I don’t like Mondays.

Too much weekend for me, which is not to say I partied too hard or ate like a Roman, only that the weekend’s weekending pushed the work I usually do on the weekend off to the side, which means… you get the idea. It’s going to be a long one, so today is a write-off, blog-wise.

And what did we do this weekend? Traveled back across the Mitten to pick up Kate from camp. We needed to be there too early to work an early-morning departure, so we spent the night in Grand Rapids. There’s something about the phrase “a night in Grand Rapids” that says, “Screw the cost! Let’s splurge!” and so we stayed at the Amway Grand Hotel, the finest lodgings to be had in Dutch west Michigan, or so we’re led to believe from the brochures.

I practiced the phrase, “I’m at the Amway” in my head a few dozen times, but could never escape that little frisson that millions feel with any mention of the name. Amway may have done for Grand Rapids what Eli Lilly has done for Indianapolis, what General Motors did for Detroit, what any (large corporation) has done for (name of city). So I guess people get a different feeling there, but for me, the word will always be attached to those phone calls you get from a friend, sorta — you know, that guy you used to party with, but he was really more Paul’s friend than yours, even though he gave you a ride that one time. Anyway, he called the other night, and asked to come over, and you said OK, although your spidey-sense was already a-tingle. And then he shows up, sits down, accepts a beer and immediately asks, “How would you like to join an organization that can make all your financial dreams come true?” And at that moment, you want to stick an icepick in your ear and end it all, because oh God, it’s the Amway pitch.

I’m no fan of Jennifer Granholm, and went into the 2006 gubernatorial race with my eyes and mind open. The first time I saw the Republican nominee and Amway scion Dick DeVos in action, was at a town-hall meet-the-voters thing on TV. A woman rose and asked how she was to stay in Michigan, with her family’s third-generation plumbing-supply business in such dire straits with the weak economy. (And this would be before the bad stuff started; I assume they’re long-gone by now.) What were these candidates offering her? Jenny gave some canned answer, and then DeVos turned to her, crinkled his salesman eyes, and said, “I grew up in a family business too, Laurie.” I yodeled an expletive at the TV, snapped it off and resigned myself to four more years of Granholm.

Anyway, Dick Jr., the unsuccessful would-be governor, is the mirror image of his dad, whose kingly portrait hangs in the lobby, along with that of his partner, Jay Van Andel:

Terrible picture, and I apologize, but the light was all wrong.

Anyway, I’ll have more tomorrow. In the meantime, tell your own Amway story, if you have one.

Posted at 9:01 am in Same ol' same ol' |
 

52 responses to “I don’t like Mondays.”

  1. brian stouder said on July 11, 2011 at 9:27 am

    At different times when I was in my 20′s, various friends and acquaintances roped me into sales pitches for vacuum cleaners and vitamins, but not Amway. Meanwhile, Pam tells me she has gotten dragooned into Pampered Chef and Mary Kay and various jewelry “parties” – where at least what they’re MAINLY trying to do is sell you, rather than recruit you. One nice thing about being older is moving beyond the youth-centric strategies of direct marketers

  2. Connie said on July 11, 2011 at 9:39 am

    The Amway thing is ubiquituous if you live in west Michigan. My best friend in Holland lives near the Amways folks various Lake Macatawa summer homes. Many years ago they tore down a lovely house to build a mansion. They have now torn down the mansion, bought additional property and are building an even greater mansion complete with a guest house larger than most of the other houses on the lake.

    The Amway Grand is built on and around a classic old hotel called the Pantlind. Did you see the restaurant called “The Bank” “The Bank” was once a night club space at which my senior prom took place. My aunt was director of the Grand Rapids Convention and Visitors Bureau when the Amway Grand was built, and I remember her saying it would change what her office could accomplish for the city.

    You should have stayed at the new Gold LEED certified all green hotel in downtown Holland.

  3. jcburns said on July 11, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Tell me why? (You don’t like Mondays.)

  4. Dorothy said on July 11, 2011 at 10:01 am

    We had two dogs before we had kids. The Irish setter got hit by a car once, and she needed surgery on her hip. (My mother-in-law offered to pay the $500 or so for the surgery. Nowadays it would be $3,000 at LEAST, I bet.) Our vet referred us to an orthopedic specialist vet and it was that guy who called us a few months later to pitch Amway to us. I was so young and inexperienced I had NO idea where it was leading when he came and offered to “make all our financial dreams come true” as you so aptly put it. And all I could think was “Oh Dr. Ames, and I thought you were such a great guy for saving Dublin’s leg!” Then we tried our damndest to get him the hell out of our kitchen.

  5. Julie Robinson said on July 11, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Most egregious Amway pitch: my sister was moving into a new apartment and her downstairs neighbors invited us over, implying that it was a party to welcome her and introduce her to her new neighbors. We were exhausted after two days of hauling furniture in Florida heat but hey, we were the guests of honor so we had to go. Getting out without sitting through the whole presentation was awkward, to say the least.

    Last summer our son’s friend starting selling knives. She was in a difficult situation when her parents divorced and both moved into small places where they didn’t have room for her. The pitch was that she just wanted to practice her sales routine and wouldn’t ask me to buy anything, but she had to show her boss that she had a certain number of bookings.

    Of course she did ask me to buy knives that cost over a thousand dollars. She was agonizingly shy and the wrong personality for a sales job, yet she had been duped into buying a samples kit for several hundred dollars. It’s just wrong for a company to prey on the vulnerable like that. In fact, I’m angry again just thinking about it.

    Last week another friend called, fundraising for a college trip to Italy. His mom is now with the same knife company. We were all too happy to just give him a donation.

  6. coozledad said on July 11, 2011 at 10:03 am

    My sister and her sleazy-ass first husband did the Amway thing while he was between jobs working for a cigarette and liquor distribution megacorp and landing in hospital administration.
    They cranked out two of the most obnoxious kids I’ve ever been forced to buy Christmas presents for, so it was always books. Hearing them hiss “Books. Again.” was probably the only reason I had to look forward to the holidays. What can I say? I ought to get myself some passive-aggressive cards printed up.

  7. Sue said on July 11, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Cooz, you must tell us your book choices. Hardy Boys? Bobbsey Twins? Bible Stories For The Teen Years? Or did you go hard-core scary southern writers on them right off the bat?

  8. Runner said on July 11, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I grew up in West Michigan. Amway is everywhere. My mom once recommended one of their products to me, so I called a rep to buy it. It was a $4 hard water/rust remover for clothes. I was a 19-yr-old college student at the time. They hard-sold me for more than an hour; I was so grateful they left before my roommate came home!

    I bought their product and it didn’t work. That didn’t stop them from calling and mailing me for about 6 months. I never used another Amway product again.

  9. prospero said on July 11, 2011 at 10:52 am

    I just always wondered how it is possible that Amway has managed to steer clear of laws under which they could be prosecuted and incarcerated.I saw the pitch once, and it actually included a pyramid. Hell, how has Pat Robertson never been charged with mail fraud for claiming to cure horrible diseases in exchange for donations. In the case of the former, I suppose it’s because it’s the AMericanWAY. In tha latter, I’m sure having God as the middleman must explain the scot free status.

    And cooz, you should have bought those kids a drumset and a karaoke machine.

  10. Peter said on July 11, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Six months after I graduated from college, I got a call from a classmate asking if I wanted to earn extra money. Sure, I said, what’s the project and where will I be drafting? Oh no, he said, it isn’t architectural work; and he went on about this new type of investment. I asked if it was drugs, and he said no; I asked if ti was Amway, and he said no again. What could I do? I said sure, I’ll give it a listen.

    He takes me to this large auditorium where there had to be at least five hundred people, and they put on quite the show. Happy happy people talking about how their lives were changed, and how this was so good because it wasn’t a pyramid scheme and it wasn’t Amway. What was it? One hour into the show, they let it out: They were part of Diamond International. A marketing firm. Whose main purpose is setting up triangular distribution systems – to sell Amway products.

    Another friend of mine put it best after that debacle: “If you knew how to make a million dollars, would you tell anyone? No, unless telling people was the way you make a million dollars”.

  11. Peter said on July 11, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Prospero’s right, Cooz. My brother in law bought a used tuba for his (now former) friend’s daughter.

  12. coozledad said on July 11, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Sue: I honestly can’t remember, but I think they were straight from the juvenile fiction bookshelf at the Regulator Bookshop in Durham.
    I suppose I could have parted with my well thumbed copy of “Christian Boy’s Problems”, a book detailing the inevitably fatal consequences of masturbation*, but that would have been a completely inappropriate gift for anyone except their dad.

    *Did you know that it requires a whole pint of blood to produce a teaspoon full of semen? This is why Breitbart always looks so tired.

  13. basset said on July 11, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I had never been north of Chicago when I interviewed at the Pantlind for my first job out of school, back in 1977. Got an offer, took it, and moved to Cadillac alone, at night, in December, with my guitar, camera, manual typewriter, and polyester pants stuffed into a VW Beetle. Quite an awakening to get up there and see shoulder-high snowbanks through downtown with the snow dug away from the parking meter heads so you could pay. Christmas dinner by myself at the Big Boy on 131 was a new experience too.

  14. alex said on July 11, 2011 at 11:28 am

    When I first moved into my current neighborhood, there was a neighbor lady who was quite aggressively pushing products via this pyramid scheme, also based in western Michigan.

    On edit: Not based in western Michigan, but Idaho. The founder is named Vandersloot, hence the confusion. He also gives big bucks to right-wing causes.

  15. Judybusy said on July 11, 2011 at 11:45 am

    My sister and her husband tried Amway back in the early 90′s. I believe most of the family was so obnoxious in our refusal to buy that crap they didn’t stick with it for more than a couple years. I gave my sis a 10-minute diatribe about their politics that guaranteed that I never heard about Amway again.

    In other, truly fun news, that sister’s daughter and I just got back from Italy. Soooo fun to see this small-town girl exposed to so much. We were in an area called the Cinque Terre and then Rome. I told her I’ve ruined the Olive Garden for her forever!

  16. nancy said on July 11, 2011 at 11:56 am

    We did indeed stay in the Pantlind part of the building, although as we walked into the lobby, my weary eyes beheld the sign and asked, “The name of this hotel is Pantload? What?” So that’s how I’ll think of it, forever and always.

    And Alex, what the hell is it with these Dutch guys and pyramids? (Excuse me: Multi-level marketing.) There was a book for sale in the gift shop by Dick Sr., Ten Powerful Phrases for Positive People. Not being one myself, I left it untouched.

  17. brian stouder said on July 11, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Powerful phrases for positive people?

    hmmmmm.

    “I’m warning you, this neighborhood is security patrolled” ?

    Nope – that’s a sentence.

    What powerful phrase would a positive person pronounce?

    “Don’t you just love my…”

    “Guard!! Sieze….”

    “Oopsie! Although that IS my magnificent shit in the bed…”

    I dunno; I think I’d have leafed through that book, just to see if it could make me guffaw within 15 seconds

  18. prospero said on July 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Alex, anybody that trusts a guy named Vandersloot deserves whatever fleecing she gets.

  19. alex said on July 11, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    “Oopsie! Although that IS my magnificent shit in the bed…”

    I think Brian wins this thread.

  20. Connie said on July 11, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Prospero, the west side of lower Michigan is filled with van names like Vandersloot. Not an uncommon name there it all, so why is it untrustworthy. Oh, and there are VanderSliks as well.

    And those who do Amway don’t call it that, they are part of an upline group that has its own name, the one I am most familiar with is Quixtar. Amway is only the product. The multi-level marketing is independent. A good friend of mine did it for quite some time, and it always seemed to me to be about buying motivational tapes and attending motivational seminars rather than about selling product. And the “Pitch” is always about getting rich like so and so – who is the way upline founder of this group, the one who sells the tapes, puts on the seminars, and gets a percentage of every product sold by the all downline people.

  21. LAMary said on July 11, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Tell it, zuster Connie.

  22. Mindy said on July 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    My sister-in-law has sold Shaklee for almost twenty years now. She was dreadful to be around for her first two years as an underling and could clear a room at family gatherings just by entering it with a big smile.

    I signed up with Melaleuca a few years ago but never told anyone. Quit as soon as I filled a deep shelf with their dishwasher detergent. When I run out in a few years maybe I’ll sign up again.

    My mother is a terrific salesman – sold everything but cars and real estate when I was a kid. She can tell instantaneously what type of pitch to throw at a prospective target and was successful more often than not. I once watched her sell insurance to a farmer who tried to escape by climbing on a hay wagon. She jumped on and started tossing bales of hay to him, and left with his money. Because of her my spidey-sense for salesman is unrivaled. My idea of hell is buying a car.

  23. 4dbirds said on July 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I have never seen let alone used an Amway product. The only thing I’ve bought and used from these home based businesses are Avon and Mary Kay. Mary Kay makes a nice lip gloss that I buy on a regular basis. Never found an Avon product that blew my socks off.

  24. Deborah said on July 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I went to the headquarters of Amway in Grand Rapids but it wasn’t called Amway, I forget the name. I was there to get the scoop about a project we were going after to design an exhibit space for an area that produced cosmetics. They wanted to bring prospective pyramid schemers to tour the space to get them to sign on the dotted line. I remember that they said their fastest growing business was in Asia, and their best selling product was something that bleached skin tones. We got the project but I left the design firm before it started, thank goodness.

    edit: I forgot to mention that the workplace in the headquarters was completely dismal, I couldn’t imagine having to get up every morning and go to work there.

  25. coozledad said on July 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Tony Blair tries to interfere in the investigation of Murdoch.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2013027/News-World-Tony-Blair-tried-hush-phone-hacking-scandal.html

  26. prospero said on July 11, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Would there really be an England as the modern world knows it without vile rags pretending to be newspapers and quintesordid scandals the fish and chips wrap star in themselves. Consider the cautionary tale of the demise of the BBC guy exposed the lap-poodle Blair document falsification leading to GB’s plunging into the Iraaq briar patch with W. Martin Amis, love him or despise, he’s a plu-Brit, does a great take on the low moral character of Fleet Streeters in Yellow Dog, one of his readable books. (I am a devotee of the neurasthenic snot’s dad, so I figured I’d give Rachel Papers and then Money a try. Both are quite good. Nothing the kid has ever written touches Lucky Jim, one of the most hilarious novels of the 20th Century.)

    Of course, the great fictional account of the louche irresponsibility and hideous lack of ethics of British newspapers is the wondrous Scoop, by Evelyn Waugh, who also skewers America’s particular cultural ethics and taste deficits in The Loved One.

  27. nancy said on July 11, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Deborah, I believe Amway now has a parent company, known as Alticor.

    When Alan and I were house-hunting in FW, we went through one where the couple had pasted, on the wall above their bed, a sheet from those easel-size pads of paper that used to be common in meetings for rooms without whiteboards. It read: “Cheryl and Bob’s goal: $10,000 a month!” I’m sure it came from a meeting like Peter attended; someone probably handed it to them and said, “Hang it somewhere in your house where you’ll see it every day! So you don’t lose sight of your goals!”

    I wish I were more shameless. I’d be a lot wealthier.

  28. brian stouder said on July 11, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    The interesting thing is that Cheryl and Bob would have left that on the wall above their bed, while showing their house.

    Why not intrigue people with a sheet that says:

    Bob’s Goal: 15 minutes without stopping

    Cheryl’s Goal: 50 occurences

  29. Dorothy said on July 11, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    brian what did you have for lunch today??

  30. prospero said on July 11, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Wow, I’ll bet that encouragement to go after $10grand/mo. was really conducive to some of that great conjugal procreative activity to produce the natural results of connubial canoodling One-L Bachmann just signed on for when those two hit the sack.

    Pyramid sales reminds me of what used to happen in public school when the kids were given packets of Christmas wrapping to raise money for their under or unfunded extracurriculars. First on the line of fire: Those greedy overpaid teachers that lengthened their time on campus every day to make the extracurricular activities remotely possible, leading to writing lesson plans at 2am. And what were we to do, when five or ten kids showed up in the same class with the same club in mind? Impossible situation, obviously.

  31. Deborah said on July 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Alticor, that was it Nancy. I looked at their website and all of the names of the cosmetics have changed. And boy howdy is it expensive. I wonder if they had to change the names because they made so many unsubtantiated claims about what the cosmetics could do for your skin etc.

  32. MarkH said on July 11, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I, too, have AmWay experience, 30+ years ago in Columbus, courtest of my then girlfriend’s parents. We signed up, lasted less than a year, or two rah-rah rallies, whichever came first. As soon as we heard, “well, if you’re hesitant to show this to your friends because they might not be receptive, maybe they’re not your friends!”, we lost all interest. I will say their products were good and they foretold today’s online retailing and shipping of products.

    Also, Nance, if I’m not mistaken, the older DeVos was always Rich, not Dick, as the younger one is called. The most pertinent info I got out of Amway, I guess.

  33. brian stouder said on July 11, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Dorothy – dippy eggs! (Shelby was cooking an egg when I got home, and it suddenly looked good)

    So, ‘the yoke’s on me’, eh?

  34. Suzanne said on July 11, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    “I wish I were more shameless. I’d be a lot wealthier.” Amen to that!

  35. moe99 said on July 11, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    In 1972 the Seattle Regional office of the SEC won a case against “Dare to Be Great,” but the FTC enforcers lost their case against Amway in 1979 at the FTC (the Commissioners ruled against them though at first glance looks like a win). http://www.ftc.gov/os/decisions/docs/vol93/FTC_VOLUME_DECISION_93_(JANUARY_-_JUNE_1979)PAGES_618-738.pdf#page=1 ,

    As far as I know, no other regulatory body wanted to expend the time taking them on after that.

  36. prospero said on July 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Amway’s the home cleaning products version of Scientology. Now that I think about it, the only person that ever tried to sell us on Amway ended up pretty shortly after that trying to sell me stocks for Bear Stearns. Surprise, surprise, but I would have expected their food chain positions to be reversed.

  37. Linda said on July 11, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Prospero–
    I once got one of my brother’s kids an electronic drum kit. He was so pissed at me that his Xmas present to me was membership in the NRA. He could give Coozledad passive-aggressive lessons.

  38. nancy said on July 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I think I’ve mentioned before that Kate’s sitter when she was little was married to a man whose parents were both profoundly deaf. All annoying-sounding toys went to grandma and grandpa’s house. Perfect solution.

  39. Kirk said on July 11, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I know a guy who bought an obnoxious in-law’s kids toy firefighter helmets equipped with flashing lights and sirens. Every time he had to visit, he took the kids a box of batteries.

  40. prospero said on July 11, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Y’all know the experience of ordering something fairly expensive on the net and worrying it might turn out to be cheesy when it get’s delivered. And then when you have it in you’re hands it’s better than you expected. I ordered some Saddlebags for my bike from REI. Or should I say panniers. Ordinarily “panniers” would strike me as annoyingly eltist, but I’ve decided it’s a good word, related to beasts of burden, and probably to Latin. Anyway, this Timbuk2 gear is the setup I bought. Here on Hilton Head, bicyclists have to deal with what seem to be downright predatory drivers in urban assault vehicles. A heavy backpack is not conducive to protective maneuvers, because of center of gravity issues. It’s also not safe to transport beer in glass bottles, nor the occasional half-gallon of Mr. Jack. Breakage would still be a tragedy with the rear panniers, but would not involve life-threatening lacerations.

    This is a beautifully designed pack that attaches to any standard rear bike rack with heavy duty velcro straps. The beauty of the design is mounting/removing in 20 seconds tops, and when you remove the bags, magnets snap the sides together, no matter the load, in the form of a messenger bag, with a shoulder strap. The compartments are capacious, and I’m convinced already that the effect on speed and handling vs. my old Norwegian army surplus knapsack is a decided improvement. I’m convinced this is a much safer way to ride with cargo.

    Now you could purchase the display pack to show your friends…Nah, just something very good I came across I thought some of y’all would like and might find useful.

  41. brian stouder said on July 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Prospero – very cool!

    And, the panniers didn’t sound elitist until you got to the ‘capacious compartments’!

    They should use your phrase on their ad; a positive image of that item is now stuck in my brain

  42. prospero said on July 11, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Sorry brian, how about commodious? Y’all are one crowd I can actually let my vocabulary run without being accused of using a thesaurus. Six years of Latin and four of Classical Greek. And I love words immensely. And I know you don’t need to look up capacious. But I’ll tell you these suckers are excellent. The difference in handling from wearing a heavy pack is incredible.

  43. David C. said on July 11, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I lived the first 48 years of my life in GR. As everyone has said, Amway is everywhere. The worst thing ever to happen to anyone in West Michigan is to be invited “over to coffee”. You knew you were in deep trouble when you saw a slide projector set up. All you could do is to armor yourself against the pitch.

    We had friends visit from out of town. They were going on about what a beautiful building Amway had. I couldn’t figure out what they were talking about because their HQ is rather dull looking. I sorted it out when they pointed out what they saw. It was a Steelcase building – pyramid shaped. 1+1=3, but funny nevertheless.

  44. Deborah said on July 11, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    David C that is funny, I’m very familiar with the Steelcase pyramid, and add to that the Herman Miller farm. Haworth has a fabulous renovation too. But Amway (Alticor) not at all. For a company like Amway to get all those profits and not turn it into a decent place to work is sad. Places like that do not promote innovation which is often a result of collaborative serendipity. Offices that are set up to encourage focus in individual cubicles rather than collaborative, learning and socializing spaces are missing the boat big time.

  45. alex said on July 11, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Just had a funny reminiscence. I once indulged the sister of a friend who was hawking Rainbow vacuums and needed some credits for trying. I was promised that this was only for the sake of appearances. (Although I think she was hoping deep down that I’d shell out two grand for her shit.) It did incredible things, yes indeed. She poured a bowl of water onto a chair cushion and then sucked it out along with enough pounds of dustbunny to curdle the water in the vacuum’s reservoir and turn it a foul, indescribable color.

    Recently some odd folks in a brand-new Lincoln SUV turned up one afternoon and tried the same pitch for some supposedly phenomenal vacuum. Would I at least let them in so the pretty girl could get credit for trying? Yeah, I could see how this would work. After two hours I would gladly pay thousands of dollars to make these creepy, awful people just fucking leave. They went across the street and a different pretty girl in a different outfit showing butt and boob cleavage got out with the pitchman. They alternated girls between houses but it appeared no one around here was having it.

    I don’t think we even begin to have the consumer protection/redress that’s needed in this damned country. When I first moved here I got a call from some people purporting to be from the newspaper trying to sell me a subscription. When I said I wouldn’t give them my credit card number and would call the paper back directly to order it, they got shitty and told me I wouldn’t get the special promotional price. Who needs a special promotional price? I get their content for free on the internet and don’t consider any of it worth paying for.

    But I can see how some newcomer who doesn’t know any better could easily get scammed, either by the paper or by some phishermen who have nothing to do with it.

  46. Dexter said on July 11, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Melaleuca. I bet you folks know all about this product and the obligatory pyramid background.
    Did you know it is owned these days by a fellow name Valdersloot? Odd, consequential, eh? :)

    http://melaleuca.pissedconsumer.com/

  47. brian stouder said on July 11, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    You know, this is looking like yet another strange summer. Remember the summer when all the talk was about shark attacks, and then Chandra Levy/Gary Condit? And then remember what happened when that summer drew to a close?

    And now this summer, we have had the Casy Anthony thing, and the still-spiraling News Corp scandal (which appears to be headed for a fairly major jolt here in the United States); and all the while a looming Congressional Republican-triggered ecomomic crash draws closer.

    The national Republican party is flirting with their own political implosion, I think – to rival the Whigs in the middle of the 19th century. That party went from controlling the White House to being out of existence within a decade, when they became incoherent on the issue of slavery.

    And the modern Republican party has become incoherent about why a responsible political party even exists. Does a party exist to elect people and then govern in a particular way? Or does it exist soley to displace anyone else; to win power for power’s sake, without regard to actually – you know – governing?

    I expect the Republicans to make a deal with the president, and avert a (completely avoidable) economic crash. But is this the equivalent of the Missouri Compromise, that ends up simply delaying our political and (self-inflicted) economic implosion by a decade?

    As far as that goes, what good reason do I (or anyone, for that matter) have, to think that our congress won’t fail to raise the debt ceiling, and pay the debts that previous duly elected congresses incurred?

    Now that the Red Button of Default is before them, how long will it be before they decide “What the hell!” and push it, just to see what happens? Afterall, Jim Demint and all the flying monkeys of the right wing airwaves assure us that pushing that red button won’t cause the destruction of the Full Faith and Credit of the United States….but indeed, it just might destroy President Obama’s administration – soooooo – let’s do it!

    Afterall, it’s worth anything to see Obama lose.

    Right?

    We will see, I guess

  48. Cara said on July 12, 2011 at 12:12 am

    “And cooz, you should have bought those kids a drumset and a karaoke machine.”

    Prospero, you have a wonderful mind!

  49. Dexter said on July 12, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Sorry, Alex, I should have clicked your link before posting mine about Melaleuca. My info does indeed say the guy’s name is Valdersloot, not Vandersloot, however.
    My brother sold this shit for several years and even had the goddam gall to get my wife started on the low rung of the pyramid.
    I don’t feel like clicking through research sites right now, but as I recall, the melaleuca bush or tree became a scourge in Florida, impossible to eradicate, so someone got the bright idea to harvest it and SELL it as a useful product.
    A shameful chapter in American Business. I wonder (not really) if the company is still in business.
    And this shit STINKS! I mean it smells horrible. Really bad.

  50. coozledad said on July 12, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Wow. Roy pokes the Republican dogwhistlers with a stick, and the worms burst out.
    I can’t say I’ve ever seen so many Stormfronters on a single thread. Go have a look. It’s instructive:
    http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/07/ooga_booga_righ.php

  51. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 12, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Loved the Henry Ford Museum after not having seen it for 30+ years; we went for the village, but after narrowly avoiding death & dismemberment in the storms that swept through SW Michigan, it was closed, so we spent some very enjoyable hours with thousands of sodden fellow tourists in the one-third closed up halls.

    The Rosa Parks bus was brilliantly presented, the Wienermobile balanced the Dymaxion house on the west end of the complex, and my wife asked me, in a brief pause in my manic shooting the Ford Tri-motor from all angles, if I would snap the Detroit News Autogyro. I said, “sure, but why?”

    Turns out her father tells a story about seeing one land and take off and narrowly missing out on a chance to get a ride on one, but it was (he thinks) owned by the Indy Star, bouncing into a field near his house north of 21st St., east of Shadeland. Anyhow, we’re sure it was an Autogyro, the puzzle is: could it have been this one, making a courtesy visit to Indy, or did Indy make an undocumented purchase that was of short duration?

    Anyhow, other than the apocalyptic weather, we enjoyed Detroit — now in Frankenmuth, twenty pounds heavier and heading up to Mackinaw City today after experiencing the kitschfest that is Bronner’s CHRISTmas Store.

  52. Hitman said on August 11, 2011 at 3:07 am

    Ironically, I can credit Amway for my brother returning to college and ultimately getting his doctorate. I remember many years ago my brother dropped out of college and returned to live at home. He began selling Amway, which meant he stored a lot of inventory of products. He had such a bad experience and lost so much money with Amway that it made him go back to college!

    Thank you Amway – my brother is much happier today.

    BTW, a lot of work at home opportunities are legit for people willing to work hard. But don’t get involved in any that require you to buy lots of training and regularly purchase a lot of products to keep in inventory.