The gales of November.

The lesbian couple at the center of the Michigan challenge to its same-sex marriage ban asked the Supremes to consider their case a week or so ago, and today the AG did the same.

“The history of our democracy demonstrates the wisdom of allowing the people to decide important issues at the ballot box, rather than ceding those decisions to unelected judges,” wrote Schuette, who also cited Justice Anthony Kennedy’s prior stance on affirmative action to bolster his argument.

Schuette noted in his filing that in deciding the affirmative action issue, Kennedy discussed the importance of trusting voters to decide significant issues and wrote: “‘It is demeaning to the democratic process to presume that the voters are not capable of deciding an issue of this sensitivity on decent and rational grounds.'”

You all know what I do for a living, so I can’t really express an opinion on this, other than to wonder when this country has left the rights of a minority in the hands of the voters, because if we had, there’d still be legal segregation throughout the south, women wouldn’t be able to vote and people of different races wouldn’t be able to marry, either.

Strange night tonight. The wind is howling at a speed that makes it sound like a continuous low moan, and we’re all waiting for the Ferguson grand-jury decision. Downtown, football fans are wandering around, waiting for the Jets-Bills game to start at Ford Field, i.e., the Lions’ home turf. Maybe you heard — there was some snow in Buffalo last week, so Detroit is bailing them out. The Lions gave the seats away free starting Saturday, and whaddaya know? A sellout. Or maybe a freeout. Whatever, the knots of fans who come in from the ‘burbs were already starting to appear when I left work in the gales. Wind always puts me on edge, and I’m not sure why, although I once read that it’s a contributor to domestic abuse in Livingston, Montana, where it blows constantly. I worry about flying tree limbs, lost power and wrecked hairdos. That’s enough to put anyone on edge.

So let’s skip to some bloggage while I pour a glass of wine and catch up on premium cable and chores:

How did I ever live before I met Tom & Lorenzo? “It looks like she skinned some white girl and turned her into a slutty cocktail dress.” Don’t ever change, J-Lo.

I was not the fan of the UVA rape story that many of you are — I found parts of it almost impossible to believe — but I am a big fan of this UVA rape story, which I found believable in every detail. It’s long, but well worth the read. And on the subject in general, Dahlia Lithwick speaks the truth. As usual.

You know what peeves me about these stories about how much students hate the new, somewhat healthier lunches dictated under new federal rules? The unspoken assumption that what they replaced was something wonderful. When you know it wasn’t. #thanksmichelleobama

Speaking of food, it’s time to start cooking. How about you?

Posted at 7:32 pm in Current events, Detroit life |

107 responses to “The gales of November.”

  1. beb said on November 24, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    The J-Lo dress is astounishingly ugly. As for her shoes, the close-up suggests the little toe on her left foot is one massive bunion.

    So why delay the announcement of the Grand Jury verdict until 9PM? Is it so everyone has time he get their shiit, er, guns togeteher for the upcoming apocalypse?

    The wind tonight really is something. Stepping out of the building after work I was nearly knocked off my feet, which if you’ve ever seen, you’d know would be no easy task. If we’re lucky the wind will solve out leaf problem … by making them someone else’s leaf problem.

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  2. Charlotte said on November 24, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Our winds started early this year — don’t know if it contributes to our local DV rates as much as booze/meth does, but as one of my old-timer friends notes “It keeps the rif-raff out.” The yuppie types move here after a glorious summer, then hit that 2-5 month spate of wind, and move to Bozeman.

    And thank you for alerting me to T-Lo. What would we do without them? (If you find royals a guilty pleasure, I’d also recommend Go Fug Yourselves).

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  3. Deborah said on November 24, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Did anybody really expect it would be anything but “no indictment”?

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  4. Suzanne said on November 24, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    The sad thing about the UVA story is that I have run across too many young women who, I believe, would think that not being invited to frat parties much worse than being gang raped. I do not get it. I went to college in the 70’s where kegs in the dorm weren’t unusual and drugs were free flowing. But today’s college students seem to have hit a different level of debauchery. Maybe I’m just old, but young women! Have some respect for yourselves. And young men! Don’t be predators. I feel like so many of the students think this is all part of the “college experience”.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 24, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    What’s looking like indictment territory is the shooting at a Walmart here in Beavercreek, Ohio, the John Crawford case. And there’s videotape of the officers’ actions. I’m still waiting to hear/see more about the 12 year old shot up in Cleveland. I stopped a group of kids running around with a BB gun they had intentionally snapped off the orange barrel extension, playing “flashlight tag” — I told them to take that gun directly home, and that they could be in trouble for running through backyards with an all-black fake gun pointing it at kids. Got a call later from a parent who wanted to know what I said to his (bratty) son. I explained the scenario, then added “imagine a neighbor calling the police, they respond not sure, and see in the shadows behind a house a silhouette with a black gun in their hand…how does that scene end in YOUR mind?” Dad said “thank you, I see what must have happened” and the kid hasn’t spoken to me since.

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  6. David C. said on November 25, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Say what you will about the relative merits of the Rolling Stone article versus the Jezebel and Dahlia Lithwick stories, I don’t think anyone can say the later two would be written and paid any attention to without the former. For getting anyone to pay attention to the problem the RS article is worth 10,000 “Oh dear me, I think I may have detected a slight problem with college women being raped. Maybe we need to form a study committee – if we can find the money in the budget and it doesn’t scare off the donors.” articles.

    For Thanksgiving, it’s just the two of us so we’re having pheasant. We’ve never cooked one and I hear they can be turned into something akin to leather in an instant. So it goes into the brine tomorrow and we’ll hope for the best.

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  7. Jeff Borden said on November 25, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Did any of you see the photograph of a Ferguson protester standing in front of armored police vehicles with his arms raised? It’s been paired on some websites with the iconic photo of “tank man” standing before a column of Chinese army tanks in Tiannamen Square. Not a terrible comparison, either.

    If I were a black American, I don’t know how I would be able to contain my anger. This kind of shit goes down so frequently with little or no ramifications for the police officers involved. Why should black people expect justice when they see so little of it in these cases?

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  8. alex said on November 25, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I’m making turkey tetrazzini. I absolutely hate, hate turkey breast meat by itself. I also hate the way turkey stinks up the house so it’s going on the grill outdoors. I don’t mind turkey in a rich, creamy casserole with ‘shrooms and veggies rolled into a vermouth-infused roux. Also making cedar plank mashed potatoes on the grill. And salad with Japanese restaurant-style carrot ginger dressing because my partner’s so enamored of it. And peppermint ice cream for dessert.


    Indictment or no, at least you can have the satisfaction of knowing that Officer Wilson will spend the remainder of his life in a prison much like that which surrounds George Zimmerman, a state of heightened paranoia and always having to watch his back because millions of people would love to have a piece of him.


    I thought the interview with the UVA rape victim rang a lot truer than the Rolling Stone piece, which seemed contrived and sensationalistic. Regarding the victim in the latter: Her friends were too worried about being disinvited to frat parties to take her to a frigging hospital? And a woman with such severe injuries as those described wouldn’t warrant a police investigation once seen in the emergency room? My ass.

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  9. Connie said on November 25, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Michigan AG Schuette is a hypocrite. The people of Michigan also voted to end the emergency manager law. With Schuette’s support the legislature immediately passed a new EM law and did so in such a way that it could not be ended by a ballot initiative. every time he talks about the people having voted to ban gay marriage I just shake my head. Or bow my head in shame.

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  10. Connie said on November 25, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Alex, I make peppermint ice cream pie. Oreo cookie crust and fudge topping. Yum.

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 25, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Hat tip to this blog community for teaching me how to roast Brussels sprouts. They’ve enlivened by Thanksgivings and many other meals ever since, but don’t worry — I haven’t told my son who got me started doing this.

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  12. Connie said on November 25, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Happy birthday Nancy.

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  13. beb said on November 25, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Amens to jeff @5 and Connie @9.

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  14. Sue said on November 25, 2014 at 8:42 am

    ‘Wind always puts me on edge, and I’m not sure why’
    I’ll tell you why – you can’t hear what’s coming.
    A local semi-rural radio station this morning referred to Officer Wilson as defending himself after being attacked by an angry thief. I didn’t realize the grand jury had convicted Michael Brown.

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  15. jcburns said on November 25, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Happy (stealth) birthday, Ms. NallDotCom.

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  16. Charlotte said on November 25, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Happy Birthday Nancy!

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  17. Connie said on November 25, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Today’s column heading has me singing the Edmund Fitzgerald song again, 15 days after the actual anniversary.

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  18. Peter said on November 25, 2014 at 11:52 am

    I’m very late to the school lunch discussion, but our school had pretty good lunches available. Of course, there were a few reasons for this:

    1. We shared buildings with a high school, so basically the food was cooked for them and we got in on the deal.

    2. The cafeteria staff consisted of two old nuns, a couple of widows, and 8th graders who did the heavy lifting and cleaning for a free meal (like yours truly).

    3. The menu never ever changed – 50 years later, I can still tell you it was:

    Monday – Meatloaf and mashed potatoes
    Tuesday – Leftover meatloaf smashed up and made into sloppy joes and fried potatoes
    Wednesday – Leftover sloppy joe sauce now paired with pasta
    Thursday – Hot Dogs and fries
    Friday – Grilled Cheese and tomato soup.

    Regarding Ferguson – I’m actually thinking the response has been rather civilized, all things considered. Somebody in the Tribune said that this was no riot – Watts, Detroit, Chicago, now THOSE were some riots.

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  19. brian stouder said on November 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    That jauntily lit “Happy Holidays” banner that stretched across the street will be in all the recaps of this, for the rest of our lives

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  20. LAMary said on November 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Happy Birthday, Nancy

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  21. adrianne said on November 25, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Hey Nancy – it’s your birthday! Have a happy one.

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  22. Dexter said on November 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Happy Birthday nance. Now that you have all the household birthdays out of the way, you can hit the Christmas malls and shoppes. 🙂 Tell us all about the recipe for the gigantic birthday drink your fave barkeep will concoct. 🙂

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  23. Jerry said on November 25, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Nancy, I hadn’t realised we shared a birthday – Happy Birthday.

    I’m rather older than you; I’m 70. We share a birthday with the son of our “sorta-daughter”. He was ten today, so sixty years younger than me. He blew candles out on his cake. No candles for me – probably a fire risk.

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  24. Dexter said on November 25, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    This is for you moms out there who know all about having babies…Dallas Latos is a really cool lady and a woman who knows how to blog; by that I mean she’s a real writer and has a legion of followers to prove it.

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  25. Dorothy said on November 25, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Happy birthday Jerry and Nancy! You share the birthday with my son’s mother-in-law. And need I remind anyone it’s one month until Christmas?

    Happy Thanksgiving to every single one of you! My son and d-i-l are hosting for the first time and it’s going to be a fun one, I’m sure. My mother is getting a ride here with two of my sisters and a few other family members. I think we have 18 expected at Josh and Meg’s. Meg’s family is finally going to get to meet my mom. Yay!

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  26. Minnie said on November 25, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Happy birthday, Nancy.

    School cafeterias: Attending a number of schools, I experienced decent to mediocre meals – awful pasty butter beans; surprisingly good stewed tomatoes over rice; tasty WASP-style meat sauce with spaghetti sprinkled with grated cheddar). High school was a different story. A friend’s grandmother, a no-nonsense woman, managed the cafeteria. She took whatever the government found fit to feed us and turned it into delicious Southern home cooking. We were so-o-o-o lucky.

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  27. Peter said on November 25, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Heartfelt greetings on your birthday:

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  28. MichaelG said on November 25, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Happy Birthday Nancy and Jerry!

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  29. Jolene said on November 25, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Ezra Klein finds Officer Wilson’s account of the Michael Brown shooting implausible.

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  30. Judybusy said on November 25, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    I wish you the happiest of birthdays, Nancy and Jerry! May you find time to celebrate in style!

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  31. Sue said on November 25, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Happy birthday to all the November birthday boys and girls! Guess who you share a birthday with?
    ‘”November is the most disagreeable month in the whole year,”
    said Margaret, standing at the window one dull afternoon,
    looking out at the frostbitten garden.
    “That’s the reason I was born in it,” observed Jo pensively,
    quite unconscious of the blot on her nose.’

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  32. Deborah said on November 25, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Jolene, that Vox piece said is something I didn’t know before, that the body was 150 ft from the car. I would love to see a map that shows the whole scene. Does anyone know of something like that out there?

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  33. alex said on November 25, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    MM Jeff–

    What’s your secret brussels sprout recipe again? I’m on my way out to do the shopping tonight and plan to buy some. Gotta serve at least something that isn’t verboten for pre-diabetics and heart patients.

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  34. Deborah said on November 25, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    OK I found this when I googled a crime scene diagram:

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  35. Jolene said on November 25, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks for finding that diagram, Deborah. That 150 ft. difference is important. It makes the idea that Wilson had reason to fear Brown at the moment he was shot implausible. This just seems like something that didn’t have to happen at all.

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  36. Sherri said on November 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Caitlin Flanagan’s Twitter feed is interesting, re the UVa rape story (@CaitlinPacific). She wrote a story for the Atlantic last spring about frats (, and is a UVa grad. FWIW, she believes the RS story.

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  37. Wim said on November 25, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Happy Birthday, and many happy returns.

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  38. Sherri said on November 25, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Did you think that just because House Republicans released a report finding that there was nothing to the Benghazi conspiracy claims, that they were going to stop looking? Hah!—i-m-ready-to–re-appoint–members-to-special-benghazi-panel-in-new-congress-001822450.html?pt=BureoF3GVB

    Maybe they’ll find Saddam’s WMD there if they look fast and furiously enough.

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  39. Julie Robinson said on November 25, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Happy Birthday to Nancy & Jerry & Dorothy’s son’s mother-in-law!

    I watched the ABC interview with Darren Wilson and thought he came across as squirrelly. He’s had a lot of time to rehearse his story but couldn’t tell it clearly and with confidence. No one comes out of this looking good, that’s for sure.

    Although Bill Cosby has to be happy he’s been pushed off the front page.

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  40. alex said on November 25, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    What would the Republicans do without Benghazi? They need poo to fling at Hillary in ’16 in the form of sinister-sounding buzzwords that can be imprinted on the tiny brains of their base to connote gross incompetence or even a masterful coverup of skullduggery. They can’t very well use Monicagate as their rallying cry, as it conjures up the specter of blowjobs and spooge and forces them to have to explain sex to their children, and it only garners sympathy for Hillary anyway. Benghazi! Benghazi! Long live Benghazi!

    Well, maybe I won’t do brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving after all. The Kroger was picked over bigtime and I got the very last mealy little bag of those buggers. My fallback, a broccoli dish with leeks, is kaput because they had no leeks. And despite their massive kitchen gadget department I couldn’t find a potato ricer, which seems to be de rigueur equipment these days in every damned mashed potato recipe I see. So I guess mine will just have to be lumpy and old-fashioned again this year. On a whim, I decided to use gruyere cheese instead of white cheddar, so at least they’ll be yummy.

    Thanks for linking to the Ezra Klein piece, Jolene. I read it earlier and I have to say I’ve heard cleverer bullshit from children busted for stealing and cheating and smoking dope than the tortured tale Officer Wilson wove. A grand jury accepted this at face value? God help us. Today a former colleague mentioned in passing that she was so glad this was over and that people just need to read the transcripts and accept the reality that a worthless thug got taken out by an honest cop doing his job. I very much doubt she has read the transcripts, having just read Ezra Klein.

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  41. Jolene said on November 25, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Here’s another valuable piece re Ferguson. It’s an interview in which two lawyers, one from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and a law school professor, discuss the transcript of the grand jury proceedings. They are both, to put it mildly, critical of the way Wilson’s testimony was handled by the prosecutor. You might expect that from the NAACP person, but the law school professor doesn’t seem especially political, and she takes pretty much the same view.

    Most of the first half of the show deals w/ Ferguson. This interview starts at 18:30.

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  42. Kim said on November 25, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Many happy returns, Nancy and others!

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  43. Jolene said on November 25, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Another analysis of the prosecutor’s examination of Wilson–this one very brief.

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  44. Sherri said on November 26, 2014 at 12:46 am

    Why was the grand jury verdict announced at 8 pm local time? It’s almost as if they were trying to provoke a reaction, in hopes that mob violence from protests could lead the news rather than yet another cop killing a black kid and not being held accountable. Imagine that.

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  45. Basset said on November 26, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Maybe so most people would be home from work and school?

    Alex, we’ve been using this mashed potato recipe – lumps are good, they give it some texture and you know you’re eating potatoes and not some kind of dried flakes:

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  46. beb said on November 26, 2014 at 8:49 am

    When it comes to unbelievable stories in the Ferguson case “Witness #40” takes the cake:
    Atrois who first linked to it, titled his link “Dear Penthouse Letters.”

    If walking in the middle of a street were a capital offense, Detroit would be depopulated. I’m not sure if it’s to avoid the pitbulls defending their territory or white crackers with guns.

    Elon Musk founder of both Tesla Motors and SpaceX has been pursuing reusability for his rocket. He’s been doing studies in Texas with a variation of his Falcon 9 rocket equipped with landing legs with great success, and the last couple launches for Cape Canaveral have had the first stage attempt a soft landing on the ocean. Rough seas has prevented recovery. In an effort to constantly refine his efforts Musk has acquired a large barge which he has outfitted with gps positioning motors as used on oil rigs and he’s going to practice landing his rocket on that positioned down range in the south Atlantic. Refuel it there before flying it back to the Cape. This is just so incredibly cool. And proves that Americans with vision can still be wonderful things.

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  47. Deborah said on November 26, 2014 at 9:09 am

    I don’t know if this is the case in Ferguson but in Chicago, on the south side many young people walk in the middle of the street because of gangs. They feel more secure that way, if they’re on the side of the street they feel more vulnerable to an attack by gangs. This American Life had a two part episode about a high school and they clearly talked about how the kids walked home from school that way which frustrated drivers.

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  48. alex said on November 26, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Thanks, Basset. That one has me drooling. I won’t use it this time around as I’d already planned to do it with gruyere and green onion, but I’m bookmarking your recipe for Christmas.

    I googled roasted brussels sprouts and found bazillions of recipes — in ghee, in olive oil, with bacon or pancetta or nuts or parmesan, with or without balsamic. Every writer raves about having discovered how much better they are roasted than steamed. I figure I can wing this one with whatever ingredients are on hand. If I can find some more brussels sprouts in the picked-over grocery stores, anyway. How can the biggest stores run out of a simple staple like this one? Or for that matter whipping cream? During the holidays in Hoosierland it’s like shopping in Soviet Russia unless you get there a week ahead of time.

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  49. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 26, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Alex, trim the stems of the sprouts, set them on a cookie/baking sheet, and drizzle a bit of olive oil on each one, then shake some salt and pepper on them. You put them in the oven at about 350, and roast until the outside leaves are black. Seriously. It looks off at first, but oh, my. And the outer leaves that fall off and look like nasty black bits on the tray? I eat all of those before dinner. Don’t cook until everything is black all around, but mostly.

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  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 26, 2014 at 9:49 am

    From Mitch Albom —

    So there’s this blog thing written by a local writer. I’ve never met her, and I’ve been writing in this area for 67 years, but people I know tell me she’s pretty good at what she does.

    These blogs, I guess, are like columns. You write them, you post them, you hope they make a difference.

    You hope so, anyhow.

    But this Nancy Nall, I guess she has a following.

    Hundreds, anyhow.

    And what I really don’t understand is that she does what I guess these blog people do, which is leave open a sort of comments thing at the end. And she reads them.

    Now, myself, I don’t read comments. It just brings me down. And I’m about uplifting people. If you’re all about uplift, you don’t have time for the downers, the people who bring you down. So I don’t get that.

    And she not only reads, but responds to many of these comments on her blog thing.

    That’s okay, I guess — for her.

    Me, after writing this column for 72 years and having published dozens, even hundreds of books (and a play, don’t forget, plus some of my books have become movies), I know I just don’t have time for that sort of grief. Looking up stuff, responding to questions, learning new things — it all gets in the way of the next book. I can prove that, actually: this Nall person hasn’t published any books (or had a play she wrote produced, on a stage, with actors). So she might want to rethink that whole comments approach.

    But it’s a big old world, and it takes all kinds. And I understand, this just got passed along to me, that she had a birthday. Which is always nice — I’ve had thousands of those myself. But for this Nancy Nall and her blog thing, I really want her to know I wish her only the best for her birthday, the one just past.

    And for her next one, too. That’s only fair.

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  51. Basset said on November 26, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Thread win and a place in the permanent record for that one!

    Alex, that cedar planked mashed potatoes recipe looks really good, we’re gonna have to try that one. Need to get a cedar plank first, though, I doubt a bamboo cutting board would work. Pizza stone might, though.

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  52. Basset said on November 26, 2014 at 11:14 am

    That one, that one. Can we bring back the edit button?

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    • jcburns said on November 26, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      What edit button?

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  53. brian stouder said on November 26, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Jeff tmmo – what Basset said; well done! (but not burned)

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  54. Connie said on November 26, 2014 at 11:52 am

    I like plain old boiled potatoes mashed with butter and milk. The trick is to put at least one and maybe two tablespoons of salt in the water for the potatoes. I will later use that hot potato water to make my gravy.

    I learned to make potatoes, gravy, and roast pork from my Dutch grandmothers and my mother.

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  55. Deborah said on November 26, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Well done Jeff tmmo! Kind of scary the way you channeled old Mitch there, the way he writes about someone but uses it as a way to write about himself and his “accomplishments”, and the double spacing between thoughts. And of course the cliches. Perfect.

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  56. LAMary said on November 26, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    What Connie said.

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  57. Deborah said on November 26, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Hot potato water for gravy is something my aunt did too. She stirred flour into the water, getting it really smooth, no lumps and then she added that to the pan drippings. I had completely forgotten about that until you mentioned it Connie. My aunt always said she wanted her grave stone to read, “Here lies a woman who could make good gravy”. Little Bird makes really good gravy too, it’s an art.

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  58. Connie said on November 26, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Thanksgiving recipes most googled in every state. Indiana is persimmon pudding.

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  59. adrianne said on November 26, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Alex, brussel sprouts are THE hot vegetable. Alas, my favorite grocery store was sold out of them on Tuesday night – some crazy run had depleted their 100 pound supply. Went with fresh green beans instead. How do I make them? I shred them in a food processor, saute about 1/4 pound of pancetta in a pan with olive oil, take pancetta out, put shredded sprouts in with chopped garlic and 1 tbsp. herbes de provence. Mix the pancetta in when it’s done. Easy and delish!

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  60. Deborah said on November 26, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Yes the photo of the “Season’s Greetings” tinseled banner above the fully weaponed cops in Ferguson is classic, but another interesting shot that I just saw online is the one of George Stephenapolis seated at the table with Hulk Hogan looking Darren Wilson. Granted Stephenapolis is a small guy, but Wilson is 6’4″ and looks every bit of it in that photo. He says he felt like a 5 year old afraid for his life while grappling with Michael Brown? Yeah, sure.

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  61. Jill said on November 26, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Alex, I roast brussels sprouts pretty much like JtMMO, but at 400*. I line the baking sheet with parchment paper, throw the trimmed sprouts into a bowl and drizzle olive oil on them there, add S&P and stir. Pour them out onto the parchment paper and throw them in the oven. Sometimes I add some slivered onions partway through the roasting, sometimes some cranberries or craisins for the last little while. They’re delicious. (And that’s from someone who grew up thinking brussels sprouts were the joke of the vegetable world, since I’d only had them boiled from frozen.)

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  62. Deborah said on November 26, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    The perfect New Yorker cover

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  63. jcburns said on November 26, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Some controversy now about whether New Yorker illustrator saw this editorial cartoon from August first.

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  64. brian stouder said on November 26, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    eh – I like the New Yorker cover better…and if I was on the plagiarism grand jury, I’d vote not to indict the New Yorker, as the Arch is such an obvious St Louis symbol; and indeed, the New Yorker cartoon is substantially different (their Arch has a black half and a white half, rather than labels, and it is not broken)

    Aside from that, I hope Ruth Bader Ginsburg is OK; and Rep King of NY can go to hell

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  65. Deborah said on November 26, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    This really has nothing to do with anything relevant to Ferguson, but my husband and I have noticed a number of photos lately of a building he designed in St. Louis. It’s the Federal Courthouse It has turned up in the background of some photos of protesters etc and it’s in that cartoon that JC linked to, on the far left. But interestingly (at least to me) it’s not in the New Yorker cover illustration. I can’t remember exactly but I think the building was completed in the mid 90s or maybe it was later than that. I designed the signage for the building.

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  66. Deborah said on November 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    I just read the article about the courthouse that accompanied the photos and it says that it was dedicated in 2000. That may be so but I remember it as being earlier than that. I went to the dedication and Eagleton was there. John Danforth gave a very moving speech for it.

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  67. alex said on November 26, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Costco saves the day! They had ginormous boxes full of big bags of brussels sprouts. Screw Kroger. And thanks for the tips!

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  68. Jolene said on November 26, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Alex, do you have a particular recipe for your cedar plank mashed potatoes? Not that I’ll like ever make them, but I like to be prepared–just in case I ever buy a grill . . . or a plank or . . .

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  69. Jolene said on November 26, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Likely, not like.

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  70. Sherri said on November 26, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    More from Dahlia Lithwick on Ferguson:

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  71. basset said on November 26, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Jolene, might as well cook ’em in the oven as on a gas grill. I’ll try it and report back once we get through the impending holiday, assuming I don’t take my own life first. Gotta love these warm family times.

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  72. MichaelG said on November 27, 2014 at 12:31 am

    Wow. The Great Dahlia hits the nail on the head once again. I remember a quote from somewhere (I wish I could remember who said it): “Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done.)

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  73. MichaelG said on November 27, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Edit: Missed a “

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  74. Connie said on November 27, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Happy Thanksgiving to all. I am about to spend much of it driving to the west side of the state and back. Looking forward to seeing my Dad and both my brothers in the same place! Husband and daughter are doing a north/south drive as we have decided to separately hit both families today.

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  75. alex said on November 27, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Jolene, you can pretty much use any mashed potato recipe. You make them up the night before. In the meanwhile, soak your cedar plank overnight. When preparing to grill, just form the potatoes into a loaf on top of the plank, make some divots on top and fill with butter pats or cheese.

    For my mashed potatoes, I did it this way only I trebled the garlic and used two cups of grated gruyere. Was going to put green onion into the mix but forgot.

    Originally I was considering this recipe, but not sure all of my guests would care for the cajun seasoning.

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  76. Charlotte said on November 27, 2014 at 11:09 am

    P.D. James has died:

    We’re having a wee tiny Thanksgiving here — at the cabin, a turkey, mashed potatoes and whatever salad I bring along that my beloved won’t eat! Was planning to take the puppy for his first xc ski, but our foot of snow seems to have melted overnight!? Which is very sad …

    Happy Happy to you all!

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  77. beb said on November 27, 2014 at 11:20 am

    MichaelG: see,_1st_Viscount_Hewart for the origin of the phrase “Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done.”

    Dahlia Lithwick ought to be nominated to the Supreme Court as she has a better sense of the law than a lot of the members currently there. Also she could one hell of an Opinion.

    Much is being made of officer Wilson’s account of the incident, beginning with the question, why would a man who had just robbed a store confront a policeman? I suspect it all depends on how the incident began. If Wilson had said, “Hey. you, get out of the middle of the street,” nothing much would have happened. But if he had said, “Hey, N——, I could see were Brown might have lost his cool. And why was Wilson telling Brown and others to get out of the street when people walking in the middle of the street had to be routine and daily occurrence.

    Then when you read this:
    I begin to wonder if it isn’t time to disarm cops. They’re too dangerous with guns.

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  78. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 27, 2014 at 11:55 am

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  79. Jolene said on November 27, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    beb, I haven’t reviewed the transcript, but, as I understand it, Michael Brown’s companion, Dorian Johnson, testified that Wilson said, “Get the fuck out of the street,” whereas Wilson claims to have said something more respectful. Again, I haven’t read the transcript, but I did hear an interview with Johnson and heard a commentator remarking on the difference.

    I see Wilson as simply inadequate to the task. He disrespected Brown; then, when Brown foolishly hit him, he overreacted. He wasn’t thinking as a professional; he was thinking as a man whose position had been challenged by someone that he regarded as a lesser being.

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  80. MichaelG said on November 27, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Thanks, beb.

    I finally got the turkey in the oven but there’s no room left in there. I’m going to have to cook some stuff in the microwave. I’ve never done that. I guess you just put stuff in there and keep checking. My erstwhile wife, daughter and the grand kids are coming over.

    I’ve never roasted sprouts. I guess I’ll have to try it.

    Here’s another F-1 tidbit for you, Brian.

    Thing about cops killing kids is that you can’t look at each one in a vacuum. There are a whole shitload of them that have happened over the last few years. There’s a whole great big context. It seems like they all have shoddy, secretive investigating in common, that the cops’ reactions are from fright (shooting tons of rounds) and that there doesn’t seem to be any thinking or any real attempt at another solution. The action of first resort seems to be to just shoot the bugger. After all, there won’t be any consequences. Seen from the perspective of the neighborhood, it’s just one more killing piled on a heap of them as the privileged cops exercise their right to kill annoying kids.

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  81. Sherri said on November 27, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving all. We’re heading over for our usual dinner with a group of longtime friends, our family equivalent, since none of us have family anywhere close. (And I, for one, enjoy this more than I would enjoy Thanksgiving with family!)

    Tomorrow my husband and I celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary, and I’m very thankful for that!

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  82. Kirk said on November 27, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Anyone who hasn’t seen the video of the Cleveland cops killing the 12-year-old kid the other day should take a look. Doesn’t look good at all.

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  83. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 27, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    There’s both a justice and a political angle to all the attention in Ferguson, but there’s also the problem that at least 50% of all police shootings are of people with diagnosed mental illness (not post-hoc speculation, so it could be higher); 75% in some jurisdictions. Why this is, is complex, but it’s not because cops “want” to shoot them, but we’ve backed into a system where that happens frequently.

    And as long as large numbers of citizens have guns, and non-legal guns are in easy supply, then we’re stuck (unlike England or Germany, whose officers shoot single digit numbers of people per year) with armed street officers and the chance to provoke an encounter.

    Michael Brown may or may not have had personal issues that helped to lead to this situation. But the structure of how to deliver mental health preventive and treatment services, and the social assumptions that force police departments to carry heavy weaponry on casual patrol, were all as present as racism was in that Ferguson street encounter. Add in a cultural element of “going out in a blaze of glory” getting all sorts of odd reinforcements in popular media, and you have folks seeking out treatment for their pain and trauma by daring, begging, or otherwise forcing cops to shoot them — which does end *their* pain, but keeps the cycle alive for all the survivors all around.

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  84. coozledad said on November 27, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Michael Brown may or may not have had personal issues that helped to lead to this situation.

    I will not even venture to speculate on how thin a veneer of white civility a racist must maintain to slop shit for the delectation of NPR idiots, but y’all really, really need to chew on this shit a little bit and see how it reflects on you.

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  85. Jolene said on November 27, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Jeff, I know that mental health issues are involved in lots of interactions between police and civilians and that they often end badly for the civilian. But I think you are reaching to bring that analysis into this case. So far as we know, Michael Brown’s problems involved being young, perhaps impulsive, and, of course, black. He shouldn’t have hit the cop, but Wilson had numerous opportunities to handle the situation in a way that would have produced a different outcome. But he didn’t think. Instead, he responded out of fear and contempt, and we got what we got.

    When people are authentic the state to carry weapons and exert control over others, they simply have to be more skillful in doing those things.

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  86. Jolene said on November 27, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    “Authentic the” supposed to be “authorized by”.

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  87. beb said on November 27, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    coozledad! Welcome back.

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  88. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 28, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Not sure what you think I’m saying, Cooze, I’m pointing out that cops keep shooting people with mental health issues that *are* documented. Michael Brown did not, and I’m not including him and the Ferguson situation in that. I think you’re reversing my point entirely. Racism (which I specifically mention separately) is what’s in the focus right now, and I think it actually helps, not clouds the discussion to add that the mental health factor in police shootings shows that there’s a structural problem, and you don’t have to try to start from a position of “all cops are blood-thirsty idiots” to support the proposition that the statistics and results of our current law enforcement model display a definite flaw or flaws in what’s going on — structurally. If you think the only useful statement is “racism racism racism” I think you’re not going to find much of an answer worth working with. Racism is a big part of the problem, but it’s not the whole problem.

    And I’d say the core issue is that we all tend to think of policing as “guys with guns who respond to calls of trouble.” That’s the first thing that has to be reframed. What are police for? What are they doing when they’re doing their job?

    In Great Britain cops fired something like three bullets in a full year not long ago, in Germany a few dozen fired total nationwide. They’re not lawless wildernesses, and they have racial issues and stresses aplenty. What they don’t have is a) a heavily armed general population, and b) the assumption that cops are always the most well-armed force and that’s how they prevail. That’s an oversimplification of it’s own sort, but it’s a start. Reducing weaponry in general has to be a goal for the US, and changing what we think of police as doing is another.

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  89. coozledad said on November 28, 2014 at 12:03 am


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  90. MichaelG said on November 28, 2014 at 12:52 am

    I don’t think that anyone here is starting from the position that cops are bloodthirsty idiots. What I tried to articulate @80 is that cops, like everyone else on a job, are inclined to take the easiest course of action when confronted with any kind of situation. In these many situations spread over the whole country and beyond race, a tradition has developed that the easiest course when confronted with a problematic person is to shoot the suspect. Shooting has become the default solution to dealing with difficult individuals. Cops have had de facto training that shooting is the easiest course of action because it is and because there are no consequences. I don’t care what the chief says at the news conference. I don’t care about mayoral hand wringing. I don’t care if the governor appoints a blue ribbon commission. In the end the investigations are largely conducted by the cops themselves, are shoddy, secretive and pointed toward exonerating the shooter. Shooting is quick and clean and the shooters walk.

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  91. David C. said on November 28, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Our Thanksgiving pheasant was a great success. I was nervous as hell, especially when the instructions said to turn the over up to 500° for the first 15 minutes. The meat was much more moist than, for instance, my grandmother’s Thanksgiving turkey when I was growing up. Grandma was a prototypical mid-Western cook. Goal number one was to make sure whatever she was cooking was well and truly dead. Anyway, the pheasant was quite sinewy which gave the impression that we were eating a meal with dental floss built in, but it was very tasty. I’ll definitely do it again.

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  92. Basset said on November 28, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Tried spatchcocking (where does that name come from? Butterflying for us regular folks) our holiday turkey for the first time, results were good, 10/10 would do again.

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  93. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 28, 2014 at 9:09 am

    “Shooting has become the default solution to dealing with difficult individuals. Cops have had de facto training that shooting is the easiest course of action because it is and because there are no consequences.”

    MichaelG, you said it much better than I was trying to. I blame the carbs. But yes, that. I’d just add “and difficult situations” since there are shootings where there’s ultimately no indication of the individual being all that difficult, but the circumstances left the police uneasy and unnerved, and so they draw.

    I’m trying to shade things just a bit the other way on training because I’m also very impressed with our own local police, who recently had to deal with a shooting, caught on dashcam video, where it is truly a sign of good training that no innocent parties got shot (and the escaping suspect ended up getting stopped by a vehicle, not a gun) even after a police officer had taken a bullet. But having said that, I still don’t get the way “empty the clip” is being taught. There were about five more shots fired than made any sense, to me, but the guy did jump out of a car holding a gun, did shoot a uniformed officer, and after he darted away in the initial flinch, three civilians popped out of doors nearby — every time I watch that video from here in Newark, Ohio, I’m amazed the cops didn’t shoot the near twin of the suspect who stumbled out a door literally right into the spot where the fleeing perp had been when he shot the cop.

    Ironically, I think half of why he didn’t get plugged was that, having emptied clips, the officers involved were having to reload, giving them time to also realize the scene had changed. But that’s not a good reason to continue the “empty the clip” training they’re all getting.

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  94. alex said on November 28, 2014 at 10:05 am

    My brussels sprouts were a smashing success! I coated them in olive oil in a bowl first, then sprinkled them with salt and pepper, then laid them in a baking dish and scattered some finely diced bacon on top. The planked potatoes, with my homemade turkey gravy, were the runaway hit of the evening. And the casserole and salad rocked too.

    I don’t know how many of you here considered the Ezra Klein piece that was linked upthread, so here it is again:

    I find it nearly impossible to accept the premise that an unarmed teen would have brass balls enough to go punching an armed police officer in the face through a car window.

    And I agree that police being over-armed and trigger-happy is largely the consequence of the oversaturation of guns in society.

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  95. Basset said on November 28, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Second thanksgiving dinner success: Mrs. B found that she likes Gewürztraminer (Oliver’s, from Bloomington), so maybe I can start getting her away from white zin.

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  96. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 28, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Try Oliver’s Mead. Mmmmm, mead.

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  97. Basset said on November 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Been drinking that stuff since it was a dollar-69 a bottle and sealed with wax.

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  98. Charlotte said on November 28, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Ooh pheasant is one of my favorites! And yes, David — most game birds do well when you cook them hot and fast. I’ve got an antelope loin from the freezer thawing for tonight — again, simple. Will throw it on the grill and serve pink (it pays to stay on good terms with hunter-exes).

    I’m in full-on ostrich mode right now about police shootings, insane shopping, and pop culture. Reading PD James, who I’ve never read before — the lady had a way with a sentence!

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  99. Deborah said on November 28, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    I took a walk today and had to walk a block up Michigan Ave just to get away, and it wasn’t bad. I even walked on Oak Street, again it wasn’t crowded at all. Whole Foods in Lincoln Park was a ghost town, well not really, but people seem to have done most of their grocery shopping before Thanksgiving. I was surprised, I was expecting the area to be swarming on Black Friday.

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  100. Sue said on November 28, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Basset if you still have my email send me your address, I’ll send you a bottle of Three Lakes Cranberry Rhubarb wine and your wife will think she’s died and gone to heaven.

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  101. Basset said on November 28, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Sure appreciate that, don’t have your address but I’ll ask the Proprietress to pass mine on… and send something appropriate in return for the Three Lakes.

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  102. Jolene said on November 29, 2014 at 1:45 am

    Very interesting article that gets at the culture of police departments and on training specifically focused on avoiding police shootings. In Richmond, CA, such training has held down police shootings without any increase in crime. We really need more of this.

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  103. Charlotte said on November 29, 2014 at 10:40 am

    RIchmond is such a success story. It’s gone from one of the most dangerous places in the Bay Area to a really progressive, fairly safe, interesting city.

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  104. coozledad said on November 29, 2014 at 11:24 am
    This amalgamation of floor scrapings went to the same party school I did. Someone’s bound to have digital photos of her emptying her guts into a trash can with her dress only partly covering her head. Or is everyone who went to ECU a reformed ho?
    Oh well, at least it gave us an opportunity to remember how nasty the Bush gals were.

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  105. Deborah said on November 30, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Well this is damning about the Fergusion Grand Jury. Why isn’t this more known?

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  106. coozledad said on November 30, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Deborah: It doesn’t matter what they know. Confirmation bias can make a fleeing 18 year old kid a murderer by virtue of his having been murdered. It can exonerate George Zimmerman.

    It elects Republicans in dirt poor trash states. It’s turned whiteness into a virtue rather than an unintended result of prolific overbreeding. It’s turning this country into an amoralists’ playground.

    It’s made shite-rock frontman Scott Stapp a victim in his own meth-addled brain. If he were black some might say he was courting police suicide:

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