Back to the grind.

I bused it into work today — ozone action alert — to find myself all alone in our little office. First day back from vacation, and apparently I missed the memo about everybody working in Ann Arbor today. No problem. It was a hot day, and I had a lot to do. So I sat in the air-conditioning and went for a short bike ride at lunch and that was that.

Actually, as working Mondays go, it’s pretty good. I love summer, riding past the baseball stadium on the way to lunch, where my favorite pizzeria was CLOSED?!? Well, damn. It was still a lovely day. And there were some good links. This one was horrifying:

Vassar — When people opposed to housing young Central American immigrants here claimed the youths worked for drug cartels, Adam Barden was frustrated.

When the opponents attended demonstrations armed with semi-automatic rifles, he was perplexed.

And when they threatened to boycott his hardware store for not agreeing with them, he got angry.

Yep, the debate over the Central American children has washed up in Michigan. It’s happening everywhere. And the protestors are open-carrying. This will surely work out wonderfully.

So, change of subject? How about this one? I swear, I don’t know why any of the big billionaires waste their money in Washington; the real power can be wielded in state legislatures, and the prices are so much lower:

Missouri is the only state in America that has declined to keep a prescription drug database — the primary tool the other 49 states use to identify people who acquire excess prescriptions for addictive painkillers and tranquilizers, as well as the physicians who overprescribe them. …But while proponents say the vast majority of the Legislature supports the measure, it has been blocked by a small group of lawmakers led by State Senator Rob Schaaf, a family physician who argues that allowing the government to keep prescription records violates personal privacy. After successfully sinking a 2012 version of the bill, Mr. Schaaf said of drug abusers, “If they overdose and kill themselves, it just removes them from the gene pool.”

See how easy? One guy can gum up the works.

And speaking of one guy, how about a Kennedy? RFK Jr. and his mad crusade against thimerosol, the boogieman chemical of the anti-vaxxers:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Institute of Medicine, no evidence supports a link between thimerosal and any brain disorders, including autism. But parental concerns of such an association in the 1990s spurred vaccine fears. This owed to a confluence of factors: highly publicized warnings of mercury-contaminated fish; rising awareness and diagnoses of autism; and vaccines added to the childhood schedule. The CDC urged vaccine makers to remove thimerosal as a precautionary measure.

Some parents took this as proof of thimerosal’s harm. The controversy, which Kennedy helped fuel in the 2000s with a notorious, widely publicized article, prompted additional vaccine fears that linger to this day.

The greatness was rinsed out the Kennedys a generation back, but the publicity remains.

A new week! It’s going to be a hot one. Enjoy yours.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events |

31 responses to “Back to the grind.”

  1. Sherri said on July 22, 2014 at 2:52 am

    “Don’t you feel like we’re guided by God?” she asked demonstrators during the rally. “I’ve never doubted myself or paused for a minute.”

    Funny, that’s not how I remember Jesus telling the story:

    But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

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  2. Dexter said on July 22, 2014 at 4:09 am

    News can ruin one’s day, such as when a dog kills a baby in Dayton (WLW-AM 700 radio reports Monday morning said the dog ate the baby, but there was enough left for an autopsy), and then I always catch flak for my unconditional support of the Palestinians in their fights against the settlers, especially now, with Netanyahu targeting hospitals and schools and, for God’s sake…ambulances and even medics running to assist injured Palestinian kids…gunned down easy as can be. Just because children sometimes are forced to be bomb bearers doesn’t give anyone the right to indiscriminately kill all the children. The lesson Americans should have learned from My Lai 46 years ago was not taught to the American Marines who went house to house killing Iraqi families and absolutely nothing means anything to Netanyahu, who has no compassion at all for Palestinian kids and families. He’s a genocidal monster

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  3. Dexter said on July 22, 2014 at 4:10 am

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  4. Jeff Borden said on July 22, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Well, I’m sure the 1,000 Texas National Guard troops that Gov. Eyewear is sending to the Mexican border will make everything all right. There’s never a humanitarian crisis that can’t be turned into a political stunt, right Ricky?

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  5. Basset said on July 22, 2014 at 8:17 am

    “Rinsed out…” – great line and I intend to steal it. Meanwhile… is this a tv reporter acting stupid or a subtle and ironic parody of a tv reporter acring stupid? I fear it’s the first, no telling how many levels of irony might be at work here though:

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  6. Jolene said on July 22, 2014 at 8:25 am

    I agree, Basset. It’s a guy trying to be funny about something that I’d be willing to bet he is misrepresenting.

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  7. Jolene said on July 22, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Man, that story about the Vassar residents’ reactions is seriously depressing. Do those people ever listen to themselves?

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  8. Basset said on July 22, 2014 at 8:45 am

    And a quick Google comes up with this, among others:

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  9. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 22, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Key line in the Vassar story: “The heavy-handed tactics, mostly from out-of-town groups…”

    There’s a new ecosystem of people who have learned how to follow the TV cameras around the country, ginning up enough cash from mailing lists to keep up payments on their storage locker at home and buy plane tickets to the next outrage du jour. We have one living here in this county, who shows up locally occasionally to castigate clergy for “not speaking out on critical issues of faith” enough to troll for a few more elderly supporters to hit with his fundraising appeals, but his “ministry” is nothing more than a virtual on-line radio show, and regular appearances in the background of crowd shots at events like this, praying for another studio invitation to speak on a panel Saturday morning at 10:43 (since his last one was six months ago, and every time his name goes beneath his face on the screen he not only gets a rush of validation, he also sees a surge in contributions coming in the mail).

    He represents nothing more than the Church of the Fear of The Other, and modern technology means he and his ilk can crowdsource their angry mobs from Vernal, Utah to Vassar, Michigan . . . and I also blame TV news on both ends of the spectrum for their feeding of these benthic organisms, whose agitation keep audiences worried and fearful enough to leave the channel on.

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  10. Jolene said on July 22, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Like I said, misrepresenting what the scientists said.

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  11. coozledad said on July 22, 2014 at 9:04 am

    The whole fart thing is just another idiotic way to frame a science story as clickbait. It’s a lot less interesting that research suggests blood gases play a role in metabolic function, mitochondrial function and apoptosis.

    In this instance, they’re talking about blood volume of hydrogen sulfide gas, which might be increased by eating onions and garlic (broccoli, too, I think.)

    Nitrous oxide is also a blood gas whose presence is necessary for cellular health and nutrient transfer, but you don’t get it by huffing Whip-its.

    The only fart sniffers are the preliterates pushing these stories.

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  12. Connie said on July 22, 2014 at 10:08 am

    I enjoyed these before and after pictures of Detroit. Maybe enjoy is not quite the right word.

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  13. Jolene said on July 22, 2014 at 11:04 am

    As if Obama doesn’t have enough problems, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled that the government cannot provide insurance subsidies through the federal exchange, i.e., the exchange used by people in states that did not set up their own exchanges. The specific phrase in the statute says that people are to be “enrolled through an Exchange established by the State.”

    The law also, presumably, provides for the creation of the federal exchange, but this errant phrase was used by the challengers to make a case that is counter to the plain intent of the law, i.e., that citizens of all US states should be eligible to purchase government-subsidized insurance, assuming they meet the income requirements.

    What now? This case was decided by a three-judge panel. It will likely be appealed to the full court sitting en banc. The full court, made up of seven judges is believed to be likely to support the law, but, jeez, what a bitch. Why, oh why, do they not want people to have healthcare?

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  14. Julie Robinson said on July 22, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Sherri, amen. Once again those calling themselves Christians are on the wrong side and must be apologized for.

    Connie, that was a fascinating link. I’ll never forget driving through Detroit in 1971 or 72, my dad the newsman forgetting that his family was in the car with him, as we went through street after bombed out street. With our farmer/DIY mentality, we couldn’t understand why they hadn’t been rebuilt. It’s heartening to see the areas that have been reclaimed even in the face of so much deterioration.

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  15. nancy said on July 22, 2014 at 11:25 am

    When it comes to Ben Stein news, it always gets better.

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  16. Jolene said on July 22, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Creepy. Ben Stein, that is.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on July 22, 2014 at 11:51 am


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  18. Julie Robinson said on July 22, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    To repeat yesterday’s comment, ick ickity ick. This smells like David Letterman and his assistant.

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  19. coozledad said on July 22, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    When you have reached the point Ben Stein has, where your head and face have come to resemble a cartoon penis from some early 1960’s Upjohn laboratories public service short about circumcision*, you need to stop trying to put your pisser in people who could be your grandbabies.

    *Imagine that old bastard eating custard.

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  20. Danny said on July 22, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    To show my vast understanding of the issue, I am willing to forgo the use of the legal term, “illegal alien,” in favor of the more appropriate terms, “slave labor” and “undocumented Democrat.”

    This “humanitarian crisis” and the potential danger it poses with these open-carry knuckleheads has a lot to do with the former (Bush) and current (Obama) administrations deciding that by fiat they would not enforce certain immigration laws. The Republicans are sucking up to big biz with their thirst for cheap labor and the Democrats are sucking up to expanding the constituency.


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  21. coozledad said on July 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    “undocumented Democrat.”

    And which of the seven Californias will you be dehydrating in?

    I’m just going to refer to Republicans as shit sans sheet.

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  22. Joe Kobiela said on July 22, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Just a quick question,
    Why do you automatically assume Ben Stein is guilty of this?
    I mean if he is yea he is a perv, but remember the duke lacrosse case.
    Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to judge. A 24yr old single gal? Might be looking for a pay day.
    Just a random thought
    Cheers from Holland Mich today
    Pilot Joe

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  23. coozledad said on July 22, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Beaners and sluts. Taking honest, god fearing, racist bastards to the cleaners.

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  24. Sherri said on July 22, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Jeff(tmmo), I’m willing to concede that there’s an outrage industry out there, but blaming everything on “outside agitators” is a time-honored tactic. No, we’re not bigoted here, it’s those outside agitators, if they’d just leave us alone, everything would be fine.

    Those outside agitators sure are busy, because protests are happening in a lot of locations. There have been protests up here too, from people worried that the government might house some of the kids at Joint Base Lewis McCord.

    Ben Stein’s statement sounds like something one of the self-proclaimed Nice Guys would say. “Hey, I gave you money, and I didn’t even ask for sex, just some hugs and kisses. What’s the problem? I should be the hero here!”

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  25. Dorothy said on July 22, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    I would assume the proof of Ben Stein’s participation would all be within the text messages and/or emails that the young lady had in her possession.

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  26. Sherri said on July 22, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    If you read the article, Ben Stein doesn’t deny he did anything she said. He just denies there was anything wrong with it.

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  27. Deborah said on July 22, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Some old geezer asking for hugs and kisses in exchange for $$$ is creepy, creepy, creepy.

    We leave early tomorrow morning for our road trip up to Minnesota for my nieces wedding. We put a lot of thought into our wedding gift. As I mentioned previously this is the niece who listed Walmart, Target and an Internet gun site as the places they are registered (this is my rightwing sister’s daughter). We decided to ignore all of those places and get her something uniquely New Mexican because a few years back when she was having some problems we brought my niece along on a two week trip to NM. So we got a cool market basket from the Santa Fe Farmer’s Mkt and are filling it with the following: a six pack of Alien Ale (made in NM), a jar of Chimayo salsa, a bar of lemon/lavender soap (made locally), a sage smudge stick, a small red chili ristra, lavender sachet. Then we’re wrapping it all up in some off white burlap held together with natural twine and topped off with some stems from our own lavender. I’m making a card for it which I’ll print out on our professional digital printer. My niece is in her early 30’s and her husband to be is in his early 40’s so they really don’t need housewares, they already have everything like that so we think this is a way to get around getting them gun stuff which I wouldn’t do, except that Little Bird has made a necklace for her cousin which is a Czech glass wedding bead connected to a silver plated bullet casing which is one of the pendants she’s been making. Traditionally these beads are given to a bride on the evening of her wedding, so that seems appropriate, as we’ll deliver the basket the night before the wedding.

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  28. Basset said on July 22, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Buddy’s getting married for the first time at 61, his intended is 40-something and they don’t need any house stuff so I took a nice posed picture at their engagement party, will frame that up and give it to them.

    Tough dinner yesterday – bit into a big metal shaving in some canned red cabbage, followed a few minutes later by a piece of plastic in some frozen ravioli.

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  29. Charlotte said on July 22, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Ben Stein has a long history of being a creep — and has often written about it on his own blog. As Sherri notes, he doesnt’ deny it, just doesn’t see anything wrong with it. Ugh.

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  30. linda said on July 22, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Jeff @9: Yes, the media is horribly complicit in shit stirring. They are like WWF promoters, but with less ethics. And they lack the courage to just call crazy people crazy, because those people are powerful. But when/if the crazies on the right fall on their asses, they will dance on the Tea Party’s grave, because then it will be safe to do so.

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  31. linda said on July 22, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Charlotte @29: The denial is clever. He denies that he did any touchimg, but not asking. He just ellides around the issue. A slippery non-denial.

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