Top-rack time.

It’s been a top-rack sort of fortnight around here, which has nothing to do with booze. (Well, a little.) Rather, it’s what happens when everyone is on the go, few meals are being served, and the dishwasher’s top rack — where the glasses and coffee cups go — fills up quickly, and the bottom rack — where the plates and silverware goes — sits empty.

Also, the kitchen table is strewn with newspapers and favors from the auto-company holiday parties Alan’s been attending all week. Right now: The New York Times, the Detroit News, some sugared almonds and a CD of the guy who won one of “The Voice” competitions, who was also the entertainment at the party. Can’t remember his name. You’re not going to make me get up and check, are you?


Chris Mann. I have no idea who he is.

And that’s one of the ways I keep track of things around here. There are days when I feel as though I could give you a snapshot description of every countertop, tabletop, closet and drawer in the house. I know the sound every appliance makes. I know how much laundry needs to be done and how soon we’ll need milk and orange juice. I’m not terribly organized, and I’m not the most efficient housekeeper out there, but I know my own house, the wages of years of working at home, spending long moments staring at a computer screen, trying to concentrate enough to come up with a new way to say the same old stuff.

And today I’m off. Burning up some v-days before the end of the year. I thought of making a quick run south to the Columbus Dispatch holiday party, but then Kate had her road test scheduled today, so that’s what I’ll do instead. Blogging in the morning for a change, seeing if it makes me any chattier, being all fresh and newly caffeinated ‘n’ stuff.

There’s about 10,000 words I could write about trying to teach a teenager a) stick-shift driving; and b) how to drive in combat conditions, which is what Detroit urban transportation is, but I’ll spare you. Tuesday, on my way home from Lansing, I was on the second-to-last freeway of the four numbered routes I take. I-696, the worst of the lot, four lanes of bumper-to-bumper, high-speed lunacy, the closest a civilian will get to driving the Brickyard 400. A Malibu drifted into my lane ahead of me, pretty far — both tires crossed the line. Then it overcorrected back and weaved into the lane on the other side. Classic drunk move. It was around 6:30 p.m., a little early for that, but what the hell, it’s holiday-party season. I saw my chance to pick up speed and pass before the driver came back into my side. Glanced over: A girl about Kate’s age, holding her phone directly in front of her face, with a passenger of the same age, doing the same thing. It’s days like this I want to grab my child, open the panel in her back, and dial back her age settings to 9 or 10 — before the teenage sullenness, before driver’s licenses.

Instead, I will bring you some bloggage:

What a week in the legislature. Assuming the gubernatorial John Hancock or non-veto, soon you’ll be able to take your gun to church. Quoth a supporter:

State Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare, called the bill a “pro-public safety bill” because it allowed gun owners to be an asset to public safety in volatile situations.

Yeah, baby! MMJeff, you’d best make that sermon sing, or we’ll be pulling out the shootin’ irons!

Also, the abortion restrictions passed, but not without compromise: You no longer have to give your aborted fetus a proper burial. And — compromise lives! — the bill that would allow your Catholic pharmacist to remain in prayer while you take your birth-control prescription elsewhere died on the vine.

They’re going for the citizenship thing on the voting form again, however.

A moment of silence, then a beep: The inventor of the bar code is dead.

And with that, I have filed 671 words that took me 30 minutes to write. I should do this morning thing more often. Happy Friday, happy weekend.

Posted at 7:34 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

172 responses to “Top-rack time.”

  1. beb said on December 14, 2012 at 7:45 am

    It’s become a regular right-wing orgy there in Lansing. What next, Agenda 21 on the agenda?

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  2. Mindy said on December 14, 2012 at 8:21 am

    My BFF has had her undies in a bunch about Agenda 21 for weeks and talks about it so much I’m rethinking her BFF status. Fortunately I haven’t spoken with her since the right-wing orgy in Lansing. I’m afraid to.

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  3. beb said on December 14, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Some bloggage:
    This article includes a picture so you can see how short her hair is. You can also see that her hair style compliments her face. And seriously, I would think anyone living in Louisiana would have seen lots of black woman with short hair. But her offense was defending her hair in response to a blog comment.

    Then there’s the southern California judge who went all Akin on the victim in a rape and battery case. He’s been “Admonished” by a committee on Judicial conduct. Personally I think he ought to be discharged because his comments make it impossible for any woman to come before him in hopes of an unbiased trial.

    In the original Star Wars movies there were three female pilots originally cast and filmed but for some reason cut from the final films. This is, apparently, not new to die-hard SW fans, but it was news to me. Even if they all perished in the movies I think it would have done something to relieve that all Boy’s club mentality of those movies.

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  4. basset said on December 14, 2012 at 8:31 am

    McDonald’s is rebuilding a burned-out store in downtown Nashville and doesn’t want to comply with our downtown building code… they asked for an exception and didn’t get it, first two comments on a newspaper story about that earlier this week were “That’s what happens when you let liberals run your city” and “Agenda 21. Look it up.”

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  5. nancy said on December 14, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Beb, Agenda 21 was on the agenda, but it apparently died in committee.

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  6. brian stouder said on December 14, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Agenda 21 was on the agenda, but it apparently died in committee.

    So the elected Michiganians* maybe can claim temporary insanity (at some future hearing), and they can maintain that they’re not completely crazy.


    *I heard Governor Snidely his-own-self use the term “Michigander” on the news last night, so from now on I shall use “Michiganian” (or maybe Michinanigan, in reference to their legislative tactics)

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  7. Dave said on December 14, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Removed (and now soon returning) lip flapper on WOWO went on for two days sometime before his removal about Agenda 21, which is where I first learned of it. I listened to the local radio shows for years but I’m getting to the point where I can’t do it anymore. I can barely read the afternoon newspaper anymore but like the comics and the cryptoquips. They’re all nuts.

    Apparently, local JG columnist Steve Penhollow has been let go and the morning paper is frequently thin, too. No hope, dismal future, but you already knew that.

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  8. Dave said on December 14, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Can’t go back but always like to give Brian Stouder credit for the term, “lip flapper”, he does do well from the cheap seats, and I’m sitting in the rafters somewhere myself.

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  9. nancy said on December 14, 2012 at 8:57 am

    What? They fired Penhollow?

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  10. coozledad said on December 14, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Michississippi works too. But at least y’all helped put Obama back in.

    I don’t know what’s going to happen in NC. Maybe Durham, Raleigh and Charlotte are going to become independent city states and have wars for dibs on artisanal cheese.
    They’ll hire the folks from where I live as mercenaries and hookers.

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  11. Danny said on December 14, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Hilarious, I’m scrolling through yesterday’s thread to see how it ended (apparently with everyone turning their dainty little noses up all over my Old Yeller joke. So be it, I do try). And then I looked again at a few choice Cooz offerings:

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

    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.

    Now many of you have been hyperventilating the last few days about how “creepy” gun-owning, rural-dwelling nitewatcher is and this vocal minority of self-appointed troll-patrollers has been fainting at every reference to a firearm. Yet, here we have vintage Cooz’s bestiality and homo-erotic death-fetish fantasies from yesterday, not only failing to trigger that same trusty ol’ “creep” meter, but seemingly having the opposite effect and causing a few of the self-same troll-patrol to moisten themselves in various manners.

    Now is this what you call Cooz “destroying” us with his “words” or is this him loosing an argument? Cuz’ it smells more like the latter to me.

    Anyway, on to brighter things… I promise not to virtually euthanize any animals today.

    Happy Friday, everyone!

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  12. MarkH said on December 14, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Brian, I have meant to post this for some time, I saw it a few months ago. I forget what cable show it was on, msnbc or Fox, but there were two Michigan state legislators arguing their respective sides about some pending bill. The conservative specifically called his contituents “Michiganders” while the liberal guy insisted on “Michiganian”. So maybe it’s official.

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  13. coozledad said on December 14, 2012 at 9:09 am


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  14. Danny said on December 14, 2012 at 9:16 am

    MarkH, Nancy said that the local newspaper’s style-guide goes with the latter, so I think it is officially a “liberal” etymological preference.

    Hey, Nance, I read the abortion legislation link and even though I am a pro-lifer, these Republicans kinda creeped me out. I don’t think they believe half the things that they are saying.

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  15. Danny said on December 14, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Holy crap!

    Man, I do hill repeats* on my bike several times a week at this area. This reminds me of the conversation yesterday where Jolene (I think) rightly pointed out that most police never draw their guns. How much less likely is it for a young park ranger.

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

    * This is biker parlance for climbing a hill more than once. Believe me, the spandex has not poisoned my brain yet.

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  16. Kirk said on December 14, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Saying you’ll do your motherly driving-instruction duty today is just a ruse to increase my surprise when you charge into the bar this evening, right? No? Well, we’ll raise a few in your honor. Dozens of other alums are expected.

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  17. MarkH said on December 14, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Kirk – which bar? The Galleria? Is it still there downstairs? Is any legendary downtown Columbus bar from the ’80s still there? The Leather Bottle was a favorite.

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  18. del said on December 14, 2012 at 9:55 am

    On guns. I liked Beb’s remark yesterday that a gun-toting populace would yield “a society dominated by bullies and people who’re too afraid for their lives to voice objection to anything the bullies do.”

    On an intellectual level I get that there are many legitimate reasons for keeping guns — dangerous environment, potential enemies, etc. I respect that. And there are other reasons for keeping guns that are specific to an individual’s subjective state of mind, anything from prior victimhood to having a phobia. Even so, whenever a guy spouts off about keeping a gun my intellectual mind shuts down and a visceral, limbic system response is triggered in me. It announces: “this man is a pussy.” I know it’s not right, but there it is.

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  19. Danny said on December 14, 2012 at 10:04 am

    del, I also liked beb’s comment.. and yours. I don’t think I will ever own one, but I can see why people in rural areas would.

    ESPN “analyst,” Rob Parker, is probably going to be fired if he doesn’t start an apology tour soon:

    From the transcript:

    “But time and time we keep hearing this, so it just makes me wonder deeper about him,” Parker went on. “And I’ve talked to some people down in Washington D.C., friends of mine, who are around and at some of the press conferences, people I’ve known for a long time. But my question, which is just a straight honest question. Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?”

    What does that mean, Parker was asked.

    “Well, [that] he’s black, he kind of does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause, he’s not one of us,” Parker explained. “He’s kind of black, but he’s not really the guy you’d really want to hang out with, because he’s off to do something else.”

    Why is that your question, Parker was asked.

    “Well, because I want to find out about him,” Parker said. “I don’t know, because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée. There was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which, there’s no information [about that] at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper as to why he has an issue. Because we did find out with Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods was like I’ve got black skin but don’t call me black. So people got to wondering about Tiger Woods early on.”

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  20. Little Bird said on December 14, 2012 at 10:19 am

    The difference is that Coozledad is actually funny. And intelligently so at that.

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  21. adrianne said on December 14, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Jeez, what a legislative session Michiganders had this year! Brings to mind the saying that “no one is safe while the (fill-in-the-blanks) legislature is in session.”

    They’re making our dysfunctional crazies in the New York state legislature seem like thoughtful solons. And that ain’t easy.

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  22. Julie Robinson said on December 14, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Good luck to Kate! The scariest moment when our eldest got her license was that she immediately wanted to go somewhere by herself. Up until then, it hadn’t fully sunk in. By herself. No parent to be a second pair of eyes. What had we done?

    As a white sister with curly hair, I relate to Rhonda Lee. Left to itself, my hair is wild and out of control, no matter how many expensive hair products I try. A few days ago I chopped most of it off and have been straightening it as I blow it dry, and it seems everyone notices and compliments me. It’s a pain, and it takes too long, and I realize that I’m buying into media stereotypes about women, and I wish I could just not care, but I do. Men, you have it too easy.

    FWIW, Steve Penhollow is no longer listed in the staff directory: Just when you think they can’t sink any lower, they do.

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  23. DellaDash said on December 14, 2012 at 10:37 am

    My BFF made me (kicking and screaming) watch ‘The Voice’ last season because Chris Mann is a friend (and fellow performer) of hers.

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  24. Bitter Scribe said on December 14, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Whenever I see the guns-in-church thing, I think of this passage from Huckleberry Finn:

    Next Sunday we all went to church….The men took their guns along, so did Buck, and kept them between their knees or stood them handy against the wall. The Shepherdsons done the same. It was pretty ornery preaching—all about brotherly love, and such-like tiresomeness…

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  25. brian stouder said on December 14, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Alright now, dammit! We can talk religion and politics and guns and sex (gosh, NN.c must be morphing into a think tank, like Heritage!), but don’t be doggin’ on The Voice! Although, I reserve the right to dog on The Voice, if they don’t find some way to keep Cee Lo , and/or they get sub-par replacements for him and Ms Aguilera.

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  26. alex said on December 14, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Amen hallelujah to Little Bird at #20. Another difference is that cooz isn’t here to antagonize others in this community with snide, derisive remarks like “dainty little noses” and “self-appointed troll patrollers.” The difference is intent. Cooz wants to make us laugh. Danny wants to make steam come out of our ears.

    And I still think that Danny and nitewatcher are one and the same.

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  27. John (not McCain) said on December 14, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Re: traveling with an anxious cat, the only way I ever managed it (never on an airplane) was to have dear, departed Oliver in his travel carrier on my lap, facing me so I could pet him and reassure him. Any other method resulted in fear to the point of incontinence, so have lots of old towels on hand because a couple of times even the petting and reassurance wasn’t enough.

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  28. Jenine said on December 14, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Cooz grosses me out sometimes. I like to hear the rural leftie perspective when it’s not all about who’s dribbling what. And he makes the proprietress laugh so he gets to stay.

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  29. nitewatcher said on December 14, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Good morning everyone from snowy Idaho. Alex we are not. Let me apologize for not being able to join in today. The wood stove flue is calling me for a cleaning. Then it is time to go snowmobiling. 4 sweet inches of God made powder. You all have fun figuring out “agenda 21” or whatever else floats your boat. SEEEE YAAAAA 🙂

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  30. DellaDash said on December 14, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Never mind, brian…in things vocal, I defer to my friend (Diana DeWitt), who I’ve bragged about before, and will again now:

    Neil Young calls her one of his ‘Buffalo Gals’…you can see her, tucked off to the side with Pegi Young and Emmylou Harris, singing backup (as well as playing acoustic guitar and auto-harp) at the Ryman in Jonathan Demme’s ‘Neil Young: Heart of Gold’ documentary.

    She loves ‘The Voice’, partly because there’s no age limit, and mostly because the emphasis is (mainly) on audio artistry (although the competition does take place on TV, not radio). It’s fun to watch with her, as is ‘Nashville’.

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  31. Danny said on December 14, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Whatever, Alex. Since Little Bird’s comments were in reference to my original post comparing community reaction to nitewatcher and Cooz, by definition, her post would also have been comparing nitewatcher and Cooz. If she meant it differently, she said wrote it incorrectly. And if you don’t think that Cooz’s comments are snide and derisive to others in this community, then you are incorrect, because that is exactly why a very few of you guys enjoy his comments so much and why Sue exalted him as someone who “destroys” people with his words and Rana lauded him in the past as being something like the “profane” bard of this joint or some other crazy thing. Have fun in your little “Amen” corner.

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  32. DellaDash said on December 14, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Speaking of ‘heart of gold’, I believe Cooze has one of those, or at least a passable partial alloy. Satirical scatologia isn’t funny without it.

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  33. brian stouder said on December 14, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Della – I really, really, really thought that Amanda was going to win the whole thing.

    If not her, then the two-tone hair girl was my next favorite.

    With them both gone, I guess I like Blake’s semi-country girl anymore; her rendition of Stupid Boy was better than anything else I’ve heard (choked me up, even!).

    But Scottish rocker has no appeal for me at all; and although bearded guy is unique, and passes the “I’d buy a ticket” test, still – gimme Blake’s semi-country girl

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  34. Danny said on December 14, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I agree with Jenine and Nancy… everybody gets to stay. I’s only Alex and a few others with delicate sensibilities who call for banning in a online community that is fairly well-adjusted in comparison to many others.

    Della, agreed. His heart may be in the right place. I’d probably have a drink with him too though I don’t agree with some of his positions. His humor doesn’t bother me but, it’s acceptance here by this vocal troll-patrol in comparison to what else they find objectionable is utter hypocrisy.

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  35. Deborah said on December 14, 2012 at 11:40 am

    You don’t get it Danny.

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  36. Little Bird said on December 14, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Actually, I was referring to both nitewatcher AND you, Danny. I,for one, don’t think you’re very funny, don’t think you’re particularly smart, and it’s abundantly clear that you haven’t the foggiest idea of what empathy is. You don’t bring diversity to the group. You bring adversity.

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  37. alex said on December 14, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Utter hypocrisy? Cooz has never made a mean-spirited personal attack on my character or that of anyone else here whereas you have. When he was “exalted” by Sue, as you say, for destroying people with his words, I’m pretty sure she was referring to the way he lampoons public figures. Ditto for what Rana said about him being the profane bard. Quit comparing his ribald humor with your gotcha games.

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  38. DellaDash said on December 14, 2012 at 11:45 am

    brian – I’ll get back with you if and when I’ve watched the episodes I’ve recorded for Diana (not having watched due to circumstances…). I know she’s got strong opinions about the current crop, so, if anything, I’ll pass those along.

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  39. brian stouder said on December 14, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Pam and I DVR it, and then ff through the “social media” part of it. For some reason, that feature always bugs her.

    And – she’s rooting for the bearded guy

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  40. DellaDash said on December 14, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Love that Huckleberry Finn quote @24, Bitter Scribe.

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  41. Joe K said on December 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I don’t know Alax, I seem to have had a few bad things said about me by a few here, and iam a helluva nice guy.
    Pilot Joe

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  42. Bitter Scribe said on December 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    If you ever want to see the horrors of trolls, look at Eric Zorn’s blog at the Chicago Tribune sometime. A handful of jerks, one in particular who calls himself JerryB, derail almost every long thread by throwing out insults and then bleating endlessly about who was and wasn’t fair to them in this or that reply. The whole thing then devolves into a yes-you-did-no-I-didn’t kerfuffle that’s unbelievably tiresome. God forbid anything similar should happen here.

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  43. Linda said on December 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Swell that the emergency manager law was passed in Michigan, a mere 37 days after voters defeated it. Nothing quite says “fuck you” to your own constituents like overriding their vetoes in a month. But many of these jokers will be voted back in, and the yutzes that will do it will bitch about those damn politicians. The *real* circle of life.

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  44. Linda said on December 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Sorry, here’s the link:

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  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Actually, most Sundays I know there’s at least three concealed carry folk in the congregation, but I neither feel safer thereby, nor do I feel at hazard even when I run over 20 minutes (rare, but it does happen).

    If I got to thirty minutes, I might see some jacket unbuttoning.

    Just got back from a long grim morning reviewing our year end United Way campaign results, and our end of central Ohio ain’t looking pretty, giving-wise. Lots of layoffs in the works, takeovers that didn’t end well, and general puzzlement over where taxes are going to wind up. We’re probably going to end up 10% below goal, and we didn’t bump the goal up this year. Sigh. Guns are the least of my worries.

    (If this blog were a Lifetime movie-of-the-week, I’d be shot in the parking lot as I go back out to my car to pick up poinsettias for the shut-ins. If that happens, I’d like Ken Howard to play me.)

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  46. brian stouder said on December 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I dunno; thinking more Daniel Day Lewis (appropriately attired, of course), spinning out a story

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  47. Danny said on December 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    BitterScribe, nothing like that is going to happen here, at least, not on my account. However, I will not stand by and let Alex bullcrap his way through another glowing mis-characterization of how affable and magnanimous he and Cooz are to everybody else and how it’s just a few of us conservatives who are the problem.

    Alex, let me remind you of one of Cooz’s “humorous and intelligent” comments to me and Joe.

    “Danny and Joe are different types of preliterates. Like many engineers, Danny finds the English language a mysterious impediment, and can’t give proper shape to the beasts of his conscience.
    Joe’s beasts speak earnestly, in fartbubbles.”

    And I think you remember what you’ve said in the past to Joe and I, so we won’t go into it. Suffice it to say, there is plenty of blame to go around.

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  48. coozledad said on December 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I come here for the coffee klatch. But I stay for the DSM IV.

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  49. Jolene said on December 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    There’s been a shooting at an elementary school in CT this AM. Details still unclear. So far, only confirmed death is the shooter, but unconfirmed reports say some children have been killed too.

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  50. Danny said on December 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Listen, Little Bird, if you think that imagining Mitt Romney playing with a horse cock or painting a fantastical tableau of us “dullard” conservatives butt-fucking a Kadaffi corpse is “funny” and “intelligent,” well that’s on you, not me.

    Folks, I am outta here for the weekend. Too much to do and I will not waste my time further. Catch you all on the flipside.

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  51. beb said on December 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Hey, be nice to Danny. He hasn’t been throwing bombs here in over a week. We should respect that.

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  52. LAMary said on December 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    “You don’t get it Danny.”

    Exactly. And I bet he thinks I don’t get it. And so it goes.

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  53. Kirk said on December 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    MarkH @17:
    The tradition started at the Galleria Tavern but had to be transplanted after that place was shut down close to 20 years ago. We went to Club 185 in German Village for a number of years, but the crowd there grew increasingly obnoxious, and the staff screwed with us the last time we were there. We’re in our third or fourth year in The Inn Between, which has been numerous places but now occupies the ground floor of the Len Immke/Capital Plaza/Some Other Name Now parking garage, on Young Street, a block east of 4th and just a tad south of Broad. Don’t think the Leather Bottle survives.

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  54. Prospero said on December 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Connecticut school shooting tragedy: NRA says this could have been prevented if the tykes had been packing. Now that would be a public safety gun law: mandatory derringers for kindergartners. Small price to pay for 2nd Amendment freedoms, as grotesquely misinterpreted from the original english by the Scalito Court.

    And I think you remember what you’ve said in the past to Joe and I, so we won’t go into it. In my experience there would be some magical transformation in the retelling into something entirely different from the original.

    Just got the incredible kickstarter project cookbook Comida Latina in the mail. A perfect Christmas gift for one of my sisters in law, but which one? It seems demand was high and a second printing was in the budget. I haven’t read the book yet, but the illustrations are lush and original, a book as visual artwork:

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  55. crinoidgirl said on December 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    At least 27 people killed in that CT school shooting… fuck guns.

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  56. del said on December 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Yes. Don’t harsh the mellow.

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  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    From the bidding prayer of the 1918 service of “Lessons and Carols”: Let us pray for the needs of [the] whole world; for peace and goodwill over all the earth; for the mission and unity of the Church for which [Christ] died, and especially in this country and within [Connecticut]. And because this of all things would rejoice his heart, let us at this time remember in his name the poor and the helpless, the hungry and the oppressed; the sick and those who mourn; the lonely and the unloved; the aged and the little children; and all those who know not the Lord Jesus, or who love him not, or who by sin have grieved his heart of love.

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  58. nancy said on December 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    “Close to 20” dead in Connecticut. What. The. Fuck.

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  59. crinoidgirl said on December 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    27 people including 18 children.

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  60. MarkH said on December 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Kirk – Thanks. I had heard but not confirmed that the Bottle went dry some years ago. (ooh, sorry about that!) If I am not mistaken, The Inn Between sounds like it occupies the old Otto’s location in the Immke garage building. Sorry I can’t be there (not that I’d know anyone but Nancy and Borden, if he attends), but would love to be a fly on the wall tonight.

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  61. Bitter Scribe said on December 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Propsero, be fair. It’s the teachers who should be packing. And maybe the janitor. I mean, he’s got all those unused pockets in his overalls that would be perfect for holding a .45, right?

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  62. Bob (not Greene) said on December 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Hate to go so far off topic, but if you’ll indulge me, I’m making a pitch:

    Now I know that the kids music scene is a vast wasteland of horribleness, featuring old guys in clown noses playing “Oh, Susannah!” on banjos and peppy teens belting out insipid Disney anthems.

    But today, the not-yet famous Istvan & His Imaginary band released its latest record, called “Sweet!” Normally, I wouldn’t bother you with this kind of stuff, but I play bass on the record. And it makes a wonderful Christmas gift.

    Hear all about here:

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  63. Judybusy said on December 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I was going to put up a palate-cleanser, but in light of the shootings in Connecticut, I’ll add my voice to the chorus of more gun control is needed. Yes, there will always be disturbed individuals, but the super easy access to guns makes them infinitely–and needlessly–more lethal.

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  64. Prospero said on December 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Bob (NG) There are great kid’s music offerings (enjoyable by their parents) from Dan Zanes and the inimitable Johns, aka They Might Be Giants, and the great Dan Zanes. Listening to Too Much Stuff at the moment and it’s brilliant. Now Germs, which reminds me of Boris the Spider and a great surf/Duane Eddy beat. Is the album available on a physical CD, Bob? I’ve got one musically precocious grandson with a sister on the way and I’d love to get this. When my daughter was a little kid, there was Yanni, and that was about it, so she grew up with XTC and Tom Waits. And speaking of Tom Waits, a friend just sent me this video of an obvious apostle of the master’s:

    Rill, rill good.

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  65. Bob (not Greene) said on December 14, 2012 at 2:03 pm


    It, indeed, comes actual CD form. If you go here, you can get the CD for the special pre-Christmas price of $8 (plus $2 shipping):

    Thanks for listening!

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  66. Jolene said on December 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    James Fallows makes the obvious point that guns are uniquely lethal. Just today, there was a knife attack at a school in China, something that has happened there before. Twenty-two children and one teacher were injured. So, a terrible, terrible event, but no one died.

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  67. coozledad said on December 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    If we can’t have sensible gun legislation, lets bid high and start with fining the manufacturers of the firearms of today’s shooting oh, say $200,000,000.00. The store owners that sold the firearms can chip in 150,000.00. Every time this happens the NRA coughs up the funeral expenses, survivor benefits and any resulting torts. And force feed Rand Paul a plate of his own shit:

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  68. Prospero said on December 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Great line in the song Pajama Parties from Bob’s kids’ music album:

    I’ll stick your hands in water if you start to snore.

    And the really excellent bass shuffle on Makes Me Happy is wonderful, and the 50s coda is sweet. Excellent album. Pio ToGoGo sounds like a Rod and the Faces song, even the lyrics. And covering The Sweet’s Little Willie? That’s subversive.

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  69. Kirk said on December 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    MarkH @60:
    Right you are. Otto’s it was. It’s gone through numerous incarnations since then.

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  70. coozledad said on December 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm

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  71. DellaDash said on December 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Still listening Bob(nG)…nice place to crawl in and try to escape the horror of gunned-down children and teachers. I’ll just go ahead and ditto Pros’ enthusiastic response.

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  72. Jolene said on December 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Very interesting piece on Japanese gun laws and homicide rates. Talk about your cultural differences! But, even so, some of these tactics could be implemented here.

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  73. Dexter said on December 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    The initial shock is over, but just an hour or so ago I was listening to WLW-Cincinnati AM radio’s Gary Jeff Walker seize the opportunity to cram in a rant about how abortion is at the heart of the school shootings, as “the murder of unborn youth in this country shows the lack of value people place on human life”, then he started saying all the cliches, about how “that gun (there were actually four guns under a bullet proof vest) did NOT (!) walk into that school and start shooting itself!”

    He then went as long as he could until the Connecticut presser from the little town there where this horrendous crime occurred. He went on and on about how we can’t allow this incident to crimp our style, that being “our” carry permits, “our” concealed weapons permits.

    This is what I meant a couple days ago about the Chapman story in the News Sentinel…man, in Cincinnati Chapman would be attacked from the right.

    After twenty-plus years of sporadic school shootings, and now that “they” have attacked first graders, and since guns are so easily available, it’s time for those on the right to come up with a solution to the problem. You have your easy availability and your carry permits, now tell us how to keep the goddam motherfucking instruments of death out of mass murderers’ hands. Let’s go.

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  74. Prospero said on December 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Jolene @ 66: The NRA apolgists hide behind iconic images of American colonists and brave pioneers with muskets and flintlock pistols, but they expend all of their clout on handguns and big clip autos. those two categories of firearms have exactly two interlocked functional raisons d’etre: to kill people, and to kill lots of people way faster. When y’ll were talking about Heinlein and guns yesterday, it reminded me of the classic dystopian SF story, The Gun Shop, by AE VanVogt. I thought it was heroic when I was about 15, and I guarantee, if gun nuts take over, I’ll arm myself and fire back. But you racist, survivalist, anti-American whackos, Obama is not “coming for” your guns. See a doctor and get some Xanax, or, even better, some Clozapine, a straitjacket and a rubber room. I know I sound like a skipping record on the subject, but who reads the 2nd Amendment and claims it guarantees a right to be packing whatever, whenever and wherever for whomever? These psychos are big on a frontier ethic. Not much historical evidence to support this viewpoint that doesn’t come from an exceedingly grimy and amoral subculture that glorified slaughtering the aboriginal (at least back to the land bridge) Americans.

    For gun fetishists and their rifleman statue, I say, how ’bout Alvin York. According to ALEC and the NRA and their cookie cutter horrendous legilation, some self-styled neighborhood watchman can kill a kid with a gun because it was his Consitutional right to defend the neighborhood agains skinny little kids wearing-horeur a sweatshirt with a hood. But ALEC is crucial as it is insidious. Does anybody harbor naive enough assumptions to believe that if psychos like Wayne LaPierre got the jump on people that believe in Law and the Constitution, they wouldn’t impose thug rule? Thug religion?

    Bob (NG) That album made my day. I’ve put it on my FB. But seriously, check out all of the great TMBG albums for kids.

    DellaDash: Really makes me think of som great Faces, that album.

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  75. Jolene said on December 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Some facts about guns and gun control in the United States. Most surprising: Gun ownership and gun violence, bad as they are, are declining.

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  76. Prospero said on December 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Did somebody have the decency to invite HW to the bar-code guy’s funeral? In the history of political stupidity, HW and the scanner was hilarious.

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  77. DellaDash said on December 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Jolene @72 – long, long ago I read a slim little volume I happened upon, about how the Japanese eschewed the use of firearms for he first 100 years after it was introduced to them by the Chinese (or maybe Europeans); because long-range killing was so antithetical to their ritualistic waging of war (as well as offensive to their sense of honor)…where enemies approached each other and bowed before commencing mano-a-mano slice-and-dice slaughter.

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  78. Sherri said on December 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Gun control, even though I advocate it, won’t stop events like today. Gun control can prevent the Jovan Belchers of the world from getting into arguments with their girlfriends and putting nine bullets into them rather than merely beating them up. Gun control, taxing bullets, banning body armor, that won’t stop someone who clearly planned out an attack and didn’t want to survive it. Neither, obviously, does the death penalty deter such a crime.

    The only contribution gun control makes to preventing such a massacre as today is in changing the culture that produces the shooter, and it’s just one small part. I join Jeff(tmmo) in prayer.

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  79. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    This is what I need right now, happy to share:

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  80. Jolene said on December 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Sherri, you are mostly right, but some constraints can reduce the lethality of even planned attacks. For instance, I can’t see any reason for the existence of semi-automatic weapons in the hands of civilians–not that this is a new observation. We may not be able to eliminate violence, but reducing it would be a step in the right direction.

    Meanwhile, a heart wrenching photo:

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  81. Judybusy said on December 14, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Bob, your CD sounds like a lot of fun! A good anecdote to the events today. It triggered my memory of a nanny job I had a million years ago, and the family had this song, You’re my Little Potato. Just looked it up today and remembered so much. I think I played it every day, bouncing the kids by turn on my hip and singing along.

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  82. brian stouder said on December 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I think I’m getting weepier than Speaker Boehner; the story that this article tells is just too much to bear

    As the children were being led out of the school, state troopers and FBI agents told them to “hold hands and close their eyes until they outside,” said the unidentified young man, “so obviously what was in there must have been very gruesome.”

    “They’re crying, they’re trying to hold on to their parents, they want to go home, but they don’t want to leave their friends,” Weiss told MSNBC. “Right now, I’m in a room full of parents who are waiting to hear what happened to their kids,” he said. “The anxiety in this room is just overwhelming.”

    Where does this end?

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  83. beb said on December 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Presidient Obama says today is not the day to talk about gun control. But if not today, then when?–politics.html

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  84. Deborah said on December 14, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I’m sorry, but a big enormous fuck you to anyone who can hear about this tragedy and not want to do something about gun control. I am sick to my stomach.

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  85. Bitter Scribe said on December 14, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of elementary-school students.

    (h/t Substance McGravitas @ Sadly, No!)

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  86. Sue said on December 14, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Deborah, this helped me focus and get a grip on the anxiety and revulsion I was feeling. Maybe it will help you.

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  87. brian stouder said on December 14, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Sue – thanks for that article; it did me good to read it

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  88. James said on December 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    So where’s that gun nut troll today?

    I’m guessing that he’s brighter than I assumed, since he hasn’t “shot” his mouth off about 2nd amendment rights, in regards to this tragedy.

    I’m pissed at the NRA, but I’m also pissed that Obama didn’t have the balls to say “enough!”

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  89. Deborah said on December 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    We. The. People. Amen brother Pierce. Thanks Sue.

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  90. Little Bird said on December 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    If we aren’t going to do anything about gun control can we at least destigmatize the need for and improve access to mental healthcare?

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  91. Charlotte said on December 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    All I can think of is MacBeth:

    “All my pretty ones?
    Did you say all? O hell-kite! All?
    What, all my pretty chickens and their dam
    At one fell swoop?”

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  92. Deborah said on December 14, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    I can feel a rant coming on. I know I’m mostly preaching to the choir here (you might want to skip over this comment because it is going to be ugly). May I just say that right now I am sick to death tired of right-wingers. I am tired of being polite and kow-towing to inanity. I am tired of ridiculous talk about guns and freedom. I. Am. Sick. Of. It. They lost the election because they live in an echo chamber, bubble land with no foot in the real world. This goes for my own flesh and blood, my own sister and my lovely nieces that she has brain washed. I’m sick of listening to their whining on Facebook. Go. Away. Go away, go away, go way.

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  93. Deborah said on December 14, 2012 at 5:37 pm


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  94. velvet goldmine said on December 14, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    There’s something uniquely jarring about watching local news when a massive tragedy is in your state. Maybe because it comes to your attention earlier, when it seems like it might be in the “Several harrowing moments for local students” category of headlines. Then everyone’s faces start getting grimmer and grimmer.

    Here in Connecticut, the CBS affiliate was shuffling staff around as they could get them in. Two anchors who are married to each other ended up co-anchoring for several hours. They talked openly and raggedly, but not mawkishly, about how they had just dropped their own daughter at kindergarten that morning, but the father had turned right around and picked her up when the news broke. This was over footage of the Sandy Hook parents — the lucky ones — picking their kids up at the fire station.

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  95. Suzanne said on December 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Interesting to note that there was also an attack on a school in China. The guy carried a knife and no one, as far as I know, died.

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  96. coozledad said on December 14, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Charlotte:I know I just posted a link to this song, but it seems like another appropriately mournful way of describing today.
    I thought this might be too morbid, but maybe not.

    There is a house built out of stone
    Wooden floors, walls and window sills
    Tables and chairs worn by all of the dust
    This is a place where I don’t feel alone
    This is a place where I feel at home

    ‘Cause, I built a home
    For you
    For me

    Until it disappeared
    From me
    From you

    And now, it’s time to leave and turn to dust

    Out in the garden where we planted the seeds
    There is a tree as old as me
    Branches were sewn by the color of green
    Ground had arose and passed it’s knees

    By the cracks of the skin I climbed to the top
    I climbed the tree to see the world
    When the gusts came around to blow me down
    I held on as tightly as you held onto me
    I held on as tightly as you held onto me

    ‘Cause, I built a home
    For you
    For me

    Until it disappeared
    From me
    From you

    And now, it’s time to leave and turn to dust

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  97. Dexter said on December 14, 2012 at 6:20 pm

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  98. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 14, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    As with R.J. Reynolds & Phillip Morris, it would seem the least first step to send a very large bill Mr. Glock & Mr. Sauer’s businesses (albeit in Austria and Germany, limiting the legal leverage). If you can make a fortune off of making devices designed for killing bipedal hominids from a distance, lowering their price to a pittance, and making them frightfully easy to purchase while lobbying avidly to keep every barrier from fast unobstructed purchase knocked flat . . . well, if you can get rich that way, you can be charged for the social costs incurred in the making of that wealth from the society to which you sell them.

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  99. Prospero said on December 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Sherri@ It might save one life. Might save the best life. No way anybody ever knows.

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  100. Sherri said on December 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    It’s not that I think that gun control is useless; I’m an advocate of gun control. I just think we need to look realistically at what gun control laws can and can not accomplish. Little Bird and Jeff have both made good points. Mental health care in this country is not nearly sufficient to meet the needs; how many stories have we read of parents who have desperately tried to get help for their children?

    I like Jeff’s idea of extracting money out of the gun manufacturers. Use the money to help fund mental health care and emergency medicine.

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  101. Sherri said on December 14, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    But gun control: definitely. Semi-automatic weapons: ban ’em. High capacity magazines: get rid of ’em. Slow down the carnage at least.

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  102. Minnie said on December 14, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Deborah @92: Thank you for saying exactly what I feel.

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  103. JohnCT said on December 14, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Ban these assault-like weapons – Bambi don’t care. Ban any rifle with a cartridge. If you can’t hit Bambi with two rounds, you shouldn’t be let out of the range. And if your gun is found use in a crime, you go to jail too. After all, you are responsible for your gun and should keep it under your control.

    And if you don’t like it, go start your own damn country. But leave my daughter the hell alone.

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  104. Bitter Scribe said on December 14, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    I guess to the NRA, those kids were just sacrifices on the altar of liberty.

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  105. Deborah said on December 14, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    I copied this from an unidentified emailer to The Dish website. So true.

    “Guns don’t kill people – people do. By the same token, planes don’t kill people – people flying them into buildings do. And yet, I recall that we immediately and decisively worked to keep deranged people from gaining possession of planes when a handful of those people used them as tools of mass murder; indeed, we made it much more difficult for the overwhelming majority of peaceful, law-abiding citizens to board a plane.”

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  106. Dexter said on December 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Michigan, my Michigan…? What hath God wrought?

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  107. Jolene said on December 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I’ve seen that quote, too, Deborah. It’s a very good point. Similarly, one guy tried to blow up a plane w/ a shoe bomb. Now we all have to take our shoes off. It is possible to do things differently.

    From the intro to the “facts” article I linked to @75:

    If roads were collapsing all across the United States, killing dozens of drivers, we would surely see that as a moment to talk about what we could do to keep roads from collapsing. If terrorists were detonating bombs in port after port, you can be sure Congress would be working to upgrade the nation’s security measures. If a plague was ripping through communities, public-health officials would be working feverishly to contain it.
    Only with gun violence do we respond to repeated tragedies by saying that mourning is acceptable but discussing how to prevent more tragedies is not. “Too soon,” howl supporters of loose gun laws. But as others have observed, talking about how to stop mass shootings in the aftermath of a string of mass shootings isn’t “too soon.” It’s much too late.

    It’s a short, list-type article. Worth a look if you skipped it earlier.

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  108. Jolene said on December 14, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    The NYT has the first report I’ve seen re the shooter. None of it will surprise you.

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  109. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    The grim fact is that gun homicide, let alone mass killings, isn’t even the real reason the promiscuous availability of personal weapons needs to be addressed. While 8,000+ per year die in shooting homicides, 24,000 die either by suicide, or in an accidental shooting (“hey, watch this, it’s not loa..[bang]”).

    Mother Jones just did a feature on mass killings, which they defined as four or more, in a public setting of some sort. There have been 61 over the last thirty years, about a dozen of which are school shootings. They get the coverage on 24 hour cable because they’re (forgive me) easy to cover. But that’s a few per year with a total of maybe fifty in a bad year, which this is shaping up to be . . . 50 gun deaths tops in mass killings, while easy access to handguns facilitates 24,000 other deaths. Even if you argue that many of those would attempt suicide some other way without a gun around, so let’s say two-thirds (which I don’t believe), you still have at least 8,000 who die because they had handy a quick permanent solution to a temporary problem.

    So I’m ambivalent about some of the rhetoric here, but we agree on the need for action, and I would support Pres. Obama in saying now is the time to take reasonable action, because it is ambiguously true to say: if not now, when?

    Be wary of the whole “ban all semi-automatic weapons” thing, though. How’s that gonna work? What’s a revolver? Unless we think a complete handgun ban is possible, semi-automatic becomes a term of art that could cloud the issue, unintended consequence-wise. I’d argue strongly for handgun licensing, with stringent requirements for the training, and no sales unless you have had the certification. Sales of handguns should be more like purchasing dynamite than like buying a blender online.

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  110. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 14, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Pastorally, I’ve dealt with far too many situations where someone depressed or fearful could too quickly arrange their own death by gunshot. Selling a buddy a handgun shouldn’t be as casual a matter as selling them an outboard motor. Then when they shoot themselves, you have a long, long time to realize that maybe you shouldn’t have made that deal with them.

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  111. Deborah said on December 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Oh for Christ’s sake Jeff (tmmo) we need to take action NOW, what in the hell are you ambivalent about? Ban ALL semi-automatic weapons do it as soon as possible. We all know what they mean.

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  112. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 14, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Deborah, I don’t actually disagree with you, but it’s not going to happen. So what is do-able? That’s my bias. (Full disclosure: I’ve only ever had black powder muzzleloaders in the house. Go ahead, wrest it from me and shoot me with it, I dare you.)

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  113. Sue said on December 14, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Here, Deborah. This petition is getting the most signatures:

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  114. Deborah said on December 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I cannot tell you how angry this all makes me, I am so mad it is scary. I’m not sure I will be able to sleep tonight. The young man who did this used guns that his mother purchased!!! A gun she bought to her household was used against her by her son?? And killed the students in the school where she taught. What is seriously wrong with this picture?? If she had not bought those guns would this have even happened?

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  115. Sue said on December 14, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    One of the commenters on a site I read every day made an interesting observation – the first amendment is broadly treated as conditional and the second as absolute.
    You can’t yell ‘fire’ in a movie theater.
    But nothing should come between you and your firearm. No waiting period, no training requirement, nothing. And large and very powerful organizations (don’t forget ALEC) spend much money to keep politicians ever vigilant against these threats to that absolute right.
    Why is that?

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  116. alex said on December 14, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Although you can’t yell fire in a movie theater, you can buy a politician and that’s sacrosanct under the First Amendment according to Justice Scalia. And that’s perfectly in keeping with his interpretation of the Second, really, because the NRA owns Congress.

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  117. Prospero said on December 15, 2012 at 1:52 am

    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.

    Sue: Right. Even though it was written with all sorts of conditions. The Supreme Court is apparently English deficient.

    Which part of the well regulated militia confounds Scalito? Seems fairly obvious, and those boys weren’t contemplating autos with big clips. And they sure as shit never thought foreward to big money nutcases lik Wayne LaPierre insisting on the right of every Murrican to carry a concealed rapid-fire pistol that coud blow up a buncha people watching a Batman movie.

    2nd Amendment aholes should actually read what it says. If somebody finds that assertion offensife, I’m standing by it. I’ve had too many straightforward expressions of opinions misrepresented on this site to worry about, even by well-meaning people. Outta here.

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  118. Prospero said on December 15, 2012 at 2:00 am

    And excuse me for saying LaPierre is a nutcase. Even though it’s clear LaPierre is a nutcase that thinks all the victims of gun violence would have prevented their deaths by shooting first, That isn’t fracking nuts at all.

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  119. Prospero said on December 15, 2012 at 2:01 am

    That is what that nutcase asshole says, right?

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  120. Prospero said on December 15, 2012 at 5:10 am

    Alex, there is no Scalia, there is Scalito and the homunculus Long Dong. And how these guys are so profoundly opposed to civil rights and claim to be originalists about the Constitution, that’s one on me. These fuckers are anti-Constitutionalists. I don’t figure any of the founding fathers intended to make it easy for Americans to shoot up a preschool. Wayne LaPierre thinks it is a guaranteed Constitutional right. I’m old as that cracker is and riddled with arthritis, and I’ll fight it out with that shithead, no guns. I am sick and tired of NRA cash influencing US politics. Almost as stupid as the clearly unConstitutional Grover Norquist bullshit. Checkn the 3rd Amendment.

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  121. Prospero said on December 15, 2012 at 5:20 am

    Semi-auto firearms are not intended for self defense, they are meant to kill people faster than remorse can kick in. Denying that is bullshit. And claiming handguns are used effectively for self-defense in the USA is unmitigated bullshit. NRA Propaganda that gets people killed. I am sick of that shit.

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  122. David C. said on December 15, 2012 at 6:36 am

    I didn’t find out about this until this morning. If I had read this last night, I know I wouldn’t have slept a wink.

    “They told a little boy it was his sister who passed on,” Weiss said. “The boy’s response was, ‘I’m not going to have anyone to play with.’”

    Let the God damned gun nuts rock that poor little boy to sleep when he’s missing his sister. Let them tell him his beloved sister had to die for their twisted, benighted version of freedom. Or better yet, fuck them all.

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  123. Linda said on December 15, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Deborah @114: Yeah, this event–in which a woman’s legally purchased weapons were used on her, and the murder/suicide of Kassandra Perkins and Jovan Belcher–she who had her own gun, and who went to the shooting range with her eventual murderer–kinda puncture holes in the NRA’s appeal that gun proficiency and access makes women a whole lot safer.

    Also, this is a must read by Ezra Klein re: Israel and Switzerland, touted as gun paradises, and their actual movements over the last few decades to restrict gun access, and why.

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  124. Basset said on December 15, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Someone define “semi-automatic” for me. I know what it means, sometimes it’s interesting in a conversation like this to see what everyone else thinks a semi-auto is.

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  125. Deborah said on December 15, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I think what I mean by semi-automatic is the wrong term, I should have said assault weapon or something like that. I don’t know anything about guns, I have never in my life shot one.

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  126. David C. said on December 15, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Semi-automatic. The weapon fires once for each trigger pull. Count how many times you can make a trigger pulling move with your finger in just one minute and imagine if you were allowed to have a huge magazine containing god knows how many bullets – without restriction. Then imagine someone dead for each time you could do that.

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  127. coozledad said on December 15, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Some jackoff neighbor of mine spends a good half hour every weekend firing his semi-auto mindlessly at what’s probably a makeshift range. There’s another one who shows up at the hunting shack about 400 yards from our house who has one he flips to full auto and rips through a hundred dollars or so of bullets getting ready for the end times.
    Can’t be much of a life. Seems to lack the essential qualities of sentience and shades of meaning.
    My guess is they eat a lot of garbage off convenience store shelves, and if they have some sort of partner, spend a lot of time barking at them- jug eared bastards who live a shithead’s zen, thoroughly in the moment, thoroughly without regard for anything but their own glut.

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  128. alex said on December 15, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Count how many times you can make a trigger pulling move with your finger in just one minute and imagine if you were allowed to have a huge magazine containing god knows how many bullets – without restriction. Then imagine someone dead for each time you could do that.

    I can’t. My enemies list would be exhausted in all of two seconds.

    Seriously, regarding MMJeff’s comments upthread about tortious liability for gun manufacturers, I doubt that there’s any legal theory that could make it work. “Guns don’t kill people” may be a cliche parroted by dopes but it’s actually pretty sound from a legal standpoint. However, I think exposing retailers to liability may be workable and would go a long way toward making them police themselves. If sellers risked exposure to litigation over massacres like the one that occurred yesterday, you can bet they’d be much more stringent in screening their would-be customers and ensuring they were licensed and competent and well-schooled in gun safety, including keeping weapons secure and out of the hands of unintended users.

    Because there are state laws in place shielding gun dealers from litigation over recklessness in the sales of their product, it appears that this may be the gun industry’s weak spot from a legal standpoint.

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  129. Danny said on December 15, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Not being a gun owner, I have no idea what semi-automatic means, but these incidents are getting all too frequent for the status quo stand… this must be addressed. At the one end of the spectrum of possibilities is suspension of the Second Amendment, or at least a considerable narrowing of it’s definition, and at the other end is a considerable broadening of the requirements for basic gun ownership which would include mental health screening (perhaps on a continual, periodic basis) and some extremely well thought out mandatory rules for storage to protect against access by those who are not licensed to own firearms, but who live in the household of the gun owner.

    In the shorter term, while we are sorting out how to get this toothpaste back in the tube, my guess is that there will be a movement in many states and locales to put armed security guards in schools. This could have the effect of giving any would-be shooter pause or, at the very least, it would have the best short-term potential to lessen the loss of life in the event that the crazy decided to go through with their monstrous plans undeterred.

    I heard and estimate of about 150,000 schools nationwide. Certainly there are enough retired peace officers for such duty.

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  130. DellaDash said on December 15, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Throughout my twenties, I hitchhiked all over the place (up and down the west coast, out to the midwest and back, through the southwest to Texas, etc)…always by myself (or with my sweet-natured Newfoundland-Lab mix dog named Bogart, who only growled once, at an eventually problematic truck driver; but who served as a weeder-outer of potentially bad rides)…never with a weapon of any kind, not even pepper spray (none of which would be particularly useful on a driver of the speeding vehicle I was riding in, anyway).

    Here’s what I found out about myself, and I believe about human nature, by continually putting myself at risk with strangers: when you find yourself in danger and the adrenaline hits, You Go To What You Know.

    In my case…gently nurtured in the Midwest, not athletic, a tournament debater in high school and college…the tools of self-preservation at my command turned out to be talk and innate feminine cunning. More than once I found my voice pitched low and soothing, slowly coaxing the psychopath(s) beside (or surrounding) me to stop the car and let me out.

    At some point, when I started dabbling in martial arts, some new elements were added to my toolbox that were effective in laughably surprising ways.

    So…noone can tell me squat about guns keeping me safe in any way, shape or form.

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  131. Danny said on December 15, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Some jackoff neighbor of mine spends a good half hour every weekend firing his semi-auto mindlessly at what’s probably a makeshift range. There’s another one who shows up at the hunting shack about 400 yards from our house who has one he flips to full auto and rips through a hundred dollars or so of bullets getting ready for the end times.

    Cooz, you’ve probably already considered moving a number of times, but if in light of recent events, these neighbors’ responses are to increase their time and frequency at the shooting range, you should probably put again put moving at the top of the reconsideration priority list.

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  132. MichaelG said on December 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    As David noted, a semi-automatic weapon fires once for every pull of the trigger. It is obvious that the size of the ammo supply (clip or magazine or cylinder) is an important part of the equation. A fully automatic weapon fires when you pull the trigger and keeps firing until you release the trigger or the ammo runs out. Like a machine gun. MMJeff astutely noted that a double action revolver is a semi-automatic weapon. There really is no such thing as an “assault weapon”.

    Instead of using essentially meaningless non-specific, generic terms we should develop a specific list of all weapons, accessories and manufacturers. Once a list is developed, any modification or new model to be offered by a manufacturer will have to be approved. Simple. Then when you want to buy something it’s an easy matter to check your potential purchase against the list. It’s legal or it’s not.

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  133. Little Bird said on December 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    There is a hunting/gun shop on the local mall here. I routinely see guys walking around with hand guns in holsters or with high powered hunting rifles slung over their shoulders in the mall. Every day they offer a different hand gun on special.
    Is hunting with a hand gun common practice?

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  134. David C. said on December 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Danny, I agree 100%. Especially about the mental health screening. Along with that, I would like to see a test for anger reaction. Something like randomly coming up behind the prospective gun owner and swatting him (usually him) in the ass or drive up beside him and give him the finger for no special reason and see how he reacts. Any over the top anger – no gun.

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  135. Sherri said on December 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I think violence is like pollution. Pollution harms us all, whether we add to it or not. If you own a gun, you contribute to the pollution that is violence (to varying degrees; obviously a vintage musket is contributing less violence than an AK-47). If you own a gun, you have a responsibility to the community to mitigate the pollution. If you sell guns, you have a correspondingly greater responsibility to mitigate the pollution. If you manufacture guns, your responsibility is even larger.

    We already require licenses for all of the above, but the fees are low; the most expensive fee I can find at the ATF web site for a federal firearms manufacturer license is $3000/year. Let’s shift more of the cost of the pollution of the violence industry back onto the industry – let’s raise the fees for licenses for manufacturers, dealers, and owners.

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  136. Joe K said on December 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Planes don’t kill people people flying planes into buildings kill people. Knifes don’t kill people, people plunging knifes into people kill people, rocks don’t kill people ,people hitting people with rocks kill people, cars don’t kill people, people driving cars kill people. Where do you draw the line???
    Pilot Joe

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  137. beb said on December 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Boingboing reprinted a portion of Roger Ebert’s review of a movie (Elephant) that was inspired by the murders at Columbine. Ebert talked about the role media plays in mass tragedies, something that is as relevant today as ever.

    Duncan Black who blogs as “atrois” offers up two comments that seem relevant. One is that he doesn’t think there is any legislation that can prevent another school massacre from happening. There are just too many guns already out there to be ever controlled. The other point is: “The thing about gun nuts is that every single one I’ve known had a vigilante fantasy. Basically they all wanted the “opportunity” to kill a black person.”

    As to what makes a semi-automatic… My dad had guns around the house. He liked to hunt while I am deathly afraid of guns but. All cartridge using guns need a means of ejecting the spent cartridge and replacing it with a fresh round. There are two ways of doing this, by hand or “automatically” using either recoil of the gun or escaping gas pressure.

    Breech loading guns require that after each shot the gun is opened, the spent shell picked out by hand and a new shell slipped in. Revolvers dodge this somewhat by having a revolving cylinder loaded with shells so that one can get off 5 or 6 shots before having to reload.

    Bolt, pump or lever action guns (typically long guns (rifles or shotguns) have a built-in magazine that holds a supply of cartridges. After each shot the operator works the pump, bolt or level all of which open the firing chamber to expel the spent shell, load in a fresh round from the magazine and cock the hammer. While it takes a certain amount of time to work the pump, bolt or lever, these guns, like with the revolver can fired multiple rounds pretty fast.

    automatic weapons tap the energy from the previous shot to eject the spent shell, load a fresh shell and cock the hammer. With machine guns or fully automatic guns just holding down the trigger will cause the gun to fire until all bullets have been used or the mechanism jams. These guns put out a tremendous amount of bullets, which is why private ownership has been limited to licensed collectors. “Semi-automatics” have a limiter built in that requires pulling a trigger each time you want to fire a round. My understanding is that removing the limiter isn’t the hardest thing in the world.

    The problem with semi-automatics isn’t that they fire rounds faster than a revolver. I have no idea how fast one can fire a revolver but I suppose it’s around once a second, which is still too fast for anyone to want to charge the shooter and hope to live to take him down. The problem with semi-automatic that they typically carry a lot more rounds than a revolver. Where a shooter with a revolver has to reload after six rounds, thus opening himself up to attack, the semi-automatic with a load of 20 shells just keeps on firing. And the magazine clips are a lot easier to replace then hand loading a revolver.

    So there is some sense to banning automatics or at least banning clips that can hold more than six rounds at a time.

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  138. David C. said on December 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    That’s pretty obtuse, Joe. If you can find a single circumstance where anyone has killed 20 children in a morning using rocks or knives. I’ll grant it to you. Sure people die in car accidents, but a car isn’t purpose built to kill – in fact most years they pass laws to make them safer. When’s the last time someone has passed a law to make guns safer? It’s an easy line to draw as evidenced by the fact that most civilized countries have more regulations on guns and more restrictions on who can possess guns and they have one hell of a lot less gun violence than we do. But I expect you really know that. Picking this moment to be such a dick reflects pretty poorly on you.

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  139. Prospero said on December 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Most handguns that Scalito has enshrined at the behest of NRA and big money are intended for a single purpose, Kill somebody. Pretending otherwise is horseshit.

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  140. Prospero said on December 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Which parts of the straightforfowad english do th the mofo fools that claim to be origiinalists not fucking understand>? What the fuck is wrong with these idiots? And these folks weren’t talkin’ about autos. Is somebody fucking nuts??

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  141. Sherri said on December 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    If Scalia took originalism as seriously with respect to the 2nd amendment as he does to say, the 14th, then only muzzle loading guns would be covered.

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  142. Sue said on December 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Joe, you know we love you, but save comments like that for your gun buddies. 20 dead children just did what shootings in theaters, churches, malls, subdivisions, and spas couldn’t do.
    I think people are about to draw the line, so it’s who, not where. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but this one feels different.

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  143. Dexter said on December 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    As a Canadian detective said on a call-in show yesterday evening, “less guns, less shootings”. He implied it was pretty simple. Simple.

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  144. DellaDash said on December 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    All 20 children had more than one gunshot wound.

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  145. Jolene said on December 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    The Think Progress people have an interesting note from a reader about how the culture of gun ownership has changed over time. His comments echo what beb and Cooze have said re a kind of lust associated with gun ownership and shooting.

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  146. Jolene said on December 15, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    To expand on Sherri’s comment that violence is like pollution, Mother Jones has a piece that draws attention to the idea that many shooting victims do not die, but their injuries may burden them and the rest of us both in the immediate aftermath and for the rest of their lives. An excerpt:

    Because we tend to count the bodies but seldom think much of the bodies ruined, the human potential destroyed, the teenagers relegated to wheelchairs, the perpetrators who rot in jail, and the literal costs borne by American taxpayers to keep them there and nurse the wounded back to health. (A 2005 study found that hospital charges related to firearm injury cost Pennsylvania around $127 million per year, according to FICAP’s resource book.) These non-fatalities affect a lot more people than the fatal ones.

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  147. Charlotte said on December 15, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    My heart goes out to the cops and the firemen too … how do you ever get over having to deal with a classroom full of dead first graders?

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  148. del said on December 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Connie, did you see it? Congratulations Butler!

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  149. Catherine said on December 15, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Finally making all the *external* costs of gun ownership an *internal* cost for gun manufacturers, retailers and owners does not make me feel much better, but it’s a start. Too bad it has taken 20 dead kindergarteners and 6 dead educators to make the idea seem obvious.

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  150. Sherri said on December 15, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    As much as I’d like to ban ridiculous weapons that have no use other than killing people, it seems pretty clear that talk of banning weapons simply feeds into the paranoid persecution fantasies of the people buying these weapons. So, okay, you need that Glock on your hip to feel safe from me. I’m sure you want to be a responsible gun owner. Think about the fact that you’re making me a little less safe, simply by carrying a gun around. Maybe you think you’re protecting me, but you’re wrong, and even if you weren’t demonstrably wrong, I didn’t sign up for your protection. I paid taxes for police protection.

    Apparently (from what we know now, though the story keeps changing), the guns used in Newtown were all purchased legally and duly licensed. They were probably even stored safely. It sounds like there was a good chance the killer was even taught proper gun safety, if it is true that his mother would go target shooting with her sons. No gun control laws I can imagine could have prevented what happened here. That’s why I think we need to change the conversation, consider other mitigating measures, different ways of changing the culture around guns.

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  151. Jolene said on December 15, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Garry Wills gives us an angry and poetic diatribe against guns.

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  152. Prospero said on December 15, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    The cost of guns go way beyond, to little peeniies and the pubic hairs on Anita’s CoCola. What the hell is wrong with people?

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  153. Connie said on December 15, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Yes Del I saw it. Butler beats IU by two in overtime.

    In other news today my Butler girl received an MPA and an MSES from IU.

    Go Butler!

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  154. Dexter said on December 15, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    I needed to take a break from the gun nuts and their foes…wouldn’t it be nice if the toughest thing cops had to was catch asshats like this guy?

    The Brooklyn Paper

    Huffy times

    “Police arrested a 45-year-old accused of stealing a Huffy bicycle on Clinton Street on Dec. 2.
    A witness called the cops and said he spotted a man cutting a metal cable securing the bike to another two-wheeler between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific streets at around 6:35 am.”

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  155. alex said on December 16, 2012 at 2:41 am

    In other news today my Butler girl received an MPA and an MSES from IU.

    I once knew an Earlham girl who got an STD from an MBA at U of C.

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  156. ROGirl said on December 16, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Jolene, thanks for the Gary Wills link.

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  157. Prospero said on December 16, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Way too much to pay for Scalito’s bullshit interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. NRA undoubtedly paid more cash.

    Planes don’t kill people people flying planes into buildings kill people. Knifes don’t kill people, people plunging knifes into people kill people, rocks don’t kill people ,people hitting people with rocks kill people, cars don’t kill people, people driving cars kill people. Where do you draw the line???

    People don’t buy cheap planes or knives from Virginia or Arizona gun shows expressly to kill other people. Most people that pick up rocks find them interesting or worthy of skipping on a pond. People buy guns to kill people, Joe, and that is a fact. And the number of people that successfully protect themselves with guns is tiny compared to those hoist on their own petard, so that argument is also NRA bullshit.

    The authors concluded that defensive uses of guns are about three to four times as common as criminal uses of guns. The National Self-Defense Survey confirmed the picture of frequent defensive gun use implied by the results of earlier, less sophisticated surveys.

    The authors concluded that defensive uses of guns are about three to four times as common as criminal uses of guns. The National Self-Defense Survey confirmed the picture of frequent defensive gun use implied by the results of earlier, less sophisticated surveys.


    Sounds like a lot of vigilante wannabes to me. Long guns for hunters? No problem. This kinda shit? ?


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  158. Prospero said on December 16, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Breaking Abbey.

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  159. Minnie said on December 16, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Thanks, Prospero. Needed that this morning.

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  160. basset said on December 16, 2012 at 11:43 am

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  161. Danny said on December 16, 2012 at 11:53 am

    The first images of some of the victims in USA Today… absolutely heartbreaking.

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  162. coozledad said on December 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    “…when a man lets things go so far that he is more than half a bicycle, you will not see him so much because he spends a lot of his time leaning with one elbow on walls or standing propped by one foot at kerbstones.”

    When a parish has been brought up to believe they are Fess Parker as ol’ Dan’l Boone, and they willfully avail themselves of the atoms of that moron Chuck Norris and all the infantile fantasies of control that a fucking steel tube gives them over their barren, hideous lives, you will not see them so much until the product of their labors fetches the innocent into the grave.

    There is a war between vapid loveless gungreasing fuckmonkeys and people who would try and bring a little light into the world. And the fuckmonkeys will win because most males can’t disengage themselves from their inadequacy long enough to think about what it is to lose something that you would leave your whole self for; lightly. Gladly.

    They’re Selfish, ugly, irrecoverable, stupid bastards: they’re the apple of their evil God’s eye.

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  163. Prospero said on December 16, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Great, great cat photo:

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  164. Prospero said on December 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Some part of this is a public health issue:

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  165. Jolene said on December 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Hey, everybody, it’s Beethoven’s birthday. If you listen to his Violin Concerto, the quality of your day is guaranteed to improve by at least 15%.

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  166. Prospero said on December 16, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Louie Gohmert, a fracking full-goose looney:

    Your Beethoven (opus 131, 7th movement), played beautifully, I think:

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  167. Deborah said on December 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I think I am through with my ranting and raving, my husband reminded me this morning of Obama’s appeal for us to come together for meaningful action. Hopefully action will result, and it will be done by us together (at least most). When George Will is on board, that’s a good sign.

    We arrived in Santa Fe yesterday, with cat and all. Everything worked fairly well except she did pee in her carrier. When we arrived at the Albuquerque airport we had to take her into one of those family bathrooms in her carrier and clean it all out. I used my wool scarf in the base of the carrier for her to be comfortable after that. No more accidents occurred. She is whining and complaining still but beginning to settle down.

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  168. Deborah said on December 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    OK I’m embarrassed. I didn’t read Jolene’s link carefully and attributed the Moloch piece to George Will instead of the correct Garry Wills. So I guess we still have a way to go. Probably decades before real action takes place, hopefully the event at Sandy Hook will not be forgotten by then.

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  169. Minnie said on December 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Deborah, I’m glad you all arrived safely, if a little damp, in Santa Fe. When she settles in kitty may become a desert creature.

    Last night my husband and I were talking about how to lessen the number and kinds of guns readily available, as well as factors that precipitate violence. Though the issue will not be solved in our lifetimes, we have to start now.

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  170. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 16, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Passing this link along which is traveling quickly around the internet, with the note that it’s what I hear more weeks than not from at least one parent/guardian, and I really don’t know what the answer is. Mom thinks it’s reducing stigma and increasing funding for more residential treatment beds, and I can’t argue with either — as long as we all understand that even with both, until we understand mental illness and have new working models for treatment & recovery, these kinds of situations generally don’t resolve on a clear timetable, and we’re rarely sure what worked, let alone what provokes reoccurrence or increased severity. The mind & behavioral patterns are still very much a great mystery.

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  171. Deborah said on December 16, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Jeff, is that story in your link a hypothetical situation or was it written by the actual mother of the mentally ill boy? What a nightmare.

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  172. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 17, 2012 at 6:33 am

    I believe that is an actual mother with an actual son, but to be fair, it’s a reposted story on HuffPo, so caution perhaps is called for.

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