St. Frozen’s Day.

Sunday was the St. Patrick’s Day parade here in Detroit. It would have been nice to go. but parades have to have at least a minimal festive atmosphere, and it was 9 degrees when I got up and barely nudged above 20 the rest of the day. So much for the parade, then. Maybe next year.

Kate and I went bike-shopping for her; my favorite used-bike shop had a lovely aluminum-frame Trek road bike, like new, on sale for a killer price, and I wanted her to check it out sooner rather than later. She took it around the block and said, upon returning, that it was a nice bike and also that she couldn’t feel her ears: “Not the outside part, the inside.”

We bought the bike. I asked them to install a second set of brake levers on it, and the guy said it might take a few days. Take your time, son; this spring is still a ways down the road.

And that was about as exciting as the weekend got, although it was lovely and restful and included dinner with friends and a trip to the market and the usual activities. The week ahead will be busy and, if all goes well, should fly. I could use a flying week. Also a warm one.

A few bits of bloggage today, starting with the obvious troll bait: The impending death of Fred Phelps. He may well be gone by the time you read this, and I hope it’s a reflection of my state of mind regarding the relative importance of Fred Phelps that I seriously couldn’t care less. I guess the Westboro Baptist Church was remarkable at one point, but they managed to alienate pretty much the entire world, both right-wing warmongers and left-wing gay sympathizers (and left-wing warmongers and right-wing gay sympathizers), and everyone in between. In the end, the Westboro Baptist Church consisted of Phelps and his extended family, and not even that — the news of his health problems was communicated by one estranged son and confirmed by a second estranged son, with the added detail that Phelps himself had been kicked out of his own tiny church sometime last year. So, mission accomplished! You went looking for rancor and found it, and will now die alone with only hospice nurses attending. May this be the last bit of attention paid to them.

More interesting, in terms of high-profile deaths, is Gene Weingarten’s brief appreciation of Joe McGinniss. It is lean and honest and absolutely correct that McGinniss was unfairly maligned by Janet Malcolm in a lengthy New Yorker profile. It also gives credit where it is due, for “Fatal Vision,” McGinniss’ famous, and infamous, examination of the Jeffrey MacDonald murder case. I’ve always said that a writer’s first duty is to tell the truth, and sometime during what was supposed to be a sympathetic examination of the wrongly convicted MacDonald, the writer became convinced otherwise. And so, as Weingarten writes, what was he to do?

What was McGinniss supposed to have done when he realized, midway through the reporting, that the man he was writing about had lied to everyone? That he had killed his wife and older daughter in a rage — and then calmly, methodically hacked to death his sleeping two-year old, stabbing her 33 times with a knife and ice pick, just to strengthen his alibi? Was McGinniss required to dutifully inform the murderer that he now believed him guilty, and invite him to withdraw his cooperation if he wished, possibly killing the book outright, but certainly killing it as a meaningful, enlightening, powerful examination of the mind of a monster?

There is an implicit covenant between a writer and a subject; in return for whatever agreement you might make for the telling of the story, the subject must tell you the truth. If he lies, all deals are off. It is impossible for a subject to be less truthful than Jeffrey MacDonald was with Joe McGinniss: he misrepresented the central fact of his story, his own guilt.


And while we’re tangentially on the subject of God’s feelings about fags, I also recommend this piece about Scott Lively, the American evangelical minister behind Uganda’s draconian anti-gay laws:

Lively is not the only US evangelical who has fanned the flames of anti-gay sentiment in Uganda. As they lose ground at home, where public opinion and law are rapidly shifting in favor of gay equality, religious conservatives have increasingly turned their attention to Africa. And Uganda, with its large Christian population, has been particularly fertile ground for their crusade.

His influence in Uganda is bad enough, but this is the clown behind this charming bit of amateur historical research:

Opponents likened Lively and his colleagues to Nazis and lobbed bricks wrapped in swastika flags through the windows of businesses supporting the measure. OCA’s aggressive campaign, likening gays to pedophiles, was also blamed for a steep uptick in gay hate crimes. In the end, Measure 9 was defeated by a 13-point margin. Undeterred, OCA began promoting measures barring special protections for homosexuals on the city and county levels. Lively, who bristled at the Nazi comparisons, also threw himself into studying the Third Reich and eventually grew convinced that gay men—some of whom occupied senior posts in the Nazi regime—were the driving force behind the Holocaust. “Everything that we think about when we think about Nazis actually comes from the minds and perverted ideas of homosexuals,” he told an Oregon public access television station in 1994.

Surely a closet case himself.

Finally, where is the plane? Where is the plane? And happy St. Patrick’s Day. Hope it’s a little warmer where you are.

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

60 responses to “St. Frozen’s Day.”

  1. Dexter said on March 17, 2014 at 1:13 am

    This is a true shillelagh, sometimes called a shillelagh-cudgel, for a shillelagh is not a walking stick at all, it’s a weapon for head-smashing.

    The plane? Nobody knows, but it appears it may have commandeered by those pilots off to a secret airstripn or more likely, Davy Jones’ locker.

    The Trek for Kate sounds like a good bike. I have never even ridden a bike with dual brake levers but that’s a good idea, safer. My Trek is 16 years old now, a mountain bike. It’s never given me any problems whatsoever.

    The Phelps clan has been forced to demonstrate a long ways from funeral homes and soldier-returns and other venues . Only a few find them to be of any interest or consequence. Fred going out like this reminds me of how Dr. Jack Kevorkian slipped away, quietly, almost forgotten.

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  2. mark said on March 17, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Phelps was a vulgar, angry old man. Annoying but irrelevant.

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  3. coozledad said on March 17, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Scott Lively’s ties to Michele Bachmann remind me that there’s no fringe in the Republican party. It’s lunatics all the way down.

    When your last Vice Presidential candidate is a dog-haired slurry of Ayn Rand and Charles Murray you might as well whip out your 45 of the Horst Wessel Song and git to line dancin’.

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  4. beb said on March 17, 2014 at 8:58 am

    “Stooges drummer Scott Asheton dies at 64 Mar. 16, 2014 ”
    Cue the Ghost of Prospero.

    Alan Greenspan, easily one of the worst people in the world, has an idea for how to solve income inequality. More 1H1 visas! Quoting from “former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan believes one way to attack income inequity is to raise the H-1B cap. If the program were expanded, income wouldn’t necessarily go down much, but it would go down enough to make an impact. Income inequality is a relative concept, he argued. People who are absolutely at the top of the scale in 1925, for instance, would be getting food stamps today, said Greenspan. ‘You don’t have to necessarily bring up the bottom if you bring the top down.'”

    First off, people ‘at the top of the scale in 1925″ have to be adjusted for inflation. Back in 1925 $25 a week was good pay, but a dollar back then bought maybe 30x what it buys today. That the former Fed chairman doesn’t know this, or has forgotten it, is alarming.

    Secondly, 1H1 visas have been shown to depress the wages of IT people in general. There isn’t so much a shortage of IT people in the country, as an unwillingness to pay the sort of wages a tight market creates.

    Thirdly, depressing the wages of IT people does not do anything about income inequality because IT workers are merely the high end of the middle-class. It’s the guys getting $5-$10 million a year who are getting all the wealth gains these days.

    There’s only one way to end income inequality (aside from the guillotine) High estate taxes and high income tax margins.

    Sorry for the rant,. I blame it on the weather.

    Driving to work this morning saw the full moon low on the horizon. When I first saw it today it was shining through a thick layer of clouds so it was just a diffuse brightness that looked like it was shining a sportlight down towards the ground. Kind of a cool effect. The clouds soon moved away and the moon was there in all it’s usual glory.

    Where I work is a hundred acres of lawn with a few scattered building. Every so often you find the unexpected bit of wildlife. Friday, driving out to the main gate there was a puddle in an neven part of the road. It couldn’t been more than two inches deep and maybe three feet across. Sitting it was a big ol’ Swan. I can’t imagine why it would prefer a puddle when the rive is only a half mile away; maybe the puddle was warmer.

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  5. LAMary said on March 17, 2014 at 9:49 am

    I was just standing in the kitchen waiting for my toast to be toasted and the house started shaking. We had a 4.7 quake a while ago. I’m sure the USGS will downgrade that. They always do. Let’s just say it was enough to get your full attention. On big boom and diminishing over a few seconds. No damage here as Casa LAMary. Just jittery cats and humans braced for aftershocks.

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  6. alex said on March 17, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Greenspan was more senescent than St. Ronnie when the latter appointed him. They kept him on out of superstition, fearing that the fortuitously coincidental bull market that had emerged would crash in his absence.

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  7. Bitter Scribe said on March 17, 2014 at 10:34 am

    I’m really glad you linked to that Weingarten piece. Janet Malcolm made up quotes, got indignant when called on it, then tried to slander her entire profession in an “everybody does it” defense that was as transparent as it was despicable. That woman has a nerve trying to teach anyone else about ethics, journalistic or otherwise.

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  8. Connie said on March 17, 2014 at 10:41 am

    There was a huge blizzard across all of lower Michigan on St. Patrick’s Day in 1973. For Michigan State it was the last day of school before spring break and students still on campus were snowed in as well. Dorm cafeterias had almost nothing with which to feed them. I heard those stories when I got to MSU the next year.

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  9. Sue said on March 17, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Lots of brown on our evergreen tips and it looks like a lot of neighbors will lose whole plantings. Looking at my holly bushes, I can see a line, green to brown, where the snow insulation ended and the exposed branches began.
    There will be lots of plant devastation this year, and no way am I planting the traditional St. Patrick’s Day peas, not even in containers.

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  10. brian stouder said on March 17, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Non-sequitur: Pam and Shelby immediately rented/downloaded the new Vernonica Mars movie, and I watched with them – and it was a superb movie. I really like the relationship depicted between Veronica and her dad, and that she generally has a Diet Pepsi in her hand, and that she’s empowered and the equal (at least!) of anyone she deals with. It is strange, because Pam and Shelby had binge-watched the Veronica Mars tv series, and I had seen bits and pieces of that, without realizing that the show dates back 10 years!

    SO in the updated movie, Veronica is a young woman instead of a not-yet 20 yearl-old, and although dad looks the same, Veronica is a bit different. Even her mannerisms – while familiar, are now more mature. Anyway – three thumbs up!

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  11. Julie Robinson said on March 17, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Our daughter found a bike shop like that near her new home in Orlando. She took her bike in for a tune-up after her move, which they charged all of $15 for. When we picked it up she mentioned her crummy, torn seat so I sprung for a new one, then she mentioned that her reflector had broken off in the move. Hang on, they said, we usually have some sitting around since racers ask us to take them off. They found a couple of other accessories, installed them and the seat while we chatted, and invited her to their next group ride (where she met a couple of new friends).

    The place looks like a hole in the wall in a strip center, but what fantastic people. It was hopping busy the whole time we were in there, too.

    When I was a kid I thought I was SO special to have great-grandparents from County Carlow. No one else was entitled to wear green like I was. As an adult I read that 20-25% of us contain a wee bit of Irish and was crushed. Well, no wonder they day became so popular!

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  12. LAMary said on March 17, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I wear green to work because the nuns here are Irish. One of them is up there in years but I’m sure she would make me regret not wearing green if she caught me.

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  13. LAMary said on March 17, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I think a comment I made earlier is stuck in moderation. Whyyyyyy (shaking fist at the heavens).

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  14. Bruce Fields said on March 17, 2014 at 11:46 am

    “First off, people ‘at the top of the scale in 1925″ have to be adjusted for inflation. Back in 1925 $25 a week was good pay, but a dollar back then bought maybe 30x what it buys today.”

    13, according to

    Which would make $25 a week in 1925 about $17k/year today. According to that could qualify a household of 2 for food stamps, not quite a household of 1.

    I think $25/week ($1300 a year) is too low, though, based on which suggests a median between 3 and 4k a year.


    “That the former Fed chairman doesn’t know this, or has forgotten it, is alarming.”

    Whatever his faults, I’m pretty sure he knows what inflation is.

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  15. brian stouder said on March 17, 2014 at 11:49 am

    yeah – ‘inflation’ is what Mr Happy needs, when Andrea Mitchell pulls the cord on the gong

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  16. nancy said on March 17, 2014 at 11:50 am

    LAMary, you spelled your own name wrong in the name field; that’s what put you in moderation. Or should I call you “Marry?”

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  17. LAMary said on March 17, 2014 at 11:54 am

    I’m sorry. I was having a morning case of the stupids. See? Earthquakes don’t rattle me. I’m fine.

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  18. Deborah said on March 17, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    My Dad’s side is Scots-Irish (but we always said Scotch-Irish) my Mom’s side German. There’s no way I could have escaped having a red nose with that heritage.

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  19. Julie Robinson said on March 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Deborah, that’s me too, except for a bit of Welsh. Funny how we never talked about being German, in my family. My version of the curse isn’t red nose, but red cheeks.

    Connie, that was my sister’s freshman year so I’ll have to ask her about it. She is, of course, over the moon about winning Big 10 championships in both football and basketball. Meanwhile, we Hoosiers have March Sadness, no IU or any other team from the state in the big dance this year.

    Mary, if it makes you feel better, I’ve done the same thing twice, resting my fingers on the keyboard and not noticing a migrating cursor. But then, I’ve never peed all over the screen in italics! (Yet.)

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  20. LAMary said on March 17, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Well, I was writing just after the earthquake and what we call “moderate” would surely scare the shit out of anyone not accustomed to quakes.

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  21. Jolene said on March 17, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    My paternal great-grandfather was an Irish immigrant, which means that we ended up with an Irish surname, but all the rest of my forebears were either German or Norwegian. Always irritated my Norwegian mother that being Irish was celebrated, while being Notwegian was a reason for jokes.

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  22. Dorothy said on March 17, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    My grandfather, Timothy McCarthy from County Limerick would be happy I’m wearing my shamrock earrings today and a green and black blouse, I hope. Mary I’m hoping I never feel what a 4.7 or 4.4 earthquake feels like. Hell, I don’t want to feel ANY KIND of earthquake!

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  23. Kirk said on March 17, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    My Polish-Lithuanian wife and some of her classmates had a low-level protest at their Roman Catholic girls high school because the girls were allowed to break the uniform rules to observe St. Patrick’s Day but no day honoring a saint of any other ethnic group. So they all wore babushkas on St. Stanislaus Day.

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  24. LAMary said on March 17, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    My younger son was due on February 12, 1994, and the last big quake we had here was on January 15 1994. I think. We were getting good sized aftershocks for years after the quake, the biggest ones in the months right after it. When my son was about a month old I was sitting with him and my three year old in Souplantation, a buffet sort of place, at lunch time. Suddenly the pendant lights all started to swing. Most of the people in the restaurant were moms with kids and we all looked around at each other and silently agreed it was a good idea to not move and not say anything scary. It was weird. We all knew that the kids would be more afraid if we showed fear.

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  25. beb said on March 17, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I’m told I’m Scots-Irish-English and German. My ancestors spent so much time invading themselves no wonder I’m the gloomy guy I am.

    While the government officially gives a multiplicaton factor of 13 to adjust values from 1925 and now, I find that the number at times a little shakey. An all-fiction pulp magazine was 10 cents back then with the content of about the same as a paperback novel, which costs $8.99. That’s an 90x increase in cost. A model T cost (I think) about $800 back then. 13x means it would cost about $10,000, but try to find a new car that costs that little. 30x just seems closer to what things were worth back then compared to what they are now.

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  26. Dorothy said on March 17, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    That’s hilarious, Kirk!

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  27. Scout said on March 17, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Happy St. Pat’s Day! It is nicer where I am, and I’m hoping things soon improve for everyone in the winterlands. Spring is officially just a week away.

    Just read this opinion piece and thought in light of the holiday it would be a chewy nugget for you all.

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  28. Basset said on March 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    LAMary, you mentioned toast…

    “The toaster demonstrates its unhappiness by moving its lever up and down while making unpleasant noises…”

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  29. Sherri said on March 17, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    LAMary, the Kobe quake was a year after that. I remember holding my one week old daughter and watching the news about that quake-very unsettling, for someone living in the Bay Area. We moved to the Bay Area about 5 months after the Loma Prieta quake. A month later, there was a moderate (4.9) quake that woke me up. It’s a weird feeling, having the earth move underneath you. Depending on where you are from the epicenter and the strength, you sometimes feel the two different waves from the quake, the P wave first followed by the S wave. The P wave is a hard shake, the S wave is a rolling feeling. I always found the S wave the weirdest feeling.

    I’m Scots-Irish, or Scotch-Irish, or whatever you call it, but from so long ago that it’s kind of meaningless. In the line I can trace back the farthest, my ancestor came from County Antrim to Pennsylvania sometime between 1730 and 1760. Pretty much everybody from both sides of my family were in the same area of Tennessee by about 1800.

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  30. brian stouder said on March 17, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    “Everything that we think about when we think about Nazis actually comes from the minds and perverted ideas of homosexuals,” he told an Oregon public access television station in 1994.

    Surely a closet case himself.

    Finally, where is the plane? Where is the plane?

    I think Nancy accidently encapsulated a lot more here than anyone can know (yet)

    an excerpt:

    Meanwhile, investigators said Monday morning that they believe that the co-pilot of the flight, Fariq Abdul Hamid, gave the final communication heard by air traffic controllers shortly before the plane disappeared from civilian radar screens.

    Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said at a news conference that initial investigations indicate that Hamid is the one who calmly said, “All right, good night.”

    The revelation is likely to sharpen suspicions that Hamid and the plane’s pilot, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, were somehow involved in the aircraft’s disappearance.

    Malaysian officials earlier said those words came after one of the jetliner’s data communications systems — the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System — had been switched off.

    However, Yahya said Monday that while the last data transmission from ACARS — which gives plane performance and maintenance information — came before that, it was still unclear at what point the system was switched off. That opened the possibility that both ACARS and the plane’s transponders — which make the plane visible to civilian air traffic controllers — were severed later and at about the same time.

    Police seized a flight simulator from Shah’s home on Saturday and also searched Hamid’s home. Investigators haven’t ruled out hijacking, sabotage, pilot suicide or mass murder, and they are checking the backgrounds of all 227 passengers and 12 crew members, as well as the ground crew, to see if links to terrorists, personal problems or psychological issues could be factors.

    Britain’s Daily Mirror reported that Shah was a supporter of Anwar Ibrahim, a Malaysian opposition leader who was jailed for homosexuality hours before the flight disappeared.

    The newspaper published a photo that purportedly shows Shah wearing a shirt with the slogan “Democracy is Dead.”

    This story gets murkier and murkier

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  31. Peter said on March 17, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Brian at #15 for the win!

    Now I have to gouge me eyes out.

    And on behalf of my lovely colleen of a wife from Aranmore Island, a happy Saint Patrick’s day to you all.

    We’ll be having our traditional event – the corned beef spread and having a fight over “The Quiet Man”. Two years ago we had quite the argument – what year is the movie supposed to take place in? I said 1975. My wife said how could that be, with the horse drawn carriages and the IRA talk; and I said, yeah, 1975 sounds about right.

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  32. Bill said on March 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Mary, I hear they’re calling the earthquake a Shamrock Shake.

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  33. Dexter said on March 17, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    The Baloney Song

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  34. Connie said on March 17, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    On the subject of earthquakes: Jeff(tmmo) and I were both in the Indianapolis Methodist Hospital Complex for the great Indianapolis earthquake of 1987, richter scale 5.1.

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  35. MarkH said on March 17, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    My maternal grandmother brings all the Irish into our family. Dawsons and McGintys abound. Happy St. Paddy’s day to all, especially to YOU, paddyo’!

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  36. Minnie said on March 17, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Scot, Irish, English, French, German, and Native American. Got my green on – long sleeve tee and fleece hoodie, and recalling past St. Patrick’s days when short sleeves would do. Sue alluded to the tradition of planting peas today, and during a recent warm spell I set up frames in anticipation. The peas will have to wait. It’s cold, windy, and wet out there. Thankful we’re just south of the latest snow. I’ve cranked up the heat and put on The Waterboys to raise the temperature.

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  37. Heather said on March 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! All Irish on my dad’s side, all Polish on my mom’s. My boyfriend says I’m a Mickski. I usually don’t do anything special for the day as I figure I’ve got it in my blood 365.

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  38. Connie said on March 17, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    As I’ve said before, my ancestry is 100% Dutch and I grew up in Dutchistan Michigan. Dutchies wear orange on this day.

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  39. Bruce Fields said on March 17, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    “13x means it would cost about $10,000, but try to find a new car that costs that little.”

    Googling around suggests the cheapest new car available in the US might be a Nissan Versa, around $12,000, and the cheapest worldwide a Tata Nano, around $3000. I suspect both still manage to be better cars than the original model T.

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  40. Jolene said on March 17, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Here in DC, the news stations are calling the holiday Snow Patrick’s Day. Ten inches of snow at Dulles airport, 7 at National. Many pictures of green snowmen or snowmen decorated in green on Twitter.

    Unrelated: Man, am I ever getting tired of listening to John McCain blast the president. Must stop watching cable news.

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  41. paddyo' said on March 17, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Thanks, MarkH@35 — “Sláinte!” to you and all . . .
    Speaking of immigrant ancestors AND of earthquakes:
    My grandfather, John J. O’Driscoll, who emigrated to the U.S. from Waterford, Ireland, arrived here San Francisco in 1900, coming the long way, via ship around the southern tip of South America. He was across the bay in Oakland when the great earthquake and fire struck in 1906 . . .
    He later married my grandmother Marie, California-born daughter of French immigrants who came to San Luis Obispo, CA by stagecoach. Irish and French — combustible? Oh yeah. Worse (except, of course, for my dad and generations of descendants), Grandma’s original intended was not my grandfather, but his brother. But when he died unexpectedly, my grandfather stepped in because, I guess, that’s what people sometimes did in those days.

    On the subject of Fred Phelps, little more need be said. But I’ll add that I was privileged to witness in person the most graceful and appropriate response ever to that deluded, dysfunctional soul and his misguided spawn.
    In early April 1999, I was among the throng of news reporters in Laramie, WY to cover the trial of Russell Henderson, one of the two Matthew Shepard killers. With a little time before we had to be in our designated seats in the courtroom, we were standing there staring at Phelps and his band, corraled in a designated demonstration area in a corner of the courthouse grounds. From around the corner, up the sidewalk came the white-robed “angels of peace,” who surrounded and turned their backs to the “God Hates Fags” cretins and, spreading their 7-foot white wings wide, made the hatemongers vanish. That was something.

    Sadly, two weeks later, Harris and Klebold shot up Columbine High School, and off we all went to cover another shitstorm. . .

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  42. MichaelG said on March 17, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I’m Irish. My grandparents on my father’s side were from Ireland (Swinford, County Mayo) and my mother’s folks were a generation back.

    A $3000 Tata? Love those bodacious Tatas.

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  43. brian stouder said on March 17, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Jolene – I used to watch mid-day news, but ever since msnbc put the watchably vacuous Ronan Farrow on the 1pm shift (after the aforementioned Andrea Mitchell), I’m off of it.

    The guy makes CNN (if not Fox, alas) look good

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  44. brian stouder said on March 17, 2014 at 4:08 pm


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  45. Icarus said on March 17, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    thought nugget of the day: so after it was learned that box cutters were used in the Sept 11th plane hijackings, nail clippers were banned from carry on luggage and after the 2006? liquid bomber attempt, no liquids not purchased at the airport may be brought onto a plane….I wonder if the Malaysian plane disappearance will mean we can now keep our phones on? In fact, given the overcompensating over-correcting nature of our security system, we’ll probably be required to update our status every 10 minutes.

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  46. Dexter said on March 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Great ideas, Icarus. Of course, if you were the pilot, you’d have flown us straight into the goddam sun!

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  47. Jolene said on March 17, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    According to what I’ve been hearing, Icarus, your idea would require a considerable investment in technology. Given the current air fleet and the distribution of cell phone towers, there’s no cell service on most in-flight planes in much of the world. Of course, we’ve already spent a lot of money on useless security provisions. I guess we could always spend more.

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  48. Jolene said on March 17, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    This is kind of cool: big-time basketball coaches encouraging people to sign up for health insurance.

    Was surprised to see the coach of the UNC team, given the conservatism of the state. NC is not operating it’s own exchange; neither is it expanding access to Medicaid. But, I guess if you are a sports god, you can get away with doing mildly controversial things.

    The WH also has a sweet set of sixteen reasons why you should sign up, illustrated with GIFs. You can vote for your favorite if you like.

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  49. Jolene said on March 17, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Its, not it’s, dammit.

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  50. David C. said on March 17, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    My paternal grandmother’s family is, or rather was Irish. I remember when I was about 7 years old grandma’s aunt was over and told us the family was Irish, but they took pills and got over it.

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  51. Suzanne said on March 17, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Not a drop of Irish blood here, but I wore green and ate corned beef and cabbage nonetheless. And a stout beer. Why not?

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  52. LAMary said on March 17, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Same here Suzanne. I really like corned beef and cabbage and I’ve got a nice green blouse I wear pretty often anyway.

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  53. coozledad said on March 17, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Here’s a show ready made for Sarah Palin’s network: I’d call it “Play misty for me, you goddamn NASCAR heathen” but I don’t speak the argot of this subculture.

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  54. devtob said on March 17, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Practically 100 percent Irish Catholic here, but the Irish bit was, for some reason, not part of my upbringing, unlike the Catholic bit.

    I recall my parents being excited about JFK’s election, then mortified by his murder, but there was no parade-going (even when an uncle was grand marshal in Albany, NY), no Irish music at home, no Hibernian stuff, etc.

    “Riverdance” changed that in the mid-1990s, for myself and my late mother. We watched it on PBS, and saw it live three times.

    And I took my first trip to Europe with her in 1996, back when a 10-day package trip to Ireland with air, B&Bs, and car rental was under $1,000. (Inflation has changed that, by about 100 percent, FWIW.)

    We had a brilliant time there, and back here I became more attuned to Irish stuff all around — checking out local and regional Irish bands (like the great Black 47), marching in the parade, reading up on Irish history (and coming to understand the Irish resentment of their English overlords for so many centuries), and re-reading “Ulysses” and getting a lot more out of it than in college.

    Today, I went skiing at Mount Snow, where there was a $17 deal (instead of the usual $75) and a U2 tribute band playing at the base lodge in the afternoon.

    Under my green turtleneck, I wore a T-shirt from Gus O’Connor’s pub in Doolin, which has legendary craic that Mom and I experienced way back when.

    And had a very happy St. Patrick’s Day.

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  55. brian stouder said on March 17, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Green is a pretty color, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen awoman who didn’t look marvelous in purple

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  56. Sherri said on March 17, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    This made me laugh:

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  57. Deborah said on March 17, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Question for you True Detective fans out there: why is episode 7 missing from On-Demand? I’ve been watching the whole series again with Little Bird, she hadn’t seen it with me the first time. We got through with episode 6, ready to start 7, but it seems to skip from 6 to 8 on On-Demand. Anyone else notice this? Also my husband is here this week and he wants to watch the whole series too, so I’m watching it for the third time. He and I watched episode 1 tonight.

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  58. Dexter said on March 18, 2014 at 2:24 am

    HBO is maddening in this area, Deborah. Their sister network, Showtime, does the same thing frequently. It drives me nuts. There is nothing to be done. It’s there or it isn’t. Ever try to call or email HBO with complaints for issues like this? They are just like Time Warner cable in that I believe they have ignorant interns answering the phone and emails and they never do damn thing to help.
    For what I guess amounts to nothing more than habit, I continue to watch the dumbest show ever, “The Following”. Every week it gets worse. It’s like the script writers can’t write so they just have somebody running away from Ryan Hardy and also you can bet your bottom dollar several people are going to get choked out, poisoned, or surely throat-slashed.
    James Purefoy (as Joe Carroll) was so great as Marc Antony in “Rome”, but is so horrible in “The Following” that he sounds like an American trying to adopt an English accent. Maybe I’m a nihilist in this area; I really don’t care but I just sit there and watch

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  59. brian stouder said on March 18, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Sherri – great article. While I suppose I will never understand the “anti-vax” crowd, it is heartening to see one put into the public-opinion dunk-tank

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  60. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 18, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Interesting argument about MH370 from an airline pilot, and it holds up with the data we know. Who knows? But between the lithium batteries in the cargo hold and this suggestion about the forward landing gear, it’s one that ought to be out there alongside of all the terrorism assumptions.

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