Mostly cloudy.

I hope you guys are having a better Monday than I am. Funny how a gloomy morning after an all-night rain means one thing on Sunday — brew a bigger pot of coffee, read the entire newspaper front to back, maybe make gingerbread because we won’t be doing yard work today — and something else entirely on Monday. That is to say, ich.

But this is the Monday we have chosen, and as usual — AS USUAL — it intends to be difficult. So let’s go to the bloggage, eh?

You know how we can make education SO much BETTER? Turn it over to the American businessman, with his endless ingenuity and his new perspectives, unencumbered by the oldthink of the education establishment! Take it from this sadder-but-wiser student at something called Brown Mackie College in Fort Wayne, an institution that didn’t exist when I left town seven years ago. I think the deal was sealed for me when I learned this about the school’s corporate parent:

Goldman Sachs owns 41 percent of the company.

Say no more!

Seriously, though, it’s a good read. When I went to the TED conference last year, I ran into a guy who was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at Michigan, my brother in fellowship. He was a beat reporter for the AP, and was planning to spend his year studying this exploding field of for-profit education. It’s not that the schools are all as bad as this one — which has students with felony convictions enrolled in the criminal-justice program, a field they will never be able to enter — but they are mostly far more expensive than community-college options. In this particular case, 3X more expensive.

I don’t know how I missed this on the health beat when it was new, but its warning is timeless: Men who have sex with animals have a higher risk of developing penile cancer. The gems are in the last two paragraphs, in which we learn about the length of these relationships and, of course, the preferred species. Whinny!

JeffTMMO posted this on his Facebook, about the Kindle Fire:

Amazon seems to have learned a lesson from the late Steve Jobs, who derided the original Kindle: “It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore.” The company’s business model for the new tablet reflects the fact that Americans prefer to juggle a wide variety of games, apps, and videos rather than sit and focus on a book or essay. The case of the Kindle Fire demonstrates that today’s consumers embrace a lifestyle of interruption, multitasking, and limited focus. Unless we use the Fire and devices like it to read more books, our society may be driven to distraction.

I’ve embraced e-books, but not wholeheartedly. I think my one-word New Year’s resolution (a tradition introduced to me by Laura Lippman) will be: Focus. In other words, I’m going to be reading more paper books.

But I won’t be reading anything unless I get moving. So I am.

Posted at 9:27 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

68 responses to “Mostly cloudy.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 5, 2011 at 9:35 am

    BS in education isn’t always a degree at places like Brown Mackie. This should be a national story, but the ad dollars from the “schools” probably damp that impulse down a bit, or am I being unfair to some newspaper chains [koff] Gannett [koff]? Or the Kaplan behemoth, which is into this as much as Goldman Sachs if not more so, symbiotic twin of the otherwise beloved Washington Post.

    Notice how much the “admissions” process sounds like closing a sale in an auto dealership — not an accident, I suspect.

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  2. brian stouder said on December 5, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Amen!! And Huzzah!

    E-readers, after a day in front of a computer? No deal for me.

    And that phony-baloney school article was quite depressing, yes?

    Pull my finger, and I’ll go on about our for-profit/damn-near-fraudulent “Imagine” imaginary schools, who pay themselves $800,000* per year rent (for two buildings, which they [Imagine Schools] already own)…

    *subsidized by taxpayers, via vouchers! WooHoo!!

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  3. jcburns said on December 5, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I’m sorry Jeff, what were you saying? I was flicking back and forth between my many screens…none of which contain The Facebook.

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  4. coozledad said on December 5, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I was wondering how they found a statistically significant sample, but damn. Thirty six guys out of 118?
    It reminds me of going to feed the cows across the road one day while some workmen were refurbishing a house there. One of the guys walked over and told us how sweet all the cows were. He reached over to give Calpurnia a pet, and she gave him a cut direct.
    “Dang. She acts like she don’t even know me!”
    You wonder about people sometimes.

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  5. brian stouder said on December 5, 2011 at 10:21 am

    One word New Year’s resolution: Parent (verb)

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  6. Julie Robinson said on December 5, 2011 at 10:23 am

    No partly about the clouds here, plus we’ve got cold, steady rain forecast to stick around all day. Ich indeed.

    The Brown Mackie story is amazing. We live just up the road and I had no idea. I’m glad you pointed it out since yesterday’s paper is still in the wrapper and likely to go unread.

    Last night we wrapped up four days of what I’m calling the Remembering Elizabeth/Awesome Family Reunion with the Robinson version of an Irish wake, in the back room at El Azteca. Although tears were shed they were tempered by sweet memories and hilarious stories. Good times.

    Edit: one-word resolution: appreciate.

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  7. Dexter said on December 5, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Human to animal sex acts are generally found in the constraints of comedians, and we all have heard a few jokes about this phenomenon, but when we realize these acts really go on, beyond the comedy club routines featuring people like Clem and Amos and The Sheep or whatever, it makes us a bit antsy and squirrelly, and sheepish to discuss, that is if we know anything about it at all.
    A story went viral (via mouth) when I was a sophomore in high school. The older sister of the star athlete of the school had surprised the star by walking in on an encounter involving the family German Shepherd and the kid. Oh , the boys were howling with laughter as the story spread.
    Later I asked around…had anyone confronted the alleged pervert-kid about this? Was this just a victim of the accused’s bullying tactics getting even? Would anybody be taunting the alleged offender to his face?
    Well, the alleged offender was a colossal bully and if any kid would have said a damn thing , he would have gotten an ass-kicking for the ages.
    My brother told me that the alleged offender would take his penis out in the art teacher’s class and stroke it towards the teacher when her back was turned, to the shock and uncomfortableness of the other kids, but no one ever turned him in.
    This is about the only sex-with-animal case I have ever realy pondered…did it happen? I’ll never really know. If I did know, I might not tell…that bullying sonofabitch gave out very painful titty-twisters as well. I don’t need that.

    And poison darts towards the NY Times for the lamest, most milque-toast interview ever, regarding the Jerry Sandusky case. Poor, poor Jerry! We don’t mean to upset you any Jerry…there there, there there, there there there there there there….:(

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  8. Dexter said on December 5, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Snow’s coming…here’s a safety tip and a review of an old bugaboo: Is It Legal To Drive Out Of A Windshield Snow-Peephole?

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  9. Dorothy said on December 5, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Please give Calpurnia a pet for me, long distance, Cooz. And our weather today is crap, too, Julie. I am very thankful, though, that all this rain is not snow. There’s appreciation for you!

    My New year’s one-word resolution: moderation.

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  10. Connie said on December 5, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I’ve also embraced ebooks but not wholeheartedly. Since quitting smoking 49 days ago I have found it very difficult to just sit down and read.

    I downloaded the kindle app to my ipad, and it doesn’t have that cool electronic ink page turner style. It is no different than my various epub format reader apps, so why should I use the kindle app? Except of course for the .99 book I bought on amazon.

    One word resolution: Organize.

    We moved into a rental house a little over a year ago thinking it was short term, thus choosing not to unpack a lot of stuff. And we’re still there. No books unpacked, no china unpacked, no sewing stuff unpacked. Still can’t find my food processor or my iron. This situation must change.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on December 5, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Ebooks, books on paper, audiobooks on CDs or mp3s; I’m not picky, I love ’em all. My Nook came in handy these last few days as quiet entertainment for our nine year old nephew. He loves to play chess on it, and I found a couple of kids’ books in the Friday freebies for him. He was remarkably well-behaved during the many long hours at the visitation and church and the Nook helped him to achieve that without driving Mom & Dad around the bend.

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  12. Deborah said on December 5, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I love the idea of a one word resolution but I’m going to have to think about it for awhile.

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  13. Linda said on December 5, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Damn! I wish the Brown-Mackie article were required reading for every desperate unemployed person. They charge hugely for an education you could get cheaper elsewhere and they often get the students at job centers. My next door neighbor had one of these sales pitches to take on a bigass debt to go there and get “job training”–he resisted and has a job now, sans debt. When I read the NYC oped columnist Joe Nocera sticking up for these “efficient” schools, I wanted to kick him in the teeth.

    BTW, as a librarian I have a special hate-on for lots of these. They have no libraries to support their students, and send them to public libraries, which don’t have the resources to run a library for the general public as well as specialized, career and professional collections. The “efficient” part is that they shove this responsibility off to some other institution.

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  14. Jolene said on December 5, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Connie, the reason to use the Kindle app on your iPad is compatibility across platforms. You can read the same book on your iPad at home and, for instance, on your Android phone on the bus to work or while you wait wherever you have to wait. The app syncs to wherever you were on whatever device you were using last.

    I just got an iPad and haven’t tried iBooks yet. Will definitely check it out, but, since my smartphone is an Android, will probably continue to rely on the Kindle app.

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  15. Suzanne said on December 5, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Attention span for reading? I did hear a news clip last week about a study that concluded women multitask 10 hours more per week than men. All this multitasking does change brain functioning over time leading to forgetfulness, inability to concentrate.

    I have a friend who is the librarian at a for-profit college. Ditto what you say, Linda. The library is one room. She is doing her level best to serve the students, but her hands are tied by low, low budget and being allowed to work only part-time. She’d love to work at the local public library system, but they’ve cut back to the bare bones and aren’t hiring God, even if He had a great resume.

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  16. LAMary said on December 5, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I read resumes all day and I have to sort out the real colleges from these bozo schools. I’ve developed serious disdain for all of them at this point. That might be unfair, but tough.
    Because I have old lady eyes these days I love my Kindle. I can increase font size. Yay. I’m easily pleased. I mentioned here that a colleague and I chipped in to buy our saintly, now retired admin person a Kindle. I mentioned this to someone who is straight out of Brooklyn and he went into Yiddish accent mode. “You got a Kindle? Not a Nook?” Now I can’t just say “kindle” like the shiksa I am.

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  17. caliban said on December 5, 2011 at 11:23 am

    It’s all over the www. Gingrich is a genius and will make mincemeat of the intellectual lightweight Barry Soetero. How exactly does anybody get that delusional? Here’s a great take on Newt’s alleged brilliance. Fileted, skewered, marinated and barbecued.

    Privately owned colleges are right up there for effectiveness with privately-owned prisons.

    Doesn’t the phrase “having sex with animals” border on oxymoronic. Can’t see how this is mutually satisfying behavior in any way. Blame it on gay marriage, as Little Ricky Santorum does.

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  18. Suzanne said on December 5, 2011 at 11:31 am

    We’re still in love with books:

    My question with e-books. How in the heck do you give someone a book for Christmas or birthdays? Opening a receipt from Amazon wouldn’t be the same as unwrapping a book.

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  19. alex said on December 5, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I was once given an advance copy of the bio of a, uh, horse lover. I was tasked with writing a rollicking review, which I most certainly did. The author came to a sad ending — his sex life was forever ruined, and I forget the exact mechanism of injury, but it involved a particular young filly.

    As for Brown Mackie, my parents recently asked me if I knew anything about the place. Their cleaning lady told them that her daughter had obtained a degree there — I forget in what field, but it may have been criminal justice — and has been informed by various employers that she just got fleeced bigtime. The cleaning lady wanted to know what legal recourse there may be if any.

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  20. Jeff Borden said on December 5, 2011 at 11:52 am

    My Lord, but is there really a chance Newt Gingrich could win the GOP nomination? I still cling to my belief that the power brokers who count will make sure Mitt Romney gets the nod, but I can’t deny being shaken by the latest turn of events. Somehow, one of the slimiest and sleaziest of political operators. . .a man with the morals of a rabid sewer rat. . .a corporate bagman who has become a multi-millionaire through his D.C. connections. . .is now the shining light of the Republican Party? Damn.

    I know lots of liberals are salivating over the idea of Obama running against Gingrich, but I would remind people that we twice elected a dumbass from Texas and paid a horrible price for our actions. People who hate Obama hate him enough to throw a vote for this overstuffed Dickensian villain and plenty of independents will do likewise in this shitty economy.

    President Gingrich? We’d all have to flee to Belize for a few years.

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  21. Jolene said on December 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Frontline did a whole show about for-profit colleges that was just horrifying. Just every kind of abuse you could imagine. I had hoped for a strong federal response, especially since one of the most frequently ripped off groups is veterans, but this article makes it sound–big surprise–like the lobbyists won.

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  22. LAMary said on December 5, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Paul Krugman said something like Newt Gingrich is a dumb person’s idea of what a smart person sounds like.

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  23. Peter said on December 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Wow, with Newt being the new Best Thing, it got me wondering that Snowzilla is looking better and better.

    Snowzilla – Pro: Easy on the eyes. Con: Can’t understand a dang thing she’s sayin
    Newt – Pro: Can understand what he’s saying. Con: Can understand what he’s saying.

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  24. Snarkworth said on December 5, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    a man with the morals of a rabid sewer rat

    Now, Jeff, I think you’re being unfair. Many sewer rats, even those with health issues, lead exemplary lives.

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  25. beb said on December 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I saw a horse being breed once. The mare was tied to a very stout fence post, her feet were hobbled if I recall correctly and a rope loop called a twitch was twisted around her nose, all to prevent her from kicking the crap out of the stallion trying to mount her. I can’t imagine how a kid is supposed to have sex with a horse. There’s the height thing and the great likelihood have having their balls kicked through their teeth.

    Hurry for LAMary for getting her power back.

    Since the word is that Newt doesn’t have campaign teams on every state he might have trouble getting enough votes to win the nomination. And we can only hope that he’ll continue to give good advice like firing janitors so little kids can learn the value of work…. I hear there’s a strong market for six year olds in the chimney-sweep racket.

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  26. del said on December 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Dexter, I know what you mean about the NYT’s Sandusky interview, but they left the cross-examination to prosecutors and thus respected the legal process (even though they came close to letting themselves be played). In the end it backfired on Sandusky and reflected what a psychotherapist called Sandusky’s cognitive distortion.

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  27. caliban said on December 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm


    W was appointed by Scalia and the Painted Lady the first time, and 2004 was stolen by Diebold and Blackwell. Never actually elected.

    Historian? Pure D shinola, Newt. The bastard has actually had the gall to claim the $mil and a half from Freddie was for his expertise as a “historian”, rather than for lobbying. This entire boondoggle stems from the Salamander’s approval of the hysterical D’Souza argument about the President’s alleged Kenyan anti-colonialism. Funny, I thought anti-colonialism was characteristic of Sam Adams and Patrick Henry, and the rest of those Founing types. Of course, I don’t claim to be a “historian”. Newt’s dissertation is apparently 287 pp. long, so I’m not planning to read it, but those who have suggest it’s an apologia for Belgian colonization of Congo. Leopold’s Folly was incredibly brutal and repressive, but apparently Gingrich thinks the near genocide practiced by the Walloons in Africa was just an unavoidable aspect of the White Man’s Burden in efficiently exploiting Africans and their rubber plantations.

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  28. Tim Z, said on December 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    The Washington Post Company’s profit center isn’t the newspaper but the Kaplan chain of for-profit colleges. I understand that is one reason why Congress has been shy about enacting meaningful curbs on abuses by for-profit colleges — the legislators don’t want to piss off the Post. (Another reason probably is that many in Congress believe any business-run institution is preferable to a government-run one.)
    Regarding the cancer study: A few years ago, one man in Northwest Indiana became known informally as Chickenman because of his latest victim. He had served time in prison for a similar offense before being arrested, and he got sent back for more. No word on whether he got cancer, though.

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  29. John G. Wallace said on December 5, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    @Dexter – I’m tempted to call bs on the bully dog sex story because an almost exactly identical story swept through our high school – seperated only by years and miles. He was the athletic rich kid, dated the Italian exchange student Marcella, and was pure arrogance. One day one of the neighborhood kids – a classmate from his grade – had been over his house to study with his younger brother. He forgot his windbreaker and doubled back, walking past the side window into the family room to find the subject busy enjoying his golden retriever’s companionship.

    It sure deflated the bully’s sails.

    As for Brown Mackie – first that always sounds like a toddler’s toilet training phrase, i.e. Mommy I made a brown mackie. I can speak to both sides of this story. My niece is working as a CNA and had attended BM before St. Francis. She took her clinicals while a BM student. She had some difficulty getting the credits to transfer – especially now that shes in a different state and working on her RN. Her mom, my S.I.L. has a felony and was accepted at BM for criminal justice – they told her it would be a good step towards going on to pre-law and law school. It wasn’t and she still works the same dead end job, only with huge debts from BM.

    I’ve wondered if distance and unfamiliarity makes some schools sound better to possible employers. An IPFW education would sell better on the East Coast if people just listed their degree from I.U. or Purdue I would think.

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  30. Colleen said on December 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    When I was in surg tech school at Univerty of St. Francis, we knew that the Brown Mackie and Harrison College students weren’t going to find the jobs, and the USF students were.

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  31. Julie Robinson said on December 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    And did you, Colleen?

    From the department of things I didn’t know: the existence of pet strollers, for which I just saw a freecycle posting. Really? I thought you took your dog for a walk so they could exercise, as well as do their bathroom duties.

    DPTIDK part 2: our daughter’s iPad has a Night Stand app which looks exactly like a large digital alarm clock, including the weather report. Now, that’s pretty cool. The iPad was a gift from a friend who was going to upgrade to the next model. Nice, no?

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  32. moe99 said on December 5, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Having been an inhabitant of KY for 5 years, and having a brother in law for 14 years who was a thoroughbred horse farm manager, I learned a bit about horsebreeding. To begin with, you need what’s referred to as a “teaser pony” because you want the mare to be receptive by the time you introduce the very, very expensive stallion. Thoroughbred breeding requirements do not permit artificial insemination. I can only think that to be a teaser pony would be the worst job in the world.

    Also, I remember when I was in law school in Lexington there was a lawsuit filed when a foal was born looking more like the teaser pony than the stallion.

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  33. nancy said on December 5, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Moe, the teaser is also used to get the stallion in the mood. Frequently he doesn’t think much of the girl of the moment, and the teaser is sort of a fluffer for him.

    As I recall, Seattle Slew’s teaser, who never failed to get him in the mood for love, was a gelding.

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  34. nancy said on December 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    By the way, if pole dancing is ever made an Olympic sport, this is the video that will sell the IOC. Not prurient at all, just amazing athleticism.

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  35. Deborah said on December 5, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    “Mommy I made a brown mackie”, John G that’s hysterical, especially since its initials are BM.

    There’s a very detailed description of horse breeding in one of Tom Wolfe’s novels, A Man in Full (I think?). It goes on and on.

    I was surprised to recently learn that the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is a for profit school. I always thought it had a good reputation but apparently it’s been having a hard time getting accredited properly. One of the guys I work with is a graduate and he mentioned that it was extremely expensive, but he’s a trust funder so it wasn’t a problem for him.

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  36. 4dbirds said on December 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Played poker this weekend in West Virginia and had a celebrity sighting. Michael Phelps of 8 gold medals fame. He was playing at a higher limit table but I was close enough to notice that he wouldn’t take any photographs with anyone at the poker table. He asked that they go out in the hall so no chips or drinks would be in the picture.

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  37. LAMary said on December 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    News of a previous brush with fame last week. Paul Motian, percussionist extraordinaire, died at 80. He was my neighbor in NYC and was a very nice guy. We used to invite him to our parties full of 20 something types and he was very patient with our youthful stupidity and endless questions.

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  38. alex said on December 5, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Just had a flashback to this novelty song by one of the morning shock jocks in Chicago. Anyone remember the Lincoln Park Zoophile?

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  39. Judybusy said on December 5, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    My six degrees of separation story (not a true brush with fame, but still): This weekend, I was at a party with a friend who is a professional dog trainer with the Humane Society. She recently heard a big-name trainer speak. He told a story of meeting the Obamas. They ultimately chose a different dog trainer, but asked him to the White House to help the girls understand behavior training. He explained shaping to them (reinforce the behavior bit by bit till the animal is doing what you want.) He was their subject, and by clapping when he moved, they got him closer and closer to the secret service agent in the room. When he caught on, he laughed and said something like “I think you are trying to get me very close to the secret service guy. I wonder if it’s OK to continue to do so.” The agent gave a very small nod while looking straight ahead, and the exercise continued!

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  40. alex said on December 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Regarding my post @ 38, that’s the trouble with not having sound on my other computer. Here’s a more intelligible audio clip.

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  41. Chris in Iowa said on December 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    The pole-dancing video is amazing.

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  42. Jolene said on December 5, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Mary, my NPR app had a link to a Fresh Air interview w/ Paul Motian. Might be a nice way to remember your friend.

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  43. Jolene said on December 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    The pole-dancing clip didn’t work for me. Not sure why that would be.

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  44. brian stouder said on December 5, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I couldn’t get past the first 30 seconds of the pole dance, because:

    a) The joke was abundantly clear by then, and

    b) I love that Florence and the Machine song, and didn’t want to associate it with whatever clumsy climax was coming (so to speak)

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  45. MichaelG said on December 5, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Thanks for the recipe, Deborah. I’ll have to try it.

    That pole woman was pretty amazing. I wouldn’t arm wrestle her.

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  46. del said on December 5, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    What Chris in Iowa said.

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  47. ROGirl said on December 5, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Someone once told me that Greek shepherds tie a pink ribbon around the neck of their special pets. I was never sure if it was true or not. Maybe it is.

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  48. Crabby said on December 5, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    I’ve watched the pole dancer a few times – amazing athleticism indeed. I missed the joke if there is one. Here’s my favorite dancer in the non-pole category, it’s work safe. Polina Semionova

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  49. Jolene said on December 5, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Wikipedia has data, by way of the Kinsey Report, on how many people have sex with animals. Happily, the number is not high and seems to have declined as the proportion of people living in rural areas has decreased. Apparently, the phenomenon is more a matter of opportunity than the appeal of furrier creatures.

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  50. brian stouder said on December 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    – amazing athleticism indeed. I missed the joke if there is one.

    Crabby, your comment sent me back to the link, and I fast-forwarded the dot, and then I saw what you’re talking about!

    Honestly though, in the first 30-40 seconds of the video, she looks awkward and off-balance, so when I bailed out on it, I thought THAT was where we were headed (a sort of slap-stick faux-athletic thing); she hadn’t gone onto her vertical pole routine yet, and seemed to have trouble standing.

    But indeed, that person has very great strength and flexibility; plus, unlike Olympic athletes, I didn’t see powder on her hands and feet, and her musculature was not comic-book exaggerated.

    So, sorry for going off half-cocked.

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  51. Julie Robinson said on December 5, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    My kids and their cousin singing I’ll Fly Away for Elizabeth yesterday:

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  52. Deborah said on December 5, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    I can’t get the pole dancing video to work either.

    Edit: very nice Julie.

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  53. Suzanne said on December 5, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Oh Alex #38, did that bring back memories!! We used to live in the Chicago area back in the 80’s and listened to Johnny B every day. The Moo song. Oh, lordy.

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  54. basset said on December 5, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Same deal here, Colleen@30 – Nashville State and Columbia State surgical tech grads get the jobs, those from the for-profit schools tend to have problems.

    Mrs. B. was a vet tech for quite a few years, then retrained at Nashville State and started working on humans. Where, pole-dancing fans, she has seen some truly horrible staph infections, the kind where they have to cut chunks of skin away to get them under control, on women from the pole-dancing clubs.

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  55. Jolene said on December 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    In the Frontline show on for-profit colleges, people in nursing programs had completed their pediatrics training by working in daycare centers. Not too surprising they didn’t end up qualified for jobs in hospital nursing, but you’d think that this assignment might have given them a clue about the quality of their degree program before they got to the end of it.

    Very nice singing, Julie. Brought tears to my eyes, I must admit. No such talents in my family. We had to stick to the written (and spoken) word in our commemorations, though we did manage to work in a dance number. At my mother’s wake, one of my sisters and a grandchild wore my parents’ wedding clothes (a suit for my dad, and a street-length dress for my mom) and danced to a recording of one of my mother’s favorite songs. Was a lovely moment.

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  56. Julie Robinson said on December 5, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Everyone uses the gifts they’ve been given. I wished I had thought to offer my musical gifts when my grandpa died, so I wanted to give them the opportunity to sing one last time for grandma. I’m so very glad they did.

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  57. Bitter Scribe said on December 5, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Oh, I wish I believed in hell so I could picture those Brown Mackie slimeballs in it. Stealing money from desperate, down-and-out people. Scum.

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  58. moe99 said on December 6, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Nancy, does that mean Seattle Slew is gay, like those penguins?

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  59. nancy said on December 6, 2011 at 1:03 am

    I think we’re all free to draw our own conclusions, but really, why judge? He got the job done.

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  60. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 6, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Beautiful, Julie; thank you.

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  61. alex said on December 6, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Julie that was superb.


    I can see pole dancing morphing from a spectacle into a sport. NASCAR and the NFL have something to worry about.


    Off topic but a great read, the applied (or rather misapplied) psychology of modern right-wing agitprop.

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  62. heydave said on December 6, 2011 at 8:43 am

    I am so glad I found this site.

    No, that’s it, nothing more to add right now.

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  63. brian stouder said on December 6, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Agreed w/Heydave!

    Alex – that was a marvelous link, and I liked this passage:

    As Sean Wilentz points out in his introduction, it is useful to be reminded just how reckless Goldwater really was: He praised the lunatic John Birch Society, insisted that the U.S. must utterly defeat the Soviet Union even if it meant risking nuclear war (“a craven fear of death is entering the American consciousness”) and stated that the decisions of the Supreme Court are “not necessarily” the law of the land.

    Which takes us back to Newt Gingrich, who has also proposed eviscerating the court, and to the modern Republican Party. Hofstadter and Adorno were writing 50 and 60 years ago, but their work still provides an uncannily accurate portrait of the American right wing.

    Take the Tea Party, the flagship of modern right-wing “thought.” In his withering portrait of the Tea Party, Matt Taibbi reveals it to be utterly self-contradictory and self-serving, driven by resentment and anger against undeserving welfare loafers and illegal immigrants. An elderly couple who rage against the federal government turn out to be a government employee and a Medicare recipient whose motorized scooter was paid for by Uncle Sam.

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  64. Kim said on December 6, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Julie, that was beautiful – such poise. Thanks for sharing it.

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  65. Colleen said on December 6, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Julie, I left the program for Health Information Management, so I am still (STILL) in school. But my classmates all have jobs.

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  66. caliban said on December 6, 2011 at 10:13 am

    How are the Teabangers self-serving? The gutdom dolts put themselves through bizarre contortions of conignitive disconnection (Government hands of my Medicare.) to convince themselves that The Koch Kriminal Konspiracy and Dick Armey represent their interests. One thing, and one thing alone the fools have in common with their astroturfers? They cannot abide the brown skinned son of a Kenyan in the White House.

    Who the hell votes for US Chamber bootlickers that want to pass legislation like this crap.

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  67. Dorothy said on December 6, 2011 at 10:19 am

    My turn, Julie – their voices are beyond lovely! What a sweet tribute to their grandma. I’m amazed they got through it without their voices breaking. I did a reading at my father-in-law’s funeral two years ago and could not get through it without getting emotional.

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  68. caliban said on December 6, 2011 at 10:19 am

    GOPers and the shame that normal, decent people feel when they know they behaved irresponsibly? Not even a nodding acquaintance.

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