Late start today, and I apologize. A poor Sunday sleep makes Nance a wrung-out rag on Monday evening, but honestly, I can’t even plead that. I felt fine last night, but chose to power-watch some more “Homeland.” I now have three episodes to go in season 2. A perfect place to stick a bookmark in the story? Hardly.

Yesterday was actually a pretty good day, even for a Monday, which is typical. Though I’m sure it’s mainly coincidence, I have my best days when everyone else is having terrible ones, and yesterday I learned of two premature, tragic deaths in my extended social circle.

For those who’ve been here a while: My former News-Sentinel colleague Emma Downs lost her husband, who suffered a heart attack on Valentine’s Day and had been hospitalized ever since. Forty-two years old with a 7-year-old son. And Marcia K., who used to comment here for a while but doesn’t anymore, and who has suffered her own share of grief in the interim, got another when her nephew was one of those killed in the massive pileup on I-77 in Virginia over the weekend. One month from graduating Duke Law. This is, truly, a broken world.

But I had a good day and was rewarded with another week of vacation. So I’m taking it, because, as these examples abundantly illustrate, you never know.

That won’t be until June, however. In the meantime, here’s an open thread. I have to get back to work.

Posted at 9:05 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

70 responses to “Monday-to-Tuesday.”

  1. Dorothy said on April 2, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I’m friends with Marcia on Facebook so I read about this yesterday. I am so sad for her on multiple levels. One of these days I need to make it a point to take her to lunch. I’m in Columbus often enough.

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  2. MarkH said on April 2, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Wow. Condolences and prayers to Marcia, Emma and their families. 42?? And the nephew a month away from reaching that goal. Heartbreaking indeed.

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  3. 4dbirds said on April 2, 2013 at 9:28 am

    So sorry Marcia and Emma.

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  4. nancy said on April 2, 2013 at 9:38 am

    You gotta love this more-in-sorrow-than-anger concern trolling Kevin Leininger does, defending vouchers to religious schools:

    As a product of the public schools, I find that unfortunate in one sense: Public education traditionally has been the epitome of the “melting pot,” the place where people from diverse backgrounds become well-educated, civic-minded Americans. But that diversity has its drawbacks, too, when it is allowed to impede discipline and academic progress or alienate people who believe their cultures and religions are being shortchanged for the sake of inclusiveness. Banning teacher-led prayer is one thing; turning Christmas break into a generic winter holiday is another.

    Christmas break still exists; students are still out of school from shortly before Christmas until after New Year’s. It’s the name he objects to? If they’d kept calling it Christmas break, he’d feel better about this?

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  5. BigHank53 said on April 2, 2013 at 9:55 am

    The local paper, The Roanoke Times, has good coverage of the I-77 incident.

    There are links to several related stories on the sidebar. The Blue Ridge is prone to creating severe local weather–where “local” can mean 500 yards. Rockfish Gap, where I-64 crosses the Blue Ridge, is so prone to severe fog that it has marker lights buried in the road like an airport runway. I came across it one evening when visibility was probably about forty feet–less than the length of a semi trailer. Twenty miles an hour, and a white-knuckle grip on the wheel.

    Fancy Gap isn’t as bad, but it has a higher percentage of non-local drivers. If you look at the map it’s a chokepoint for traffic heading to the Carolinas and Georgia from Ohio, West Virginia, etc. If you only use the road a few times a year it’s almost impossible to grasp just how quickly the weather conditions can go bad.

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  6. coozledad said on April 2, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Leininger just sees that big pile of money there waiting to burn. Education’s a waste of time anyway, if you’re just going to piss on science and English till your pisser don’t work.
    These grifterbunnies wouldn’t know an education if it told them Christmas is a pagan feast day.

    Oh, and speaking of grift, here’s what teascrod Republicans do when they get next to a stack of public money:

    It’s in the blood, and there’s no ethico/religious system, education, or prison time that’ll wash it out of them.

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  7. Deborah said on April 2, 2013 at 10:05 am

    We hit dense fog Saturday morning on our road trip from Chicago, in Oklahoma of all places right near the texas border. In the middle of nowhere, sun shining like blazes and then there it was. I assume it had something to do with the rise in temperature. It was scary because cars were still doing 70 mph through it. I was crawling and stayed behind a semi that was doing the same, I could see his lights. This went on for about 20 miles and then we came out of it into the blazing sunlight again. Weird.

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  8. Dave said on April 2, 2013 at 10:08 am

    We were in a campground somewhere on a mountaintop within a hundred miles of Roanoke about 35 years ago. We had left our campsite and driven somewhere within the campground in the evening, before sundown, I’m sketchy on details now, but while we were away, a fog rolled in and within minutes, it was so foggy that you could see almost nothing. Our shared Ohio backgrounds had never been in fog like this. Somehow, we made it back to our campsite but when I learned of this pileup, I thought of that fog and the near-zero visibility conditions it created within a mere handful of minutes.

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  9. Peter said on April 2, 2013 at 10:12 am

    First off, my condolences to Marcia and Emma.

    I think vouchers to religious schools is a much more complicated subject than either side lets on.

    The US wouldn’t be unique in handing out vouchers for private primary school education. They do it in France, of all places, where the whole melting put and equality concept is way ahead of us. Private and parochial schools there can get government money, but only if their books are publicly audited, and they follow government curriculum and testing.

    Back when I was in parochial school (at a whole $100 per year), they made an argument that I think is still pretty persuasive: if all of the private schools were to close, public schools couldn’t handle the extra kids without even more money than they get now.

    Another argument that I find strange is that parochial schools are often criticized for “teaching to the middle”, that they don’t help bright kids, and can’t handle the special needs kids, so they get pushed onto the public school system. But in Illinois, school districts get funds to help special needs kids (not enough, but it’s something), and by setting up special academies, get the smart students to stay in district and boost the overall test scores. It’s average students who get the short stick at public schools, so why wouldn’t they want to go to a place that’s more geared to them?

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  10. Peter said on April 2, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Edit – that’s melting POT, not melting put. Sorry

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  11. Bitter Scribe said on April 2, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Vouchers were used in the Deep South to set up whites-only “academies.” That’s all I need to know.

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  12. Judybusy said on April 2, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I’m very sorry to hear of these far too early deaths. My heart goes out to Marcia and Emma.

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  13. alex said on April 2, 2013 at 10:42 am

    My deepest condolences to Emma and Marcia.


    As for Leininger, he doesn’t give two flying fucks about public education as melting pot. He himself just this past week was railing against ecumenicism in another one of his ridiculous columns, yet now he gripes when religion takes a back seat to inclusiveness. Religion in the public sphere is fine with him, but only when it’s his religion and he gets to tell those of other faiths that his shit don’t stink but theirs does.

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  14. adrianne said on April 2, 2013 at 10:54 am

    So sorry for Marcia and Emma. What a terrible shock that must be.

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  15. Lynn Perry said on April 2, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I used to live in Fort Wayne, and always enjoyed Emma’s writing (as well as Nancy’s). I didn’t know she had remarried, and am so sad to hear of her loss.

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  16. James said on April 2, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    As someone who paid for private school for my daughter, both in Indianapolis and Atlanta, through high school, I can tell you what school vouchers are. They’re a way to gut the public school system and subsidize some wealthy kid’s tuition.

    If you look at the amount they’re talking about per child, and go out and try to find a school who will accept that as a full ride, you’ll see what I mean.

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  17. beb said on April 2, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    The key issue with charter schools is that so often they are not being help to the same academic standards are public schools and are not being held accountable for their failures. France has the right idea. If a school wants public money it has to teach to the state’s curriculum. And if they want to include religious classes, that has to be in addition to to general curriculum. Louisiana’s school voucher program is a joke because it does not set out a curriculum and does not hold school accountable for not teaching children well enough.

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  18. Prospero said on April 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Prospero!!! Quick!!! There’s a a squirrel!!! Go chase it!!!

    Bush!!! Cheney!!! Haliburton!!! Nazi’s, oh my!!!

    There’s non-sequiturial muck-raking to be done, Sir!!!

    How in God’s name was I acting like an asshole toward Danny? Seems like the other way around. Where did I bring up Shrubco, the most destructive anti-American force in the history of America? And what the hell is non-sequiturial?

    The key issue with charter schools is that it always involves giving cash to well off people that want to shrink government to kitten size to drown it in the tub to teach non-science and non-intelligence. And people doing home-schooling are almost invariably boneheads. Vouchers are subsidies for rich people and a thinly veiled attack on public education. It’s my belief about education that much of it comes from fellow students.

    Bush, Cheney and Halliburton fucked the USA over big-time. And you don’t have to be a Keynsian to understand the basic common sense that slashing taxes on rich folks while launching two, count ’em two, illegal invasions and occupations is gonna fuck the economy royally. Simple common sense. One costs a bundle, the other crimps your bankroll. Duh!

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  19. Danny said on April 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Well, Pros, we all know that you are smarter me, so allow me to explain this to you slowly:

    1. Nancy told you to stop being an asshole to MarkH, not me. But your response to something that never happened is fitting because…

    2. I posted a link to a basically apolitical economic analysis of the current state of US debt and what the effects would be and in normal fashion, you either couldn’t be bothered to read it or didn’t understand what you read and then you went completely off-topic on a rant about Obama’s daughters being “stalked” by someone on the right.

    A little reading comprehension is in store.

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  20. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Emma, Marcia, I’m very sorry to hear of your losses; wish there was more I could say or do.

    Admitting up front I’m trolling for sermon material, might I ask (and will use no names, that not being the point): if money and health insurance were no object, what would you do with your life? What would you WANT to do and spend time at? Thanks to anyone who throws up a thought on that subject; again, I’m looking for the things people would spent their lives at if they did not have to worry about bills or prices ever again.

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  21. del said on April 2, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Peter’s comment got me to thinking – it’s time to repeat my annual parochial school rant.

    I went to a Catholic high school near Detroit. It was, for me, a middling experience. Sure, a few Catholic schools are great, but most around here are average at best. The Detroit archdiocese overreached in building schools in the 1960’s. By the early 70’s two almost-new Catholic elementary schools in my neighborhood had been shuttered. The decline in religious vocations had to hurt.

    My high school was staffed with underpaid lay teachers and a few religious, many of whom, though kind and well meaning, were beyond appropriate retirement age.

    Catholic high schools are sometimes lauded for their “discipline” but the administrators at mine were not actually heavy-handed disciplinarians. They were relatively forgiving, maybe even lax. And the kids they were dealing with in those days were pretty wild. I remember a player on my freshman baseball team getting high, during practice, while PLAYING right field. Right fielders are iffy to begin with – he’s a retired cop BTW. And there was a pregnant student in my Christian Parenting class who argued with the teacher about the advisability of smoking weed during her pregnancy. That she was for it was no surprise as it was the Dazed and Confused era after all. I remember a student barfing up his lunch of Jack Daniels and potato chips in my sophomore Biology Lab. He was suspended. But that show of discipline didn’t prevent him from killing his girlfriend a few years after graduating, troubled soul.

    Sure some students graduated and went on to do great things, but not too many. The football team for my year (1982) never lost a home game and that’s what I think the guys in the Dad’s Club probably talked about during their bingo-style casino night fundraisers. Jock stuff was important to the culture, but then, maybe it was just the era.

    After I’d earned my degree the school’s priest asked me to teach there. Hell, I couldn’t teach my way out of a paper bag, I’d never even taken an education class in college. And there were other things to consider as well. But we talked about the school’s mission and he said that while other schools had more selective admissions our high school sought to help everyone. It made sense. Only Christian thing to do. But it gradually dawned on me that it was really more about the money. That would explain my classmates who’d come to the school after having run into “problems” in the public schools. Several of those kids. Catholic schools were seen as a step away from military schools. The discipline. All that. In the end I think it’s fair to say that my high school never saw a paying student who was beyond “help.”

    A powerful argument against Catholic schools is made by a friend who taught for years in both Catholic AND public schools. She’s fine with the Catholic curriculum but she just shakes her head thinking about the families she’s known who scrounged for years to pay for their kids’ parochial education and were left too broke to pay for their college. That’s a tragedy.

    I can’t get my head around the MONEY needed to establish a parallel Catholic teaching apparatus for secular courses like math, science, history, reading, etc. To do it right is so expensive. If you can’t do it right, why bother?

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  22. Prospero said on April 2, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Danny, about the smarter part? You buy the Breitbart line. Dumbass. I get along fine with Mark H. because we like the same TeeVee shows. I wasn’t being an asshole toward anybody. I don’t spend time on anything connected remotely with magical economy, (read Eliot Laffer and that mediocre TeeVee actor). And we know because Dickless said so, Deficits don’t matter.

    And yeah. Danny, I’m more intelligent. And I comprehend what I raad.

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  23. Danny said on April 2, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Pros, I never read the Breitbart piece and so I could not have possibly “bought” anything in that article you trotted out so it goes you are again arguing against something that never happened. Anyway…

    Del, I was wondering where you have been. Last night, I saw Steve Hackett of Genesis in concert. They did nothing but old Genesis (and very well, I might add). A lot of Lamb was done. Fly on the Windshield rocked.

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  24. alex said on April 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Mild-mannered Jeff–

    If money/health insurance were no object, the thing I would want to do most with my life is to conduct research on the Underground Railroad in the Maumee Valley, which has been my passion for many years, and be a student of history in general. And write for writing’s own sake. And make art.

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  25. LAMary said on April 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    For a short time I lived just south of Nyack, NY, next to the west bank of the Hudson River. At least three times I drove up 9W, the main route up that side of the river, at a crawl because the fog was so dense. I felt very lucky to get home after what seemed like hours of driving at 10 mph.

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  26. del said on April 2, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Danny, love the old Genesis and Fly on a Windshield. 🙂

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  27. Dorothy said on April 2, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Jeff I’d finally go to college to get my degree. So I could finally put all that regret to rest. I’d love to volunteer to teach youngsters how to read. I’d travel a little to see as many different cultures as possible, and I’d like to contribute towards causes that help people get the medical attention they need.

    I’m not 100% noble, though. I’d love to have a wonderfully appointed quilting studio with bolts of fabrics instead of just 1-3 yard cuts of pieces I admired in a shop. I’d be making quilts at a feverish pace.

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  28. Judybusy said on April 2, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Jeff, I’d travel like crazy, living for months at a time in various cities while reading history and biographies about each place and the people that lived there. I’d create an amazing garden with lots of hardscaping and seating areas and throw wonderful parties where my partner and I would cook for all our friends. I’d give a lot of money to my fave non-profits, and I’d have the time to volunteer to my heart’s content.

    But the first thing I’d do is pay for Maggie Jochild to get all the physical therapy and other support she needs to get mobile and then buy her as many plane tickets as she’d like to England.

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  29. Sherri said on April 2, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Jeff, I’ve more or less lived that way. For the last 18 years, I’ve been raising a child and volunteering in child related activities, some directly related to my child, others more broadly related to children in my community. I’ve worked on local political campaigns. I read a lot; when I find a topic I want to learn about, I dig in and read a lot of books about it. I’ve learned to ski and gotten a black belt in karate. I’m a worship leader in my church. I hang out at places like here…

    Now, I’m thinking about what’s next, with my daughter off to college. There are plenty of continuing education opportunities around me; maybe I’ll take some classes. I have several ideas for where I might want to volunteer next. A friend has suggested that there is a need for more calculus tutors in our area, so maybe I’ll brush up my calculus and do some tutoring.

    I’ve been incredibly lucky. I did well at the company where I worked prior to my daughter being born, and my husband has done well in his career. He also loves what he does; at the time my daughter was born, I was making more money than he was, but while we both enjoyed our work, he couldn’t have been happy not doing it.

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  30. brian stouder said on April 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    ”) Jeff, I think I’d compare notes with Alex, regarding the underground railroad, and also look at the above-ground railroad. The book The Warmth of Other Suns is flat-out beautifully written, and therefore also heart-breaking. And leaving aside metaphors, the over-ground railroads out of Florida/Georgia and up the eastern seaboard, and out of Louisiana and Alabama up through Illinois, and out of Mississippi and Arkansas westward to California saw an absolute exodus of Americans – especially with the coming of the First World War, and the (relatively very-well paid) northern demand for labor; and then the Second World War and the renewed northern demand for labor.

    You could make a sort of Argo movie out of the process by which black families eased on out of town, as the exodus finally began to get all the white folks’ attention, and laws started to get passed to impede these people’s (quite literal) escape from the oppressive twentieth century south.

    By the way – has the Chicago library done their book-club thing yet on Warmth of Other Suns? I’m now half way through, and the book has impacted me in multiple ways – as any good book will.

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  31. del said on April 2, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Jeff, I don’t think I’d do very much differently than I do now. I’m not wealthy or anything, but money and health insurance aren’t very important to me. Even winning the lottery would end up being a drag. Mo’ money, mo’ problems.

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  32. brian stouder said on April 2, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    …And, I’d run for the Fort Wayne Community Schools board of trustees, and keep running (and knocking on doors and so on) until I won.

    That’s pretty crushing news about Ms Downs. Life is, by turns, boring and then strange

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  33. Jolene said on April 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    I’d do more or less what Bill Gates is doing–recruit smart people to do what needs to be done to solve big human problems. I’d have a Hillaryesque focus on the status of women and girls, but would also focus more generally on health and ecological issues, broadly defined. That would include energy conservation in construction, transportation, manufacturing, and agriculture; development and implementation of renewable fuel systems; preservation of the natural environment and amelioration of environmental damage.

    So, I’d need money not just to sustain myself w/o producing an income but also to finance the projects I’d like to undertake. This idea appeals to me both because of the obvious benefits of better health, education, and environmental sustainability and because of the opportunities it would present to learn about new developments in various fields, to exchange ideas with creative people, and to organize people and resources to get things done.

    As part of all this, like Judybusy, I’d like to throw wonderful parties with great food too–in my beautiful home, of course.

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  34. Joe K said on April 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    I would do what I’m doing now but with better equipment, also I would probably move my operation south in the winter to the islands and run charters out of there. I also think I would volunteer to fly medical supply and relief once or twice a year in Africa.
    Pilot Joe

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  35. Jolene said on April 2, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    My sympathies to your friends, Nancy. Hard to know which is worse–the sudden violent, death in the car accident or what must have been an anguished six weeks of hopes and disappointments following the February heart attack. It is, indeed, a hard world.

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  36. Deborah said on April 2, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Sad to hear about early deaths, Nancy it’s hard when it happens to people you know.

    Jeff, First, I’d figure out how my daughter can be assisted for the rest of her life. I would travel a lot and start a design studio which I would hire some out of work recently graduated designers to run. I would finish all the building on the land in Abiquiu and enjoy time there. I would take courses in all of the areas I want to know more about.

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  37. mark said on April 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    “I’m looking for the things people would spent their lives at if they did not have to worry about bills or prices ever again.”

    I buy a lottery ticket now and then, so i suppose a part of me wants to have such decisions to make. The rest of me, though, knows that even in current circumstances I fail more often than not in the battle between what I want to do and what I should do. Endless money would not make the struggle easier and I would hate to fail in Biff Bissinger-like fashion.

    I’ve come to think that happiness really is found only as a byproduct of living appropriately, and great wealth isn’t necessary to acting the way I’m supposed to. Might make it even harder for me. Somebody wrote something about the entrance to the realm of happiness being through a narrow gate. I think that’s so, and I’m sufficiently self-absorbed as it is to keep missing the gate.

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  38. coozledad said on April 2, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I’d go to France. My father always promised me we’d live there.
    No more of that Ohio shit for me, man.

    I’d get out of this damn coal mine and learn to dance, and do donuts with my jet ski on that there Seine.

    And since I’m not Judy Collins, I might be able to learn how to sing, too.

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  39. Prospero said on April 2, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Watch my taillights fade.

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  40. brian stouder said on April 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Judy Collins gave a genuinely bad performance at the EMbassy theater here, years ago. I can’t really bitch, though, because we had comp-tix for it, as it was back in my mom’s volunteer days there.

    (but I WILL say, I can see why they had to “paper” the house, for her)

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  41. Jenine said on April 2, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    If money pressure was off…
    When I was younger I might have had a couple more children. I like the idea of moving to northern New Mexico, raising goats and learning to make cheese. But I know I need more social input than even a dozen nannies can provide. Some sort of volunteering with church or school could satisfy that.

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  42. Danny said on April 2, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Jeff, simply put, I would pour myself out for others in an even more direct manner than I currently can. Life should be others-centered.

    Currently (and for a few years now) my career takes so much out of me, that those whom I love most, sometimes get the least of me. There are days I come home where I feel exactly like the guy in the first Bourne Identity movie who tried to take out Jason Bourne with a sniper rifle from the hillside. Bourne mortally wounds him in the upper filed and the guy’s dying words are: “Look at us.. Look at what they make you give.”

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  43. Danny said on April 2, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    upper field, not upper filed

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  44. Jakash said on April 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    brian s.,
    Glad you’re continuing to enjoy “The Warmth of Other Suns.” We haven’t obtained a copy, yet…

    The selection of that volume to be the One Book / One Chicago choice for Spring kicked off what is supposed to be a year-long project of addressing its topic, that begins with reading the book. The CPL acquired loads of copies, which were made available at all the various branches. But, “The book is just the beginning. Now through spring 2014, Chicago Public Library and its many community partners will offer multiple ways for every Chicagoan to explore how the drive to move, to migrate and to create a better life has made Chicago into the most American of American cities.”

    Some of the events that are planned:

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  45. Linda said on April 2, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    You hit it right on the head: charter (or “community”) schools get the public cash, without the responsibilities. In Ohio, they do have a mechanism for shutting down community schools that underperform, but then they just re-open with the same people, same company, and run the cash clock a few more years. In Indiana, some charteristas are furious that those schools have to meet ANY criteria to get public money. When I pointed out that if fundie schools could get money under that system, so could the Che Guevara High School, an angry poster accused ME of being a communist. As Eric Hoffer said: “What starts out here as a mass movement ends up as a racket, a cult, or a corporation.” The movement to destroy public education has managed to become all three.

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  46. BethB said on April 2, 2013 at 5:20 pm


    Since I’m retired now, I’d love to live in England for part of each year, especially if health care could be handled both there and here in Indiana. If I had unlimited or simply more money, I’d support/set up sustainable projects in education, especially in areas where I’ve taught before such as the Southern Ohio, West Virginia, and rural Nebraska. Too many children there (and everywhere) are not getting the support they need both at home and school.

    My dream in college (1968-1972) was to do research for historical fiction writers such as James Michener; I didn’t want to write, just do the research–I just liked to know stuff! Maybe that’s why I went back and got a Masters in Library Science and Information Studies.

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  47. paddyo' said on April 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Man, “Other Suns” is astonishing — both for the vast amount of historical detail and context I never had (having grown up not in the South or urban Midwest or Northeast) and for the great way Isabel Wilkerson has put it all together. Slow reader that I am, I’m only about 250 pages into it (also a book-group read) and it’s not-put-downable.

    And that, JTMMO, is one of the three principal kinds of things I’d be doing if everything else were taken care of:
    — Reading . . . starting with those many, many books on my shelves that I haven’t got ’round to reading, including a set of “Great Books” but so, so many others, too
    — Traveling . . . including for some true immersion-study of Spanish, probably in Mexico. And while traveling, exploring the Southwest’s “ancestral Puebloan” cultures in depth, working on an archaeological dig or three . . .
    — Tutoring . . . teaching people to read and, especially, to write. All ages, any ages.

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  48. Suzanne said on April 2, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Money and health insurance no problem? I’d travel anywhere and everywhere I could imagine. I’d read like a madwoman, plant a fabulous garden, and then use the produce to cook up some unbelievable meals. I’d collect recipes and write a cookbook. I’d take up photography. I’d volunteer to help people learn to cook nutritious meals. I’d volunteer wherever I could. I’d buy a new mattress and sleep a lot.

    Sad to hear of the deaths of people I don’t know. We know of all kinds of people facing untimely deaths of loved ones. It seems like a bad cycle of some kind we are in.

    FWIW, I and my children went to parochial schools. From where I stand, they aren’t that great. Their strength is that they don’t have to take everybody and for the most part, the parents give a darn. However, they can be very restrictive and in my experience, sports trumps religion every time. Stuff went on frequently in the parochial schools I was associated with that would have gotten a public school teacher suspended in a heart beat.

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  49. brian stouder said on April 2, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    linda – your comment:

    You hit it right on the head: charter (or “community”) schools get the public cash, without the responsibilities.

    succinctly expresses exactly what I hate about vouchers; it used to be that “conservatives” decried “throwing money at a problem”….and nowadays, their whole damned education agenda is literally and precisely that!

    In fact, it’s a crooked threefer for ’em. First, you get to attack “government school” teachers and teachers’ unions and all of that, with great glee and endless malice; and second, you can “defund” (rob) community schools blind, so as to kill them; and third, you can stuff as much of that public cash that you’ve redirected away from public accountability, and into your own damned pockets!!

    Here in Fort Wayne, a couple of schools stand empty, and by law the Charter charlatans must be alllowed to rent those buildings for $1/year.

    But guess what?

    Those buildings remain EMPTY, while the Charter charlatans BUY other empty buildings and then RENT them FROM THEMSELVES, for $500,000/year (or more)….money that goes straight out of the public till and into the Romneyesque world of capital management firms and reinvestment trusts and the like.

    If this isn’t bald-faced fraud, then there is no such thing anywhere on Earth.

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  50. brian stouder said on April 2, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Jackash – thanks for the links.

    I’m more than a little tempted to try and hit one of those Chicago Library events. If the author is slated for any of them, I’d really, really have to do it

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  51. JWfromNJ said on April 2, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    First off sorry to hear about both Marcia and Emma’s loss. I always enjoy Emma’s writing.

    I like Joe K’s answer because in a way it’s my dream. I’d love to fly – and not for a living – for fun and even though I don’t buy into the message missionaries pitch, helping them would be great because you can save a life or change a life with every flight. And aviation is definitly expensive these days. I even have my aircraft wish list – a PC-12 or an SJ-30, and if money REALLY was no expense a Mig-21 as a toy.

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  52. JWfromNJ said on April 2, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    First off sorry to hear about both Marcia and Emma’s loss. I always enjoy Emma’s writing.

    I like Joe K’s answer because in a way it’s my dream. I’d love to fly – and not for a living – for fun and even though I don’t buy into the message missionaries pitch, helping them would be great because you can save a life or change a life with every flight. And aviation is definitly expensive these days. I even have my aircraft wish list – a PC-12 or an SJ-30, and if money REALLY was no expense a Mig-21 as a toy.

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  53. Maggie Jochild said on April 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Judybusy, I am so moved. I love you, sistah.

    If my survival and independence were not daily on the chopping block? Well, yes, lots of visiting England until my partner’s commitment there is honoured. But mostly I’d write, I’d cook for the folks I love, I’d add a cat or two, and I’d give it away to all the projects which have no hope in hell of getting middle-class or governmental funding, as long as it was for the actual poor, it had no religious affiliation, and it accepted people as they are right now. I know first-hand how effed up too many of us are here and I don’t want to save them any more. I want to feed them tonight, get children removed from bad parents for tonight, and trust in the people like Judybusy and Jeff who will do the lion’s work up close and personal. I’d hand you baskets of money for your experimentation or best guess.

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  54. JWfromNJ said on April 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    And Pros – I don’t know if I am smarter than you or Danny for that matter but I know is Nancy has to step in and issue a smack-down then most likely you were an ass.

    I also can postulate that based on postings here you snore a lot more than you want to admit. As for the au pairs… ahh nevermind.

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  55. Jolene said on April 2, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Brian, Jakash’s first link indicates that Wilkerson will be in Chicago on October 1.

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  56. MarkH said on April 2, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Count me among the I’d-Rather-Be-Flying set as well. Other than that, as I get older I like my day job less and less and my community work more and more. I’m on my third go-round as president of the local Kiwanis Club. The club has shrunk over the past 20 years (see the discussion here about five years ago on service club health and relevancy), but the satisfaction of responding more to the challenge of helping children locally is greater. Our local club is about 20 members, but strong and we meet our fund raising goals every year. Being able to travel to accomplish all this would be icing on the cake.

    JW, MiG-21 you say? If you’re able to catch these guys at a local air show, definitely do it. Owned and run by a local money-up up doctor/former navy flight surgeon, they have a Navy FNJ (Navy version of the F-86) doing mock battle with a two-seat MiG-15 and a MiG-17. I was over at their base across the hill at Driggs, ID two weeks ago and they have added an F-86. All fully restored and nightmarishly expensive to maintain.

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  57. MarkH said on April 2, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Oops. It used to actually be FJN. Now they have it as FJ-4.

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  58. alex said on April 2, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Stuff went on frequently in the parochial schools I was associated with that would have gotten a public school teacher suspended in a heart beat.

    Do tell. I suspect some of this is just like the Catholic Church trying to duck bad publicity by keeping scandals quiet. I happen to know firsthand of a teacher (who I knew firsthand to be a sociopath) who got busted having sex with a student and was quietly told to just get lost.

    As for private versus parochial and the quality of education, I attended both and thought both were catering to yutzes, but at least the class sizes in the parochial school were small enough that the teacher could work with the better students one-on-one. Parochial was my only exposure to religion, by the way, and to the school’s credit it made no significant impression.

    The defunding of the schools is just part and parcel of the extreme right’s desire for a lily-white world in which white tax dollars only pay for white things, like ramming Jesus down your throat and flying the stars and bars from your state capitol.

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  59. Deborah said on April 2, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I had a bummer today, dropped my iPhone on uneven concrete and shattered the screen. I got a new screen put on it for $85 still this afternoon. But then I found out I could have bought a brand new one at Target for $99.99. Oh well, I guess it’s better to reuse, and save $15. Also if I had been in Chicago where there’s an Apple store a few blocks away I’m told it would have only cost $25 to replace the screen. There is no Apple store in Santa Fe. I didn’t want to be traveling back home next week with no phone so I was stuck having to do the best I could.

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  60. Dexter said on April 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    mark at 4:35 PM:

    Mark, after planning grandiose trips and picking out the best cars and trucks I would buy, and spec-building a giant dream house in my own dreams, I have concluded that if ever hit the big lotto prize I will buy simplicity, because I can afford it. A small bungalow hidden away somewhere. All my bills sent to my accountant to take care of. A cleaning lady to come in and help my wife and me once a week or so. I would buy a few new vehicles and a few new bicycles. I would employ a lawn service because mowing and raking bore me to tears. I would hire kids to shovel snow as needed. I would have a small gym built , with a basketball goal. If my prize money topped $100,000,000, I’d sign up with NetJets or Citation Air annd fly around the world once in a while. That’s about all I’d do for myself. My dogs get a fenced-in giant-sized dog run. My wife will probably give her half of the loot to the church, knowing her. 🙁

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  61. Suzanne said on April 2, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Alex, nothing that nefarious, but stuff like showing R rated movies to a bunch of middle schoolers (hey, it’s historical) or a principal not being able to convince the parochial school board that all out of town sporting events should include a no alcohol rule that includes students and parents (c’mon! What’s a little beer? Besides, he wasn’t that drunk!)

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  62. del said on April 2, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Alex, at my high school a coach knocked up a student. He left quietly. And got a job at a public high school.

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  63. Joe K said on April 2, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Would love to keep a f-86 as a pet, always wanted to pilot a f-4 phantom, there is just something about that drooped wing bird that gets to me, they had a sound all their own, and you still had to fly them not manage systems, if you ever saw one light up the afterburners around dark you know what I mean, I imagine our Vietnam vets have space in their heart for them also.
    Pilot Joe

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  64. basset said on April 2, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Joe, I meant to mention this awhile back… when you’re coming down this way again get my address from Nancy and we’ll go have lunch or something.

    I watched F4s test an experimental landing restraint in Terre Haute about thirty years ago, the Air Guard unit there had a setup something like a carrier landing hook and wire but the hook would catch on a strap across the runway that looked like a piece of fire hose. Big reel at each end of the strap and lots of smoke as the friction slowed the plane down, when you consider that a F4 weighs about the same as a Greyhound bus (I looked it up) that’s quite a feat.

    Unlimited money and health insurance… I’d build a nice cabin on Mrs. B’s family land in Michigan, buy a few toys, mostly guitars and cameras, a few guns… then start seeing how I could help with literacy and preventing abuse of the helpless, whether they were young, old, or animals.

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  65. Michael said on April 2, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    I know Fancy Gap more than I wish to, and was pained by the news and the connections here at

    on the topic of vouchers, since they are never the full price, at most they are the variable costs, I have always felt they had merit. And as a consumer of private education, I am probably suspect. But, I chose my private school after hearing the phrase, “You aren’t white enough to . . . ” one to many times from my son’s classmates, and I suspect his teachers as well. I will not suggest that private education is without it’s issues. But, I will say that having my son beat the snot out of rich central American kids for using racial and sexual innuendo to describe his mother is preferable to having him get the snot beat out of him by white trash townies who think that if you aren’t a servant you aren’t worthy of their respect. I have far more concern about drugs, because his class mates can afford them, but don’t worry as much about unsafe vehicles, mostly of the ATV and two wheel variety. And, of course, there is the fact that my son can opine on the vagaries of the Venezuelan

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  66. brian stouder said on April 2, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Jolene, I totally missed that, about Ms Wilkerson; thanks for the pointer!*

    I would love to catch the forum that includes her in October

    *see, this is an example of why Pam is the brains of the outfit around here…

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  67. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 2, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Thank you, all. I guess a big part of the point I expected, and plan to make is that, both here and on my Facebook feed, no one is saying “sit my butt on a beach and drink beverages with umbrellas.” We don’t, for the most part, crave pure leisure. We want to do what is meaningful to us, we want to work, but we want our labor to have and to bring meaning.

    Or those who desire pure sloth are astute enough not to respond to this sort of inquiry!

    If you are in the Columbus, OH area, there’s a fascinating Mark Rothko exhibit on thru late May that’s worth the $12 non-member admission, especially if you include the special “American Art” exhibit from the CMA collections. They have a horrific, gripping piece of art called “The Herrin Massacre” that sent me on my Kindle to the internet, because I’m appalled to admit I’d never heard of this terrible part of our history, though it fits all too well into the narrative including Matewan and Blair Mountain in West Virginia, at the other end of the coal belt:

    My friend Nanette, the director of the CMA, is using her post to advance progressive politics in some very interesting ways, and I honor her for it, even as we part ways on a few particulars of application.

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  68. alex said on April 2, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Michael, you lost me at the vagaries (vagueries?) of the Venezuelan and I was hoping to see you keep going.

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  69. jwfromnj said on April 2, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Jeff Tmmo – the sit on a beach and drink rum on the south coast of Jamaica along with enjoying their many fine produce items, like coffèe, wink, and seafood was a close second. And I’d bring the au pair(s).

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  70. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 2, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    We all need our close seconds, I think! Mine would possibly be in the bleachers off Waveland, with an endless supply of Old Style, and the occasional fungo ending up in my seat.

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