Strange bedfellows.

We’re facing a truly unusual election this year in Michigan. There are five proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot, and you don’t have to be a strict constructionist to ask yourself why some of these things — a renewable-energy edict, a measure to create a registry of home health-care workers — belong in the state’s legal foundation document. (The answer: Because a lot of special interests rolled the dice on a petition campaign.)

But perhaps none will be more wrenching, for the state, than Proposal 2, which would put collective-bargaining rights for public employees in there, too. It would also make it impossible to pass a right-to-work law, among many other things. The advertising is plentiful and whack, with the pro side saying, “Hey, what’s the big deal?” and the other screaming THIS IS SUCH A BIG DEAL.

Yeah, a little oversimplification there. If you really want to, you can read Bridge’s coverage of this here and here. The conventional wisdom is that if Prop 2 passes, it would set off a series of cascading legal dominoes that will enrich lawyers for years. And if it doesn’t, the business community will demand a right to work law.

Michigan with a right to work law. Imagine that.

Brian Dickerson, the Freep columnist, gets to the heart of things here. It’s not exactly a civil war ahead of us, but it won’t be fun:

As it stands, whatever happens on Nov. 6 seems certain to destroy the fragile détente Michigan’s employers and organized labor have established.

…And it’s a pity, because all most Michiganders really want is to live in a state where neither side has the option of running roughshod over the other.

Meanwhile, his wife, Laura Berman, who writes for the other daily, examines the weirdness that is the 11th district congressional district, utterly fubar’d by the same party that gerrymandered it in the first place, now about to send this guy to Washington:

Kerry Bentivolio has been a flop as a homebuilder. His teaching career ended abruptly last year under pressure. His Santa Claus credentials once were rejected by the White House.

When he popped up on the 11th District ballot, his own party leaders tried to mount a challenge against him in the August primary, dubbing the libertarian Ron Paul acolyte “Krazy Kerry.”

Yet Bentivolio, the unlikely Republican candidate for the 11th congressional district, is riding a gerrymandered jet stream toward a $174,000 a year job in the nation’s Capitol.

Three weeks to go.

But hey — how about those Tigers?

Have a great weekend, all.

Posted at 12:11 am in Current events |

99 responses to “Strange bedfellows.”

  1. brian stouder said on October 19, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Well, after checking out those very informative (and fairly depressing) Bridge articles, I must say:

    Michigan politics makes Indiana look almost normal – even despite our pensive Mourdockey-ness

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  2. brian stouder said on October 19, 2012 at 12:28 am

    I found a photo of Dinesh’s women!

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  3. brian stouder said on October 19, 2012 at 12:30 am

    (I think he should take her out to dinner; she appears to be starving to death)

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  4. Dexter said on October 19, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Thanks for the link to Tom Gage. I remember reading his reports when the Tigers had the championship year 28 years ago.
    It was glorious to see the Yankees dismantled and put way for the year. The way St. Louis is playing, one step away from the World Series themselves after thrashing the Giants last night, I don’t even know if the Tigers will be the favorites. Those two teams played in 2006 and the Tigers pitchers kept making really bad errors , and Leyland, Tigers manager, said he was sorry he didn’t have a session of pfp. Pitcher’s fielding practice.

    Did you see Tigers owner “Uncle Mike” Ilitch? He’s really old now, born in 1929, and I hope the Tigers win this thing for him. His rug on his head was a little scary. He’s won a few times with the Red Wings but never the Tigers, as Tom Monaghan of Domino’s Pizza owned the Tigers in 1984. It’s time for Little Caesar’s Pizza owner Mike Ilitch to go out a winner.

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  5. Sherri said on October 19, 2012 at 2:03 am

    It’s looking gloomy for my Giants. If they don’t pull off another miracle like they did in the division series, I’ll be rooting for the Tigers. I lived in Pittsburgh back when Jim Leyland managed the Pirates, and I’ve always liked him.

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  6. Danny said on October 19, 2012 at 5:08 am

    Okay, guys, I am not rubbing it in…. really…. but I have to say that today took my breath away. We spent 5 hours in the water and most of that time, a cohort of several sea turtles were with us… hanging close and frolicking in the surf with us.. so close, in fact, that we had to step gingerly at times to avoid standing on them (though they didn’t seem to mind the occasional accidental contact!). We tried to keep away from them, but they seem to basically like humans. Very cool and docile creatures. As the surfer I met last week opined, “God did something special here.” Indeed.

    Okay, back to who disagrees whom and everyone hates me. 🙂

    Aloha, Danny

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  7. ROGirl said on October 19, 2012 at 5:32 am

    Mike Ilitch looked kind of like Nancy Reagan to me.!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/gallery_635/yankees-swept-tigers-alcs.jpg

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  8. Linda said on October 19, 2012 at 6:38 am

    It’s good to be you. The laid-back sea turtles you describe sound like the cartoon ones in Finding Nemo.

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  9. Linda said on October 19, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Sorry to threadjack, but there’s an interesting article in Salon about the woman in the last presidential debate who brought up the wage gap issue, and is now villified across conservative media as a feminazi. In fact, she’s one of the undecided voters we were talking about:

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  10. Suzanne said on October 19, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Dinesh D’Souza brings to mind the president of Hillsdale College who, a number of years ago, was also caught in an indelicate situation and had to resign. Someone ended up committing suicide over all of it, but I can’t recall the details.

    Gotta love those family values!

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  11. nancy said on October 19, 2012 at 8:02 am

    The Hillsdale president was screwing his daughter-in-law, and she was the one who shot herself, in the middle of campus somewhere. He denied everything (but resigned immediately), and to the National Review’s credit, they were the ones who called out the whole sordid situation.

    And, to this day, there are many, many Hillsdale supporters who say the d-i-l was an unstable loon, a good man smeared, etc.

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  12. Connie said on October 19, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Brian, she not only appears to be starving to death, there is also something weird about her hair color.

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  13. coozledad said on October 19, 2012 at 8:15 am

    The Virginia GOP says it has zero tolerance for dumping completed registration forms, and it won’t happen again. But Nathan Sproul got caught dumping completed forms in VA the previous two elections, and he still works for them.

    This kid was a beserker for the RNC. It goes all the way to the top.
    They just don’t do democracy.

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  14. beb said on October 19, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I have to disagree with the writer of the second Bridge article because business leaders did bring this Prop 2 thing on. They have been constantly opposed to any union activity and their Republican brethren have responded by enacting, or attempting to enact “right-to-work” laws. Right-to-work laws creates a class of free-loaders who enjoy the benefits of union contract negotiations without contributing to the expenses involved with those negotiations.

    Brian Dickerson makes the fair point that Gov. Snyder could have avoided this if he had made it clear to the Republican controlled legislature that he would vote any Right-to-work bills they sent his way. But he didn’t. He’s a most passive-aggressive version of Scott Walker. He wants the same union-busting things but he doesn’t want getting his hands dirty doing it. Snyder will cry tears of regret while signing any anti-union laws the Legis sends him. I’ll vote for Prop 2 because the Republicans are just like cockroaches, they’ll just keep coming back nibbling a bit farther each time.

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  15. beb said on October 19, 2012 at 8:21 am

    An amen to Coolzedad’s “They just don’t do democracy.”

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  16. alex said on October 19, 2012 at 8:45 am

    In my studies of local nineteenth-century history, I learned that Hillsdale was at its inception a progressive institution like Oberlin that championed racial and gender equality. I knew it had become arch conservative at some point but didn’t realize it was in the ’70s under Roche III.

    Cherchez la femme, as the polyamorous French like to say. When the pastor gets caught with his dick in another woman, she’s the guilty party who put it there.

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  17. LAMary said on October 19, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Ahem, Danny, did I not advise you to go hang out with sea turtles about a week ago? Did you follow up with the raspberry iced tea with a piece of sugar cane as a stirrer? I think that was a posting that actually worked. I’ve been having some problems with posting here on my work computer.
    The Big Island is amazing. I hope you got around a bit.

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  18. Connie said on October 19, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Indiana folks watch out, Mitch Albom’s article about the Tigers is in the Star today. At least you are getting his sports writer persona.

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  19. nancy said on October 19, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Alan brought home one of these last night, which gives the term “rumble seat” a whole new meaning.

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  20. jcburns said on October 19, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Be sure Alan checks out the feature where the car’s pokes, prods, and caresses can be calibrated to match those of his spouse for maximum effectiveness.

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  21. Connie said on October 19, 2012 at 10:44 am

    I just received a call on my cell phone about lowering my credit card interest rates. This is a first for me. Several of you brought this up yesterday and I am trying to decide if I’ve been jinxed.

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  22. Prospero said on October 19, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Results of Ayn Ryan’s soup kitchen hoax:

    I always thought scads of Morning Thunder did well keeping me in my correct lane.

    I would say that anti-union is anti-middle class. American unions created the middle class in America, and there is an assault by the rich class on the middle class currently.

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  23. Jakash said on October 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Coincidentally, Eric Zorn at the Tribune has a post about robo-calls today.

    He quotes a news release:
    “The Federal Trade Commission is challenging the public to create an innovative solution that will block illegal commercial robocalls on landlines and mobile phones.”

    His proposed solution:
    “How about requiring a dedicated button or easy sequence of buttons on every phone that permanently blocks the incoming caller from ever ringing your number again? A free and more robust version of such pay services as AT&T’s Call Block, for instance?

    When certain numbers or exchanges get blocked 5,000 times, say, this would trigger an FTC investigation that could result in massive fines.


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  24. Jakash said on October 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I guess that, rather than burying it, I eliminated the lede in that comment. To wit, the news release continues:

    “As part of its ongoing campaign against these illegal, prerecorded telemarketing calls, the agency is launching the FTC Robocall Challenge, and offering a $50,000 cash prize for the best technical solution…”

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  25. Catherine said on October 19, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Linda @9, I want to grab that woman and give her a noogie. She wants to be treated the same as anyone else and she’s very protective of her reproductive rights. But she’s *not* a feminist? I just don’t think there’s enough blood flowing to her brain.

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  26. Minnie said on October 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I wish Zorn’s approach would take hold.

    When the credit-card-rate-reduction calls started a year ago, I would remind the operator in a reasonable tone that what they were doing was illegal, not to mention inconvenient. Sometimes the caller just hung up, but often they would become aggressive and abusive. I called the state attorney general’s office and, while sympathetic, no one there offered any solution. That’s when I decided to amuse myself.

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  27. beb said on October 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    feminist, like liberal have suffered under a barraged right-wing innuendo painting them as some horrible parody of a person.

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  28. Dexter said on October 19, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    ROGirl: Good call. With that hideous rug, at first glance I thought Marian Ilitch had taken a downhill health-slide, but it was old Uncle Mike, not Mrs. I. The last time I saw him on TV was in 2006 and I did not recognize him.

    Little Caesar’s Pizza used to have stores here and also Auburn, Indiana, and I ate there frequently. For a small price one could get a large thick square slice and a wonderful salad with olives and good quality lettuce and great feta , and an iced fountain drink. It made a perfect lunch. They pulled out of all these little towns with the statement they were going into the gourmet pizza business, goin’ upscale, and they were leaving the cheapo pizza business to others. Ha.
    Just down the street from my Toledo daughter’s house is a Little Caesar’s. It’s a storefront…you walk in and you buy a “Hot & Ready” large pizza for $5. Some gourmet dining there. Right.
    Other pizza joints I became familiar with as Detroit-based franchises that have moved down into NE Indiana are Hungry Howie’s and Buddy’s Pizza. I don’t really know if both these are still in business.
    I guess my favorite is Papa John’s.
    Noble Romans disappeared from my world 30 years ago as did a really great pizza place, old Herman Cain’s Godfather’s Pizza.
    That joint on North Clinton in Fort Wayne made great cheesy pizza.

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  29. brian stouder said on October 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    When it’s time to get pizza, we go for Raimondo’s -which is a one-store operation, and which is superb.

    When Dexter mentioned the “goin’ upscale” thing, regarding Little Caesars, he reminded me of an article I read a week ago or so, about Wendy’s. They’ve updated their logo and type-face, and they’re headed for something called “casual dining”. I think that if by “casual dining” they mean higher menu prices and more comfortable seating, then our friends from Columbus Ohio are going to shrink Wendy’s right down to a 3rd-rate, over-priced burger joint.

    The article actually made me groan because, at least here in Fort Wayne, you cannot eat lunch there if you only have an hour. There setup, hereabouts, is one cash register and long lines (if it’s, say, noon). You cannot have food in front of you in less than 20 minutes, and that 20 minutes will be spent standing in a serpentine line. I’ve noticed that Wendy’s preferred layout (at least here in Fort Wayne) seems to be – one cash register. We’ll still sometimes go there – if it isn’t Friday! – but otherwise, they’ve fallen off my radar.

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  30. John (not McCain) said on October 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Every time I read about somebody’s favorite pizza place being a chain, I thank god that I’ve been in Buffalo since 1994. Don’t get me wrong, before I moved here I thought a medium meat lover’s from Pizza Hut was heaven on earth. Turns out I was wrong.

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  31. alex said on October 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Re: the feminist label, a lot of the younger generation don’t identify with it simply because they take their equality for granted, whereas they see feminists as having been the trailblazers who won these battles. Sure, the right-wing loons have tried to make feminism a dirty word, but I don’t think that influences young women so much as the fact that they just don’t see themselves as threatened by men or having to fight for their rights. Feminism does connote a sort of militancy, one that’s no longer necessary. Women now outnumber men graduating from law school and medical school. That would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago.

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  32. Connie said on October 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Dexter, Noble Roman’s now does quick takeout in gas stations. There personal pan is great and there are always a couple ready to go. I have a Little Caesar’s around the corner from my house and do not believe I have ever seen a salad there. Also in the neighborhood is Hungry Howie’s and Happys. Closest Papa John’s is a good ten miles away. Our pizza mostly comes from our new favorite, Jet’s Pizza, I recommend the eight corner pizza.

    It was Dorothy who first told me about Little Caesar’s Hot N Ready. I believe it what she was going to eat when she stayed home on New Year’s Eve. A few days later one opened in Elkhart and we started doing the Not N Ready thing.

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  33. LAMary said on October 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    The best restaurant pizza around here is Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock. It’s slow and they only take cash, but it’s excellent. The antepasto salad is good too.
    For high speed acceptable quality pizza, I confess I get the take and bake pizza at Costco. Right now there’s a three dollar off coupon on the pepperoni, making it 5.99. It’s really not bad. Better than Dominos or Pizza Hut by a lot. I buy one of those, a box of salad greens and once I get home I’ve got dinner done in ten minutes. Feeds four of us for 9.50.

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  34. Catherine said on October 19, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Alex, I get that, and believe me, my daughters share that attitude despite my best efforts. It bothers me that my kids, and that woman, don’t see how underrepresented women are in politics and business (and still in the higher echelons of law and medicine). You don’t have to be militant to think that that’s a problem for all concerned.

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  35. Sue said on October 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Our local Little Caesar’s pizza (since closed) was in a recessed strip mall, so the owners used to have the employees walk up and down the outer street holding posters with the Little Caesar’s slogan in large letters.
    Yes, a bunch of teenaged boys and girls walking up and down the street with posters saying ‘hot and ready’.

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  36. Bitter Scribe said on October 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Sue @35: They should be grateful they didn’t have to wear some of the stupid costumes I’ve seen.

    Last tax season, some storefront accounting place had some poor schmuck dressed as the Statue of Liberty walking up and down with a sandwich board advertising Early Bird Filing Specials. Yes, I’d certainly trust my personal finances and legal obligations to a place that advertised its professional services in such a restrained and tasteful manner.

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  37. brian stouder said on October 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    ! Feminism does connote a sort of militancy… agreed!…one that’s no longer necessary I honestly don’t know about that. Before this campaign cycle, I would have agreed with that – but we have a candidate who will get 10’s of millions of votes from all across the country, and who simply will NOT state that he supports the Lilly Ledbetter- Equal Pay for Equal Work law….who in fact does NOT support that concept. (and not for nothing, but I’m still gobsmacked that our political discourse has turned so sharply into the weeds on such things as the “morality” of insurance coverage for prescriptions??!! in 2012?? Really?)

    I guess I agree that “militancy” may not be specifically called for, but on the other hand, complacency won’t do, either. This is one of the key things that makes me feel in-synch with the president; I also have two daughters – and these issues are therefore not an abstraction. As much as some people will complain bitterly about unelected judges “inventing” rights, isn’t it unseemly to place “civil rights” onto a ballot? . In fact, isn’t it fascinating that right here, in good ol’ America, the dynamic seems to be that if you can put other people’s civil rights onto a ballot, you’ve a better than even shot at stripping those rights away?

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  38. Sherri said on October 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    On the unwanted calls front, the last couple of days I’ve been getting wrong number calls and texts on my cell phone asking if I’m still selling that queen bed frame. I finally tracked down the Craigslist posting; the number listed is one digit off from mine. Reminds me of when I was growing up and a new Pizza Hut opened up nearby, with a phone number one digit off from ours…

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  39. nancy said on October 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    One of my numbers in Fort Wayne was one digit off from an urban-music radio station’s request line. I got used to hearing messages on my machine from people who wanted to hear “The Humpty Dance.”

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  40. Danny said on October 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Yes, Mary, you did! Actually, it was always in the plan. The particular beach we know of in Kaua’i had dozens of them last year, but they were out deeper, past the break. This year, they were hanging with us in the break, in 3 feet of water and when a wave came, they were silhouetted.

    And Linda, they do have that Finding Nemo vibe. I overhead one young couple discussing this and the gal was saying, “Yeah, just like in the movie, they are like, the stoners of the sea.” Like, totally!

    Mary, I feel like we did the Big Island a proper. Stayed 3 nights in Hilo and 3 in Kona. It is beautiful and varied, but Kaua’i still has the stronger pull on my heart at this point.

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  41. Danny said on October 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Hey Nancy, do you have any pot? ‘Cuz a lot of people here in Hawaii have their medical marijuana cards… apparently.

    I hope they feel better soon.

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  42. LAMary said on October 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Did you see any humuhumunukunukuapuaa?

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  43. Deborah said on October 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    All this pizza talk is making me hungry. I wonder where you can get good pizza in Santa Fe? It just doesn’t seem like a pizza place to me. Having said that I think I remember seeing an Il Vicino in the plaza area. It’s a chain I know but they had one in St. Louis and I remember it as having excellent wood fired pizza and good salads too.

    Little Bird and I are going to camp out on our land in Abiquiu Saturday night because we want to see the peak of the Orionids meteor shower which is supposed to be in the wee hours of Sunday morning. We will sleep in the jeep rather than our tent because it will be in the low 40s. And besides the tent is too much trouble for just one night. We bought the makings for s’mores. I can’t wait, I hope the skies are clear. There are supposed to be thousands of meteors visible. My husband back in Chicago is green with envy. He won’t be back here until Thanksgiving. I sure miss him, but I’m loving New Mexico.

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  44. brian stouder said on October 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Quick – anyone! I think Mary needs the Heimlich Maneuver!

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  45. MichaelG said on October 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Here it’s Masulo’s or Zelda’s or Hot Italian. All one offs. I’m not much of a chain guy.

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  46. Danny said on October 19, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Mary, everyday we go snorkeling they are out there. Along with a bunch of other fish that I forget the names for. Saw a snowflake eel last time, but not (yet) this time. Haven’t seen any octopus, at least that we detected. They are very, very sneaky.

    One of our stupid guilty pleasures is to listen to our Garmin GPS mispronounce Hawaiian road names. On the Big Island, our favorite was any road with “Kamehameha” in the name. In GPS parlance Kamehameha is equal to “Commie Hommie HA.” In Kaua’i, our fav is “Ala Kinoiki” being pronounced “Ally Konecki Noiki.”

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  47. alex said on October 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Reminds me of the Divine Miss M’s old Hawaiian schtick: “Lakanookigotme!” Komoniwanalayou!”

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  48. LAMary said on October 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    We like to set the GPS to Australian English. The streets with Spanish names get completely mangled.
    Personally, I want a Yoda GPS. “A left turn you are making…”

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  49. LAMary said on October 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Did any of you see the picture of the argonaut octopus that was caught off the coast here in L.A? Very strange looking critter.

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  50. alex said on October 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    The argonaut octopus can, er, leave its heart in San Francisco. As it were.

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  51. MichaelG said on October 19, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I dunno, Alex. That octopus article is unsettling on several levels.

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  52. Catherine said on October 19, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Apparently the word of the day is Romnesia:

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  53. Linda said on October 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Alex @31, but YES, it is necessary. It’s just that many people–not just women–disdain fighting for their rights. It’s a sign that you’re not one of the winners–it’s considered unseemly. Like white-collar people who are reluctant to embrace the union that fights for their good salaries and work rights. Of course, the overclass is like the biggest union in the country–they are always sticking up for themselves,and are o.k. with getting what they want.

    But I guarantee you that a lot of young women are finding out that they can’t take their rights for granted. It’s like we have to relearn this every other generation or so.

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  54. Deborah said on October 19, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Romnesia! Young women who do not embrace feminism bug me. I rememember when I graduated from college in the early 70s I was a member of NOW. One of the issues we discussed in our meetings when I lived in Dallas was how many women did not support our cause. It boggled my mind then and still does today. We had so far to go then, we are better off now but still more to go.

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  55. alex said on October 19, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    I remember about ten or twelve years ago Oprah brought on a panel of old-school feminists and young women to discuss this very question and the young women probably could’t quite appreciate how much the trailblazers had accomplished while the trailblazers didn’t feel things had come far enough. In a way, this discussion reminds me of Obama’s response when the Republicans were savaging the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Obama’s ties to him. Obama said that he didn’t share Wright’s incendiary sentiments, but he also wasn’t about to second-guess people who had lived through the blatant discrimination that used to exist, that he’d never had to endure himself, and he couldn’t condemn people for feeling that way if they did.

    I hope the young whippersnappers will be so insightful when it’s my turn. My civil rights struggle is in a much different season. My generation looks at the previous ones as the sell-outs and not the other way around.

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  56. alex said on October 19, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    I should add that the generation gap is really taking a toll on our local AIDS task force participation and fund-raising. We have a big annual gala that has been dying out by attrition. The younger generation has simply not been affected by the AIDS crisis, they never knew anyone who died from it and they just don’t think it’s a big deal. And, unfortunately, a lot of them treat it as if it were not a big deal any more than getting smacked with the clap so they end up with a costly and life-shortening disease that they could have avoided.

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  57. del said on October 19, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    This is for Danny, he seems to have some pain behind his eyes:

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  58. Rana said on October 19, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    @37 brian – I think that the “complacency” you’re seeing isn’t so much indifference as a species of incredulity. A lot of the positions held by Republicans today – including Romney and Ryan – are so off the scale from what the average person believes is that they find those positions, well, unbelievable. That is, they hear reports about some of the bizarre things GOP candidates or office-holders say, and they think that either the report must be spin or exaggeration because they are so bizarre, or they figure that it’s just base-rallying theatrics and not meant seriously.

    And it’s not just women who assume these things.

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  59. Danny said on October 20, 2012 at 1:29 am

    del, thanks! I got a good chuckle from that one.

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  60. Dexter said on October 20, 2012 at 1:29 am

    My friend Bill has a winery in Napa , in California. He’s 86 now, and a World War II veteran. He was in the army at the end of the war, when he was just 19. He has a dim view of the USA’s efforts in Afghanistan, and he edited this story for his friend, also named Bill. This link takes you to HuffPo.

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  61. Danny said on October 20, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Just got out of the water about an hour ago. Here is what we were looking at on our way to get a drink at the local beach bar.

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  62. Dexter said on October 20, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Danny…I just watched “The Descendants” a few hours ago on HBO. From that movie as well as the photo slides my brother took when he stayed on Kauai and managed a motel for a month for a friend, I’d say it’s paradise. When I was on my army tour in Vietnam years ago, for r&r we had choices: a week in Sydney, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Kuala Lumpur, on Manilla. I can’t even remember why I decided to take my r&r on Nha Trang Beach right in Vietnam, but that’s what I did.

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  63. Danny said on October 20, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Dexter, Honolulu would have been a lulu!

    I read that article you posted and it was interesting that Bill noted that WWII was the only standout as far as the “elites” not avoiding it. I forget if it was this last season of Mad Men or the previous where Roger (who served in WWII) and Don (who served in Korea) were bantering about the differences in their service and Don commented that the WWII guys had taken all the glory.. as if it was the last, or perhaps the only, “righteous” war effort.

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  64. Linda said on October 20, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Rana @58–you are right. When Democratic pollsters ran the Republican positions on the budget against an audience several months ago, the audience simply thought they were lying–they didn’t believe any political party really advocated those positions.

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  65. alex said on October 20, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Social Security and Medicare used to be the third rail of American politics. There’s some sort of disconnect because nobody believes Romney or Ryan will do what they’ve said they’re gonna do.

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  66. coozledad said on October 20, 2012 at 8:54 am

    More on Romney’s overseas sacrifice

    Oh, and Sgt. Barry Sadler’s estate can bite my ass.

    The Ballad of the LDS

    Earnest cyclists on the road
    whitest men you ever knowed
    men with ties upon they chest
    the brave men of the LDS

    Chorus:There’s golden tablets in a hill
    but these are men won’t drop a pill
    one hundred doors they’ll knock their best
    only three will open to the LDS

    Trained to live off natures’ grub
    trattorias in a French suburb
    fight with their feet, fuck in a shirt
    never seen a speck o’ dirt

    Back at home his girl’s disturbed
    He laid his Schwinn down on a curb
    banged his leg up, ripped his pants
    left to limp through Paris, France.


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  67. Deborah said on October 20, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Do they not take off their underpants while having sex?

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  68. Prospero said on October 20, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Isn’t LDS in France an existentialist joke worthy of Sartre or Camus? I mean, of anyplace in the whole wide world? Debate 3 question: Governor RMoney, did you convert anybody in France? And have you baptized any of those French people you failed to convert retroactively?

    Binders. Another fracking lie. Does this mofo tell the truth about anything?

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  69. Prospero said on October 20, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Danny@63: And the WWII guys got the big payoffs. Vietvets didn’t get that GI bill, free college and ridiculously small mortgages. And the beneficiaries of that government largesse became miser guardians of the public pocketbook. Disgraceful.

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  70. Prospero said on October 20, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Was this Ayn Ryan’s intention all along?

    Wipe out the “less than John Galt?”

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  71. Connie said on October 20, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Prospero, my VietNam vet husband got the GI bill money and a VA home loan.

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  72. alex said on October 20, 2012 at 10:23 am

    FiveThirtyEight talks about Indiana today and describes my part of the state as one of the most socially conservative in the nation. I think the analysis is pretty dead-on and a lot of the commenters bring some good insight.

    One commenter states that Indiana is fiftieth in the nation in retaining its college graduates due to a lack of good jobs. We’re notorious for “brain drain.” I left after college myself for this very reason. I remember employers around here telling me at the time that I should go get some job experience in a bigger market somewhere else, and then if I really wanted to come back (though I probably wouldn’t) there would be plenty of opportunity awaiting me. It was just my luck that I cast my lot with the publishing industry back in the 1980s before it began nosediving. Fortunately, my skills and experience were transferable to other occupations, but my options were still rather limited.

    I’m here to be close to family and also because it affords me a much higher quality of life for the money. It goes a long way toward making up for the otherwise suffocating cultural atmosphere.

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  73. brian stouder said on October 20, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Alex – thanks for the 538 link. I hadn’t checked there in awhile, as Lawrence O’Donnell always updates where Nate’s numbers are, as the update goes up in the first moments of his show.

    But aside from the numbers, the writing there is interesting, and that one was pretty good stuff.

    If I was granted one wish regarding our fast-approaching election, and if that wish specifically excluded choosing the winner, my wish would be for a decisive victory (whoever wins) – and not some fouled up, razor-thin, lawsuit-inducing chicanery-laden “stolen election” that leaves winners and losers growling at one another.

    We, the people of the United States of America, are supposed to be able to do this stuff – hold orderly elections – and then govern ourselves afterword.

    Part of that deal is accepting the public verdict, whatever it may be, and then going forward together.

    Some of our dissatisfied fellow citizens may need to work on that, I think

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  74. Prospero said on October 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Part of that deal is accepting the public verdict, whatever it may be, and then going forward together.

    Do you honestly think that happened in ’00 or ’04? Shrubco is exactly how things got so FUBAR. And that is thanks to Scalito and Ken Blackwell. Those two elections were hijacked. Anybody that claims that isn’t true is a lying sod. No doubt whatsoever. And anybody that claims supply-side economics is sensible is an asshole. As Chritianity has been tried and proven difficult, supply-side has been tried and proved fraudulent.

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  75. Suzanne said on October 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    My kids have had to leave Indiana to get work. I’ll be very surprised if either one ever returns.

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  76. brian stouder said on October 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Do you honestly think that happened in ’00 or ’04?

    Prospero – the thing I am wishing for is a decisive victory, like the president won in 2008; as opposed to a razor-thin victory.

    Looky here:


    Bush, George W. R 2,912,790 votes 48.85%

    Gore, Al D 2,912,253 votes 48.84%

    Nader, Ralph GPF 97,488 votes 1.63%

    Buchanan, Pat REF 17,484 votes 0.29%

    Browne, Harry LBF 16, 415 votes 0.28%

    Hagelin, John NLF 2,281 votes 0.04%

    Moorehead, Monica WW 1,804 votes 0.03%

    Phillips, Howard CPF 1,371 votes 0.0004%

    McReynolds, David SFL 622 votes 0.0003%

    Harris, James FSW 562 votes 0.0003%

    Chote, May W 34 votes 0.000005%

    McCarthy, Ken. C.W 6 votes 0.000001%

    Total State Votes – 5,963,110

    A train-wreck result like this, whether in Florida or the chicane-filled land known as Ohio, is PRECISELY what I don’t want to see. If the result is razor thin, then we’re going to be at the mercy of people like Karl Rove or (insert name of favorite Democratic party operative who is thought to be evil, here)….and those people have no mercy at all. An election result that precludes the gamers and the wire-pullers, and produces a big and undeniable victory – THAT’s what I want.

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  77. MichaelG said on October 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Dexter, I had several opportunities to spend time at Nha Trang. It was a beautiful city and lots of fun. Remember the big Buddha up on the hill? The Corniche and the way they would close it when a Pan Am 707 would come in over the water? On take off the 707 would taxi to the end of the runway facing the sea to depart in the direction from whence he had come and back up several yards until the tail was hanging over the fence. Then they would advance the throttles against the brakes until, at full thrust, the nose would be jacking up and down on the nose gear. They’d release the brakes and the aircraft would thunder down the runway and just barely clear the fence at the other end to slowly climb out over the South China Sea. Talk about a max performance take off. There was absolutely no margin for error. My jaw was on my chest when I witnessed that. It was something you’d never see at an airport in this country.

    In my unit they pretty much reserved the Honolulu R&R trips for married guys so they could meet their wives there. I went to Singapore and had a wonderful, if very X-Rated time.

    I was at Bonneville several years ago to watch the speed record cars. This, by the way is a fabulous event that everyone who cares at all about cars should attend at least once. Anyway, a couple of missionaries on bikes with their white shirts and skinny ties showed up. They were greeted with polite amusement. I still wonder what missionaries were doing in Utah.

    I too went back to school on the GI Bill when I got back from Vietnam and later bought a house with a GI loan.

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  78. MichaelG said on October 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    And, oh yeah, that 707 would smoke like it was burning coal as it roared down the runway.

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  79. MaryRC said on October 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Rana, I think you’re right: that attitude astounds me but some people do seem to believe that Romney is only pandering to the Conservative right and will drop that and move to the center if he wins. Of course it never occurs to them that he may be pandering to them.

    Here’s part of an interview with Albert Fiandaca, the designer who makes those red dresses for Ann Romney:

    Of course Fiandaca is not going to alienate a celebrity customer and would doubtless love to be the FLOTUS’ go-to-designer, but where does this come from?

    “[Romney]’s not someone who’s just giving us B.S. and telling us what he thinks we want to hear. Yeah, this abortion issue offends me. However, I don’t really think that’s him in his heart, and it may be just the Christian right pushing him, but once he gets in, he’ll be the man he is and true to himself.”

    As if Romney even knows who “himself” is. And about the President he says: “All of a sudden he’s into gay issues, and into women’s rights — but where was he three years ago when it came to those things?”

    The President signed the Lily Ledbetter Act his first day on the job. How do you talk to these people?

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  80. MaryRC said on October 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Re Mitt’s missionary stint in Paree … Ann Romney compared his and their sons’ missions to military service, complete with heart-rending testimony on how she sent her boys off and they came back men:

    I dare her to find a parent whose child is serving in Afghanistan right now and tell them to their face that their child’s military service is the same as going door to door annoying people.

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  81. Prospero said on October 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Brian, a Green vote is an omphalopic , masturbatory vote for masturbation. Thanks for W you wankers.

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  82. ac jones said on October 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Alex, I lived in northeast Indiana forever. I claim it as my homeland. I love the area but not Fort Wayne, which is way too uninspired for me. I love the lakes in the area and bought property on one of them. I moved to Virginia last year. It’s not any more expensive here. Gas is cheaper, taxes are cheaper; history, nature and culture are everywhere and at little or no cost to enjoy. Higher paying and better jobs are easy to find. It has its political oddities, but what place doesn’t? If you don’t like where you live, you don’t need to rationalize it because of the cost. Consider your options if you feel trapped.

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  83. brian stouder said on October 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Prospero, I don’t disagree. Still, I always find that listing of the breakout of the vote somewhat astounding – both in what it flatly tells us, and what it suggests.

    Fore example, you often (and rightly, I think) bemoan all the voters who cast their lot with Nader.

    But indeed, think of all the 17,484 people who went for Pat Buchanan! Any portion of those people going for Bush would have added some more certainty to W’s result, yes?

    And indeed – leaving aside Nader and Buchanan, who’s Harry Brown? Or Monica Moorehhead? I’ve heard of Howard Phillips, but then there’s David McReynolds and James Harris??! All of these people got more votes than the margin of victory that President Bush posted…..which causes me to simply stand and gawk – much as a person would at the scene of a car crash.

    What were these voters thinking?

    My guess is, they didn’t think they were voting for a person who was going to actually WIN – but they (the voters) were sending a “message”.

    In my opinion – the “message” that such voters send is one that no one will ever read, much less take seriously. Still, this is a free country, and voters will do as they will.

    And indeed, the Nader voters can at least say that THEIR message might well be at least glanced at by the major parties; the next time around, they (the major party candidates) may make an effort to woo them into their column.

    But Monica Moorehead? (Maybe the Moorehead for president voters were sending a sly rejoinder to the outgoing Clinton administration, eh?)

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  84. Prospero said on October 20, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Scalito wom 2000 Brian. Ken Blackwell won ’04, along with the Diebold guy. Cuyahoga County voted for Shrub? Not fracking likely.

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  85. Dexter said on October 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    MichaelG, I lived in a hootch very near that airfield. I never landed in a fixed wing aircraft anywhere near Nha Trang, however. Jeeps, ambulances, and Hueys were my modes of transpo. When I exited the country, I left from Cam Ranh in a newly painted very tiger-y orange and black Flying Tiger Airlines aircraft.

    Now , that airfield is known as NHA, Nha Trang Airport.

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  86. Deborah said on October 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Back from Abiquiu where we car camped to watch the Orionid meteor shower. Just beautiful. We got up at midnight and then 3am to watch until we got too cold and our necks hurt. It was cool to see so many meteors, and there were many different types. Some were very faint and short, some had really long tails, some were yellowish orangish, some lit up the sky almost like lightning. Very cool. The sleeping in the jeep was not as bad as it sounds, not the most comfy of beds but I slept pretty well considering. We learned about what to do better next time.

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  87. Kirk said on October 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Deborah, that sounds heavenly to this denizen of a heavily light-polluted city where, even on the clearest of nights, one can see only about 20 stars (and some of them are really planets and airplanes).

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  88. MichaelG said on October 21, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    After being in at least the 80s and 90s since forever, today it’s barely 60. Brrrr. It’s supposed to rain late tonight. Haven’t seen rain in months.

    The report of George McGovern’s death today and the campaign remind me of one of the greatest campaign jingles of all time:

    “Don’t change Dicks in the middle of a screw. Vote for Nixon in seventy two.”

    Every time I traveled to Nha Trang but one, Dexter, it was by 3/4 ton or deuce and a half. The exception was the time I flew up there from Phan Rang in a C-47. Cool.

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  89. Prospero said on October 21, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    McCain’s oppo research on RMoney from 2008. Stunning. Not a single case in which what Willard was thinking back then matches teh lies he’s telling today.Lying then or lying now, one way or the other. Or courage of having absolutely no convictions whatever. Absolutely bizarro. (from Daily Kos)

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  90. coozledad said on October 21, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Prospero: It does make you wonder why the fuck he’s running. He makes Nixon look like a man of principle.

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  91. MarkH said on October 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Kirk, high altitude helps stargazing tremendously as well with less dense atmosphere. Out here in the mountains of Wyoming on a clear night with no moon, the night sky can be stupendous. This weekend not so much, though, as the weather here was rainly & cloudy, so we missed the meteor shower. More snow is on the way as well and we may have a foot in the valley by the weekend. The Tetons are already well dusted above 9,000 ft.

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  92. brian stouder said on October 21, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Another intersting Bridge article, which sounds a note that I’ve heard before –

    When I was at a trade show in rural Illinois a month ago, I kept hearing this “47%” thing from the upright, white, male agricultural community – and then after that heard the Romney tapes, and then learned that Romney was aping a meme that had come out earlier from one of the (many) right-wing internet chop-shops.

    And another thing I heard repeatedly was barely-restrained (and wholly unsupported and unreasonable) annoyance – if not outright anger – at wind mills/wind farms.

    I just don’t get it. What the hell’s the problem? If a farmer builds a concentrated animal feeding operation (or CAFO) and his neighbors raise a stink (so to speak), the hog farming industry will rail against this infringement of the private property owner’s rights, yes?

    But if a farmer (or other land owner) builds a wind farm, why should this bother anyone?

    Of course – my mistake is thinking that anyone actually needs a rational reason to become angry and political.

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  93. Dave said on October 21, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Brian, they’re so ugly, have you driven east on 30 or Indiana 14 lately, you barely leave the New Haven city limits until there they stand, tall and visible, although they only come up to the state line. I have to confess that I would hate to see them every time I looked out the window and they stretch from 14, which becomes Ohio 613 to U. S. 30, all the way to U. S. 127. They dominate the Paulding County flatlands.

    I know, they agreed to it.

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  94. basset said on October 22, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Just got back to Tennessee after driving the length of Indiana twice this weekend, back and forth to a wedding near Kalamazoo, and being subjected to your wall to wall political advertising every time I turned on a motel TV or looked at a roadside sign.

    As a native Hoosier, this Mourdock creature embarrasses me. He doesn’t actually have a chance to win, does he?

    And I did see one small array of windmills, think they were around Kokomo somewhere.

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  95. Sherri said on October 22, 2012 at 12:05 am

    I don’t know, I’ve always thought wind farms were kind of cool looking. Much more attractive than most kinds of infrastructure, like power lines for example. I always liked driving through the Altamont Pass in California and seeing all the wind turbines. But then, I’m kind of an infrastructure geek.

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  96. Dave said on October 22, 2012 at 12:59 am

    Yes, Basset, he does have a chance to win and he’s thoroughly disgusting.

    Sherri, don’t know what you know about this area but Paulding County, Ohio, is very flat and the wind farms there are visible for miles. I don’t know how many windmills there are but I should add they are in Paulding County and Van Wert County. They may be working as intended but I have to say that I would be in a NIMBY if I had to see them as part of the scenery from my home. Here’s a story from last year about them: There are many other stories to be found. I know, it’s an alternative source of energy and it has to be somewhere.

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  97. brian stouder said on October 22, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Dave – your “NIMBY” post got me thinking.

    One bit of lore I recall from grade-school history, was the idea that rural electrification was one of the great strides forward, in the first half of the 20th century (indeed, part of the FDR/New Deal narrative, yes?).

    Indeed, the sudden appearance of the ubiquitous utility poles with wires strung along them all across the American countryside was (supposedly) a proud symbol of modernity.

    I see those power-generating windmills in just the same way – and I wonder what the median age is, of the rural folks who hate them. (and I also wonder if the windmills aren’t viewed as “green” and therefore Obama-related, and therefore unacceptable)

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  98. Dave said on October 22, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Brian, to which all I can say is to drive over into Ohio and look, then tell me if you’d care to look at that every time you walked outside.

    My father grew up in southern Ohio without electricity, electricity was a great blessing, the ironic part is that he was born in town with electric but circumstances (the Depression) led them back to the farm that my grandparents had hoped to avoid. Electricity and the REA was a great blessing, a wonderful thing, the power lines brought so much convenience. But, other than the high tension lines that brought the power, which had a right-of-way, perhaps much like the railroads and the highways, although much taller, didn’t dominate the landscape the way the groupings of wind farms do.

    I suppose no one will see this posting but it doesn’t seem appropriate to post it in today’s posts. (10/22)

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  99. brian stouder said on October 22, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Dave – I hear you!

    Last month we rolled to Cleveland (wedding), and saw lots of the windmills once we got into Ohio.

    The young folks were impressed by them, as were Pam and I. Acres of them didn’t strike me as particularly ugly (certainly no worse than the cell-phone towers that sprouted up like lone weeds here and there, for the past few decades); more ‘exotic new thing’, if anything.

    But then, as a city boy, I’m used to living in the shadow of an 838 foot tall TV tower, and seeing familiar buildings and structures get modified or replaced, all the time.

    By way of saying, wide expanses of cornfield, or wide expanses of wind-mills – it’s all the same to me. Plus, it’s almost poetic to see farmers’ reaping the whirlwind’, eh?

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