The jury speaketh.

I’ve been a reporter off and on for more than 30 years, but one thing I’ve never done is stand outside a courthouse and yell “how do you feel” to people leaving. Despite what you might think, I’m not in the minority.

That said, there are always exceptions.

That’s Charlie LeDuff asking about “babies,” by the way. Not a fan.

So, the Kwame Kilpatrick verdict was all the news today. If you live here, you already know all you want to know about it, and if you don’t, there’s a story in a nearby newspaper, most likely. But only this blog will draw your attention to the former mayor’s remarkable fashion choices, obscured but still viewable in this photo: A horizontal-striped shirt and a plaid tie. I didn’t even know you could buy a horizontally striped man’s shirt.

They bundled KK off to the Graybar hotel pretty quick. THat might be the last fashion choice he makes for a good long while.

Oh, am I whipped. Can I cut to the bloggage?

How’d you like to take a wild Justin Verlander pitch to the junk?

Much more than that, I haven’t got. Bleh.

Posted at 12:47 am in Detroit life |

63 responses to “The jury speaketh.”

  1. coozledad said on March 12, 2013 at 5:10 am

    I had a horizontally striped shirt from Chess King that I wore until it fell apart. If you weigh about 118 lbs and it’s the eighties, it can be a thing. Anything north of that risks a comparison to a species of hymenoptera.

    OT, but having seen a couple of people’s brains rot from amyloid plaque buildup,it strikes me this should be the research finding that drowns out the opposition to legalization of cannabis:

    But here in NC, the teatard Republican legislature decided against even the use of medical marijuana- for freedoms!

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 12, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Ah, more pot and orgasms and less petrochemical combustion, and the Singularity will be ours. Blessed be he who comes in the name of evidence-based scientific studies.

    The whole riff on retarded-ness still, oddly, has the ability to get under my skin, but I know trying to define anything as out of bounds is just going to push it center stage. I’d still like to register, as a conservative, smaller-government, pro-decriminalization, pro-civil union, pro-background checks & longer wait limits, pro-life, anti-soda-size ban, generally pro-public schools kind of guy: could we not make retarded a phrase of derision? Why not call people like me stupid, ignorant, invincibly obtuse, corrosively incoherent, high-functioning catatonic, moronically hyperverbal, rhetorically impaired, data-deprived, steeped in willful misinformation, blinkered with eyes and brains full of manure, blind guides, whited sepulchers, or just plain old fools?

    I’m fine with all of that and more thrown at me. It’s just that retard is still a cr4p bomb that splatters more than the target when thrown.

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  3. alex said on March 12, 2013 at 7:57 am

    I dunno, Jeff, I rather like teatard as an epithet. Tea-tard. There. That’s the punctuation it needed.

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  4. beb said on March 12, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Isn’t the Singularity part of the evil UN Agenda 21?

    Jeff, your list of things you are for brings a smile to my lips because, with two exceptions, I’m for all those things as well, but consider myself a liberal. “Small Government” is one of those things that define conservatives and as such they tend to think that liberals must be in favor of Big Government. But liberals only believe in a government big enough to do its job. The EPA exists to protect our air and drinking water because business has shown a long history of not caring. OSHA exists because business has shown a long history of not caring about worker safety, the national park system exists because business has shown a long history of not caring about natural beauty, historic content or anything that doesn’t put a dollar in the owners’ pocket.

    Small government ought to mean no “sex police” in the bedroom saying what kinds of sex you may have, or with whom (as long as they are consenting adults.) And small government means that however much one might dislike abortion, not all women agree with you and for women to be free they have to have the right to make that choice.

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  5. alex said on March 12, 2013 at 8:51 am

    And as for the Big Government bogeyman, Jeff, you’re typically griping that government does far too little when it comes to funding social services and treating mental illness. That’s some Big Government we could both agree on.

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  6. coozledad said on March 12, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Well, there were the self-styled teabaggers, whose name implied they sucked balls. That was too much truth in advertising, and they whined about the label they selected themselves. I’ve used retarded as a perjorative for people who are obviously malformed-people who through a series of unfortunate choices are not especially adaptable to the demands of high functioning civil society. We don’t flinch at using the word as a mass grave for people with genetically based developmental disabilities. Why should they get all that head-shaking “Ain’t it a goddamn shame” fake pity and derision? There’s plenty of that shit to go around, and it’s about time the folks who richly deserve it get saddled with it.

    Blessed be he who comes in the name of evidence-based scientific studies.

    You can prove anything with facts.

    This reminds me, I was googling an old band-mate the other day to see if he’d gone on a murder spree, been busted for peddling brown heroin, or had his wages garnished for child support. Lo, he has joined the tea party of Fredericksburg and the one true. My guess is he wasn’t nearly so dismissive of science when he was walking around with a syringe in his arm, hitting the plunger every now and then so’s to keep things just right.

    Here’s his take on evolution:
    There is a question regarding evolution that, up to this point, has been missing from the debate in the letters to the editor section of The Free Lance-Star.
    Given the complexity of certain biochemical processes (for instance, the ability of the human body to form blood clots involves 17 different enzymes, proteins, or biochemical actions/reactions), how does evolution account for the complexity of this process and the fact that all of these proteins, enzymes, and biochemical actions/reactions are necessary as an irreducible process for the clotting of blood?

    If this process is irreducible to a simpler subset of any combination of the necessary ingredients for clotting, how does evolution account for the creation of the blood-clotting process without the death of the organism (from either bleeding out or total clotting of the blood) that would arise from the simpler subset?

    In other words, the blood-clotting process could not have evolved over time, because the entire process would have had to suddenly appear for it to work due to its irreducible nature.

    To imply that this incredibly complex process could possibly take place without direction is in itself a bit like saying that a VCR could somehow be formed out in the desert without intelligent guidance if all the necessary ingredients just happened to come together over time.

    If that’s science, I’ll stick with God.

    Blessed be he who comes in the name of anti-science astroturf.

    I’ve got a plan to drastically reduce the costs of healthcare. Depending on how you answer a questionnaire, you are either admitted to an emergency room or a small chapel for prayers. Hell, make it a big chapel; see which room fills up first.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on March 12, 2013 at 9:25 am

    I’m with you Jeff. My Down’s cousin is way more intelligent than the teabaggers.

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  8. annie said on March 12, 2013 at 10:05 am

    That whole blood clotting rant seems to me the perfect argument for evolution. Why would an intelligent creator make something so stupidly complicated? Not to mention the ridiculous digestive system.

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  9. Deborah said on March 12, 2013 at 10:10 am

    If you’re like me and had to look it up on Wikipedia: The Hymenoptera are one of the largest orders of insects, comprising the sawflies, wasps, bees and ants.

    That KK photo piece had a howler of a typo, aloud for allowed. I only skimmed it so there might have been more.

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  10. Prospero said on March 12, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Mi<There is a question regarding evolution that, up to this point, has been missing from the debate in the letters to the editor section of The Free Lance-Star. Given the complexity of certain biochemical processes (for instance, the ability of the human body to form blood clots involves 17 different enzymes, proteins, or biochemical actions/reactions), how does evolution account for the complexity of this process and the fact that all of these proteins, enzymes, and biochemical actions/reactions are necessary as an irreducible process for the clotting of blood?

    This is the anti-Darwinian argument that is absolutely most baffling from nitwits like this guy. The “God isn’t smart enough to have devised evolution” postulate. And if God were just doing it “by magic”, why would She have employed 17 different enzymes? How about mammalian sexual procreation? How did God come up with something so lusty and occasion-to-sin-ful? Seems kind of inelegant and anti-economical. How ’bout human knee joints? Incredibly poor design. Or, like, as God (George Burns) pointed out, avocado seeds?

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  11. coozledad said on March 12, 2013 at 10:24 am

    annie: It’s a matter of being so obtuse and self absorbed that you can’t comprehend a time framework where humans figure in about a nanosecond at the ass end of a long day.
    It’s not even his work. He cribbed it from somewhere, likely an AOL chat board. I like the discussion of blood clotting from a guy who, for a substantial portion of his life, has been a gloopy disease vector. I guess he credits God with his statistically unlikely survival of the plague, instead of some fortunate heritable traits thrown in with all the rest.

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  12. Prospero said on March 12, 2013 at 10:48 am

    The Verlander story reminds me of my youth spent listening to George Kell describing Norm Cash “guarding the bag at first”.

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  13. Jeff said on March 12, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Hat tip, Julie!

    Guilty as charged on the inconsistency rap, Alex. It’s probably a probation violation for me as a repeat offender.

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  14. Catherine said on March 12, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Apparently Bob Woodward isn’t just grumpy and kind of paranoid: A writer reports on re-reporting Woodward’s book on John Belushi:

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  15. Jason T. said on March 12, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Someone once tried to explain to me what a great feature writer Charlie LeDuff, back before he was accused of plagiarism and fabrication.

    I didn’t see it then. And now that he’s decided to make his living as a clown, I don’t feel compelled to revise my opinions.

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  16. Prospero said on March 12, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    A pal sent me a book about Detroit, and I was worried it was going to be the LeDoof book. Fortunately it turns out to be the book by Mark Binelli, Detroit City is the Place to Be, for which I’ve read good reviews. I’m hoping I’ll be able to express sincere appreciation.

    Red-hot-nickel-ball-in water. This reminds me of a novel I’ve read that involves a discussion of shot towers, and damned if I can remember what the book is. Any ideas?

    Men’s dress shirts with horizontal stripes? Try the timeless Bill Blass “Big House collection”. Available at Abercrombie & Fitch.

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  17. brian stouder said on March 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Catherine, that was excellent.

    And indeed – I cannot help but suppose – at some point (maybe beyond our lifetimes) there will be a re-appraisal of Richard Nixon.

    They guy DID open relations with China; and one may argue with the pace, but from the day he took office to the day he left in disgrace, the number of American combat troops in Vietnam went down and down and down – until we were essentially out (as he left).

    Plus, the guy implemented EPA, amongst other things (what the hell would the “Obama is a commie” crowd say if our current president even talked about wage and price controls[!!], let alone implemented them[!!!!]) If Woodward is the prosecutor before history’s jury, President Nixon will (sooner or later) get a re-trial – if not (another) pardon

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  18. Peter said on March 12, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Brian, I sort of agree with you.

    In my opinion, Nixon and Johnson (Lyndon, not Andrew) are in a class of their own. You have to have a lot of ambition to become president, and I’m sure anyone who becomes president can accumulate a lot of resentment against people who’ve crossed them in the past, but those two had it in spades. I mean, I could understand if it turns you into an asshole (some people say that’s what happened to Clinton, but he’s minor league compared to Eisenhower), but boy, those two were over the top.

    I could never imagine Obama even thinking of doing what Nixon did. Not even Bush, if for no other reason that they were afraid they would get caught like Nixon.

    And I’m not lumping Johnson in with nixon to make this bipartisan. Maybe I’m picking the wrong books, but whatever I’ve read about Johnson, it seems to me that he makes modern blowhards (that’s you, Donald) look like amateurs.

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  19. MarkH said on March 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I don’t know LeDuff or his work so can’t speak to the derision here at nn.c. But here is what seems a resonable assessment from wikipedia:

    So my question is, should he return his Meyer Berger award, and have his name excised from the 2001 Pulitzer award winning team he was a part of?

    As for Woodward, he is clearly full of himself and/or just thin-skinned. He clearly overplayed his hand in the dust-up with Sperling, but his basis for criticizing the White House initially was accurate:

    Crucial paragraph:

    “It is true that sequestration was the Obama administration’s idea. White House officials proposed it as part of the agreement that resolved the 2011 debt ceiling fight. It was meant to act as a spur to make a bipartisan supercommittee reach an agreement on a package of spending cuts and tax increases that would reduce the national debt over time.”

    I’m not letting republicans off the hook here, folks, but there it is.

    Regarding Belushi, I wonder how much revisionism there is among the sources who now claim that Woodward was inaccurate at worst, or “didn’t capture John” at best. I read the book then, and remember at the time how pissed off all of his contemporaries were that he let his drug binging get completely out of control and robbed all of us of him. So, it wouldn’t surprise me if none of them came forth at the time Woodward interviewed them with all the current touch-feely stuff about Belushi. Not endorsing Woodward’s version, but time does change perspectives.

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  20. beb said on March 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I think I’d rather be hit in the jewels by a stray Verlander pitch than in the head. I may not be able to walk for a month or two but a pitch to the head and I might not be here at all.

    It is interesting that Nixon did sign into existence the EPA and go to China but I can’t forgive him for the Vietnam war. It was obvious when he went into office in ’69 that the war was unwinnable and he escalated it into neighboring states before finally conceding the obvious. If he had conceded the reality of the war there would have been tens of thousands less names on the Viet Nam Memorial.

    The question about blood clotting is a variation on the ‘how did eyes evolve’ question. And the answer there was that starting with just a light sensitive cell, the evolution of an eye is surprisingly fast because every step of the process proves rewarding. And it’s probably a good thing that it take 17 different chemicals to make blood clot. After all you don’t want blood to clot just anywhere or anywhen,

    Richard Dawkings in his evolution book “The Greatest Show on Earth” notes how Creationists demand “Missing Links” but when you tell them there’s all the missing links in the world in a museum they won’t believe you. The other great point he made was that evolution is demonstrated by all the poorly designed features in our bodies. An intelligent designer would have cleaned up some of these mistakes: evolution not so much.

    I’m kind of with Jeff, though about not calling Republicans ‘retards’ as it is a slur to the mentally deficient.

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  21. coozledad said on March 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Peter: Nixon was already doing his own plumbing work while he was at Duke Law, swiping tests to preview them. The whole squalid ratfucking thing burst fully formed from his brow.

    It’s best to remember what we might consider a character flaw is a meaningless abstraction for a Republican, unless he can demonstrate such a flaw in his opposition for his own political advantage. A streak of criminality might be useful in a politician who understands the nature of the larger battle- it reminds me of the justifications offered by Marxist-Leninists when confronted with the truth of their own criminal regimes.

    Nixon has already been rehabilitated by his party. In fact, he’s a martyr, and half of the Republican agenda is to punish this country for having the temerity to shit him out. The anger was palpable among the Bush clan, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Elliot Abrams. Rehnquist was pretty much on the Nixon vengeance squad, too.

    Nixon owed his electoral success in no small part to the racism which continues to sustain the existence of his party. The moderate neoliberal veneer of his policies were a creature of the sixties- not some inspired personal political vision.

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  22. Bitter Scribe said on March 12, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    It is interesting that Nixon did sign into existence the EPA and go to China but I can’t forgive him for the Vietnam war. It was obvious when he went into office in ’69 that the war was unwinnable and he escalated it into neighboring states before finally conceding the obvious. If he had conceded the reality of the war there would have been tens of thousands less names on the Viet Nam Memorial.

    Exactly. What made Nixon’s actions in office infuriating is that he campaigned in 1968 on a “secret plan” to end the war. If it had been known that this plan would involve dragging it on for four more pointless, bloody years, he probably wouldn’t have won the election. As it is, the only reason he did win is because Humphrey was a wuss who wouldn’t stand up to LBJ and disassociate himself from the war.

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  23. Prospero said on March 12, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Nixon told a lie of Shrubian monstrousness about his “plan to end the war”, and his devotion to Kissinger was every bit as foul as W’s to Cheney. Nixon did have a much cooler dog than Tricky, though.

    No knowledeable or remotely considerate person calls a Down syndrome person a “retard” anymore. I bristle at the term because I remember a patient from my dad’s days in Pediatrics at Metropolitan Hospital in Detroit. A newborn with the trisomy 21 that produces Down syndrome, this girl’s parents stubbornly ignored “advice” about institutionalizing her. I met this kid many times and found her delightful. She was a diligent and apt student in mainstreaming endeavors, and in her twenties was a loving caretaker for her elderly parents. She kept up correspondence with my dad until she died in her late forties of congestive heart failure, a common end for people with trisomy 21 Down. That young woman was never retarded, though intellectually limited. I understand the “teatard” impulse, but I’ll stick with Teabaggers, since the idiots inflicted it upon themselves, or Teabangers, for their thuggish and gang-like behavior. Or, ya know, just plain assholes.

    Mark H.: I suppose those pages and pages of allegedly verbatim quotes of extended conversations in Woodward’s St. Shrub books should be taken as accurate, despite each depending upon perfect recall by both the alleged conversant and Woodward himself. Woodward has been fabricating for years, and he’s gotten away with it. On sequestration, I see no reason to buy Frank James’ explanation rather than anyone else’s. What’s clear is that it was a last ditch effort to prevent GOPers from tarnishing the “full faith and credit” of the US government, which they were perfectly willing to do, and still are, if it will damage Obama in any way. And the House Teabangers sure as hell voted for it. One thing for sure is that the whole idea originated in the Raygun administration, back when deficits and debt didn’t mean shit.

    And if Woodward really saw a threat in those emails, Bad Uncle is making him more paranoid nutso than Rand Paul.

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  24. Prospero said on March 12, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Nixon won because Sirhan Sirhan murdered Bobby Kennedy, who would have kicked his ass bigtime.

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  25. adrianne said on March 12, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Figures that it was a Met who was nailed in the nuts by Verlander’s pitch.

    As for Nixon: The first attempt to impeach him came from Jesuit priest Robert Drinan, also a congressman from Massachusetts, and it was over the secret bombing of Cambodia. ‘Nuff said.

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  26. coozledad said on March 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Anus goes into “penis goes into anus”.

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  27. Prospero said on March 12, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    I meant to say that Checkers the cocker sppaniel was preferrable to Shrub’s ratdog Barney, even though Barney is alleged to have pissed on W when the pretzel took the pretzelsent down.

    I have literally seen chirping bluebirds and stars after getting hit with a basketball, and not all that hard. A glancing blow to the nads is sufficient to put your ass on the floor. 97 mph fastball? Cor-10 steel cup isn’t going to help.

    Today is Bill Payne’s birthday, the piano player for Little Feat, the perfect keyboard complement to the incomparable Lowell George. People love Willing, but Fatman in the Bathtub is my second favorite Little Feat song:

    Superceded by

    Two degrees in Bebop, PhD in swing, he’s a master of rhythm, he’s a rock ‘n’ roll king, and he’s a man to me.

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  28. brian stouder said on March 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Pope Alert!! Pope Alert!!

    Say – a serious question: is this where the term “Holy smokes!” comes from?

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  29. brian stouder said on March 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    False alert; black smoke.

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  30. Prospero said on March 12, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    More accurate assessment of the tenure of Hugo “aka Ugo” Chavez. And before Danny or Mark H tries to claim something was fishy about Venezuelan elections, Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, boys. Crookedest ever in the Western hemisphere.

    Unlikely brian, although it’s a clever notion. most of those sayings come from attempts at avoiding “bloody oaths” Like the old joke about Cheese and crackers got all muddy. I have personally never felt too bad about taking the Lord’s name in vain. Whose better? Hulk Hogan? Yogi Berra? Anyway, Odds Bodkins is the classic example. God’s body.

    I finished that Woody Guthrie novel, and I loved it. It’s poetic, and a lot like that Walt Whitman exuberance. It’s what I’d say could be called experimental. First half is a sex act that is beautifully written and loving, and desolate and intellectual and down in the dirt; second half is fruition, the emergence of the progeny of that act. It’s corny like a 40s movie by Capra, it’s over the top, it’s innocent love, it’s romantic. I thought while reading this about the people here that love the Little House books. This might be what hal-pints folks were up to when the kids were sleeping. I liked it a lot and would recommend it for sure. On to The Tiger’s Wife.

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  31. Prospero said on March 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    brian stouder: This bidness of a new il Papa always strikes me funny. The world despises the RC church so what the hell do they care? I’ve made a point of reading a lot of theology, and I know for a fact that what makes sense for me is Teillhard and Paul Tillich..

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  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    The most junior cardinal has to burn the Chipotle wrappers in a little stove off the back of the Sistine every night; no Pope for you.

    A conundrum out of today and my mixed sense of what government can do and justice: foster parents. You really wouldn’t have to do much to make me think that foster kids should get more support, and it would be the last place I’d want to cut . . . except. So many foster families are decent enough, and caring [koff] enough, but are very dependent on the income from foster care. So when a kid turns 18, the pressures are huge to move that child along which you never adopted in the first place, and put a kid in that bed who will bring in a check which your household has come to count on. I know, if you’ve never worked with the system, it sounds AWFUL, but trust me, there are relatively few awful people doing this. Making the per child payments higher would only add to that problem.

    We could go back to a more centralized, more closely supervised environment, the orphanage. Contrary to popular belief, many of them worked very well in a humane sense, let alone practically speaking, but enough were or became hell-holes enough to garner press coverage which led to the general end of orphanages, about the same time as de-institutionalization for mental health (another discussion, but roughly in parallel) was all the rage.

    So we left the more collective, not to say communist atmosphere of the orphanage to the more communitarian model of a Children’s Services oversight by way of Juvenile Courts, and a dispersed network of foster homes with state/tax dollars going out to individual homes . . . which fairly quickly crumpled under the pressures of the 70s & 80s, and was supplemented/supplanted by a network of “non-profit” organizations which game the heck out of the system, and recruit and train foster parents, offering supports to get people to take on this challenge which often add up to, in the end, the network/company taking 20% off the top and the foster parent getting 80-75%.

    Meanwhile, in a county of 160,000, we have about 20 kids “aging out” of foster care each year, of which half will be homeless before the next two years end. Our county CS does a great job of working with, preparing, and helping allocate special funds for 16 & 17 year olds who are cruising to this grim gateway . . . but those networks? They love this area, and we have on top of our own CS’s 250-300 kids in care another 300-350 from out of county, averaging older, meaning another 40-50 “age out” each year and at least half stay in this county, many of whom end up homeless.

    So our CS & juvenile staff & mental health agency people and a few deranged clergy folk sit down and try to figure out: what are we even asking for? What intervention is going to reduce this steady trickle into one end of our homeless population from an identifiable source, 30 to 40 young people 18 & 19 years old who stumble into shelters or sex trafficking or from the latter to the former? Do we go upstream to look for where the drowning people are being thrown into the river, or just keep pulling them out where we stand?

    There’s neither a conservative nor a liberal simple solution, and there’s not much of money-only fix I can see, either. But I’m willing to say we need to have at least as many case workers and clinical social workers & counselors as we did last year, no matter what the cost. And it’s worth it in no small part because it’s so dang expensive to help later, anyhow, so let’s do it now.

    But we have to figure out why we keep seeing our “in care” numbers go up even as everyone involved in “the system” will tell you we’re working even harder than we ever have to NOT break up families and take kids from parents, even when a non-jaundiced outsider reviewing the case would say “seriously? just take the kid, right?”

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  33. brian stouder said on March 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I’m rolling through The Warmth of Other Suns – a beautiful and heartbreaking nonfiction book about the Great Migration of black Americans from the south to the north from the late 19th century through to the last quarter of the 20th century.

    The book is tight and evocative; genuinely better than Rachel Swarns’ book (which is nonetheless very good stuff) about Michelle Obama’s ancestors.

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  34. Charlotte said on March 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Those drama queens — of course they’re not going to do it on the first vote — then all the press would go away. I’m beyond fed up with them all. I miss my church, but my church was the Vatican 2 church, and they pretty definitively killed that. How anyone can take communion from those filthy hands is beyond me …

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  35. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 12, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Yes, I mediated two cases today with kids who are 17.5 and have parents who are . . . already detaching (hey, mister, I’ve got four younger kids I have to think about, and s/he’s almost on their own, you know?). As are the kids. It used to make me mildly ill, and now I just bear down a little harder and look for what connection there still is, what conscience I can appeal to, and remind everyone how damn important that diploma is, which is less than ten weeks away. Ten. Weeks. Away. Just make this work for ten, more, weeks, please.

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  36. Prospero said on March 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Charlotte, a common good man as Pope. It seems like he was obvious. XXLLLIII roncalli was pretty clear. Man of the people

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  37. brian stouder said on March 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Jeff – you are the man.

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  38. Jolene said on March 12, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Jeff, are you familiar with the Annie E. Casey Foundation? It’s a Baltimore-based foundation focused on child welfare. They don’t provide services directly (though there’s an arm of the organization that does), but they support organizations that provide care and work to develop and test new practice models. They have done some program development work on the problem of aging out of foster care. Just search on foster care at their web site,

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  39. brian stouder said on March 12, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    I think if we ever took a kid in, that kid would have a home forever, just as the current youngfolks (and the cats, for that matter) do.

    I cannot envision telling a kid “sorry – you gotta scram…and don’t come back”

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  40. Sherri said on March 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Brian, I can’t either, but I know it happens, and not just with foster kids. A friend of mine took in a friend of her son’s, whose father and stepmother basically told him after he graduated from high school that he was on his own now. This was in the depth of the recession, when there were no jobs for anybody, much less a kid right out of high school. She got him in Job Corps, and then when that didn’t work out (never could get more than temp work), she helped him navigate the financial aid maze and he’s attending community college and working part-time.

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  41. Jolene said on March 12, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Watching the news re the selection of the new pope is reminding me of my childhood fascination w/ Catholicism. Our plain little Methodist church with music played on an ordinary piano and a minister in a business suit couldn’t hold a candle to the ritual and finery of the Catholics. From clerical collars to nuns’ habits, from rosaries to medals worn around the neck, from ashes on the forehead to holy water, from velvet-trimmed kneeling benches to fancy stained-glass windows, from genuflecting to the sign of the cross–all of it captivated me.

    I can’t get next to the doctrine, but those cardinals sport some impressive threads.

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  42. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Jolene, I learned to respect Annie E. Casey’s work when we were pushing CHIP through the West Virginia legislative process; they were incredibly useful data sources and TI backup. I’m now using their stuff as we’ve assembled this:

    and the link to:

    is crucial to our plan for a three tiered effort county-wide next fall — “Make Every Day Count” which I just got agreement on from our court administrator this morning, my one bright spot on the week so far. Met with the county’s district superintendents last week, next week with all the high school principals, and next month with all the middle school principals. Threats of jail and fines are NOT the answer, not because I’m a softie or a squish, but because (evidence-based!) they don’t work. Heck, most of the families I’m engaging with on truancy/chronic absence already have or have recently had a court involvement, and they know our teeth are in a cup on the dresser, and aren’t that sharp even when we put them in.

    You’ve got to build community buy-in to the idea that going to school and not missing lots of “personal days” is worth doing, and important for their future. I’m still of the belief that this is true, and yet I don’t want to just bludgeon families into getting the kids to school, I want them to feel there’s a reason for them to be part of the effort and that there’s a pay-off for all of them, parents and students alike.

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  43. beb said on March 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Jolene: You were raised Methodist and don’t regard the Pope as the Anti-Christ? That was certainly my impression following a childhood of weekly Methodist church attendance.

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Annie E. Casey’s stuff on foster care and aging out is what Licking County IS using, my beef is that we can’t get Franklin & Summit & Cuyahoga Counties (among others) to do anything comparable.

    Again, to be fair to the often underwhelming foster parents who move on when kids become legal (uncompensated) adults: they’re doing it, which is something, because we chronically don’t have enough foster parents. In part, because most of us make a rational decision to say “if I’m gonna do it, I’m in all the way.” And then you look at what you’re getting into, and WE (I include the Lovely Wife and myself) don’t do it. They say “well, I can help for a time, and we could use the help plus we’ve got two empty bedrooms, so . . .” and get into the system. As I said at too much length above, I guess this is better than orphanages, but there are times when I just don’t know. We need more Plumfields.*

    *If you’ve not read the sequel to “Little Women,” “Little Men,” may I strongly commend that quaintly marvelous book which probably helps explain some of my choices in the intervening decades. I’m no Mother Jo Bhaer, but I love the ideal of a Plumfield out there somewhere.

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  45. Jolene said on March 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    We had too many Catholic friends, beb, to devote a lot of time to decrying papism, but there was definitely a social divide. We thought it unfair and unkind that the Catholics claimed that they were, as Jeff B. says, the One True.

    Not only did we have a sense of injustice about our church not being regarded as real, but, since the Catholics had rules about so many things that we didn’t, their practices did dominate in a variety of ways. Most obviously, there was the no-meat-on-Fridays proscription, which was then in force. Less obvious but more important was the idea that dating across the Catholic/Protestant boundary would lead to trouble. One guy in our community threatened to shoot his prospective Protestant son-in-law and refused to attend the wedding or to allow his wife to attend.

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  46. Prospero said on March 12, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Danny and Mark H: is Mediwhatever or Social Security something I didn’t already pay for? Has that cash already been used to pay for Boner’s health care for his COPD that is undoubdetly a result of his smoking?

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  47. Connie said on March 12, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    beb, I was raised Dutch Reformed and never met a Catholic until I went to college where all the cute boys had gone to Brother Rice in Birmingham MI. I don’t remember believing the Pope was the anti-Christ, but I truly believed that Catholics worshipped idols.

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  48. Prospero said on March 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I grew up a Vatican II Catholic. We never found any reason to find Catholics any better nor worse than anybody else. My parents took evangelacism seriously. And if anybody wants to make a mockery, I will punch your moron lights out.

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  49. MarkH said on March 12, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Prospero @46 — if you’re trying to get an argument out of me on that, you won’t. I will say that the output from both programs is greater than what’s coming in. A solution is needed, and in the case of medicare, it only partially involves judicial cutting. K?

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  50. Charlotte said on March 12, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Jeff — as someone who was saved by a great children’s institution, in this case a girl’s summer camp — I’ve often thought that a few good orphanages could go a long way. Camp was where I learned to cooperate with other people in my cabin, to work incrementally toward a goal (honors, broken down into skills, on a chart), where I learned that grownups weren’t entirely fickle, where I learned there were people who would remember you from year to year and help you to consciously become a better person, and most important, where I learned that there were grownups who could see that your parents did not always have your best interest at heart and would intervene where they could. I went to an eight-week summer camp for five years — years during which I went to three schools, switched custodial parents and acquired a stepmother who was only 8 years older than me. I loved camp, and owe an eternal debt to my camp director and the good women who raised me there.

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  51. MichaelG said on March 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I was raised Catholic. I even went to a Catholic grade school and was an altar boy. When T and I wanted to get married, I went to see the local priest about doing the wedding just to make my parents happy. T and I were both raised Catholic but we were also both divorced. The Catholics told us to take a hike. We were married by a Unitarian minister. God, that was a long time ago. December of seventy something.

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  52. LAMary said on March 12, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Hey, I know an ex husband who cut off money and most contact with his kids when they hit 18. His mother supported him until he was 25 but hey, legally he doesn’t have to take care of his sons anymore so why should he. I actually have to reimburse him for the amount he says he overpaid for my older son, who is still in college.

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  53. Deborah said on March 12, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    LA Mary your ex is a jerk as is mine. He didn’t speak to his daughter for 8 years and she was the one who went out of her way to keep in contact with him. My advice to her was “you be the adult”, sad but true. My husband now is 100 times the dad to Little BIrd than her own father ever was.

    I was raised Lutheran (MO Synod) and later became AELC (before ELCA), now nothing, but I was always drawn to high church rather than “my buddy Jesus” type services. When I lived in St. Louis I was asked by one of the principals of the architecture firm I worked for to design some processional banners for a special service at the Catholic cathedral there for the ordination of a bishop. I went to the service to see the banners in action and it was spectacular, the visual and aural spectacle was amazing, better than opera. I was in awe. That is the only Catholic service I have ever attended. When in Manhattan a couple of months ago we went to an Episcopal service at a church on 5th Ave and 53rd, St. Thomas I think. It was equally spectacular, very high church. Loved it.

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  54. Jolene said on March 12, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Great article by Michael Cassidy of The New Yorker on Paul Ryan’s budget. Has exactly the right derisive tone. Why, oh why, must we put up with him? Why won’t he take defeat for an answer and just go away?

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  55. alex said on March 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I was raised by a family with zero interest in religion and therefore have always seen it from an outsider’s point of view. While some sects think their membership rolls are going to heaven and everyone else is going to hell, it’s my considered opinion that nobody’s going anywhere and nobody should be intimidated by such threats.

    Since the beginning of time eternal salvation has been marketed like so much douche and deodorant and things people don’t want to be caught dead without. Then again, maybe that’s why it’s so easy to sell douche and deodorant.

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  56. MarkH said on March 12, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Propsero – A repeat of last week’s The Americans is on fx tonight before they show Justified. Just in case you didn’t DVR it. Maggs takes a trimming almost as good as Marlon Brando.

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  57. coozledad said on March 12, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    alex: I don’t want any part of the heaven those fuckers are going to. In fact, I’ll be more than happy to pitch in with the crew that wants to kill it with fire. Now that’s what I call eternal livin’.

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  58. Suzanne said on March 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I was raised LCMS Lutheran, too, but kind of secretly wanted to be Catholic after watching all those “Trouble with Angels” type movies. Catholic kids seemed to have more fun.
    Nonetheless, in Lutheran school, we were basically told that Catholics were going straight to the great down under and that Thank GOD! we were enlightened to the truth by Martin Luther. One of my friends always referred to Reformation Sunday as “Worship Martin Luther” Sunday.

    And for what it’s worth, the Lutherans still have on the doctrinal books that the Pope is the Anti-Christ.

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  59. coozledad said on March 12, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    My wife says this is germane to tonight’s discussion. H/T Lady Bunny. Definitely not safe for a lot of workplaces.

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  60. Catherine said on March 12, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    My former church had a “shower” (I guess for lack of a better word) every year for kids aging out of foster care. The idea was to give them things they needed to set up housekeeping and become more self-sufficient. One year, one of the girls asked for a sewing machine. The number of women who picked up that tag, their eyes filling with tears… I think that girl got enough to set up a fabric store.

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  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 12, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Jayne’s one of our kids, indeed. She needs a caring ear and a chance to make a path, too, though I’m not sure she defines our problem very well — but she’s certainly germane. Actually, I end up intervening for kids navigating the other direction more often, but that may be a local quirk.

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  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 12, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Catherine, hat tip to your former church. That’s what we need more of.

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  63. Catherine said on March 13, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Here’s the program: Great stuff, not enough beds. What else is new.

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