Snack platter.

Yesterday I rolled out of my driveway at 6:20 a.m., worked all day in Lansing, drove back, picked up Kate at driving school for a timed-to-the-minute dash to an audition downtown, sat through that, tried to eat dinner at one place and couldn’t, found another place, ate, drove home, remembered her bike was still at the driving school, drove back there, loaded it up and came home, by which time it was 8:40 p.m.

After which, I was in no mood to blog.

So, a blow-off day. Open thread for those of you who feel a need. Some conversation-starters:

An indelible image of the president and a little boy touching his head.

Paul Fussell, RIP. A book of his essays on war, which I found remaindered or maybe in a used bookstore somewhere and now can’t even recall the title of, kept me rapt during a long-weekend camping trip years ago. Of course, I read “The Great War and Modern Memory” and his great, guilty pleasure, “Class,” as well as his ex-wife’s bitter-but-amusing memoir, “My Kitchen Wars.” All recommended.

A sweet little story about a sweet little girl in Detroit, who found a $100 bill and turned it in to her teacher, rather than keep it for herself. She’s been repaid many times for her basic honesty and decency, with this great OID detail:

The $100 bill Breanna found, by the way, turned out to be counterfeit, and was confiscated by the Secret Service.

Oh, and yours truly on state vaccination policy. We already allow parents to opt out of pediatric immunizations for just-don’t-want-to reasons, and now the legislature wants to excuse health-care workers from flu shots. Because a co-sponsor doesn’t like “mandatory things.” Oh.

Carry on!

Posted at 8:27 am in Current events |

62 responses to “Snack platter.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 24, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Remind me where the municipality was where they tried to make gun ownership mandatory?

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  2. Kim said on May 24, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I had a very similar day yesterday and was hoping for a calmer one. My daughter had other plans. Actually, her so-called “friends” had other plans. Their family was evicted from a rental and cannot keep the puppy they were completely ill-equipped to have anyway in the motel where they are now living. My daughter took the pup so it wouldn’t go to the kill shelter, thinking that asking for forgiveness rather than permission would be the way to go.

    “They gave me food and a crate,” she explained. The food is kitty chow; the crate a kitty travel crate. I hate these asshats who pushed this situation on her and would dump the dog at the motel if they weren’t such stupid-ass people.

    We have animals who don’t take kindly to interlopers. Plus, this pup has its own animals: ticks, fleas and god knows what else.

    So my day today is going to be spent trying to find a soul kinder than I who can care for this creature.

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  3. alex said on May 24, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Jeff @ 1—

    No doubt a community where the same “conservative” leaders are pissed off that health insurance should be mandatory.

    But then, when a guy with a sterling right-wing resume is branded a RINO, you know the world’s gone mad. At this rate, as he says, the Onion will soon be out of business because you can’t make stuff up that’s weirder than what the GOP is doing these days.

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  4. coozledad said on May 24, 2012 at 8:50 am

    The Great War and Modern Memory should be required reading for high school seniors, but you’d get too many objections from the cattle.
    Along with his later WWII reminisces, Fussell makes it an ironic laff riot to hear security state morons preach about individualism.

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  5. Prospero said on May 24, 2012 at 8:51 am

    The $100 bill Breanna found, by the way, turned out to be counterfeit, and was confiscated by the Secret Service.

    Only in America. Or Ukraine. Or Russia. Ain’t that exceptional.

    Jeff: Kennesaw, GA,

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 24, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Had to be near Stone Mountain, didn’t it?

    I just finished Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art,” and it’s a revelation. He’s aiming this book squarely at writers and other artists, and using as his hub the concept of Resistance. I resisted the metaphor at first, but it grew on me. And he has a marvelous little meditation on fundamentalism and its discontents. Can’t recommend the book strongly enough now.

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  7. Prospero said on May 24, 2012 at 9:40 am

    To be fair on the flu shots, Michele Bachmann performed a public service and reminded the nation that flu shots are the tip of the spear in another great Democratic Party conspiracy:

    Didn’t know Ol’ Jerry Ford was a Democrat, did you. Ford’s rapid response on swine flu did kill a bunch of people and may have ruined flu shots for some folks. But a health care worker that refuses a flu shot should be facing mandatory unemployment, and removal of such maroons from the gene pool would be good for mankind’s future. But at least they won’t be hogging the ciprofloaxin when the Eric Rudolph Brigades release airborne weaponized anthrax in Charlotte to protest their hero’s incarceration and the imminent Obama gun roundup. People that have a problem with mandatory are of whole cloth with idiot murdercycle riders that don’t think they should have to wear helmets. Dumbasses.

    (Still, Thimerosal and large batch marketing for vaccines was still a case of Pharma opting for maximized profits to the detriment of consumer safety, no matter how you look at it. It does contain mercury, which is toxic to organisms. Pharma companies took it out when lawsuits loomed.)

    Anybody ever see Jenny McCarthy and La Bachmann in a room together (their hair is identical, except McCarthy’s is the animated version):

    I mean, HPV innoculations do render smart kids retarded, right?

    At least Kate’s bike was where she left it. My bike was stolen over the weekend. Fifth in ten years. The bike was inexpensive. My good road bike lives indoors, but I had brand new lights and $50 a pop unpuncturable kevlar-belted tires on the everyday ride, and everything was adjusted to perfection. This produced a foul mood that had dissipated until the Celtics played like Shitzus against the Sixers last night. Finding the remains of my cryogenically broken bike lock in place of the bike didn’t help. Just, fuck. I swear, this destination resort must be the bike theft capital of the USA.

    Had to be near Stone Mountain, didn’t it?

    (To the tune of Country Home) Redneck heaven, northeast Georgia.

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  8. Mark P said on May 24, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Prospero, actually HPV vaccine renders anti-vaxers retarded from a distance.

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  9. Prospero said on May 24, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Mark P:

    I will tell you that I had a mother last night come up to me here in Tampa, Florida, after the debate. She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter. –Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), on the HPV vaccine, Fox News interview, Sept. 12, 2011

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  10. Icarus said on May 24, 2012 at 9:55 am

    “So, a blow-off day. Open thread for those of you who feel a need. ”

    Cool. We’re house hunting right now but not having good luck finding something we like and can afford. Too picky, I guess.

    I have a friend who responds to a text message with an email saying she’ll call me later. Technophobe or Drama Queen? thoughts.

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  11. basset said on May 24, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Driving school? Surely not… she can’t possibly be old enough.

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  12. nancy said on May 24, 2012 at 10:12 am

    In Ohio, she’s not. In the state that lives or dies by the motorcar, she’s 10 months PAST the date when she could have taken this class. It’s insane.

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  13. Hank said on May 24, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Was the essay collection perhaps _Thank God For the Atomic Bomb_? The title essay being one that was written from the perspective of a man who had been expecting to die on the Japanese invasion beach.

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  14. Charlotte said on May 24, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Jeff — The Pressman looks interesting (says the woman with 2 books in progress, slow progress). Have you heard of Seinfeld’s motivation trick — get a calendar, and work every day for a set period of time — make a big X on the calendar day, the trick is to not ever break the string of Xs. I finally got back on the horse for book 1 yesterday after somehow falling off for 2 weeks? How’d that happen?

    In other matters, looks like it’s going to be snow for Memorial Day here in Montana. C’est normal. Glad I didn’t put the tomatoes out yet.

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  15. Prospero said on May 24, 2012 at 10:59 am

    What would happen to the space-time continuum if GOPers ever told the truth about anything.

    Let’s see the Segway crashing chart. Shrub wins hands down. Or getting your head pissed on by a Yorkie when an O’Douls takes you down.

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  16. basset said on May 24, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I did my first driving on country roads in Martin County and nearby, Jr. learned in Nashville, I don’t want to think what it must be like for the parents of a new driver in Detroit.

    “Past the date”… I understand many young people are putting off learning to drive, or not learning at all. Back in the day, you’d be at the license branch in Shoals the first morning you were eligible… sixteen and one month, if I remember right.

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  17. MichaelG said on May 24, 2012 at 11:27 am

    This will be close to home for some of you. The incomperable Dahlia:

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  18. Julie Robinson said on May 24, 2012 at 11:33 am

    My exact thoughts, basset. I too had the luxury of making my mistakes on quiet country roads and fretted about our kids on urban roads. But Detroit, that takes nerves of iron.

    In rural Iowa my Mom got permission to drive at 14, so she could take herself back and forth to school in town, and also pick up their mail. There were no school buses or mail delivery then, and of course as a farm kid she’d been driving for many years. It was kind of a big deal that she wasn’t walking to the one-room schoolhouse that was nearby, but my grandparents wanted more for her. Don’t we all?

    Our son turned 16 as a freshman but was in no way mature enough to get a license, so we did a lot of practicing together until we judged him ready. Of course, once they get that learner’s permit your insurance skyrockets.

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  19. Paul M said on May 24, 2012 at 11:38 am


    Seconding Hank: It was likely “Thank God for the Atom Bomb.”

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  20. adrianne said on May 24, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Hank, indeed one of Paul Fussell’s great essays is “Thank God for the Atomic Bomb.” One of the best books about war is his “The Great War and Modern Memory.” His perspective, as a infantryman in World War II, is invaluable. Sad to see him gone.

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  21. Prospero said on May 24, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I learned to drive in Detroit. Merging into 90mph traffic on the John Lodge. Drove my mom’s ’63 TBird convertible. Drove in Boston twenty years. Put up with really dense tourist drivers from OH and PA, usually on my bike, every day here. Ready for any form of vehicular stupidity at the drop of a hat or an empty beer bottle. Was student driving in Detroit late August ’67 and heard shooting. Beat it the hell outta there.

    Of course, once they get that learner’s permit your insurance skyrockets.

    That’s a little noticed insurance company scam. In reality, accident stats for males 16-19 are better than most groups, but the actuarial class just lumps them into 16-25 and hits som big numbers and charges through the nose, without attendant payouts on accidents. Regulations? We doan neeeeed no steeeenkeeeng regulations.

    edit: And speaking of self-regulation, how ’bout that financial industry? Astute analysis of the FB IPO from Joel Achenbach:

    And a scathing comment on complementary breakfasts in Euro hotels.

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  22. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 24, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I’ll stack learning on the Dan Ryan, Frank Borman, and Lake Shore Drive circuit up against anything (other than Austin, TX after 4 pm to dawn) for hazard, stress, and Darwinian reflex development.

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  23. Judybusy said on May 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Could the Republicans please work harder to scrap that mandatory thing called income tax for middle-class people like me? It’s sooo annoying, and I have a million other uses for it. Oh, wait, I’m not a millionaire, so below their radar. Morons. (And just to be clear, I’m Ok with paying taxes, just wish it were fairer!)

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  24. nancy said on May 24, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I’m almost sure that was the Fussell book I was thinking of: “Thank God for the Atomic Bomb.” Thanks for the memory prompt.

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  25. Prospero said on May 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Jeff (tm-mo): I’d say the 600 ft. wedge between I-93 North and the tunnel to Logan Int’l Airport is the worst stretch of traffic in the USA. equivalent of 20 lanes down to two in that space, and half the vehicles taxis. I think this condition may have been altered in the Big Dig, but holy crap, that was mind-bending. Best way to navigate? Eyes closed.


    Here’s a monumental GOPer vote suppression scheme perfected in FLA by the Painted Lady, Katherine Harris. Hell, an ALEC version is probably encoded in FLA by now.

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  26. James said on May 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Jeff ( in comment #1):

    The city you’re trying to remember is Kennesaw, Georgia.

    Back in 1982. Who knew people were that stupid way back then?

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  27. Sherri said on May 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Reagan started telling people that there was a free lunch, and now they’ve completely internalized it. No taxes! No vaxes! It’ll all be marvelous in the land of liberty!

    Meanwhile, we had a whooping cough epidemic up here in Washington.

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  28. Bitter Scribe said on May 24, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I’ll have to read “Thank God for the Atomic Bomb.” I totally understand the sentiments behind it, as the son of a Marine who fought in the South Pacific (meaning, if it hadn’t been for the bomb I might not be here).

    To this day I get into arguments with fellow progressives who bemoan the use of the bomb and are entirely willing to overlook that Japan started the war and refused to surrender.

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  29. Hattie said on May 24, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Even the Jehovah’s Witnesses get their kids vaccinated these days. I no longer understand this country. Who are all these tacky people anyway, who don’t mind letting their children contract life-threatening diseases that can be prevented?

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  30. Jen said on May 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I learned to drive on the roads in and around little Auburn, Ind., but my parents soon had me driving when we went to Fort Wayne, and then to even bigger cities like Grand Rapids and Indianapolis soon after I got my license. By the time I was a freshman in college I was confidently driving in and around Chicago. I’m relatively sure I can drive anywhere now – I’ve driven in the D.C. area, Montreal, Detroit, etc., with few problems.

    My high school friends, however, weren’t allowed to drive in Fort Wayne – it was too big of a city. My mom, who learned to drive in Fort Wayne and had driven around places like Chicago and L.A., thought that was absolutely the stupidest thing she’d ever heard. Of course, my mom ended up driving my friends and me to band events in Indianapolis more than once because my friends’ parents had never driven in Indianapolis!

    Yes, it’s been scary driving in big cities (my worst problem is the tendency to get lost, though GPS has helped curb that problem). However, it’s made me into an confident, safe driver. You have to be on your toes when you’re in bumper-to-bumper traffic doing 65 on the Dan Ryan or the Beltway, and it translates into being on your toes when idiots pull out in front of you in small-town Indiana. Also, it really expands where you can go on vacation when you don’t have to be limited to cities that don’t have traffic. (Though, I will admit that we do also use public transportation when possible – we never actually drove in the District when we visited Washington D.C. last year, instead staying in Virginia and taking the Metro in every day, and on our frequent trips to Chicago we park in South Bend and take the South Shore into the city. I may be a good driver, but I’m not crazy!)

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  31. brian stouder said on May 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Alex, that was an interesting link; Fumento’s article started out well, and then got bumpy, and then became more or less incoherent, before making a good final point. Really, it looked like he just had a few scores to settle, and got the job done.

    As for driving, I recall the rule being 16 years/one month/one day – and you got your license. That must be the fun part about being a lawmaker; not just 16 years old, nor even 16 years and one month; but 16 years, one month and one day – because we can.

    Our almost-17 year old has my car today (he generally gets it 3 days a week), and I took the day off so as to go to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo with our almost-8 year old’s class. Pam and I were assigned 4 children (including Chloe) to keep track of, and off we went.

    I love that place, but it was nonetheless a very great relief to learn that Pam and I were working together, and that I wasn’t on my own with the 4 kids. The place was absolutely loaded with young folks, so Pam and I did the old trick of “going left” rather than right, which worked well enough.

    In the course of the 3 hour visit we did the goats and saw the kangaroos and dingos and visited the baboons and the tigers and the apes and the monkeys and the hyenas and the zebras and the lions (the male came right over the window and brushed along the glass) and the giraffes….and one of the young ladies in our group said her favorite thing was….the goats!

    Anyway, it was fun, and we ended the event with a picnic lunch in the park. Here’s wishing all y’all a great long Memorial Day weekend.

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  32. Catherine said on May 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    The comments in the story about the little girl who turned in the $100 veered a little bit toward, “Really, an assembly? Shouldn’t honesty be expected and not rewarded as though it’s extraordinary?” It echoes a recent conversation that has been rattling around in my head. A friend of mine who’s a PTA president had an argument with her principal. He wanted the PTA to pay for bumper stickers for all the students who achieved “Proficient” or above on the state tests. Her point was that proficiency should be expected, its rewards are intrinsic, and it’s not great branding for the school to have such a thing on cars all over town. His point was that for many of the kids at that school, proficiency is a huge achievement gained through a lot of hard work, and screw the branding, they needed to be acknowledged. I wonder what the crowd here thinks?

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  33. Bitter Scribe said on May 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Catherine: I think it reminds me of the National Lampoon parody newspaper, long ago, whose motto was: “One of America’s Newspapers.”

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  34. Peter said on May 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Jeff TMMO, I thought the Ryan and Borman were cringe worthy, but to me they’re a Sunday drive compared to I-65 between Lowell and Lafayette and I-57 from Effingham (home of the huge cross, God bless ya) to Marion/Carbondale. Two lanes each direction bumper to bumper with 18 wheelers going side to side like NASCAR drivers under a yellow flag. Hooo-weee!

    And Nancy, tell your lovely daughter to be careful about out of town yahoos like me – I wasn’t used to the Detroit area flashing red lights – over here in Illinois if it’s a flashing red that means all directions have to come to a stop. It never occurred to me that the other direction might be yellow, and here I was in Dearborn pulling up to a flashing red and then going into the intersection thinking the other cars have to come to a stop. Oh the hilarity!

    And Prospero, our son just got his license, and Geico raised our rates about 30%. Even so, it was a LOT less than the other quotes I got.

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  35. Julie Robinson said on May 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Jen–there’s a lot of that kind of stupid in Fort Wayne. When our 8th grade class went to Washington, DC, about half of them had never been out of town or stayed in a hotel before.

    OTOH, our kids got a taste for variety when they traveled with us, and now our daughter is living far far away, while the stay-at-homes have indeed stayed around here. So, purely from a selfish standpoint, I can kind of understand their thinking. Kind of, but not enough to clip her wings.

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  36. basset said on May 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I say recognize the kids, it may be the most – or the only – affirmation any of them get.

    Driving… I used to work with a guy who grew up in Manhattan & said that when his dad taught him to drive he was told to always remember two things: “put your car where you want it” and “nobody wants to hit you.”

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  37. Peter said on May 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Catherine, I can see why some people would gripe about the assembly – honesty should be expected, after all.

    But I got to tell you, I wouldn’t wish on anyone what some of those kids have to go through just to go to and from school each day – Nancy bookmarked an article about that recently. It’s real easy for them to say the heck with it, so any kind of positive reinforcement is a good thing.

    And another thing: So many people think that the public schools are Godless, socialist pits where kids don’t learn manners or know what’s right or wrong. Well, I think it’s a good idea that the school have an assembly, if only to reinforce the message that they do value good behavior, and want to reward someone who thinks of others before themselves.

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  38. Prospero said on May 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I’m with Mr. PTA President. The United States Congress apparently can’t manage 12th grade HS proficiency:

    I think that dumbing down is easily traceable to 2010, Teabanger illiterati.

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  39. Henry Hank Chapin said on May 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    The Fussell books are all good. There’s one by the son too. He is an obsessive body-building, weight-lifting guy and, in my opinion, greatly harmed psychologically by his nutty father who wrote a good book about World War I. The wife’s memoir also reveals that Fussell Sr. was toxic. After reading all these books, frankly, he made me sick. I come down on the side of being a good person trumping the books.

    This website repeatedly uses the Facebook symbol. When I clicked on it the first time, the article automatically appeared on my own Facebook site. After reading the caveat about “these are my own” words and stuff, I decided to delete the entry. But the Facebook logo and the Nancy Nall policy are not compatible.

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    • nancy said on May 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      Just to clarify, HHC: Anyone is welcome to post these entries on their Facebook timelines/pages, and I have zero problem with it. The somewhat awkwardly worded copyright warning was put in place to deal with a particular troll who has is unclear on the concept of copyright law, and was actively scraping/stealing photos and too-large chunks of the writing. I’m a fair-use borrower of others’ work, but always with links back and what I hope is sincere encouragement to read the rest at its original site. My webmaster hates Facebook, and “liking” individual posts is as far as he’s willing to go with it.

      I remember, from Betty Fussell’s book, that her husband was what that generation would call “double-gaited.” But I see he married again, and his death was announced by a stepson. The eternal mysteries of the human heart, eh?

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  40. Prospero said on May 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Seriously, I’m thinking that those offended by the assembly are a bunch of holier-than-thou Goper “bootstraps” invoking jerks that all suffer from Shrubitis delusion that their birth on 3rd meant they’d hit a triple. Perhaps honesty should be expected, but a quick look at GOPers and their shibboleth pocket hagiographies indicates no respect or honor for, nor any reason to expect, honesty. Raygun? Ask Archbishop Romero. Honesty about personal gain to the disadvantage of a fellow human is not part of the human genome. As much as I wish it were true, 60 years among humans is enough to convince me beyond doubt that Breanna’s honesty is inculcated, not innate. I’d say Breanna would get a boost with her classmates, because every kid in school loves some a ssemblies, but I’d support the idea more as a way to honor her family, that has obviously reared her properly in a world dominated by the offspring of jackals and wanton self-aggrandizing survivalists.

    I found a Benjamin once. Was working one of my two full-time undergraduate jobs while at UGA, doing maintenance in a 125 unit HoJos motel. Met Steve Stills, Zappa, Bootsy and Peter Frampton there. Anyway, my Uriah Heep of an ahole boss, the Innkeeper, Howard something or other, had directed me to scythe weeds from a drainage ditch at the back of the property. Because he could, and he felt like being a prick on a hellishly hot day. The ditch was wierd. Mostly hard red clay, like some nefarious and fearsome entity had killed the Kudzu. You Yankees parbly couldn’t understand this, but I’d rather walk through the South Bronx, or Roxbury, or Compton unarmed, than face anything that can defeat Kudzu. Anyway, while deploying a flimsy leaf rake, I came upon money wrapped up in a neat, tight cylinder. A lot of money. Three $100 bills. I agonized. This was enough lost cash to ruin a life or leave somebody in the death house for want of surety, or stymie an illegal abortion. I told the manager, but not the amount nor the circumstances, and held on to the cash. Nobody ever claimed it, until my ex, whose roommate’s boyfreind was a Zales salesman, decided we should buy a diamond as a token of our betrothal. Ther and then it’s gone. At that time, I probably could have bought a 58 Les Paul with that $300. I would still have it. No longer have the ex, though we produced one perfect keedo and an astounding grandson. And we show up for each other when family bites the dust.

    My takeaway? John Lennon was a genius:

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  41. Prospero said on May 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    The picture of the kid patting the President’s nappy head made my day. He can’t be President. His hair ain’t right. Sort of comes off like a Curtis Mayfield song:

    Last time I ingested hallucinogens, I went to a Parliafunkadelictament Thang concert in the spaceship structure of the UGA Colliseum. We were a very small island of white in a vast sea of very deep blue, to quote Curtis. Some fool that had attached himself to our party when we bought the blotter was faxcinated by a stunning afro on a gorgeous young woman, and eventually touched it. I had a momentary flash of Armageddon, man I loved acid, and then it just melted away.

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  42. Dan B said on May 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    That fear of the big city even extends into the suburbs of that very city. I went to college in suburban Philadelphia, and one of my professors told us that many of his (then 10-year-old) daughter’s friends had never been in the city. Their parents were too intimidated by the city to take their children there. Granted, this would have been about 1995, before the city went through a big transformation. But there was an easy commuter train in and some fantastic museums and zoos and so on. Growing up in suburban Chicago, going into the city was something we did fairly often. I can’t imagine not exposing your kids to that.

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  43. Andrea said on May 24, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Speaking of vaccines: My neighbor’s 4-week-old grandson died this fall from whooping cough. He was born healthy but caught the disease while still in the hospital. I will never forget the sight of those parents, weeping while they cradled in their arms the smallest coffin I’ve ever seen, walking down the aisle of the church for their infant son’s funeral. Before vaccines, this was a much more common occurrence I imagine. I wonder if those people who cannot be “mandated” to vaccine have ever seen such a gut-wrenching sight.

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  44. MarkH said on May 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Since we’re only 150 miles south we are expecting the same semi-normal weather here in Jackson Hole. Just in time to turn our annual weekend Old West Days celebration into Cold Wet Days. In fact, it’s alreadys started with an on and off blizzard and temps in mid 30s in the valley. Supposed to last through Sunday afternoon.

    Charlotte, since you seem to live nearby, and I haven’t been up that way in years, does Larry Edwards still own and run the Grand in Big Timber?

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  45. Henry Hank Chapin said on May 24, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Nancy Nall, Thank you for your kind and reasonable response. It made my day. “Fair use” is a useful yardstick and makes sense to me plus Facebook republishing gives all the credit where credit is due.

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  46. Dexter said on May 24, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I always enjoyed the challenge of driving in big cities. I can’t think of any serious incidents, except two times in California, one in LA when for some reason I pissed off a city bus driver who was tailgating me and laying on the horn until I changed lanes and let him go do his thing. The other time was in San Francisco when I was tired from too many all-nighters working in the hospital and I ran a stop sign and nearly clipped a sedan, but no harm.
    I relished every chance I had to drive cross-country and when I was sternly warned to avoid Boston’s Old North End, when I got to town I headed straight there to see The Old North Church. No problem.
    Vietnam’s traffic system was pretty cool…always yield to the right..hardly any traffic signs, just traffic yielding to the right. It works remarkably well.

    Little Breanna…it’s quite a story that just a little bit of childish honesty deserves a feature story. I hope that now she doesn’t believe that every good thing she does will be recognized and rewarded.
    I recall when I was saying to my recovery friends how proud I was that I was approaching another sobriety milestone. An old timer told me to cool it on “the outside”, because nothing impresses sober people less than to hear that a drunk now has X number of years or days without a drink, when many people have never had a drinking problem, period.
    I have blogged here before that by quirks of circumstance, I have found seven wallets in a ditch, a counter-top, floors, and right out in the street. One had zero cash, one was stuffed with thousands in C-notes, most had a hundred bucks or so. I returned every one and expected nothing and took nothing, except my friend who had just been paid for a kitchen-remodelling job in cash (he is the one who left that thick wallet on the coffee counter at work) insisted on buying me a case of beer and two jugs of booze, which I accepted.
    My point is that the girl should be taught that doing the right thing is a way of life, and it is not to be done looking for reward. Making such a big deal about it may confuse her.

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  47. brian stouder said on May 24, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    And a further thank you for nancy – her immunization article at Bridge is tremendously good….and don’t miss the comments. Some of the anti-immunization folks show up there.

    One of them seems to be arguing that, since immunization cannot offer zero-risk and/or absolute protection, therefore they must not be mandatory.

    I would answer her that getting into a car each day is statistically more dangerous than these immunization shots, and what is the potential benefit, on the one hand, of getting to the 7-11 or the friend’s house; as opposed to the potential benefit, on the other hand, of NOT contracting polio and becoming crippled, or catching whooping cough and suffering and dying?

    edit: Dexter – agreed, more or less, about the girl’s good deed. A year or two ago, I found $60 (three $20’s) laying on the sidewalk in downtown Logansport, Indiana, just outside the theater. I scooped up the money and immediately envisioned some dad or mom who had just come from the ATM and took the kids into the movies, losing the cash when they bought their tix.

    Without waiting for the arrival of the temptation to stuff the cash into my pocket, and with my son and nephew watching me, we went straight to the box office (an external window, facing the sidewalk) and gave the cash to the girl in there, explaining where we found it.

    With any luck, she did the right thing thereafter…

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  48. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    I must be missing something. Don’t see the [f] on anything hereabouts.

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  49. Prospero said on May 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Andrea, That is horrible news. So long as Big Farm pumps antibiotics into cattle feed, that is going to continue. But of course, like the President, I’m a demonic anti-capitalist. When did God declare capitalism sacrosanct? Somehow, I missed that. Y’all that are going on about Fusell should check the German version Ernst Junger. A fine writer, if a disgraceful human. All anybody ever needed to know about how bestial WWI was just needed to check Wilfred Owen:

    Finest war lit ever, and he was there.

    Now we have the odious American chickenhawk, like Pretzeldent Shrub that just went AWOL. What’s the frequency Kenneth? He just disappeared from his post and never showed up for medical examinations nor flight tests. And Dan Rather is a liar? And there is the Congressman Buck McKeon from Caulifornia, that exudes oleaginous crap and acts like he’s some defender of America. While he lives on that yacht owned by a defense contractor because his wife found him way too odious to live with. Is that ahole claiming he’s somehow tough? What a typically GOPer wussy ahole.

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  50. Charlotte said on May 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Hi Mark — I don’t know about Larry Edwards, but I’ll ask my sweetheart when he comes home. He knows more people in Big Twig than I do (he spent several years rebuilding cabins on the Main and West Boulder). I think you all are higher than we are — the 5-day forecast here is rain showers and temps down into the mid-30s overnight. I put the peppers in last week — even though they’re under a hoop of row cover, I’ve been throwing an extra protective layer of plastic on too. Tomatoes will probably go in this weekend in the wall-o-waters, unless it’s really cold. We’re sort of glad for the cool weather. The river was coming up pretty fast in those 80 something temps.
    Mostly we’re hoping to score a few more morels. The rain all week seems to be bringing out one last flush.

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  51. Prospero said on May 24, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Aldo and Randy. My friends that lost their lives in Vietnam. There is no excuse for arguing about any of this. None of these whited sepulchre shithead Gopers lost anything, and they can all kiss my butt. W was a pampered avoidnik. and any shitheel GOPer that denies this is an asshole. How do these dickheads try to claim they aren”t assholes?

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  52. Prospero said on May 24, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Does anybody in the world think Shrub didn’t jap on his guard committment? And Does anybody with a functioning brain think the swiftboat crap wasnt egregious bullshit? Kerry was a man that stood up. Shrub was a pitiful little shit that Ken Blackwell promoted. And what did the USA get. Cheney Inc. And anybody that claims that isn’t true is a fracking moron.

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  53. Julie Robinson said on May 24, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    A couple of years back we found a C-note in a movie theater lobby, and when we turned it in the manager gave us four passes. We didn’t expect a reward but it was a nice bonus, and in fact while he was gone getting the passes, a man ran up frantically, looking for his Christmas shopping money.

    Here’s another story about a great kid, quietly telling truth to the lies of the hateful Westboro Baptist “Church”:

    I don’t see any facebook symbols either. I’m on Chrome, for what it’s worth.

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  54. Dexter said on May 24, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I am going to my doctor’s office tomorrow for simple test results and a medicine evaluation. I have done this at least 70 times with this doc. Why am I so damned nervous? It is, as the deputy told the Tommy Lee Jone character in “No Country for Old Men”, “aggravatin'” . Maybe it’s because I haven’t been losing weight quickly enough…I have only lost nine pounds since last visit.
    A friend had 3/4 of his stomach removed last November. Since then, he has lost a cool 123 pounds. He actually looks skinny. He didn’t before. 🙂

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  55. Suzanne said on May 24, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    We lived for a few years in a suburb of Chicago. No, for the most part, the people there did not go into the city and didn’t understand why anyone would want to do so. “We’ve got a mall here in the ‘burbs, and gas stations, and a little historical museum, not to mention our fine restaurants.” That was the mentality. I never could understand why, with all the traffic, etc. you would want to live that near a big city and then never go there.

    As for driving, my mother was always terrified of driving in any kind of traffic so it took me years to get past her voice in my head telling me that driving in a city the size of Fort Wayne was an impossible task of horrific proportion. Living outside Chicago helped cure me!

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  56. Prospero said on May 24, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Suzanne. I grew up in the Pulteverse. On the outskirts of Detroit. And then I was admitted by exam to the great Detroit Jesuit school. It wasn’t the same culture shock for me as it was for many of my classmates. My parents were, Gasp! Harry Belafonte fans. Social equity and civil rights. How did anybody ever miss anything so fracking obvious? My experience of Detroit was way different from Nancy’s. I skipped school to attend Tigers opening days. We sat in the bleachers in center with the Old Timers. Black men with bad memories of Tyrus Cobb, the ultimate sports racist. My youth was bound by possibly the greatest outfield ever. Northrup, Mickey Stanley , Al Kaline. One summer, Northrup hit one grand slam after another. I’m sure Dexter remembers that glorious season. I turned up in Boston for the Golddust Twins. Dewie. Freddie and Jim Edd. Best outfield ever, and I won’t argue. Lynn was quintessential, and if he didn’t crash fences he was the greatest center fielder not named Paul Blair.

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  57. Jim Neill said on May 24, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    The Facebook “Like” is at the end of each post, right after the link to come to the comments.

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  58. Prospero said on May 24, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    My feeling about Detroit was running amok on the bus, having girlfriends at Redmond and Cass Tech, hubba, hubba and buying bagels at the Fabulous Star Bakery on Seven Mile. And Nancy, no matter what you say, it was Louis the Hatter. Lime Suits, Lemon Suits, Peach Suits. You’re heart is in the right place. But Livernois was John Brush before John Brush was. And nne of us ever had the balls to go near John Brush.

    Or MC5:

    Best band ever that wasn’t SRC.

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  59. Prospero said on May 24, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Dex, a city the size of Fort Worth? You devour bigger cities in your mind every day. How ’bout that cheap shot high slide that percipitated the compartment injury against Mark Ellis, Worse than a head trauma and a seriously dirty play, eight feet out of the basepath.

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  60. Jen said on May 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Yeah, I guess I never really realized until I got older how lucky I was that my parents took us on all sorts of vacations and trips. We didn’t go outside the Midwest much, other than some trips to Florida and the gulf coast of Alabama, but my sister and I still talk about how much we loved visiting Toronto when we were in elementary school. I had always just assumed that everyone in northeast Indiana went to Chicago at least once in their childhood – it’s only three hours away! – not to mention the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, museums in Indianapolis, the Toledo Zoo, Sea World back when there was one in Ohio, the Air Force museum in Dayton, Mackinac Island, Sault Ste. Marie, Frankenmuth, etc. A lot of people didn’t, though.

    I’m thankful my parents were never afraid to go places outside of the area, and always placed a lot of importance on learning, instead of just laying around the entire vacation. We did take time for relaxation, but there was always an undercurrent of curiosity and seeing new things that really helped make me a more well-rounded adult. (I’m the girl who finds going to museums and historical sites really fun. Washington D.C. was a dream-come-true for me!) It’s a lifestyle I plan to pass on to any future children that come along someday.

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  61. Dexter said on May 25, 2012 at 3:06 am

    I remember all that stuff, prospero, and thanks for the shout out to Fred Lynn of the Red Sox. That guy was so good in 1975 it seemed he was going to be a sure Hall of Fame enshrinee.
    Unbelievable center field play and a great hitter.

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