The un-genius bar.

The new biography of Steve Jobs confirms what was already pretty well known about the pancreatic cancer that killed him earlier this month. That is, that the man widely hailed as a genius did a pretty dumb thing when diagnosed with cancer in 2003 — he denied he had it.

Or rather, he denied he had anything serious enough to need treatment with serious medicine. Rather:

His early decision to put off surgery and rely instead on fruit juices, acupuncture, herbal remedies and other treatments — some of which he found on the Internet — infuriated and distressed his family, friends and physicians, the book says. From the time of his first diagnosis in October 2003, until he received surgery in July 2004, he kept his condition largely private — secret from Apple employees, executives and shareholders, who were misled.

Later, Jobs did turn to Western medicine to fight his cancer. But from the fall of 2003 to the summer of 2004, when he finally had surgery, he dithered. Everything we know about cancer stresses early detection and treatment as key to long-term survival. So it’s not a leap to conclude that Jobs may have acupunctured himself into an early grave.

It’s unclear whether Jobs thought acupuncture and juice were a real treatment, or if something else was going on in his famously intelligent head. He wouldn’t be the first person who, when faced with a deadly threat in the prime of his life, simply refused to see it as such. In the world Jobs lives in, there’s certainly no shortage of this sort of thinking, and California’s reputation as the center of it is well-earned.

My doctor friend Frank and I would occasionally bat this ball around over beers. Why were some people so ready to believe practitioners of quackery like iridology, Reiki and at least some chiropractic — yes, I think it can be effective for back and neck pain, but asthma? Please — and not their doctors? Why is a guy who went to the Colon Cleanse Academy more believable than one who interned at Johns Hopkins? We ran down the list of million reasons, but Frank, unlike most MDs, was always willing to put a big part of the blame on doctors themselves, the most visible actors in the insane ongoing stage play of American health care. They helped build their own prison, then complained the view was obscured by iron bars. Doctors are, speaking generally, very smart control freaks (like Steve Jobs, come to think of it), and patients frequently are not. After the thousandth emphysema patient who refuses to quit smoking but still complains of symptoms, it’s easy for a doctor to get high-handed, and that arrogance can seep into interactions with all patients. Pretty soon, you are the doc whose patients desert him for a nutritionist. And you have lots of company.

“Doctors like to complain about the patient who comes in with a sheaf of printouts from the internet,” he would say. “But that patient is the one who is taking responsibility for their own health. It’s all in how you look at it.”

In some ways, knowing Jobs was one of those patients humanizes him as much as his other widely reported flaws. Life is a terminal disease, after all.

The Huffington Post got their hands on an early copy, too. This is the story they pulled from it:

Jobs, who was known for his prickly, stubborn personality, almost missed meeting President Obama in the fall of 2010 because he insisted that the president personally ask him for a meeting. Though his wife told him that Obama “was really psyched to meet with you,” Jobs insisted on the personal invitation, and the standoff lasted for five days. When he finally relented and they met at the Westin San Francisco Airport, Jobs was characteristically blunt. He seemed to have transformed from a liberal into a conservative.

“You’re headed for a one-term presidency,” he told Obama at the start of their meeting, insisting that the administration needed to be more business-friendly. As an example, Jobs described the ease with which companies can build factories in China compared to the United States, where “regulations and unnecessary costs” make it difficult for them.

Yes, regulations and unnecessary costs, like federal laws on how hard you can whip your workforce, and how many pollutants you may dump into the soil and waterways and air around your factory. I hate to say it two days in a row, but that’s f’ing rich. Yes, Jobs was “prickly,” the root of which is “prick.”

A pivot into the bloggage, and then I’m on to other things:

When I was younger, and would fantasize about exchanging faces with other women in the world, one who always ended up on my top-five list was Charlotte Rampling. Those amazing cheekbones. Those incredible, hooded eyes. That jawline. So beautiful. I saw a trailer for a new documentary about her yesterday. My oh my, but she’s gotten old. (Still looks great. It’s the bone structure.) I have a feeling that of all the women of a certain age who say they’ve never had work done, she is telling the truth.

Marco Rubio, truth-stretcher.

I agree with James Fallows: Good for WDAV, an NPR station that for once acted with common sense when considering the after-hours work of one of its employees.

A morning’s worth of work to do, and then I’m going to rake leaves. Have a great weekend.

Posted at 9:25 am in Current events, Media, Movies |

90 responses to “The un-genius bar.”

  1. Maggie Jochild said on October 21, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I worked for five years at a cancer clinic where 50% of the patients who came in the door would die of their disease. One of the many doctors, most of whom are board-certified in internal medicine before specializing in oncology, explained to us often that if internists offered no treatment at all to their patients, 60% of them would still improve — with cancer being an exception, which is why he was attracted to that field. He believed medicine was overfond of drawing conclusions about its own efficacy as opposed to self-healing on the part of the human body. He also refused to offer salvage therapy, referring the desperate to one of his colleagues. He was a genuine, hands on, silent philanthopist (as I and many others knew personally). and he believed part of his mission was to offer a good death. He was not scornful of non-Western remedies but insisted everything be tried, and results be countable. If I get cancer again, I will make a beeline for him.

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  2. coozledad said on October 21, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Now might be a good time for Rubio to produce his birth certificate. Hopefully Obama can arrange to have Quadaffi’s head placed at the foot of Marco’s bed.

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  3. Maggie Jochild said on October 21, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Oh, and the scuttlebutt among the staff was “Please g*d never give me pancreatic, oral or bone cancer.” Ugly, painful, and unstoppable death most of the time.

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  4. Bitter Scribe said on October 21, 2011 at 9:55 am

    My sister has been tormented by chronic, constant, undiagnosable pain for 35 years. There’s nothing like an undiagnosable condition to make it clear what arrogant doofuses doctors can be.

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  5. Lex said on October 21, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I can’t claim to have affected the outcome, but as a Davidson alum and former WDAV air talent, program director and producer, I had some skin in the Lisa Simeone game, and so I played it yesterday instead of doing the six hours of stats homework I should have been doing.

    Best I’ve felt about alma mater since the ’08 NCAAs. Got a personal email from James Fallows, too, so there’s that. But that stats ain’t gonna learn itself, so no football for me this weekend.

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  6. Judybusy said on October 21, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I think there is value in both approaches–allopathic and alternative. We just need to be aware of the quacks either way. I’ve used both: surgery to correct a kidney problem, and chiropractic to treat formerly occasional back pain. About a year ago, I was in a car accident and suffered some soft-tissue damage. I’ve been using a lot massage, chiro, physical therapy, and exercise to get better. It never occured to me to go to my regular doc; I was concerned I’d just get pain killers/muscle relaxants. I’m with Nancy on chiro: for some back/neck stuff, it can be effective.

    However, I think a lot of alternative stuff is bunk and based on poor science–homeopathy especially springs to mind. To whit: I have an acquaintance who has run out of options for cancer treatment. Via the internet, she found some guy in Canada who supposedly found a cancer cure with distilled THC (I’m paraphrasing.) However, he had to flee to Europe for the practice–which my acquaintance took as a likely sign of government persecution/cover-up. It’s quacks like these who taint alternative medicine, and possibly take financial advantage of desparate people. I will also remind people of that stupid video I had to watch by the chiropractor talking about using chiro to treat menopause. Quack.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on October 21, 2011 at 10:48 am

    The first specialist I could get into for foot pain had a 10 week waiting period for an appointment. Then I sat in his office for over two hours before I got five minutes of his time. He handed me some generic pamphlets and wrote a pain scrip. Never once did he look me in the eyes or ask about the pain. Arrogant seems an inadequate description. I filed a complaint about him which went nowhere, but at least it was in his records.

    This was all about 15 years ago and before that I only saw a doc for checkups and the like. Today I would be much more savvy and would insist on seeing someone right away whether my insurance would cover it or not.

    I will say that my regular doc is the opposite of Dr. A and never leaves the room until I say I have no more questions for him. The downside–he’s usually running behind and I can hear his staff trying to hurry him up.

    Edit: I take pain meds and wear orthotics but I also spend an hour every day doing physical therapy and that helps the most. Many of the exercises are recognizable as yoga poses. But I have been told that my pain will be cured by certain herbs or getting my irises analyzed, ad infinitum.

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  8. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 21, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Look out, Detroit — CNN has @THEHermanCain speaking in your midst, and apparently y’all qualify for a 9-0-9 plan. I’m sure more details will trickle out . . . or down.

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  9. Sue said on October 21, 2011 at 11:16 am

    If you watch the Cancer Treatment Centers of America commercials closely, you will notice that what they are selling, really, is kindness. They kinda-sorta talk about what they have to offer, but the main focus of every commercial I’ve seen is a patient talking about coming to CTCA after a bad experience. Short version: “They told me I was going to die and CTCA didn’t”. You hardly notice the little note above or below the screen about how you shouldn’t expect the same results as the patient on the commercial.
    I dislike those commercials intensely. They’re just cruel.

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  10. Jimmie Cracked Thornes said on October 21, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Yeah. Get that microscope deep into the family mythology of the Rubios. Please.

    Just be prepared when Frank Marshall Davis Junior gets the same examination of his family mythology.

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  11. nancy said on October 21, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Right, yeah. Obama’s REAL father.

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  12. LAMary said on October 21, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    The company I work for opened a new outpatient cancer center almost two years ago and they offer chemo and radiation and yoga, massage and relaxation therapy. It’s a beautiful, calm place and the nurses and docs are excellent. Especially the nurses (since I hired them).

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  13. coozledad said on October 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Marco Rubio? More like Marco GUEVARA! This is so simple. Not as much fun as it should be, however.

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  14. coozledad said on October 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Ladies and gentleman, I give you the next subject of a dumbass Marvel comics feature film: The Blue Prod.

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  15. Jeff Borden said on October 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Oh my, a politician lying. What a surprise. Here in Illinois, our new Republican senator, Mark Kirk, greatly embellished his Naval Reserve exploits, even to the point of claiming to run a “war room” type facility. It all blew up in his face, but he was still elected because his Democratic challenger had some hinky family bank issues. Thing is, there was no reason for Kirk to exaggerate. He has served honorably and that is a fine thing to do.

    My cancer specialist in Chicago was exceedingly dry but I would not call him arrogant. He offered up the range of approaches when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer ranging from “watchful waiting” to a radical prostatectomy, which is what I had in June. I did not feel pressure from him to have the surgery but he clearly advocated for an early, aggressive approach lest the cancer spread. The real pressure came from the knowledge that with my wife’s retirement next year, I will not have access to her excellent health benefits. I feared that if I waited a couple of years and then DID have to undergo surgery, it would be financially disastrous.

    Now, I am feeling something akin to buyer’s remorse. My full recovery is taking much longer than I’d hoped (though well within the guidelines set by the medical professionals) and I’ve read a few articles (including one in the NYT Sunday Review) raising questions about the highly touted full recovery rates usually associated with a robotic prostatectomy. The figure quoted to me was over 90%, but the articles citing more recent research have suggested full return to urinary and sexual functions are more likely to run in the 60% to 70% range.

    I recognize my good fortune. My cancer was caught early, it was particularly slow-moving and I had access to top-shelf medical care where my financial contribution was a small percentage of the overall costs. But if I had it to do all over again and knew I would have good medical coverage in the years to come, I think I’d have waited knowing what I know now.

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  16. caliban said on October 21, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Marco Rubio, son of exiles? Well, bullshit. Marco Rubio, son of Batista-loving assholes like the GOPers in Congress, who ran away from Cuba with all the money and were welcomed to FLA because Castro was (horeurs) a commoniss, and, well, they were loaded. These people have been fucking up American political processes since the Fabulous 50s. Batista was an evil dictator on par with Pinochet, Somoza, Peron, Rios Mont and other foul excrescences of Central and South America, nurtured by School of the Americas death squad training. The Batistaistas that fled to FLA were running away from the wrath of their maltreated slaves, and they raped Cuba of it’s wealth to buy into the USA when they ran like the 20th Century slaver curs they were. As far as Marco’s “boyish good looks” are concerned, he looks like a petulant gay-bashing closeted gay guy to me, AKA a Republican, sort of like Santorum without the prissy pursed lips, no wait, he’s got those too, like the “little brown one” adopted grandchild of HW. Maybe he should consult Marcus Bachmann. Like Batista. Take a look Cooz, you will love the photo. Straight outta Desilu. And didn’t American government pay these assholes a fortune to enslave people for American (mostly agri-) business? Seriously, if you take Rubio’s story at face value, how could you figure his parents weren’t just assholes? Ah, but they were US Sugar Corporation assholes.

    Jimmie, seriously? I thought Obama’s real daddy was Stokely Carmichael, or Eldridge Cleaver, or, just maybe, Patrice Lumumba or Friedrich Engels. Maybe Bill
    Cosby (was that inadvertently the first rap recording?). You mean to say Obama is not a Kenyan MauMau anti-colonialist? Holy shit. Maybe his real mom is Angela Davis. Or Moms Mabely. I’m just going to tell myself you’re joking.

    And Borden, it ain’t funny. That attitude is what made it so easy for the Nixon spawn scum to get away with the Swift Boat bullshit, while the coke-huffing draft and NatGuard dodging little Pretzeldent got a pass to steal Cuyahoga Co. blind. Think that did some serious damage to the body politic and the Commonweal? Speaking of which, commonweal is pretty much a Catholic Church term, and it’s what all GOPers sniff around and woud never touch, like toying with the 3rd rail. On the other hand, when these heartless bastards talk about a country of Christian values, isn’t commonweal what they should mean, and how they ought to be judged?

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  17. brian stouder said on October 21, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    slight digression –

    Here is some fanmail I sent to The Rachel Maddow Show today, regarding last night’s show:

    So, the lovely wife and I were enjoying TRMS last night (as most nights), and at a certain point I sat bolt upright and said (something like) “HAH!! Department of Corrections will have to address THAT!!” – whereupon Pam (the lovely wife) said I was incorrect; whereupon I backed up the show (gotta love DVR!) and watched again – and SURE ENOUGH!! – Ms Maddow referred to Jack Kemp’s whimsical (almost faux) presidential run (in ’92? Or was it ’96?) as “STEVE FORBES” whimsical (almost faux) presidential campaign back then.

    This made me laugh out loud – both because of the (very rare!) circumstance wherein I was actually CORRECT (versus the lovely wife) – and because, really, I could see where the confusion came in. Earlier in the show, there was a very funny screen-grab showing MSNBC’s and CNN’s simultaneous “BREAKING NEWS” about Khadafy’s demise; and the (also simultaneous) Fox ‘News’ bulletin about some entirely unrelated whatzit, and featuring a particularly goofy-looking STEVE FORBES!

    Anyway – the marvelous hostess of the very marvelous Rachel Maddow Show definitely referred to Jack Kemp as Steve Forbes, and – despite that I’m probably the 26,453rd person to point this out, I wanted to point this out, and request a Department of Corrections on that.

    For the record: way, way back in the day, Jack Kemp was MY MAN!! I thought he was great!! Many things changed (at least within my perceptive powers) since then, and indeed – looking back, now he looks….pretty goofy (goofy enough to be mistaken for Steve Forbes). But remember, it was HIS old congressional district in New York State that up and dumped the crazy tea party people, and put a Democratic candidate into office for the first time in many decades….so maybe some actual Jack Kemp VOTERS themselves have also updated their opinions, too.

    etc etc

    Anyway, her show had us laughing all throughout, what with her anatomical discussion (regarding female reproductive organs and how contraceptives work), and Romney’s need for remedial education….but that’s a further digression!

    edit: I have to work on reducing exclamation points!

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  18. mark said on October 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm


    Read before dumping your daily dose of hate. The point of the WaPo story is that Rubio’s parents weren’t fleeing Castro; they left while Batista was still in power. And if they raped Cuba of any of the wealth, it wasn’t much more than a couple of bottles of the good rum.

    And the “little brown one” comment? Foul and vulgar. Really shows how you “care” more than anyone else.

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  19. caliban said on October 21, 2011 at 3:33 pm


    Was Steve Forbes a more serious candidate than Pat Paulsen? Coulda fooled me. Next thing, somebody will tell me his ravaged facial skin was just Fx, or that he took a lot of Methoxalan and ate a bunch of cardboard pizza and turned into Herman Cain.

    Exclamation points? Fuckin’ A!!!!! I like colons and semicolons, but would love to learn to think in eSpanish, with upside down exclamation points and question marks. How cool is that¿¡¿¡¿¡

    Jack Kemp was a decidedly mediocre professional QB, and more of a dickhead as a Congressperson. I certainly liked the former better than the latter, but any Republican as decent and normal and patriotic as Jack Kemp would be welcome about now. Never get elected. Look what the shitheel party did to Arlen Specter.

    Just for fun, and the mention of accupuncture, take a listen:

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  20. Joe Kobiela said on October 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Enjoying a lovely afternoon in Sheboygan Wisc. I am a firm believer in chirpractic care for most things, can they cure cancer? probly not but can help some with pain. I have acupunture done on a sore glut muscle(ie butt) and hamstring and it really helps. My niece, the army major nurse, reported they are using acupunture in the field on combat injurys. My soph more year in highschool I had chiropractic work done as a help with hay fever and it did give me much relief. As for the cancer thread, wife is a breast cancer survivor 15yr. Positive mental atitude does wonders, We knew of two ladies diagnosted around the same time. They both passed away, but lady #1 spent 2yrs living and the other spent 2yrs dieing, atititude was the differance, and I think more people should be telling Obama the same things Jobs told him. The truth!
    Pilot Joe

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  21. alex said on October 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    I think more people should be telling Obama the same things Jobs told him. The truth!

    So, Joe, if you really think Obama’s gonna be a one-term president, which of those clowns in the debates do you think is gonna replace him?

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  22. brian stouder said on October 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    which of those clowns in the debates do you think is gonna replace him?

    ding ding ding ding!!

    Alex points to ‘The nut of the problem’, so to speak

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  23. caliban said on October 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    And the “little brown one” comment? Foul and vulgar. Really shows how you “care” more than anyone else.

    Seriously Mark. George HW Bush said that. What he actually said was “We love ’em all, even the little brown ones”. And when did I claim to “care” more than anyone else? I do not. But I do care enough to go on living and working at the food bank and Habitat, where I can accomplish something good. Oh, and And what made me think a member of the Bush family was accountable for anything that came out of a Bush mouth? What a maroon. You do know that HW once said in public that he and Raygun had had sex.

    I don’t hate anybody. Too strong a term. But I do experience moderate to extreme distaste for people that insist upon using verbs (hate) in place of perfectly serviceable nouns (hatred). But that’s just my intolerance. You’re bullshit is mildly annoying, because small minds are inevitably annoying, particularly when they just make shit up, like, I dunno, Marco Rubio, who made his political career on separating a kid from his dad, against the kid’s wishes, because he knew better.

    Concerning FLA, who the fuck votes for insane people like Alan West and mastercriminals like Rick Scott, who did his best to screw over Medicare until it was smal enough to drown in a bathtub.

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  24. LAMary said on October 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Love the blue underpants photo. So cazh.

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  25. brian stouder said on October 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    So cazh

    Another ‘nut of the problem’!

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  26. paddyo' said on October 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    JeffB @15: “Watchful waiting” is probably the easiest decision in the world when you are, say, over age 70, but it’s a very tough call when you’re still relatively young. When I was diagnosed 5-1/2 years ago (small amount, caught early), I was age 53-1/2, still in that worry zone for “Do-I-wait or do-I-DO something?” . . .

    Everybody has his own take on prostate cancer, but my main concern in 2006 was: Do NOT let it get “out of the capsule,” as they say about the cancer’s growing enough to escape the wall of the organ so that cells can start to roam the rest of your body. Slow-growing is, after all, still growing, and 30 or more years of continued life expectancy is a lot time for even a slow-growing cancer to wreak havoc.

    Anyway, as a guy who preferred to go for a higher level of certainty, I went the same route you did — radical prostatectomy, though the “old-school” way and not robotic. I did, however, have the head of the surgical residency program at Johns Hopkins, a surgeon-rich place where they invented prostate surgery, as my surgeon, so I tried to cover my bets. And I got two opinions beforehand (both surgeons felt “watchful waiting” at my age was not practical or wise) and I read as much as I could.

    But I admit that I, too, believed the “highly touted full recovery rates” — and robot or not, my surgeon still would have had to deal with an unexpected complication not immediately visible. At the point where the surgeon was removing the organ, it wouldn’t quite come all the way out. Then he discovered why: One of the needle sticks from the biopsy (by another uro here in Denver) months earlier had gone into the prostate but then poked out the back side, just enough to pierce the rectal wall. Not damaging per se, but the two organs kind of fused at the site of that tiny pinprick, as if stuck there by a drop of glue. So it took more work, and more time on the table, to deal with.

    We’ll never know for certain, but that work-around probably became the key factor in my not recovering my continence. I believe my surgeon when he expresses genuine bafflement. But hey, a lot of docs, and especially surgeons, do think they’re God!

    So, after 14 months or so of Kegel exercises and Depends jokes, I opted for the ingenuity of an artificial medical device to “cure” the problem. I needn’t go into detail here, but you can Google “AMS 800” if you’re curious. It works great.

    I, too, recognize my good fortune. Five years, and counting, of “undetectable” PSA readings. No need to be bitter. Waiting might — or might not — have made a difference in my case. But I’m glad the recent coverage (I, too, read the original NYT story and that shorter follow-up you mentioned in the Sunday paper’s Week in Review) is more cautionary. I’m only sorry it came half a decade after I’d already dealt with mine.

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  27. caliban said on October 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Seriously Mary? Gives me the heebie-jeebies. Maybe I need Marcus Bachmann. But that’s barf-worthy. Guy looks like Michael Jeeter. Eek¿¡¿¡¿

    And Mark, you think it’s just fine to make shit up if you’re a politician? Rubio’s parents were most definitely members of the slave owner class under Batista. If you deny this, you basically ignore history. Batista Cubanos are an invasive species in South Florida that everybody loved because they had big bucks. These are the assholes that devised the moronic Bay of Pigs invasion. These self-aggrandizing “exoes” would be happy to move into Haiti and make Haitians their slaves. They sure as shit don’t care about Cuba. These are venal shitheel GOPers, and them GOPers loves them some Central American dictators with death squads.

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  28. Connie said on October 21, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Recent discussion has been eerily apropos, as I have been reading From a hospital bed for the last 5 days. It started out as a minor infection that failed to respond to Meds and got worse and worse, finally requiring IV antibiotics. Real problem finally was determined to be a blood clot that, as I understand it, was keeping the antibiotics from getting to the infection site. So my insurance co has just approved home use of an injected medicine and with that I am going home tomorrow. Whew.

    My dear husband kept me sane, though my iPad and DMC’s wireless helped. As did the conversation here, so thanks to all of you.

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  29. caliban said on October 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm


    Take care.

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  30. caliban said on October 21, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Oh, and the scuttlebutt among the staff was “Please g*d never give me pancreatic, oral or bone cancer.” Ugly, painful, and unstoppable death most of the time. Esaphogeal seems to be the worst. My mom died of breast cancer. It was awful. She was a medical professional of tremendous knowlege and skills. My dad that loved my mom almost inordinately was a brilliant doctor. Neither of them could do a thing. Cancer seems to have been built in, like a killswitch. I’d give back my next half-hour for time with either of them, Most especially both. When I die, I do not want anything attending my death. Throw me to sharks off Ptown when the boats are shoveling off chum. Thanatopsis.

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  31. caliban said on October 21, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Wait, I get it. Hate is a noun that means pointing out when GOPers lie their asses off. It’s not a verb after all. Well it is, obviously, but you get it.

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  32. Julie Robinson said on October 21, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Oh my, we have too many on the ailing list right now! (Exclamation point appropriate.) My best thoughts and prayers go to all of you.

    Even with medical insurance stuff gets expensive. A just-in-case ultrasound was still $300 after the insurance paid. Had I known I probably would have declined it, and there’s the real rub. If there was something wrong it might not have been diagnosed until much later, maybe too late. Argh, we have a stupid health care system!! (Exclamation points highly appropriate.)

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  33. caliban said on October 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    How will the sanctimonious “progressives” “frame” the Iraq draw-down as insufficient? Do these people not understand the grotesque irony that they took their name from George Lakoff, the GOPer shithead that produced morons acting like they never ran the Southern Strategy? Party of Lincoln? Since when? Story is, Who in God’s name thinks a Republican cares about anybody but himself? Like these bizarre Teabangers that seem to be intent upon fucking themselves over. Boy howdy, if you thought you couldn’t be stupider than a lemming, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

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  34. LAMary said on October 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Feel better, Connie. Those sort of infections can be hard to shake.

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  35. coozledad said on October 21, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Good thing Bush had people telling him the truth. “Hey hoss, you’re a natural in that flight suit! You’re a war president! And to top it off, you’ve ushered in an ow-ner-ship society! Uh, George, say it with me a couple of times ow-ner-ship…You’ll get it eventually, babe. I know you can do it.”
    And that was Quadaffi.

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  36. brian stouder said on October 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Connie – here’s wishing you well; if you can be up and around and feeling like yourself by Halloween, that would be good, eh?

    Honestly, if I keel over of a heart attack – or some other wham-bam natural way of exiting this world all at one time – then that would be a fortunate turn of events, I think.

    (possibly excepting if I’m in Ohio and some random mountain lion summarily ends my corporeal existence)

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  37. Kim said on October 21, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Feel better, Connie! During your recovery and if you haven’t read it, I recommend “River of Doubt,” about T. Roosevelt’s post-election loss trip to map an uncharted tributary of the Amazon. It is like an Indiana Jones film, but true and unbelievable at once.

    Brian, that out-of-the-blue heart-attack route is the way to go for the patient/victim. For the families, not so much. My dad died of one at 39, no sign other than what he’d been treating as persistent heartburn. Taking the long way home isn’t something I would argue for either, though. Give me a long life and an even longer sleep. Please.

    My cardio-thoracic surgeon neighbor was just talking about the number of patients who come to appointments with sheafs of Internet finds on their symptoms. He loves it; says the patient has the time and incentive to investigate his/her particular symptoms, and sometimes it is the weird thing that has ’em in its grip.

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  38. Dorothy said on October 21, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Oh dear Connie I am glad you are on the mend. I’ve had some tests done yesterday & today because that fall last week has left me with a great deal of leg pain & nasty bruises on my left leg. Here’s hoping the MRI reveals what’s going on inside my knee & surrounding areas. I am not used to having pain like this – I prefer to soldier on with maybe some tylenol once in awhile. This time Vicodin was no help so doc switched me to Nucynta.

    I have little time to comment lately but I read every word from y’all so I appreciate the entertainment value of all these dithering & differing opinions.

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  39. Joe Kobiela said on October 21, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Alex and Brian,
    I really don’t know Who will replace mr Obama, and I was trying to agree with Jobs on his statement on business, I wish mr Obama would have listen to what he said.”make it easier for company’s to build in the US” and I know you will blame the republicans for makeing it easier, but remember Clinton signed the free trade agreement. Personally I think the powers that be in the democratic party will tell Obama in January that he is not going to run and Hillery will come riding in on her white horse to try and save the Dems.
    Pilot Joe

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  40. moe99 said on October 21, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    As a member here who has had cancer for the past two years or more, I think I have more than hypotheticals to speak about.

    Jobs was a fool, in my opinion, for thinking he could cure or arrest his prostate cancer with alternative treatments. One thing allopathic medicine has in cases like that is hard science and tons of research behind their treatments. The wheat grass crowds only have anecdotal evidence, and as has been said before: “the plural of anecdote is not data.”

    That said, I can see where a combination of allopathic and alternative treatments can create a patient centered symbiosis. I make sure to get a massage every two or three weeks because I think that touch is remarkably healing. But to entirely omit medicine in favor of chiropractors or naturopaths is disaster waiting to happen. And if your doctor is not sympathetic, find another one.

    Here is Swedish Hospital oncologist, Dr. Jack West of cancergrace, talking about how the internet has made patients better educated and better able to participate in their treatment:

    ps. Connie, I hope your convalescence is short and sweet.

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  41. caliban said on October 21, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Brian, I’d prefer a mountain lion to a heart attack. Way cooler. As I ride my bike 20 miles every day, I think my chances are better for the Lion (actually, the Escalade). Of course here in the Low Country, I;d prefer a panther, but people being what they are, there aren’t any panthers anymore. Gators, I’d prefer not. Marvelous, impressive beasts, but I’m afraid death by gator would be terribly painful. Tylenol is more or less worthless, Dorothy. Aspirin or naproxen is the ticket, and the latter is more effective. As for lions, I like Bruce Cockburn’s take on the subject:

    An astonishingly fine song by a Canadian national treasure on a par with Neal Young and Robbie Robertson. I’d add in Levon, but he is Arkansas born and bred like two of my brothers, which is fortunate, since that allowed him to give Bob Dylan’s Band soul. Robbie did write The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.

    Which should certainly make him an honorary American. Best Civil Wat remembrance ever, probably, If that doesn’t make me a hater. Those reenactors are all probably big fans of Hermanator. I despise Herman because he is an out and out bigot, a flagrant liar, and a ridiculous demagogue, which is probably why Mark accuses me of hate, by which I imagine he means hatred. Joe said something similar, and since this is the internet, I’ve got no evidence with which to defend myselg from the plastic pocket protector police. Do I seem hatred-filled to any of you? I’ve been accused of hating W. Sorry, he is too much of a pisant to hate (see, it’s a verb, even has an infinitive form). W is despicable, for accepting Scalia’s appointment to the Presidency, and Cheney’s self-appointed master and commandership. But hatred, maybe for basking in the Swift Boaters acting like the little turd served while slandering a true hero like Kerry.

    The problem is less with Shrub than it is with the astounding stupidity of American society. The whole Dan Rather flap about the allegedly forged documents? The woman that would have typed them says without any doubt that the content was 100% authentic.

    Meanwhile, the turtle in Over the Hedge is convinced he’s about to kick it because he walks around smelling cantaloupes. Everyone should die while having a dream about having sex. Sounds like a plan to me. Or under big doses of lysergic acid and having sex with someone you really care about.

    Have I ever struck any of y’all as prone to misanthropy? I’m not used to being accused of anything like that. I do find that Republicans and their lunatic lackeys are kinda opposed to most of the human race, and I think that’s offensive, but hate? I think not.

    And Connie, Take care and be well.

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  42. caliban said on October 21, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Nick Lowe’s bastard twin, separated at birth. Funnier and stranger.

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  43. caliban said on October 21, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Why does Japan produce such bizarre shit?

    Juan Cole is obviously the best and most trustworthy source for Middle East news, but he’s pretty sharp about current USA politics too.

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  44. Deborah said on October 21, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    I took a fall in the middle of Michigan Ave today. They have it all torn up to resurface it and I stepped wrong somehow. I only bruised my knee thank the lord. All I could think when I was going down was how pissed I would be if I hurt myself to the point that I wouldn’t be able to walk for awhile. I’m a walking fool as my husband calls me, I love to walk and it drove me crazy last year when I hurt my foot and had to stay off of it for 9 weeks. I will be happy when Mich Ave is fixed, it’s a mess right now.

    I forgot to mention how much I love Charlotte Rampling, especially lately as an older woman. She’s been in some really good Francois Ozon movies, The swimming Pool and Under the Sand. If you haven’t seen them yet, you should. I highly recommend

    And Connie, take care. Sorry to hear you had to go through that.

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  45. Jolene said on October 21, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Best wishes to you, Connie, and I hope your knee feels better soon, Dorothy.

    Made me very sad, Jeff, to think that you would have to make a critical and, possibly, premature decision re your health based on the prospect of worse health insurance down the road.

    Even more, it makese furious at the Republicans who want to repeal the ACA with, apparently, no thought to what to do instead.

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  46. Jolene said on October 21, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Am passing this along not so much for informational value as for the entertainment the video offers. Listen carefully to the sound effects at the end.

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  47. brian stouder said on October 21, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    For the record, and in plain language and meaning, I don’t think any of the regular posters here are ‘haters’; least of all Prospero.

    Prospero (in particular) strikes me as an impassioned lover of books and music and what is real and/or poetic; and a type-a consumer of news and political opinion.

    Joe strikes me as a hands-on do-it/get-it-done guy; a guy who literally(!)sees a lot of the country every week, and who has an informed over-view (so to speak) of a unique part of America.

    We have lots of passion here, all around – and still there’s room at Nance’s bar to disagree (boisterlessly), and still recognize that we’re better for NOT being a bunch of Johnny one-notes. In the (almost 10 years?) I’ve been kibitzing around here, my opinions and perceptions have switched all around – as I’m sure others’ have, too.

    Even our one “harry the hat” (think Cheers) that the Proprietress has had to run out a few times is pretty much a harmless dandelion of a troll, compared to your average newspaper’s comment section.

    I love this place; and Dorothy and Connie and Moe (and Alex, recently), to name a few, have caused me – and I bet most of the rest of us – to stop and care and think and take stock.

    If ceased operating the day after tomorrow, still this place will remain with me to the end of my days, much as the memories and shared experiences with any group of friends you choose to regularly interact with would.

    Even up here in the cheap seats (or maybe especially up here in the cheap seats!), this is a great place, created and sustained by a uniquely informative and engaging writer and thinker

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  48. alex said on October 21, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Connie, having done four days of hospitalization recently myself, and having seen the bill for it, all I can say is that my heart goes out to anyone who doesn’t have insurance and would be in cardiac arrest at this moment if I didn’t have it. There but for the grace of God go I, a nonbeliever.

    On edit: And Brian, you said it well.

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  49. Linda said on October 22, 2011 at 3:25 am

    Re: Jobs being “prickly, the root word being prick.” How timely this is! Jobs, who outsourced word to China, and thought the conditions were mighty fine there, is the hero of the speech that Eric Cantor (R-Weeniesville) wanted to make before the mean old bullies in Occupy Wall Street planned to give him a wedgie.

    Connie, take care.

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  50. Connie said on October 22, 2011 at 8:08 am

    agree, Brian about this great place. And about the instant death by heart attack. I’ve been saying that since my Mother died from stage IV breast cancer in hospice at home, though I say I want to be struck by lightning on the street.

    It is so hard to believe that I am now the age she was when she died.

    In other news, my daughter is trying out for the Bloomington IN roller derby team. That’s my girl.

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  51. 4dbirds said on October 22, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Perhaps the first industry where Obama can ‘ease’ regulations is in the small aircraft industry. You fly safe Joe.

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  52. MichaelG said on October 22, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Be well, Connie. The books miss you.

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  53. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Connie, grace and peace to you. Be well.

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  54. caliban said on October 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Happy 67th birthday to Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Rampling’s contemporary. These two women are great actors, with incredible sexual power on the screen. My friends and I didn’t go to see Vanishing Point over and over for the Charger, it was Rampling’s hitchhiker. Her turn as the seductress in The Verdict was superb. Deneuve had signature roles in The Hunger (good Halloween movie), with David Bowie, one of the creepiest affecting movies ever made about obsession, Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, and Belle de Jour. Oh, and the brilliant Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Both these women still take roles regularly, thank goodness, as does Julie Christie (Heaven Can Wait with Warren Beatty is a personal favorite of mine, but McCabe and Mrs. Miller is her masterpiece, though most people would choose Zhivago)), another beautiful woman and wonderful actor from the same film era. She made another excellent movie with Tom Courtenay, called Billy Liar, way back in the early 60s. Every one of these movies is well worth a couple of hours.

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  55. caliban said on October 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Brilliant tweet from Ellen Barkin.

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  56. brian stouder said on October 22, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    It is so hard to believe that I am now the age she was when she died.

    Connie – indeed; I am now within 3 years of the age at which my dad died, and it is strange (and somewhat unbelievable).

    My memories of him have been under fairly heavy revision, given the sorts of decisions he was making (or rather, the habits to which he had succumbed) by the time he was at my age.

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  57. Connie said on October 22, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Still here I will go home the first morning I wake up without having had an overnight fever.

    I am in my third room, all alone and peaceful. Last night I told my nurse that my roommate had had her TV on Full blast for the last 48 hours and I didn’t think I could take another night of it. She said “I can take care of that” and swoosh, instant move to peace and quiet.

    The evening I moved in to her room she was watching Jeopardy. The answer, this future pro basketball player and his team, Crispus ATtocks were…… At which point I said out loud, Oscar Robertson. She replied “Are you from Indiana too?”. Made me laugh.

    Had a surprise visit from Lily the therapy dog today. Suggested my husband disguise Molly the mad schnauzer as a therapy dog and bring her in to visit. He pointed out that Molly’s paranoid fear of hard floors would leave her frozen in terror in the elevator lobby. Good point.

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  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 22, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Connie, we’ve all got cooling thoughts for you! May all your degrees add up to 98, and the TV volumes nearby be well below 11.

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  59. Dave said on October 22, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    The randomness of hospital roommates is mostly a losing proposition. When my mother-in-law suffered some of her last rounds of ailments, she got some dandies and it seems, Connie, that there are plenty who love to let the television blare away for hours on end. Very difficult to tolerate and also a glimpse into what some people must use for company all the time.

    Connie, glad you’re doing better and also getting some peace in the hospital now. Dorothy and Deborah, falls are worse the older we get. I took one myself at work on the ice and because I wasn’t exactly in compliance with required rules, I suffered in silence. I landed on my shoulder, which hurt for a long time. Much to my embarrassment, had I been in compliance with rules, I probably wouldn’t have fallen. If I were not retired now, I would still not be mentioning that I was not in compliance. Much more so, I’m glad I didn’t hurt myself worse.

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  60. beb said on October 22, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    My wife is two years older than her father was when he died. In the years running up to that age I could sense that she really thought she’d die at the same age. But she lived through it.

    One of the science blogs suggested that advances are coming along so quickly that we might be able to live to be 150 years old. Nobody wants to die but if I have to spend the next 90 years as I am today. I don’t think I’d want to.

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  61. Dave said on October 22, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    My wife, Beb, is about 4 1/2 years older than her father was. On the morning she turned 56, it was the first thing she said, that she had lived longer than her father got to. I think it was something both she and her brother thought about a lot but their mother lived to just shy of 84, passing away this past April, and although my brother-in-law has had many health issues, my wife has had few.

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  62. caliban said on October 23, 2011 at 2:40 am

    Nitwir: Living to be very old is not at all that alluring. Putting on After the Goldrush on repeat, yeah, maybe. Those first few piano chords just kill me every time.

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  63. caliban said on October 23, 2011 at 2:57 am

    After the idea of getting old, damn, I do not want to. When my dad died, he was pretty old. I spent a lot of time with him when he was dying. We talked about Smilla’s Sense of Snow, which was a favorite book of my mom’s. My dad had never gotten over her departure, me neither. He was happy to kick it. I was happy for him to die. It is absolutely what he wanted. I was horribly sad. This was the smartest and most enjoyable person I’d ever known. And the only human I’d ever thought of taking advice from. You know, it’s your dad. And if you don’t know, sorry for your ass, My dad was astounding. Brilliant about politics, knew important people like Walter Reuther and MLK, courageous, just a man’s man. My dad. Truly awesome.

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  64. Joe Kobiela said on October 23, 2011 at 9:19 am

    That would be a good start.
    Then maby we could make flying affortable for more people.
    I always put my passengers safty as priority #1, You should charter me and find out!!
    Pilot Joe

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  65. coozledad said on October 23, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Invisible Hand Airways: Others just get you from A to B. We bring you the drama .

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  66. Jolene said on October 23, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Cooz, that early flight video is both hysterical and heartbreaking. Pretty amazing to think about everything that preceded where we are now.

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  67. coozledad said on October 23, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Jolene: The one I can’t bear to watch is of poor Franz Reichelt testing his early parachute design by leaping from the Eiffel tower. They wound up estimating his velocity by the depth of the crater he left in the pavement.

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  68. LAMary said on October 23, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I’m eight years older than my mother was, and a year and a bit away from the age my father was when he died. This haunts me a bit, but what was tougher was when my first born hit the age I was when my mother died. I realized how little I was then and how much that changed things.

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  69. Dexter said on October 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I know a guy who is two years older than I am. His dad died thirty years ago, his mom ten. His brother, my age, died three years ago. Another brother died from an OD back in 1973. His sister died four years ago. All dead, except for his one daughter. Who would you wager on to die first, the die-hard dad or the family-cursed daughter?

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  70. caliban said on October 23, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Personally, I like the jetpack guys. They look like they’re lighting up internally-produced methane. I don’t want small aircraft regulation going anyplace. The airport is only a mile away, and pilots land on the beach and US278 all too often. Several times a year. And I may be obtuse, but I fail to see any connection between regulation of business enterprises and employment. This bogus connection implies and relies on the ridiculous assumption that making money is not enough for entrepreneurs, that they hire workers out of the goodness of their hearts, and that there would never be any business if doing business incurs costs. Totally asinine. Electricity could be generated by burning coal with minuscule adverse environmental effects, with currently available technology, but nobody is willing to pay the cost for the scrubbers, which basically double for each %age point of increased efficiency. Electricity should not be a for-profit business. You end up with Enron, and the Koch bros.

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  71. brian stouder said on October 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I think the name ‘Invisible Hand Airways’ is the thread winner!

    Speaking of invisible hands, all y’all who get Parade magazine with your Sunday paper – I have a question.

    Gaze upon the cover, and the image of the governor of Texas there, and tell me: What the hell is he doing?

    His suit jacket is askew, even as his gaze appears to be zooming in on the observer’s soul.

    Is this a stop-action photo, wherein he has just slipped on (yet another) banana peel, and he is taking our measure just before he face-plants onto the floor?

    Or – is he wanting to sell us some marvelous thing that he has placed in his inside-breast pocket of his suit jacket?

    Or, is he beginning a strip-tease, and he’s working out of his suit jacket with one arm, while hanging onto ‘the little governor’ with the other?

    Honestly – it is a strange damned cover photo of a presidential candidate

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  72. caliban said on October 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Brilliant Tom Toles cartoon:

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  73. moe99 said on October 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm,26393/

    What a great idea!

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  74. caliban said on October 23, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    This will make your day, if you aren’t petrified. Barrence and the Savages were practically the house band at Jacks, a legendary bar on Mass Ave. in Cambridge, the MA city that elected an actual communist mayor. That would be Al Vellucci. Who was actually his own political party, sui generis.

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  75. Judybusy said on October 23, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Moe, I’m so sad that site isn’t for real!

    Best wishes to you Connie—I am glad they figured out what was going on.

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  76. caliban said on October 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Just reading back. Did Jobs actually have the temerity to tell Obama ”make it easier for companiess to build in the US”. What? Let them take advantage of society and infrastructure and a legal environment without buying in at all? If business and industry were told when they wake up Monday Oct. 24, 2011 that they didn’t ever have to pay any US taxes again, they would demand some sort of corporate welfare subsidies to remain in the US employing Americans. Just a culture of bidness entitlement. And I’ll believe corporations are people too, when one of them takes a long walk to Mr. Sparky from the Huntsville unit, and Rick Perry doesn’t intervene. This entire argument is horseshit. For instance, let’s go with the benevolent hand and make the gasoline whore corporations deal with no subsidies. I mean unadulterated capitalism. Think cars would get more energy efficient, really PDQ?

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  77. Catherine said on October 23, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    LAMary, if you haven’t already read them, you might get something from Hope Edelman’s books.

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  78. Julie Robinson said on October 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Brian, I thought Perry looked like one mean SOB. Hubby commented on his resemblance to Bush.

    Connie, I hope you are feeling better and resting at home by now. I had some “interesting” experiences with roommates when I was in the hospital for a raging infection and fever.

    First was the bartender, injured in a fight, who rang for pain meds every 15 minutes, lit up a cigarette, stood over my bed with scissors, had diarrhea in the bathroom and didn’t wash her hands, and asked me to feel her (large) head wound so she’d know if it was still seeping.

    In the middle of all this I was being packed in ice to bring down the fever and the nurses started talking about Princess Diana being in an accident and dying. Surreal.

    Thankfully the druggie went home and I jokingly asked for a little old lady. They brought one in who didn’t know where she was and begged for Doris. I tried to explain that Doris wasn’t there and she demanded that I go get her. It was heart wrenching to listen to her moaning about Doris’ desertion all night. Also not conducive to sleep or healing.

    The next morning I asked to be moved to another room, where my roommate was a gravely ill woman who never made a sound. And then they finally let me go home, which had never looked so good. I understand the new hospitals in town have all single rooms. Great idea!!

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  79. coozledad said on October 23, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    One of the biggest downsides to a hospital stay these days besides MRSA is drug resistant diarrhea. The last I heard it was pretty much endemic.
    I guess if you think you can never be too rich or too thin, a doctor’s the thing to be.

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  80. coozledad said on October 23, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    My wife reminded me they found an unorthodox treatment for the diarrhea caused by a drug resistant paramecium. Yogurt appears to stop it.

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  81. nancy said on October 23, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Yogurt applied how? Or rather: From which direction does it attack the infection?

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  82. coozledad said on October 23, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I thought at first they must use an enema, but my wife says if you ever have to pack for a hospital or rest home, bring lots of yogurt to eat. The live cultures keep the protozoans from filling the vacuum created by antibiotic treatments. From wikipedia:
    antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) results from an imbalance in the colonic microbiota caused by antibiotic therapy. Microbiota alteration changes carbohydrate metabolism with decreased short-chain fatty acid absorption and an osmotic diarrhea as a result. Another consequence of antibiotic therapy leading to diarrhea is overgrowth of potentially pathogenic organisms such as Clostridium difficile.
    Probiotic treatment might reduce the incidence and severity of AAD as indicated in several meta-analyses.[21][22][23][24][25][26] For example, treatment with probiotic formulations including Lactobacillus rhamnosus may reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, improve stool consistency during antibiotic therapy, and enhance the immune response after vaccination.[27] However, further documentation of these findings through randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trials are required to confirm specific effects and attain regulatory approval, which currently does not exist.
    Potential efficacy of probiotic AAD prevention is dependent on the probiotic strain(s) used and on the dosage.[28][29] Up to a 50% reduction of AAD occurrence has been found in preliminary studies.[26] No side-effects have been reported in any of these studies. Caution should, however, be exercised when administering probiotic supplements to immunocompromised individuals or patients who have a compromised intestinal barrier.[citation needed]

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  83. LAMary said on October 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    I was in the hospital about 22 years ago with an infection that required IV antibiotics. I had a roommate who had back surgery. She was quite young and had lots of friends who visited and brought bottles of champagne. The party went on until I complained at 11 pm. When I finally fell asleep, I was woken up an hour later by a nurse who had to change my IV. It took an inordinate number of tries to get a new line started, and I was almost crying, begging them to stop jabbing me a just let me go back to sleep.
    This was not the hospital where I currently work. It was Century City hospital which has since gone out of business.

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  84. basset said on October 23, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Mrs. B. is on the sick list as well, brought her home yesterday from four days in the hospital getting multiple hernias fixed – being a totally insulin-dependent diabetic complicates any such situation but she is doing fine, on the couch right now letting the pain meds work and I have learned how to empty surgical drains. No more hourly finger sticks for blood sugar checks, though.

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  85. Julie Robinson said on October 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    You might guess that I was quite interested in the cleaning after Ms. Diarrhea checked out, and happily it was very thorough. The cleaner spent more than an hour in the room and bathroom, which I hadn’t needed due to dehydration. (Not that you could have paid to go in there after what I’d heard!) She took the entire bed frame apart and scrubbed every little bit of it.

    It really is crazy that at the most fragile and vulnerable time of your life you can be tossed into that level of intimacy with a complete stranger.

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  86. Julie Robinson said on October 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Really, anytime you have to take an antibiotic it’s good to eat yogurt that has the live culture. But you can also buy the culture in powdered form to sprinkle on other food. That’s what the doc told us to do when our baby daughter got diarrhea from an antibiotic.

    She’s 31 now. So maybe things have changed.

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  87. Deborah said on October 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Multiple hernias, ouch. Basset I hope Mrs. B is feeling better. Connie, I hope you are home by now. My hospital stays have been most uncomfortable (3 or 4 times in my life) so I know how it feels to just want to get out and go home and rest. I’ve had a couple of outpatient procedures that were much more pleasant because I could be mostly in the comfort of my own home.

    A couple of beautiful days this weekend in Chicago, had a dinner party Saturday night with our journalist friends. I love their stories, a great evening of fascinating stories about Chicago greats.

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  88. Connie said on October 23, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Home. Thank you all. So nice to be in a bed that is not plastic.

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  89. beb said on October 24, 2011 at 8:48 am

    The list of people in the hospital or just come home from the hospital goes to remind me that while this is a very interesting and entertaining community, we’re all really old….

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  90. brian stouder said on October 24, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    That’s true! – but it beats the alternative

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