A culture of deception.

While we’re on the subject of olive oil, I actually have a couple of bottles around the place at the moment. My cheap-o go-to is Costco’s big bottle. I think it’s around $12. But while doing my final holiday shopping, I saw Colavita on sale in the Eastern Market, for about $10. Bought some. I thought I’d compare labels:


Costco: “Produced from Italian-grown olives.” Colavita: “Premium world selection.” They went to the trouble of putting a hang tag on the neck of the bottle. You can read it if your eyes aren’t too bad — it’s the United Nations of blends.

And here I thought Costco was the cheater, because they started using green-tinted bottles a few months ago.

And now you know. This is what we get up to in the deep freeze.

It was actually a pretty productive day, all things considered. It was also one of those days when a shower seemed like a big accomplishment. If you’ve ever been a work-at-home employee, you know what I mean. I was awakened at 3:30 a.m. by a text message from the city, telling me we’d received three inches overnight, and the plows were being rounded up. Gee, thanks. I tried to get back to sleep, but didn’t do much more of it. I blew the snow for Kate and Alan. Made a bunch of phone calls. Read some stuff, wrote some stuff, made a late-afternoon Kroger run, and the whole place was like the Crips and Bloods — not enough carts, not enough checkout lines, malfunctioning scanners, a ridiculous mess in the parking lot.

School is called off for tomorrow. I am looking forward to sleeping late.

And if it isn’t glaringly obvious by now, I have very little to offer today. There is…

…Ross Douchehat, living up to the name.

Meanwhile, it’s going to 10 below tonight, and I still have to do some dishes.


Posted at 12:30 am in Same ol' same ol' |

68 responses to “A culture of deception.”

  1. Sherri said on January 28, 2014 at 1:03 am

    Ol’ Ross is just dressing up the latest Republican talking points, the ones that Mike Huckabee butchered so badly when he said that Republicans were waging a war for women because they didn’t need the government to provide them a prescription when they couldn’t control their libido.

    283 chars

  2. Dexter said on January 28, 2014 at 3:01 am

    Zingerman’s convinced me. They are really into what they do, from owning a dairy farm to make sure their gelato is clean and additive free, to dispatching agents to monitor the olive pressings which determines which olive oils will be stocked on the Zingerman shelves in their little delicatessen in Ann Arbor.
    It’s a simple concept, olives grown in Spain receive more hot sunshine and produce finer olive oil. In Rome, years ago, vessels were unearthed from many centuries ago, they had the insignia of Spanish oil merchants; in other words, any Roman worth his salt wouldn’t be caught dead dipping hunks of bread into domestic oil.
    I never researched it, but I assume it was simply marketing that hammered the falsehood that the best oil comes from Italy. If you ever get the chance to do a taste-test, I’ll bet you will agree with me. Personally , I use a lot of olive oil and I cannot afford the high-end oils, so I buy the stuff that’s of questionable origins also. For dipping and for salads, I usually have a small bottle of the good stuff from Spain. I even fry eggs in the cheapo olive oil: a half-pat of butter, a tablespoon of oil, a couple eggs fried on medium heat, best way to go.

    1207 chars

  3. Dexter said on January 28, 2014 at 3:10 am

    I just checked and it’s 3:00 AM, and we are at -9F, and we have five more hours of bottoming out until we see -14F. This is considerably colder than Detroit and The Pointes are experiencing, and usually the two places have mostly identical weather patterns, or they did a couple decades ago anyway. Nowadays our weather sometimes is vastly different from Detroit.
    My old house with the new furnace does pretty well until we dive towards -14. At about ten below it gets fucking cold in here unless I set the furnace to run damn-nearly constantly.

    548 chars

  4. Joe K said on January 28, 2014 at 3:39 am

    Thanks for all the good wishes for the wife. She had her right knee done 7 years ago and now has a matching set. Running Buddy is a p.t. at DeKalb where she will rehab. She knows what is ahead, but is tough. My friend will push her hard, but safe.
    Thanks again
    Pilot Joe

    272 chars

  5. Deborah said on January 28, 2014 at 3:54 am

    In Old Town in Chicago there’s an excellent shop where you can buy olive oil and balsamic that they display in large metal vats with spouts. They dispense little sipping cups so you can taste the stuff before you buy it. When you choose which one you like they bottle it right there from the vat. They have a couple of places like that here in Santa Fe too, I assume they’re all over the place by now. Of course the stuff is pretty darn expensive. I only use it for salads or bread dipping, not for cooking. Mostly I like to buy the olive oil that comes in the big rectangular cans because I like the graphics on the cans.

    622 chars

  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 28, 2014 at 8:15 am

    -21 at my house, -25 for a guy on the other side of the neighborhood closer to the river, about twenty feet lower in this wide valley. Sunrise is swinging temps up briskly, so we’re supposed to reach 3 today: huzzah!

    Saletan is a great writer on ethical topics, and I often agree with him when I don’t start out wanting to, but when he contrasts his ideal for an ethic of sexual responsibility to Douthat’s, he outlines a view which isn’t much different than most state laws enforce, and we have the behemoth of CSEAs looming near and occasionally overshadowing courthouses to show for it. I value his statement that we need a culture of sexual responsibility, but if Douthat is a douche hat, then you have to say more about how we’re going to get this message across to men beyond the enforcement mechanisms we have now.

    And it’s the underground economy around that all-seeing enforcement regime which reinforces more poverty, and more young men learning stupid behavior from their fathers who are hiding from their earlier responsibilities, that keeps creating walls for families I’m working with, under either hat I wear.

    If religious morality is not the answer, what would communicate a more robust culture of sexual responsibility to a rising generation? If the only answer is “there should be a class in middle or high school on it” I’d argue that’s just avoiding the question.

    1392 chars

  7. Jeff Borden said on January 28, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Just minus-9 here at the moment, but I must venture forth within the next 90 minutes. While the community college where I teach one class has shut down because of the frigid blast, Loyola soldiers on. It’s the Jesuit way, I guess. Both the buildings where I teach are more or less right on Lake Michigan, so the wind should be brutal.

    I like Saletan’s approach and agree with him. I don’t believe sex should only be used in the act of procreation but we obviously have waaaaaay too many unwanted pregnancies. Both parties need to do everything in their power to prevent a pregnancy and our society should make it easy for them to get the tools necessary to accomplish that goal.

    681 chars

  8. beb said on January 28, 2014 at 8:27 am

    What I found interesting re: women and conservatives was this:
    Where Greta Von Susteren, a Fox commentator, called Erik Erickson, a frequently quoted conservative blogger, a jerk for his trash-talking about Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. We’re not going to see an ednd to the War on Woman’s ladyparts until conservative woman start complaining that they’re tiring of being called sluts by association, just because they’re women.

    And just out of curiosity, hows does “governor” mutate into “gubernatorial”?

    606 chars

  9. alex said on January 28, 2014 at 8:28 am

    For everyday use, I have a ginormous can EVOO from Kroger, on which the fine print reads:

    Packed with oils of (A) Italy, (B) Spain, (C) Greece, (D) Tunisia.

    Here’s where I get my really good EVOO. And vinegar infused with balsamic or ginger. They make some really nice products. The label on my organic butter-infused olive oil reads:

    Imported for the Olive Twist, Inc., by Veronica Foods Company, Oakland, CA.

    Doesn’t say from where.

    519 chars

  10. nancy said on January 28, 2014 at 8:35 am

    I think you let Douchehat off too easily, Jeff. I’m all for sexual responsibility, but keep in mind what he’s advocating here: A return to shotgun marriages, at least in some cases. Really? That’s progress? Maybe we can go back to calling the issue of those who refuse to be gun-walked to the altar “bastards,” too.

    It was -4 when I got up, and the temperature actually fell a couple degrees after the sun started to rise. Seven below now. Fingers crossed this is the last day of it.

    487 chars

  11. alex said on January 28, 2014 at 8:40 am

    If religious morality is not the answer, what would communicate a more robust culture of sexual responsibility to a rising generation? If the only answer is “there should be a class in middle or high school on it” I’d argue that’s just avoiding the question.

    Lot of good religious morality does. The black community, with the highest rate of unwed pregnancy, is also one of the most churchgoing. Being externally motivated by fear of punishment from God is no substitute for genuine altruism, and how to inculcate that is a complete mystery, but one can have it without being religious in the least.

    Just as you’re doing your children a disservice when you deny evolution and force them into receiving a substandard education, you’re not serving them well if you preach abstinence only without giving them a Plan B, as it were.

    848 chars

  12. Mark P. said on January 28, 2014 at 8:49 am

    I no doubt that when people like Huckabee criticize the availability of contraceptives, it really is a war on women. They don’t want women to have abortions and they don’t want them to have sex without the risk of pregnancy. No sane person would feel that way unless there was some ulterior motive, and in my opinion, that motive is essentially hatred and fear of women as independent persons.

    Plus, of course, those men aren’t getting any.

    443 chars

  13. coozledad said on January 28, 2014 at 8:52 am

    The idea that sexual mores contribute to poverty is ludicrous. It’s more appropriate to say that money gives you increased flexibility to walk away from your errors. Money is its own morality. You can bortion them babies on the down low and go on to be a nobortion preznit, even!

    Money has also become its own ethic and aesthetic. You’ve got dolts like Douthat, Goldberg and that delusional sot Peggy Noonan at major newspapers through the miracle of right wing money laundering, not because any of them have a shred of discernible talent or insight. Goldberg was at the LA Times because his mama whored him there. It must have been a long grisly road paved with barely sanitary dicks to get that feces stuffed pumpkin into his sinecures.

    Here’s the latest manifestation of the “Liberal Fascism” argument, male dirty book writer and handball court twunt Tony Perkins, using his position at NewsCorp to get the Wall Street Journal to rim his pruny old starfish on camera.

    You. Can. Not. Buy. Taste.

    As one commenter pointed out on Alicublog, this shack looks like a Vegas restaurant where they seve overdone steaks. I would only add that the decor is strictly mid-90’s Russian cocaine mobster:

    1249 chars

  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 28, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Nancy, I don’t even address Douthat. His proposal, as Saletan points out, he doesn’t even seem to believe in. Which is why my question is: what do we do to communicate & support the kind of ethic Saletan proposes? It’s the same one I offer when juvenile sexual activity comes up in my court mediations: if you can’t see yourself having this person tied up into your life for the next eighteen years, regardless of what birth control you’re using (or your partner says they are using), if you pause even a moment in answering that question *for yourself* (not to me, you’re never gonna see me after today), then you really shouldn’t have sex with them. Period.

    Now, I feel like it’s a good standard, but it’s being offered in a bit of a void between “wait until marriage” and “sex is okay.” Yet we have a set of legal standards, at least in Ohio, that enforce effectively what Saletan and I are saying… but it’s producing as much bitterness and resentment as it is understanding of an ethic of sexual responsibility, or as Saletan says “where your sperm goes, your obligations go.” So absent a religious underpinning — which I cannot and do not apply in my court guise — how do you teach/train/share what Saletan is calling a responsible ethic of sexual behavior?

    1273 chars

  15. Bob (not Greene) said on January 28, 2014 at 9:12 am

    A couple of young guys, one of whom is a partner in the local independent grocer in a town I cover, is getting into the olive oil business. They use just one type of olive from one specific area in Greece. Haven’t tried it yet. https://www.facebook.com/VillageBatch

    265 chars

  16. Heather said on January 28, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Dexter, I lived in Italy for a while, and they have some very fine olive oil, especially in Tuscany, Liguria, and Umbria. I bought a bottle of some cloudy green stuff at the grocery store in Rome that was from Umbria and it was the best I’d ever tasted. All of the Mediterranean countries make good oil–what’s “best” is a matter of taste, whether you like it buttery, grassy/green, peppery, etc. Like wine, it varies by region. Right now my go-to olive oil is Horio from Greece. But you’re right–just because it’s from Italy doesn’t mean it’s good quality.

    558 chars

  17. alex said on January 28, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Jeff, it’s my observation that those who have ethics are generally raised by parents who set the example. Those who are raised by parents who have no respect for authority turn out to have none either. The underclass worships the machismo of those who sire innumerable children and disrespects and devalues the lot in life of the women who end up having to raise them.

    The problem, it seems to me, is misogyny, whether it happens in an authoritarian or anti-authoritarian setting. Douchehat prescribes the former as the panacea for the latter, but neither are palatable to those who embrace gender equality.

    611 chars

  18. nancy said on January 28, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Jeff, true: I jumped to conclusions. (I apologize, and blame the cold.) I think Alex has it right: You just have to model respectful relationships, and forgiveness for when they don’t work out. I seriously look at people who advocate virginity until marriage — twits like Rod Dreher — and see them as part of the problem. It’s Just Not Realistic. And it might even be corrosive; modern life just isn’t structured that way anymore, and the sooner we stop pretending it’s still 1850 and the little house on the prairie still stands, the better.

    544 chars

  19. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 28, 2014 at 9:31 am

    The big fault line right now in evangelicalism in general, and among Baptists in particular, is the complementarian/egalitarian debate. A complementarian is the idea that men and women have equal worth but complementary roles — which boils down to men must exercise “Biblical headship” in the home, and women should accept the husband’s responsibility to make key decisions and lead in devotions through gracious submission. But many, many evangelicals, including within the Southern Baptist Convention, dispute this interpretation, and argue for a more egalitarian model, saying it is plenty Biblical, thank you very much (Galatians 3:28), and the idea of an inherent, intrinsic difference by gender role is not Biblical but cultural.

    Lots of other cultural debate on the right is ornamentation on top of this roiling argument. Catholicism has its own version of it, sometimes echoing the complementarian/egalitarian language. I understand that Kirk Cameron’s sister is now wading in on the complementarian side, positioning herself as the new Marabel Morgan. And if you don’t remember dear old Mrs. Morgan, I have two words for you: Saran Wrap.

    1150 chars

  20. coozledad said on January 28, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Just give your kid a copy of “Our Bodies, Our Selves” and constantly remind them they have every right to dignity. It doesn’t belong to anyone or anything else.

    You can’t buy dignity either, and you won’t get it through some gross perversion of first century ethical modeling.

    279 chars

  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 28, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Didn’t see Nancy’s note until I hit post: I’d argue with you, ma’am. Not that “waiting until marriage” is realistic for everyone, nor do I want to affirm “True Love Waits” or any of the other execrable similar programs, but I think it can and should be said that it is an option, and a workable one. And everyone who wants to tell me the church has created much of it’s own delegitimacy by trying to shame and guilt those who have been sexually active before marriage, you are correct. It was and is a stupid and not even really Biblical way to teach. But waiting can be offered as having an assortment of benefits worth at least considering.

    As my more conservative friends ask me with consternation, why do I shrug off most of the current culture wars debates? Because honestly, I don’t think they matter that much compared to the subject I’d like us all, in the church and without, to get back to. Marriage has collapsed as a functioning institution in our country, in the West generally, and no longer is a good general protection for children. What we’re backing into to replace it is not, in my considered opinion, working, and it will continue to work less well as the numbers make at least one cycle’s worth of ratchet up. And in the Christian churches generally, we’ve done as much to “break” the institution as the “culture” has.

    So yes, affirm civil unions, approve same-sex marriage, eliminate barriers to adoption on the basis of orientation, provide contraceptive coverage in insurance contexts, make them easier to access for young adults, and I’d even stop calling procedures in the first trimester “abortions.” Yes to all that. And then turn back to the core question, which is how do we secure stable homes for children where they can be safe, loved, guided, and get a decent education? Because the number of kids shifting schools multiple times a year, moving about with their black trash bag of clothes and a few toys, and missing over 20 days of school a year: that number keeps on going up. And the number of child support payments being made is going down. And the number of fathers to be found . . . do you know how many fathers I had at the table in over 150 mediations last year? Three. And even step-dads takes me to possibly a dozen, even if you count mom’s fiance as a step-dad. That’s the problem I care about. Even with STDs, it doesn’t cause me to lose sleep when teens have sex. It’s what’s going to happen with the kids they then have that I’m trying to figure out how to get at, before I start in on my second generation mediations: “Oh, hi Mr. Gill, you did one of these for my mom when she was in high school; she told me to tell you hey.” My boss is into that territory, and says it’s time to retire, but she’s barely older than I am, she just started earlier here.

    2809 chars

  22. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 28, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Coozledad, we very nearly agree. Diginity. Salute, sir.

    I’m still working on the whole first century thing.

    110 chars

  23. LAMary said on January 28, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Yay Costco oil. The dark green glass bottle protects the oil from light. Even good oil goes from a nice green color to brassy if it gets exposed to light for too long.

    168 chars

  24. LAMary said on January 28, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Yay Costco oil. The dark green glass bottle protects the oil from light. Even good oil goes from a nice green color to brassy if it gets exposed to light for too long.

    168 chars

  25. Bitter Scribe said on January 28, 2014 at 10:02 am

    That linked Slate article is by Will Saletan. Bleh. I have barely more use for him than I do for Douthat. He’s one of those hand-wringing yutzes who’s always carrying on about yes, women shouldn’t be forced to bear children, but abortion is so icky, and shouldn’t we all compromise somehow? He makes me want to grab my crotch and say, “Compromise this.”

    367 chars

  26. coozledad said on January 28, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Hey Stouder: Looks like Indiana still has a chance to catch up with NC on the outside right:

    230 chars

  27. BigHank53 said on January 28, 2014 at 10:05 am

    William Saletan is not someone I’d consider a reliable guide to the intricacies of reproductive rights. He’s a disingenuous opponent of abortion, forever pleading with liberals to find common ground with the right and let them enact a couple more hurdles. Just read the very last sentence of his essay:

    If we don’t want to go back to restricting reproductive freedom, we’d better learn how to manage it wisely.

    What, those are our only options? Because that sounds an awful lot like the point that ol’ Ross was arguing.

    537 chars

  28. brian stouder said on January 28, 2014 at 10:12 am

    OK, I have one meta-question: is this discussion the equivalent of “why doesn’t the Earth have two moons?” or “why are lions such poor father-figures?” (or “why are black widow spiders so unforgiving to the males in their lives?”).

    These are the cards nature dealt us. Jeff’s pre-sex question for the young folks (can you envision being responsible for a new human life with this person you’re about to do the nasty with?) is a very, very good start. Education about contraception is another good thing, although I think that’s a case of preaching to the choir-loft (so to speak!), in that the young folks who are thoughtful enough to implement that sort of foresight probably will whether or not there’s a class on it.

    By way of saying, thoughtless sex is our nature, and always has been. In fact, that’s a major part of the allure. The question (it seems to me) is – how effectively can we (society) maximize our chances for more positive outcomes, as we fight against our own nature?

    PS – I know what Nancy meant by the “it’s not 1850 anymore” line – joking about the fantasy of the good ol’ days. But just for the record, some of the most entertaining parts of the historiography around President Lincoln is the knots old-time historians tied themselves into, over all the tangles and knots Abe Lincoln’s Kentucky family tree.

    I’ll have to copy in a passage from one of Herndon’s informants, about life in early-19th century Kentucky and Indiana. Short version: if you went to one of those big ‘Great Awakening” revival meetings, you’d be where very other young person for 40 miles around would be, and there’d be lots of sex goin’ on, and lots of conceptions

    1712 chars

  29. coozledad said on January 28, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Fox news is now saying The Sierra Club is “colluding” with the Obama administration to stop the Keystone pipeline. What’s hilarious is their source, “American Tradition Partnership”

    American Tradition Partnership — formerly known as Western Tradition Partnership — has an unusual history of political antics. In January, in the latest development in a years-long legal battle, a Montana judge found that the group used “subterfuge” to avoid disclosing its donors by setting up a front group to attack state candidates in 2008. The group also stands accused — with support from,B> a cache of documents found in a Colorado meth house and featured in a Frontline documentary last year — of illegally coordinating with legislative candidates in the 2010 elections.

    First they come for our guns.
    Then they come for our shale oil.
    Then they come for our bundled donations.
    And they found ’em with our meth.
    America’s traditions have done died.

    965 chars

  30. Mark P. said on January 28, 2014 at 10:49 am

    The whole concept that sexuality is related to morality is based on a paternalistic model of society, and it is basically directed entirely towards controlling the sexual behavior of women. Not men. Men want to control women because women have something they want, and they don’t want women to give it to someone else. There may be an evolutionary basis as well, to make sure that a woman’s (wife’s) children are actually the husband’s, kind of like when a new male lion takes over a pride and kills all the existing cubs. My point is that sexuality is not a moral issue, but a personal and practical issue. The only interest society as a whole has in any individual’s sexual behavior is in making sure that children are cared for, and a reasonable way to work towards that end is to help make sure that children are not a mistake. In other words, make contraception widely and freely available to men and women who are old enough to engage in sexual activity. And then butt the hell out.

    988 chars

  31. MarkH said on January 28, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Meantime, Pete Seeger – RIP.


    182 chars

  32. Julie Robinson said on January 28, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Gosh, I dunno about how to fix the American family; I’m still working on the olive oil thing. I thought if I got the priciest EVOO I was fine, but now I learn it’s waaay more complex than that.

    And no doubt some would say too much choice is part of the other, bigger, problem too–that nothing is black and white anymore. In reality it never was but the bad stuff was just hidden better. The miserable shotgun marriage where it wasn’t possible to divorce has done just as much to break down marriage & family as gays marrying, or actors not marrying. The good old days were really only good for the wealthy and privileged, and I think that’s important to remember whenever the right wing trots out paeans to the 50’s or Reaganism. (Who of course was divorced and remarried in a shotgun marriage himself, but we digress.)

    But, yes, about educating on birth control, and the value of Our Bodies, Ourselves.

    916 chars

  33. Joe K said on January 28, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Just a quick jump in here about the weather, dress right it’s not bad
    It was – 11 today, layered up got out in the beautiful bright sun and ran 5 miles, did have a slight tailwind on the way home, but honestly wasn’t to bad.
    Pilot Joe

    236 chars

  34. Charlotte said on January 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks Mark P — the Douhat/Saletan line of argument is based on the notion that marriage *must* be coercive, that it can never work if the woman is not economically dependent on the man, and the best way to achieve that is to limit contraception and abortion. Makes me See Red.

    I’m probably the outlier here but I want to see LOTS more education on sexuality and contraception — free contraception for anyone who needs it, and easy access to abortion. Sometimes, even the most careful of us get pregnant, and abortion is not the hand-wringing Worst Thing That Can Happen that the right wants to paint it as. Sometimes it’s a huge relief — it can save a woman’s life in so many ways. (Although I can see the moral conundrum that late-term abortions of healthy fetuses poses — when we’re saving high-risk pregancies at those same week counts. However, 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions of healthy fetuses are rare, and even more rare in those places with good access to safe, legal, affordable 1st trimester abortion). Grr. Off soapbox now.

    As for olive oil — I use the Costco brand in the big bottles for everyday, and their organic one in the slimmer square bottle for salads and where you really want to taste the oil. I’m cheap, and don’t actually love that bite that really great olive oil has. I’m fine with the cheap stuff.

    1340 chars

  35. BigHank53 said on January 28, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    What moral conundrum is there in late-term abortion? I am sure some of them happen for what you or I might like to imagine are the “wrong” reasons, but when compared to the body count produced by cars, guns, alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs, the idea of fretting over those cases is pretty weak sauce.

    309 chars

  36. Scout said on January 28, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I’m all for the Huckabees and the Douchehats shooting the Republican brand in the face – repeatedly – with their so called not-war-on-women. That they have extended the abortion debate into a debate about birth control (but never Viagra!) can only mean they are going to continue to hemorrhage the estrogen set which comprises something like 53% of the population. Bring it, ya bastids!

    386 chars

  37. Dexter said on January 28, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    So fitting that the great Nelson Mandela and Pete Seeger both made it to age 94. They both had such huge caring hearts.

    Actually, I became acutely aware of both of them at the same time, in 1977. That’s when I began reading-up on apartheid, and that’s when I began buying Pete Seeger albums.


    371 chars

  38. beb said on January 28, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    My god, Joe! I think I’d get a hear attack just breathing that much cold air!

    I remember a book I read in high school, which would make it sometime in the mid 60s, written by someone in Congress about the perverse effect Aid to Families With Dependent Children had on black families. Because AFDC specifically excluded families with a non-working husband and because unemployment among black males was so high it disincentived marriage in Black Families. I tried googling to find the book and author but didn’t find anything familiar. If Pros were here I’m sure he’d know which book I meant in a flash. The thrust of the book wasn’t that given unmarried woman welfare was bad for society but that the unintended consequences of excluding out of work males out of some Calvinist horror at freeloaders and “Thugs” was damaging society.

    836 chars

  39. Basset said on January 28, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Speaking of Pros, did we ever learn any more about what happened to him?

    72 chars

  40. Maggie Jochild said on January 28, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Today I, and almost everyone I know, are marking the passing of Pete Seeger. His music and activism are part of my generation’s bedrock. Blogged about it, listening to his music, thanking him for 94 years of ethical living.

    225 chars

  41. brian stouder said on January 28, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    First thing I thought was – no more “workin’ on the night moves”; and then I read the link and realized I’d latched onto the wrong Seeger!

    138 chars

  42. Hattie said on January 28, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    I just buy the Costco stuff. Tastes fine to me. Italian olive oil is not necessarily better. If you can find it, California olive oil is the best. Or used to be.

    161 chars

  43. Bitter Scribe said on January 28, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    beb @38: There have been a lot of books like that. You may be thinking of George Gilder, who has never been in Congress but has managed to inflict a lot of goofy ideas on the rest of us anyway.

    193 chars

  44. Dexter said on January 28, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    LA Mary, you’ll find these questions helpful to ask your clients you are seeking to place:

    167 chars

  45. Sherri said on January 28, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Cooz@13, you’ve got the wrong Perkins. It’s Tom Perkins, Silicon Valley VC and retired name partner of (what used to be, anyway) the most important VC firm on Sand Hill Road, Kleiner Perkins. He is the one who wrote the really bad book, and is the ex-husband of Danielle Steel, and was once convicted of manslaughter in France for running over another boat with his enormous yacht.

    Tony Perkins is a grifter of the little people. Tom Perkins made his money the old fashioned way, off the top from the creative people.

    520 chars

  46. Sherri said on January 28, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Beb@38, I suspect you’re talking about the Moynihan report: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Negro_Family:_The_Case_For_National_Action

    135 chars

  47. brian stouder said on January 28, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    This whole idea of very-rich people ‘feeling threatened’ by the president is just too odd, isn’t it?

    I suppose FDR reaped a lot of that, too; ‘traitor to his class’ and all that.

    But Obama ain’t a ‘traitor to his class’ – he’s a real-live true-believin’ Revolutionary!!, bGod!

    Oxy Rush has taken to referring to tonight’s SOTU message to congress as the ‘state of the coup’ address….hahahaha very funny, right? Because he’s an illegitimate usurper of the US Constitution, b’God!!

    Except – and not to beat a dead horse – the greatest unConstitutional usurpation of power and all-around coup-y behavior by a president in my lifetime – was Iran-Contra.

    Watergate was tawdry and second-rate (except for its result!) compared to Iran-Contra, and the genuine contempt that President Reagan and his administration (which I voted for) showed for Constitutional (and Congressional) constraints and prerogatives.

    But, we digress

    952 chars

  48. brian stouder said on January 28, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    (although come to think of it, that digression does fit today’s “Culture of Deception” headline pretty well)

    122 chars

  49. beb said on January 28, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Sherri — Yes. Moynihan!

    24 chars

  50. Connie said on January 28, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    One of my facebook friends just called Pete Seeger a “commie.” Been a long time since I heard that word.

    104 chars

  51. Connie said on January 28, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Subway is doing a healthy eating promotion involving Michelle Obama. Oh the nastiness on their facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/subway

    And then there is this: https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Reject-Michelle-Obama-Subway/550148545092210

    Did Bush haters act like this toward Laura?

    295 chars

  52. brian stouder said on January 28, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Connie – hell, all Michelle wants to do is suggest healthier things to eat.

    Laura Bush wanted to….tel us what to RRRRRREEEEEEEAD!!

    Good God, can you imagine the right-wing fear of Obama-Nazis, if the current FLOTUS tried to suggest reading!!!

    257 chars

  53. Danny said on January 28, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Connie, we watched a documentary about Seger last year and I was impressed. He really seemed like a genuine person and free thinker who was willing to shed dogma and to admit when he felt he was wrong. He talked at some length about his quitting of the American Communist party and how that put him at odds with some of his cohort, but he was like, “so be it.”

    362 chars

  54. LAMary said on January 28, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Hattie, I don’t know if you live in a place where Trader Joe’s has an outpost but they carry very nice California oil and the price is not bad at all.

    150 chars

  55. Danny said on January 28, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Seeger… I hate getting that wrong, A friend texted me and I blame it on him!

    78 chars

  56. Danny said on January 28, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    I saw this and had to post the Crazy Cat Lady Starter Kit.


    beb’s wife, if I am not mistaken, will enjoy this.

    192 chars

  57. Jolene said on January 28, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Good grief! That “I hate Subway and Michelle Obama” page is really something. People must be really hard up for things to worry about.

    I cannot, as I have likely said before, understand the Obama hatred. Disagreement and disappointment seem totally plausible, but the motivation for the seething contempt of all things Obama mystifies me.

    342 chars

  58. MichaelG said on January 28, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I’ve mentioned before the considerable benefits of living in the Sacramento area for those who like food and wine. These benefits extend themselves to olive oil. I buy oil at the farmers market on Sunday. There are local producers there who will let you taste several varieties and the product is very fresh and surprisingly affordable. All you need to know about olive oil:


    417 chars

  59. MichaelG said on January 28, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    This is what I meant to link:

    117 chars

  60. Jolene said on January 28, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Am watching an HBO documentary re Herblock, the great Washington Post political cartoonist. Hank Stuever gave it a mixed review, but I’m enjoying it, if only because it’s good to be reminded of his brilliance and incisiveness. Check it out if you have a chance,

    Hank’s review: http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/tv/hbos-herblock-the-finest-line-from-washingtons-surest-hand/2014/01/26/c073ac36-8551-11e3-8099-9181471f7aaf_story.html?tid=auto_complete

    462 chars

  61. ROGirl said on January 28, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    There’s a produce market in the area where you can buy bulk olive oil. It’s in a big glass barrel with a spgiot and there are plastic jugs for dispensing. Not sure of the origins of the olives.

    193 chars

  62. LAMary said on January 28, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Do you ever check out Corti Bros in Sacramento, Michael?

    56 chars

  63. LAMary said on January 28, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    I just noticed that the Colavita family recognizes that California is a nation.

    79 chars

  64. Charlotte said on January 28, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Michael G — very cool. I was at UC Davis in the early 90s, and I remember being astonished that I couldn’t buy good local olives or olive oil (although there were trees dropping olives all over the bike path). On the other hand, the short-lived wine tasting room in the Safeway was amazing — first place I tasted a real Chablis, with that limestone chalkiness. Mmm. And the fruit! For a midwesterner, the idea that people had peaches dropping and rotting in their yards was astonishing …

    491 chars

  65. Andrea said on January 28, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    In addition the availability of contraceptives and honest discussion about responsibility, can we also add in elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes and the promotion of employment policies that actually make a difference for low skilled and/or low wage workers? I think that both have a lot to do with the absence of some significant percentage of fathers from the family. The presence of a father in the home makes a big difference, I think. For example, I’ve seen some research that shows a delay in the age at which a girl loses her virginity is correlated to a strong positive relationship with her father. And more women and men might be a little more thoughtful about when and how they start their families if they perceive that they have a real opportunity to benefit from a delay in childbearing, such as you might find in access to a job that pays a living wage and offers opportunities for advancement.

    933 chars

  66. Deborah said on January 28, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    I’m way late to this discussion, been busy all day in Abiquiu, but early on Jeff tmmo mentioned something to the effect of how can you, without religious underpinnings teach morals to your children. Maybe this has been discussed and dismissed today and I missed it in my quick scan of all the comments late in the day. But my opinion is that there are highly moral people in the world who do not/did not have a religious underpinning, my husband is a good example. I believe that one can come to moral conclusions without religion, it takes empathy and respect for fellow human beings. I think these things can be taught without religion, but they need to be taught. Parents (or someone) need to see to it that their children receive some kind of guidance in this area.

    769 chars

  67. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 28, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Deborah, my question was how to teach a responsible sexual ethic to children, especially young men, without using a religious basis. I don’t think it’s impossible, I’m just trying to figure out how to frame it, especially since I am doing so on a regular basis in the court setting, and am not certain I’m doing it well.

    This link is fun for historical geeks of a certain sort, especially in reading through Lincoln’s four State of the Union missives (he mailed his, didn’t give them as speeches): http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/sou.php

    539 chars

  68. LAMary said on January 28, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    Really? You can’t imagine teaching sexual responsibility without religion? Lots of people don’t practice any religion or hold any religious beliefs but manage to behave in in a sexually ethical way. Offhand I can’t think of any religious references I would use to teach my sons responsible sexual ethic. I’m not being smart-assy. I really can’t and I did my time in church for the first 14 years of my life.

    407 chars