The elephant in the room.

Didn’t you guys start to talk yesterday about how to report race in crime stories? This is the rule I’ve always followed, which may or may not be the rule anymore. I’ve been gone from institutional daily journalism a long time.

The rule is: Don’t report race unless it’s important to the story, which can vary. When a suspect is at large and might be a threat to others, someone another person might see and report to police, by all means do so. The problem comes when the description is something impossibly vague like “a white man wearing blue jeans” or “a black man of medium height.” In the case of the two Grosse Pointe girls who were robbed, the description was pretty thorough, and included height and weight, clothing and, yes, race. The guy was armed and had escaped into the neighborhood. Totally defensible to use his color in the story.

Otherwise, if you wouldn’t write that someone was robbed by a person with red hair, I leave it out.

Others don’t follow the same rules. Our weekly newspaper here will sometimes write, for instance, “The 16-year-old was released to his 32-year-old mother.” Ooh, very subtle, just in case you didn’t catch on to the fact the perp was, how you say, not from around here. The worst of all was when they transcribed the written confession of a teenage female car thief, semiliterate spelling, fractured usage and all. It was repulsive, but I’m sure their readership got a real yuk out of it.

Meanwhile, here was the story TV did.

I can’t tell you how much I despise this sort of thing — the stupid hand gestures, the weird delivery, everything, including the obligatory exchange with the anchor at the end, which might as well run:

“Now I am asking you a question we both already know the answer to, in an effort to show you have deep knowledge of this situation.”

“And I am answering, both of us fully aware I’ve never set foot in this place in my life.”

Every crime story about this place has to talk about how peaceful it is, how unexpected the crime is, and of course, how the sucking maw of Detroit lurks just around the corner. It’s our cow picture, the cow picture being the standard photo of Columbus that ran for years with every single national-media story about how the city was starting to really come on strong. There’s a place at the end of the street where I grew up, where Ohio State University has some farm fields for the ag school. Sometimes they graze dairy cattle there, and when the air is clear, you can sometimes catch a nice pic of a cow in the foreground and the city’s skyline behind.

The cow picture. Because Columbus is shedding its cowtown image! Get it?

Oh, well. Moving on.

Anyone heard of Art Prize? It’s a festival held every year in Grand Rapids, where public art is installed all over the city for a few weeks, and the public votes on it. I’ve never been, and honestly, when I first heard about it, I imagined a lot of earnest crap and/or hostile Richard Serra stuff.

Looks like I was wrong. I love the taxidermy piece, and of course the wooden bicycle. Might be worth a road trip.

Time for bed. Hope your day was fine. Mine was busy.

Posted at 12:16 am in Current events, Media |

72 responses to “The elephant in the room.”

  1. David C. said on September 20, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Art Prize is well worth the road trip. We saw it last year when we were visiting our parents. There is lots of top notch stuff. Last year’s winner was Jesus schlock.
    I guess that’s to be expected when the public votes.

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  2. brian stouder said on September 20, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I guess that’s to be expected when the public votes.

    I’m still pondering this remark

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 20, 2012 at 7:30 am

    The dirty little not-so-secret of online college classes is akin to the dirty little not-so-secret of public undergraduate education (or undocumented immigrants and Social Security, for that matter). Something like three-fourths of those who sign up for a full load at a virtual university type place never finish the first year. They make enough on fees and those initial course registrations to saddle them with a major debt, which sadly many of them (and I should say, with their families) spend quickly, leaving them with debt for two years of classes, owing money for fees to the school (and are they aggressive? Heh.), and ending up with maybe two or three classes concluded. The virtual school does. not. care. Their business model is BASED on it. In fact, they’d go broke if for one full year all their students actually completed and required full processing of all their work and credit.

    But regional campuses of public institutions aren’t hugely better: they get half done, and also would break under the strain of actually graduating more than 60% of their intake. But they have to have the intake to pay the bills.

    And the dependence of Social Security on illegals paying in and never drawing on their fake-ID created accounts I’ve ranted on before. Anyhow, the pure enjoyment classes live in a different place than the Strayers and Western and Phoenix Universities, which are just machines for sucking money from low-income working people and out of government funding that in no way holds them accountable for what they’re doing with it.

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  4. alex said on September 20, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I went to a poetry slam in Chicago once where Gwendolyn Brooks was the emcee and unofficial judge. The public was the judge. After the public rendered its verdict, Ms. Brooks told them it was exactly what she expected: They went for one that wasn’t particularly well-crafted or performed but was all about sex and generated a lot of tittering. She, however, was particularly taken with a story well told and well acted about biker culture which really did take the audience into a world it likely would never have imagined or experienced otherwise. That was art.

    And race wasn’t particularly relevant here so I didn’t mention it, but the contestant Gwendolyn Brooks liked best was a white woman.

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  5. David C. said on September 20, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Good catch, Brian. I didn’t mean it quite that way, but it works, doesn’t it?

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  6. Jolene said on September 20, 2012 at 8:05 am

    I’m w/ you on your criticism of online colleges, Jeff. They are basically thieves. The Feds are trying to crack down on them, but the resistance from lobbyists is massive. It’s worth noting that w/o federal student loans, they’d be out of business. In addition to the poor, they frequently target veterans, a population made up of people eager to get a degree, often not terribly academically inclined, and with ready access to federal dollars.

    But what Nancy is involved in is a different kettle of fish. It’s a real school, and she’s not taking on massive debt. Will be interesting to hear, as she goes along, how the management aspects of the course work out. Several of our best institutions are, essentially, putting their course offerings online for all the world to use. I haven’t read about these programs, but the sense I have is that they think they are doing missionary work–bringing enlightenment to the masses at low (or no) cost.

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  7. nancy said on September 20, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Yes, Jeff. Word.

    I think Peter asked yesterday how any army of TAs could handle 70,000 essays in my particular class. I don’t think it’ll be anywhere near that many. Seventy thousand sign up but I bet a far smaller number even watch the first lecture. Of that number, a large chunk are probably taking the class for the pleasure of it and aren’t bothering with the writing assignments. (There are no grades, credits or even suitable-for-framing certificates to be had.)

    Coursera is a version of the various course packs schools like MIT have offered for some time. The prof stresses several times in his prep that it’s a work in progress, top to bottom.

    And, yes, it’s free.

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  8. brian stouder said on September 20, 2012 at 8:14 am

    David – yes.

    For the reasons as Alex outlines, a person will cast a devil-may-care vote…and indeed, in governmental elections a certain number of folks will do the same – or else the big political ad campaigns we see would be pointless.

    Bottom line: still pondering!

    And – Jeff, it is very, very good to see you back here.

    This whole ‘distance learning’ thing looks a lot like the “buy gold” commercials. There may well be a kernal of truth in there – but mostly, one has to think that the very fact of the massive TV ad campaign bespeaks a very high “sucker”-factor

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  9. Prospero said on September 20, 2012 at 8:22 am

    hey Jeff tmmo, how are you? I’m interested in that topic, because of my involvement with tutoring scholarship athletes at UGA, an alleged football factory. The estimable columnist at the Globe, Derrick Z. Jackson, publishes an annual screed about black scholarship athletes not graduating on time from schools like UGA, and every year I write him explaining that almost nobody graduates on time from big public institutions. We take some time off to make money tending bar or doing motel maintenance. Or if we’re little like Stephon Marbury but good at hoops, we rent out for a year to GaTech and play point guard and never go to a class. Still we’re exposed to those cesspools of liberal thinking and might vote Democratic, so GOP is determined to replace public education with Free Republic U. That’s definitely RMoney’s idea for higher education. In my experience, classes made college tolerable. (Sub-basement classrooms with a cooler just outside the ground level window.) Online reminds me of 1984 and Mrs. Montagg (aka Julie Christie).

    And on the subject of “illegals”, Lenore RMoney:

    And it’s fascinating that courageous GOPers like Ayn Ryan want to renege on the contract I had with the government all my working life, and steal the money I paid into SSI and Medicare for four and one half decades to deal with the deficit that one of their own (that be Dickless Cheney, sorry, remnant of talk like a pirate day) said doan mean dickless. Right before he shot that old lawyer dude in the face and heart with a lady shotgun. I’ll be 62 next June 24, and I’ll be damned if I don’t start getting my money back before these bastards steal it. And, no mistake, that is what Ryan intends. Anybody that is aging or cares about anybody that is aging, or believes in the law and contracts, couldn’t possibly back RMoney and the Anorexic. Looters and Shakers, and Atlas Shrugged.

    Be the change.
    Biker Mike.

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  10. Prospero said on September 20, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Music for pondering:

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 20, 2012 at 8:35 am

    You think vouchers are a blot on the principle of free public education, and that charters are used by rent-seeking for-profit trolls under the academic bridge to tomorrow? Wait ’til it becomes a state LAW that you have to take at least a few on-line, virtual classes to graduate from high school. We have one wending through our Statehouse right now, and my state senator and rep are on notice — hah, they quiver in fear at my angry gaze. I’m sure you can feel it.

    Maybe I should just invest in the least-worst most semi-ethical one. Anyhow, I’m hoping someone around here knows more about Jill Stein than I do so far. Please don’t tell me about Gary “The Fifth Doobie” Johnson, whom I couldn’t vote for even as a protest gesture.

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  12. Prospero said on September 20, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Back way back, around the time that Shane and the Pogues burst upon the world, Mike Scott and the Waterboys burst likewise. Intensely Irish with a Fishbone attitude. The Waterboys have an astounding new album, Appointment with Mr. Yeats. It’s my unshakable opinion that WB Yeats is the greatest poet in the English language since parbly Will Shakes and definitely since John Donne. Setting another’s word to music is obviously tricky, but it is something that can be done well. I think of the Wilco/Woody Mermaid Tavern albums, which are brilliant (and I think Wilco sucks like Flaming Lips). Well so is this album brilliant. It illuminates what I’ve always loved about Procul. Keith Reid was always channeling Yeats. I’d recommend this to poetry fans and to anybody that likes Procul Harum (and if you don’t , kiss my ass). We’re listening to this right now, and it is astoundingly good.

    Jeff, on vouchers. I believe the seed of this abomination was planted when Marvin (ne’erdowell) Shrubs company was given a gubmint contract for it’s asinine reading curriculum. Vouchers will always be capped at values that preclude participation by people that can actually use the help. Voucher programs will always be what they were originally designed to be. Welfare handouts to the well off.

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  13. Prospero said on September 20, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Free public education and the GI Bill made the greatest (so-called) generation. Assholes want to claim now, they built their own bootstraps.

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  14. Linda said on September 20, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Jeff, the only thing crappier than how much unaccountable money private “career” schools suck out of the public trough, (and federal student aid is where it comes from) is that they are targeting soldiers and veterans especially. Why? Because current rules limit the amount of federal student aid they can suck in as a percentage of the school’s income and still be an eligible Title IV school (eligible for student aid), but veteran’s assistance doesn’t count as part of the federal equation. It’s gotten so bad that the VA now has regulations about private schools and their recruiting around military bases.

    A neighbor who was out of work for awhile was subjected to this high-pressure sell from one of the private schools. He blew it off, or else he would have been on the hook for a huge debt. Fortunately, he found a job without the dubious “retraining.”

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  15. Julie Robinson said on September 20, 2012 at 10:21 am

    This may be the other dirty little secret of online classes: behold the robo-reader, AKA robo-grader. They’re available to score multiple choice or essays, and can be individually programmed for long words or the number of commas.

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  16. paddyo' said on September 20, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Thanks for the tip on the new Waterboys, Pros’ . . . they’d been off my radar for a few years.

    Hey Nance, if I missed it, sing out — but have you already heard about/noted the West Wing “walking-talking” send-up in the longish political campaign ad for your Michigan state Supreme Court candidate Bridget Mary McCormack? Damned near the whole cast, making the case for not forgetting to vote the non-partisan races portion of the ballot in states where you can just check a box and vote a whole partisan ticket (as in Michigan, apparently).
    Check it out at

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  17. basset said on September 20, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I couldn’t watch very much of the tv story… my first thought was “throw a light on her,” or at least set up a scrim (translucent panel) to knock out that bright spot on the left side of her face.

    Meanwhile, tomorrow is PARK(ing) day, and we are preparing to tie up a couple of spaces downtown, all for a good cause though:

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  18. paddyo' said on September 20, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Edit above: Duhhh, one of the “WW” cast members, Mary McCormack, would be the candidate’s sister, which would explain how they got so many WW’ers to join in.

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  19. Charlotte said on September 20, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Paddyo — I saw an odd piece while surfing yesterday about the opposition leaders of Myannmar watching old West Wing episoded to teach themselves democracy. Here’s a link to Hillary talking about it:
    And now Sorkin’s already-enormous head will explode …

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  20. annie said on September 20, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Prospero @10 – Poi Dog Pondering — one of the best bands I’ve never heard of. Thanks for linking.

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  21. brian stouder said on September 20, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Say – this might even draw in air-support from Lawrence O’Donnell, and old WW guy from way back!

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  22. Connie said on September 20, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Jeff(tmmo) I did one of those quizzes that tells you for whom to vote based on your answers to assorted questions. It told me my first choice was Jill Stein, second choice Prez Obama. I had to look her up sorry to say.

    As for Art Prize my friends told me it was an absolute mob scene and they wouldn’t go again. Not your experience David C.?

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  23. Prospero said on September 20, 2012 at 11:03 am

    annie: you’re welcome. Strange bunch of bastards. and Charlotte@18, if GOPers and Tip O’Meill had hust gone along with Hillary on health care back in the day, we’d all be a whole lot better. Maybe we’d be better off if she were President, but she understands reality, and she realizes a woman would have met the same obstructionism as a black guy. And she is the best Secretary of State this country has ever lucked into.

    Rmoney is likely to put Elliot Abrams in charge of foreign policy and he’s likely to nominate Bork to the SC. Not my country.

    Vouchers are always. always pitched at some dollar point where rich people can rake them in and poor people can almost see the light. And vouchers for school almost always mean teaching faux science. Back in the day, before bigots figured out gaming taxpayers, these were called Christian Schools, and the unChristian nature of segregation was taken for granted.

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  24. Sue said on September 20, 2012 at 11:05 am

    MMJeff and others, re college in general, how much might the default situation improve if there were more loans and financial aid available for part-time students? I seem to recall when my daughter was in college that there really wasn’t any financial help if you weren’t willing to carry a full course load.
    If someone who might benefit from earning a degree or certificate or whatever had access to smaller loans or aid and took it in steps, wouldn’t they be more likely to finish, especially if they aren’t standard academic material which these schools seem to target? And in any case, a default wouldn’t be quite so financially devastating if the original loan amounts were hundreds or a low thousand rather than several thousand.

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  25. Prospero said on September 20, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Connie: Voting for Darth Nader gets us Shrub.

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  26. Sue said on September 20, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I don’t know why this should bother me more than any of the other shit that’s been coming down the pike the last few years, but I am really disturbed by it:

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  27. Connie said on September 20, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Pros, my thought exactly. I’ll be voting for Obama.

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  28. Prospero said on September 20, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Here’s the deal. White folks are still convinced by that ACORN bullshit. Older white folks at that. How are American voters so fracking ignorant? These fracking morons still believe ACORN is still stealing votes. When you let the morons vote.

    In this case Connie, voting for RMoney get’s us Bork on the Supreme Court and the psycopath Bolton running the State Department. Who is so stupid as to not understand how bad that would all be?

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  29. brian stouder said on September 20, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Take heart, Sue. Over the past week, I have detected a distinct increase in the high-pitched whine amongst the flying monkeys of the rightwing airwaves; they’re beginning to stare at the inescapable reality – all their yapping to the contrary notwithstanding – President Obama is looking like a two-term president. So now, renewed frustration with the “main stream media” (which always magically fails to Fox News and the big national radio yappers).

    Because if Obama-the-empty-chair is re-elected, it couldn’t possibly be because the R’s nominated an artificial, out of touch, indecipherably obtuse empty-suit, right?

    In the effort to discredit any sense of an Obama re-election mandate, these folks will work to discredit “the main stream media”, the voting process, “low information voters”, the moocher class, and so on and so forth. “We wuz hoodwinked”, etc etc.

    My hope is that the congressional R’s take a beating in both houses of congress, too – which might humble them enough so that they find the time to, you know – govern and stuff!

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  30. Prospero said on September 20, 2012 at 11:42 am

    What the frack is wrong with people? This has to be prosecutable:

    Free speech my ass.

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  31. brian stouder said on September 20, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Forgot to say: and when Obama is re-elected, I will be using the following line in every conversation with any of my dissatisfied fellow citizens who want to talk trash about the president:

    Your argument, sir/madam, is with the American people

    Back in 1984, when I had hair and Ronald Reagan was re-elected, I thought ‘the argument is over’ – and was genuinely surprised that people still complained about him. I was (somewhat delusionally!) thinking the election would end the argument; but of course it didn’t. And Pat Buchanan rolled that line out – and I loved it then and I still love it!

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  32. Kaye said on September 20, 2012 at 11:52 am

    The West Wing thing is the best political ad I have ever seen.

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  33. Kaye said on September 20, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Hmmm, I must admit it is also the only political ad I have watched/listened to this year.

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  34. Joe Kobiela said on September 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Brian @30,
    What do you tell them if Obama wins the electorial but not the popular?
    Pilot Joe

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  35. Sherri said on September 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    If state law starts requiring high school students to take an on-line class to graduate, you’ll see the same class of grifters and cons spring up to provide the classes. There are accusations that K12 Inc., which runs online high schools in a number of states already, has been using non-credentialed teachers to teach classes while have credentialed teachers just sign off on the paperwork.

    The online health class my daughter took seemed reasonable, though. There are so many required classes in our district that it can be hard to fit them into a college-bound schedule when you also want to sing in choir or play in band or orchestra, so a lot of kids I know have done this. We paid ~$150 for a self-paced course with no textbook and a final exam that’s proctored by her guidance counselor.

    So, online classes can be done reasonable. If they’re mandated by state law, in the current environment, they likely won’t be in too many circumstances.

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  36. brian stouder said on September 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Joe – If Obama wins the electoral but not the popular, I’ll say just the same thing I said when W won in ’00:

    Them’s the rules, baby!

    And, I’ll bet you an icy cold 44 ounce Diet Pepsi (or whatever other soda pop you might like) that that ain’t gonna happen.

    I think Obama is going to walk right into a large (relative to our recent elections) popular and electoral re-election..

    I’m thinkin’ Mitt will get his 47, and the president will get 53 – and carry all the sexy swing states except possibly NC…

    but we’ll see, eh?

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  37. MarkH said on September 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Yes, Brian, we’ll see. No debates have happened yet; it’s only Sept. 20.

    Pros, I am assuming you think the French cartoonists should be prosecuted, eh? What about catoonists who may do the same to Jesus, but then there’s no threat of violence looming as a result. Those guys get jailed, too?

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  38. Maggie Jochild said on September 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I was a medical transcriptionist for over two decades, and the racial identification of patients in reports was an increasingly contentious issue. On the face of it, of course race is associated with physical condition, and should be reported on the same as age, gender, occupational exposure, etc. However, racism is imbedded here as elsewhere, and especially in the older generation of physicians, manifested in two key ways: Language used and assumption about what was a default race.

    I got into trouble repeatedly for refusing to transcribe a dictated “Negro” or “Negroid”, which passes as science in white supremacy world but is not. (And occasionally some old bastard would use the term “colored”, yes he did just say that.) The vicious old trio of racial classification from the eugenics era centered on Negro, Caucasian, and Mongoloid. Nor would I transcribe Oriental. And, whenever possible, I replaced Caucasian with what everyone means when they use that term, white or of Northern European ancestry. Specificity is what matters in taking a medical history, and if the physician wasn’t bright enough or too racist to get the details (Asian or do you mean Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Filipino — all of which are vastly different), I was not willing to play along with the pseudoscience of prejudice.

    Further, so many doctors never reported race for white people, only non-white. It was a glaring assumption that went unchallenged until I came along. If I had access to the record, I’d fill in the race on white people. If I didn’t, I’d send notes saying “Dr. Stonewall only reports race on blacks and Asians, never for anyone else, please let him know this is incomplete reporting.” Some of them blew up about this, of course, but my job as a transcriptionist is to verify the medical report I turn out will maximize that patient’s care and will hold up to a legal challenge. I was usually backed up by the hospital or service I worked for. And, as doctors got younger, the problem decreased: New standards of professionalism included a better grasp of diversity and how to appreciate it.

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  39. Deborah said on September 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Love the West Wing ad, just love it. Why can’t all political ads be that good?

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  40. Peter said on September 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Nancy – I wasn’t on your comment board yesterday, and I checked it out – I think Prospero was the one who asked about the army of TA’s.

    On the other hand, I did THINK that, so perhaps the cite was done by telepathy. Impressive!

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  41. paddyo' said on September 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Kaye, you must not live in a “battleground state,” huh?
    Here in Colorado, it has been all Obama-v.-Romney-v.-Obama, all the time, for at LEAST four months now. Nonstop. If you turn on your TV set, you canNOT avoid them.

    And now the local/regional candidates are starting to squeeze their ads in.
    The only saving grace, I suppose, is that all the political ads (most of them, on both sides, are crap, but hey, thank you SCOTUS) have crowded out the truly awful local ads for used cars, furniture and mattress dealers, and ambulance-chasing lawyers, except late into the night.

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  42. paddyo' said on September 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Actually, Peter, it was I who asked . . . but all our names all start with a P, so close enough.
    And I didn’t know that those classes Nancy was talking about are all free (except for the pricey textbook), so that would change the equation. Sounds more like a gobal, online version of the no-credit “adult enrichment” courses that a lot of colleges and universities offer to get the neighbors and surrounding community to participate, no?

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  43. Kaye said on September 20, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I am in Ohio, where the ad schedule is just like the one in CO, so I have developed a great relationship with the DVR pause and fast-forward buttons. Start a show, hit pause, come back in fifteen minutes and then hit play.

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  44. paddyo' said on September 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Ahh, of course, DVR — a great bodyguard against unwanted candidate intrusion!

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  45. coozledad said on September 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Maggie Jochild: Race science is utter bullshit, and if medicos are serious about using genetic signifiers as a possible course for aiding diagnosis and treatment, they should collect a genetic profile at birth. Terms like caucasoid or negroid serve no purpose except to keep the colonial worldview on a feeding tube.

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  46. LAMary said on September 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    The first debate is going to be at my alma mater, I think. University of Denver. Go Pioneers.

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  47. brian stouder said on September 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    And indeed, MarkH, I look for the debates to be anticlimactic.

    My guess is that the dynamic will be an incumbent president who enters the hall, not having to throw touchdown passes – but only (at minimum) burn the clock and remain coherent and credible; whereas Mitt enters the hall having to score points and/or draw blood quickly and without fail. We’ve seen how Mitt does when he goes rogue (“wanna bet $10,000?”).

    So, while I predict (yet another) Mittastrophe, even if Mitt is flawless and earns a new etch-a-sketch and everything, it won’t be enough. Mitt needs at least one (and preferably more than one) unforced error from the president, and that ain’t gonna happen.

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  48. Prospero said on September 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    paddy’o: give that Wterboys CD a try. You will not be disappointed. Music by Mike Scott, lyrics by the greatest poet ever. Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose.

    Mark H. Anybody that foments violence on purpose should be prosecuted for fomenting violence when it is done on purpose. Free speech does not forgive such behavior. And I do believe cartoons about Jesus could incite violence. I also think any GOPer politicians in the US that proclaim Jesus while attacking Americans that accept gubmint aid are inciteful assholes. Like Willard Ananais. Who isn’t a Christian in practice nor in claimed faith. It’s also a mystery to me why Murricans raise free speech issues concerning people that aren’t Americans. Is the entire world ruled by American ideas? Don’t think so. And where is the deliberate goading part in the 1st Amendment? And I’d love to see the asshole Daniel Pipes in a dungeon. Way part of the problem, denying the solution. A pure bigot.

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  49. Suzanne said on September 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    “What do you tell them if Obama wins the electoral but not the popular?”

    I’ll tell them that Electoral College has been with us from the start and is not something that the Democrats sneaked into the mix in the 1930s so that FDR could get in office, turn us socialist, and stay in office until he croaked. Yes, a God fearin’ tax paying adult told me that not a week ago. Luckily, I was at a computer and could do a quick search and show him that this Electoral College system has been with us since the Founding Fathers founded things. He was pretty astounded.

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  50. Prospero said on September 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Well done, Suzanne. Isn’t it hilarious that originalists on the reactionary side believe the Constitution says corporations are people too, my friend, and cash is speech, and the Koch’s should be able to buy elections? If these mealy aholes steal my SSI and Medicare money, I will not go gentle, and the dickheads will wish they didn’t defend my right to arm bears so vigilantly.

    It is astounding how the Constitutional originalists rewrite history. And it’s amazing how they were so wild about activist judges before it became obnoxiously apparent that the activist judges are Scalito and the other Feudalists. You middle class riffraff are just supposed to go and buy iPhones from the company Store and shut your minds and your yApps.

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  51. Prospero said on September 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Suzanne@49: Two stolen elections to pay back, both of them disastrous in terms of unfinanced invasions and the absurd welfare for insurance companies, Medicare Part D. What say Mark H.? And we have Ken Blackwell and painted lady from FLA to vouch for it. And the Brooks Bros. rioters.

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  52. alex said on September 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    No debates have happened yet; it’s only Sept. 20.

    And we know just how much that’s gonna change things, don’t we MarkH? Romney will reign triumphant with his brilliant intellect and fast-on-his-feet debating skills while the incompetent affirmative-action president will simply fall apart without his Teleprompter.

    That’s sarcasm, just in case anyone here can’t tell 😉

    Or maybe you think Obama’s a goo-goo who plays by the rules and will lose to someone who never lets facts stand in the way of his assertions?

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  53. Dave said on September 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Suzanne, how did you keep from asking, “Didn’t you learn ANYTHING at school”, or “Are you really that ignorant?” I’m afraid I wouldn’t have been able to bite my tongue hard enough.

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  54. Prospero said on September 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Alex: We know that the President is at once ODumbo and the Kenyan usurper mastermind. I’d put my cash on dumb Obama in a debate, but it seems as if Willard Ananais Zomnney may manage to croak his run before it ever gets to that.

    This Drudge and Freeper wetdream that Willard is gonna somehow outsmart Obama, what alternative universe does that come from? Ahole prepie is going to grow a brain at the last minute? Face it MarkH in this case, the brown guy is smarter than the Wonderbread. And if you claim this has nothing to do with race, why would you automatically assume Wonderbread has a headstart? Windsock will lie, the President will tell the truth. Intelligent negroes, worst nightmare. Anti-Obama is at least 47% racist shit, Mitt. Like LDS was racist, institutionally. Explain that one away with another dogwhistle.

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  55. Bitter Scribe said on September 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    It’s easy to not lose a debate; all you have to do is keep repeating some talking point that’s vaguely related to the question. It’s how a fluffbrain like Sarah Palin was able to stay with Joe Biden.

    But Romney has to win, not just avoid losing. That’s tougher. He’ll have to go into full rabid-badger attack mode, which doesn’t come naturally to him. Plus, he doesn’t have the facts on his side, which won’t inevitably kill you but doesn’t help.

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  56. LAMary said on September 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Someone I know who has a degree from what might be considered a prestigious university thought Obama ordered the last census so he could have information about everyone to use for his future takeover of everything. This person is old enough to remember at least four previous census years.

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  57. David C. said on September 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Connie, I understand weekends are a mad-house at Art Prize. We went at about 10:00 AM on a weekday and it wasn’t bad at all.

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  58. Suzanne said on September 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Five years ago that would have shocked me. Now, sadly, it does not.

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  59. garmoore2 said on September 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    For those of you thinking of coming to ArtPrize in GR, I work downtown in the middle of the confusion. Weekend afternoons are crowded, but so are most weekdays; weekends with adults, weekdays with field trips. I try to go mornings, when the sites are the most accessible. Pick up a map at one of the retail outlets; the Hub on Sheldon, Schuler Books or Kendall College on Fountain are two places that have maps, t-shirts, etc. There are about 1,500 exhibits, and they’re nearly everywhere downtown.

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  60. Jolene said on September 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    FYI, The Big Dog (i.e., WJC) will be on The Daily Show tonight. He always does a round of interviews in connection w/ the fall meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, so we may see a lot of him in the next few days. Also available in reruns tomorrow and online.

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  61. Prospero said on September 20, 2012 at 7:57 pm


    All those students with pictier IDs on Tejas that have no more Tejas IDs but the ones the state issued as IDs, they can’t vote but all those bastrds with Concealed Carry Ids they can? This isn’t vote suppression?

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  62. JWfromNJ said on September 20, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Be thankful you don’t live here and see an Allen West commercial every commercial break on every channel.

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  63. Jolene said on September 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Be thankful you don’t live here and see an Allen West commercial every commercial break on every channel.

    Good grief, that does sound like a terrible fate. It is just amazing what the churning of this great republic throws up every now and again. My sympathies to you.

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  64. alex said on September 20, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Here in Hoosierland, the Dem candidate for governor is running ads so irritatingly bad that he might even drive me to vote for his teabagger opponent. John Gregg is trying to be folksy friendly as a sort of counterpoint to Mike Pence’s folksy angry. It’s a shame he doesn’t talk about issues and explain why his opponent is an extremist nut case and just plain wrong. It also doesn’t help that he sports an outsize mustache and has made it part of his campaign logo. He’s comes across as completely unserious to a populace that takes itself way too seriously.

    In the Senate race, Donnelly’s numbers versus Mourdock make me a tad more optimistic though.

    I’m not really seeing much of campaign advertising right now because my DirecTV has been on the fritz for about a week and I haven’t had the time to fart around with it to figure out why it’s effing up. That’s because I’m too busy trying to learn how to use an iPhone. I swear, learning to fly a commercial jet would probably be easier. So far I’m unimpressed and the signal and the sound are absolutely for shit compared to my little old Samsung flip phone. Nothing but dropped calls. That is, when I can figure out the screen well enough to pick up a call before it goes to voice mail. Maddening, I tell you. I’m becoming an angry old man. But I will never become a Republican.

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  65. Deborah said on September 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Two weeks from tomorrow and I’m starting to get melancholy, who’d a thunk it? I’m starting to walk around with a lump in my throat thinking about all the things I will miss about work; like being plugged in to the fray and electricity of all of the designers around me; like the adrenaline rush of an impossible deadline; like the collaboration with junior designers who you recognize have great potential and then they prove it to be true; the daily walk to the middle of commerce in one of the greatest cities in the world. All of that and more, I will miss it. I will. But I know it’s time and I am ready to move on.

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  66. Prospero said on September 20, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    How is it possible in a Christian America Allen West is not committed to a rest home. Guy is clearly insane and not contributing tax bux.

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  67. Prospero said on September 20, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Deborah, best antidote is smoke a J and listen to some Paul Simon. That guy seems to have invented his own retirement and just gotten better and better. And you can call me Al:

    Chevy Chase seems to have done so, too.

    I’m a major fan of the Fletch movies. Somewhat funnier than the Hangover or Bridesmaid franchises, I’d say.

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  68. Suzanne said on September 20, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Irving Wallace’s The Word is the book I was thinking about yesterday. Mystery solved!

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  69. Little Bird said on September 21, 2012 at 12:09 am

    Deborah, you have Santa Fe to look forward to. Visits to the property, to Bandelier, to evenings in front on the fire place. Days where you aren’t required to answer anyone’s call but your own.
    And, let’s face it, phenomenal food.

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  70. MichaelG said on September 21, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Ahh, Deborah I like your posts so much. I’m so happy for your retirement and can’t wait until I’m able to follow.

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  71. Dexter Friend said on September 21, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Deborah, I am coming up on ten years retired, as I took an early package from my unionized workplace.

    I was excited all of the last work day, I had my possessions all carted out to my van, and I had said my last goodbyes, and I walked alone towards the door for the last time. When I got about fifty feet from the door it hit me, and the tears began flowing from an incredible unexpected meltdown, and I was nearly sobbing as I turned my head away from the last security guard and headed for my vehicle. As I left the parking lot the tears turned to a giddy joy…what a weird series of emotions in a five minute period. It was Christmas time, 2002. I had shit to do.

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  72. Prospero said on September 22, 2012 at 11:01 am

    The rule anymore is to always lead with the big black guy.

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