Notes from the barkeep.

For those of you who’ve expressed concern about the comments, rest assured I hear you. There’s an expression about bad apples and barrels, but I don’t think it’s entirely true. I’ve seen with my own eyes how often one contrary voice, one bad attitude, one Mr. Grumpypants, can clear a room, an office, a blog comment section, the way a bad egg fart clears an elevator. So I feel your pain.

That said, I’m not banning anyone from the comments. At least not yet. I know that balancing voices in a comment section can sometimes be a tricky matter, because most of them aren’t balanced at all. Birds of a feather, etc., to add a second cliché to this entry.

To be honest, while I love having my opinions affirmed and echoed and repeated back to me in different words as much as the next person, I can’t take too much of it. I lived for 20 years in a state where I frequently felt like a stranger, where you couldn’t put a bumper sticker making fun of Dan Quayle on your car without risking it being keyed. I liked and respected my neighbors (most of them, anyway) who disagreed with me on issues ranging from presidential politics to the cultural impact of “Dark Side of the Moon.” After a few years, I came up with a sentence that I would sometimes repeat as a mantra: Everybody arrives at this moment in time via a different path, and they may have drawn different conclusions along the way.

Also, I was a newspaper columnist, a job where your very own employer regularly runs letters from readers opining that you suck. So I’m sort of used to that.

Ultimately, I think most of our right-leaning commenters here offer a lot, because ultimately, they help make for a spicy mix. As I’ve said before, I think of our comment sections as sort of an idealized tavern, or maybe a cocktail party, with tables here and there, different conversations going on at each, people flitting between them, agreeing, taking offense, whatever. (Prospero, however, will always be the guy at the end of the bar, bellowing opinions and sometimes falling off his stool.) If someone here bugs you, I’d ask you to just slip past his or her name and really — don’t let it get to you. Because, ultimately, it all boils down to this.

Let’s keep having fun.

Speaking of our most prized commenters, I’m indebted, once again, to Jeff, for digging up this old story by Gene Weingarten, which I read and then forgot. Shouldn’t have forgotten this profile of a man who doesn’t vote, because he doesn’t give a rat’s ass:

We took a list of 90-odd names, eliminated those people who were not from battleground states (we wanted people with resonant nonvotes) and then started telephoning. To eliminate any bias in our choice, we decided to profile the very first person who agreed. The first name on the list, as it happens, was Ted Prus. Here is how the call went:

“Hi. This is The Washington Post. Are you registered to vote?”


“Are you planning on voting?”


“We’d like to write a long story about you. Would you be interested? It would make you famous.”

“You mean a famous idiot?”

“Actually, we’re not sure. There’s no guarantee one way or the other.”

“Sounds good.”

I guess I have to see “Zero Dark Thirty.”

What it’s like to be in a mass shooting. HT: Laura Lippman.

And tomorrow we start anew. On the downside of the week.

Posted at 12:35 am in Current events, Housekeeping |

129 responses to “Notes from the barkeep.”

  1. nitewatcher said on December 13, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Whew !!!! 🙂

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  2. nitewatcher said on December 13, 2012 at 1:12 am

    On a note about the latest shooting. I say latest because unfortunately this will most likely not be the last one. That being said every year in this country 1000’s of lives are saved because someone had a firearm close to them. Either law enforcement or law abiding armed citizens. Either of those two are fine with me.

    Also I want to say a belated hello from Idaho.

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  3. Bob (not Greene) said on December 13, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Nitewatcher, bullshit. Goodnight.

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  4. Dexter said on December 13, 2012 at 3:06 am

    I sat on my chair for seven straight hours watching 121212 from New York’s MSG last night. It was the greatest TV concert I ever saw, and I didn’t really stay glued to Farm Aid years ago, so I can’t compare.

    Bruce and Jon Bon Jovi, Waters and Vedder, Townshend and Daltrey (friendly towards each other for once!) The Rolling Stones were great, but only did to tunes, and Sir Paul did the last long set with Alicia Keys ending the show with “Empire State of Mind”. The show was so great I never was bored once; they all did a helluva job.
    Anybody else watch the whole thing? What the hell was Kanye West up to, in tights and that skirt? Is he just fucking crazy? I had to take a break when he just stayed out there on stage, I could not understand a word he was screaming. But then I have never “gotten” Kanye West. I suppose I never will.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 13, 2012 at 6:54 am

    The American Rifleman, the magazine of the NRA, used to have a feature that was a page of news excerpts about people who defended themselves from criminals with handguns or shotguns. Since I don’t see that publication any more (it was a situational access, not my own subscription), I’m not sure if they still run it, but I’d imagine they do — this was back in the 70’s & 80’s. It was interesting reading, and I do think that there’s not much attention given to how often personal weapons are properly and even non-lethally used to deter crime.

    I’m extremely ambivalent about the whole “an armed society is a polite society” which is originally a line from a piece of fiction about a possible future society (a Heinlein work, naturlich). But as Jeffrey Goldberg recently discussed in The Atlantic, the problem is that a possible America with no guns in any private hands is no more realistic than an America called for by some on the right where everyone has a weapon. Which leaves me favoring gun licensing . . . require a license to use and operate a weapon, with severe penalties for being involved in a shooting incident without having been through the training & orientation course, akin to Hunter Safety training. I’ve done Hunter Safety four or five times, and have never fired a weapon at a hostile moose or squirrel. It’s simply useful to know the basics of what’s safe and what isn’t, and I like encouraging kids to take it because if that day comes when they’re in a house and someone finds, runs across, or pulls out Cousin Cletus’ old Luger or even a Mossberg .22, they know what should be said, and how to handle the thing when they put it back out in the barn.

    But while I’ve been drawn on a few times, I’ve never carried and have no intention of doing so. Marine Force Recon says early and often “a weapon can make you stupid.” Take a gun with you, and you’re likely to use it. If I’m ever shot, I may well slump down on that spot last thinking “okay, maybe I should have rethought that whole not carrying thing” but I seriously doubt it. It will probably be more “why did I come to this location without calling in backup” in the first place.

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  6. alex said on December 13, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Marine Force Recon says early and often “a weapon can make you stupid.”

    I know plenty of gun owners and I beg to differ. They were stupid before they got their weapons.

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  7. beb said on December 13, 2012 at 8:23 am

    In one of his comedy routines Chris Rock made the suggestion that since we can’t ban guns (because of the 2nd amendment) why not tax bullets instead. A ten dollar or even a hundred dollar tax per bullet would have a profound impact on random shootings because every time you draw a gun in anger you have to ask yourself “Is this man worth a hundred bucks?”
    I’ve long held the heretical view that Robert Heinlein was one of the worst things to happen to science fiction. Like Ayn Ryan, he appeals to adolescent boys and fills them full of smarting sounding nonsense. His “an armed society is a polite society” is one such. Ask yourself, how does holding a gun in your hand make you more polite? The only way it works is when the polite people in society have murdered all the bullies. But that’s not going to happen because polite people are too polite to kill the impolite ones. So what we’d really end up with is a society dominated by bullies and people who’re too afraid for their lives to voice objection to anything the bullies do. And that’s not a polite society either.

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  8. beb said on December 13, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Marine Force Recon says early and often “a weapon can make you stupid.”

    One of my favorite pulp hero characters, Doc Savage, never carried a gun either for exactly the same reason. On the other hand he was a walking arsenal with gas grenades, smoke bombs, thermite, etc. hidden in his clothing.

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  9. Dorothy said on December 13, 2012 at 8:39 am

    I am glad about what you decided, Nancy. I had a strong inkling this is how you’d go with this. And it’s the right decision. I think most of us know that, because we are all fair-minded people. And it’s a free country. Respond, or don’t respond, to something that catches your attention. It’s a simple as that. All of the voices here keep things lively, some livelier than others.

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  10. MichaelG said on December 13, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Maybe a tad off topic but check out this feature on the Packard plant.

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  11. Mark P said on December 13, 2012 at 9:04 am

    nitewatcher, I am not a gun banner; I own several myself, and I like to shoot. But I seriously doubt that your numbers are correct. Thousands? No. Maybe a few. Probably countable on one or two hands.

    This is actually relevant to the post Nancy linked to about the man who was at the mall when the shooting occurred. This is not a criticism of Bill Cameron or his reaction, but I think it illustrates something about human nature and the way we react to things. I have read that top athletes picture their performance in their events before they start. In my experience, that is key to how you act and react. If you picture what you will do when a dog runs out in front of your car, you are far, far more likely to react that way. It happened to me a few weeks ago. I didn’t see the dog until he was a few yards in front of the car, and before I realized what had happened, my foot was already mashing the brake as hard as I could manage. That was because we drive on a road where deer cross frequently (I have actually seen someone hit a deer on that road), so I have thought about it. I had essentially trained my subconscious to react by imagining the event before it happened. Bill Cameron, like most of us, never expected to be near one of these random shootings, so basically he had no idea how to react. So he did pretty much nothing. If he had imagined something like that happening and how he would react, he would probably have reacted that way.

    So, if you carry a gun, you had damned well better be prepared to react properly, and that includes not even drawing the gun in some circumstances. That’s why you really need proper mental and physical training to be prepared. The training allows you to condition your reactions. Maybe you have seen police training where they have to decide which “person” is a danger to be shot, and which is an innocent civilian. In an instant! But most civilians will not have the training to prepare their subconscious, and that’s why most gun-carrying civilians are probably not going to be prepared to react properly when something like the mall shooting happens. And if they carry a gun, the wrong reaction can be worse than if they had no gun.

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  12. Mark P said on December 13, 2012 at 9:38 am

    This is what I’m talking about, from a Slate report on the mall shooting:

    According to the sheriff’s office, “Personnel were well-prepared for this incident because they had practiced active-shooter techniques at Clackamas Town Center earlier this year.”

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  13. alex said on December 13, 2012 at 10:00 am

    The NRA and the gun industry owe their phenomenal success to the fact that this country is so full of easy marks, as it were. Just the other day I got into it with a dolt who is steadfast in his belief that Obama’s coming to take away everyone’s guns and ammo, never mind that no new gun control laws have been enacted in years and most that existed have been overturned and virtually no politician has the balls to cross the NRA. It should be a matter of grave concern that people this unhinged from reality are arming themselves to the teeth. As I’ve stated before, if it were up to me one would have to submit to routine exams of their fitness to be licensed to own a gun.

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  14. Kirk said on December 13, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Now the Ohio Senate is pushing a lame-duck bill that would make valid gun permits issued in other states, without having to qualify for an Ohio permit — just like driver’s licenses, you know? I’m sure all those in favor are usually big “states’ right” people.

    The part that’s really clever is that it would absolve permit-holders of the need to demonstrate competency with their firearm when they renew, just like driver’s licenses. The NRA shill called it “common sense.” I assume he had a straight face. Hell, he might even believe it.

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  15. coozledad said on December 13, 2012 at 10:31 am

    The right will probably begin to include gun ownership in their religious freedom argument. It’s already become a central totem in their cock-based occultism. As the satellite icons of the religion (murican flag, murican exceptionalism, white pride) long ago obscured and overtook the central religious tenet of selflessness, we’re now seeing them working to rewrite their historical Jesus as a violence prone scold- a devil more suited to the hell on earth they’re looking to build.
    They’ve already succeeded in reinterpreting the constitution as protecting the church from the state, but with no reciprocal protections for the public. Big surprise there: They’ve taken a mighty shit all over their own bible for a few centuries, so any other document featuring anything besides numbers and pictures is fair game to interpret as another justification for feudalism.

    This is why rationality has no place in this exchange of worldviews. Half the argument is being waged by people who are suffering from an organic brain disorder that causes them to sanctify violence and destruction. This is what makes them cum their britches. When they say they are “not of this earth” it’s the only thing they’ve got right, but in the most fucked up way possible.

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  16. MichaelG said on December 13, 2012 at 10:33 am

    While I wasn’t in Marine Force Recon like MMJeff, I was in an Army five man recon team in Vietnam. I saw the results of gunfire often and at first hand. I finally came to the naïve hope that if we were doing it there we wouldn’t have to do it here. Ha. Back in this country at Ft. Bragg there were guys who would carry a gun when they went to town. Several of them used their weapons. I came to the conclusion then and still believe now that people carrying guns are always conscious of their presence and have a tendency to use their guns. I think carrying a gun is a form of provocation as much as protection. I don’t own one and don’t carry one. My army time was enough.

    I’m glad to hear your decision, Nance. A little back and forth can be fun and I haven’t seen anything vicious yet. You want ugly, look at the comments sections in the Sacto Bee.

    Those assembly line photos in the Packard plant feature are wonderful. I hadn’t really understood just how labor intensive the old auto assembly lines were.

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  17. Scout said on December 13, 2012 at 11:35 am

    The comic Nancy linked to is one of my absolute favorites. I have a copy of it hanging on my office wall along with the classic Larson “cat fud” (oh please, oh please), one from the New Yorker featuring two drunks at a bar, one passed out, the other one surrounded by empty martini glasses, a full ashtray and sporting a 10:00 shadow saying, “Boy, I’m going to pay for this tomorrow at yoga class.” Oh yes, and a couple of pics of the grands.

    I agree with your decision, Nancy. I understand it is totally up to me how to react to those who tend towards blog provaca-tourism. I hate conflict (the Libra thing) but enjoy a civil exchange of ideas. That’s why this is the only comments section on the web I read and participate in.

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  18. Charlotte said on December 13, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Beb! Doc Savage! The summer camps my brother and I went to used to show the ancient movie every summer –it was a particular cult favorite of ours. Every once in a while Patrick would look over at me (often as our parents were misbehaving), chuck me on the chin with his fist and say “Mona, you’re a brick.” Once of our inside jokes I miss most …

    The NY Times did a weird little photo spread out here a few years ago — lots of photos of Bozeman and Livingston semi-notables, and one of the questions they asked (because this must be the wild west, eh?) was “how many guns do you own?” Even I have to admit to 2 shotguns, inherited from my brother who hunted birds. But they’re in the front hall closet, unloaded and I don’t even have any shells around. (I figure bear spray is my first line of defense against intruders — that or running out the back and shreiking — houses are close in my neighborhood).

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  19. Prospero said on December 13, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Dex: Clapton was particularly good, I thought. Best I’ve heard him play in years, and he actually looked involved, not bore, like he was enjoying himself. When he bags the lachrymose pseudo-country and the stultifying JJ Cale imitations, and sticks with a K-nockin’ drummer and a fleet bass player, he’s still mighty good.

    I’m never getting into an argument about guns with anybody again. The problem the USA has now is that the Scalito Court huffed and puffed and decided that

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Somehow means every Murrican has a right to be packin’ wherever and whenever they gutdom please whatever weapon they like. Not to derrogate Italian American justices, but is English their Second language? Do they suppose the authors just applied that first clause to the 2nd Amendment to make themselves sound smart? Seems to me they intended that there be regulations concerning bearing arms. And it’s obvious they never imagined rapid fire assault weapons with large ammo clips (well, maybe the visionary inventor T. Jefferson did, but it seems he was more interested in swivel-wheel chairs and lazy Susans than killing lots of people fast, which is the only conceivable use for those weapons). It’s fine to say that every year in this country 1000′s of lives are saved because someone had a firearm close to them. Either law enforcement or law abiding armed citizens, but is there anyaactual hard evidence that that is true, as ther certainly is that all the weapons in so many hands certainly produce deaths in the 1000s.

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  20. nitewatcher said on December 13, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Jeff @5 they still do. Usually a dozen or so.

    Beb @7 What other rights do you enjoy other than the 2nd? Maybe we should tax everyone $100 who has ever taken the 5th? Just seems rather silly to pick and choose what rights are good for him, but not for her.

    Mark P @11 I suspect the number is higher than that. 100’s of armed citizens yearly have protected themselves & their property. The NRA magazine publishes 120 or every year. Then think about how many 100’s & 1000’s of time law enforcement use their weapons to stop violent crimes. That number has to be off the chart.

    As for my personal situation where I live. We are 30 minutes from having a Deputy show up at our house and that’s with good weather. Add black ice & a snow storm it will literally be hours before they can get here. Plus there is no cell phone here and the phone lines go down often in the winter months with snow & trees taking down lines. Not to mention we live in wolf, grizzly bear and mountain lion country. To not carry a gun is Russian roulette.

    I do enjoy the lively debate tho with out anyone throwing bombs at each other.

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  21. nitewatcher said on December 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Prospero. You are correct about 1000’s of deaths from dangerous weapons. Also lets remember some other legal items take 1000’s of lives too. Smoking, alcohol, driving, diet, etc.

    I really wish people would go read the ruling from the 7th circuit in regards to the Illinois gun case. It will shed some light on the whole reason behind the CCW battle.

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  22. Judybusy said on December 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    MarkP @ 11, I so agree with you about many people who carry guns or have them for self-protection don’t think ahead or know what to do. A few days ago, a man shot his 12-year-old granddaughter in Rochester, MN, thinking she was an intruder. There had been a burglary at a nearby rec center a few days before, so that’s what was on his mind. He thought the girl was in bed, in the house. We also had a recent shooting in the area where a child shot his brother using a gun that dad kept under a pillow by the bed. The dead child is two, his brother four.

    Two of my nieces hunt, but have gone to lots of training and they follow good practices in the house. I don’t worry about an accident with them, but there sure seems to be a lot of unnecessary death due to loose permit laws,lack of training, and general stupidity.

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  23. nancy said on December 13, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I know many of you are Christian and are put off by strong language, so I’ll keep this PG-13: Jeebus fracking Christo. I’m so embarrassed by my former employer it makes my head hurt. Besides the utter lunacy of this column, add the backstory that this guy, like virtually all the “guest columnists,” has been writing for the paper for decades. Srsly. He was writing in the mid-’80s when I arrived, and will likely be doing so until they carry his ass to the boneyard. He’s been using the same picture, too, so I figure he’s now 103 years old.

    Do these people actually believe this shit, or is this just theater?

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  24. Danny said on December 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I will look at your link later, Potty-Mouth, but I have a meeting to run to now. Anyway, I saw this and thought I would share it.

    About frickin’ time!

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  25. Julie Robinson said on December 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    MichaelG’s link at #10 is an incredible series, well worth spending a few minutes perusing. The size and scope of the old Packard plant are jaw-dropping, and the before and after pictures are just haunting.

    It made me think about the Fort’s own huge GE complex, where only 30 workers will be left by the end of the year. It might not be quite as large, but it covers several blocks and is of a similar age. I realize I don’t know much about its maintenance, but I’m willing to bet there are plenty of toxic chemicals around, and I wonder about its future. Will the city turn a blind eye to deterioration, or is it close enough to downtown to be rehabbed?

    The photo of the offices at the Packard plant reminded me of the Fort Wayne Newspapers office when my hubby started there in 1981, and how it must look today; not quite abandoned, but certainly derelict. As are the writers for the N-S, who I ignore on my way to reading Zits and the other comics.

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  26. Bob (not Greene) said on December 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Sorry, Nancy, I read the first line of that column and clicked away. Anyone starting out with a premise that warped ain’t worth my time.

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  27. nancy said on December 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Which is sort of my point. Why the editor didn’t roundfile it simply staggers me. No, it was typeset and edited and a headline added. And no one said GODDAMN IT THIS IS CRAZY TALK.

    Oh, and Smartwool fans? STP is having a BOGO sale until midnight mountain time.

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  28. nitewatcher said on December 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    I read it and I take the 5th. You will have to admit the thing about Rep. Waters tho.

    Hey Danny it also said something about reporting loud commercials too. Do we get a decibel meter or something ?

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  29. John (not McCain) said on December 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    “Sorry, Nancy, I read the first line of that column and clicked away. Anyone starting out with a premise that warped ain’t worth my time.”

    Oh, it’s worth it to skip ahead to the end, where we discover that Jesus died for the ol’ red, white and blue. At least, I think that’s what the implication is.

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  30. Dorothy said on December 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Minor correction about the STP sale – it’s Buy One, Get one 50% off. Which is really like 25% off the order.

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  31. beb said on December 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Nitewatcher, other constitutional amendments I enjoy (or rather wish I could enjoy, is the 4th which asserts that the right of a person to be safe in their homes, their papers and their person shall not be infringed. To me this means no indefinite detentions, no data-mining emails, tracking a persons web-browser, searching computers at customs points and no stopping people in their cars (AZ) or on the street(NYC) to demand that they produce their papers.

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  32. Mark P said on December 13, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Nancy, I do so admire your restraint. I don’t think I could have handled it nearly as well. The guy is a fracking maroon. Why has his head not collapsed from lack of brains? Oh, that’s right, it’s packed with ignorance. He is a walking refutation of evolution, because clearly our monkey ancestors were more intelligent. He is an indictment of the public educational system. He may be an idiot, but at least he has no shame. I’m sure he’s on Medicare. Has anyone explained that to him?

    And his conclusion? I’m afraid he may be wrong there, too. With people like him around, I’m not sure the country will be all right.

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  33. LAMary said on December 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    NW you don’t need a decibel meter. I’ll be watching my usual Law and Order rerun and suddenly someone is shouting at me about selling my gold. Then I’m back to Sam Waterson speaking in a civil tone.

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  34. Scout said on December 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    “Do these people actually believe this shit, or is this just theater?” Yes. And Yes. Theater for the logic impaired.

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  35. coozledad said on December 13, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    That columnist is an idolator and a whoreson of Babylon. He would have been one of the timeserver legionnaires poking the crucified hippie punks with a stick. If you’re a Christian, you are giving your whole ass over to the well being of others and you are a pacifist. The flag is a graven image whose worship defines you as a servant of the enemy.
    These people aren’t Christians in any sense. They’re pure Amway dreck.

    Via Thers, here’s Seamus Heaney to explain it for you:

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  36. Danny said on December 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    bebe, is this correct?

    no stopping people in their cars (AZ) or on the street(NYC) to demand that they produce their papers.

    Not sure about NYC, but I thought the AZ law only allowed for a peace officer to ask for identification in the process of a routine traffic stop for a valid reason.

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  37. Danny said on December 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    er.. beb, I meant

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  38. Minnie said on December 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks for the Smartwool sale notice. You need a kickback from Sierra Trading.

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  39. Mark P said on December 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I have already received the socks I ordered for my wife as a result of Nancy’s mention of STP (which, as a former auto enthusiast, I first read as the engine oil treatment).

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  40. Sherri said on December 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    You should read it, all the way to the end, where he talks about attending a church service where two uniformed soldiers carried the US flag in the procession, the congregation sang the national anthem, and recited the pledge of allegiance. Then he knew all would be right with the country.

    What exactly is he worshiping in his church?

    I’m not opposed to people owning guns. I don’t personally enjoy hunting, but I have no problem with people who do. People who carry handguns around, though, those people I have a problem with. They make every place more dangerous, because they have the potential to escalate any situation into deadly violence. Therefore, they make my life more dangerous. Sort of like second hand smoke.

    Even with the most careful, vigilant, trained gun owner, tragedy is only seconds away. A local off-duty sheriff’s deputy out here was on his way to a wedding with his family, and made a stop along the way. He and his wife got out of the car to drop something off, and he carelessly left his personal handgun in the drink holder in his minivan, with his four children. His three year old son picked it up and shot and killed his seven year old daughter.

    The statistics are pretty clear: handguns do not make you safer. You are more likely to die if you own a handgun. As I’ve said here before, if I felt the need for protection in my home, I’d feel better with a Louisville Slugger; it doesn’t have to be loaded and it’s harder to miss.

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  41. Mark P said on December 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Sherri, as a former Southern Baptist, I am familiar with churches where a Christian flag (Where did that come from? Is it the one Jesus sewed during the Revolutionary War?) is on one side at the front, and an American flag is at the other side. Back then there wasn’t quite the same identification of Christian religious fundamentalism with extreme nationalism. But if you consider that Christianity is closer to Roman religion than to Judaism, it begins to make more sense. I’m not sure why it shows up so strongly today, but maybe it has something to do with the US becoming more like imperial Rome.

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  42. Suzanne said on December 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Nancy @23. Yes, these people really do believe this stuff.

    When Obama was elected the first time, I had a conversation with a student at the local seminary. He was going on and on about the USA becoming socialist. When I mentioned it seemed to work pretty well in Sweden his reaction was not to refute my statement by saying that Sweden is demographically different than the US and has a different standard of living, etc. etc. No, his response was (remember this is a man in grad school after having gotten an undergrad degree) “Really? Sweden is Socialist?”

    The argument I hear over and over against govt sponsored healthcare is that your options will be limited and they will have ultimate control over your care. Like the insurance company doesn’t do that now! And if you have no health insurance whatsoever, a little controlled healthcare would sure be an improvement. They won’t pay for a boob job, maybe, but at least you can have your blood pressure monitored or get that odd looking mole removed.

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  43. Dexter said on December 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    nance, the first thing I thought of is “there are so many who could have their name and reputation attached to the Chapman article…”
    Krauthammer, Frank Beckmann (WJR-Detroit), Bill Cunningham and the entire radio staff at WLW-AM Cicinnati, Cantor, McConnell, Boehner, Noonan, Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Stuart Varney…so many more you all know, they all talk this bullshit.

    It appears no one but prospero watched the Sandy benefit show last night. You could not have missed it; it was on dozens of networks. I watched it on Palladia for a while but Showtime had a little more volume so I watched most of there.
    Mick Jagger made a harmless little joke and today I heard it set the Twitterverse into a hate-frenzy. This is the bad thing about the social media…shit gets blown up way out of proportion.
    “This has got to be the largest collection of old English musicians ever assembled in Madison Square Garden,” he said. “But I’ve got to say, if it rains in London, you’ve got to come and help us, OK?”

    Now, no damn way was he diminishing the effects of superstorm/hurricane Sandy!

    He was saying England doesn’t get destroyed by regular hurricanes …he was sort of poking fun at stodgy old , merry olde England, so boring and content, so complacent. What kind of morons could believe that Mick was comparing Sandy to a British rain?

    I heard so blow-back about Kanye’s dress, also…seems he has been prancing around in that skirt for a long time now, and only old folks don’t “get it”. Now I can usually at least understand the appeal of rap and pop stars, thug life or not, I can understand why they are popular, but Kanye West? Somebody tell me what the appeal is. I mean, he wasn’t in drag, he wasn’t trying to cross dress in any way but wearing the skirt.

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  44. Danny said on December 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Nancy, that was an absolutely terrible column. That dude is a piece of work. This made me want to puke:

    Besides, I still have faith in Americans. After the election, on Veterans Day, I attended a church service. During the procession, two soldiers in uniform brought the American flag down the aisle, and the congregation sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and then recited the Pledge of Allegiance (we included the phrase “under God”). At the end of the service, we sang “America the Beautiful,” as the choir recessed.

    You know, as I’ve said before, I am not particularly fiscally conservative and as I’ve hung around you guys over the years, I’ve been persuaded somewhat by your arguments as to the need for government to insert itself into certain efforts for the benefit of all. Call it socialism or whatever, we live in a world that is ever more complex and it is so much so, that we are in ever more increasing peril of these complex systems devolving into utter ruin and chaos.

    Looking at the recent snafu’s with the high-frequency algorithmic trading that has resulted in some massive, erroneous sell-off of various equities. Then we get to this argument that this Mr. Chapman has about the socialization of the energy sector and “subsidizing” of “inefficient wind farms.” There are so many points of rebuttal here that I cannot give it justice in the time I have to post this, so here are two bullet points (no pun!):

    1. If anyone thinks that oil is not subsidized, then they don’t know why we have are in the Middle East spending massive amounts of blood and treasure. If the major export of the region was filbert nuts, we would not be there.

    2. Energy as a commodity is of such basic importance and the issues facing the industry of such incredible complexity (and having so many potentially dire consequences for all of us), that I’ve come to conclusion that greater governmental involvement is an absolute necessity. Within the USA, the DOE should be at least as important if not more so than the DOD.

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  45. Mark P said on December 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Danny, once upon a time, there was a concerted effort to change the energy paradigm in the US. And then Ronald Reagan was elected. We haven’t really looked back since. We went from solar and wind energy research to Star Wars almost overnight. Even today Obama won’t push that hard on alternative energy sources, and he’s almost the polar opposite of the drill-baby-drill bunch.

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  46. Sherri said on December 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Mark P, I’m a former Southern Baptist, too, emphasis on the former, so I’m familiar with the idea of a Christian flag and a US flag in the church. This seemed to go well beyond that. I think it’s useful to look at your service with the eyes of a newcomer occasionally, especially in a non-liturgical church, and ask yourself, “what is this saying about what we believe and worship?” I don’t remember “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” anywhere in my Bible.

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  47. nancy said on December 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    A former FW police official told me of being invited to a post-9/11 “healing service,” or some such, at a local megachurch. He was asked to come in uniform, as there would be a salute to the officers and firefighters who died in NYC. Once there, they were asked to pose in tableaux similar to the photos that were taken that day, particularly the one of the three firefighters raising the flag, Iwo Jima-style. It made him very uncomfortable, he said, but then, he was a Catholic.

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  48. Jolene said on December 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I saw the concert, Dexter. Unfortunately, I missed the first 30-40 minutes, which, I gather, was the Springsteen set. Thought I had my DVR set to pick it up, but turned out I didn’t.

    I watched much of it w/ one eye on the tube and the other on Twitter, where there was, initially, a lot of snark about the age of the musicians followed by pushback from, um, older people on Twitter. I enjoyed it, though I find it a bit difficult to get into full rock concert excitement mode sitting on my couch.

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  49. Mark P said on December 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    I guess I should point out that in my comment @41, when I mentioned the Roman religion, I didn’t mean Roman Catholicism, I mean what we call Roman mythology.

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  50. Jolene said on December 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    The Christian flag + American flag was standard in the little Methodist church I grew up in and in every one I’ve ever visited. As far as I can recall, no one ever paid much attention to either one of them, but that was long ago and far away when there was less nuttiness about both Christianity and America–or so it seemed to me at the time.

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  51. Deborah said on December 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    I’m not kidding, I just got back from buying socks and now I find out I could have saved a bundle. Oh well.

    Nancy, regarding this post about an open door policy: I think that’s great. But I’m confused why someone would want to come to a site where people are mostly civil in their disagreements and stir things up? I would never think of going to one of the blogs my right-wing sister reads and spout off my own opinions. I think that would be rude.

    And I don’t want to talk about guns.

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  52. Jolene said on December 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Hooray for Danny for pointing out that the aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf are, in fact, a way of subsidizing our fossil fuel consumption. And that’s only the beginning. There are direct subsidies, as well as the cost of “externalities”, such as air pollution and its effects on public health, which result in further public expenditures.

    Mark P, I believe Obama tried to give a big push to alternative fuels through the stimulus, but countervailing forces have undermined his efforts. In particular, the greatly increased availability of low-cost (because of fracking) natural gas made wind and solar energy less appealing. Of course, we should be happy that utilities, especially, are turning to natural gas and, in doing so, are reducing coal consumption, but it’s still a fossil fuel.

    As I understand it, we need more years of investment in solar, wind, and other forms of renewable energy to make them commercially viable, but the availability of all this new natural gas, as well as the usual opposition from the fossil fuel industry, are dampening enthusiasm for those investments.

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  53. brian stouder said on December 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Just for the record, I once wrote a ‘Guest Column’ for Nancy and her husband’s old news paper; in fact it was back when they were both there, and I was probably trying to impress Madam Telling Tales (some things never change).

    I found a copy of it a year or two ago, while pitching out some accumulated odds and ends from my mom’s garage, and it promptly went into the recycle bin. The editor affirmatively mentioned it in the main editorial, and to be honest, my early-20’s self struck my early-50’s self as all but completely incoherent.

    Aside from that, I STILL say – if President Obama insisted on wearing a blighted American flag lapel pin, and whichever MSNBC leftist who is the equivalent of shit-for-brains-Sean Hannity also did the same, we’d see no end of blockheaded essays and monographs, about how deeply un-American that really is. Just sayin’…

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  54. adrianne said on December 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Speaking for my own self, I can’t wait to tumble into the abyss of socialism, as the Fort Wayne Community Voice puts it. Bring it!

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  55. brian stouder said on December 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Forgot to mention that our 17 year old DVR’d the big concert, and I plan on FF’ing through it, up to Eddie Vedder

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  56. nitewatcher said on December 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I watched the concert last night. I can not believe Mick Jagger is 70. The Boss looked great. John Bon Jovi it appears will never age. Guess he never got into the rock & roll life style. Eric Clapton to me at least appears to be loosing some of his vocal magic he once had. Still he looks great. FYI Eric Clapton is a big time firearms collector. Said he enjoys being able to pursue his passion in the States. (might be good for a trivia question)

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  57. Charlotte said on December 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Re: socks — Costco has had some really nice “smartwool-type” packages of socks lately — 3 or 4 pairs (there’s 2 different ones) for about 19 bucks. Toasty tootsies …

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  58. brian stouder said on December 13, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    And before anyone in the bar throws a mug at Pros or Cooz again, let the record show that it was our Proprietress that pitched that ridiculous op-ed/bottle-o-swill past our ears!

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  59. Jeff Borden said on December 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    The courts struck down the Illinois ban on concealed carry weapons. We were the only state in the union not to allow it. An NRA shitheel lobbyist was crowing about the big victory in the newspapers, of course, while the governor and the mayor were howling in protest.

    I’ve never fired a gun. I inherited my grandfather’s Mossberg Model 160 bolt action 16-ga. shotgun, but I’ll bet it hasn’t been fired in maybe 60 years. What fascinates me in the belief of some gun folks that they would morph into Jason Bourne or Dirty Harry when the action started.

    I’m currently reading (late, I know) “Where Men Win Glory,” the book about the “friendly fire” death of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer. It depicts a fire fight where even the highly trained and intensely motivated Rangers are blasting away at anything that moves when their convoy is attacked by mortars. If these men –the cream of the crop of Army personnel– can get lost in the fog of battle, what makes a Walter Mitty with a nine-millimeter think they’ll blow away a bad guy?

    So, whaddya think? A simple revolver? Or an automatic?

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  60. Jolene said on December 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Susan Rice has withdrawn her name from consideration for Secretary of State. I wasn’t a big fan just because she didn’t appeal to me as a person, but fuck John McCain and Lindsay Graham for their phony claims against her.

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  61. nitewatcher said on December 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Jeff Borden, are you sure that isn’t a model 190? Does it look like this?

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  62. Jolene said on December 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    On guns, yes, the idea that there are amazing numbers of incidents in which either law enforcement personnel or civilians prevent violence is not plausible. I believe I’m being accurate in saying that most police officers never draw their guns. And think how often we hear that some unarmed person was shot by the police because of what was perceived as a threatening gesture. Ridiculous.

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  63. brian stouder said on December 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Thread win: JOLENE!!

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  64. Jeff Borden said on December 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm


    Yep, that is the gun right down to the polished walnut stock. I clearly misremembered the model number.

    It has some kind of a magazine that feeds into the stock from below, which looks like it might hold maybe two shells? When my dad was a young man, he used to hunt with a buddy of his using a 12-ga. double-barreled shotgun. He accidentally fired both barrels while squirrel hunting and the bruise the kickback left on him must’ve led him to sell that shotgun.

    Is there any value to this Mossberg model? I’m going to guess no, but as noted, I know zilch about weapons.

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  65. mark said on December 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    And fuck Obama for throwing Rice under the bus.

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  66. Mark P said on December 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    mark @65, why do you say that Obama is responsible for Rice’s withdrawal of her name? I assumed she simply didn’t want to go through the ordeal it was likely to be. I know I wouldn’t.

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  67. Danny said on December 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Jolene, this clip from Seinfeld, Jerry and George at 35 seconds in ask the police if they have ever fired their guns.

    Hilarious. Love their response.

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  68. Danny said on December 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    mark, Obama threw Rice under the bus when he had her go out with those ridiculous talking points on Benghazi.

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  69. BigHank53 said on December 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Oh my gawd, our coming slide into socialism. I wonder how Americans will ever be able to cope, after already dealing with our socialized police departments, socialized fire departments, socialized roads and roads maintenance, socialized water supplies, socialized sewer systems, socialized food inspection, socialized licensing requirements for doctors and dentists, socialized air traffic control, socialized weather forecasting, socialized disaster response, socialized defense, a socialized court system, socialized building codes, and that crowning chunk of filth, our socialized currency.

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  70. mark said on December 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Mark P. What Danny said @ 68. Hillary, Biden, Panetta and even Petraeus, all the major, involved players, knew too much and were way too smart to go out and beat the drum about rioting over a movie. They pulled in Rice, who knew nothing and had no responsibility for any of the issues, but did have a high profile title and a good TV presence, and gave her a load of bullshit to shovel.

    They destroyed her career.

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  71. Jeff Borden said on December 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Don’t forget those insidious “government schools,” Big Hank.

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  72. nitewatcher said on December 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Jeff Borden I’m afraid not much monetary value. If it was NIB, $350’ish. Just never really went over very well being a bolt action shotgun. Yours being used in average condition $100-$150 +-. However being that it is/was your Dads would have far more value to you or one of your children. Still a nice shotgun. It holds 2+1. One in the chamber & 2 in the magazine you are correct on that.

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  73. Sue said on December 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    The tone of this article and the comments pretty much sum up my feelings about Hans.

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  74. coozledad said on December 13, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Rice is the ambassador to the UN. Romney is washing his old lady’s horses’ dick.

    Now, who’s been thrown under a bus?

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  75. brian stouder said on December 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    And possibly Mitt Romney would be President-elect Romney, except in the initial confusion he himself went before the cameras, and flatly mishandled the Libyan attacks.

    Ms Rice did what any responsible high-level government official would do; she consulted with the CIA and stuck with the talking points that they gave her. That is, she worked to communicate what the US government officially believed.

    Governor Romney worked to communicate a highly politicized version of events, calculated to advance his electoral prospects.

    To that extent, I guess I’m willing to trade away the possibility of a SecState Rice, to thwart the possibility of a POTUS Romney

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  76. mark said on December 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    “I guess I’m willing to trade away the possibility of a SecState Rice, to thwart the possibility of a POTUS Romney”

    So was Obama.

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  77. Julie Robinson said on December 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    I just got a prayer chain call for a teenager who lost her parents, was staying with her grandparents, and was shot accidentally by her grandpa. So, there you go.

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  78. coozledad said on December 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Mark: Your “man of principle”, Holy Joe, gave his farewell speech to an empty room today. His grabass buddy John McCain could hardly be bothered to drop by and piss in his dentures for old times’ sake.
    Looks like there wasn’t even room in the luggage compartment for old no-face.

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  79. beb said on December 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Danny @36: You’re right that the police in Arizona have to stop the vehicle for some other reason before asking for papers. I was generalizing rashly. Sorry.

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  80. Danny said on December 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    The “highly politicized version of the events” was what Rice and the administration came out with as talking points to get them past the election cycle with minimal damage. They needed to deflect the conversation away from the more damaging facts of the ambassador’s requests for added security and the fact that they probably had actionable intelligence of this impending attack beforehand.

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  81. Mark P said on December 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    The Rice controversy was a ginned-up political move by a bunch of desperate losers. Saying that Obama threw her under the bus is just a way to try to squeeze a few more points out of an already-lost game.

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  82. brian stouder said on December 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Danny, when you say:

    They needed to deflect the conversation away from the more damaging facts of the ambassador’s requests for added security and the fact that they probably had actionable intelligence of this impending attack beforehand.

    it takes for granted that we know who refused those requests (hint: not the executive branch of government); and indeed, when you say they probably had actionable intelligence of this impending attack beforehand, you simply have to be yip-yapping, or else you have an impresssive security clearance which you just violated.

    If you listened to Uncle Rush or shit-for-brains-Sean, then you might believe (as they claimed to) that the US had real-time streaming video of the events, and a drone in the sky above, and a C-130 gunship….and the order to stop the attack never came, as our lazy and shif’less president simply wouldn’t do what any action-hero would have done.

    Seriously, they seem to thing that being President of the United States is just the same as being Captain Kirk on the bridge of the starship Enterprise.

    Hell, all Obama had to do was say “Sulu! Shields up! Fire the photon torpedos! Mr Scott – give me full power!!”


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  83. Prospero said on December 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    That Fort Worth paper guest columnist is a fracking riot. His MO is to mention some action of the Obama Administration and conclude that if the President is involved, irt’s Socialiss. Reminds me of the old saying about the fud conglomerate, “If it ain’t Beatrice, it’s Commoniss”. The ridiculous old fart (RFO) is exercised and aggrieved about the administration’s refusal to license the Keystone Pipeline, about which he seems to have the knowledge he might get from homeschooling by weasels. I’m sure he can spout the GOPer classic lies about jobs and gas prices the GOP has spewed for a year on the subject, but those don’t resemble the facts. As far as gasoline supply and prices, all of the tar oil sands product the Canadian promoters of Keystone expect to put in the popeline are destined for Part Arthur, TX for shipment to China, without paying dime one in US taxes. Port Arthur is tax free. In fact, the pipeline would remove diesel currently sold in Midwestern markets for agricultural use, so not only would this have no good effect on American fuel prices, it would raise fuel prices, and obviously food prices. Of course, that would probably caause additional farm subsidy payments to kick in, which ROF guest contributor, I’ sure, doesn’t see as Socialist governmental behavior.

    The claims about jobs created are based upon some arcane oil industry calculations based on fuel from the pipeline replacing imported oil. Wrong again honey. The sum total supply is already committed by the Keystone purveyors to China, and it won’t come back. Hard to figure how that diesel puts Americans to work when it’s propelling Chinese tractors and combines.

    But the truly astounding of anti-Obama-Socialist opposition on this subject is the extent to which construction of the pipeline would require taking of land owned by Americans, by eminent domain, for the benefit and profit of a Canadian group of investors and the Chinese government. In the real world, that sort of proposal is the sort of thing ROF and the GOP would be howling after the President’s hide over if it were his idea. That plan sounds like collectivism and five year planning to me. How the hell do they explain this aspect of the pipeline scheme?

    Brian’s bar analogy reminded me of this.

    Before the atrocity of the Clackamas (what a serendipitous name) shooting, ther was a notable example of some responsible gunplay from some of those sporting riflemen the NRA likes to tout. I mean the targeted shooting of a collared Yellowstone wolf on the park’s border. I’m with La{ierre on this one. I wish to hell that wolf had been packing. Of course, I can’t say for sure, but I bet the wolf murderers were good ol’ boy ranchers with BLM allotments to graze herds on federal land for next to nothing, who might have lost a calf here and there and think that justifies wiping gray wolves off the face of the other. Forget the fact them ol’ boys is Christian and them wolves is one of God’s most magnificent creations, how ’bout their profits depending on publically own land and microscopic grazing rights. Them boys is Socialiss.

    Bet that ROF don’t see it that way.

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  84. Jolene said on December 13, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    As I understand it, the “requests for added security” concerned the embassy in Tripoli and had nothing whatsoever to do with the consulate in Benghazi.

    As to your claim of “actionable intelligence of this impending attack,” Danny, you are the first person I’ve heard mention that possibility. I think you just might be getting ahead of the facts.

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  85. Deborah said on December 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Now that I’m over my hissy fit, I need some advice. Off topic of course. We are leaving for New Mexico on Saturday for a three week stay. We have never done this before, we’re taking our cat. I would like to know if any of you have ever flown with a pet and how you handled security. Our vet doesn’t want to give her a sedative because she’s 15 years old. We thought long and hard about doing this, either way it will be hard on the cat. We have someone who comes in twice a day to feed her when we’re away but we’ve not both been away for more than a week at a time since we had to have her sister put to sleep. Any advice?

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  86. Danny said on December 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Yes, Deborah, take a gun just in case there is a need for an Old Yeller moment.

    Just kidding!!!

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  87. Prospero said on December 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    That Benghazi hype is deader than Mittens RMoney’s political career and aspirations. And I never claimed OJ wasn’t guilty or Bonds didn’t take PEDs, but neither claim would be as outrageous as any statement containing the consecutive words the fact they probably had. God knows the sort of shit I’d get if I said that. I could say, “For all I know, based upon the scurrilous dealings of Cheney, Rummy and other Reaganites with the Ayatollahs to make sure they didn’t release hostage US citizens before the Raygun Carter election, GOPers may have been employing Arab militants in Benghazi the way Brigham Young used Native Americans in perpetrating the Mountain Meadows Massacre.” I didn’t say it was true, just cast aspersions.

    Mark@70: Gutdom, man, that sure as hell sounds more like what the Shrubs did to Colin Powell. This is all just #35 on the GOPer How We Lost a Sure Thing Kommissar Karl Landslide hit parade. I mean, this nonsense is entering that Twilight Zone where the W Caused 9/11 loonies lurk. GOPers really want to go there?

    Never tried it Deborah. Had enough trouble in cars. Here’s an article I just located that seems to make a lot of sense to me and cover the bases. Sounds like an adventure. Good Luck

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  88. Prospero said on December 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Oops. Messed up the code.

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  89. Danny said on December 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    From the article:

    “Multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the committee that, prior to the Sept. 11 attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi,” it said. “The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington.”

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  90. Prospero said on December 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    And I just realized I typed Fort Worth for Fort Wayne. What the hey, flyover.

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  91. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 13, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    The biggest hazard from widespread personal ownership of firearms is, of course, suicide. Which is a whole ‘nother debate.

    I was not in and did not intend to imply I was in Force Recon. I just listened, respectfully, as they talked shop. I’m considered a tall and solidly built man, and looked like Eddie Cleaver sitting next to those guys. And they were very conversant with weapons, handheld and otherwise, but were most interested in various blades and tools when it came to mission resources.

    In the abyss of socialism, conservative me spent part of my afternoon trying to convince an old school liberal clergy friend that single payer “Medicare Part E” health care policy was the most cost effective let alone just solution for society. C’mon into the abyss, the water’s fine.

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  92. Prospero said on December 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Ya know what Danny? Let Congress investigate the hell out of the Benghazi fracas. But first on the agenda should be the crock o’shit about Iraq from every upper level member of the Shrubministration. Shock and Awe was war crimes on a horrifyingly vast plane, executed on the basis of a more or less carefully concocted tissue of lies. Let’s straighten that shit out and then you can worry about Benghazi.

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  93. coozledad said on December 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Danny: That’s a deliberate misreading of the article. The “it said” refers to a letter cowritten by Darryl Issa and other Republican scumbags. It does not quote intelligence sources directly, and the CIA has said all state department requests for additional security were for Tripoli. The New York Times has confirmed this.

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  94. Prospero said on December 13, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Like this Jeff? Eddie “Meat Cleaver” Weaver.

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  95. coozledad said on December 13, 2012 at 6:17 pm

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  96. Prospero said on December 13, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Priceless special for fans and friends of David “Kadiddlehopper” Brooks.

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  97. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Prospero, my colleagues were a bit trimmer than your Eddie. Same look in the eyes, though.

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  98. Sherri said on December 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I’ve made no secret on here of the fact that I’m an alcoholic, ten years sober. This far sober, I seldom have an urge to drink, but I don’t keep alcohol in my house, because I need space between the thought and the deed, time to remember that taking a drink won’t solve my problem.

    In my martial arts training, we focused a lot on maintaining control when our adrenaline was pumping. (Really, I’m going somewhere with this.) When someone is hitting you, and maybe they hit you a little harder than you think was reasonable, and you’ve already said something to them once, and so you hit them back harder, and then they hit you harder, and well, you can see what happens. So, you learn, even when you’re tired and your heart is pounding and you’re pissed off, don’t lose control.

    Now, you’re carrying a gun. Something happens. You’re scared. The space between thought and deed is now very short, and even if you’ve trained in gun safety, how much of that are you remembering when your heart is pounding and your brain is shouting “Danger!” I don’t want to bet my life or anyone else’s life on that.

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  99. Danny said on December 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Cooze, I did not misread the article, I just gave due weight to the phrase “Multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the committee” given the fact that all of the testimony has been in closed-door sessions that we will certainly never be declassified in our lifetimes.

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  100. Danny said on December 13, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Oh, and wasn’t there also so oblique confirmation of this by the partial releases of Ambassador Steven’s diary?

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  101. Sue said on December 13, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I guess the only question going forward is who is the next totally completely absolutely unacceptable candidate going to be?

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  102. Prospero said on December 13, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Danny@99: That’s relying on veracity of the chop shop operator, car thief and arsonist for profit, Darrel Issa. That’s a rum bet. And if the minutes of those closed hearings are classified, why isn’t Issa sharing a cell with his brother for leaking stuff?

    Cool tulip pictures.

    And if the Administration were trying to obfuscate on this subject, wouldn’t any Stevens diary have been embargoed as top secret? You know, like when the Shrubministration was classifying a couple 100,000 pages an hour in 2004?

    The thing about the Benghazi witch hunt that is annoying as shit is the subjective amnesia required to spout that drivel when the spouters are people that probably still claim Colin Powell told the truth to the UN and Condi was sincere about that mushroom cloud.

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  103. Prospero said on December 13, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Danny@99. You are right. There is a distinction between misreading and misrepresenting. The former is potentially honest.

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  104. coozledad said on December 13, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Oblique? As in “Osama bin Laden determined to strike United States?” or the record of the threat of mass defections from the CIA because of Bush’s failure to act. Oblique, as in Richard Clarke’s statement “We were running around with our hair on fire”?

    Maybe they warehoused Khaddafi’s dead ass somewhere so all you dullards can give it the sweet, slow boning John McCain and Miss Lindsey feel it deserves.

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  105. brian stouder said on December 13, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    See, now if we were in a bar, I’d now be laughing like a horse, and the folks who half a different viewpoint would think I was laughing at them – and then a terrible bar-wide fracas would commence –

    and all because of the rib-tickling humor in the turn of phrase “Maybe they warehoused Khaddafi’s dead ass somewhere so all you dullards can give it the sweet, slow boning John McCain and Miss Lindsey feel it deserves.”

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  106. Jolene said on December 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Oh, and wasn’t there also so oblique confirmation of this by the partial releases of Ambassador Steven’s diary?

    Danny, from what I can gather, the reporting on the Stevens diary is very vague. It doesn’t seem to have been directly quoted in either initial or subsequent reports. CNN, who found it, says that they used it for “tips”, seeking confirmation of ideas expressed in the diary from other people in Libya who knew Stevens. These sources seem to be saying that Stevens was concerned about security in and around Benghazi, but they do not indicate that he (or anyone else) had made formal requests for additional security. To me, being worried about security there would be entirely reasonable, but he clearly chose to continue his work, including travel within the country.

    What bugs me about this case is the assumption that someone in the Obama administration must be at fault. Not all tragedies are the result of conspiracies or even incompetence. Sometimes, bad things just happen. We are left with grief and questions about whether we want to enclose diplomatic personnel in security bubbles that might ultimately undermine their effectiveness.

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  107. Jolene said on December 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Brian, we are rich in disrespectful, but highly descriptive, phrases today. My favorite was Prospero’s @83 “homeschooling by weasels.” It led me to thoughts of what sort of creatures might be better and worse at homeschooling. Homeschooling by donkeys? Homeschooling by bears? Homeschooling by bunnies?

    Hard to say what kind of tutelage might produce the best results. Perhaps Cooze, with his extensive animal husbandry experience has some ideas.

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  108. Danny said on December 13, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Jolene, if there wasn’t fault there is at least the appearance of something that they wanted to hide, as evidenced in the deliberate attempt to control the political narrative until after the election. That’s why the bogus talking points were trotted out and that’s why the hearings happened much later than they should have for all the import that the situation would carry with an ambassador being murdered.

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  109. brian stouder said on December 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Homeschooling by hummingbirds would be annoying as hell.

    I’m just sayin’…..

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  110. Bill said on December 13, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Back to guns. This guy in Naperville, IL is a Vietnam vet. His dog woke him up at 6 a.m. and he took 8 shots at an intruder at what appears to be fairly close range and missed. The intruder fled and hasn’t been caught. A nearby school was closed for several hours. Does this qualify as a handgun making you safer?,0,7281476.story

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  111. Little Bird said on December 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Just kidding or not, that was indescribably insensitive, and needlessly cruel Danny.

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  112. brian stouder said on December 13, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    (emphasis added by me)

    That’s why the bogus talking points were trotted out and that’s why the hearings happened much later than they should have for all the import that the situation would carry with an ambassador being murdered.


    Y’know, way back in the day, I voted for Ronald Wilson Reagan; in fact, including primaries I voted for him 4 times – which is four MORE times than Uncle Rush – who ostentatiously kowtows to the sainted memory of RWR, nowadays.

    Look up and see how long it took for any sort of review of the slaughter of 200+ United States Marines in Beirut, and the mass confusion all along the chain of command, and the missed warnings and all the rest.

    My bet is, when we get 30 years down the road from the “ambassador being murdered”, it will be remembered as one of the key events that showed that Red Romney was unfit for the office he was seeking….if it is remembered at all.

    Hell, the whole right-wing noise machine seems to have utterly forgotten Beirut, as far as that goes.

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  113. coozledad said on December 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Jolene: I’d have to go with the horses of instruction. I don’t have any tigers of wrath around the place to compare them with.

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  114. Dexter said on December 13, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I am really surprised that parts of the past few threads have been hi-jacked by a gun nut, brazenly as well as subtlety.
    I liked to hunt birds and rabbits as a kid, with an old .410 and also a .20 gauge shotgun, but after being stationed in an armor unit in the army and then being in Vietnam for a war tour where seeing the end of life due to arms fire was a regular occurrence, I lost interest in guns and can’t discuss topics like home protection armaments and so forth. I guess I don’t have a point here.

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  115. coozledad said on December 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Dexter: That’s plenty of a point. Lots of these people visualize themselves using that gun on somebody. I think they ought to be required to do a tour of a large hospital’s emergency room on a Friday evening before they even sign up for a permit.

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  116. Deborah said on December 13, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Dexter, thanks for your response at #114. of course I never served in Viet Nam but my husband did and we both could not agree with you more. And your term “hi-jacked” couldn’t be more accurate.

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  117. Sue said on December 13, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Deborah, here’s a link to an article about traveling with an aging pet. I was surprised by the reasoning on sedation. I hope all is well, let us know.
    And on a normal day, your request would have resulted in a flow of advice and good wishes. This is just sad.

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  118. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 13, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Not quite off topic, but I’m delighted by Joe McGinniss having put a spotlight on the key role played by midlevel government functionaries like prosecutors. They tend to be either overidealized or demonized, but the truth is, it’s a tough job, relatively poorly paid compared to their peer group, with hazards personal and professional hedging your every step. The only reward is the very real sense that you are keeping the solid foundations of the rule of law in well maintained condition by your diligence and persistence.

    Defense attorneys, who are wonderfully self-congratulatory, do not impress me in the same way; government prosecutors tend to the almost criminally self-effacting. Kudos to them and their kind, and thanks to Mr. McGinniss for his attention to them.

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  119. Minnie said on December 13, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Deborah, I’ve never flown with an aging pet and so can only wish you and your cat good luck. Sue’s article looks helpful. For a couple of years we traveled thousands of miles by car with an aging cat after her feline companion died. It was okay, though not ideal for the cat. However, since we sometimes were gone for two months at a time, there really was no choice. Would it be possible to have someone the cat knows come and house/cat sit while you’re gone?

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  120. DellaDash said on December 13, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Dex – thank you, thank you, thank you…for weighing in.

    And while I’m at it…Cooze…you are definately an acquired taste…but I’ve found that, once I got my prudery meter to quit going haywire, I’ve come to rely on you to cut to the chase and out-disturb anyone who starts to get too disturbing.

    Danny – move yu backside w’yu bumboclot sick sense of humor! Me done wid you, to ratid!

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  121. Jolene said on December 13, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Jeff, in your remarks re prosecutors, did you mean Weingarten rather than McGinniss?

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  122. alex said on December 13, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Della, Jamaican me crazy!

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  123. Brandon said on December 14, 2012 at 1:15 am

    @Mark P., et al. Check this out:

    I had no idea it was of such recent vintage.

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  124. Dexter said on December 14, 2012 at 1:34 am

    coozledad, your post # 115 reminds me of what my daughter learned when she worked several years in a couple Toledo hospitals as an ER nurse. Like all medium sized cities in the USA, Toledo is a dangerous place with many shooting victims, especially on weekends, but what impressed upon her mind and lasting psyche were the horrendous head injuries sustained by helmet-less motorcycle riders. This topic is another one of these anomalies in life: good sense is not teachable when it comes to helmets. Many riders hate them, and would much rather risk death or physical debilitation than don a brain bucket.
    Forcing helmet use causes hatred and disdain, more stress. No joy there. People want freedom to do whatever they see fit to do, and this desire actually harms them, but they don’t care. Remember when Michigan got their helmet law? Guys and chicks made helmets out of pie plates and stupid stuff like that.
    My daughter wasn’t one to tell gory stories unless I prodded her about it, and once she told a story of a drunken young man who was involved in a high speed mc wreck which caused him to lose a leg, ripped off at the thigh. I can’t imagine the pain.
    I suspect the young man knew of his rights, and he twisted the facts around and decided he could get triple-drunk and scream off down the street on a crotch rocket.
    How many Americans buy guns and rifles and ammunition with good intent and then as they move into weird mental states , reconfigure their personal parameters regarding proper gun usage?
    That kid in Portland with the AR-15 semi should never have been allowed near any guns, and if he was able to procure that weapon something’s wrong.

    Oh…I rode motorcycles from age 15 (legal in Indiana back then) until I was 37, when I sold my motorcycle, and now I only ride a tiny 49cc Honda Express, a 1981 year model.

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  125. Deborah said on December 14, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Thanks Sue and Minnie, but we don’t know anyone that the cat knows that can come and house sit the whole time, that would be ideal though. She’s always been skittish and anxiety prone, so this will not be fun for her. Once in Santa Fe she’ll have a full three weeks to recuperate before the return trip.

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  126. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 14, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Jolene, both.

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  127. Prospero said on December 16, 2012 at 10:37 am


    GOPers think they can buy Kerry’s seat for the naked Cosmo truck-drivin’ man. That is the entire point of the Benghazi brouhaha. I think Mass. voters are probably too smart for that.

    The attacks on Susan Rice are particularly hamhanded, considering how the work-wife Rice bellowed about mushroom clouds in support of Shrub’s obscenely UNjust war effort against Iraq, and how all of Ms. Rice’s current critics were staunch supporters of Condi.

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  128. Prospero said on December 16, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Guns don’t kill. True. People that buy guns kill. Also true.

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  129. Prospero said on December 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Highly trained professionals with gubs:

    Now that is fucked up.

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