The artists.

I went to some play-actin’ last night. This one, specifically, which wasn’t entirely a play but was more than a monologue — “The Troublemakers,” about Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo’s sojourn in Detroit, while Rivera painted the murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

My takeaway was that little changes. Rich people seek out artists and vice versa. The former puts up with the latter’s insults — Frida, pretending ignorance of English, would tell the Grosse Pointe matrons throwing tea parties in her honor, “I shit on you” — and the latter turns up at those parties in exchange for patronage. The piece’s high points — the pair’s arrival, Frida’s wrenching miscarriage, the debut of the murals — were the tentpoles that carried the narrative through.

Some folks I know were in it. Not a bad way to spend a Tuesday night.

But now I have little bloggage. Nope. Now I have no bloggage. Got any to share?

Posted at 8:26 am in Detroit life |

58 responses to “The artists.”

  1. Dorothy said on March 21, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I was just about to put this in yesterday’s comments and here you are, fresh with a post this morning. I was sad when I saw this on the NYTimes website yesterday: I really do read this paper frequently on line so maybe it’s time I pony up the cash to keep doing so.

    Speaking of plays, we have tickets to see Billy Elliot this coming Saturday and I’m really looking forward to it. I remember when we bought the tickets we decided to go with the 2:00 show, in case there was a March snow storm that would interfere with our one-hour drive to Columbus in the evening. (four years ago we had 20 inches of snow on March 8! I’d rather drive through snow in the daylight than after dark. Hmph – and here it is about to be in the low 80’s today.

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  2. brian stouder said on March 21, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Well, with regard to linkage, let me say that Diane Ravitch’s arresting book The Death and Life of the Great American School System, which I snapped up when she gave a lecture here last week, in addition to being very good stuff, also pointed me to this website:

    which is a tremendous resource.

    One of the interesting things that her book (and presumably her website) explores is the complex political dynamic, within public education, wherein “right/left” tactics appease both sides, and lead to sweeping (not to say reckless) change; and the interesting way that language mutates over time.

    A term like “choice” starts out meaning one thing (for example – code for segregation in the 50’s and 60’s), and then mutates into another (vouchers, for parochial schools, for example; or for FWCS – magnet schools and the like); until ultimately, as Nancy pointed out in Bridge last week – “choice” becomes essentially an end in itself (if not simply a selling point).

    But, we digress!

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  3. moe99 said on March 21, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I’m in Ft. Lauderdale for a week of sun and sand so will be mostly lurking. Although I am on a Janet Evanovich kick, so mosey over here to order the next kindle volume to keep up with my beach reading.

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  4. coozledad said on March 21, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Remedios Varo said when she first moved to Paris a good way to eat was to crank out fake de Chiricos. The buyers had to know they were getting snaked.
    I wonder what an authenticated Varo de Chirico would go for.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on March 21, 2012 at 9:44 am

    The Times posts many of its articles on facebook, and by liking different sections (health, theatre, music) I get access to a fair amount of content.

    Dorothy, I think you will love Billy Elliot. Besides the amazing dancing and cheeky Elton John songs, it’s a paean to how the arts help us cope with life’s challenges. One scene in particular left me both breathless at the technique and a quivering mass of tears. I’ll not say more because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but you’ll know what I mean.

    Here’s a link a niece sent me just this morning, for Sculpture Trails Park in southern Indiana. Apparently you wander around and stumble on quirky sculptures woven into the woods. It looks fun:

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  6. Prospero said on March 21, 2012 at 9:55 am

    An old, lost love emailed me this song this am. Made my day:

    Something just about nobody ever heard before. Ooh child, cover by Melanie Safka.

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  7. Icarus said on March 21, 2012 at 10:07 am

    bloggage? Chicago Public School system is nixing the school holidays for Pulaski and Columbus. As an American of Polish decent who only got to enjoy one Pulaski Day in the CPS system before going to school in a State that didn’t even realize other ethnicities beyond white and black even existed, I’m more than disappointed. If it wasn’t for Pulaski, America might have been a british colony a wee bit longer.

    So to sum it up, it took over 200 years for America to acknowledge the man and only in Illinois because of Chicago’s large Polish population and a few decades later we are getting rid of the holiday. It probably is a logical and even necessary solution. that doesn’t mean I have to like it, right?

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  8. Prospero said on March 21, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Sculpture Trail Parks is reminiscent of follies, entirely ludicrous architectural structures that serve no conceivable purpose but to amuse.

    Il sont changez ma chanson, ma.

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  9. nancy said on March 21, 2012 at 10:20 am

    For the millionth time, people, MORE THAN TWO LINKS IN A COMMENT WILL SEND IT TO MODERATION. I don’t mind it going there if you don’t, but I’m just sayin’.

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  10. Dorothy said on March 21, 2012 at 10:21 am

    That’s right, Julie – I forgot about that tip. I also follow NYT on Facebook so I’ll read the articles I want via F/B. Had you seen the movie Billy Elliot before seeing the stage show? I’m a HUGE fan of the movie – have much of the dialogue memorized (an obsession of my daughter’s and mine, depending on the movie).

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  11. Deborah said on March 21, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Nancy, I envy you for getting to go to that production, it sounds fantastic, especially the setting.

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  12. brian stouder said on March 21, 2012 at 10:25 am

    On the other hand, Fort Wayne Community Schools decided to stay in session on Veterans Day, and to have special activities at each school, specifically in observance of the day. Are the Chicago schools doing anything on a specific day for Pulaski?

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  13. Prospero said on March 21, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Icarus, I always thought of Columbus Day as the Bringing Deadly Diseases to the Aborigines Day, and I doubt Buffy Ste. Marie celebrates it. My ancestors the Vikings were here first anyway.

    Patrick Sky is parbly not big on Columbus Day, either:

    Interesting comments on Pulaski. A few years back when theGOPers went Freedom Fries whacko, I marvelled at the astounding stupidity of the anti-Fronch sentiment. Lafayette, we are here? You’d think those foul war-mongers would remember shit like that.

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  14. Icarus said on March 21, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Prospero, I agree its hard to argue Columbus Day. I just feel as if the contributions of Poland have been overlooked, ignored and downplayed. USA abandoned them during the early days of WWII and we love you still. By the way, what ever happened with that big missle silo we wanted to put somewhere in Poland and point at Russia, just for observation sake of course?

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  15. Prospero said on March 21, 2012 at 10:42 am

    The city of Savannah GA is the very proud final resting spot of Gen. Casimir Pulaski, in Monterrey Square. You history types are missing a great bet by not visiting Savannah. Far prettier and more walker-friendly than Charleston.

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  16. Julie Robinson said on March 21, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Dorothy, I saw the movie many years ago but it doesn’t sound as if I know it as well as you. You’ll no doubt notice all the differences much more than we did, but it shouldn’t spoil it for you. It’s a magical piece, and one that won’t be done by community theatres, given the difficulty of casting a young boy who has acting chops and can also speak in an accent, sing, and dance at a high level.

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  17. Prospero said on March 21, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Another front in Obama’s war on Second Amendment rights.

    I abhor the death penalty, but this murderer gives me pause.

    This asshole bigot was looking at Trayvon Martin and seeing President Obama trying to take his guns away.

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  18. Connie said on March 21, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Icarus, many states do have a Pulaski County, including Indiana, Arkansas, and Missouri. And Dorothy my daughter saw Billy Elliot in London and sobbed away, very unusual for her.

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  19. Scout said on March 21, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Frida Kahlo has always fascinated me. The movie, Frida, directed by Julie Taymor is one of my all time favorites. I have it on DVD and it’s one of the only DVDs I own that I actually watch over and over again.

    Linkage… How about a pretty picture of cherry blossoms?

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  20. basset said on March 21, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I remember sitting in a committee meeting at the Mississippi state legislature on a 4th of July in the early 80s and hearing from the dais how they didn’t support “that Yankee holiday.”

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  21. Dorothy said on March 21, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I’ve seen the movie too many times to count and I still cry at the scene when Billy is saying good-bye to his dad at the bus station. I’ll make sure to have plenty of tissues on hand Saturday, too!

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  22. Prospero said on March 21, 2012 at 11:22 am

    C’mon, Scout. Where are the pictures of the cherry bottoms?

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  23. Catherine said on March 21, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Sharing, plus the word “fracas.” Double points.

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  24. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Icarus, don’t forget that Indiana even has a Kosciusko County, with the city of Warsaw. You may not want to know how the locals pronounce it, but . . .

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  25. LAMary said on March 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    There is something so heartwarming about this:

    Hugh Hefner, on the other hand, was reported to have commented on the matter as well, saying that “If they care about each other, they’ll patch it up.”

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  26. alex said on March 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Marston Hefner sounds like a chip off the old block. Age 21 and dad’s 86–yikes! I bristle whenever Hef gets any credit for the sexual revolution because his attitude toward women was and still is right out of the Mad Men era.

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  27. Carter said on March 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Claire Sinclair, really? Brings to mind shock jock Steve Dahl’s fake dj name: Steven St. Steven.

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  28. Cara said on March 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Reading “a self-appointed neighborhood watchman” and having experienced one or two of those locally, I have to ask, why not just spell the word “vigilante” and be honest about it?

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  29. Jolene said on March 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    It really is hard to believe that the police were willing to accept Zimmerman’s self-defense claim so readily. What in the world was he supposedly defending himself against? An unarmed kid ten years younger and 100 pounds lighter than himself? to say that doesn’t pass the smell test is putting it mildly.

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  30. alex said on March 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Almost as good as reading Roger Ebert is reading about him. Enjoy!

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  31. MarkH said on March 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Jeff(mmo) — As does Mississippi have the town of Kosciusko. And I believe they pronounce it correctly there.,_Mississippi

    Lead on, Icarus.

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  32. Jolene said on March 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Here is a good discussion of the “stand your ground” law that is being used to justify the Trayvon Martin shooting. Sounds like this isn’t the first time it has caused trouble for law enforcement.

    There’s also something fishy about how his family found out about his death. I got part of the story on TV this AM, but not the whole story. Has anyone read a good account of that?

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  33. Prospero said on March 21, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    The Zimmerman guy outweighed Trayvon Martin by a buck+, he had a gun, and he was in a car. It was a cold-blooded murder, and his call to the cops proves premeditation. That stand your ground bullshit is a classic case of the NRA thinking it knows better about law enforcement than do actual law enforcers. Zimmerman didn’t Stand His Ground, he obviously stopped his car, got out, and confronted the kid. He should go away forever for first degree murder. In fact, had Trayvon Martin been armed, he would have had a viable defense of standing his ground when this nutjob accosted him.

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  34. Prospero said on March 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Good sense on tax policy and supply side economics.

    Who expanded the federal government, Obama or Raygun? Send this along to any of your correspondents that email you all that noxious Drudge/Freeper/Green Footballs shit.

    If the minimum wage had been pegged to executive level salary increases since 1990, it would be $23/hr.

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  35. LAMary said on March 21, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Something nice.
    Also something now on my wish list, above the Fracas perfume.

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  36. Deborah said on March 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I’m at LAX waiting to go home and if there weren’t enough drama on this trip to last me a lifetime, they just had to administer the heimlich to a guy in a bar across from where we’re sitting. People we’re panicking but one great big guy with a shaved head seemed to know exactly what he was doing, it took 3 tries, the guy who was choking is fine now.

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 21, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I strongly suspect the reason Zimmerman isn’t under arrest is that the county prosecutor knows this is going to be a very, very hard case to try and convict; between the “stand your ground” perversity in Florida law, and the (to me) obvious emotional instability of the voice on the police call, if they have any hope of getting this vigilidiot into a cell, they’re going to have to dot their t’s and cross their i’s with great care and caution. It’s a field day for the cable news pundits to line up and fill halfhour segments condemning the prosecutor’s “lack of compassion and common sense,” but this indictment is going to be no ham sandwich.

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  38. brian stouder said on March 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Jeff – agreed; but if the prosecutor is motivated by justice (rather than just winning cases) then the irresistable impulse should be to set this fellow’s arrest in motion and try the guy, come what may.

    It is not too much to say that law and order has completely broken down, if ‘City Hall’ countenances random citizens driving around and killing certain other unarmed fellow citizens.

    (and the “^&*^% coons” remark is beneath contempt, but we digress)

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  39. Julie Robinson said on March 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Purporting to be the notes home from one summer camper who signs himself Mittie.

    Vigilidiot. I’m stealing that one.

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  40. Sue said on March 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    brian, in the case of this law I don’t think this is a matter of ‘you can’t fight city hall’, more likely ‘you can’t fight the NRA’. I understand police and attorney organizations were very much against it and the NRA is credited with being a big part in getting it through.

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  41. Bitter Scribe said on March 21, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Icarus—Lots of people from lots of ethnic groups have contributed to America, and if we took days off from school to honor them all, no one would ever get an education.

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  42. Jolene said on March 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    One of the legislators who sponsored the law was on TV this afternoon, and he said that he felt the law was being misapplied in this case–that it provides nothing in the way of rights to confront or pursue.

    Apparently, twenty-one states have such laws, most recently enacted following NRA lobbying.

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  43. Sue said on March 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    If I were Zimmerman, I don’t know what would be more terrifying, being arrested or staying out in the community. I assume he’s in hiding. Let’s hope he doesn’t feel the need to defend himself at some point, wherever he is.

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  44. MichaelG said on March 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I’m not buying it, Mary. The power to accomplish what the clip purports to show simply doesn’t reside in the human form. Also the glide ratio after the guy stopped flapping is a joke. He’d drop like a rock. And lots more. Sorry. It’s just not on.

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  45. beb said on March 21, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Running the risk of being sent to Coventry — I mean, moderation for too many links… Here’s a report on a report that holding a gun tends to make the person imagine that other people are holding guns, too.

    Then there’s this summary, with additional links:

    Bitter Scribe, you write “Lots of people from lots of ethnic groups have contributed to America, and if we took days off from school to honor them all, no one would ever get an education,” as if that were a bad thing.

    moe, mazel tov on the Florida vacation. Lots of nice sand, and the She-crab soup is indescribably good.

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  46. Prospero said on March 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    The murdered child was on the phone with his girlfriend almost to the moment he was shot. Self defense ain’t gonna fly. Another loony with a handgun for no good reason. Had the kid been armed, he would have been within his rights to shoot the killer, under that asinine, preposterous FLA standing ground law.

    Somebody put psilocybin in the coffee pot at the NYJets front office this morning.

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  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 21, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    beb, that’s exactly correct. Which is why Marine Force Recon are trained to do most of their behind-lines operations with only a knife. Marines are actually quite aware of Chekhov’s Law, as it translates from the stage to the battlefield. If you have a KA-BAR only, you’re much more likely to complete your mission and return safely.

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  48. Suzanne said on March 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    No more Pulaski Day! We lived in the Chicago area for a time years ago and I showed my ignorance the first time we hit Pulaski Day. Someone had to tell me not to show up for work. I even went to the Pulaski Day parade one year! People are trying to take all the fun outta life.

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  49. Scout said on March 21, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    It is not at all difficult to picture a totally different scenario if Martin HAD been packing when vigilidiot Zimmerman decided to Barney Fife him. Under the law, Martin would have been the one legally “holding his ground.” But dollars to donuts, a black kid shooting a white (or Hispanic, whatev) adult, charges would have been filed.

    In my humble opinion, if you shoot and kill an unarmed person, no matter WHAT you perceive the threat to yourself might have been, it’s murder and you should be arrested. You’ll get your chance to defend your actions in court.

    Hold Your Ground is a godawfully stupid law and hopefully this case illustrates the absolute absurdity of it in a way that even the dimmest of the dim can comprehend.

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  50. Prospero said on March 21, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    You end up with laws like that when idiots elect idiots. Look at the guy FLA elected goobernor. Biggest crook in the history of Medicare fraud. Consider Allen West, with the higher security clearance than the President. And Sparky Sperm is a person. The lunatics are running Bedlam these days, when a concealed carry permit is acceptable ID to prevent nonexistent vote fraud, but a college student ID is inadmissable.

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  51. Dexter said on March 21, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Prospero, I have thought about this for a while, and having spent many days in Charleston and far fewer in Savannah, even though River Street and the great squares are great, I would vote for Charleston in the Spring, like about right now, as a superior walking towns over Savannah.

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  52. LAMary said on March 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    MichaelG, you’re ignoring the magic feather he was holding.

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  53. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 21, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Barney Fife, bless Sheriff Taylor’s foresight, only had one bullet. In a buttoned shirt pocket.

    But listen, if you can, to the audio of Zimmerman’s call to police — he’s simply unhinged. Unhinged with racism and bile and evil, but loosely wrapped enough to be very hard to send to a gurney. I still suspect the county prosecutor would like to polish up a needle for this guy, but it’s going to be hard if it can be done at all.

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  54. alex said on March 21, 2012 at 11:27 pm


    I’m not sure where you heard the prosecutor doesn’t have enough evidence to prosecute. I imagine the prosecutor was as blindsided by this story as everyone else and I suspect that when the dust settles the members of the police department who abetted this crime will be held culpable as well.

    I just gave money to the Brady Campaign along with signed letters to my senators, Lugar and Coats, not that it will do a damn thing to make either of them get up from fellating the NRA. I think submitting to regular mental status exams should be a condition of owning a firearm at a minimum, frankly.

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  55. Sherri said on March 22, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Frankly, I’d like to see fewer firearms, period. Three children around here have been shot in the last few weeks, two of them fatally, thanks to access to loaded guns. One was the child of a law enforcement officer; his four kids, all under the age of eight, were in his car, as was his loaded personal weapon. One of the kids found the gun, and another of his kids is now dead.

    Just about a mile from me, a 20 year old young woman was killed at a party when someone took a gun out of a safe, thought it wasn’t loaded, and pointed the gun at the wall and pulled the trigger. The young woman was on the other side of the wall. Senseless.

    I’m not opposed to hunting. I learned to shoot a rifle. But just because the Second Amendment gives us the right to bear arms doesn’t mean we need to be armed to the teeth.

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  56. Jolene said on March 22, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Jesus, Sherri, those are horrible stories. And there’s the one Nancy linked to last week re the kid who was shot in the back by the shopkeeper. And so many others.

    Sometimes I feel like I live in a country full of stupid people. We have hugely more gun deaths than any other rich nation, but regulating gun ownership is seen as a communist plot.

    We have the most expensive health care in the world with outcomes that are far from what they should be and millions who lack access to care. Yet efforts to expand coverage and improve quality are seen as a threat to the American way of life. Wel, I guess they are, but this way of life has a few flaws that warrant close examination.

    The resistance to facts just kills me.

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  57. Dexter said on March 22, 2012 at 1:37 am

    林梅英 你今天超棒,我好喜歡尼克更喜歡你…

    This was posted on New York Knick guard Jeremy Lin’s Facebook page just now. Any translators?

    “Are you awesome, I love Nick like you more” … (Translated by Bing)

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  58. Linda said on March 22, 2012 at 6:14 am

    I’m really late to the party, but I’ve got to say that while I get that it’s hard to prosecute for first degree murder, it’s odd that somebody wasn’t prosecuted for something. The shooter had adequate warning from the 911 operator NOT to engage with the victim, so it would be hard to say this was “heat of the moment,” and since the altercation started when the victim was talking on a cell phone to his girlfriend, it’s hard to make a case that he was being attacked. I remember a case in Detroit when a man shot at a carjacker, missed, and ended up killing a woman cooking in her own house. He was prosecuted (don’t know the outcome) for manslaughter. Prosecution might not be pretty, but not prosecuting for anything looks really ridiculous.

    What happened in this case is a nightmare of pretty much every parent of a young black man, and I’m not surprized that it caught fire.

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