Deadline linkage.

Crashing on a deadline tonight, so here’s some linkiness for you today:

I love interactivity: See if you can find Benghazi on a map. (I got within 200 miles. Thought it was farther inland.)

When I die, hell will look like this: The Clown Motel in Tonopah, Nev.

The author of “The Looming Tower” has some thoughts about ISIS. Worth reading.

See you tomorrow.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events |

94 responses to “Deadline linkage.”

  1. Dexter said on June 18, 2014 at 1:43 am

    “You were 38 miles away. You’re a geography wizard.” I think I watch too much cable news.

    Nice, the Clown Motel. For two years I was a clown, as Ed Hamman, owner of the Indianapolis Clowns travelling baseball club decided that for the first time in about 15 years he’d put some white players on the “College All-Stars” , the team that was supposed to lose to the Clowns every night. My second year I was promoted to the Clowns proper. A few years after I left that life for the military draft, a guy wrote a book about that team, that life.

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  2. alex said on June 18, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Seeing as how it’s an open thread, and still not a lot of nibbles on my rental property, here’s a shameless plug. I’ve been informed that a group of three college students is interested. Let’s see, I remember when I was in college. Usually one roommie would be stuck with a bunch of unpaid utility bills and back rent after the others trashed the house and bailed. Isn’t that how that usually works?

    Of course, it could be worse. A friend with a rental on Fort Wayne’s south side is bearing witness to the rapid deterioration of what had been a stable middle-class neighborhood. His tenant fell behind on rent a couple of months ago. The community association called him to advise that the tenant had vacated and gangbangers were squatting there. He sent the police, who discovered that the tenant hadn’t actually vacated, she just happens to have a bunch of unauthorized people living there whom the neighbors say are dealing drugs out of the place. The tenant says she, and they, will be out by Friday this week.

    I’m about to receive an application from a family that has seen the place but looked a bit rough on the surface. Only a hunch, but I suspect their enthusiasm might be dampened if they knew they’d be living right next door to their landlords. Who are gay. I suppose I should ask them what they think of that and see if their facial expressions betray any alarm.

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  3. coozledad said on June 18, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Usually one roommie would be stuck with a bunch of unpaid utility bills and back rent after the others trashed the house and bailed. Isn’t that how that usually works?
    Yes. It’s also a good summation of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    A few months ago, the Republicans were talking about bombing Iran to stop their nuclear program. Now thy’re talking about air support for an Iranian military intervention in Iraq.

    Do their voters notice these stupid inconsistencies, or is it just how the new Manson Family rolls?

    The Iranian government’s credibility problems with its people are still partially attributable to the Iran Iraq war
    and the WWI levels of casualties it produced. The current government might be unwilling to commit the resources for a large military operation that could end up either putting either the zealots back in, or giving secularists a better shot at control.

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  4. coozledad said on June 18, 2014 at 7:54 am

    More background from Juan Cole:

    ISIS, having gained fighting experience and a taste of urban administration in Syria, expanded its cells back in Fallujah, Ramadi and Mosul in western and northern Iraq. Last January it took over Fallujah and parts of Ramadi west of Baghdad. Last week it took over Mosul and most other towns in Ninevah Province. This was not primarily a military conquest but a coordinated urban uprising against Iraqi security forces, in coordination with other Sunni groups, including secular ex-Baathists. ISIS also tried to advance into Salahuddin and Diyala Provinces, though it seems to have been checked there by the Iraqi army and Sunni tribal and urban allies. At the moment, ISIS is a force in al-Anbar and Ninevah Provinces, which are mostly Sunni Arab. But they are demographically vastly outnumbered by the Kurds and Shiites, who could well riposte militarily.

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  5. Snarkworth said on June 18, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Alex, as a landlady, I’d counsel you to take your time and hold out for the best tenants you can get (assuming you can legally reject applicants). Nothing worse than terrible neighbors who owe you money.

    House looks delightful, by the way.

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  6. Jeff Borden said on June 18, 2014 at 8:47 am

    I completely understand that Saddam Hussein and his crazy sadistic sons were absolute motherfuckers, but given that Iraq is a false construct stitched together after the fall of the Ottoman Empire by Americans, Brits, French and Italians, a strong man apparently is what is required to hold together groups who literally loathe each other. We might’ve noticed what happened to the former Yugoslavia when Marshall Tito left, but paying attention and learning from the past is beyond the understanding of our leaders.

    Sane people, of course, would not have invaded Iraq and certainly not without some idea of how to hold it together when the glue –however brutal and arbitrary– was removed. Our feckless leadership did nothing and oh how it galls to see one of the major architects, Dick Cheney, lambasting Obama and Clinton.

    America managed quite a feat. It took a steaming, festering, hate-filled part of the world that already was a mess and made it worse by a factor of, what, a million?

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  7. Deborah said on June 18, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Lovely place, Alex.

    LB and I watched a scary movie last night. I never do that because I don’t sleep well as it is.

    Yesterday I drove Little Bird down to Albequerque to see a neurologist at UNM. She went to a neurologist here in Santa Fe and he knew nothing about her condition, neurofibromatosis, so her Dr referred her to the one at UNM. Statistically there are only 27 people in Santa Fe with NF and in Albuquerque only 165, so I can understand why neurologists around here don’t know much about it. The new neurologist admitted that her condition was on the edge of his knowledge but we know he is the best there is in NM.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on June 18, 2014 at 9:04 am

    To me, Deborah & Little Bird, that’s what’s really scary, feeling like you know more than the doctor.

    Alex, your place looks lovely, and from our one and only experience as landlords, I can only say that if they can’t put the utilities in their own name, you need to run away.

    Rather than feel overwhelmed by the news today, I’m going to just be happy that there are six tomatoes on one of our plants. They’re small and green and weeks away from being ripe, but I’m already tasting them in my mind.

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  9. Jolene said on June 18, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Jeff (tmmo) asked a couple of days ago what Tom Ricks, former WaPo Pentagon reporter and author of two great books on Iraq, thought about what’s happening now. Here’s a short piece on the topic.

    Interestingly, part of what he says could have been taken from Jeff B.’s remarks above, e.g., don’t invade countries you don’t understand, don’t displace whoever is in charge w/o figuring out what you going to do next. About the future, he is not hopeful.

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  10. Judybusy said on June 18, 2014 at 9:19 am

    I love all the huge windows in the house, Alex. I hope you find good renters! I would definitely let any prospective renters know you are gay. If they aren’t cool with that, you don’t need them as renters and neighbors.

    This was ages ago, in 2000, and I had a similar situation. I’d finally got up the nerve to divorce my husband and come out. I needed a roommate to make things comfortable. I had a good roommate for nine months, and then had to interview several people to replace her when she moved to a different city. One brought her pet ferret to the interview, thinking if I saw how cute it was, it wouldn’t be a problem. NO. I had really wanted a female roommate, but they were all a bit wacky.

    I decided to give a guy named Caesar a try. He was from Mexico, adorable, 22, and had great shoes. I came out to him during the interview, and he said it would be no problem. He lived with me and then my partner and me on and off for a few years. He is like a little brother to us. He was able to make his status legal, got married, has two great kids, and is set to get his bachelor’s degree in engineering this December. We just got together for dinner last night, and as always, it was wonderful to see him. Wheever people start yammering nonsense about immigration, I always think of him, and if I think it will help, tell his story. It’s situations like this that remind me that sometimes the American dream can pay off, and I am glad to have played a part in making it happen for him.

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  11. alex said on June 18, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Julie, I’m already eating ripe cherry and grape tomatoes. Orange day lillies are beginning to flower a little earlier than usual. Pepper plants are a’poppin’. Perhaps it’s because I water from the lake which was full of dead fish this spring following the severe winter. Nature’s answer to Miracle Gro.

    Snarkworth, legally I’m on safe ground if what I’m scrutinizing is creditworthiness, or if I find any material misrepresentations in their applications. If all of the applicants look like bad risks, I can hold out for one that isn’t.

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  12. alex said on June 18, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Judy, thanks for confirming that it’s better to get it out in the open. And what a great story.

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  13. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 18, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Ricks is saying what I thought/hoped he’d say about airstrikes. You can only do so many overflights before Murphy sets one of them down even before a MANPAD does. And then we do . . . what? SEAL teams & Force Recon can only fix so much, especially in a place like Tikrit.

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  14. Joe Kobiela said on June 18, 2014 at 10:42 am

    How would you feel renting to a right wing conservative Christian?
    You wouldn’t discriminate would you?
    Pilot Joe

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  15. coozledad said on June 18, 2014 at 10:45 am


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  16. Judybusy said on June 18, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Joe, I feel that is really just baiting Alex, and that you’re looking to pick a fight. Please be decent. You seem to be doing this more and more often, and it’s just shuts down the conversation.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on June 18, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I might rent to a conservative Christian, but I’d never rent to a Cheney. Buncha fucking deadbeats, that family.

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  18. coozledad said on June 18, 2014 at 11:07 am

    You don’t want to rent to a bunch of god-bothering teabag trash. They’ll just use your house to cook meth, as a staging ground for a Wal Mart shooting, or drag their asses across the carpet like Dana Rohrabacher and his sprog.

    It takes forever to get the odor of stupid out of a house.

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  19. Joe Kobiela said on June 18, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Sorry you feel that way, but I hope Alex knows it’s just a joke.
    But it does bring a up a good point don’t you think? You being gay, want laws passed protecting you from discrimination and that’s fine, but what if the shoes on the other foot? Shouldn’t a conservative Christian have the same protection as yourself?
    Pilot Joe

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  20. alex said on June 18, 2014 at 11:38 am

    They already do, Joe. The law says you can’t discriminate based on religion. The law doesn’t offer any protection to gay people, however.

    As a landlord I can’t discriminate. I can, however, tell prospective tenants what I’m all about and if they don’t like it they can choose to look elsewhere for a place to live.

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    • nancy said on June 18, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Alex, which south-side FW neighborhood is falling apart?

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  21. Bob (not Greene) said on June 18, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Joe, what the fuck are you talking about? Did Alex ever imply such a thing? You are making shit up for what purpose exactly?

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  22. Judybusy said on June 18, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Joe, it can be hard to tell when people are joking. Conservative Christians, unlike gay and lesbians, people of color, the disabled, and women don’t have a history of being killed, fired, redlined, assaulted for just being who they are, so I don’t think they need the level of legal protection needed by truly oppressed people. That’s a canard that’s been floating for along time–poor oppressed Christians–but I think it’s a tactic to distract people from the real issues. Also, if the theoretical conservative Christian in question had a good credit rating and references, and would be cool living next to a gay neighbor, sure I’d rent to them. My mom, brothers and sister fit that description. They probably wouldn’t be invited for supper, but they’d be very nice over the fence. But if they were going to be a complete jackass like my father, no way in hell. And no, CCs don’t have the corner on being jackasses.

    Speaking of fairly conservative Christians, I had the nicest conversation this weekend. The background: seven years ago, we met two couples from Iowa at a B and B. We hit it off so much we’ve returned to the same B and B every Father’s Day weekend. We’ve been to Des Moines to visit several times, too. They are all about 20-25 years older than us. As we were at dinner last weekend, the more conservative of the couple, who are Catholic, told us it had been really great getting to know us, and helped change their mind about gay people. They just didn’t have any in their circle. It means so much to me. The Father’s Day weekend is very comforting to see them, as I love being around good dads (including the B and B owner) when mine is such a piece of work.

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  23. alex said on June 18, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Lafayette Place, Nance.

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  24. nancy said on June 18, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Is that the place by the old hospital, where the fabulous houses are? Where the Cafe Johnell family lived?

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  25. Joe Kobiela said on June 18, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    As I’ve said before, my daughters maid of honor at her wedding was her best friend, a gay man, I have no problem with that, if your gay fine by me, what right do I have to judge you, how ever I would like the same respect and right now in this culture, I don’t think I’m being heard. If I question something the current President does I’m a racist, if I question Hillary, I hate woman, if I ask Alax a question I’m a homophobe.
    I just wish everyone would lighten up a bit, the people in Washington on BOTH sides have got this country so fucked up that we can’t even have a joking casual conversation with out some one getting there panties in a wad. I wish we could just flush them out and start over.
    Let them fight it out over in the dessert and deal with who ever wins, fuckem, secure the damn borders with Mexico, sorry we can’t afford to take you in, go home. Fly the oil sheiks over the Midwest in September, and tell them the oil flows at a decent price or we keep all this food.
    Lighten up people
    Pilot Joe

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  26. alex said on June 18, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    No, it’s a neighborhood quite a bit further south and a little bit to the east. Lafayette Esplanade is the main drag, has a big park in the middle of it, interesting mix of 1920s-era homes that were on the higher end in their day.

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  27. Jeff Borden said on June 18, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    You continue to assume America calls the tune globally, Joe, but that’s just not true. We are widely despised in much, maybe most of the world, for our arrogance, our short-sightedness, our stupidity on matters beyond our borders. We think nothing of killing dozens of innocents in drone attacks so long as we get one bad guy, which is pretty much the rules followed by Chicago street gangs in drive-by shootings. We betray our allies when it’s in our interests, as the Iraqi Kurds will be happy to tell you in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War. We lecture the world on how it should behave –get your economies in order, Greece!– but ignore those rules when it comes to our country.

    Military might is what gives us influence. And as we have seen over the past couple of decades, that might can be negated by something as simple as a roadside bomb or a hijacked commercial aircraft. Conservatives think we are seen as a mighty and powerful force abroad. . .a fearsome death-dealing machine. They are, as usual, incorrect. We are seen as a global bully who can be stymied.

    The oil sheiks likely would tell us, “Fuck you. We’ll get our food from South America. And we’ll charge whatever the fuck we want for oil because your country is too weak, too hobbled by political infighting, too enamored of a fossil fueled lifestyle, to do anything but accept what we charge.”

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  28. Julie Robinson said on June 18, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Joe, as a Christian myself, following Jesus means showing love to everyone and treating them as I would like to be treated myself. Mean jokes are not part of that. In fact, I think jokes should really only be for people who you know well, and know you well enough to understand your meaning. Even then, kindness is never inappropriate.

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 18, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Picking Ohio on this, I keep ending up somewhere between Lima and Fort Wayne. Give it a spin!

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  30. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 18, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    For Indiana, I get a spackle of unincorporated towns between Wakarusa and Goshen.

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  31. MarkH said on June 18, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Julie, well stated and a nice antidote to some of the testiness hereabouts.

    Off-topic, but the weather here has been pretty unseasonable this month, ie, cold. It’s 11:20 AM, 37 deg. and I’m watching this rolling off the Tetons right now. Enjoy your warmth wherever you are.

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  32. Jolene said on June 18, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    My choices, Jeff, indicated that I should live exactly where I do–or, perhaps, in one if two nearby Zip codes with an even higher percentage of communists.

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  33. alex said on June 18, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    I get either East Chicago or Gary, even when I exclude or disagree with a preference for urban living.

    Jeff, I’m guessing you must be a climate denier if they’d stick you between Wakarusa and Goshen.

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  34. Scout said on June 18, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    As a landlady myself, I am very picky about potential tenants. They must fill out an application and we do run a background check and a basic yes/no credit check. We tell every applicant that there are people ahead of them even if it’s not true. Anyone who balks at the application fee is immediately disqualified, and we will not rent to people who can’t pay the security deposit and first month rent. No checking account is a big red flag. First impressions do matter and if a prospective shows up in a filthy car and is unkempt we likely won’t rent to them. We will wait as long as we have to in order to place people into our investment property.

    We are quite open that they are renting from teh gay, and even our hard core Mormon family, who recently just moved after 4 years with us, was accepting of that. So no, we do not discriminate on the basis of religion either. And yes, I too thought that was a turd stirrer of a question, Joe.

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  35. MichaelG said on June 18, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I was off by 163 miles for Benghazi. I knew it was on the coast and near Egypt but still missed.

    The where should I live thing puts me in San Francisco, specifically in the Castro. Not sure how it picked that neighborhood.

    I’d love to read that Tom Ricks piece but they have it protected by a firewall.

    I don’t think there is anybody who plays the victim better than fundamentalist Christians.

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 18, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    I neutraled on that one, Alex.

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 18, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    MichaelG, fundamentalism makes sense if you remember that it’s a response to modernism. Or Modernism, if you like. Fundamentalism in a Christian context, which does have certain elements in common with Islamic fundamentalism, is an attempt to hold tightly to a key set of intellectual positions, or fundamentals, in the face of a rising tide of modern understandings of the world, the cosmos, and our place in it. So a certain beleaguered sense of standing on the Goodwin Sands as the tide comes in is built into the picture.

    I also think scientism (Scientism?) is a tide, which will go out at some point, because its explanatory power is deep, but very narrow. As a mildly conservative evangelical Christian, I see myself and my co-religionists more standing along the Dover coast, and the fact is that the cliffs of chalk are not everlasting stone, but are themselves steadily eroding . . . so standing in one place is not as stable a stance as some seem to think.

    Which way to shift, though, is a crucial decision. Don’t go over the cliff, but stay in sight of the ocean. Travel light, set up camp, but know that you’re on your way to Canterbury, not setting up shop for the long haul in your tent and bivvy bag.

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  38. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 18, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    (Re: the Goodwins – – if that allusion was too poetic for practicality.)

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  39. Deborah said on June 18, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    As a renter in Santa Fe with the apartment above us is empty and looking for a tenant, I can say I don’t give one wit wether it’s a Christian or atheist or whatever who moves in as long as they’re respectful of the property and the neighbors. I don’t have to be their friend. Previously there were students from St. John’s (a fine school here) that were marginally ok as neighbors. They had a menagerie of pets which were not allowed by their landlord but the management company didn’t do anything about it. Now there’s a new management company so hopefully they will be more vigilant. The previous next door neighbor was a very young single mom with two seriously bratty young boys that I’m happy no longer live here. They wrecked everything they touched and their mom was not good at controling them, at all. That place is occupied by a very quiet young, single woman now. We have done a lot of gardening and other improvements to the place on our own dime even though we don’t own. Our landlady loves us because of it, as well she should.

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  40. Dexter said on June 18, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Shaker Heights is where my fellows abide, it says…funny that, because my daughter the nurse practitioner lived there for a year and she is an Obama-hatin’ republican…maybe that’s why she only stayed there a year. When we visited them, they lived in a huge residential building predominately inhabited by older Russian immigrants who had a lot of spending dough and drove really high-end automobiles.

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  41. Deborah said on June 18, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Lots of typos above, sorry about that.

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  42. Scout said on June 18, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Deborah, we will be visiting Santa Fe from 7/8-13. We are renting a VRBO property in the Railyard Arts area, and on 7/11 we’re seeing Krishna Das at the Greer Garson Theatre. Seriously looking forward to it!

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  43. Sherri said on June 18, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    I understand fundamentalism just fine, Jeff(tmmo). I just find it hard to be very sympathetic to, when I’m a member of a group (women) fundamentalists want to marginalize.

    I’m a Christian, too, and I believe I was created in the image of God every bit as much as they were, and so I don’t much appreciate that they don’t want to recognize that.

    As far as closing the borders, if you want to close the borders, then let’s close the borders to everything! No capital or goods, either! Let’s have a real Fortress America! Self-sufficiency!

    I’m tired of capital and goods being privileged over labor.

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  44. basset said on June 18, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    But being a conservative Christian is a choice, right?

    Dexter, I read that book about the Clowns awhile back – and I still remember, every now and then, the quote from someone involved with the team about how he knew every tree along the highway and had “pissed up against most of them.” Now, that’s a road dog right there.

    Missed Benghazi by 552 miles, that’s just slightly less than the distance from Nashville to Flint.

    Meanwhile, this:

    I would not call myself a “gun lover” and have never personally experienced any of the ostracism mentioned there; maybe my friends are not sufficiently polarized.

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  45. Joe Kobiela said on June 18, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Jeff B@27
    I know we don’t call the shots globally, I blame that on the present administration.
    I think most the world has hated us since shortly after ww-2 unless of course they want our money or asylum, it seems anytime the USA shows weakness some one starts a war or bombs a embassy. I don’t think patting them on the head and saying don’t do it again works, you need to be firmer.
    I had a good friend visit Israel a while back, his guide was a former commando type. My friend ask him about the problems on the border, he just smiled and told him when someone gets out of line, they would infiltrate into the leaders home and draw a Star of David above there bed, never waking them, just to let them know who was in charge.
    Seems to work
    Pilot Joe

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  46. Dave said on June 18, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    I also got Gary. I did Ohio and got Oberlin. I did Florida and got some place I never heard of, in deep south central Florida. At least it wasn’t in the panhandle of Florida.

    I missed Benghazi by 315 miles.

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  47. basset said on June 18, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    That locality check would put me down around Tell City, Indiana… which is not all that far from where I was born & raised. That can’t be right, otherwise I would not have been in so much of a hurry to graduate and get the hell out of there.

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  48. jcburns said on June 18, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    I put in Georgia and the magic formula indicates we should be living one zip code to the west of where we actually live. In Michigan, we should be Kayakwoman’s neighbors in Ann Arbor, and if I enter Ohio I get Shaker Heights. Hmm. Two out of three.

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  49. Deborah said on June 18, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Scout, how cool! Would love to meet you someplace for a drink when you’re here. We are not far from the Railyard. We’re kinda between the Railyard and the Plaza. You would be the first nn.c person I would actually meet in person!

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  50. coozledad said on June 18, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    They hate us for our dumbfucks.

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  51. Scout said on June 18, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Deborah, maybe Nancy will share my email address with you and vice versa?

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  52. jcburns said on June 18, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Gee Deborah, based on that geo point, we were at your Whole Foods last April. And if I were nominating a place for nn.c people to meet for a convention, Santa Fe woul