? Sorry, he sucked bigtime. He was a sory excuse. Lord he was inexcusable.

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  53. JayZ(the original) said on July 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    I had always thought that Rome and Mexico City were the worst when it came to wild drivers and totally chaotic traffic. Then I traveled to India. Fortunately, I never had to drive. I was either a passenger or a pedestrian. I don’t know which is more traumatic. Suffice it to say, when you are sharing the road with bicycles, small trucks, motorbikes carrying a families of five, three wheeled tuk-tuk taxis, camels pulling carts, and cows that have the right of way, and there are no traffic lights or stop signs — only round-a-bouts — you learn to pretend you are wearing blinders and you just look straight ahead and keep moving. I survived and must admit I eventually learned to love every crazy minute of it.

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  54. prospero said on July 2, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    I got arrested for stealimg amd I did motjomg of tje sort. nrmbert snytjomg like shit. zi esd esy msfe like sr s gool. Drrioudly msr to msfr to looldlifr smn iffiot. Ejy eoulf yjrdr sddjolrd dtew ud obrr? This is how these zsholes chez rwwe ying shits

    / Well, we re xult.ying xzckcs of xhit it ix fziry zxtounding, Xeriouxl, you czn;t be more of znother z murderoux xhithezd. Bot thix righeought/ou zrsn’t xxomd xxhold”’. ¥yll

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  55. Dexter said on July 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    MichaelG: Oh no you didn’t! You ate one of those? I guess Andrew Zimmerman is now proud of you. How …why? A dare?

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  56. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Prospero still has me wondering about the borderline between performance art & actual inebriation, but I have no problem whatsoever agreeing that Chandler was a better writer in many ways than Hemingway, may they both rest in peace. Hemingway surfed a wave; he caught a cultural moment and rode it all the way to the beach, and then realized he just didn’t have the strength to paddle back out to a new wave, but couldn’t imagine living life on shore. He had a style and sort of grim, unadorned voice that was not quite a voice as much as a tone.

    A close friend of mine here in town has made the trip six times from the New Delhi airport to Dharamsala, only once by jumpjet, five by taxivan. She says the first three hours are terrifying, and then nine more up into the Himalayan foothills of semi-tedium punctuated by sudden unexpected interruptions. It can be an unmoving water buffalo, or a dash across the road in your immediate foreground by a truck chassis carrying a pile of something, or a bridge out with minimal signage. I gather that the expense of the final flight stage justifies the long drive, along with a reported tendency of the Dharamsala shuttle to bounce into tea plantation fields short of the airfield, with varying outcomes. But for her, an audience with the Karmapa is worth the risk (and expense) either way.

    But she’s said her travel advisors (mostly Tibetans of long residence in north India) recommend against egg meals in general, because you never know exactly “egg from what” when you order.

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  57. Joe Kobiela said on July 2, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    They having the pancake breakfest over at the Bryan airport Monday???
    Pilot Joe

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  58. Dexter said on July 2, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Pilot Joe, here ya go:

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  59. MichaelG said on July 3, 2011 at 12:04 am

    I dunno, Dexter. It was one of those moments. My Brother in law ate one, pushed one on me and I did it. Washed down it with a can of Heinekens. Or two. I do know that I have no intention of ever eating one again. Bleagh. A couple of weeks ago balut eggs were on sale at one of the Asian supermarkets on Stockton Blvd for eighty five cents each. I could have sent a couple of dozen to NN.C central for sampling.

    I don’t see the point of these everlasting comparisons; of these everlasting assertions that someone is the best or that somebody is better than somebody else. I’ve read everything that Hemingway wrote and everything that Chandler wrote and had many hours of enjoyment from both. Isn’t that enough?

    And, MMJeff, I’m not quite sure I follow. Maybe you could elaborate on the distinction between voice and tone.

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  60. prospero said on July 3, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Jay, there is nothing to compare to insane drivers in Rome. But there is nothing to campare to Rome. If you’ve ever been there, it is an absurdly amazing place. I spent two weeks in Rome one time, and it isn’t quite as cool as Boston, but quite close. Which I think is the world’s coolest city. Detroit is close, but no city really is. Did Rome ever produce a song as remotely cool as ‘Dirty Water’? Obviosuly, Detroit has.Not about the city itself.

    Cynthia surely feels ganged up on. I understand. Y’all have ganged up on me for making a simple comment about thimerosal and forcing massive dosages on doctors that don’t need anything like that dosage load, you are probably a criminal. That was my simple point. People that pull this sort of shit are criminals. I stand by what I said about that. Creating an atmosphere in which drugs are adulterated for profit, that is criminal. Cynthia, give some thought to your sources, That guy was acting like he could do a high-five when he actually didn’t know dick about what he claimed to be talking about. A dumbass.If you put an obvious neurotoxin into a medicine and force it on doctors by dint of being big pharma, and you know it hasNot close. Best city/song ever. JayZ, seriously? there is more lunacy than Rome traffic? Not likely. That is insane. In the real world, we have Brits and comity and how to act like decent human beings: Waterloo Sunset What is wrong with people that don’t get this. I’m no Brit apologiser. What the assholes have done to Ireland is unconscionable. And the aholes insist on claiming they produced great writers. I believe, Fuck the Brits and every bogus claim they make to Ireland. But, they don;t put up an incredibly bogus sea boycott, and attack ships in open seas. If I’m not mistaken, that is piracy. And just because Israel claims Palestinian waters are Israels, the Israeli government is guilty of piracy on the high seas, like so many Somali pirates. How are they not?

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  61. prospero said on July 3, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Palestine has high seas rights. Israel claiming the don’t is just an extension of the Bantustan thes assholes learned fro the DeKlerks back when the spied on the USA and stole fissionable material. Would Iran be considering nukes if they were not threatened with Dimona? That right to exist? Israel denies that for Iran. And they sit on massive nukes all the time. Whon is zooming who? Israel has mucho nukes and would use them at the drop of a hat. They have them from spying on the USA. How does this escape the purview of you AIPAC morons, They spy on and steal from, you morons. What good friends. You think this isn’t whatever? Acrwq these assholes.

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  62. prospero said on July 3, 2011 at 6:25 am

    The Boy in the striped Pajamas does not excuse the Israeli state from takink huge amounts of ash from the USA and spying on us, Nor stealing plutonium. Mor making nuclear weapons with the help of the DeClerk SA government. Nor going to AIPAC war in Washington about Iran. when sitting on Dimona. Are you assholes joking. Where is the nuclear threat in the middle east? It isn’t nascent, it’s an actual fact in the Negev. Israel stole plutonium from the US in the 60s and they shared technology with the DeKlerks, and they built bombs, if that is not true, let’s hear ir from Israel, Is it all a sham? Does not work you assholes. Iran believes you intend to blow them up. I mean, you blew Lebanon all to hell for no no good reason. Netanyahu has been convicted as a fairly rank criminal by his own country, How is he the primed mincer. Where does this criminal dickhead get off calling the President a dick through his Interlocutor when what he really means is Schwartze, Sorry, but Bibi, used to be Binyamin, and before that was Benjamin, he is covering up for his Whitey Bulger side. Asshole is a criminal. Murdering Palestinians for profit doesn’t make you a head of state. This guy is a piece of shit.

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  63. Connie said on July 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Had my own couple of nasty hours on I75 yesterday, I had forgotten the once familiar going north on Friday or Saturday in Michigan traffic. Worst traffic was the last ten miles on 115 into Cadillac, bumper to bumper at 10 mph. Aah, the things we do to get up north. Greetings from Pleasant Lake in Cadillac.

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  64. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 3, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    At the risk of being either stupid, wrong, or both, I just get the sense that Hemingway is striking a pose, creating an attitude with word choice, which is what I think of as more of a “tone,” while I recognize that Chandler and MacDonald are creating an atmosphere out of whole cloth, yet there’s something about their delivery & verbiage that just doesn’t seem forced, it feels more natural. When I read the little essay on reading that MacDonald did with McGee & Meyer for the Library of Congress, I thought “no one else could do that and make it so believable.” Hiaasen is in a different voice, but his novels have that same sort of manic integrity.

    So Chandler & Ellroy in the same way have voices which fit into the general soundscape & dialogue where they’re placing their work; Hemingway is sui generis, but just starts to sound forced to me. Of course, I like Flannery O’Connor but just can’t get into William Faulkner, for much the same voice vs. tone reason.

    Anyhow, I may be trying to promote my tastes to the status of received wisdom, but that’s my distinction. Thanks, Michael, for making me think it through a bit more.

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  65. Jeff Borden said on July 4, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Okay, Wisconsites, I will attend the baseball game in Milwaukee next month in deference to the fine people of Milwaukee, who probably would very much like to toss the horse’s ass of a governor into the lake.

    I will, however, make at least a small protest. I have ordered a bumper sticker from Cafe Press featuring a photograph of Scott Walker and the legend, “Does this ass make my car look big?” My Illinois plates will give me away as an out-of-state provocateur, but I simply cannot journey into America’s Dairyland without weighing in on the smirking shithead who governs Wisconsin.

    My fervent hopes, as expressed a few days ago, are that these ideological conservative fuckwad radicals –Walker, Kasich, Snyder and Scott– ensure President Obama wins their states in 2012. Perhaps, like the teabaggers who helped ensure the Dems held the Senate by running candidates crazier than a shithouse rat on acid, the creeps in the statehouse will play a significant role in saving our nation from another Republican president. We simply cannot afford one. . .unless we all want to go back to those glorious days of the 1890s, when plutocrats ruled and the average worker was screwed up the wazoo. God almighty, the GOPers have their noses so far up the asses of the ultra-wealthy, it’s a wonder they can breathe at all.

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  66. Joe Kobiela said on July 4, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Did you make it to the flyin? We were there around 8:30 in cherokee 43094 maroon and white.
    I saw one older gentelman on a bike ride away just as we got there. I tried to get on to try to hook up but it wouldn’t load. they had nice turn out and the food was great.
    Hopefully next year.
    Pilot Joe

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  67. Deborah said on July 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I’ve been trying to get on to this site for awhile and haven’t been able to. What’s up? seems to be OK now.

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  68. Dexter said on July 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Joe, I didn’t get out there until later, just to look around a little and watch some take-offs.

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  69. moe99 said on July 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Me too, Deborah. I had to use Mozilla Firefox for a while to go on site. It wouldn’t load using my MSN browser.

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  70. nancy said on July 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I don’t know what it is/was, although a pending update appears to have been completed, so maybe J.C. was doing some housekeeping. I’m trying to stay away from the computin’ machine this weekend, with a few short Facebook/Twitter breaks. Back tomorrow a.m.

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  71. Connie said on July 4, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Pharyngula trashes Mitch Albom. Comments dislike Mitch even more than NNc commenters do.

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  72. Dexter said on July 4, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    musical interlude

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  73. prospero said on July 6, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Mitch Albom is not some decrepitt scumbag like Mike Barnicle. He’s just a dickhead that recycles columns. Barnicle recycled fabricated columns about homeless Viet vets he made up in the first place. And he couldn’t leave this shit alone. He returned over and over, and he pounded Janet Cook and Jayson whatever his name was at the Times. He really should have been exposed at his first job. He probably knew where Whitey was the whole time. He wished he was George V. Higgins, but how many people can write Friends of Eddie Coyle. Wel, Raymond Chandler could. To this day, I can’t figure out what anybody finds compelling about Hemingway. He just is not a good writer. If he had the sense for dialogue that Chandler did, he might have been great. And does anybody think Dash Hammet ws as good? He got a great woman, but he was not as good a writer. These days, we’ve got Walter Moseley. and James Lee Burke. These guys can write plots that just keep stretching, and dialogue that is perfect. Way better than the Scandinavians. Devil in a Blue Dress? That is how to write a thriller. Brilliant. Mouse is the best character in a mystery novel that was ever invented. All praise to Walter Moseley. Mouse said Why’d you leave him with me Easy, if you didn’t want him dead? I’d recommend Christine Falls. A very fine book.

    And Mike Barnicle turned up, mirabile dictu, making shit up at Fox. What they do. And this asshole never had a cute intern turn up in his office dead, but, you know, Morning Joe, and how does this ahole get away with this shit?

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  74. prospero said on July 6, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Moe, doesn’t that suggest Firefox is just a better browser? I can’t believe I’m using the term browser. Safari is the only thing that sucks about Macs. Who wants a buncha little screens open at the same time? It’s not like we’re LL here. Momma said knock you out. Windows browsers fail to function well. They invite unwanted attention. And they let the wrong ones in.

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