Your grill wants to kill you.

Sometimes I think you could write an entire local-TV newscast consisting entirely of the words and phrases “controversial,” “what you don’t know can hurt you” and “hidden dangers.”

As I mention here regularly, one of my income streams comes from a part-time job finding news about health care. Five nights a week, I venture out on the internets with a string of search terms as long as your arm. In the several years I’ve been doing this, I’ve seen the crisis in newspapers up close, and pals, it ain’t pretty. Fewer daily papers are paying close attention to health care and health care policy at all, and more are running the sort of syndicated garbage that allows them to fill their health pages with story after story about weight loss and, of course, hidden dangers:

Backyard barbecues are a big part of summer fun, but avoiding their hidden dangers is key to staying healthy and enjoying a cookout, a doctor suggests.

What are the hidden dangers? The doctor, from an outfit called Chicago Healers, ticks them off: You could get burned! You could get food poisoning! You might not know how to turn the grill off and on! And oh, the cancer that awaits you!

I saw this Sunday night on the USA Today website. Granted, this was the weekend, and it is the summer, but bishpleeze.

I have always, always despised journalism that assumes I’m a moron. (Except when it’s appropriate.) And in general, I just roll my eyes, turn the page, or click away. But later that night, I had a local newscast on, just some babbling to keep me alert, and the weekend anchor said, “Summer is barbecue season, but before you light that grill, you need to be aware of the hidden dangers that come with cooking outside.” The same goddamn press release! With a graphic! Telling us, yes, you need to cook your meat to a safe temperature, and make sure you know how to turn the grill off and on, and consider grilling vegetables instead, “a healthy alternative to meat.”

Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, this same station and hundreds of others like it will run a similar piece about the hidden dangers of leftovers. Did you know you should heat your gravy to a rolling boil before it’s safe to eat? True dat.

On the other hand, there is a way to do fluff well. The Wall Street Journal has a regular feature called “What’s Your Workout,” which on paper sounds ghastly, but is almost always executed well. They look hard for people who manage to cram fitness into hyper-busy schedules, and while there’s always a certain number of douchebags who ride $3,000 bicycles or work with $100-an-hour trainers, there’s also the guy who made a list of 20 workouts he can do in an hour, all with amusing names like “the Rhianna” (paddleboarding) or “Alex McCandless” (stair climbing), then throws Dungeons & Dragons dice to pick one. No re-rolls; what the dice say, goes. It mixes it up and makes the dice the bad guy.

There was another one, earlier this year, about a guy who could do an entire hotel-room weights workout using the wall and his briefcase.

And that concludes today’s episode of Bitching With Nance. This is what happens when you start writing before the coffee kicks in.

No, wait, let’s bitch some more: Remember earlier this year, when we discussed “Modernist Cuisine?” Someone called its author/editor, Nathan Myhvold, a patent troll, a term that was meaningless to me. Until last night, when “All Things Considered” did a shortened version of last week’s “This American Life,” which I’m working my way through now. It would appear “Modernist Cuisine” was supported, at least in part, by its author’s company’s patent trolling, which gives me just one more reason not to buy the book(s), which I wasn’t going to buy anyway. Worth your time.

And finally, a good story that’s a smile all the way through: Detroitblogger John on Fred’s Key Shop, a locksmith business, decades old, in the heart of the city:

“We get these calls from senior citizens that are going senile — ‘You gotta come change my locks, ’cause all the food’s moved around in my cupboards.’ We had this one lady, we were going there to change her locks three and four times a year — ‘Somebody’s been in my underwear drawer.’ You go out there and you change the locks and you don’t really charge them nothing.”

Other elderly people grow too weak to turn the key in their lock and think it’s broken. Murphy says the locksmiths will take it apart, grease it and loosen it, and leave without charging them. “I’m not going to charge some 90-year-old lady because she can’t turn the key.”

They’ve gotten Tigers fans into their locked cars, only to find out they’re broke. They let them go on their word. One showed up at the shop a few days later and not only paid his bill but also brought a case of beer as a thank-you.

“It always comes back, you know, good karma,” he says of the occasional free work. “You get it back if you give it.”

Let that be the parting thought of the day. Give it, and get it back. Someday.

Posted at 10:22 am in Detroit life, Media |
 

58 responses to “Your grill wants to kill you.”

  1. prospero said on July 27, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Well, and what about the most hazardous of outdoor culinary practices, i.e. frying that turkey. And these reports may be intended for morons, but the morons ain’t listenin’. Every year, bonehead Americans drop frozen turkeys into 185 degree peanut oil, producing a backyard approximation of nuclear winter, and if they’re really unlucky, an auto da fe by self-immolation. The little woman watching in horror through the kitchen window can choose suttee, or just wait a few minutes until hubby is frite and dial 911 to save the house, unless the dumbass was frying on the back deck.

  2. Vince said on July 27, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Nance, Your TV vocabulary is far too limited. Please don’t forget “Shocking” “Exclusive!” “Live!!” and best of all… “parent’s worst nightmare!.”

    As for press releases run as health news, this is extremely common in local TV. I have a friend who’s a former TV reporter who now works for a major hospital. He says their single highest expenditure from their ad budget each year is sponsoring the health segment on the local Fox News station. The segment is chosen each week by the hospital, interviews are set up by the hospital and a “fact sheet” (read “talking points”) is put together by the hospital. The “reporter” shows up, does what she’s told and parrots the info in a segment on the air that has no disclosure it’s bought and paid for by that hospital. Just a sheer coincidence she happens to interview an expert from the same hospital every single week.

  3. coozledad said on July 27, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Another hidden danger of backyard grills isn’t manifest until hurricane season, when they can go airborne and become missiles, or even worse, “slacker’s booty”. Just ask Bob Owens.

  4. basset said on July 27, 2011 at 10:52 am

    “team coverage!”

    “medical breakthroughs!” from one of the worst offenders:
    http://www.ivanhoe.com/home/p_home.cfm

    just put your female main anchor’s voice on those and call her “medical reporter.”

  5. Dave said on July 27, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Your health stories made me think of the new billboard that was put up in Indianapolis which is a bit extreme, I think, although other opinions may differ.

    http://www.wibc.com/news/Story.aspx?ID=1463009

  6. Judybusy said on July 27, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Loved the lock story. I thought my front door lock was going kaput, needing replacement. I nearly didn’t get the key out on Tuesday. We finally got around to buying (and using) some WD-40 yesterday. I spent some time just using the key to lock and unlock the door. Hey, thorough enjoyment of really simple pleasures is why I’m basically such a happy person most of the time.

  7. Jolene said on July 27, 2011 at 11:17 am

    That’s a pretty damning indictment of health news, Vince. Why do these “reporters” allow this to happen? It can’t be that they went into journalism w/ such low expectations. The world is full of fascinating and wonderful and horrifying things. What is stopping these reporters from going out into the world to learn about some of them?

    Why not, for instance, do a little reading about efforts to prevent hospital-acquired infections or the use of surgical checklists to prevent errors and post-op complications and heading out to find out what community hospitals are doing along these lines?

  8. Bowditch said on July 27, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Hidden dangers, indeed. Here I was, insomniac again, in the midst of a Leonard Cohen four-in-the-morning moment, and you bring an instant “attack of the grill” course shift. Thank you for that, by the way.

    I have to admit to being a sucker for the Darwin Awards and natural selection in general. The take-home message from the scolds emphasizes the “can kill you”, but the real culprit is what you don’t know. Ignorance may not be an acceptable defense legally, but it’s a widespread affliction, just look at Washington. Teach your children well always seems the best advice.

    Your closing parable has stilled the waters. Now I can go back to bed and sleep, for which you have my undying gratitude.

  9. Connie said on July 27, 2011 at 11:36 am

    A week or two ago every news source I watch/read be it national, local or our local weekly did a story on the dangers of children drowning in pools. I wondered at that time what set something like that off.

    I am back from a lovely but hot week at Glen Lake/Sleeping Bear. Sue and Holly you must check out the new board walks at the beach at Glen Haven. They appear to have turned a formerly quiet beach into a bustling popular place. We even saw three tour busses turn in as we were leaving.

  10. Jeff Borden said on July 27, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Jolene,

    They run with these press release stories because they are easy and will lend themselves to some nice graphics and video, which will fill some space on the broadcast. You have to remember that while we all lament what is happening to newspapers, much the same thing is going on in TV news, too. Fewer reporters. Fewer producers. Fewer videographers. All in the name of higher profits for the corporations who run them. It’s why traffic accidents, shootings and robberies get such big play. . .they’re easy!

    I simply cannot watch local TV news any more. Ironically, what used to be the throwaway segment –weather– may now be the best part of the newscast because of advances in technology and graphics. Tom Skilling on WGN-TV creates a helluva segment every day and given the wild weather we’ve had of late, his predictions carry more weight with me. But the rest of it? Ugh. Trite writing. Shallow reporting. The stupid banter among the news team. It’s not worth my time.

  11. Bob (not Greene) said on July 27, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Speaking of press release journalism, here’s some courtesy of our pals on the right.

  12. Deborah said on July 27, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I listened to that segment of This American Life. Amazing stuff going on in the world of patent litigation. Really slimey. I had no idea that was going on, how would I. Thank goodness for programs like TAL, I have their app on my iPhone and listen often.

  13. Sherri said on July 27, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    I strongly recommend the TAL story on patents. (I’m the one who referred to Myhrvold as a patent troll.) Listen to the story, then consider that the story goes even deeper. TAL just talks about software patents. Patents are given on all sorts of things, things you might not expect to be patented, like genes. One company holds the patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, the “breast cancer genes”, which means that they have a monopoly on testing for those genes. It also means that anyone who wants to do research on those genes has to go through them.

    Myhrvold is a troll, but the real problem is that the patent system is broken; patent trolls are just a symptom.

  14. Sue said on July 27, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Oh no, Connie. Are you talking about the area right by the cannery?
    I DON’T WANT to share Glen Haven with the rest of the citizens of the United States! It’s mine, I tell you, mine!

  15. JenC said on July 27, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I need to buy a proper radio for my house to listen to NPR in the morning and forgo the local news and national morning news shows, which are utter crap. I turn them on as background noise while I get ready for work and to make sure the world didn’t explode overnight, but I’m not sure the morning shows would catch that development anyway if it didn’t have a commercial tie-in. On the morning the Emmy nominations were announced, the local NBC affiliate only announced the NBC shows nominated. Add in Ann Curry’s victim voice and my morning is guaranteed to start with a furious scowl at the television and a lecture that my husband has heard too many times about what is and is not news.

  16. Connie said on July 27, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Yes Sue, by the cannery complete with new parking, a walkway up to and around the old boat, and a wonderful foot wash faucet. The beach was much busier than previously.

  17. Linda said on July 27, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks for linking up to the story of the Knoche family. My brother went to school with younger bro Greg. They are good people.

  18. prospero said on July 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Bob, that’s a “lies, damned lies, and statistics” story. Anybody that thinks the Kochs are about to back down from buying Wisconsin is an idiot.

    Alan West is insane, and despite his security clearance “higher than the President” this Abu Ghraib war criminal needs to be run out of Congress. And if Florida wants to secede, let ’em take the bluehairs and walk if they insist on electing lunatics like this guy and the Medicare fraud artist, Rick Scott. West’s friends think Breivik is a bellwether of the rising danger of homegrown Muslim jihad. This bullshit promotes terrorist actions against American citizens.

  19. LAMary said on July 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    One of our local morning news shows has a story about health benefits or dangers of coffee at least once a week. They use the same footage of coffee being made every time.

  20. Jolene said on July 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Bob (nG), that story re the subversion of journalism in Wisconsin is profoundly depressing. It’s the sort of thing that could have a big influence and, in many cases, go undetected for a long time.

    Along these lines, did anyone see the HBO documentary Hot Coffee? It’s related to the idea of injecting corporate influence into journalism in that it deals with corporate influence in legal proceedings both through efforts to limit access to legal redress and extensive involvement in judicial elections. Hank reviewed it when it first came out; I think it’s still available through OnDemand. Definitely worth watching, and very, very disturbing.

  21. moe99 said on July 27, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRMcPJrWm-g&feature=player_embedded

    I’m wondering, what is parallel lines? Can you submit your video work to them, Nancy?

  22. Mary o said on July 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Exhibit A for why I don’t watch local TV new anymore. Did anyone see Jon Stewart’s latest takedown of stupidity on CNN last night?

  23. prospero said on July 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Tort reform maniacs and liars are big on the terribly high costs of medical malpractice awards in the grand scheme of American health car. Only problem is, that’s a load of bullshit. In the last decade, the costs of all jury awards and malpractice premiums has never exceeded even 2%. (In general, these costs have hovered below 1% of total health care over the last 30 yrs.) of total health care costs. It’s impossible to identify cost of unproductive treatment and tests and procedures because of fear of litigation, but it’s just as clear that such “preventive” medicine results from straw men litigators manufactured by opponents of health care reform on the right. This is entirely a load of crap pushed by idealogues like Krauthammer with no evidence but to the contrary. These people just make up scary shit without compunction or sense of responsibility. When California enacted tort reform, malpractice premiums nearly doubled, for some unexplained reason, and there was no significant chang in jury awards.

    A driving factor in the tort reform movement is the perception on the right that so-called “trial lawyers” (as opposed to the armies of attorneys corporations marshalll in court battles, more pure propaganda for dumb people) are more beneficent in political donations to Democrats than to Republicans. Here’s a good place to start understanding how this is a campaign characterized by scare tactics and outright lies. This is a subject that drove my late daddy nuts, so I’ve read a lot about this. Of course, my mom and dad believed that single payer, universal coverage was a moral imperative incumbent on the USA if the country is going to stand for anything worthwhile.

  24. jcburns said on July 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I think the Entertainment Tonight jargon-macro-keys have been installed in all tv newsroom computers now: “______ came to us to set the record straight.” (astonishing number of records askew out there.) “We wanted to find out…” (yes, that would be part of the journalistic process) “____told us exclusively”, “the controversy continues over _____” (just by the fact of you dragging it out for another day.) And, ahh, so on.

  25. ROGirl said on July 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Tort reform strikes me as one of those things that the Repubs like to turn into a crusade, like voter fraud and back in the day, welfare reform. Let’s root out waste and fraud in these areas where it really doesn’t amount to much in the grand scheme of things, and ignore the huge white elephant in the room that is tax advantages, loopholes and access for the rich and powerful.

  26. prospero said on July 27, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Actually, numerically speaking, vote and welfare fraud are even more bizarre fabrications than tort reform. Proven vote fraud rates, by state are in the truly infinitesimal range of .00009-.0005& of votes cast. Hardly like stealing Florida in 2000 or Cuyahoga Co., OH in 2004. Even those were not vote fraud, they were outright election fraud and vote suppression, for which convictions have actually been obtained. You go Ken Blackwell:

    http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0320-23.htm

    and

    http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2007/2379

  27. Judybusy said on July 27, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I know I’ve touted this book before, but Perfectly Legal by David Cay Johnston describes in detail what ROGirl is referencing. It’s about our wretched taxation system. I read it around 2003, and I was livid for about two weeks. I can’t imagine my reaction now, as both Dems and Repubs are set to throw the poor, disabled and middle class under the tank so the very wealthiest can hoard more.

    And A HREF=”http://blog.aflcio.org/2011/07/26/walker-makes-it-harder-to-obtain-voter-id-shuts-dmv-offices-in-dem-areas/”>here is some possibly disturbing news about voter repression fom the good governor of Wisconsin.(I will admit I always tone down the rhetoric from union sources, but otherwise this appears to be true.)

  28. prospero said on July 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Many studies have found that income tax fraud rates on a case basis are 20 times higher than welfare fraud. So what people are defrauding taxpayers out of way more money. It’s the people whose Caddy is a company car, not odious Raygun’s “welfare queens” buying cars and liquor and cigarettes with change from foodstamps. Next time somebody says something about Raygun the communicator and all-around good guy, remember this shit and try not to puke. So what’s the first opportunity to balance the budget for Republicans? Move hedge fund billionaires off their 15&corporate gains tax rate to a realistic and fair 35&? Hell no. Cut WIC. Think of the health care savings when those kids never become unhealthy adults. Flat out, that is the Republican working theory, the scummy bastards.

    http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/pm120/

  29. Kim said on July 27, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Jolene is right – “Hot Coffee” is a great way (though ultimately depressing, as is much of the gov’t truth these days) to spend 90 minutes. It’s available now on HBO OnDemand, as is another doc I just caught by chance and recommend: “There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane.” It’s about the mom who drove a van full of kids the wrong way on a NJ highway, killing herself, all but one of the kids and three others. A bit scrambled in the storytelling, but I do not proclaim to be a filmmaker.

  30. paddyo' said on July 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Nancy, if you haven’t already run across this one in your health care/health care policy travels, a couple of fellow former Denver newspaper people have been producing a very good online news service/”paper”/whatever out of the U of Colorado-Denver’s School of Public Affairs (“public affairs” in the public policy arena, not the PR sense).
    It’s called Health Policy Solutions, and it sure makes a difference when actual veteran newsies run one of these public educational institution-related ventures.

  31. Vince said on July 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Jolene,
    TV repoffers are not free to set their own stories. The managers who assign them are the same ones who agreed to sell their newscast to the highest hospital bidder.

    I know many TV reporters who loathe the crap they are assigned to cover but they feel trapped with mortgages and tuition payments and can’t wall away from a job that pays pretty well.

    They definitely are not doIng the journalism they aspired tto in college.

  32. Vince said on July 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    That should say “walk away.”.
    iPhone auto correct be damned.

  33. Maggie Jochild said on July 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I like “repoffers”, Vince. My girlfriend yesterday tried to write slightest on her Android and it came to me as slugtest.

  34. ROGirl said on July 27, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Prospero, the mystery to me is how people just believe without any shadow of a doubt that the myths about things like welfare fraud and voter fraud are the gospel truth, anyone who disagrees is a damn fool, and tax fraud by the rich and connected simply doesn’t resonate. What’s that all about? It’s easier to believe that the poor are scam artists than the rich? Yeah, but. Yeah, but the rich do things on a much bigger scale. How hard is that to believe?

  35. Deborah said on July 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I always have trouble figuring out how people can be so gullible and swallow whole hog what they are told by so called “authority” figures like Republican politicians or the right wing media. My husband has been reading a lot lately about neuroscience and he came across something that seems to be the reason for this. Belief is apparently the default position in our brains. The left hemisphere of the brain is always trying to find reason even if it doesn’t exist in what it’s being presented with. It’s easier to believe something than to think about it and realize that it’s not reasonable or true. Or something like that. I’ve probably mangled the heck out of it, but since he told me that it helps me not get so freaking mad when my right wing sister comes out with some nonsense. I just tell myself, she can’t help it, her brain has gone into default and she isn’t able to think her way out of it.

  36. beb said on July 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    This news story
    http://www.americablog.com/2011/07/worth-watching-boeing-and-faa.html

    is interesting for its source — al-Jazeera-english. And this isn’t the first time I’ve been blogging linking to stories from this middle east news channel. To me this says that US news organizations of all varieties have become content-free. If you want to hear the news, you’ll have to go overseas.

  37. coozledad said on July 27, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Ha!

  38. prospero said on July 27, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    In the words of my mom and daddy who gave their live to caring for patients, where do hospitals get off talking about “clients” instead of patients. Having known an inordinate number of them in my lifetime as my parents’ son, I know doctors and nurses in general are really uncomfortable with the “clients” bullshit and I would not be surprised if that’s another rancid Lakoffism. Medicine is not about a fee for service relationshio unless you’re talking abou Kardashians an d boobs and asses. And it seems almost, but not really quite, cruel to say it, but for every operation that made Michael Jackson’s schnoz look like a porkier, another kid didn’t get cleft lip and palate surgery. But this has distinctly to do with American consumerism. This is not solely American but the wherewithal to fix all these kids’ faces is certainly in America. Commodifying people is what the GOP accused theObama of when they started that idiot fodder about death panels. That was exceptionally crude and stupid. but look how many Tejans bought it, based on their scientific knowledge from those Tejas schoolbooks that rule American education based upon their sheer sale numbers. I

    I’ve based my entire philosophy of life pn the Teillhardian ideal. That there is sure as shit a Creator, and what He created was the marvel of his Creation becoming Himself. How perffect is that idea. And that’s not some acid or peyote talking. It means there are no limits besides the edges of Creation, which is a pretty good definition of God. What I think about redshift. This radio frequency proves beyond a doubt that matter moves outwards, at the speed of light squared. If E+MC2, at some point, Matter gets to equal energy, which would probably approximate God. My idea about redshift is probably stupid, but, hell, it’s encouraging. At some place there has to be a speed we just let her rip. No shit, if you take the dear old Boy at his word, all hell is gonna rip loose. Notice I got loose right as opposes all those internet assholes that say loose for lose. It’s no way to look at any of this. My broter? What is wrong with you? I don’t know how to confront my bros. I mean it Dave. I’m the biggest ahole you ever came across/
    this situation is weird/ I’ve LQya bwwn on you’re side. I

  39. prospero said on July 27, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    In the words of my mom and daddy who gave their live to caring for patients, where do hospitals get off talking about “clients” instead of patients. Having known an inordinate number of them in my lifetime as my parents’ son, I know doctors and nurses in general are really uncomfortable with the “clients” bullshit and I would not be surprised if that’s another rancid Lakoffism. Medicine is not about a fee for service relationshio unless you’re talking abou Kardashians an d boobs and asses. And it seems almost, but not really quite, cruel to say it, but for every operation that made Michael Jackson’s schnoz look like a porkier, another kid didn’t get cleft lip and palate surgery. But this has distinctly to do with American consumerism. This is not solely American but the wherewithal to fix all these kids’ faces is certainly in America. Commodifying people is what the GOP accused theObama of when they started that idiot fodder about death panels. That was exceptionally crude and stupid. but look how many Tejans bought it, based on their scientific knowledge from those Tejas schoolbooks that rule American education based upon their sheer sale numbers. I

    I’ve based my entire philosophy of life pn the Teillhardian ideal. That there is sure as shit a Creator, and what He created was the marvel of his Creation becoming Himself. How perffect is that idea. And that’s not some acid or peyote talking. It means there are no limits besides the edges of Creation, which is a pretty good definition of God. What I think about redshift. This radio frequency proves beyond a doubt that matter moves outwards, at the speed of light squared. If E+MC2, at some point, Matter gets to equal energy, which would probably approximate God. My idea about redshift is probably stupid, but, hell, it’s encouraging. At some place there has to be a speed we just let her rip. No shit, if you take the dear old Boy at his word, all hell is gonna rip loose. Notice I got loose right as opposes all those internet assholes that say loose for lose. It’s no way to look at any of this. My broter? What is wrong with you? I don’t know how to confront my bros. I mean it Dave. I’m the biggest ahole you ever came across/
    this situation is weird/ I’ve LQya bwwn on you’re side. I always was by your side.

    when thatJim Forde waa on your aise. Not my fULT, Dve,No ahit you might mw

  40. alex said on July 27, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    In the words of my mom and daddy who gave their live to caring for patients, where do hospitals get off talking about “clients” instead of patients[?]

    In my line of work, I get to see personnel files from elder care facilities on occasion, usually those of employees trying to go on disability or who have a history of frivolous litigation against their employers or others. When they’re written up for infractions, it’s typically for failing to provide appropriate care to “consumers.” Yes, that’s what the patients are called—”consumers.”

    As for the people who work in these places, I see things that make me want to call them a whole lot worse, and not something so dispassionate and dry.

  41. Linda said on July 27, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Deborah @35:
    People are going through a cognitive stress right now. Everybody who believes government is evil has a corner of their mind where the govt programs they like–medicare, soc security, etc.–are magically Not Really Government. So they were happy to believe in cutting government. But those things are exactly what will get cut. So people are uncomfortable with what’s going on, because it will be bad for them and conflict with their beliefs. The reaction is to plug their ears and sing la la la.

  42. coozledad said on July 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Alex: I wonder what the Social Security check harvesters who run shabby-ass rest homes are going to do with the patients once that income stream disappears.
    I used to deliver sheaves of government checks to the few remaining hellholes where they’d house schizophrenics back in the eighties. Absolutely frightening places; cash mills for churches in some cases.
    We’ve got a shitload of Stalin here. And it votes Republican.
    On a tangentially related note:
    http://kingstonlounge.blogspot.com/2008/03/creedmoor-state-hospital-building-25.html

  43. Linda said on July 27, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Coozledad:
    You bring up and interesting point–many anti-government types suck from that federal teat. My sis used to work for a shitheel who married money and made his cash in home health care–which makes a load from Medicare. She also has an in-law who is an ardent Republican who worked for the state govt. in Ohio. Of course, once Kasich took office, he cut that department, and now the ardent Republican is out of a job. I’m not sure the “anti-government” thing was something he thought through.

  44. coozledad said on July 27, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Linda: I’m going with that study that says they’re all prefrontal, but I’ll try not to let it become my belief system.

  45. brian stouder said on July 28, 2011 at 12:19 am

    So, many of us have seen the movie Pulp Fiction, yes? A fairly entertaining, interestingly structured Tarantino movie, with bad guys and odd guys and really bad guys.

    And on occasion, hereabouts, good ol’ Prospero has expounded on the lunacy of “fracking”, wherein natural gas is obtained from wells by fracturing the shale with high-pressure water and sand injections, which also tends to foul up ground water in a large-scale way.

    So, it struck me as funny (in a dark way) when I saw this headline (which, admittedly, ain’t as sexy as “Your grill wants to kill you”, but still):

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11158/1151987-100.stm

    Hundreds protest Marcellus Shale drilling in Harrisburg

    an excerpt:

    Speakers representing various environmental groups took to the microphone shortly after Senate Democrats, standing in the same spot, called for gas drillers to pay a severance tax in order “to be part of the solution and not part of our budget problem.” But most of those rallying the crowd focused on the perceived dangers to public health and drinking water, rather than arguing for a levy to reimburse citizens for use of a natural resource. “I don’t want a tax,” said Dana Dolney, an activist with the Pittsburgh-based Marcellus Protest. “Why do we want a tax so we can encourage them to do it more?” Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park, was similarly combative, urging the activists to fight back on the local level as well, and stage a “Whiskey Rebellion” against shale drilling. “No amount of revenue is going to be worth a darn or a damn if we ruin what makes up 90 percent of our human bodies — our water,” Mr. Ferlo told the crowd.

    I think Samuel L Jackson would have fun with that “Whiskey Rebellion” reference, but we digress.

    Meanwhile, the hour grows late, and our fracking teabag and crackers crowd in congress seem intent on shooting our economy ‘in Reno, just to watch it die’. Up ’til recently, I really thought our national Republican party would NOT do this to the United States; I thought that, in the end, whatever else their platform contains, nihilism (and/or treason) wasn’t going to be their controlling impulse.

    Did you?

  46. Dexter said on July 28, 2011 at 1:00 am

    I am not a Jon Stewart sycophant but he killed last night. He truly got them all…all the Fox News and Fox Business Network main players, all but Neil Cavuto. He even had Imus and Bernie on, in the seg about Twitter responders dominating cable news shows.

    I don’t know who these sports and news writers are for Yahoo! News, but they truly suck. They write words to attempt to fire the reader up, and then list a link to a video to click, and the video is usually just some YouTube some schmuck posted which is not funny or worthy of our time.
    The sports guys are way too wordy without saying anything.

    If climbing stairs makes me as skinny as Chris McCandless (known to us Jon Krakauer fanboys as Alex Supertramp) I’ll stay the hell away from stairs!

    “I HAVE HAD A HAPPY LIFE AND THANK THE LORD. GOODBYE AND MAY GOD BLESS ALL!”

    His body was found 19 days after the time of his death bundled inside of his sleeping back inside of the bus. His estimated weight at time of death was only 67 pounds with the official cause of death reading as starvation….”

  47. Dexter said on July 28, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Well, this is sort of on-topic…
    Richmond Times-Dispatch
    “Olympic silver medalist Jeret “Speedy” Peterson was found dead in a remote canyon in Utah in what police are calling a suicide.

    One of the world’s most risk-taking and innovative freestyle skiers, the creator of the one-of-a-kind “Hurricane” called 911 before shooting himself, police said. The 29-year-old had been cited for drunken driving Friday in Hailey, Idaho, and had pleaded not guilty.”
    END.

    The talk on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams mentioned depression, and this story coincided with the bad news I found on facebook yesterday as I was about to post a birthday greeting to my army buddy with whom I served as a medic in Vietnam. He had left his facebook page open and then killed himself. His brother found him and posted the death announcement on the deceased’s page. Wow. He was 60.
    No suicide note and no health issues. He was living nicely on a government pension. His friends posted “why?” over and over.

  48. moe99 said on July 28, 2011 at 1:58 am

    Well, here’s another tea bagger US representative who is a hypocrite through and through:

    http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2011/07/27/tea-bagger-fiscal-conservative-rep-r-il-joe-walsh-sued-for-100000-in-child-support/

    Joining grifters Michelle Bachman and Allen West.

  49. prospero said on July 28, 2011 at 4:33 am

    In the words of my mom and daddy who gave their lives to caring for patients, where do hospitals get off talking about “clients” instead of patients. Having known an inordinate number of them in my lifetime as my parents’ son, I know doctors and nurses in general are really uncomfortable with the “clients” bullshit and I would not be surprised if that’s another rancid Republican Lakoffism. Medicine is not about a fee for service relationship unless you’re talking abou Kardashians and boobs and asses. And it seems almost, but not really quite, cruel to say it, but for every operation that made Michael Jackson’s schnoz look like a porker, another kid didn’t get cleft lip and palate surgery. But this has distinctly to do with American consumerism. This is not solely American but the wherewithal to fix all these kids’ faces is certainly in America. Commodifying people is what the GOP accused Obama of when they started that idiot fodder about death panels. That was exceptionally crude and stupid. but look how many Tejans bought it, based on their scientific knowledge from those Tejas schoolbooks that rule American education based upon their sheer sale numbers.

    I’ve based my entire philosophy of life on the Teillhardian ideal. That there is sure as shit a Creator, and what He created was the marvel of his Creation becoming Himself. This ideal fits perfectly with physics and Einstein, I think.How perfect is that idea. Certainly explains evolution, which seems to stymie those monkey morons that apparently believe their God was too stupid to figure that one out ahead of time. Not Mine, you idiots. That was intelligent design you dumbasses. And that’s not some acid or peyote talking. The idea of God becoming perfect in God’s creation is brilliant. It means there are no limits besides the edges of Creation, which is a pretty good definition of God. What I think about redshift. This radio frequency proves beyond a doubt that matter moves outwards, at the speed of light squared. If E+MC2, at some point, Matter gets to equal energy, which would probably approximate God. My idea about redshift is probably stupid, but, hell, it’s encouraging. At some place there has to be a speed we just let her rip. No shit, if you take the dear old Boy at his word, all hell is gonna rip loose. Notice I got loose right as opposes all those internet assholes that say loose for lose. Why the hell do they make that idiotic mistake?

  50. prospero said on July 28, 2011 at 4:54 am

    Moe,

    That asshoe was only responsible for that kid from inception unti 29 something months in utero. That is how they do. Whited Sepulchres,, and hell with WEC and child welfare or prenatal care. Ut;s all some olot by ACORN which does’t exist anymore you estreme anti-humans. And I’m sure that asshole was responsible for child care right up until the baby ceased to be a foetus, at which point she was expendable in the grand scheme to protect hedge fund managers from paying taxes like normal people. After all, they create jobs by buying yachts and ancient castles in the Hamptons.

  51. prospero said on July 28, 2011 at 5:16 am

    Alex, my mother once had a job working at an nursing home (I figure that’s a double Mr. Published Author exclusive on the “an”). Nobody came to visit. She said they hired sadists for temp help and the whole thing was a scam. Didn’t anybody watch that movie with John Cusack and the boombox? Rich Republicans have been fucking Grannie over for cash since God knows when. Affordable Health Care Act is going to rob these assholes of cash cows, so they revile it.

    Moe, they are both certifiable if it ever gets to court. In the case of West, look who gets elected in Florida. Rick Scott? Marco Rubio? The latter stood up like a man for the mom’s right to steal the child and put his ass in the shark-infested waters between Cuba and the USA. What a freedom fighter. They endangered this child and the mom was an irresponsible drug addict that surely loved her son, but, in reality, endangered him to become a Glenn Beck talking point.

    What’s a Freedom Fighter in Raygun’s terms? A thug traines at School of the Americas to rape and murder Jesuit priests and Maryknoll nuns and bury them in shallow graves in Ollie North’s name. This is who these assholes pledge alliegence to? Republicans in the last 340 years are flagrant war criminals. Shock and Awe in Baghdad was an out and out war crime. What is wrong with Americans? Well, they’re worried the President is a Kenyan ticking time-bomb Manchurian candidate looking to turn the Justice System over to Sharia Law. Really? You assholes? You are looking to tank the world’s economy to make the black guy a one=term President. We have met the enemy and he’s a sad drunk that just can’st get over a black guy in the Oval Office after the presidency was stolen so artfully in favor of an idiot, Twice.

  52. Linda said on July 28, 2011 at 5:43 am

    More on Rep. Joe Walsh, who’s doing it all so our children and grandchildren won’t have a dollar more debt laid on their backs. Turns out he was crying poor on his child support while, at various times, vacationing in Mexico and Italy and loaning his own campaign $35,000. When can we throw these douchebags out on their asses?

    Postscript: Comment left on this story in Freerepublic: “He has accountants pay for it all.” LOL

  53. prospero said on July 28, 2011 at 6:19 am

    And here’s a good one. Rolling Stone has a cover story about the “Neurotic Zen” of Larry David. I know some of you are fans of this ultimate asshole, but Bishpleeze (and I still am clueless about what that might mean) but isn’t that spectacularly oxymoronic. Zen is the lack of neuroses. This guy is just a flaming asshole that deserves a punch in the face for being an inexcusable excuse for a human being, This is particularly annoying because there was a spectacular TV show called “Life” about actual Zen and being a spectacular detective because of Zen. This dickhead made a career out of people as total assholes with no redeeming social features. This fucker is the inexcusable manque of the self-interested Republican piece of shit. If it’s not my own navel, why should I care? What a fucking asshole. And why is this shitheel on the cover of Rolling Stone? I hate to say this, but, where’s Amy? Larry David is one flaming asshole, Sinefeld was halfway funny for about half a season, every character was an annoying as shit. Self=absorbed PsOS. Who the fuck cares. These people were assholes. They sucked bigtime. I suppose Larry David’s whole thing was how obnoxious and self=absorbed dan anybody be until somebody just beats them to death? These people are revolting, whiny assholes.

    Sorry. I know some of you actually don’t think this inecxusable asshole is the most obnoxious asshole ever. I guess you didn’t know he actually acts like he has political opinions all the timel

    david. What a revolting whiny asshole.

    Larry David. In Spades What a maroon, what an ignoranimus. His neuroses are not remotely entertaining, he’s just a flaming asshole. Please get back to rock, like how Bono is Larry David and Ricky Gervais all tied up in one. Russell Brand bouquet.Same cumpster. Are you kidding you assholes That sure as shit ain”t rock ?n? roll. Guy is an ahole and a poseurI forgive Duddy Kravits years afo, Mediocre movie,

  54. prospero said on July 28, 2011 at 6:37 am

    Linda.

    Way they do.

    Cooz I think you’ll like this>. If I’m wrong, say so, He’s not talking about women, I don’t think.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbGmAKXJoos

  55. ROGirl said on July 28, 2011 at 7:33 am

    RE: Larry David

    De gustibus non est disputandum.

    (EDIT)Larry David on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is a character on a show, like George Costanza, only on HBO and therefore less likeable (which he really wasn’t in my recollection). He’s supposed to be an asshole, but he always gets his comeuppance.

    Either you find it funny or you don’t. I do.

  56. Linda said on July 28, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Right now, I just read the smartest thing I’ve read in awhile, and in an online comments section of a newspaper, where you almost never read anything smart:

    “the purpose of conservatives is to take people who have been spoiled by the benefits of progressive policies and help squander them until conditions are so bad that radical progressive solutions are necessary. This is where America is right now, just like we were after the Gilded Age, waiting for our Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt after getting two georges in the Bush.”

    Prospero:

    Larry David’s TV alter ego was once George Constanza, who was neurotic, but vulnerable, and so a little endearing. The Larry David Show ripped that all to shreds and revealed him as a plain asshole, selfish and obtuse. I don’t have cable, but I picked up some episodes from the library once, and it depressed the hell out of me. I can’t believe people watch this regularly for entertainment.

  57. Dorothy said on July 28, 2011 at 9:46 am

    prospero I’m not 100% positive, but I think “Bishpleeze” is supposed to be “Bitch PLEASE!” as spoken by someone who might or might not be slurring their words. And that’s all I’m gonna say about THAT. If I’m wrong, would one of you please inform me (and Prospero)?

  58. nancy said on July 28, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Right you are, Dorothy. One of those unfunny SNL bits, made funny by Kristin Wiig.