Acting up.

On Sunday, trying to distract myself from the throbbing in my knee, I dialed up “How to Survive a Plague” on my iPad. A history of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, aka ACT-UP, it first got on my nerves. My patience for ShakyCam is growing short these days, and apparently no one in the ACT-UP publicity crew owned a tripod.

But that was a quibble, and soon I was absorbed into the bad old years again, the mid-’80s, when gay men were falling ill and at first we didn’t know why, and then we did. And knowing didn’t make it better; there wasn’t a cure, there was barely a treatment and the incubation period was so long — it seemed if you’d been gay and sexually active for any length of time, you were doomed.

And one by one, they were. I lost two close friends, several more in the outer friendship circles. First they lost weight, then came the pneumonia or the Kaposi’s sarcoma, then came the spiral. “How to Survive a Plague” brought it all back, with the overlay of the birth of ACT-UP, which was pretty far from Columbus, Ohio at the time. They, as much as anyone, brought the anger the community was feeling into America’s living rooms, mainly through their outrageous protests. They carried giant condoms up the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. They called Jesse Helms “that pig in the Senate.” They were rude and confrontational and made over-the-top demands. They insisted the FDA had drugs that could save them, but was holding back, or not trying to modify the agency’s long timeline for approval.

There’s a scene from a protest where a pharmaceutical company was invaded, an executive summoned forth, and a man hectors him at length: “You have my blood on your hands,” he shouts, and even now, knowing how absolutely justified ACT-UP was in their anger, this seems a bit much. Science has its own timeline. It doesn’t always match yours.

But there are other moments that bring the loss home — an ad executive talking about why we so want to blame people for mistakes they make while “being human.” That they have sex they shouldn’t, swallow drugs they shouldn’t, misbehave in ways that make the rest of us say, “See, it is your fault, after all.” When there is not a single one of us who isn’t guilty of being human. When we all misbehave, at least sometimes.

A lot of the ACT-UP protests set the tone for stuff I quickly grew tired of — the red ribbons, the quilts, all that awareness-raising. But it helped to be reminded, yet again, of what spawned it all, the incandescent anger felt by a community that found itself dwindling, young men dying at 26, 30, 42, the prime of their lives, and almost no one seemed to care.

In other words, Jesse Helms was a pig in the Senate. The Catholic church was preposterously wrong to suggest that condom use would lead to more cases, not fewer. ACT-UP’s tactics you can argue with. But they were right. The times cried out for a furious response. We all should have been acting up. I’m glad they did. Silence did equal death, in the movement’s famous T-shirt. They stood for life.

We haven’t discussed the shooting last Friday at the Los Angeles airport, at least not much. A publication I can’t quite get a handle on,, which has a strange paywall system, is alone in pointing out how loud the anti-TSA clamor has been from both the left and the right, and how perfectly the LAX shooter seemed to be dancing to their drumbeat. I read their story today, but it’s back behind the paywall, and so alas.

What does everyone think? Or am I the only one. I fly infrequently enough that I don’t share in the anger, but it does seem like overkill — the scan, the shoeless shuffle, all of it. There must be a better way to do airport security.

Not much bloggage today, but a good Bridge package drops that might be of interest outside Michigan, about legacy costs for retiree pensions and health care that cities are simply not prepared to meet. Part one is here. It’s happening everywhere, maybe in your town, too.

Otherwise, the week is coming to its denouement. Knee feels better, and let’s hope it continues to do so.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Movies |

82 responses to “Acting up.”

  1. Dexter said on November 7, 2013 at 1:43 am

    Wanting some beer to drink on the train back from Chicago, my brother and my friend and I grabbed a cab for a ride to the nearest package store. Two milestones: my last ride ever in an old style Checker cab, and my first AIDS joke. Cabbie: “What’s the hardest part of telling your parents you’re gay? Trying to convince them you’re Haitian”. And it was on. Stories about monkeys in Africa and a promiscuous male flight attendant, and reports coming back about a former high school schoolmate who had moved to New York City and had died from “brain cancer”. Like many in my little uiniverse,(it seemed) I had no close friends who contracted AIDS but I knew a guy from work who slowly lost everything to the scourge…first his lover died, then his Karposi’s became so visible and he got so week his career was ended, and then death—then his family wouldn’t even pick up his ashes at the crematory.
    I used to get a radical newspaper from NYC and I recall articles about ACT-UP, and hoping some good would come from this, because I was getting fucking sick of right-wing preachers screaming shit about how the devil was punishing homosexuals. We have come a long, long way. I have internet pals now who are gay and it’s certainly no big deal anymore to talk about it. If I would have had the cash I would have gone to Washington this past summer for the wedding of two friends I met on a blog nine years ago. So life evolves and sometimes does get better. Hell, eminem and Elton are friends now. Who’d a thunk it?
    The LAX shooter is dead and is being pushed out of public consciousness it seems, but the insanity goes on. My old army pal Greg lives in a little Connecticut town called Danielson. Last week I emailed him about the Edgerton, Ohio plot by some high school kids to shoot targeted teachers and kids. This was the real deal, stockpiled ammo and weapons…I think there were nine kids in the scheme and apparently one kid got cold feet and ratted the bastards out, and the plan never hatched. Oh yeah…FBI and all that were involved. Just about fifteen minutes fro my house, but it’s a small world. So Greg emails me back…SAME DAMN THING happened in the town next to him! There, too, the kids were busted before an angry shot was fired …FBI, sheriff’s department, local cops…all the same story. It’s a fucking epidemic!

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  2. Brandon said on November 7, 2013 at 4:21 am

    More on Richie Incognito:

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  3. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 7, 2013 at 7:39 am

    My Clinical Pastoral Education unit was on a hospice floor in Indy. The regular hospice chaplain was the first person to explain AIDS to me beyond what little I’d picked up in Newsweek. He and I went to a couple of funerals that summer, and I had my first encounters with the denial and rejection that families were putting each other through in the face of it. It’s probably not fair to the Eighties to remember them primarily through the lenses of disco & AIDS, but there you go.

    Then I moved to central Ohio, far beyond the Columbus outerbelt, and realized that denial & rejection of gay children was not just a Hoosier pathology. But I was thankful to the gay community in Indy in helping me figure out how to respond as a pastor in those situations.

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  4. alex said on November 7, 2013 at 7:42 am

    I have shadowy memories of some of ACT-UP’s more colorful activists who’d be in the news for getting themselves ejected from congressional hearings and so forth. My two favorites had their names legally changed: Luke Sissyfag and Vaginal Cream Davis. They always made for interesting photo captions.

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  5. coozledad said on November 7, 2013 at 8:03 am

    There was a lot of rank profiteering from some of the pharma companies when they’d develop some stopgap or salvage therapy, with drug developers and marketers dry humping each other over initial public offerings, planning to buy them some of them purty twenty three room nouveau shacks, or a yacht. It’s fortunate in a way that the most effective treatments are a diverse cocktail, so none of the bastards got the money choo choo of their dreams.

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  6. coozledad said on November 7, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Hyman Monistsat might be a good drag name.

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  7. alex said on November 7, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Regine Hardon.

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  8. nancy said on November 7, 2013 at 8:27 am

    There was one AIDS drug — safe, effective and cheap — that the manufacturer wanted to replace with a far more expensive reformulation that would, of course, be patented. Their way to push patients toward the pricier version was to stop making the first drug in pill form. You could only get it in a syrup that tasted, users reported, like vomit.

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  9. Kirk said on November 7, 2013 at 8:48 am

    We flew to Florida recently. The security lines moved quickly, and the agents were polite. I don’t fly more than once a year, but I haven’t forgotten what happened in September 2001. Last time I checked, that hadn’t happened again. Maybe there is a better way, but I don’t mind a few minutes of security check to help ensure that raving lunatics don’t take down my plane.

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  10. Deborah said on November 7, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Only personally knew one guy who died of aids, he was the music teacher at the Lutheran School at my church. Talk about denial. The story was that he died of pneumonia.

    I get that the people working for the TSA are just doing their job. Whe I worked I made about 20 business trips a year, so modest air travel. My husband used to make about 100 a year, maybe more. You get used to the undressing part, the scanning and unpacking. What rankles me is the hollering and yelling. It’s usually a guy with a booming voice of course standing near the lines screaming directions about what you’re supposed to do. And when they try to be funny it’s even worse. They say the same thing over and over again so their tone of voice is condescending and belittling. There must be a better way to let people know who’ve never done it before.

    Another thing that bugs me in airports is the bad sound systems they have at the gates. The agents scream into their microphones that they hold too close to their mouths. The sound is garbled and crackly. It’s hard on the ears. I guess my beefs today are aural. Don’t get me started on the bad visual experiences in airports.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on November 7, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I lost two people very dear to me; my first love, a sweet, confused (obviously!) boy, and an uncle, who was in the closet his whole life. His wife kicked him out at the end, but even then the obit said pneumonia, with lots of explainin’ about his heavy smoking habit. All I could think then, and now, was sadness that he wasn’t allowed honesty about who he was. I’m not sure if he’d be out today, given that he worked in Iowa farm implement sales, but I’d like to think he could be.

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  12. nancy said on November 7, 2013 at 9:46 am

    There was a judge in one of the outlying counties around Fort Wayne who died of a wasting disease, explained as something he picked up on his extensive world travels, probably from something he ate, probably in Morocco. A lifelong bachelor, a Republican.

    There was a young African-American man in Fort Wayne who died, and was briefly reconciled with his family in his final days. Linda Ellerbee came to town to report an “AIDS in the heartland” piece, and ID’d him as gay. His family gave an outraged interview to the black weekly newspaper in town, explaining that he’d repudiated that sinful lifestyle in his final days, and hence should not be ID’d as such.

    There was a waiter at one of my favorite restaurants who seemingly disappeared overnight.

    There was a priest, very gifted and popular, who (according to Alex) used to cruise the bars in his collar. He wasted away and died, and the bishop preached at his church the following week, and said he died of AIDS. However, our stupid newspaper, edited by a gay man, refused to acknowledge this, because it didn’t come from the family. The bishop replaced him with a right-wing tool who was very effective in quashing my brief flirtation with returning to my faith. He was the one who said, in one of his homilies, that taking birth-control pills was like taking medicine to stop your heart.

    There were others. I haven’t thought of these men in years, but the memories are a-stir.

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  13. nancy said on November 7, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Oh, and technically pneumonia was the cause of many of these deaths. AIDS opens the door to all these opportunistic infections that actually take you down. That was another issue in the early days — how to report this stuff. The brave, out gay men were OK with “AIDS-related illness.” Others, like Roy Cohn, not so much.

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  14. Danny said on November 7, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Interesting angle on the Incognito story:

    I have a cousin who has been HIV+ since age four and is now in his thirties. He got it from a tainted blood transfusion and given that he is a hemophiliac too… he has had a very tough row to hoe.

    Now I realize a lot of you may not travel by air because it requires one of those oh-so-disenfranchising state issued ID’s, but it’s a pain. And the inefficiency-by-design is ridiculous (oh, let’s do spend massive amounts of time interrogating the 90-year-old grandma from Sioux Falls). But on the other side of the coin, there was a news story awhile back reporting that Islamic terrorists groups were researching methods of hiding bombs in breast implants. I believe that the former mayor of San Diego, Bob Filner, had come up with a solution for an effective screening method.

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  15. alex said on November 7, 2013 at 10:25 am

    One of the reasons I beat a hasty retreat to Chicago in the mid-1980s: Gay people in Fort Wayne were dropping like flies and some local healthcare workers told me that if I was going to get sick I didn’t want to do it in this town because the local hospitals and doctors and nurses were treating gay people like pariahs and were blatantly violating their patient confidentiality and blabbing outside of work about the identities of those who had the plague. I was told not to undergo AIDS testing here either because the results wouldn’t remain a secret. I waited until safely in Chicago, was grateful for the negative test result and then went celibate for several years until things calmed down a bit and more was known about the disease.

    I can’t count the number of people I knew who perished, both in Fort Wayne and in Chicago. I remember a rather maudlin reunion one time in Fort Wayne, out of the blue, where someone who hadn’t seen me in years was relieved to see me and know that I was alive and well. I also recall encountering people I knew and not recognizing them because they were so emaciated and frail.

    What I find alarming these days are the twenty-somethings who have contracted the disease. Evidently they don’t know anyone who ever died and they think that it’s an easily manageable condition with medications. Maybe, maybe not. I know people from my generation who are on the drug cocktail and although it has improved their prospects, some still fall ill to cancers and other conditions consistent with weakened immune systems. AIDS education is just as important now as it ever was and we need to do a better job of informing young people this is no cakewalk.

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  16. Heather said on November 7, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I get annoyed at the airport because so much of it is just theater. Given all the reports of how badly trained TSA agents are, I don’t think it’s very effective. Case in point: Recently my boyfriend and I flew to Boston. He forgot he had a pocketknife in his bag, which he didn’t realize until they found it when we were coming back–not on the way there. And then they always do a test on my big bottle of saline solution, but they didn’t check it in Boston. They also are very inconsistent about the size of liquid and gel bottles–they don’t always check or catch those either. Knowing all this makes having to undergo all the waiting and the scanning etc. even more annoying. I realize we need security procedures and that there may be some annoyances involved, but it would help if I actually believed these procedures actually did anything to keep us safer. And yes, I get really angry when the agents start yelling, like when one of my items fell off the conveyor belt.

    Also, I’m white, so I don’t get pulled aside very often for extra checking. Lots of people with Middle Eastern names or looks often have to deal with much more.

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  17. Charlotte said on November 7, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Our local theatre did Rent this summer, and “my” girls were completely confused. They had no idea about the AIDS crisis, nor about gentrification (or why anyone would object to making a neighborhood “nicer”). Made me angry actually — not them, the play. I lived in NYC in the mid-80s, when everyone was dying. Including my uncle in Philly, and a couple of college friends — one I stayed with in Paris one summer during college who contracted it there while figuring out that, as we all knew, he didn’t want to have sex with girls. And now it’s some glib musical? I hated it.

    Nancy — you’re a horse person, you’ll like this story. My younger brother got a job working for the Jacobs family one summer as a groom on the A circuit. One of the first shows he’s at, George Morris, who is an old family friend, pulls him aside and gives him a condom lecture. “It’s not just gay people,” he said. “You need to be careful.” This was maybe ’85? One of my favorite stories. Patrick was both appalled and grateful — and carried on the tradition when he went back to college and was an RA.

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    • nancy said on November 7, 2013 at 10:48 am

      That’s a great story about George Morris. (A legendary equitation coach, for those of you who don’t know a stirrup from a pommel.) I’ve heard so many people bitch about him over the years, in vaguely homophobic ways, that it’s good to know he is a teacher in all aspects of his life.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on November 7, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Charlotte, it’s interesting that you found Rent glib. I was deeply moved when I saw it a couple of years back, though I must admit, my son was in the cast. They worked a lot with a local AIDS group and created a close, safe place within the cast to explore all sides of the issue. During one of these sessions, one cast member came out as HIV positive, and was met by love from the others, not judgment. The result was a show that was honest and unflinching, while still remaining hopeful even in the face of death. I’m sorry that you didn’t have that same experience. I know it was eye-opening and life-changing for our son.

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  19. Deborah said on November 7, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Ok I know I said don’t get me started but I keep thinking about airports this morning. Why do architects design most airports to look like flight, with swoopy glass and steel. Maybe that seems obvious but not to me. I mean airports are gateways to cities, why don’t they reflect the look and feel of the city they’re in? The airport in Albuquerque does this (badly) at least you know you’ve entered a different place than where you came from. When you think about the wonderful old train stations in Europe, they look like the city they’re in. Granted most airports are way out not in center cities. But still.

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  20. Bitter Scribe said on November 7, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Call me Pollyanna or whatever, but when I think of AIDS, I think of one of the all-time spectacular successes of pharmacology. A hideous disease, made even more terrifying by its long incubation period, was rendered into a manageable chronic condition like diabetes. To the extent that AIDS activism encouraged and speeded this success, bravo.

    I once was rude to a TSA agent. Never again.

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  21. Deborah said on November 7, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Also the architecture firm I worked for designed a terminal for Jackson Hole that is quite nice, it looks like it should be there.

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  22. Deborah said on November 7, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Bitter, I did that once too. It was at LAX when they first started regulating liquids. I had a perfume bottle that was more than 3 oz but it was half full so I figured I was OK. The TSA agent wouldn’t let it through and I was pissed because it was expensive and I didn’t have time to do anything else but give it up. I called the guy an asshole. I felt bad and went back and apologized after I cooled off.

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  23. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 7, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Deborah, the Bozeman airport does that, too.

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  24. Prospero said on November 7, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I love flying, aside from the cramped seating, but I really have been in only a few airports I could stand. I’ve been subjected to Hartsfield and Logan way too many times. And Charlotte, NC. Gaaaahhhh to all of them. Phoenix Sky Harbor is nice, as is Greenville, SC. I’ve been through O’Hare a few times, and that is the Hieronymous Bosch nightmare of an airport.

    Once, at a Georgia vs. Georgia Tech football game, my dad and I sat behind a shoeless guy wearing pants and a hospital gown. He was trailing some IV tubing from a needle in his arm, and obviously laboring. He had some mean looking lesions on his neck and back, and collapsed during the 4th quarter. My dad had a walkie, because he was one of the stadium physicians for the game, so we got the fellow to an ambulance and back to the hospital pretty quickly. When he was gone, my dad explained to me that the lesions were easily identifiable symptoms of Kaposi’s sarcoma, and that the guy was probably an AIDS patient. (By the way, the “s” in Kaposi’s is pronounced as “ch”). Several people nearby overheard and got up to leave, as if they were afraid of being contaminated. I found that behavior reprehensible, so I said, loud enough to be heard by the fleeing assholes, “Damn good dawg.” The guy literally left a hospital bed while deathly ill to go to a UGA-Tech football game.

    One of my dearest childhood friends is HIV positive, but he has never actually said so to anybody, including his mom. I recognized the names of the drugs from his prescription bottles when he visited here a few years ago. I’ve agonized over whether or not to tell him I know. He left the bottles out on the counter.

    One thing that marked the early days of AIDS was the intense competition among the PHARMA giants to find a proprietary cure, as if it was some pot of gold. The atmosphere engendered intense secrecy, espionage and even sabotage. Corporate scum looking to monetize a terrible disease.

    Some effects of the GOPer government shutdown beside stripping $24billion out of the American economy and flushing it down the john. Screwing the economy was clearly intentional. Screwing with science probably was too.

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  25. Julie Robinson said on November 7, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Deborah, you know way more about this than I, but I’m wondering how many of those airport designs were chosen by a committee, simply because they were bland and safe.

    I’ve always thought there’d be a business in providing prepaid mailers for people to send their non-compliant items on or back home. I’ve been lucky and haven’t had to toss anything valuable, but if I were in that situation I’d happily pay an extra fee. I’m always try to be nice to TSA agents because I figure it’s a shitty job and they can use a little kindness.

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  26. jcburns said on November 7, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Ah, this may be one of the reasons the ACA website is struggling: A denial-of-service attack is targeting it. And the attackers seem to think this qualifies as “civil disobedience.” Our fine education system at work.

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  27. Danny said on November 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    JC, from the article, it looks like DOS is not happening and that this “tool” would not be effective.

    In a blog post published Thursday, Arbor researcher Marc Eisenbarth said there’s no evidence has withstood any significant denial-of-service attacks since going live last month. He also said the limited request rate, the lack of significant distribution, and other features of the tool’s underlying code made it unlikely that it could play a significant role in taking down the site.

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  28. MarkH said on November 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Here is our local airport of which Deborah speaks:

    I have lived here 32 years and have watched the JH Airport evolve from what was basically an outpost (it’s the only commercial airport in a national park), to the large facility that it is today. It sits smack in front of the Tetons and is really and experience for the first timers as you come in for final approach. Scroll through the site for some extraordinary photos of the place.

    Deborah, there have been multiple expansions and renovations over the years (no less than three projects) at this airport. At what stage did your company become involved? It is indeed a pretty stunning facility today.

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  29. Prospero said on November 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    A sizable chunk of Arbor Research’s funding comes from Blue Cross/Blue Shield. No axe to grind, there.

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  30. Prospero said on November 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Two astounding whoppers from the insanely bigoted rightwing:

    And that’s why I say this is unparalleled. In my lifetime I can’t think of a presidential lie that even approaches this, that even gets anywhere near it.

    That one is from famous hillbilly heroin addict Bad Rash.


    Barack Obama isn’t the first President to lie to the American public and he won’t be the last. Yet a case could be made that no President before him and no President that follows him will have lied so brashly and brazenly as Obama has done.

    W? Never heard of the guy.

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  31. beb said on November 7, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    You can’t mail anything hazardous, liquid or perishable so there’s not many things you can’t take on a plane that could be mailed home. The pre-paid mailers would be good for knives, but the guns people seem to be increasingly forgetting they’re carrying couldn’t be mailed back. That bottle of expensive perfume couldn’t be mailed back. And the explosive laced underwear you’re wearing….

    Nancy’s right that the LAX shooting has been largely unreported. I wonder if it was buried on pre-election news, didn’t fit in with any narratives reporters were working on. Or whether editors fears that if they reported on the case it would encourage copycat shootings.

    Dexter @1 mentioned instances where kids were caught plotting to shoot up their schools and called in an epidemic. There’s no other word for it. School, airports, malls…. The natin is mad as hell and can’t take it anymore. God help the rest of us.

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  32. Peter said on November 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Traverse City has a really nice airport as well – I think resort towns like Traverse and Jackson get a lot of private jets, and their fees can contribute to a nicer terminal design.

    I always wanted to check out Hong Kong’s terminal by Norman Foster; that seems like a beauty.

    Jakarta has an interesting terminal – a surreal attempt to incorporate village housing at each gate. They can do an updated Year of Living Dangerously there and it would work well.

    Julie, the problem with a lot of terminals is that you either need a LOT of land (Denver, Montreal…) or separate functions – like departures/arrivals, offices, (like Dulles, Stansted, Sao Paolo), that can be changed easier. Bad terminals suffer from a design concept that don’t stand the test of time – CDG1 is the best example – that airport was designed that you would drive to your “departure” door, have your car parked by an attendant, go a few feet to check in, then whisk up an escalator to your departure gate. Security? That’s crazy talk – security checkpoints are so ’60’s….

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  33. beb said on November 7, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Speaking of which, last night 10 people were shot, three died in a shooting at a barbershop a few miles away from here. Apparently there was illegal gambling going on there.

    And in Dearborn Heights (a suburb of Detroit but you wouldn’t know where one city ended and the other begins) a black woman was shot when she knocked on a door asking to use their phone to call for help. Shot in the back of the head as she was turning to leave. How crazed does one have to be with fear of a black woman to shoot her as she was going away?

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  34. Heather said on November 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Beb, I think it is an effect of the siege mentality among certain people. As in “They’re coming to get us!” I would be startled and nervous about someone knocking on my door in the middle of the night too, but jeesh, call the police instead of shooting them!

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  35. Sherri said on November 7, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Danny, Lydon Murtha’s story would be more interesting were it actually first-person. He was cut during the preseason of Martin’s rookie year.

    It’s pretty clear that Jonathan Martin was not well-liked on the Dolphins. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t bullied by Incognito. It wasn’t necessarily unusual bullying, beyond what has happened on other teams, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t bullying. (Here’s another take on NFL culture:

    As I mentioned yesterday, OTA’s are voluntary as set out in the CBA. Coaches, on the other hand, will bring to bear as many forms of pressure as they can to get players to come to the voluntary OTA’s. Players, despite their large salaries, only get room and board and a small stipend for OTA’s; salary checks only come during the regular season (not preseason, and not during the playoffs.) Unlike baseball contracts, most football contracts are not guaranteed. If Prince Fielder suffers a career ending injury tomorrow, he will continue to receive $24 million from the Tigers for the next 7 years. If Reggie Bush suffers a career-ending injury tomorrow, he won’t get another dime from the Lions, even though he signed a 4 year, $16 million contract.

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  36. Deborah said on November 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Mark H, here’s a link to my former employers website showing thier work on the Jackson Hole airport:

    You might have to click on the name of the project to get there. The photos look the same as your link so they used the same photographers shots. They have done a lot of airports but that one is my favorite because it reflects where you are when you’re there.

    I’m typing this at the Lincoln Park Whole Foods again where I’m having lunch again (Ok not really lunch, just a beer, there’s a bar here). We’re having company tonight and I’m buying provisions. There’s a much closer Whole Foods but this gives me a 6 mile roundtrip walk. I went out of my way to get here to get some things on Armitage, so I happened to walk past Charlie Trotter’s former restaurant which I do a lot. Today there were hundreds of votive candles on the entry steps and some bouquets. Nice.

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  37. Prospero said on November 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I wouldn’t worry about Reggie Bush’s finances. He reaped plenty of cash and prizes while he was still at USC. Thanks to Marvin Miller, baseball players have a better union, by a mile. And demanding $15grand from Martin while threatening his life is extortion. That’s somewhere on the other side of hazing. It’s weird, but all over the internet, defenders of Incognito are using the same arguments as conservative defenders of the Teabangers. Quoting Incognito’s racist spew is “playing the race card”. Bullshit.

    Heather @34: Shortly after Obama became President in 2008, some asshole that was fully invested in NRA lunacy bulllshit shot some cops. His explanation? “The n***** is coming for our guns.”

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  38. brian stouder said on November 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    An eclectic, lively, thought provoking post and thread today…as usual! My two unconnected thoughts: there was a shooting yesterday afternoon at 3, at a barber shop here in Fort Wayne. Directly across the street from the high school where my son is a proud senior. He heard the shots…as did a friend of Pam’s, who was there because it’s report card time and parent/teacher night. This caused a lockdown/shelter-in-place, but only for thirty minutes. We got the text while we were at another FWCS high school, for our freshman daughter’s parent/teacher conference, after having been at Chloe’s 3rd grade conference at her elementary/Montessori school (we go to Grant’s school tonight)

    Thought two: I really, genuinely enjoyed the couple of hours (enroute to and from San Diego) that we spent at LAX; it was pleasing and relaxed, like a Saturday at the mall – only with much (much!) better people-watching opportunities. The odd news from there since then, regarding the dry-ice bombs, and then the terrible news from there from the deranged shooter is just hard to figure.

    I suppose it’s like that crime-scene on the sidewalk at the barber shop across the street from my son’s high school. You just never know when the crazy will come your way.

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  39. coozledad said on November 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Somewhat related to today’s thread:

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  40. Danny said on November 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Prospero, once again you have no idea of what you are talking about.

    A sizable chunk of Arbor Research’s funding comes from Blue Cross/Blue Shield. No axe to grind, there.

    The “Arbor researcher” from the article is someone who works for “Arbor Networks”… NOT “Arbor Research”

    And this is the link from the article you would have been taken to had you bothered to click, read and comprehend before grinding your own axe.

    So JC posts the article that says a DDOS tool was found in the wild, but buried (NOT!) near the top of the story is that the researcher who discovered the exploit tool says there is no evidence it was used and that further analysis indicates it would not be an effective DDOS attack tool.

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  41. Danny said on November 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Geez, our “fine education system” at work, indeed..

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  42. Charlotte said on November 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Jeff @ 23 — don’t get me started on the TSA in Bozeman. They’re *famous* for being … overzealous, shall we say? I once watched them take a dental pick away from the PILOT. Really? If he’s going to sabotage the plane he’s going to stab himself with his periodontal equipment? The man could just CRASH THE PLANE. Grrr. I’ve been sent to the Penalty Box there more than once for grumbling. And have been felt up in a places that had previously only been visited by my lady-doctor and my dear beloved. I took a lot of Xanax when I had to fly home with my brother’s ashes because I knew if they gave me any shit at that point I’d wind up in jail.

    All that said. They shouldn’t be shot at. Not even the one in Chicago who ran her fingers through my curly bushy hair … ugh. Shudder.

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    I was just talking about the architecture. 😀

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  44. Joe K said on November 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    After reading the tsa thread all I can say is the more this kinda hassles keep happening, the better for my charter company, more and more people are getting fed up with flying commercial.
    Please keep it up tsa, I’m going to have my house paid off early.
    Tsa at Detroit is one if not the best out there.
    I won’t make you get undressed to fly with me, unless your into flying naked, then I’ll be glad to make a accept-ion
    Pilot Joe

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  45. brian stouder said on November 7, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Geez, our “fine education system” at work, indeed..

    I’m not sure what this comment is responding to….so I’ll just take a breath

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  46. paddyo' said on November 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    My cousin’s gay cousin was the only person I knew who had died of AIDS until the death of the most famous victim I knew: Randy “And The Band Played On” Shilts.

    I only “knew” Randy for a couple of days. In the spring of 1975, senior year in college for both of us, we were among eight national finalists in the Hearst Foundation Journalism Awards, held that year in San Francisco. Quite a couple of days. The first night, we were treated to cocktails at the Nob Hill apartment of staid Randolph and Catherine Hearst. Their kidnapped daughter was still on the lam with the Symbionese Liberation Army. Mommy appeared heavily sedated, Daddy was stiff-upper-lip. Irrepressible Randy — with his white-boy ‘fro and mustache, wide eyes and mischievous grin — was first to spot the framed portrait of Patty on a coffee table in the elegant living room. We all tried not to gawk.

    The next day we had the competition (half-hour group interview with then-SF Board of Supervisors member and mayoral candidate Dianne Feinstein), writing spot news and feature stories on deadline back at the hotel off our notes. That night, after the awards dinner at Trader Vic’s (Randy won second place, and I third), Randy guided us all out to a gay North Beach disco that Randy knew and danced our socks off. The Hearst Foundation people were aghast, and suspiciously, Randy’s second-place finish was withdrawn a couple of weeks later — a clerical error in the judging, the Hearst people said.
    Randy mentioned it all years later when he was interviewed for the book Making Gay History (pages 192-193).

    To me, as a newspaper guy, Randy was an enduring face of AIDS activism, in a journalistic sense. Despite at-times heavy criticism from the gay community, he played it, uh, very straight as a reporter. His stories and books were the better for it.

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  47. Peter said on November 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Joe, your post reminded me: my son had his first solo a little over two weeks ago – his check ride is scheduled for Monday.

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  48. Deborah said on November 7, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Off topic, I was walking down North Ave on my way home from Whole Foods, past a dental place when an obvious trans-sexual walking the other way past me said to his/her companion, “Why would anyone want their teeth to be that fucking white?” my sentiments exactly.

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  49. Deborah said on November 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Great story Paddyo’ and well told.

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  50. Danny said on November 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Brian, a minimal CTRL-F search through this thread would reveal that JC made that comment about the “fine education system” and it was in regard to the article he posted. The article was supposed to JC’s comment that maybe a DDOS attack had plagued the healthcare website rollout when a mere glance at the article showed right at the top that the it did not support JC’s comment. Then JC went on to lament that any hacker who thought this was civil disobedience was a product of our “fine education system.” Further to that, Prospero weighed in with incorrect information that means he too failed to read the article and understand it.

    So my followup refers to the irony of the situation and especially JC’s comment about the education system.

    And now Brian, leave it to you to join the crowd here today and have to have the obvious spoon fed to you.

    This is one of the reasons I can’t waste a lot of time on you guys. You are absolute idiots at times.

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  51. brian stouder said on November 7, 2013 at 4:19 pm


    I don’t think nn.c is the issue here, Danny. Maybe cutting back on the caffeine, eh?

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  52. Joe K said on November 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Bet he had a smile a mile wide!! I know I did, nothing like looking over at that empty seat where the instructor used to sit and thinking I have to get this thing safely on the ground myself.
    Good luck on his check ride, tell him to take a big breath and just relax,
    The d.e. Wants him to pass.
    I use to tell my students to say the pilots prayer that’s been passed down since Orville and Wilbur, Lord please don’t let me fuck up.
    Pilot Joe

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  53. Bitter Scribe said on November 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Danny, the less time you want to waste on us, the better we like it.

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  54. Danny said on November 7, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Hey, Brian, you were the one commenting on taking calming breaths. Passive-aggressive much?

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  55. alex said on November 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Danny, your absence has been greatly appreciated. Here’s hoping you continue not wasting any time here.

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  56. brian stouder said on November 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Passive-aggressive much?

    As a married person, this is something that I may slip into rather more easily than I’d guess…but you’ll note that I was cognizant of the possibility that I was misinterpreting your remark.

    Hell – your remark had WAY more subtext than mine could possibly have had!

    Anyway – I took a cleansing breath, and felt better, even before you answered back

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  57. Deborah said on November 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    The new knee ligament makes the BBC with more info:

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  58. Peter said on November 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Pilot Joe, he was on the phone with us a lot between the time he heard he was going to solo and when it actually happened. I told him to get in from the ledge – he didn’t have a problem when he got his drivers license, and how many trees or cars can you hit when you’re a 1000 ft up?

    He said that it turned out he wasn’t nervous taking off, but that he’d never been in a plane without someone in the other seat, and that the plane was suddenly a LOT lighter.

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  59. Little Bird said on November 7, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Danny, if that’s how you feel why do you bother?
    Speaking of being spoon fed the obvious, your absence is rather appreciated.

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  60. Danny said on November 7, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Okay, Brian. I just thought a brief search would have been easier for you than snarking on deep breathing followed by continued misunderstanding.

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  61. Prospero said on November 7, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Happy birthday Joni. My favorite Joni Mitchell song:

    “I’m a pretty good cook, I’m sittin’ on my groceries”

    A story song as good or better than any (except for REK The Road Goes on Forever, that even Marty Robbins couldn’t touch. That is the greatest story song ever recorded.

    One astounding woman. Way better guitar player than anybody ever thought. Terrific fingerpicker, and, I think, a great voice and singing style. And for 70, she looks mighty good.

    Nancy: I’m glad to hear your knee is tending toward reusable. I doubt either of mine will ever work properly, but who cares. My hands don’t. I’ve been seeing those ads about the Rockies Mountaineer. When I was a little kid, my family took the train from Denver to LA. It was revelatory. I’m thinking about making that trip again. Because of SC law, my accumulated wealth is at risk for government seizure by my Teabanger state gubmint if I crack my skull on a bike ride. If that happens, I want a lethal dose of acid in a slow drip, with curated musical accompaniement by MC-5 and SRC. So I’ve decided that my son-in-law, who is a bonded estate planner, now controls all my money. But they don’t. I have control and dissappear at a moment’s notice.

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  62. Dexter said on November 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm


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  63. Basset said on November 7, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    “road goes on forever” is indeed a great one, I am barred from doing it at our occasional pickin’ sessions though because it is so damn long. Guess I will have to work up “Revolution 9.”

    In a former life I got to watch Robert Earl Keen write for awhile, he was working on “Lynnville Train.”

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  64. Prospero said on November 7, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Bassett: I know you think I’m some sort of ahole, Whatever I ever did to annoy you and whoever?

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  65. Danny said on November 7, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Basset, you could just do Tommy Emmanuel’s arrangement of Daytripper:

    There is also a video where he breaks it down for instructional purposes:

    Tommy is a CGP, of course.

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  66. Scout said on November 7, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    From this opening shot in first post of the day, “Now I realize a lot of you may not travel by air because it requires one of those oh-so-disenfranchising state issued ID’s…” at 9:58 am to the last of 6 posts at 5:33 pm, it would seem that you are indeed quite interested in wasting time here, Danny. I, for one, wouldn’t miss your condescending attitude if you didn’t.

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  67. Scout said on November 7, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    And it would seem I was typing when #7 popped up.

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  68. coozledad said on November 7, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Scout: Danny’s having a rough time of it. Reagan still stone-ass dead.

    You know, I remember where I was the day they finally pushed his leathery ass in whatever god-forsaken putt-putt course cemetery that would permit the interment of that piece of skippered side meat.

    I was drunk off my ass, celebrating another Republican hairball coughed out to meet Franco and Hitler to buss tables at the Arby’s in hell.

    Woohoo! I said.

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  69. Danny said on November 7, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Derrick, look man. It took her 16 minutes to type #66? And wow. The facts are still wrong. She loves condescending attitudes. Just not when they disagree with hers.

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  70. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 7, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    The whole cop-figure thing has come up a number of times in the last few weeks here. “Suicide by cop” is not new, but it’s a little more of a thing these days, when more cops are more heavily armed, and you don’t have to be too artful in your incitement to get the shot to the heart you’re looking for.

    TSA folks are in a very cop-like role, and I understand their desire to be armed, especially given that many TSA officers are cops who can’t find a full-time gig, so they go from the presumption of armament to being forbidden to carry. But I wonder if this might end up being an example of “be careful what you wish for.” The more people see TSA as cops, the more they will be treated as cops, and that may not suit the relentlessly close-quarters interactions they have to sustain.

    Would an entirely different approach to uniforming have been better from the start? You can be uniformed but not the same sort of imposing — think NPS rangers — as opposed to the “cops without guns” look they’ve had since Sept. 12, 2001. And the problem for cops is that, for some people, they just push certain buttons. It’s a “Y chromosome” thing or testosterone poisoning of a sort; men and some women shift into a level of belligerence in a cop encounter, and a good cop knows how to manage those reactions and work past them, but it can be a challenge.

    For people with low-grade, high-functioning mental health issues, cops have always been a focus for mania & paranoia — and why not? It IS their job to be watching you, and they won’t deny it; they are trying to control your behavior, even if in a negative sort of sense, but I’ve sat and listened to many a street person explain how the cop’s gold shield is a radiator of beams intended to steer them off the sidewalk into traffic, or have them describe to me what’s “really” in some of those snap-closure leather boxes on their service belt. Put that kind of tendency together with the mystique of the airport, and those mysterious patterns of lights in the sky that all have a nexus in the terminal building . . . and then salt it with a dash of the persistent stories about what those scanners do and don’t reveal, and you’ve got the potential for a whole new psychotic locus.

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  71. Scout said on November 7, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    A lot of people told you to piss off, Danny. My post evidently got under your skin. Interesting.

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  72. Prospero said on November 7, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I’m willing to vacate this space if it will maake y’all Danny-free. What a fucking creep.

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  73. alex said on November 7, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    A troll taking over the whole thread. That’s all he’s ever been. And too smart by half to be the ideological fundie he makes himself out to be, but has no business calling anyone here dumb if he purports to be one of those.

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  74. jcburns said on November 7, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Everyone breathe deeply. Danny’s right on one fact—I posted before reading through the whole article (or it got updated, not really sure.) Phew. Fine. Sorry.

    However the rest of it does seem a bit nasty. Group hug?

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  75. Prospero said on November 7, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    JC, The idea that the morons didn’t hack the website if they could figure out how is kinda obvious. Of course they did. They were willing to crash the entire world economy to stymie the Kenyan anti-colonialist. These fuckers are so incensed about a black Dem being President they are willing to behave in a treasounous manner. They are nuking futs.

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  76. LAMary said on November 7, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    I just got a haircut and I really like it.
    My re-fi got approved.
    I finished a fairly large and interesting project for work.
    And Danny, why bother if you dislike what we say here? I think you’d be much happier watching Fox News and counting how many times in one day they use whatever new phrase the managment ordered everyone to say that day.

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  77. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 7, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    (muttering to self) I still think putting TSA in Wackenhut mall cop uniforms was the first mistake. (walks away muttering semi-audibly)

    Oh, the phrase of the day for Fox News is “Billy Graham.” When I get the notice on tomorrow’s, I’ll pass it along. I’m guessing it will be “insincere apology forced by Senators running for re-election.”

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  78. Crazycatlady said on November 7, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    I remember the height of the Aids years. I made Aids quilts and went to two Aids Marches in Washington DC. I volunteered with Wellness House of Michigan for homeless aides patients. And I’m so glad that there are treatments now and it’s no longer a sure death sentence. All worth it.

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  79. Dexter said on November 8, 2013 at 12:21 am

    …exit this bloody episode of Grosse Pointe Empire…appropriate music, theme borrowed from “Boardwalk Empire” era, 1920 in this case…

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  80. Brandon said on November 8, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    @Sherry (35.) I haven’t heard about Olin Kreutz in ages. St. Louis is a big football school in Hawaii.

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  81. Danny said on November 9, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Brandon, I had no idea that Olin Kreutz grew in Hawaii and was at least part Hawaiian. I remembered years ago that he and Fred Miller had gotten into a fight at shooting range, in of all places. Jim Rome at the time dubbed him as “Likes-to-Fight-Guy.”

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