A margarita to celebrate your independence.

As someone who has always thought it was silly that certain ethnic holidays are celebrated mainly by white people, eating in restaurants being served by the people whose holiday it allegedly is, I don’t find this cartoon — about Cinco de Mayo in Brentwood — particularly offensive. Not offensive at all, in fact.

What say you? The attached tweet says it got a Patch editor fired. Seems an overreaction to me. But that’s Patch for ya.

Sorry. All that Palin talk must have rubbed off on me.

I don’t have a great deal today, as you have probably suspected by now. The project that’s been blotting out my personal sun runs today in Bridge. Charter schools. Some of you may find this more interesting than others.

If you want something a little spicier, one of the good guys of newspaper journalism has died. Nelson Rockefeller-style.

More tomorrow, but for now — gotta work.

Posted at 9:16 am in Current events, Media |

55 responses to “A margarita to celebrate your independence.”

  1. Dexter said on March 13, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I think Rocky’s lady friend was 32. Whatever…

    I can usually get a good or bad feeling from a cartoon but I feel so far removed from Brentwood I can’t even offer an opinion, except to say that some people love having a large stick up their asses so they can judge what is or isn’t racist.

    I completely understand the history and reasons why African Americans portrayed as grape soda swilling, watermelon slurping, fried chicken munching caricatures are horribly offensive.

    But…I have a friend in New York. She is 69 years old, a widow. She write me hilarious emails about stuff she and her husband did, and I laugh out loud sometimes, and sometimes the topics are watermelons and grape soda.
    For one, she is damn-near addicted to grape soda and another entity associated with Black America: the lottery. She plays big and she has won big, and she tells me the hilarious ways she picks her three digit numbers for the game.

    One day she and her husband (ok..yes…he drove a Continental, geez!)—were driving along a two lane down in Mississippi , heading to a family reunion (this never stops…but it’s all true) and it was hot as hell .
    They noticed a truck with wooden gates on the sides, crammed and stacked to overflowing with ripe watermelons. The man spun the Lincoln around and chased the watermelon truck and caught the attention of the driver who pulled over and sold them a few watermelons for the reunion, but my friend and her old man waited until the driver was gone and they busted one of those watermelons open right there beside that road and engaged themselves in pure eating delight.
    OK…there are about a dozen things in this post of mine that I suppose people could say I was a racist about. My friend Leatice would pay no attention. She is one of the true lively, loving, transparent people I have ever met on a blog.

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  2. MarkH said on March 13, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Megan Marschak, she was 25. “…undeniably intimate circumstances”, indeed.


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  3. Deborah said on March 13, 2012 at 10:08 am

    A lot of people don’t know that Charles Eames the revered modernist designer died the same way that Rockefeller did. He died in a St. Louis hotel and he was there for business with the architecture firm I used to work for. He was of course married to Ray Eames the other half of the famous designer couple at the time.

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  4. Mark P said on March 13, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Nice memories for the surving family. Oh, well. If you live by the titillating story, I guess you die by the titillating story.

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  5. brian stouder said on March 13, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I am sure I will have much to say, after I read your Charter School articles.

    Especially as tonight, at IPFW, Diane Ravitch is speaking, and I expect she will hit this same ground pretty squarely.

    As they say in the news biz – “Developing….”

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  6. MichaelG said on March 13, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I didn’t realize that about Charles Eames. It happened to a guy at Dept. of Corrections twenty years or so ago. He was supposed to be in Chino when it turned out he was in a hotel in San Francisco with his girlfriend. It wasn’t a bad heart attack and he was back to work in a couple of weeks. I’m guessing things were a little frosty between he and his wife.

    Anybody else out there?

    I didn’t find that cartoon particularly offensive. On the other hand I didn’t find it especially amusing either.

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  7. Prospero said on March 13, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Lalo Alcaraz is a cartoonist I enjoy, and an incisive political commentator. If anybody has a beef with the content of that cartoon, it should be the ridiculous white residents of Brentwood for going all in with battle recreations in on an alleged holiday created to boost sales of the most warm pisspoor beer anybody ever stuck a lime in and foisted on the American public, and think of the “help” the rest of the year as “beaners” and “illegals”. That ain’t cerveza real, amigo it’s the rented and recycled kind. And guess what, Cinco de Mayo falls fortuitously on May 5 this year (somehow that works out every year, unless Sunday Blue Laws interfere with Happy Hour). The cartoon makes a mockery, alright, but it’s rich gringos getting skewered, not Mexicans. And if my pidgin Spanish is offensive to anybody, forgive me, I didn’t mean it.

    And Ray and Charles Eames are most famous for molded plastic chairs the will have a landfill half-life longer than plutonium, Heftybags and Huggies put together. The happy home they designed for themselves in LA is an amazing architectural design achievement, though. The living room might be the coolest room I’ve ever seen. Outdoors, indoors.

    And I’d bet Elvis would rather have died in the saddle than on the throne, although from accounts of two-way mirrors in the Jungle Room, Elvis in later years preferred to watch. Didn’t a Soprano’s character croak on the commode?

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  8. Kirk said on March 13, 2012 at 11:23 am

    That cartoon is pretty harmless.

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  9. Bitter Scribe said on March 13, 2012 at 11:24 am

    What’s creepier about that death story is that it seems to have been a cash-for-sex arrangement between a man in his 60s and a woman in her 20s. What’s the line between a sugar daddy and a john?

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  10. Jean S said on March 13, 2012 at 11:28 am

    oh man, not Bob Caldwell. Well, that will have a lot of Portland folks cross-eyed today.

    edit to add: He had problems with alcohol, too (a couple of DUIs, not all of which were reported in the Oregonian).

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  11. alex said on March 13, 2012 at 11:30 am

    What’s the line between a sugar daddy and a john?

    Whether a pimp gets a cut of the action.

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  12. Deborah said on March 13, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Prospero, there won’t be many Eames chairs in landfills, the originals at least go up in price every year. If you find one in a thrift shop you’ve hit gold.

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  13. LAMary said on March 13, 2012 at 11:49 am

    The cartoon isn’t offensive. It’s showing reality. Who is supposedly offended by it?

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  14. Prospero said on March 13, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Back in JSchool days, the Oregonian was one of the papers I really enjoyed in our Reading Room, along with SacBee, the Courant, the State and the San Jose Mercury.

    Eames molded plastic chairs:


    Soul of the 50s, redolent of boomerang pattern Formica dinettes and tail fins.

    From Nancy’s charter school piece:

    “Where we did find a set of outcomes where there were significant impacts (was in) student satisfaction, and that of their parents. It is kind of interesting that in a number of studies, parents are happier than students.”

    This sounds like marketing-speak to me, and charters strike me as the nose of a consumerism, corporatist privitization camel in the education tent. So does this:

    A static system that only allows for a single provider doesn’t work anymore. Public funding of education is for students. With Proposal A, we’ve decided to let parents allocate that money. We’re not taking (students out of traditional public schools), parents are. They have a choice.

    When education is a business, won’t the Prime Directive of schools be producing optimal consumers? Having witnessesd the “Christian” School phenomenon in the South in response to school integration, I see a danger of injection of similar destructive insularity into American society, something that cannot be a good thing for the country. To a certain extent, I’ve always considered charter schools to be an end run to vouchers, which never gained traction because they were most frequently a transparent subsidy to the upper middle.

    Most telling observation:

    What complicates it, Miron said, is that you shouldn’t base state educational policy, particularly one with such profound implications for the future of publicly funded education, on the outliers. And a few exceptions, heartening though they may be, don’t justify what he describes in a metaphor incorporating highways. If you have potholes on Interstate 94, you don’t deal with them by paving a parallel highway a few miles to the north, taking money from the existing one to build the new one. Then you have two bad highways.

    While individualcharters may excel, I see no way on God’s blue Earth that expanding charters can have a salubrious effect on public education. I don’t see anything good coming from essentially privatizing traditional government functions and commodifying things like education, the penal system, utilities etc., statistical outliers notwithstanding.

    Informative piece, Nancy. Fine exposition of the questions and potential pitfalls in the charter approach. When I think of charter schools, my thoughts always return to the course offerings of Michele Bachmann’s wish list for taxpayer funded Stillwater charter curriculum:

    “The Bible’s Truth versus the Lies of Science”

    “Geology: Our Six Thousand Year Old Earth”

    “Why Do the Jews Continue To Reject Him?”

    “12 Christian principles”

    “The Biology of Fetus Murdering”

    “Beginning, intermediate, and advanced Creationism”

    from: http://wikiality.wikia.com/Michele_Bachmann#Charter_Schools_for_Dummies

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  15. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Brian, looking forward to the Ravitch update late tonight!

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  16. Connie said on March 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Prospero, Eames chairs are fiberglass , not plastic. They were manifactured in my home town. I have eight in royal blue.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on March 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Off-topic, but interesting after all our talk about Rush Limbaugh’s disgusting actions a couple of weeks ago.

    The number of advertisers who are declining to air commercials during his hatefest has risen to 140, leading his national syndicator to suspend national advertising for the next two weeks.

    There was some talk here after the bag of pus began slandering Sandra Fluke that he was too big to be hurt. He absolutely is being hurt and aside from Lifelock and Lear Financial, no national advertisers are standing with him. Years of racist, sexist, homophobic rantings inured us to the idea that El Rushbo could ever be brought down and perhaps he will survive this latest wave of richly deserved scorn. But for now, I’d say the big man and his syndicators are shitting their pants over the loss of revenues and the continuing damage to the bottom line. While he is indeed the leader of the conservative movement, he is paid to move product and he ain’t doing it at the moment.

    Boo hoo hoo.

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  18. Minnie said on March 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Speaking of comics, is anyone reading Garry Trudeau on the irrational Texas abortion law? Some newspapers are refusing to print “Doonesbury” this week, finding its subject too sensitive for their readers. Monday as I walked down the driveway to pick up our local paper I wondered if I would have to cancel our subscription in protest over the cartoon’s absence. I am proud to announce that Norfolk’s “The Virginian-Pilot” is running the skewering strips. It will be interesting to see readers’ reactions reflected in the letters to the editor.

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  19. Prospero said on March 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Deborah: I know the chairs are collectible. Saw them on Roadshow, but everything winds up in a landfill that isn’t consumed in the foodchain:


    The molded plywood furniture was far better, and much more interesting design:


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  20. Deborah said on March 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Prospero, I agree about the sustainability factor of the molded plywood chair and I like the way they look, but have you ever sat in one? I do not find them comfortable.

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  21. Minnie said on March 13, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Deborah, I wonder if our bottoms were shaped differently back in the 1950s. (Re: molded plywood and fiberglass chairs)

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  22. Prospero said on March 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    If they’re making fiberglass chairs now, they are reproductions of form, function and design. Fiberglass is a proprietary name for a patented material. The generic term used in specifications and other documents is glass reinforced plastic (GRFP). Fiberglass is plastic. I know this from writing specifications for publicly bid construction projects for which proprietary names like Fiberglas were not allowed:


    LifeLock? Well, the CEO was a victim of identity theft, after publishing his SSN and daring identity thieves to try something. The company also sponsors Paul Harvey.

    Deborah: My brother the corporate lawyer has this desk chair and this lounge chair in his office:


    And they are incredibly comfortable (and beautiful works of design art, I think). The stacking chairs have never struck me as uncomfortable. The plastic buckets have. De gustibus… and every butt to its own.

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  23. Peter said on March 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I have a few different Eames chair in the house – two of them I got through the old Herman Miller yard sale – you would pay money for a spot, sight unseen, on the warehouse floor – you got everything in that spot, and then you would try to swap what you didn’t want out. My spot was a covered Eames fiberglas chair and a lot of Action Office panel accessories.

    With all due respects to the gentleman from the Oregonian, Ray Eames, and Vice President Rockefeller, this guy took the cake:


    When there was an episode of Law and Order that depicted an architect dying at Penn Station who had two wives and a mistress, I called bullshit – no architect made enough money to keep that racket going. Then I find out that not only was it true, but it was Louis Kahn! One of the few people uglier than Moe Syzlak. Go figure.


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  24. Heather said on March 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I got four gray Eames shell chairs off Craigslist from a woman who handled props for photo shoots for $75 each–they’re a bit beat up (I think they were actually used in a school–they’re the stackable version) but they look decent. Good enough for my humble condo, anyway. I had been thinking about the Starck Ghost chairs, but four would cost a small fortune. And now I think they might look rather dated. Although looking at them online, I feel a familiar yearning: http://www.unicahome.com/catalog/item.asp?id=19073&PartnerID=SLI

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  25. Joe K said on March 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Pilot Joe

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  26. Dorothy said on March 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Minnie my daughter works at The Pilot – I could ask her for first-hand accounts about reader reaction if you’d like.

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  27. Prospero said on March 13, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Louis Kahn just looked like Andy Warhol would have had he made it to about 90.

    I always wanted to buy Philippe Starck’s Apriio Moto 6.5 motorcycle:


    Coolest looking bike I’ve ever seen, but I’ve heard they are flimsily built and low performance. The newest incarnation of the ghost chairs is polycarbonate, I think (Lexan, some seriously indestructible stuff, but terribly prone to surface scratching and crazing), the manufacture of which requires phosgene, a seriously dangerous substance, known in chemical weapons circles as CG since it was used in trench warfare in WWI. Lexan is the glass substitute used to make subway teller booths bulletproof. I’ve hit sheets of Lexan on sawhorses with a 20 lb. sledge hammer without damaging them. Starck does contract design work for Target, so I’m surprised theer isn’t some sort of Target knockoff of the ghost chairs.

    Right Joe, based solely on gasoline prices.Which jump every year at this time in anticipation of summer demand, and always drop in mid-August So maybe the bad citizen hedge fund managers and Kochs that don’t want any regulation or taxation for themselves meddling with oil futures are getting somewhere. But Congress is near single digits, and these job approval polls doan mean dick about Presidential voting. Enjoy it while you can, before the DNC ads with video of the W misAdministration officials explaining how the Pres doesn’t have anything to do with gas prices hit the airwaves.

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  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    This way to the Shaming Room. A white, middle-aged state legislator will be with you shortly.

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  29. Hattie said on March 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    The Oregonian is not publishing the Trudeau cartoons, although they did not flinch from reporting on their employee who killed himself screwing a young woman. While young women getting birth control and abortions is taboo, old guys porking them is just in the nature of things. I’m sure Rush would agree with me on that.
    As to charter schools: I started writing a long, long screed but decided to bag it. People are having to learn about all these dubious educational opportunities the hard way, because they won’t listen to actual educators.

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  30. Minnie said on March 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Dorothy, I recalled that a regular here has a daughter at the V-P. Would imagine the paper has been fielding calls. If you would be so kind as to ask your daughter about public reaction I would very much appreciate it.

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  31. alex said on March 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I have a shitload of Eames furniture, none of it comfortable but it sure looks swell with my mid-century mod house.

    Chuckle all you want, Pilot Joe, you’re still going to have four more years of a black Democrat president who will win in a landslide. You mark my words.

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  32. LAMary said on March 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    My younger son went to two charter schools. One was very rigorous, the other lame. Overall they both sucked in very different ways. Now he’s at community college finishing his high school diploma and taking 101 level classes. I hope this gets him back on track.

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  33. Jakash said on March 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Re: Doonesbury. The Chicago Tribune refused to publish his set last year that used quotes from that Joe McGinniss book about Sarah Palin, but I’m pleased to note that they’ve evidently decided that the ones this week are okay. Good line from yesterday’s cited by Jeff (tmmo) above.

    The Republican wind-machine must have really succeeded with the campaign to foster usage of “Democrat” rather than “Democratic” when referring to that party if even alex is going with it. (Unless that was just for Pilot Joe’s benefit…) I noticed that the Tribune seems to use that terminology as well. Not surprising, I suppose, but I still find it annoying.

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  34. alex said on March 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I did it for Pilot Joe’s benefit and I also find it annoying when supposedly neutral news outlets use it because such usage originated as a Karl Rove trick.

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  35. Prospero said on March 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Why voting for President based on oil prices is so delusional, it should be grounds for disenfranchisement.

    It’s sure not about jobs, where GOPers have vaporized public sector jobs right and left through cuts to funds transfers to states and localities and intransigently blocked infrastructure spending in a jobs bill in the house:


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  36. Deborah said on March 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Peter, I’ve said this here before, while Louis Kahn wasn’t great looking, he was a design genius. Had I worked in his office back in the day I probably would have had a crush on him too. And he had 1 wife and 2 mistresses (that we know of anyway) that each had a child by him. His mistress Anne Tyng died recently. His son Nathaniel (by his other mistress) made the movie “My Architect” about his father. It’s a great movie.

    We have 6 Rietveld Zig Zag chairs around our dining room table http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zig-Zag_Chair. Talk about uncomfortable, they look fantastic though. His Red and Blue chair is very comfortable to sit in even though it doesn’t look like it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_and_Blue_Chair. We don’t have one of those.

    And Jeff B, I forgot to mention earlier that I contacted Clear Channel via e-mail and told them they should dump Rush because he’s de-valuing their brand.

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 13, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Deborah, if you and your husband have chairs like those you linked, you might be an architect.

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  38. beb said on March 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    via Atrois I came across this post from Digby

    Seems that CNN’s Dana Loesch is channeling Rusk Limbaugh, nothing that Ms. Fluke’s boyfriend is rich, therefore he ought to pay for her birth control; also they’re vacationing in California on spring-break, and why is she on vacation when she can’t afford birth control….

    As Digby reminds us in her response, Ms Fluke did not talk about her situation but that of others that she knows. That Limbaugh and Loesch both talk about Fluke’s personal life only and make defamatory comments about it is disturbing. Also, how does Loesch know all this stuff? Has she been stalking Fluke? Or is that more a Bill O’Reilly thing?

    We live in Detroit and knew there was no way we were going to send our daughter to Detroit public education. Even though there is an elementary school around the block from us, as one of the few white kids in Detroit, who knows where she would have been sent in an effort to achieve some kind of racial balance. There’s a high school only a couple miles away, which has a shooting incident about once a year. There was no way we were going to send our daughter there. So for the first 7 years she went to a Lutheran school which was rigorous. Then they got a new pastor who talked about Dinosaurs walking with Moses…. It was time to move on. From there we went to a charter school, which despite being set in the suburbs, had the small ratio of black to white students as DPS. My daughter curses like a sailor. She learned all her curse words from school. Her grades shoot up the first year she was there because she had gone over all that stuff the year before at Lutheran school. Oone of the things that disturbed me was that during her Junionr year she had to take one class that was a “cram” course for the upcoming MEAPS tests. One hour every day spent on has to pass a test that could have been used to teach her something important. But that’s the world we live in thanks to “No Child Left Behind.” It’s test and perish. There’s no “or” about it.

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  39. Prospero said on March 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    That CBS poll is also not reflective of the following:

    It’s not home foreclosures, where greedy GOPer goobernors and GOP legislatures have purloined settlement money arranged by the Obama administration and meant for troubled homeowner victims of renegade banks.

    It can’t be because American’s want laissez faire, unregulated ShangriLa for criminal bankers.

    The zigzag chairs are beautiful but look excruciating for dining. The red and blue chair is cool, but the design resemblance to old-fashioed Adirondack chairs is fairly unmistakable. We have ’em on our deck and they are quite comfy, with or without cushions.

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  40. Prospero said on March 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    It can’t be about jobs, unless people are even stupider than I thought.

    GOPers have made a mockery of Boehner's pathetic “job, jobs, jobs” statement.

    The GOPer House of Representatives have slashed federal funds to the states (and de facto, to localities, moronically, deliberately, and with no purpose but to retard the economic recovery in the interest of fracking with the Kenyaan candidate Muslim President. And it’s not patriotism, because if that were a factor, the GOPers who behave this way would be tarred, feathered and rode out on a rail immediately.

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  41. Prospero said on March 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    And it’s not the sterling performance and character of prominent GOPers.

    And its not like GOPer austerity is providing any help with the economic recovery, no matter what Goobernor Scott Walker may have claimed.

    By sheer numbers of dollars, thebiggest crook ever elected anything in the USA. FLA electing this asshat is like electing Bernie Madoff.

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  42. Scout said on March 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I wish this would be seen by people other than the choir:

    >Serial GOP filibusters limited the extent to which he (Obama) could use deficit spending and temporary tax cuts to hasten economic recovery. Republicans bucked historically bipartisan policies to thwart the president. And when they took over the House in 2011, Republicans pursued an austerity agenda, and, separately, spooked credit markets by taking the government to the brink of default.< ** >Obama and Reagan pursued different policies, and Reagan’s were politically more difficult for Congress to thwart. But today’s GOP, unlike yesterday’s Democratic Party, pursued a purposeful and unprecedented strategy of blanket obstruction designed to damage the president. And these are the results.< http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/03/how-politics-damaged-obamas-recovery-chart.php?ref=fpb

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  43. LAMary said on March 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    The red and blue chairs look like an Adirondack chair interpreted by Piet Mondrian, which makes perfect sense.

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  44. Prospero said on March 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Excellent description LAMary. Brilliant. Were I rich, I’d get one with pneumatic tires for the beach.

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  45. LAMary said on March 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Hartstikke leuk, Prospero.
    Connie, Piet Mondrian and and Gerrit Rietveld might know what that means.

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  46. coozledad said on March 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Borden: Has anyone seen the Buggles? Ah. This must be them now.

    I heard you on the wireless back in ’98
    Who knew a lardass could be paid to masturbate?
    It isn’t like it took a genius, peddling hate and


    The pimples on your ass kept you from getting fragged
    like every lowlife, wrapped yourself inside a flag
    talent on loan from oxy in a shopping bag.


    You’re screwing children?
    What do you tell them?

    Sandra Fluke lanced the radio cyst
    Sandra Fluke lanced the radio cyst

    Why do womens act like this?


    And now we meet in a carribean bordello
    I’ve got the payoff from that Bush you used to blow.
    Of course it’s heavy did you think we wouldn’t go with

    Don’t spend it one place!
    Who’d sit on that face?

    Sandra Fluke lanced the radio cyst
    Sandra done lanced the radio cyst
    It was bound to come to this
    Womens always acts like this…
    What’s that scent? Flop sweat and piss?

    They lanced the radio cyst
    They lanced the radio cyst…


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  47. lisa said on March 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I didn’t know Bob Caldwell. Can’t comment on his being “a good guy.” Except to say he doesn’t sound like one. If you live like a good person, you’re not likely to die like an asshole. And your death isn’t likely to cause embarrassment to your family and showcase your lack of regard for your spouse.

    I feel very badly for his wife.

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  48. Deborah said on March 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Sandra Fluke lanced the radio cyst

    Laughing out loud funny.

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  49. Deborah said on March 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    And by the way our Reitveld Zig Zag chairs are black as is our dining table which is a Jean Nouvelle table called less http://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?criteria=O%3AAD%3AE%3A7450|A%3AAR%3AE%3A1&page_number=2&template_id=1&sort_order=1
    Even more proof that we’re into architecture.

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  50. Prospero said on March 13, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Rash is looking crispier all the time, but what’s going to bite this shitheel in the butt? This fracker’s obnoxiousness reaches psychedelic proportions.

    And it was actually a pilonidal cyst coozledad. A truly gross medical condition involving ingrown anal hairs. If lanced and drained, it’s difficult to understand how it gets a 4F. And I went to find the Buggles on Youtube and ended up at Safety Dance and Walk Like an Egyptian.

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  51. Connie said on March 13, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Peter, when I was a kid we went to Herman Miller sales on the lawn at the plant. There were many Eames chairs with no legs, later to be seen mounted on your neighbor’s tractor or fishing boat. Are you from that neck of the woods?

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  52. Bitter Scribe said on March 13, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Hey, Joe: Whoops yourself.

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  53. Suzanne said on March 13, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    I attended the Ravitch lecture tonight. She was very engaging and interesting and had no love for charter schools.
    She did touch on the basic problem that we as a society have monetized every living thing. Education doesn’t make money and thus is thought of as useless; that is, until the idea of money making charter schools! It’s all good if you want your child thought of as an educational product.

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  54. JayZ(the original) said on March 13, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Minnie, the Ventura County Star is running the Trudeau comic strip, and today’s paper had two letters to the editor regarding it. Both were positive.

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  55. brian stouder said on March 13, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    The project that’s been blotting out my personal sun runs today in Bridge. Charter schools. Some of you may find this more interesting than others.

    I really liked the Charter Schools articles that Nancy wrote. Taking a page from Prospero, here are passages I found especially striking (with emphasis added by me):

    Miron went on to lay out why he thinks the [charter] schools have fallen short of their lofty founding goals of driving educational improvement through innovation and competition: They lack effective oversight and accountability. They’re chained by the current emphasis on testing and specific performance standards. Privatization and profit-seeking drain dollars away from instruction.

    Talk about a “nut paragraph”! I love Fort Wayne Community Schools precisely because they truly are MY schools*. As a taxpayer and a voter, I pay to support that system, and I vote for trustees that oversee the district and regularly hold public meetings where policies and goals are set, and progress is measured, and decisions and judgements are rendered.

    And that line about being “chained by the current emphasis on testing and specific performance standards”?

    Cry me a river, baby!!! The “current emphasis on testing and specific performance standards” is EXACTLY the damned club that the predators…errr… ‘voucher advocates’ use to beat the public schools, every day of every week of every month of every damned year.

    And then there were these remarks, at the conclusion:

    “A static system that only allows for a single provider doesn’t work anymore,” he said. His comments reflect a newer argument for charters – choice for choice’s sake. “Public funding of education is for students,” said Quisenberry. “With Proposal A, we’ve decided to let parents allocate that money. We’re not taking (students out of traditional public schools), parents are. They have a choice.”

    Choice for choice’s sake, indeed. And not for nothing, but our public schools in Fort Wayne specifically DOES offer choice within the system, and we have taken advantage of it.

    If all folks want is “choice” – this can be done within the parameters of a publicly owned and openly operated school system; we’re doing that right now, in Fort Wayne.

    This evening Pam came with me to IPFW, and we joined a fairly packed house to take in Diane Ravitch’s lecture – and let me just say – that woman came out swinging! She gave a very lively lecture, and she was flat-out impressive. Her bottom line was precisely the point that Nancy made in her articles: Charters have not achieved ANY improvement beyond the results that public schools achieve – and indeed – the money ends up in the pockets of investors, and accountability flies out the window.

    To me, if we allow the concerted attacks on public schools to continue, what we’re really destroying is the American melting pot. Private schools, one way and another, will foist off students who don’t speak English (Fort Wayne has many, many English Language Learners) and parochial schools will focus on their own coreligionists and so on. It looks to me like we’re casting a caste system, and I believe that this is flatly and definitively un-American.

    Quick – what is the number one leading-indicator of how well a student will do in school?

    And the answer is, of course, poverty. If we won’t address that – then we’re bound to lock-in a fixed-failure rate amongst that segment of our citizenry, no matter what system of education we evolve into. (and of course, if we allow the robber-barons to simply come in and take the money, and treat like students like hogs in a CAFO, then we’ll deserve the disaster that will surely ensue)

    And with that, I hear that Santorum won two southern states tonight. Huh.

    *the FWCS logo forthrightly states “We are your schools” – which is such a simple statement of fact that people underestimate how true it is. A person who has no children in schools still has a large stake in the success of the schools, if they value their community, and want to see subsequent generations of employable citizens in their city.

    edit – Suzanne – Huzzah!! Wasn’t it great? I loved seeing how big a crowd she drew, and I bought her book and got her to sign it, and gabbed with her a little. Pammy loves her new Nook Tablet (anniversary present), but you can”t have one of those inscibed! Gimme an ink-and-paper book every time, baby!!

    edit 2 – and, on the way home, Pam and I also yapped about who will be the #100 Omnibus lecture person. They’re certainly playing it up, and Ms Ravitch was #99. My guess: Michele Obama – but we shall see (March 27 announcement)

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