This was this, but that was that.

So I’ve started reading the HuffPo Detroit, or rather, I’m reading the things my Facebook and Twitter contacts believe worthy of posting. One was this restaurant review, which I clicked as part of my never-ending quest to find a decent meal outside my own kitchen.

Nora Ephron once said all restaurant criticism can be boiled down to, “The (noun) was (complimentary adjective) but the (noun) was (uncomplimentary adjective),” e.g., “The beef was succulent but the sauce was bland,” or “The appetizers wowed but the desserts were disappointing,” etc. But that was many years ago, before citizen journalism.

This particular piece is about a Mexican/Italian place in southwest Detroit. Fusion? Never gets around to saying, although a glance at the website reveals it’s simply two menus. There’s also no address offered. As for the review itself, it’s a symphony of solely complimentary adjectives and adverbs, with notes of unintentional humor — a “hand selected” wine list, etc. I enjoyed this sentence, too:

All smelling deliciously fragrant and looking excellent upon presentation, the four of us decided to share our dishes with one another.

You know, I’ve never been one of those people who describes my job as a profession. It’s a craft at best, and anyone can do it. But we have standards, generally agreed-upon rules, which aren’t hard to learn. You could print who-what-where-when-why on a matchbook or cocktail napkin, for cryin’ out loud. And yet, every day the new wave in journalism demonstrates the public doesn’t give a fat rat’s ass about rules, standards or subject-verb agreement. If you want Free, well, this is what free is.

Li’l Miss Grumpy Pants, getting off on the right foot today.

A couple of minor housekeeping notes: I think after tomorrow, that’ll be it for the week. I’ll try to get some photo posts up for the weekend, just to give y’all something to hang your discussions about the holiday and whatever on. And Friday is my (mumble) birthday, and I think I’ll renew an old tradition of full, gainful employment and take a personal day, maybe take a walk downtown or see a movie or somethin’. Has anyone seen “Take Shelter”? I’m thinking Michael Shannon is my new movie boyfriend.

Actually, I’m already feeling a little tapped, idea-wise. We could always go with the On This Date in History space-filler:

I gotta tell you, I don’t have a story associated with this one. It was days before my sixth birthday. I don’t recall a teacher telling us anything, and even my in-home memories are murky. At some point I must have watched it — my parents weren’t the sort of people to ignore news like that — but the standard where-were-you-when-it-happened discussion always leaves me cold. I was in Columbus, Ohio, in first grade. Done.

Now, I look at that clip and think: Now there was a broadcaster. And a journalist. Back when you could be both.

Ten-thirty, and it’s not going to get any easier from here on out. Why don’t you guys take the helm, while I send nine million emails and write a story?

Posted at 10:36 am in Current events, Housekeeping, Media |

80 responses to “This was this, but that was that.”

  1. Heather said on November 22, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I don’t know about you all, but I always try to smell deliciously fragrant and look excellent upon presentation.

    114 chars

  2. moe99 said on November 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Happy birthday Nancy! You and I are separated by mere days (mine is tomorrow). I will be 39 for the 20th year.

    112 chars

  3. alex said on November 22, 2011 at 10:50 am

    So when they hand select a wine list, do they choose it based on the content or just the paper it’s printed on?

    111 chars

  4. Deborah said on November 22, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Happy birthday both Nancy and Moe. There seem to be a lot of fall birthdays among us.

    Not only do I remember exactly what I was doing on the afternoon of Nov 22, 1963 in Miami, FL, I also remember exactly what I was doing ten years after that, Nov 22, 1973 because at that time I lived in Dallas, and I thought it was remarkable. Who’d have thought when it happened that 10 years later I’d live in that city. The house we lived in was on the same street that Lee Harvey Oswald had lived on (although it was a long street, our house was actually miles away from his) and I drove past the theater where they capture him many, many times. Egads 1963 was 48 years ago!

    667 chars

  5. LAMary said on November 22, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I was in the fourth grade and I remember someone from the main office of the school coming into our classroom and telling our teacher, Miss Kernan. I also remember watching the funeral on television, and the muffled drums of the procession with the riderless horse. I don’t remember any discussion at home. My father had no use for Democrats, Catholics or wealthy people and he barely tolerated Irishmen. It was also the anniversary of my mother’s death three years earlier, so I think there was a lot of bad death related stuff stirred up.

    540 chars

  6. Connie said on November 22, 2011 at 11:19 am


    3 chars

  7. Peter said on November 22, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I was in first grade, and when the announcement came over the loudspeaker we all were asked to kneel and pray.

    When the second announcement came the principal said that Kennedy was dead because we didn’t pray hard enough. Then we got the rest of the day off of school. So there you have it – every cloud does have a silver lining.

    BTW, yesterday’s Tribune had an article about New Gingrich wanting to repeal child labor laws: in his opinion they’re stupid and hinder productivity. Newt suggests that a school only needs one janitor and that students would be hired to clean and repair the school. That way the little urchins learn the value of a job and responsibility.

    Why stop there, Newt? A school only really needs one teacher – the little urchins can learn online or just share a workbook in silence. A police force can get by with one officer; the posse comitatus can take care of everything else. Historians, on the other hand: can’t get enough of those, huh buddy?

    988 chars

  8. brian stouder said on November 22, 2011 at 11:32 am

    First, happy birthday to Nancy and Moe!

    Second, if I was in the blog business, and if I had that marvelous photo Nancy snapped and posted yesterday, of the poo-pourri, then the post would have been about the “purification process” that the Republican party has been subjecting itself to, for the past several years. Afterall, if they seriously wanted to govern this country, then they’d have risen in 2004 and demanded tax increases or budget cuts in 2004, in order to pay for President Bush’s then-raging wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But instead, they stayed in lock-step behind him, right up ‘til their electoral wipe-out in 2008; and NOW – as tonight’s Republican debate will surely show us (yet again), their contest boils down to testing who can heave the most shit the furthest to the right, without being overcome by the stench, and falling deeply into the pile, period.

    They don’t really care about November 2012, it seems to me; or at least not as much as they care about taking this opportunity – this election cycle – to crush whatever remains of the “moderate” part of their party, and maintaining their own alternate narrative of how the world (and this country) works.

    When President Obama wins re-election, it gives them another 4 years to hammer out their alternate history, and then blame all the wreckage they create on President Obama.

    It’s poo-pourri on parade, again tonight

    1438 chars

  9. Bitter Scribe said on November 22, 2011 at 11:36 am

    A long time ago, the cheap-ass paper I worked for decided that all reporters would be required to write restaurant reviews. Since none of us knew anything about food, we were ordered to limit ourselves to positive comments. So if you were stuck in some awful place and you didn’t want to have to write it off and do it all over again, you strained to find something nice to say. (“The crackers came neatly wrapped, two to a package.”)

    I was in second grade when JFK was shot. I remember the teacher calling us into a circle and gently breaking the news to us, but don’t remember it registering very much.

    607 chars

  10. beb said on November 22, 2011 at 11:41 am

    My sister was born on the 22nd. My wife on the 23rd. It’s hard to celebrate a birthday when all the world is mourning Kennedy. I was in … 6th or seventh grade, I can’t recall now. But it was study hall when teacher can in to announce that the President had been shot. We have to skip forward to the Challenger exploding and still later to the Twin Towers falling to find a similar “this can’t be happening moment.”

    417 chars

  11. Connie said on November 22, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I was in 3rd grade and home from school for some day off, with my grandma and my best friend Terry, as my parents had gone to Chicago for a long weekend. I remember very little, but Terry does and has told me about it. I do remember seeing Jack Ruby shoot Oswald live. We loved the big newspapers the parents brought home from Chicago.

    On the subject of birthdays, last Saturday’s party for my Dad’s 80th was absolutely the best. I still can’t believe I recognized – and could name – all the bridge club ladies, whom I probably had not seen since my mother’s funeral 20 years ago.

    587 chars

  12. Jolene said on November 22, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Interesting. As many times as I’ve seen the last seconds of that clip, I’d never seen the scenes from the hotel dining room. Must have been quite an experience to be there. Even in the midst of crisis, you see functionaries bustling. I noticed, particularly, the people taking the presidential seal off the podium. And yes, Cronkite was amazing–keeping track of what was known and not known, where LBJ might be, giving full names of places and people including the priest who gave last rites. Pretty impressive.

    512 chars

  13. nancy said on November 22, 2011 at 11:52 am

    A book could be written about the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette’s restaurant critic, who for years seemingly knew little more about food other than which orifice it went into. In some ways, her reviews were perfect for the readership, which truly cared more about Pepsi refills than the proper use of balsamic vinegar. The week I arrived, she was in the midst of a series — a SERIES — of reviews of fast-food places, and no, I’m not kidding. It was there I learned that she believed that when you order a McDLT with cheese, the cheese should be put on the “hot” side of the styrofoam box, dammit.

    The fact she struggled for years with morbid obesity only made the experience of reading her that much better.

    Then she lost a ton of weight, deflated herself into a size 8, and in the process learned a little more about food. I tuned into a radio interview with her around that time, and heard that for years she would eat a whole package of Pepperidge Farm lemon nut cookies in a typical morning, thinking they were good for her because, y’know, lemons! Nuts! She told people she coped with the dessert requirement of her job by ordering, taking two bites in the name of criticism, and then emptying the pepper shaker over the remainder. She and her husband, both evangelical Christians, opened a weight-loss ministry and marketed it with gusto, even going so far as to send a letter to a fattening public official who got his name and picture in the paper a lot, offering her services in the name of Christian love, only to learn he was on steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

    Her work improved over the years, to the point she could be more or less trusted, but she maintained a fondness for raving over crap like garlic breadsticks. I once ate in a place that always made her 10-best lists because of said breadsticks, and thought, OK, let’s try ’em. I was served something from a pop’n’fresh can drenched in artificially flavored oil.

    Last I checked, she was freelancing in Chicago, and had gained back at least some of the weight.

    2047 chars

  14. Dexter said on November 22, 2011 at 11:55 am

    It’s still a bitter sting to the heart. After all, I was a wide-awakening fourteen year old with pre-invasion Beatles on my mind, as my pop-music-loving cohorts were on edge, finding all the information we could on this remarkable band…and then at lunch time, near the candy stand in the gym on that Friday, a word…a rumor, surely a sad joke, right? The President was shot, I came to believe and accept that in a flash, but he would surely recover, no big deal.
    And then he was dead, and I ran home and brought my little Renown brand transistor radio to my current events class where we sat and listened, as our teacher sat at her desk and quietly-as-possibly sobbed.
    We had a basketball game scheduled with Hamilton High that night. I look back in wonderment; why the hell did they make us play that game that night? I was a freshman on the junior varsity team, and I still recall looking up at the score board at halftime and we were down 30-9. At halftime we talked about the ballyhooed chicken bones “they” found in “Lee Harold Oswald”‘s death-from-above nest in the Texas Book Depository.
    I wonder if anyone else remembers the early newscasts when Oswald was reported as having Harold and not Harvey as a middle name.
    I saw a cable show a couple nights ago…the cop that was chained to Oswald on that following Sunday said “we all thought Jack Ruby (aka Reubenstein or Rubenstein)was WITH THE SECRET SERVICE..” Then he immediately says he has known Jack Ruby for many years.
    Why wouldn’t there be controversy , with stuff like that to go on!
    For years I kept the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette headlines for November 22, 1963.
    “Huge Throngs Cheer President Kennedy in Dallas”.
    And that ended Camelot.

    1724 chars

  15. alex said on November 22, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Happy birthday to all. Today’s my partner’s birthday. He was born in ’63. His mom went into labor at the news the president had been shot.

    Thanks for the reminder or I’d be in the doghouse.

    193 chars

  16. Julie Robinson said on November 22, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Happy birthday to both birthday girls.

    At Nance’s old paper they have taken citizen journalism to new depths. Send in your blurry pictures of the grandkids and they’ll print them. No photog on the payroll and I think the writers just snap photos with their cell phones. Of course, with the lousy paper and ink used (so much for that fancy new press!), who could tell the difference.

    11/22/63 was the first time I saw adults crying, from the teachers to bus drivers and even my parents. We got sent home from school early and glued ourselves to the TV, where we watched Jack Ruby shoot Oswald. As beb says, it was probably the first time we watched news unfolding live on television. As an adult I was amazed when learning that after the service, Jackie went back to the White House to oversee a birthday party for John-John.

    I seem to remember that food critic moving away to start a business aimed at taking evangelicals to the Holy Land. It was the summer of 2001, and somehow I don’t think it worked out too well.

    1027 chars

  17. Sue said on November 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Peter, if Newt had thought about it for just a second, he would realize that what he wants to do is fire the parent and hire the child. Where does he think these janitors etc. come from? Shipped in from out of state? And it should be great fun to see a kid trying to repair the school’s antiquated HVAC system, because in these days of job consolidation I would bet that ‘janitors’ can do more than push a broom around.
    One of the ideas being batted around in WI right now is having a ‘separate but equal’ high school Technical Diploma. Those with a bent toward technology can get a high school diploma that is JUST THE SAME as a regular diploma but they will be able to pursue their chosen field more closely. So, instead of the final English requirement you can take a welding class, etc.
    I don’t know how far this will go, although it seems to be gaining momentum. I am interested in seeing what happens when those with Technical Diplomas decide at 25 that they want to pursue college and don’t have the basic credits for admission. Lots of expensive catch-up credit work is the minimum, I would presume.
    And.. I am interested in seeing what happens when local taxpayers realize that they won’t be replacing position-for-position when they decide to fire the English teacher and hire the Technical teacher to cover the requirements for this diploma. Loss of one English teacher = get rid of some books and maybe a few AV materials. Add one Technical teacher = install, maintain and then keep up with current technology. $$$!

    1542 chars

  18. Jolene said on November 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I was 14 too, Dexter, and, though the details are different, my feelings were much the same.

    One of my memories from that period was a TV show called “Medicine in the Sixties”. The idea was to show all the great advances of modern medicine. Although I wouldn’t bet my life on it, I think I recall a show about open-heart surgery.

    Somehow it connects for me w/ the newness and excitement–the modernness–of the Kennedy administration.

    441 chars

  19. Kevin said on November 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    “Upon being seated we were greeted by a basket of warm chips…”

    “Hi, I’m Chips, and I’ll be your appetizer…”

    114 chars

  20. caliban said on November 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    How would JFK’s death have played on Fox? Asti Spumante and party hats? How about Bobby’s? MLK’s? Would those assholes even have attempted to restrain their glee? I remember the whole thing clearly. My parents were distraught and I basically took care of the house and fed my little brothers for a few days. In my opinion, believing that Lee Harvey Oswald did this alone with a bolt action 1938 rifle is loonier than the looniest conspiracy theory. I think it’s likely there were members of the Bush family involved. Why not? Prescott certainly dealt with Nazis, intimately, as did the daddy of the Koch-heads. The searing memory is seeing Jack Ruby kill Lee Oswald live on TV. I’ve seen people shot, myself once, but that was astounding.

    Peter, Newt actually said child labor laws are “stupid”. What sort of an ignoranimus would say that?

    Scribe: The crackers comment is very funny. But what about little packets of oyster crackers?

    And, are people really so stupid that the Mittens ad can fool them? Morons. Disenfranchise.

    And Happy Birthday to whoever’s birthday it is.

    The principal of my grammar school came to tell us the President had been shot. We (children in general at the time, in my experience) thought of him as a great man, a hero, and I am not projecting, we knew about PT-109.

    Had this country had Jack and Bobby for the rightful lengths of their lives, it would be decidedly better, and so would its people. Mock that idea if you like, but no Raygun? No Nixon? No Southern Strategy? No Teabangers?

    1858 chars

  21. David C. said on November 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I was 4 years old and at home with my mom. We were having the fridge repaired and as always I had the TV on but wasn’t watching. I don’t really remember a thing about the moment, but mom said the repairman looked up and said “I think they said the President was shot”. I’m pretty sure I remember Chet Huntley announcing the President’s death. I remember everyone being sad, even my family, who were dyed in the wool Republicans (we all say that we didn’t know that goddamneddemocrats wasn’t one word until we entered high school). I hope we never have to live through such an event again.

    592 chars

  22. Dexter said on November 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Not too far off the beam, are you, Caliban. My dad liked Kennedy, and it was with disgust that he told us that in a school classroom , two brothers, about ten years old, stood up and wildly cheered and applauded and raised hell in approval at the news of JFK’s official passing. Dad had just returned from a visit with our uncle and my cousins told the story. Dad said “what kind of parents do they have…”, and he said it in a “what have we become” tone of voice.

    468 chars

  23. Marc G said on November 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Happy Birthday to Nancy. I was also in Columbus in 1963, the janitor for our catholic school in Arlington came to our classroom to tell us the president had been shot. We all knelt and prayed for him. I can’t remember if we got out of school early, but I remember that when we got home we were all glued to the television, and to Walter. I even remember Oswald getting shot, was it on live TV at the time?

    409 chars

  24. Suzanne said on November 22, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I didn’t even think about it being JFK’s death anniversary until I checked in here. I was only 5, not in kindergarten as it was a different world which didn’t require it, we only had one car and the bus wouldn’t come down our gravel road. I don’t remember anything about it except watching the funeral while my mother ironed.

    We did visit Dallas a few years ago and saw the site, which was a bit disappointing in its ordinariness. My son, 10 or so at the time, was fascinated with all the conspiracy theory street vendors hawking their videos.

    Repeal child labor laws, eh? Next up, let’s bring back slavery! (Sorry Herman)

    635 chars

  25. brian stouder said on November 22, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Well, here’s a Fort Wayne story that will presumably go national, since it involves our large urban school district, a black female Assistant Principal, and sex/drugs/cash and guns.

    301 chars

  26. Jeff Borden said on November 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I was in the 7th grade at St. Rose in Lima, Ohio, when an announcement was made over the P.A. that President Kennedy had been killed. We were all trooped over to the church for a quickly convened Mass, then sent home. The memories remain vivid. Our TV set became a hearth, which we gathered around throughout the next three or four days, watching the black-and-white footage. I still remember the amazing procession of world leaders marching behind the casket –somehow tiny Haile Selassie and the very tall Charles de Gaulle were at the front of the line– and can reflect now how that would never happen again lest an assassin get the chance to wipe out scores of presidents and premiers.

    There’s no question the JFK assassination shook me, but I was truly bereft after the murders of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. I was in high school by then, much more aware of the nation and the world, and it seemed like two men who were critically important to our national journey were yanked away within just a few weeks of each other. Those were seriously ugly times.

    1080 chars

  27. Dorothy said on November 22, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Sister Mary Gabriel cried a good bit in my first grade classroom. That’s all I remember about where I was when I heard, but then I found my mom crying at home, too. Nancy and JFK Jr. have the same birthday three years apart. My brother Jim was born the day before JFK Jr. So happy birthday to Moe, Jimmy and Nancy, in sequential order.

    And happy thanksgiving to all of y’all. I’ll be occupied with some company the next several days and not apt to be hanging out here. You all are among the things I am most thankful for these days; the illumination I gain from this group is beyond amazing. And I’m not sure, but I’ll bet you’re all deliciously fragrant and look mostly excellent!

    691 chars

  28. caliban said on November 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm


    Newt has a long history of claiming things would improve if children were taken from their parents. Does he actually have any, or has he been shooting blanks all these years? With so many different women? What a particularly scummy scumbag. He is on the record as favoring orphanages, by which I figure he means workhouses. He’s obese as Victoria, just let him borrow a dress and some lipstick from Rudy G.

    In retrospect, I think about the murders of JFK and Bobby and Martin in light of Oppenheimers comment of the nuke test at Los Alamos:

    Those murders changed the world and this country for the worse.

    But some fool will always misplace a modifier in hilarious fashion to brighten my day. We are all smelling deliciously fragrant, so we are going to hit the Jack Daniel.

    836 chars

  29. Jeff Borden said on November 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm


    Newticles DOES have some kids, but I don’t know from which wife, No. 1 or No. 2. I know this only because he has referred to his decision to run for president as having come after discussions with Calista and the kids.

    Hopefully, they have a better moral guide than their randy daddy.

    299 chars

  30. paddyo' said on November 22, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Happy soon-to-be birthday, Blogmistress . . .

    The parochial school memories of JFK’s assassination are of a piece, aren’t they? — but with variations.
    I was 11 myself, and sitting in the sixth-grade classroom of Sister Anastasia, O.S.B., aka “The Bear” (6 feet tall and a right-hand grip like a grizzly’s) at St. Frances of Rome School in Azusa, CA, a small ‘burb 20 miles east of downtown L.A.

    The clasroom intercom, a little wooden speaker box mounted on the wall to the left of the blackboard, suddenly squawked. Then came the voice of Sister Regis, the school principal:
    “May I have your attention please . . . Boys and girls, President Kennedy . . . has been SHOT.”
    Gasps, and Sister Anastasia’s face blanched from her tightly wimpled, heavy black Benedictine habit. We all knelt for a prayer, then went on with class.

    About 45 minutes or so later, another squawk from the intercom speaker, then Sister Regis again:
    “May I have your attention please . . . Boys and girls, President Kennedy . . . has gone to his reward . . . .”

    More gasps, and some crying. Tears welled in gruff Sister Anastasia’s eyes. A few minutes later, all 600-or-so pupils were lining up, single-file, outside our classrooms, and marching across the vast parking lot to church, where we prayed the Rosary.

    The next four days were an extended wake, kept by the glow of our Montgomery Ward’s Airline brand B-&-W television set. Uncle Walter, Chet and David, Oswald, Sunday brunchtime with the shock of Jack Ruby’s reaching gunshot on live TV, and on Monday, those muffled drums, John-John’s salute. Man. Forty-eight November 22’s since, and I’ve never forgotten a one.

    1669 chars

  31. caliban said on November 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Marc G: Oh yeah, it was live. Just a coincidence though.

    56 chars

  32. StuartC said on November 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Great column as always, but in the second paragraph I think you meant e.g., not i.e.

    Happy Thanksgiving and Birthday,


    130 chars

  33. caliban said on November 22, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    My mom and dad were practically catatonic when JFK was murdered. They had put their lives believing in social justice into getting him elected. They were right. But when I saw that asshole Howard K. Smith deny Bobby’s victory in California and then saw that ahole announce Bobby’s murder, I would have killed his disgusting old man ass had he been close. How is it that this country is run by people claiming to be Christians that don’t give a shit about anybody else? Is Social Justice that difficult to understand?

    516 chars

  34. Little Bird said on November 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Happy Birthday to all for whom it applies!

    I vaguely remember the Challenger, not because I was so young, but because I was so… detached from it. I do remember the awful jokes about it that followed, this was the era of “Truly Tasteless Humor”. I remember thinking “too soon” when I heard them, less than a day after the explosion.

    339 chars

  35. Jolene said on November 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Gingrich had two daughters w/ his first wife.

    45 chars

  36. 4dbirds said on November 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Happy birthday Nancy and Moe and also to Alex’s partner.

    56 chars

  37. JayZ(the original) said on November 22, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Happy Birthday Moe and Nancy.

    I heard the news about JFK on my car radio while driving to work at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall here in LA, where I worked as a counselor. The administration decided the wards might get upset if they were exposed to news about the assassination, so all radio and TV transmission was cut off. We adults had to work an eight hour shift not knowing about any details other than that the president had been shot. As soon as we finished work, the entire staff went to the closest watering hole and drowned our sorrows while watching the TV coverage.

    578 chars

  38. Jason T. said on November 22, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Caliban, Dexter:

    I’m too young to have been alive for JFK’s assassination (sorry), but mom was in high school. She still bitterly remembers which class she was in, and what the teacher said when the principal announced that Kennedy was dead: “Good. Maybe Goldwater has a chance next year.”

    Which goes to show there have always been crazies amongst us. The difference is that 48 years ago, they had to join the John Birch Society, go to poorly attended meetings and get their information from badly mimeographed newsletters. Now, they have blogs, 24-hour TV channels, corporate-owned talk radio networks and well-funded think tanks.

    644 chars

  39. Julie Robinson said on November 22, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Wikipedia says that Newt married at 19, to his former high school geometry teacher, who was 26, and that she is the mother of his two daughters and only children.

    This is way, way off topic. Last night I made an Amazon order, going through the Kickback Lounge, of course. Now I’m being asked to download a Chrome extension that will let me put items from other websites on my Amazon wish list. In exchange, they will enter me in a $$$ drawing.

    It smells of data gathering to me, but based on the ads I see I think that ship has already sailed. (I’ll let you know if I get ship ads now instead of Birkenstocks and Vera Bradley.) Would any of our experts like to chime in?

    682 chars

  40. Dorothy said on November 22, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Dang, my apologies. Happy birthday to Alex’s sweetheart. How’s he feeling anyway? Both you guys have had some health issues lately.

    134 chars

  41. john G. Wallace said on November 22, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    In all fairness to the previous restaurant critic at the J-G, she was right about the cheese on the McDLT. Cheese on a cheeseburger should be melty and warm. Thick slices of cheese product are not very tasty on a burger when cold.
    The former restaurant critic at the N-S was an enjoyable writer but I never felt having a non-carnivore in that job made sense and her aversion to meat increased over the term of her employment.

    426 chars

  42. John G. Wallace said on November 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Brian S – Read the article and the one in the J-G – where’s the sex part? It will still get picked up and makes FWCS look worse than the reality.

    145 chars

  43. caliban said on November 22, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Gingrich is still surging in the polls – the latest to find him in first place is CNN – and while I think his history of selling himself to corporate America will ultimately turn off Tea Partyers, what do I know about Tea Partyers, anyway? I try to give them credit for ideological consistency – they supposedly hate crony capitalism, and Newt is its poster boy – but I may be politically naive in that.

    How disgusting are these assholes?

    541 chars

  44. Dexter said on November 22, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    My birthday greeting for nance, alex’s better half, and dear Moe, queen of Defiance, home of all the stores we shop at because Bryan just ain’t got nuthin’.

    185 chars

  45. caliban said on November 22, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    George Will, who may be the lyingest snake in the lair, certainly the most dedicated and died in the wool sophistic asshat, since Buckley croaked, on Newt:

    I never said I’d leave the USA if Kenneth Blackwell and Diebold appointed W President for a second appointment, but if these assholes manage to leverage one of these shitheels, I’m

    442 chars

  46. caliban said on November 22, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Walter Kronkheit actually was an astounding journalist. What’s left is drivel. He knew when to speak his heart and mind.

    He believed Nison was an evil piece of shit.

    And the American Dream might be empty:

    356 chars

  47. alex said on November 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Dorothy, thanks for asking. He’s been back to work for about a week and pretty much back to normal. They never did determine what it was, other than a viral infection.

    167 chars

  48. brian stouder said on November 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    John, the tv news website alluded to various other identities the Assistant Principal apparently assumed (online?), along with some photos that appeared to be at least ‘glamour shots’ – and with somewhat racey taglines….so I’m thinking that will be the Day 2 story.

    (I wouldn’t want Krista Stockman’s thankless job most days, and especially today)

    edit – Alex – that is both tremendous news, and unsettling at the same time.

    450 chars

  49. John G. Wallace said on November 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Caliban’s off to an early start. A few more “shitheels” and he’ll be down for the count.

    OTOH I get to enjoy a meeting on dredging and the impact on fisheries tonight – makes you wonder who has a better plan.

    212 chars

  50. MichaelG said on November 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    A friend of my girlfriend’s told me about Kennedy’s shooting on the front steps of the library at the University of Illinois where I was a sophomore. I went to my dorm room and watched TV with my roommate for a while and then gathered my girlfriend and we went to the house of some friends where we lay around holding each other and watching the tube for the next couple of days. Cronkite was great and yes we did see Ruby shoot Oswald live.

    I agree that Bobby would probably have been president had he not been killed and that things would likely have been different today had both brothers served their full terms but that kind of speculation solves nothing.

    Happy Birthdays, Nance and Moe!

    704 chars

  51. caliban said on November 22, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    John G, Not remotely. Shitheel seems to be the opprobium du jour here.

    70 chars

  52. Dave said on November 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Remember that day well, sitting in the eighth grade in study hall, when Mrs. Lillian Fast, English teacher, walked in and said that she’d been down in the office and they had said the president had been shot. Before the end of the period (seventh, I believe), the principal came on the PA and announced to the school that the president had died in Dallas. I remember girls crying and I don’t remember anyone making any disgusting remarks, thank goodness.

    I recall it as being a gray, 40-ish degrees sort of November day in Pickerington, and after school, a friend and I walked to the library, where the current (I think) issue of LIFE was, with a article about the Kennedy family and life in the White House. Was that the current issue and was it LIFE or LOOK?

    We sat in front of the TV all weekend and did watch Oswald get shot live and in black and white on the family 19″ Motorola.

    The older I get, the more I wonder how things would have gone had there not been those awful assassinations, from Vietnam to the social ills that continue, to the tea party, pretty much all of it. Useless speculation.

    I’ve unknowingly walked by the assistant principal’s home many times on my walks.

    Happy birthday to all the birthday folks!

    1251 chars

  53. brian stouder said on November 22, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Well, I was a terrible two year old in 1963, but I remember when MLK and RFK were murdered.

    And, not for nothing, let me add that while I always, always, always insist on ‘betting on the good guys’ in matters like this – I found it unsettling when Uncle Rush (et al) immediately began speculating that the guy who fired upon the White House the other day was an “Occupy” guy, and that the Dems would be wishing and hoping and praying that it was a tea party guy.

    I mean, what an absolute shit-for-brains thing to say to a national audience, y’know?

    I don’t care if the absolute worst god damned Republican in the bunch gets elected to the office; at that moment, that person is MY president, and I don’t want ANYTHING of that sort to transpire, period.

    If we cannot agree on even that much, then their really is a ‘bad moon’ rising upon our union (again)

    875 chars

  54. Jolene said on November 22, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Have you all heard about the new Stephen King book re the time traveler whose goal is to prevent the JFK assassination? It’s called simply 11/22/63. Got a great review from USA Today.

    254 chars

  55. Scout said on November 22, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    I think we can all agree on this: Rush is a SHITHEEL!

    53 chars

  56. Bitter Scribe said on November 22, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Julie–I think she was actually his junior high math teacher.

    68 chars

  57. MarkH said on November 22, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    caliban – “here”, meaning nn.c, or just your posts!

    51 chars

  58. caliban said on November 22, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    MarkH , I have no idea what you are talking about. And honestly, I tried to figure it out. Sirhan wasn’t an occupy guy. But the idea that whackjob conservatives killed Bobby and Jack is fucking likely. It’s exactly what people like that do.

    240 chars

  59. alex said on November 22, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Off topic, but I’ve been credited with a random act of kindness this week that I know absolutely nothing about and the beneficiary refuses to believe that I know nothing about it.

    She’s an elderly neighbor who recently sent me a thank you card and a check for fifty bucks and she told me to treat myself and a friend to dinner. Back in the spring, I had planted her flower garden, and she wanted to let me know that it was still going strong in mid-November. (It was indeed. It came out rather spectacularly this year. My flowers had a lot of staying power this year as well.)

    Another neighbor used to plant flowers for her but moved out of state last year, so I decided to keep the tradition going. This lady is probably the last of the old guard who has lived here for the entire sixty years since her home was built. She is the widow of a once-prominent local auto dealer in Fort Wayne and was herself an engineer, which was extremely unusual for a woman of her generation.

    I asked her what flowers she liked, went out and got them and planted them at the same time I was doing my spring gardening. Enjoyed myself thoroughly. She reimbursed me for the cost.

    Well, the other day she and her caregiver were dining in a local restaurant and someone evidently paid for their dinner. She and her caregiver thought they had seen me there and my neighbor called me up to say that the dinner was supposed to be for me, not her. I wasn’t sure what she was talking about at first. She told me that she knew I’d paid for her dinner at such and such restaurant the other night. Her caregiver also thanked me profusely yesterday and refused to believe that I know absolutely nothing about this.

    Years ago I returned a check for $100 to this lady, who wrote it after I had taken it upon myself to clean up her leaves in the fall so they wouldn’t blow all over my yard. This is probably why she assumes it’s me.

    Well I hope good karma will continue to emanate from there. I know someone who has designs on her house when she goes and it’s someone I wouldn’t want as a neighbor.

    2087 chars

  60. Joe Kobiela said on November 22, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    So Brian what was it that Rush said was not true?? I’m sure the Dems DID hope he was a Tea Party Guy, good lord the media would have had a field day with that but he wasn’t so now I don’t hear much about him. And why in the heck do you keep listening to Rush? Do you like to torture yourself? Hell turn him off. You’ll feel better and maybe not have so much anger.
    Pilot Joe

    375 chars

  61. beb said on November 22, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    ah, Joe…. this is where dems are different from republicans. Republicans want to believe the worst of people. So they hope that the shooter was an OWS because that would “prove” that OWS was treasonous criminals. Dems didn’t hope that the shooter was a teabagger or anything else. They may have hoped he wasn’t an OWSer because that was not what OWS was all about, but they don’t slander people to justify they pre-judged ideas about them.

    441 chars

  62. KLG said on November 22, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I was told by my mother when she picked me up after school (3rd grade), then spent much of the next three days glued to the TV. I also remember Ruby shooting Oswald. And the procession with De Gaulle…very sad for an 8-year-old and everyone else. Just a sense of doom that has hardly lifted in 48 years.

    caliban, how can a graduate of the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism of the University of Georgia, home of the Peabody Awards, among other things, spell “Cronkite” as “Kronkheit”?

    492 chars

  63. caliban said on November 22, 2011 at 8:55 pm


    What were the last words that came out of his obese mouth? That was the last lie. He is incapable of speaking truth. And KLG I am sure that was how it was spelled in the first place.

    191 chars

  64. Joe Kobiela said on November 22, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    You can’t be serious. What makes you think Repubs ONLY want to see the bad in people? Look back at all the horrible things the left called Pres Bush and his cabnet. I don’t really remember them saying anything nice or helpful. There are JUST as many Loons on the left as there are on the right. Look the sooner we realize that NO ONE IN Washington cares about ANYTHING but getting re-elected, and we throw ALL of them out and start over the better off we will all be. Can anyone on this blog honestly look in the mirror and think that anybody in Washington cares about them?
    Pilot Joe

    592 chars

  65. alex said on November 22, 2011 at 9:38 pm


    What the left called Bush and his cabinet was legit. Actually, the left didn’t go far enough. Dick Cheney’s behavior was absolutely unseemly, to say the least. Condi and Colin were rode hard and put away wet and feel like absolute shit about it, as you can tell from their autobiogs. The Dems don’t have to capitulate to this false equivalency bullshit because the GOP has been so outrageous that the Dems could kick kittens, ass-rape altar boys and crucify baby Jesuses in creche scenes and still smell like roses by comparison.

    You can go right ahead and carry the water for the people who are ass-raping you. Good thing you’ve got such good pain meds through your health plan that you don’t feel it.

    715 chars

  66. MarkH said on November 22, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Journalist caliban – you were close. It’s actually Krankheyt.

    61 chars

  67. Kirk said on November 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I spent the next several nights after JFK was killed having a hard time getting to sleep. I figured that if “they” could kill the president, they sure as hell could kill me. Why they would want to didn’t enter into my sixth-grade thinking.

    239 chars

  68. caliban said on November 22, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    MarkH, that is probably transliteration from Cyrllic.

    So far as W and Cheney are concerned, Where is the $12billion from the pallettes shipped to Iraq?

    154 chars

  69. brian stouder said on November 22, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    “There are JUST as many Loons on the left as there are on the right. Look the sooner we realize that NO ONE IN Washington cares about ANYTHING but getting re-elected, and we throw ALL of them out and start over the better off we will all be. Can anyone on this blog honestly look in the mirror and think that anybody in Washington cares about them?”

    Well Joe, first, after the girls board their school bus, I tend to change the station from 107 FM (very teen-girl oriented music and deejays) over to WOWO for local news and weather, plus Charlie Butcher and the sports guy, for the drive to work. Then, at lunchtime, I start the car and there’s Uncle Rush.

    The game is, I give him one outrageous comment and then change it to Rock-104. Yesterday, I got to hear him call Michele Obama “uppity”, as I headed for lunch with the lovely wife at Arby’s.

    By way of saying, you’re right. I should instantly pop it to Rock-104 and be done with it.

    The thing about your “There are JUST as many Loons on the left as there are on the right.” statement, is that whether or not it’s true, it really does seem to me that the top of the rightwing heap in this nation is a lot more maniacal then any part of the left wing, let alone the folks on Main Street.

    I have about come to the conclusion that most folks – including me – really don’t understand more than a portion of the world, and our country; and that one of a politician’s main jobs is to provide a narrative that people can internalize as “the way things are”; an arbitrary process at best, and potentially a flatly dishonest exercise, at worst. (and fat-ass, do-nothing sons of bitches like Rush or shit-for-brains Sean make millions and millions of dollars, for providing their listeners a convenient Readers Digest abridged version of reality, wherein EVERYTHING that’s wrong can be ascribed to the uppity black man and his uppity-uppity-uppity black wife; while everything that’s good can be ascribed to wealthy white men who own everything worth having)

    And Joe – I was a Republican right up ’til that party pitched me off the turnip wagon, and left me in the dust. For the record, I proudly voted for Ronald Reagan for president four times (inlcuding the primaries), and even back in those days – when my bookshelves were populated by books from the Conservative Book Club (and R Emmett Tyrell struck me as funny and incisive!), and my copy of National Review arrived every two weeks – even back then, I was put off when “Rush H Limbaugh III” began showing up in their letters section.

    By way of saying, even when I was a (deluded?) rightwing conservative Republican, that bastard struck me as a waste of space and time. And now, he runs the party that pitched me off the wagon.

    2772 chars

  70. MarkH said on November 22, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    caliban – wasn’t it discovered recently that a lot of the missing USA cash to Iraq was discovered – in an Iraqi bank? Have to look that up.

    Today, 48 years ago, I was in the 6th grade as well, an elementary school in Pittsburgh. Like some others here, our class was subjected to a hateful moment when to kids from another class pounded on the door. When Miss Saveikis answered, Diane and Wayne gleefully announced, “Did you hear the good news? Kennedy was shot!” My neighbor, Linda Upton, and I looked at each other and said, “No, that’s not right. It can’t be true.” Miss Saveikis came back through the door ashen-faced after verifying with another teacher. “It’s true, kids. He’s dead.” After a short assembly where the principal gave us more details, we all were sent home. Heard about Oswald’s shooting on the radio after church.

    836 chars

  71. Dexter said on November 22, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    1963 left me with a problem other than the significance of a presidential assassination.
    Just sixty-eight days earlier, Denise McNair, aged 11, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carol Robertson, all aged 14, were murdered in a hate crime in Birmingham, Alabama…blown up in a church. Again, I associated and identified with these girls because I was just three days from age fourteen myself…and as Kirk said, if they could do this to Kennedy…well, if “they” can murder teenagers in a church on a Sunday…what hope is there for a peaceful life ahead? Seven years later I was in a war, for what it’s worth here…no, there wasn’t ever any guarantee of peace, love, and happiness for my generation, or any other’s.
    Our “Right On” and “don’t mean nothin'” is now “it is what it is”.
    Now I gotsta didi mau. Just means I gotta get moving right now. Don’t mean nuthin’. Carry on.
    Tom Brokaw’s signature work is his “Greatest Generation” tribute to the valiant USA effort in World War II. Bravo. He couldn’t write about his generation’s war because apparently he felt he had to get married as soon as his student deferments expired, and then secure a 3-A (fatherhood) deferment. Too bad. Maybe some of us would have liked to read about his nights in the jungles or the river boats or the firebases in the highlands, since he is such a great producer and writer of war stories…other peoples’ war stories.
    I really gotsta didi mau now…I am turning all bitter just thinking about all the anti-tranquility in my liftime.

    1544 chars

  72. Jolene said on November 22, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Further evidence that GOP leaders are mean SOBs–and that responsibility for the failure of the supercommittee rests w/ the Rs.

    247 chars

  73. Crazycatlady said on November 23, 2011 at 12:40 am

    Happy Birthday Moe!!! My birthday is tomorrow too. I’ll be 29 again. And Nancy, enjoy your birthday too!

    104 chars

  74. Crazycatlady said on November 23, 2011 at 12:58 am

    I was 8 and it was the day before my birthday. I was in school and the Principal came in to explain Kennedy’s death to us. I remember being home and watching John salute his father’s casket. I was struck by the scene. I never will forget it. The white horses. Many years later I visited JFK’s Grave at Arlington and wondered what might have been.

    346 chars

  75. Deborah said on November 23, 2011 at 4:13 am

    Happy birthday Crazycatlady. That’s a lot of birthdays clumped together.

    72 chars

  76. coozledad said on November 23, 2011 at 7:27 am

    I was too young to remember all this, but that’s what youtube is for.

    H/T Dave Noon

    130 chars

  77. beb said on November 23, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Morning Joe. Hope you have good flying weather after yesterday’s day-long monsoon.

    I considered and regret now that I didn’t add to my comment about the meme floating around now that the OWS people don’t bath. That they smell. That they crap out in public, have sex in public, that women are being raped in the encampments and so on. These are the same bundle of comments made about the people of New Orleans trapped at the Superdome (?) during Katrina. Add to that the looting and shootings. And as it turns out the evidence for any of that was slight. It was mostly made up by people who weren’t there but “knew” what those kind of people do, because those people were animals. And you go back to the Viet Nam war protest and the complaint was being leveled at those “dirty fucking hippies.” But they weren’t dirty, they weren’t fucking (except that when you’re 20 that’s what you do) and they weren’t, strictly speaking drop-outs. Most were college students. But there’s this same compliant, generation after generation, made by the right that people on the left are smelly animals. No one on the left ever suggested that the Tea Party were smelly animals beneath contempt. Sure, the left thought the Tea Party were fools and idiots being lead around by their noses but there wasn’t the basic contempt for them as people. And sure specific people are held out for contempt, like Rush, like W, like Cheney but in every case the contempt is for specific people and for specific reasons.

    1491 chars

  78. coozledad said on November 23, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Beb: It’s part of the dehumanization process they use to justify subsequent killings. The right wing shit-spewing machine was a little slow off the mark this time, and they forgot that everybody has cameras.
    Imagine how history would developed if the Indians had camera phones at Sand Creek, or someone had managed to get photos of US troops using the water torture on Filipinos.
    Nixon is still revered among Republicans for the killings at Kent State. It’s another one of the passkeys to their secret temple to accept that casualties were not only unavoidable, but desirable.

    578 chars

  79. mark said on November 23, 2011 at 9:04 am

    “And sure specific people are held out for contempt, like Rush, like W, like Cheney but in every case the contempt is for specific people and for specific reasons.”

    Beb, good of cooz to show up and prove you wrong. You tolerate/ignore that sort of vulgarity because it originates from the same team.

    303 chars

  80. coozledad said on November 23, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Every day is a new day for Republicans. They’re able to selectively delete their memories in ways that would make a Buddhist adept jealous.

    Mark. From a couple of threads ago:
    Yes, cooz, I’m real worried about the OWSers ceasing to be playful. Who knows how long until they are not content with raping, shooting and overdosing their own
    I’m not sure what the psychological term is here. It’s not amnesia. I suspect there’s no biological reason for such displays, unless it’s to hook up with other creeps.

    518 chars