Auguring in.

It’s hard to stop thinking about the suicidal German pilot, isn’t it? The details keep sticking with me, especially the part about his breathing:

In the final moments, the sounds of terrified passengers filled the plane even as Lubitz — audibly breathing as a bleeping alarm warned of imminent collision — kept quiet through the end.

Heaven help us from a man who can breathe calmly through the act of taking 150 lives. It will be interesting to see how this one unfolds:

But as officials carted out boxes of belongings, including a laptop, from his family’s home in a middle-class neighborhood of this southwestern German town, questions centered on several months in 2009 when Lubitz took a leave from his pilot training.

Here’s hoping this isn’t a here-we-go-again deal. I can’t stand the stupid, as the kids say.

A busy couple of days, but a long weekend ahead — Kate is off on a solo spring mini-break, and we are off to Toronto, just for the hell of it. The house- and dog-sitter arrives in the morning, and I cleaned two bathrooms today. Vacations, even mini-vacations (this is only a weekend), are hard, until they’re not.

So, before we head off for the great white north, a few pieces of bloggage:

A sea change in Kentucky’s approach to heroin addiction. Via the HuffPost, which I don’t generally trust, but here goes:

On Tuesday night, Kentucky lawmakers passed wide-ranging legislation to combat the state’s heroin epidemic. The bipartisan measure represents a significant policy shift away from more punitive measures toward a focus on treating addicts, not jailing them.

The state will now allow local health departments to set up needle exchanges and increase the number of people who can carry naloxone, the drug that paramedics use to save a person suffering an opioid overdose. Addicts who survive an overdose will no longer be charged with a crime after being revived. Instead, they will be connected to treatment services and community mental health workers.

Speaking of drugs, and emergency measures, Indiana’s in it, too:

Gov. Mike Pence Thursday declared the HIV epidemic in southeastern Indiana a public health emergency and gave local authorities the OK to begin a short-term needle-exchange program to help fight an outbreak that now includes 79 cases all linked to intravenous drug use.

But Pence made it clear that allowing for a temporary needle exchange program does not reverse his long-held opposition to needle exchange programs.

Of course it doesn’t. He’s opposed to them, except when they work.

Fans of “The Wire,” and of the president — which probably covers everyone here — will want to watch this delightful conversation between Barry and David Simon, talking criminal justice and the war on drugs. Two smart people, jawin’. You’ll like.

A good piece by my colleague Ron on the obstacles in front of poorer high-school kids when they start to look for college options:

Michigan’s low-income high school graduates, as well as many of the state’s rural grads, enroll in college at lower levels than their wealthier, suburban peers. Those who do enroll are less likely to attend a four-year school, and more likely to drop out before earning a degree.

Some of that gap is because of differences in academic achievement that correlates stubbornly to family income. But there is another, less visible cause, one that involves physics tutors and strategically groomed extracurricular activities.

This is the after-school gap – an admissions-driven arms race that widens the already-broad college access gap between low-income students and their wealthier peers.

With that, I’m off to pack my suitcase. Good weekend, all. Eh?

Posted at 11:02 pm in Current events |

111 responses to “Auguring in.”

  1. Sherri said on March 27, 2015 at 2:27 am

    The after-school gap is enormous. Even in my relatively affluent suburban school district, the high school counselors were of absolutely no help in the college application process. It’s not even so much the test prep and the activities as it is understanding how to navigate the process. If my daughter had had to keep track of everything on her own, of what classes and tests to take and when, of getting recommendations and writing essays, and the timeline for all of it, there’s no way she would be where she is. I didn’t hire any tutors or admissions help, because I could manage it on my own, but I’d say the majority of my friends do at least meet with a college consultant. If my daughter had been seriously interested in the Ivies, we would have hired a consultant as well, but I knew my kid, and I knew we could find a fit for her without a consultant. But I had time and experience.

    892 chars

  2. Deborah said on March 27, 2015 at 5:23 am

    I agree with Sherri, my husband and I helped our daughters negotiate college choices and admissions. I can’t imagine how any of them would have managed it on thier own, and not because they were incompetent. It’s extremely complicated and fraught with obstacles that can make you want to give up. I feel for kids who have no support through the process.

    353 chars

  3. David C. said on March 27, 2015 at 6:21 am

    My parents never went to college. So I had no idea where to even start. As Sherri said the high school counselors were no help. My dad was especially no help because he was in one of his libertarian-asshole moods and refused to sign my FFAFSA. So I ended up working my way through community college and got an associates degree, got married, and 20 years later finally got my bachelor’s degree. I graduated from a then rural high school in 1977, well before the current arms race. We’re screwing over our kids right now. Some know and don’t care, some know and don’t know what to do, but something has to give or were all screwed.

    630 chars

  4. Basset said on March 27, 2015 at 6:37 am

    David, what was the rationale for refusing to sign the FAFSA?

    61 chars

  5. alex said on March 27, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Not sure why there’s such an enormous spike in heroin usage, although one thing I can say anecdotally from my work involving medical records is that in recent years I don’t see people gaming the system to obtain narcotics anymore and it used to be quite common. (In one recent case, a Hoosier addict set up a residence and established himself with doctors and hospitals in Kentucky though still appeared to be living in Indiana.) What has changed? The state of Indiana for several years has had a database accessible to doctors and hospitals that shows what patients have been prescribed and when and by whom. No longer can someone go visit every ER in the region, claim a sprained ankle or a backache, and walk out with a bottle of Vicodin, and make the same rounds repeatedly without anyone giving a damn.

    A local chain of pain clinics was shut down recently when its physician owner was accused of causing numerous deaths by overprescribing, and I suspect he was probably serving a fair part of the market that had been turned away from the hospitals.

    I haven’t seen any local news media weighing in on it, but there have been some national stories suggesting that prescription drug addicts have been turning to heroin because it has become more affordable and easier to obtain.

    1289 chars

  6. Suzanne said on March 27, 2015 at 8:30 am

    My parents didn’t attend college either. My dad would fill out the FAFSA (or whatever it was called in the late 70s) raging & seething the entire time about how I wouldn’t get any $$ because he had worked hard all his like, stayed married to my mom, wasn’t a drunk or a philanderer and on & on.

    I have a close relative who has two kids who have been floundering since they graduated from high school. Both enrolled in some sort of higher Ed but didn’t make it past a semester. Their parents have stated over & over that no one helped them figure out college, so they didn’t have to hand hold their kids. I’ve tried to explain that it’s a completely different environment now & hands off just doesn’t work. It’s just too complicated,

    752 chars

  7. Jolene said on March 27, 2015 at 8:37 am

    Alex, the articles I’ve seen attribute this recent rise in HIV cases in Indiana mainly to prescription drug abuse, particularly something called Opana, which I’d never heard of. Pence also mentioned this when he announced this program yesterday.

    394 chars

  8. Jolene said on March 27, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Harry Ried has announced that he’s not going to run again, which means an open seat in Nevada in 2016. It’s good that his departure coincides with a presidential election, as it increases the chance that the electorate will lean Democratic.

    I hate to lose someone who’s been a tenacious fighter for Obama’s agenda, but, on the other hand, I admire him for retiring before he becomes senile. There’ve been too many examples of people staying in the Senate too long.

    467 chars

  9. Danny said on March 27, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Have a great vacay, Nance! Toronto is beautiful.

    A slight addendum to yesterday. Something I failed to mention was that my greatest mentor at work over the last two years has been a woman named Leslie. Leslie and I were peers for a few months and then a re-org was in the works that didn’t make a lot of sense to me in that it would have scattered our groups to different directorates while we were trying to work closely through some complex product issues. Thankfully, I was able to put the kibosh on it by effectively lobbying management to let me voluntarily re-org my groups to report to her until we got through all the issues.

    I can’t think of a person at our company that I respect more than her. She is brilliant and an absolute workhorse. A very impressive and capable individual who is destined for greater things. All this while raising 4 kids, Geesh, what a force of nature she is. Anyway, as I was rereading comments from yesterday’s thread, I thought it worth sharing. She recently made Director and I am so proud of her and thankful to have her as a friend and mentor.

    1096 chars

  10. alex said on March 27, 2015 at 9:03 am

    And you always address her as “hey girl,” is that what you’re saying?

    Here’s the dope on Opana. I’ve been seeing that name a lot recently. Turns out it’s OxyContin under a new name and formula.

    310 chars

  11. Danny said on March 27, 2015 at 9:24 am

    You know, on the income versus academic achievement front, I do have to anecdotes that run contrary to low income being an insurmountable obstacle.

    First is my buddy, Sung Moo, who was right off the boat from Korea when we became friends and fellow math nerds in 7th grade algebra. Sung lived with his widowed mother and two sisters in a roach infested apartment complex in the suburbs of Baltimore. From his modest upbringing, he went on to double major in Bio-mechanical & Electrical Engineering at Hopkins. Then he went on to a Medical degree at Stanford (as we all would). We reconnected a few years back through mutual Facebook friends when we found out that we only lived 20 miles from each other in San Diego.

    Second, there are our friends, Tony and Kim. They are Vietnamese and were both child refugees on some of the last airlifts out of Saigon when it fell to the Khmer Rouge.

    As a young adult, Tony lived in a homeless shelter and put himself through engineering school. He did a stint in the Navy and then some merchant marine too. They are two of the nicest and most unassuming folks you could ever meet, but they currently own thirty-five houses and live in one off the most affluent areas of San Diego. Makes me feel absolutely lazy and unaccomplished!

    Anyway for myself, I do recognize that being raised in a low-income situation is a tangible hurdle to getting ahead in life and I am not trying to be Mr. “Pull Yourself up by Your Bootstraps!” But in conversations with Sung or Tony & Kim, they are quite bullish on this being a land of opportunity with near infinite possibility. They give short shrift to arguments promoting low-income as a real obstacle to achievement.

    1723 chars

  12. Danny said on March 27, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Not all the time Alex, but I when I have walked into a room where she and our other work friend, Erin (female) were just sitting down at 5 PM to work for several more late hours through a slide presentation for President’s Staff, it would not have been uncommon for me to greet them with, “Hey girls.”

    They are my friends and both of them are hugely accomplished and capable individuals who know they have my utmost respect and admiration.

    442 chars

  13. coozledad said on March 27, 2015 at 9:54 am

    For fuck’s sake. Can oleaginous Righty sanctimony get any damn oilier?

    And why do I know I’m going to be sorry I asked.

    122 chars

  14. coozledad said on March 27, 2015 at 10:09 am

    they are quite bullish on this being a land of opportunity with near infinite possibility. They give short shrift to arguments promoting low-income as a real obstacle to achievement.

    And being made completely of straw, they are somewhat flammable. This is why they never took up smoking, and were able to put together quite a nest egg. It also keeps them from affectionately referring to me as “butterstink” when I pop a rubber band over my eyelids
    and do Charlie Chan.

    480 chars

  15. Danny said on March 27, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Good morning to you too, Civil-War-Reenactment Dude.

    52 chars

  16. coozledad said on March 27, 2015 at 10:15 am


    8 chars

  17. alex said on March 27, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Religious Freedom goes down in flames in Georgia. With all due respect to the author of this piece, it was my understanding that opposed Indiana legislators wanted to add precisely such a provision that would have prevented it from superceding local nondiscrimination ordinances but were run over roughshod.

    437 chars

  18. Dorothy said on March 27, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Nancy do you mind if I ask how you hire a house sitter/dog walker? It’s been an ongoing disagreement in our house about finding someone to do this. I do not want to just hire any business and/or person unless we have a personal recommendation from someone. I’m just nervous about having absolute strangers in our house. This weekend our son has drill so he’s doing the dog walking duties as a favor to us while we go to Pittsburgh. He lives about 70 minutes from here, but drill is about 3 miles from our house so it’s convenient for him to stay here. However, when we go to the ocean next week for 5 days or so, we are kenneling the dogs and a neighbor will check on the cat. I’m just curious how you (and any other readers here) do in-home dog care.

    756 chars

  19. Kath said on March 27, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Dorothy: we got a recommendation from our vet for a pet sitter because we needed someone who could administer fluids to our aging cat while we were gone for two weeks. The person she recommended couldn’t do it because we were too far of a drive for her, but she recommended someone who was a trained vet tech and worked in our area. She was extremely professional and well organized. During our initial meeting, she asked to be shown where the breakers and the main water shut off valve was. That sold me. She keeps a key to our house and we just e-mail her when we need her. She fills out a little report card of what the cats were up to every time she visits. My friend’s cat sitter texts her a picture of the cat every time she comes to the house. I worry a lot less when we travel now.

    789 chars

  20. Kirk said on March 27, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Yes, Dorothy, check with the vet. My wife is a pet-sitter, and she got a number of her clients from posting a notice in the vet’s office (with permission, of course. The vet knew us well). Some services are dependable; others aren’t. I’m biased, of course, but engaging an independent with a good reputation is the way to go.

    325 chars

  21. LAMary said on March 27, 2015 at 11:22 am

    My son does house and pet sitting and most of his customers are via word of mouth. He does daily dog walking for a few people as well.

    135 chars

  22. Charlotte said on March 27, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Bassett @4 — my dad too was a dick about the FAFSA. The only reason he paid most of my college (left me with a few thou, screwed over my brother big time) was because the divorce agreement obligated him to. But his business was always up and down, and he had a tendency to pull small cons, and bottom line, he just didnt’ think it was anyone’s business, or that he should be on the hook for our college. I was so grateful when I got to grad school and it was all in my own hands.

    I do a lot of volunteer college counseling here. Thanks to the advanced degrees, I’ve been in and know people who went to a lot of different schools — from small liberal arts colleges to the Ivies to state schools. Our kids here meet certain geographic diversity markers, so that helps some (as, I’m sure does their almost-universal whiteness), but I tell them all to apply to a variety of schools, see where they get the best deal, and if their heart is set on a name school, but they don’t get in, to go to MSU or the U of Montana and transfer. It’s not tricky advice and I don’t have any secrets, but the local high school just doesn’t give them any help at all, and most of them just head off to MSU or Montana …

    1204 chars

  23. adrianne said on March 27, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    The biggest factor in getting into good colleges seems to be if your parents went to college. My heart really goes out to smart kids whose parents never went through college and they have no idea where to begin. The guidance counselors at my sons’ high school were good, but they have way too many kids to worry about.

    318 chars

  24. Jolene said on March 27, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    When I was in high school, the University of North Dakota, which was 12 miles from my hometown, used us as guinea pigs for their their grad students in counseling & guidance. I was, like many here, the first in my family to go to college and had absolutely no idea how to do it. The grad student that I met with told me that I could “aim higher” than UND or the other state schools that students from my high school typically went to, if they went to college at all.

    So, I started writing away for info from various schools, still with little idea about how to use the info I received. That didn’t matter, though, as, when my dad saw the catalogs that appeared in the mail, he told me that I’d be going to UND, and I did. He wasn’t a mean guy, but he didn’t have any basis for understanding the differences between schools, and he knew that I was only the first of a string of kids who he wanted to send to college. He knew enough to know that in-state tuition rates mattered, even back then.

    I can’t say it was a terrible place to go, but the absence of a real choice at that stage was followed by more poor decisions about how to use my time while I was there. I more or less drifted through an undergraduate degree and spent several years afterward spinning my wheels in low-level jobs before finding my way back to graduate school and a career.

    The best advice I’ve read about college comes from articles that talk about how to really use the many opportunities for involvement in one’s field of study that are available at most schools. I don’t know if I’d have done a better job of that if I’d gotten better advice about where to go to school or if another school would have done a better job of helping me identify and develop my talents. But, whenever, the opportunity presents itself, I talk to kids about how to find teachers, courses, activities, and internships that will help them figure themselves out and be a bit more ready to confront the big world with a better idea about what piece of it they want to bite off than I was.

    2056 chars

  25. brian stouder said on March 27, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    To be honest, I leave all the college navigation to Pam, with regard to our son; and soon enough our daughter will be in the game.

    And for a complete non-sequitur – yesterday while Grant (our college student) and Shelby (our high school sophomore) and I were tooling around town – a realization suddenly hit me.

    We were headed up Broadway (an old boulevard, with character) toward town – and I had forgotten that it was closed before you get to the old GE plant – which caused us to turn off into the residential areas.

    Think narrow streets, with generally big two story houses all huddled shoulder-to-shoulder – and I went by the house my dad grew up in, 80+ years ago.

    This got us talking, and then I meandered back southward, to the neighborhood where I grew up, which sparked more conversation….and then it hit me: I’m the ghost!

    All the folks and the events one recalls, are either living elsewhere and doing whatever, or in the Great Beyond – well past Fort Wayne, Indiana’s south side! – and it is up to we, the living, to haunt these places.

    Anyway – back to our regularly scheduled conversation, spiced with a little west coast trolling, as today’s special!

    1219 chars

  26. Dexter said on March 27, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    brian, Broadway was the “main street” of my year or so in Fort Wayne. I lived at 816 West Washington, quickly made friends with the people in “The Bakery”, which was a head shoppe, no donuts. I also stopped in at The Brass Rail and I hung out at a record store nearby. Weekend nights, the place to go was Broadway Joe’s bar, dinner with dates was of course Zoli’s Hungarian Cafe. Once a month I’d try to get into the employment office at GE because I really wanted to work there…never were hiring. I had quite a few friends renting apartments right on Broadway about midway from West Washington to W. Rudisill. At the old Indiana Theater were shown XXX films. I went once out of boredom and never went back…creepy dudes inside and I never wanted to go back.
    Maloley’s and Rogers and Marsh supermarkets were everywhere and Hire’s was right there for car repairs…I kinda hated to leave old West Central. Back in 2001 I had to go to Fort Wayne for our vision plan to get new eyeglasses, and I drove down the alley behind the old apartment where our cars were vandalized with semi-regularity…all weed grown, trash strewn, decrepit broken cars with high weeds growing around them, even in them…the old house had the paint all peeling off…yes, I too was a ghost.

    1277 chars

  27. brian stouder said on March 27, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Dex – that dirty movie house became an up-scale fine-dining place for awhile there (I think it is now a live theater, but don’t quote me on that), and Pam and I ate there once, just to say we did.

    Six decades ago, a young newly-wed transplanted Italian New Yorker would walk over to that theater to catch the latest movin’ picture show…or else just pushing a stroller containing my oldest brother from her in-law’s and her Home Avenue home.

    I believe she told me she saw John Kennedy – or maybe it was Bobby – in a parade right down Broadway

    550 chars

  28. nancy said on March 27, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Great discussion today, as always. I’m waving hello from southern Ontario, riding VIA, Canada’s answer to Amtrak. It’s a good answer: Left at the stroke of the advertised departure, and there’s a drinks cart and comfy seats. Good enough for me.

    Oh, and wifi. Woo.

    267 chars

  29. nancy said on March 27, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    I’m told the Amtrak cars around the Midwest are frequently hours off-schedule, due to being sidetracked by long, slow-moving freight trains carrying oil tar sands, a byproduct of fracking in the west.

    200 chars

  30. brian stouder said on March 27, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    And hey! – all that oil could make any place a “BOOM” town, if ya know what I mean…!

    86 chars

  31. Jolene said on March 27, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Farmers in the Midwest have also faced problems in getting grain to market because so much rail capacity is being used to haul oil from Montana and Western North Dakota. Much of the wheat, corn, and, soybeans from the Midwest goes by train to Minneapolis and then down the Mississippi.

    And, in fact, there have been some booms along the way, Brian! One in Casselton, ND some time back, as well as others in Canada and further east.

    435 chars

  32. nancy said on March 27, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Actually the trains are carrying oil and some byproduct of oil tar sands extraction, not the sand itself. Writing on an iPad is hard.

    133 chars

  33. Sherri said on March 27, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Fights over oil trains are starting in Washington, and will get much hotter if the Keystone pipeline is blocked, since moving the oil by train to Seattle and from there by ship to Asia would be the next most obvious route. There is substantial organized opposition to a proposed coal terminal near Bellingham, which would involve coal trains from Montana and Wyoming traveling through Spokane to Seattle and then up north to Bellingham, before shipping the coal to Asia. The opposition will also fight oil trains.

    513 chars

  34. brian stouder said on March 27, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    And, as Rachel Maddow taught me – there is an exquisite irony here, too.

    Oil trains don’t HAVE to be rolling incendiary bombs – the product CAN be made less volatile before shipping it.

    The state of Texas – TEXAS!! – requires oil producers to process the oil into a less volatile state before rail shipment, whereas North Dakota (et al) are doing the wild-west thing, where it’s do-whatever-you-want with no state inspections or regulations on the volatility issue.

    Who’d a thought Texas would have more sensible government regulation than….anyplace!!? – let alone North Dakota?

    596 chars

  35. alex said on March 27, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Dex, Nance and I used to cocktail at that old porno house turned fine dining establishment. In its last incarnation as a theater, it was known as Cinema Blue. The restaurateurs did a play on the name — they called it “Catablu.” Refurbished it quite handsomely. Still, the location was a bit dicey and it never did very well, so they took the name and moved to the ‘burbs where they’re doing a fine business. Since then, the Broadway facility has become an entertainment venue and reception facility known as the Philmore.

    Nancy and I also visited with Zoli right before he finally went out of business and she wrote about it here. Must have been around 2003 or so. He was planning to retire to Hungary but died before his plans materialized.

    The Brass Rail is still there. The Bakery has been replaced by a place called Twenty Past Four. The neighborhood is on the upswing and the old Artlink (later Food Co-op) space on the west side of the street south of Jefferson is now a hot dining and entertainment establishment called the Phoenix.

    The supermarket at the corner of Taylor is now occupied by a store that bills itself as an “international grocery” although it’s pretty much just Mexican.

    1207 chars

  36. David C. said on March 27, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Basset, my dad wouldn’t sign the from because “they have no right to know how much I make”. Mostly, he did it because he could. He signed the form for my older brother. Probably, because my brother would have made his life miserable unless he did. I was, and still am, the quiet one in the family and put up no fuss. I really stumbled out of the gate because of it though. It took me three years of shitty jobs to get the money to even start community college. In the end, I think it worked out OK. I had my math and science classes with experienced teachers, not in a cattle call class taught by a TA. But still…

    615 chars

  37. MichaelG said on March 27, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Old story. I drifted to the U of Ill because it was cheap and my parents could almost afford it and I got a small scholarship and I agreed to work. Later (much) I drifted into a job and was in my fifties before I finally figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up. The high school guidance councilors (right spelling?) were utterly worthless.

    I had a beef with a cab driver this morning. On the way back to my hotel he blew right past where he should have turned and was all the way to the port before I spoke up. I may have raised my voice a little. I may have said the F-word. As in “I just want to go to my fucking hotel, I don’t want a fucking city tour.” He was quite abashed and apologized profusely and refunded part of my fare. I guess it was as much my fault as his since my Spanish isn’t the greatest. He claimed that I said “casino” rather than “cathedral”. I don’t feel bad.

    This weekend is daylight savings time. Didn’t we just do that? I guess they didn’t get the word here in Spain. I get to do it twice this year.

    There’s a gallery near here that has several sculptures by Michael James Talbot. His thing is sculptures of women. They are rather realistic, somewhat erotic and, to my eye quite beautiful.

    There is an edition of 12 three foot high bronzes of the one I like. The name is Ophelia. Pictures give an idea of what the sculpture looks like but are a very pale representation. The real things have a life, a feeling to them. I am so tempted to buy Ophelia. It’s several tons of money. Deborah. Help. Are you familiar with Talbot? Do you have an opinion? I’m smitten. This is Ophelia:

    1909 chars

  38. MichaelG said on March 27, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Yea! Amanda Knox is free!

    26 chars

  39. Danny said on March 27, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    MichaelG, beware if she flies back to Europe during your visit.

    63 chars

  40. MichaelG said on March 27, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Yeah, I know. She’s into some kinky shit. Imagine what her legal bill must be.

    80 chars

  41. Deborah said on March 27, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    MichaelG, I had not heard of Talbot before, but I see why you are smitten. I love the elongated female forms. Stunning. I Googled him, and he’s British, still living. Good stuff.

    My older sister paved the way for me to get into college, in a way. I had no choice but to go to the same school if my Dad would pay for it. I had no clue how to go to the college of my choice, the Kansas City Art Institute. My sister went to a Missouri Synod Lutheran college in Nebraska and that’s where I went too, by default. My husband’s older daughter is two years older than his younger daughter and my daughter, so he did a lot of the negotiating and research that was necessary before I had to deal with it. My daughter, went to the school I wanted to go to (Kansas City Art Institute). I didn’t think I was influencing her, but of course I was. My husband’s older daughter went to Boston University and his younger daughter went to USC, and later got a master’s at USC and then another master’s at one of the Claremont Colleges which one escapes me right now. All of this cost us a fortune, and none of these girls are using their education for employment for various reasons. Not that I don’t think a good education is important for its own sake, but still.

    1250 chars

  42. Deborah said on March 27, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    There’s a recent This American Life segment that covers some of the issues we’ve been discussing about kids trying to wade through the college decision and application process who don’t have much support because of their economic situation.

    311 chars

  43. Charlotte said on March 27, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Those rolling incendiary bombs are coming through Livingston all day, every day, three blocks from my house. We live in terror.
    The coal trains might be dusting us with carcinogens, but at least they won’t explode.
    And don’t even get me started on the absolute lack of passenger rail on the southern line, you know, the one where all the people live? That you can’t take a train from Billings to Missoula, with stops in betweem, is criminal …

    448 chars

  44. Judybusy said on March 27, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Hey, my dad also refused to sign FAFSA! I was living in Minneapolis at the time, and he wanted me to come home (2 1/2 hours by car, which I didn’t own, god knows how many hours by Greyhound) as a total “I’m your father and you will obey me” control trip thing. I declined, he didn’t sign, sending me on a long strange trip with my ex as I couldn’t continue at the U of MN. Ultimately, it turned out OK, as we ended up in Madison, working as live-in care providers. I paid my way through school and got a master’s in social work which I just love.

    Nancy, enjoy Toronto–what a great break and fun city to explore, so I’ve been told.

    MichaelG, Talbot is indeed so beautiful. That is breathtaking.

    Update on the dangerous dog thing: the dog was picked up and there is a destruct order. The owner is contesting it, but there is quite a bit of documentation of non-compliance. Even if it gets postponed, this guy is such a knucklehead I have no doubt he’ll continue to be non-compliant, which we’ll document and report. We also got our first bid for the privacy fence. I estimate the extra fencing needed to screen the neighbor will cost us about 2 grand. (We were planning on fencing in part of the yard, not wanting to block the beautiful yard of our neighbor. Until this issue raised its ugly head.) *Sigh* My riotous garden and her more restrained style were so perfect together. I have a lot of photos of my garden, but they don’t do her garden justice, as it’s obscured by “the jungle.” This is early spring a few years ago, shot from the kitchen window. It’s even prettier now that she’s painted her house and garage.

    1689 chars

  45. Danny said on March 27, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Some thoughts on the Ellen Pao suit from the Slashdot community:

    One of the comments asserted that half the jury was female and that all of the asian jurors voted against her. Not sure if that is true.

    And I link from one of the commentors on her husband, Buddy Fletcher, who apparently had some history of “dubious lawsuits” according to the writer:

    578 chars

  46. Sherri said on March 27, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Why limit yourself to Slashdot, Danny? Why not go full-on Reddit, or Hacker News? They’re all so friendly to women.

    (And yes, I know that Ellen Pao is the interim CEO at Reddit. That doesn’t change the culture of the Reddit boards.)

    235 chars

  47. Deborah said on March 27, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    We spent the day today being Good Samaritans, sorry for the oleaginous sanctimony but on the other hand it ate up a perfectly good day to work out in the yard cleaning up the winter’s worth of neglect. We had a full clear day to look forward to getting some yard work done when some friends who live in Taos called in the morning to ask for assistance when their car broke down in Santa Fe on their way to pick up their parents (hers) at the Albuquerque airport. It’s a long involved story but it involved driving to various places to pick them up, have them over for lunch and drop them off at the train depot after I gallantly offered to drive them to Albuquerque. They’re lovely people and it was fun to see them and spend time with them, but also frustrating because it was the perfect day (high of 70) to get outside and get things cleaned up. Oh well there’s always tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. What a bitch I am.

    926 chars

  48. basset said on March 27, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    A more pleasant dog situation… we got our weekend-furlough service dog today, six-month-old lab/golden/poodle mix. Friendly and playful little guy, inmates at a prison about an hour away are training him and others and volunteer families take the dogs on weekends to get them used to being around people. He might end up as a diabetes dog, a seizure dog, a helper for someone who’s handicapped… right now we’re still working on “sit” and “stay,” though. Mrs. B is bonding with him in the next room as I type.

    College admissions… I don’t know that I ever talked to a high school guidance counselor, not even sure we had one when I graduated back in 73.

    662 chars

  49. Dexter said on March 28, 2015 at 2:19 am

    I saw Amanda Knox on the news tonight; her Italian attorney surely was pro bono , right? Lawyers jump at the chance to defend celebrity defendants and so promote their own name and business. That attorney said this was a formality, that everyone knew she was to be totally exonerated by the high court over there. I had no idea. Anyway…she should just stay away for a long time. Who knows what would happen to her if she went back there.
    brian, it was Bobby Kennedy. When the parade for him reached Zoli’s, trays were rushed from Zoli’s to the limo and Bobby ate in the car. The trays were sent back inside and the kitchen help and the waitstaff divided the plates and silverware Bobby used, and kept all of it for souvenirs. One of the Fort Wayne rags ran a remembrance piece about it …maybe in 2008, the 40 year anniversary of that day.

    852 chars

  50. Dexter said on March 28, 2015 at 2:39 am

    I was in high school during the Vietnam war, when it was raging hard. My guidance counselor was Arthur Snyder, who had racks of military recruitment flyers, and folders from schools, of course, but for us kids that didn’t have parents who had planned to pay a nickel for any pre-college tests and visits, let alone any tuition , old Mister Snyder would push us hard to go defend our country, a real live chance to stop communism, by god..we could DO it!
    I thought about all this years later when I heard of high school teachers in places like Oakland, California, who held impromptu seminars on their own time, telling kids how to avoid the draft and stay the hell out of the war.
    Now I will give Snyder his just props, as he did help the college-bound kids prepare for all they had to do to get properly started at their colleges. I am trying to think where some of the college-bound kids went. At least 2 went to IUPUFW, one went to Davidson in North Carolina, one went to Tri-State in Angola, some girls went to beauty college, one kid went to a business college, several boys went to trade schools for electronics or auto repair, but most of us went to work , one boy became a fine carpenter and house builder, and most of the rest of the boys went to work in the factories, and many of the girls were married that summer. It was 1967.

    1349 chars

  51. Sherri said on March 28, 2015 at 3:22 am

    According to an article I read, Amanda Knox reportedly got $4 million for her memoir a couple of years ago; that probably helped put a dent in those legal bills. She’s engaged to be married, but I don’t think she’ll be honeymooning in Italy!

    241 chars

  52. coozledad said on March 28, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Why limit yourself to Slashdot, Danny? Why not go full-on Reddit, or Hacker News? They’re all so friendly to women.

    You take your confirmation bias where you can get it. Only selected sources will tell you the Khmer Rouges were anywhere near Saigon in 1975, seeing as they were busy fighting Lon Nol in Cambodia, a different national and geographic entity than Vietnam, and the Khmers despised the Vietnamese anyway.

    The Khmer Rouge explicitly targeted the Chinese, Vietnamese, and even their partially Khmer offspring for extinction; although the Cham Muslims were treated unfavorably, they were encouraged to “mix flesh and blood”, to intermarry and assimilate. Some people with partial Chinese or Vietnamese ancestry were present in the Khmer Rouge leadership; they either were purged or participated in the ethnic cleansing campaigns.

    Danny’s “industrious Asian” stories were likely lifted from the flyleaf of some Regnery press doorstop.

    968 chars

  53. Jolene said on March 28, 2015 at 9:30 am

    This story about the GOP rep who didn’t get the responses she expected when she invited her constituents to tell her about their problems with Obamacare has been popping up in various places around the Internet. It’s actually worthwhile to go to her FB page to see the long string of positive comments. Must admit I take a great deal of pleasure in seeing a Republican occasionally have to confront reality. Enjoy, and be sure to tell your friends.

    592 chars

  54. brian stouder said on March 28, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Jolene, that was a great news story.

    Judybusy – those are wonderful photographs! I’d fear the looming fence-change, since it has to make a dramatic difference in your now-beautiful backyard….but I’m betting you’ll make it work.

    And Deborah, knowing no more about you than what a person can read hereabouts, still I’m certain that of all the labels one might assign to you, “bitch” ain’t one of ’em!

    406 chars

  55. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 28, 2015 at 11:15 am

    My mom had to sign the FAF in ’77, my dad was so angry at the realization that the process implied he should take out a second mortgage he couldn’t see straight — it’s the angriest I ever saw him, and I now realize because he was embarrassed and somewhat humiliated by his essential inability to do what a) he’d have liked to have done and b) what some nameless governmental process said what his duty. We kept hearing (I’m oldest of four) that the formula would work out for the younger ones, and boy was that a laugh. My folks made just enough to never qualify for anything; my sister and I got some aid by way of academics in scholarships, but everything else was loans . . . which is why I took seven years to get my bachelors, but anyhow.

    The video conversation between David Simon and the President has a nice little aside towards the end, worth listening for. Simon is pointing out a fact too rarely introduced into the conversation on education and outcomes, and I hope it was heard by more than just his interlocutor: kids learn. That’s what they do, all the time. They learn. There’s not “no learning” or “learning,” they’re either learning valuable and helpful lessons, or they’re learning hints and clues about how the wicked old world works. We can teach them with vision and hope and possibilities outlined and pointed towards down the road, or we can kick them to the curb and teach them “divil take the hindmost,” “them as gots, gets,” or “look out for number one, always.” So the idea we can teach a little less but better is like the chimera of “quality time.” Any teaching/learning that gets taken off the table (third year Spanish, AP Biology, health and safety) creates a void into which some other kind of learning will occur. During study hall about how to make hash oil, or release time that shuffles into the parking lot for a lesson on how to set up one-pot cooking operations in the trunk of the used Nissan you just traded your old DS for. From Mario to meth in one easy stumble.

    2011 chars

  56. adrianne said on March 28, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Ellen Pao may have lost her lawsuit, but won the war – now those misogynistic shits in the tech fields have had their behavior exposed to the world.

    148 chars

  57. beb said on March 28, 2015 at 11:42 am

    I’m gratified that Indiana Gov. Pence is getting so much grief for signing that right-to-discriminate bill. At least two conventions are pulling out of the state, Yelp announced that it would freeze any further expansion in the state and the CEO of Microsoft warned Arkansas to think twice before passing a similar bill. When the Republican party finds itself too far to the right for business things will change.

    I read an article (technically tl:dr) on talkingpointsmemo this morning (maybe, it wasn’t there when I went looking for the link) which argued that when it comes to voting for President we should ignore our personal feeling towards a candidate and consider the institutions they represent. The author was Mike Tomsky(?) and to an extent I think he was saying that people who don”t like Hillary ought to vote for her anyway because however bad she might be, she still far better than any Republican.

    His piece begins with a story about how as a youth he helped some painters working on a federal job get paid “prevailing wages” for their work. This reminded me of an article in the Detroit Free Press regarding a special election on a plan to fix Michigan’s roads. The proposal actually lumps a lot of separate bills together and the article was trying to summarize the total effect. (The Freep supports the proposal). One of the things the proposal would do would be to allow townships to competitively bid road construction projects. My first thought was “aren’t all construction projects competitively bid?” Then I remembered, jobs like that usually require “prevailing wages,” which since all bids have to include that in their bids, all the bids are still competitive. It’s no different from specifying how many inches of concrete must be poured. So what this bill is doing, and what the Free Press doesn’t want us to know, is that the state is removing the “prevailing wage” stipulation. Now constructors can bid jobs using minimum wage labor brought in from Mexico. Or Indonesia. Anywhere. And so there’s another knife in the back of the middle class. So, yes, there is a big different between voting Republican and voting Democratic.

    2162 chars

  58. adrianne said on March 28, 2015 at 11:49 am

    btw, Danny, those comment threads on the posts you linked to are sickening. Feminazis? WTF?

    91 chars

  59. Danny said on March 28, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Sherri, I thought a bit about that very thing last night. The Slashdot community, though informative and entertaining on tech issues is NOT a good barometer for all that is right. It does tend to be a younger demographic that skews left, but I am sure it also is largely male in makeup.

    My little bro is a huge mover and shaker in the tech industry and I’ve spent enough time around his cohort on ski trips and junkets to get a feel for the atmosphere. This includes VC and investment banker types. My gut feel is that they are largely a make entitlement bunch who though they think they are socially enlightened, they show an amazing lack of self awareness with respect to diversity and inclusion. My brother shares this opinion.

    We were skiing Utah this last February and while most of the folks were normal and decent, some of the investment bankers I met were extreme douchebags. It was sickening to say the least.

    My impression is that the tech sector is largely made up of start ups and other smallish companies that do not have robust cultures in diversity and inclusion.

    1090 chars

  60. Danny said on March 28, 2015 at 11:57 am

    male entitlement, I meant. Thumbing posts out on the iPhone is not the easiest.

    80 chars

  61. brian stouder said on March 28, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Beb – and when you say

    So what this bill is doing, and what the Free Press doesn’t want us to know, is that the state is removing the “prevailing wage” stipulation. Now constructors can bid jobs using minimum wage labor brought in from Mexico. Or Indonesia. Anywhere.

    it is also worth noting that the bids won’t be one cent lower than they would have been anyway. It simply guarantees a bigger profit margin for the bidder.

    The prevailing wage laws date back to the Great Depression. If you have to build a new school, you want the plumbing to actually work, and you don’t want the electrical system to burn down the building – so you will want to have qualified bidders who can actually do the work that they’re bidding on; and prevailing wage laws tend to make the professionalism of the work a given, rather than a variable.

    I must be stupid, because I don’t understand how it’s worth 250,000 dollars of Pence campaign funds, to barrage us with anti-common wage advertisements…unless that shit-for-brains thinks he has a shot at the presidency (let alone the Senate)

    My fantasy would be – he declares for the US Senate seat Coats is vacating, and then Glenda Ritz does the same, and then hands him his ass in the election.

    But then again, this is Indiana, and that ain’t happenin’!

    1317 chars

  62. Danny said on March 28, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Adrianne, agreed. And whether or not Pao’s lawsuit had merit, I do agree that the tech industry has a real problem based upon my limited exposure that I detail above.

    167 chars

  63. brian stouder said on March 28, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Link to the article about Pence’s avid funding of the anti-common wage ads in Fort Wayne (and across the state)

    210 chars

  64. David C. said on March 28, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    I think he was saying that people who don’t like Hillary ought to vote for her anyway because however bad she might be, she still far better than any Republican.

    I can’t remember ever voting any other way, beb. In the ’08 primaries, I voted for Hillary. I didn’t think America was ready for an African-American for President. They weren’t ready, but fortunately elected him anyway. I knew full well they were both groomed corporate tools, but wasn’t going to piss away my vote on a phony like Edwards or a loon like Nader. When you elect the lesser of two evils, you get less evil.

    591 chars

  65. Danny said on March 28, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    You take your confirmation bias where you can get it.

    Derrick, seriously? This coming from you who links exclusively to TPM, Wonkette and Mother Jones? That’s laughable. And Slashdot is not a right wing community in the least. You should get out more.

    Oh and parsing the historical differences between the Khmer Rouge and Viet Cong and their exact roles in changing the sociopolitical landscape of Southeast Asia is not terribly germane to the fact that my Vietnamese friends are indeed real people who were in the last wave of refugees to escape Saigon. On second though, maybe you should stay in more.

    616 chars

  66. beb said on March 28, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Found the link:
    And the author Michael tomasky

    123 chars

  67. Sherri said on March 28, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Slashdot, like much of the tech community these days, tends to skew libertarian, not left. They’re more liberal on some social issues than the Republicans, such as on drug policy and same sex marriage, but as that comment thread shows, on civil rights, not so much. On economic issues, they’re effectively right-wing.

    317 chars

  68. Joe K said on March 28, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Whatch it Danny, you’ll get a song written about you, you racist thug.
    Pilot Joe

    81 chars

  69. coozledad said on March 28, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    They are Vietnamese and were both child refugees on some of the last airlifts out of Saigon when it fell to the Khmer Rouge.

    Un-uh. Nope.

    Two weeks before the fall of Saigon, the Khmer Rouge were sacking Phnom Penh, a city of 2,000,000 people. In Cambodia. They were not in Saigon. This is not parsing anything. Saigon fell to the Viet Cong and the NVA.

    North Vietnamese forces, under the command of the General Văn Tiến Dũng, began their final attack on Saigon, with South Vietnamese forces commanded by General Nguyễn Văn Toàn, on April 29, suffering heavy artillery bombardment. This bombardment at the Tân Sơn Nhứt Airport killed the last two American servicemen to die in Vietnam, Charles McMahon and Darwin Judge.[1] By the afternoon of the next day, North Vietnamese troops had occupied the important points of the city and raised their flag over the South Vietnamese presidential palace. The South Vietnamese government capitulated shortly afterward. The city was renamed Hồ Chí Minh City, after the Democratic Republic’s President Hồ Chí Minh.

    You are A idiot.

    1113 chars

  70. coozledad said on March 28, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Joe: Learn your mother tongue, and you’ll be halfway to deserving the opportunities you’ve had because of the color of your skin.

    And “We don’t Need No Education” is already a lyric.

    185 chars

  71. Deborah said on March 28, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Let’s hope that Rolling Stone did some good reporting on this. I haven’t read it all yet but it’s pretty damning so far

    215 chars

  72. Danny said on March 28, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    You are A idiot.

    I know, cuz mixing up your Southeast Asian communists is a real tragedy… especially when it’s soooo much the main point of the post.

    168 chars

  73. coozledad said on March 28, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    I know, cuz mixing up your Southeast Asian communists is a real tragedy…

    Sure as fuck is. Same mistake Kissinger made when he basically created the conditions for the killing fields and then sanctioned them in a game of realpolitick that sought to exploit the Sino-Soviet split.

    He’s another one of your party’s war criminals who can’t burn in hell enough.

    It doesn’t matter, though. The Communist Vietnamese, fresh off kicking our asses, kicked Communist Pol Pot’s ass and stopped a Communist Chinese invasion. These aren’t subtle differences. These are the products of long term historical and cultural distinctions that anyone with a minimum of historical literacy and the absence of the blinders of Eurocentric racist dreck would understand as factors in the great fucking mess several millions of pounds of freedom bombs can create.

    Or is it your contention that all Asians are alike?

    917 chars

  74. MichaelG said on March 28, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    A bitch? No, Deborah, you are a most civilized and cultured woman. I admire you greatly.

    Accuracy is as accuracy does, Danny. You can’t brush it off. The Khmer Rouge had nothing to do with the fall of Saigon. Poverty is a huge boat anchor tied to the ankle of a poor person. There are always exceptions such as the people to whom you refer but the rule still stands. My hat is off to your friends for their persistence and their success and their exceptionalism.

    When I was working for the State of CA we required that contractors pay prevailing wages. Among other things, it removes a variable when evaluating bids. It means that every bidder would be using the same numbers for their payroll calcs. The numbers of hours would be part of their estimate but the dollar per hour amount would be the same for every bidder.

    It also insured that all workers would be paid a living wage which also meant that those dollars would be spent on the local economy. Believe me, prevailing wage contracts are a good thing.

    The Dept. of Industrial Relations publishes a list of job categories, counties and wages that is the bible. A roof tear off guy gets paid X dollars per hour in Riverside County and Y dollars per hour in Humboldt county. At award time, contractors specifically sign off that they have read and understand the whole prevailing wage thing. I would go over it again with them at start meetings and tell contractors that I wouldn’t require prevailing wage records for every pay day (that shit adds up to boxes full of records by the end of a project that I really didn’t want to see much less store) but that I would reserve the right to call for records for a specific period at any time during the project.

    This proved very useful during change order negotiations when a contractor would claim that he had expended so many hours for such and such categories of employee to complete a change order. I could require and evaluate the prevailing wage records for the appropriate week. Sometimes things would match, sometimes they wouldn’t. The records sure helped while negotiating that change order cost. It’s a great tool to assist in managing a project during the construction phase.

    It finally got nice today. The women are looking classy and sensational as usual here. I love watching them walk with that erect posture and that stride and that . . .

    2408 chars

  75. Danny said on March 28, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Sure as fuck is. Same mistake Kissinger made when he basically created the conditions for the killing fields and then sanctioned them in a game of realpolitick that sought to exploit the Sino-Soviet split.

    Hmm, so my post might lead to a geopolitical crisis…got it.

    Or is it your contention that all Asians are alike?

    Just sprained my occipital lobes with an eye-roll. Thanks!

    401 chars

  76. Judybusy said on March 28, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Jeff TMMO @ 55: I really appreciated your sharing the comment that kids learn no matter what. We have a lot of skin in the game to try to ensure the learn the right things.

    Jolene, I’d also seen that story, and glad to hear it’s true. I am sure the congressperson will jsuust blow it off as some orchestrated flooding of her FB page, not as spontaneous, genuine comments.

    Cooz and Danny, knock it off. You don’t realize it, but when you guys get into your pissing contests, I tend to not check nnc over the weekend, and miss out on the intelligent, measured debates that do occur. I bet I’m not the only one. Remember this is shared space, not your private boxing ring. I think it’s incredibly self-centered and rude when you behave this way. Let it pass. You’re not going to change each others’ minds and it’s not entertaining. There. I’ve been wanting to say that for a long time.

    890 chars

  77. Deborah said on March 28, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Well thanks Brian and MichaelG, but I referred to myself as a bitch because I was whining about spending my day helping friends who were in a pickle because their car broke down. I mean it’s the least I could do, and then I had to go and sound like Wendy Winer, or Debbie Downer in the comments here. And believe me, I can be a super bitch if I accidentally get caffeine at Starbucks or wherever. It happens. Just ask Little Bird or my husband I turn into a banshee when that occurs. You wouldn’t want to be there.

    I finally read the whole Rolling Stone piece on the Koch’s and Lordy but those guys are crooks. I thought it was a more recent piece but it came out in September and obviously didn’t make a hill of beans difference in the midterm elections.

    758 chars

  78. Sherri said on March 28, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    This matches with what Jeff(tmmo) has shared with us about the kids he’s encountered:

    193 chars

  79. Joe K said on March 28, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    What Christians in Indiana Should Do in Response to the “Religious Freedom Resto
    You’ve all heard the hubbabaloo by now going on in Indiana where Governor Mike Pence signed-in private I might add-the9740026677_b5c818f328_o Religious Freedom Restoration Act which effectively allows businesses and vendors to not serve people if it violates their……religious convictions.

    Great. Because we have so many examples in the Scriptures of Jesus not serving people because of their sexual orientation, occupation, reputation, and (insert favorite reason to dislike people here).

    So many examples.

    So many, that I’m not sure how to choose from the examples.

    Like that woman at the well who had so many husb…oh wait, scratch that.

    Like that woman about to get stoned because she was adulter…oh wait, not that one.

    Like that man, the short tax collector who was cheating people, his name started with a Z…oh wait, nope.

    Well, at least there is that traitor Judas, right? At least Jesus puts him in his place, right?

    Except that right before Judas betrays Jesus, Jesus kneels before him and washes his feet. Right before he sells Jesus for profit, Jesus lovingly takes his heel, douses him with water, and scrubs the dirt right off his sole.

    …see what I did there?

    Lexicon it. Jesus doesn’t refuse service. Even the Gentile woman in Mark’s gospel gets a piece of Jesus’ love, despite Jesus’ initial protests.

    So tell me, Indiana legislators, lobbyists, and general public who might support such drivel, where you get the idea that this somehow restores religious freedom. Because I don’t think you’ve read your Bibles.

    I really don’t.

    Because if you read your Bibles, if you read the story of Jesus instead of the soundbites of crazy, profit-hungry, TV preachers, and bigoted, rapture-awaiting, crazy folks who pretend to be pastors/messiahs/prophets, but are nothing more than charlatans or hustlers, you might realize that to Jesus religious freedom actually means that you are not free to do whatever you want.

    My patron saint (no, not Jimmy Buffett…he’s my muse), the Blessed Martin Luther says it this way, “A Christian is absolutely free; subject to no one. A Christian is absolutely bound, servant of all.”

    Another way to think about that is to recall Jesus’ call for us to be yoked to God. That yoke is “light.” When we bind ourselves to God, our yoked-ness is light.


    Because being yoked to God actually takes away your choice.

    This was something that Christopher Hitchens actually got right in his books. He took umbrage with the idea that we must, as Christ followers (and Torah followers), love our enemies. It was the height of forced-abuse, he thought (for more on this read his God is Not Great).

    So I call on all Christians in Indiana to actually do what this bill, in title at least, claims to do: restore your religious freedom. Restore the yoke of God to yourself, because if you refuse service to someone for any reason that may be part of an “ism,” you’ve sloughed off the yoke.

    But woe to you liberals, too (no one gets out of this one unmarked).

    I hear your calls to boycott legislators from your businesses. I hear your cries of anger, and your threats to not serve supporters of this act in your establishments.

    To you, again, I encourage a close reading of Scripture. Because Jesus actually has said something about this. In Matthew 18 Jesus instructs Christians on how to deal with those who sin.

    And I gotta tell you, I think this law is an example of sin in this world.

    What do you do? You talk to them. I know many have done that already.

    And if they don’t listen, you take another with you so there is a witness.

    I think we’ve all witnessed this step…

    And if they still don’t listen, you bring in the church leaders. And for us in the ELCA, this has already happened, too.

    And if they still won’t listen, you “treat them as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.”

    And this is the moment when you think you’re given permission to stick it to The Man.

    Except, when you look at how Jesus treated Gentiles and tax collectors (see references above), you realize that, unfortunately for our egos and sense of justice, we are servant here, too. We do not boycott them from our eateries and services. We do not block them off from our handshakes and welcome. We may not re-elect some of the legislators, but we in no way get to marginalize them.

    See, this following Jesus thing is pretty tough. This yoke is light in that it takes away my choice. But it is pretty heavy on my ego and my own sense of retaliation…

    Ugh. This mess in Indiana makes me a reluctant Christian. And then Jesus’ own advice on what I’m supposed to do makes me reluctant, too, because it’s not what I want to do.

    So, what should Christians in Indiana do in response to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act? Speak out; yes. Be active; sure.

    But also eat with those who you consider your enemies. Bless those who persecute, because in doing so you show them a love that they are unwilling to give and to receive.

    Your anger is justified. But your discrimination is not. None is.

    About these ads

    Share this:

    “Some Corners of Christianity Have Turned Jesus into a Cult Leader” or “Jesus Was Not a Cult Leader, So Don’t Make Him One”
    In “Heavy on the Jesus”
    Really Re-Claim Advent. We Need It.
    In “Rite and Rituals”
    “Power Sucks” or “Sing the Magnificat Carefully”
    In “Rite and Rituals”

    5638 chars

  80. brian stouder said on March 28, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Joe K – thread win! Thread win!!

    Debra, you’re not a bitch, period. On your absolute worst day, and at your worst moment, when you are acting as badly as you possibly can –

    we all still admire you greatly!

    212 chars

  81. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 28, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Sherri — amen, and amen.

    25 chars

  82. Kirk said on March 29, 2015 at 12:25 am

    Judybusy — amen, and amen

    26 chars

  83. Dexter said on March 29, 2015 at 12:53 am

    nance? Partyin’ on Yonge Street?

    33 chars

  84. David C. said on March 29, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Which of the meth labs of democracy will take up it’s own Jesus sez no cake for you law? I’m betting it will happen right here in Wisconsin. The lege is in session crafting a budget the will be ruinous to anything but Scott Walker’s Presidential ambitions. We lead the nation in the percentage of population dropping out of the middle-class, why not do something else to harm the state.

    386 chars

  85. alex said on March 29, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Say what? The above came out of the same Pilot Joe who usually spouts right-wing bile? Hell must have just frozen over.

    119 chars

  86. Jolene said on March 29, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    As usual, Michelle Obama wore some great clothes on her recent trip to Asia. Posting this because I thought the second outfit in this gallery was a knockout. So young, bright, and perfectly fitted. I wish I’d looked this good at twenty, not to mention 50.

    She was, actually, criticized by the president of Cambodia for encouraging education for girls, but not offering them scholarships. This is outrageous, of course, but probably reasonable from his point of view and, from mine, somewhat amusing.

    A couple of weeks ago, my brother returned from a trip to the Republic of Congo where he’d been invited to go as an agricultural advisor by a non-profit. His group met with the Minister of Agriculture, who encouraged them to invest in his country. As with Michelle Obama, the advice was OK, but the money would have been better.

    955 chars

  87. Jolene said on March 29, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Damn. Oh well, world’s longest link.

    36 chars

  88. Joe K said on March 29, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Why does this surprise you? I try and look at both sides of every story that comes around, listen to both sides then make a decision on how I feel.
    Look I’m 57 I admit I trulley don’t understand the gay life style, I have been married 32 yrs, but just because I don’t understand doesn’t give me the right to judge. I consider myself a Christian, I can’t find anything in the New Testament where Jesus says anything damning about gays Love God above all else and treat everyone the same is how I interpreted it. I’m glad you like myself has found someone you can share your life with, and hope you have nothing but happiness the rest of your life, and that goes for everyone else on this board, there are just some things we don’t agree on, this isn’t one of them. Obama care, foreign policy, seeming redistribution of wealth, The Clintons, we disagree on no doubt, but you have the same rights as me and I’m glad to defend them.
    We ever run into one another in Auburn, the first one is on me.
    Pilot Joe

    1015 chars

  89. Sue said on March 29, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Brian Stouder, this is for you:

    112 chars

  90. Sue said on March 29, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    The recent derailment in beautiful Galena involved cars that had been safety-upgraded. Also, something not mentioned in these discussions – some of the delays in rail transport are caused because the trains have to move so slowly over the ever-deteriorating track system.

    361 chars

  91. MichaelG said on March 29, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    The Barcelona Cathedral has never been a stand out or, really, even noticed in the great pantheon of European cathedrals. I’ve spent some time looking at it inside and out and the best I could come up with was a shrug. That’s a shrug in context, of course. A context that includes Chartres, Notre Dame and the Duomo. It may not be able to hang with them but it still brilliantly outshines your local church. I recently got a look at a couple of telling aerial photos It’s clunky – compared to the greats. Oh, it has all the required features of European cathedrals (minus, significantly, those gorgeous flying buttresses). But the features are all there as if they were checked off a list. The workmanship is wonderful as usual but there is no design to the thing. No imagination, no genius, no inspiration, no majesty. It’s just a nice, workmanlike church. These days it seems to cringe in the shadow of its wonderful, soaring younger sister that is abuilding a couple of miles away. The magnificent Sagrada Familia is everything the old church isn’t. The Sagrada Familia may end up being the best of them all even if it isn’t a cathedral.

    I haven’t noticed a lot of beggers here other than a few who hang out around the cathedral. The same with sellers of stuff. Other European cities I’ve visited seem to have Gypsies all over selling junk of every description. Not here. Just a couple hanging around the Cathedral. Until today. They were out in force selling palm leaf chotskies. The women were the main sellers, dressed in black, shouting their spiel. The men were in the background with the kids still trying to peddle a handful of palm stuff. Today was Palm Sunday.

    Then there are the buskers. The talent level is high here. Some of the best I’ve ever heard.

    1816 chars

  92. brian stouder said on March 29, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Sue – a wonderful article! I’d have gone for the beef ala mode!

    Say, today – within the last hour – we had an honest to goodness, real-life Jesus Christ moment.

    The girls (Chloe and Shelby, our 4th grader and our high school sophomore) and I ran a few erands in our red 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix. We went to Lowes and stopped for sodas and donuts and talked about this and that…probably racked up 15 or 20 miles.

    I needed a light bulb for our microwave, which is what sent us to Lowes; other than that, it was just random time-spending, although Shelby was anxious to get back home because Pam and her had plans to go see the new Divergent movie (whatever it’s called).

    So we get home, and I parked the car on the pull-off, beside the garage. Then, I was working on figuring out how to replace the bulb, and I went into the garage to find the trouble light. After finding it, I was in the kitchen looking at the microwave, when Pam came around the corner and asked what all the smoke was, outside?

    I looked out – and it is a somewhat blustery day today – and there was a fog of smoke blowing past the front window. I went outside, and saw that it was billowing from the red Pontiac! I yelled over to Pam what was happening, and then we began wondering if we should call the fire department.

    Then I saw flames lick from the front fenderwell, and – after saying “JESUS CHRIST!” – we immediately saw the wisdom in dialing 911!!

    The 911 operator asked us to evacuate the house, which we did, and – thank the Lord – Firehouse 7 is just up the street, so the pumper arrived with about 90 seconds – by which time the car was almost fully engulfed in flames and now-black smoke.

    The front tires exploded, and the flames and smoke became epic, just as the 7’s showed up and quickly extinguished the thing.

    The firefighters commented several times that it was a very good thing that we have aluminum siding on the house; if it had been wood or (how do you spell vynal?) – we’d be looking for a place to sleep tonight!!

    All in all, a great blessing that whatever failed did so after we were home and out of the car; and that the car did not destroy our home.

    If you do Facebook, Pam has all sorts of lurid photos of the unfolding event on her page.

    As for Chloe (especially) and me – it is one of those genuinely affecting moments; all the woulda’s and coulda’s – compared to the supremely fortunate actual turn of events makes one thank the Good Lord, altogether.

    (Our Easter stuff, which Pam and I bought last night, was in the trunk of that car, and is lost. On the other hand, I think we received a much larger, more meaningful Easter symbol)

    2675 chars

  93. Jolene said on March 29, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Gee whiz, Brian. That sounds very scary. Glad you are all OK.

    61 chars

  94. Sherri said on March 29, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    That kind of excitement we can all do without, Brian! Glad everybody is okay, and that your house is okay.

    106 chars

  95. alex said on March 29, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Brian, I think Facebook requires friending Pam in order to be able to see the pix.

    I’m sure that was quite something given the wind today. We burned a gargantuan pile of leaves and brush and it’s still smoldering; for a time the smoke was so heavy we couldn’t see anything out the windows and the smoke was getting into the house. It’s quite a bit more pleasant than burning car, though, and I don’t mind it. It’s almost like the smell our woodburning fireplace gives off.

    Last night I had out-of-town guests so we gave Black Canyon a try. It’s a new-ish steak place on Dupont. I’d eaten there once before during summer and had luncheon fare on their marvelous patio. I thought it was good. My filet mignon last night, however, tasted like it had been drenched in fake smoke flavoring. I don’t mind when it’s real smoke, but the fake stuff is overpowering and that’s how this was and it detracted from an otherwise excellent-looking piece of meat. Wishing we’d gone to Captain’s Cabin instead.

    Joe, I’d love to have a drink or three sometime, but if you think I support wealth redistribution then you aren’t understanding my politics. What I believe is that wealth redistribution is a red herring that a whole bunch of people have been snookered into accepting as fact, along with all of the badmouthing about Obamacare, which has been a Godsend for everyone I know who has it. Just last night I heard from someone who was paying $14K a year out of his $28K retirement pension just to have health insurance because of such “pre-existing conditions” as hypothyroidism. He now pays $200 per month with a $6K deductible and can finally really retire.

    1657 chars

  96. brian stouder said on March 29, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Hopefully this link works and you can see pictures of my car:

    138 chars

  97. Deborah said on March 29, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    OMG Brian, those photos are crazy scary! Do you know what caused it? Holy cow, glad your family and your house are OK.

    Joe K, I just do not understand what you have against Obamacare. It’s the best thing that has happened for my daughter who has a pre-existing condition, a fairly serious one. Obamacare allowed her to have surgery this past fall that she would never have been able to afford and would have taken a big chunk out of our retirement fund if my husband and I would have had to pay fully for it. It has helped millions of people, it’s even based on a Republican idea that Mitt Romney used when he was governor of MA. I don’t get what you have against it. I just don’t. Makes no sense to me why you would begrudge what it has done for many, many people.

    769 chars

  98. Julie Robinson said on March 29, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Holy smoke! That is one cooked car!

    Brian, your Easter goodies may be covered under your car insurance, though I am guessing that puppy is totaled anyway. As windy as it’s been today, I bet your neighbors were watching with concern. Glad all the damage was contained to things and not people.

    I read today that Pence and legislators are scrambling to write an amendment to some other bill that clarifies that the hateful bill isn’t actually to allow discrimination against gays. A member of this household opined that this has wrecked his Presidential hopes.

    Joe, is that something you wrote yourself? Because, to be honest, it doesn’t match your normal style. If you wrote it, then kudos, if not, I’d like to know the author’s name.

    Here’s something I didn’t write myself, and I will give full credit to Pastor Aaron Fuller of Virginia, who wrote this as part of devotions based on the ancient hymn, Lord, Keep us Steadfast in Your Word. “Christians no longer enjoy a place of privilege in society. For most, this creates a sense of fear and lament. The responses differ; some are resigned and feel defeated, others angry and compelled to aggressive action. I think all of those responses fall short. It falls short because it takes matters into their own hands. Like Judas, we go our own way, perhaps well-intentioned. Yet our call is to place our faith and trust in Christ.”

    It’s hard when you’re no longer in the majority, but it doesn’t give you the right to pass laws that are hateful and wrong.

    1517 chars

  99. brian stouder said on March 29, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Deborah – just the other day, I noticed a new scratch or two, and was wondering about having the finish buffed up after the weather warmed…!

    Seriously, Shelby – our high school sophomore – drove the car as much as I do each week (if not more), to school and back. She could have done everything right, and parked the thing at Wayne (her high school), and then had a spectacularly horrible day, if it then did whatever it did today.

    In googling that make of car and the word “fire”, I found the disappointing news that this model is known for occasionally doing this (bursting into flames!) – and that they’ve had recalls….

    but here we are.

    652 chars

  100. Dexter said on March 29, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Glad all are safe, brian. About 8 years ago Randy Snyder’s business, Suburban Auto here in town , was all closed up for the day and a car they had on the lift caught fire like 4 hours after they had closed. It was a very oily smoky deal, and required remodeling the bays. I asked Randy what would cause such a thing and he said in this case an electrical short apparently just occurred. I was so concerned about their old watch dog but he made it out OK.
    I had a ’68 Chevy sedan back in late 70’s. It had a 327 two barrel, all stock, but that damn car was the fastest vehicle I ever owned. The speedometer went to 120 and I pegged it past that a few times going to work on the deserted straight back roads.
    One winter day the car would not start…crank but not fire…so I squirted a little ether into the carburetor. No dice. Repeat, more and more ether was used. Then it sputtered and back-fired and all hell broke loose. Flames about 20 feet into the air, FD called and the chief drove down i a car and extinguished the flames. $19 for the tow to the junk yard and the $30 they paid me for the hulk was used for the tow and 11 dollars for beer.
    I never owned another car that I went past 108 mph in. As the years went by, (Like sands in the hourglass 🙂 ) I slowed down to normal speeds. I’ll drive 75 on the new US 24, that’s my max now.

    1364 chars

  101. Dexter said on March 29, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    nance, I do not know if Alan will care about this, but his old hometown team pulled off a great feat yesterday. Here’s my Facebook entry:

    Defiance is the high school baseball hotbed for the state of Ohio, having won state titles and producing many major leaguers over the years. Today basketball was king in Defiance, and the state of Ohio, as the Bulldogs incredulously shocked the state and beat a team of highly skilled and tall standouts from Cleveland Central Catholic. You should have seen it. The TV guys were sort of ridiculing Defiance’s chances when CC blocked seven Bulldog shots in just a few minutes’ time…I too was thinking I should abandon watching the slaughter Then Defiance figured it out and began attacking from the paint, and discovered CC was susceptible to shot-fakes. The comeback culminated with a Bulldog guard, a very short Wes Detter, firing a high arching shot over a 6’9” CC player with only 2 minutes left in the overtime. Somehow Defiance hung on and won the title! It was truly David slaying Goliath, “Hoosiers” the movie come-to-life in Ohio. I was stunned.…/2015/03/29/0328-defiance-wins.html

    1162 chars

  102. Joe K said on March 29, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    I could only wish to be able to express myself that well, it came from a web sight called reluctantxtion, I would give anything to be able to write that well.
    Debra I am really glad your daughter got the medical help she needed. One of the main problems I have with obama care is who is paying for it, because no matter how they spin it someone is paying more than they were before.Here are some of the new taxes you’re going to have to pay to pay for Obamacare:

    A 3.8% surtax on “investment income” when your adjusted gross income is more than $200,000 ($250,000 for joint-filers). What is “investment income?” Dividends, interest, rent, capital gains, annuities, house sales, partnerships, etc. Taxes on dividends will rise from 15% to 18.8%–if Congress extends the Bush tax cuts. If Congress does not extend the Bush tax cuts, taxes on dividends will rise from 15% to a shocking 43.8%. (WSJ)
    A 0.9% surtax on Medicare taxes for those making $200,000 or more ($250,000 joint). You already pay Medicare tax of 1.45%, and your employer pays another 1.45% for you (unless you’re self-employed, in which case you pay the whole 2.9% yourself). Next year, your Medicare bill will be 2.35%. (WSJ)
    Flexible Spending Account contributions will be capped at $2,500. Currently, there is no tax-related limit on how much you can set aside pre-tax to pay for medical expenses. Next year, there will be. If you have been socking away, say, $10,000 in your FSA to pay medical bills, you’ll have to cut that to $2,500. (
    The itemized-deduction hurdle for medical expenses is going up to 10% of adjusted gross income. Right now, any medical expenses over 7.5% of AGI are deductible. Next year, that hurdle will be 10%. (
    The penalty on non-medical withdrawals from Healthcare Savings Accounts is now 20% instead of 10%. That’s twice the penalty that applies to annuities, IRAs, and other tax-free vehicles. (
    A tax of 10% on indoor tanning services. This has been in place for two years, since the summer of 2010. (
    A 40% tax on “Cadillac Health Care Plans” starting in 2018.Those whose employers pay for all or most of comprehensive healthcare plans (costing $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for families) will have to pay a 40% tax on the amount their employer pays. The 2018 start date is said to have been a gift to unions, which often have comprehensive plans. (
    A”Medicine Cabinet Tax” that eliminates the ability to pay for over-the-counter medicines from a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account. This started in January 2011. (
    A “penalty” tax for those who don’t buy health insurance. This will phase in from 2014-2016. It will range from $695 per person to about $4,700 per person, depending on your income. (More details here.)
    A tax on medical devices costing more than $100. Starting in 2013, medical device manufacturers will have to pay a 2.3% excise tax on medical equipment. This is expected to raise the cost of medical procedures. (
    So those are some of the new taxes you’ll be paying that will help pay for Obamacare.

    Any big ones I’ve missed?

    Note that these taxes are both “progressive” (aimed at rich people) and “regressive” (aimed at the middle class and poor people). The big ones–the 3.8% investment income hike and the Medicare tax increase–only hit you if you’re making more than $200,000 a year. The rest hit you no matter how much you’re making.
    I think it’s going to hurt the ability for business to expand and create more jobs and put more of a burden on the middle class. Do you remeber Mister Obamas reply to the plumber in Toledo? I’m paraphrasing but it was along the lines of, if you have more than your neighbor you should be willing to give him a little of yours, I’m all for helping out those with less than I have but I don’t think I should be forced to.
    Pilot Joe

    3891 chars

  103. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 29, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Very happy for your safety, Brian; normally one boils Easter eggs, but I’m told you can roast them. Not that way, though!

    And seriously, nothing like having a Palm Sunday service start with the full four octave handbell choir do a number in conjunction with the organ. Yes, we’re a traditional style service (I even wore a tie under the preaching robe).

    356 chars

  104. Deborah said on March 29, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Holy Week around here is when many people make a pilgrimage to a small community about 25 miles north of Santa Fe called Chimayo. Some people walk the last mile on thier knees. Chimayo has a beautiful little cathedral, very old and rustic. In a back room off of the alter there’s a hole in the floor which contains dirt that is supposed to have healing properties. People are encouraged to take some of the dirt with them. Another room is lined with crutches, photos and moving testimonials from people who have been healed using the dirt. Unfortunately the surrounding grounds have been disneyfied, making a visit less dignified, but the church itself is fantastic, a must see around here.,_New_Mexico

    741 chars

  105. Julie Robinson said on March 29, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Again, Joe, I would ask for attribution on your most recent comment. Passing off others’ words as your own is plagiarism. It’s obvious that you simply cut and pasted, but without any of the active links.

    I for one am happy to pay higher taxes if it means the formerly uninsured now can get coverage. I believe it’s the Christian thing to do and the decent and fair thing to do.

    I wonder how many of my taxes go towards the air control system that staffs towers and airports therefore allowing you to fly charters?

    519 chars

  106. Sherri said on March 29, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Match your Myers-Briggs type to a Saint!

    203 chars

  107. Joe kobiels said on March 30, 2015 at 1:39 am

    I guess since I’m the only one that cuts and paste here I’ll try and start giving credit where due. As far as what you pay for ATC. It is 0 unless you fly. Then the tax you pay for your ticket goes into a fund combined with the tax I pay when I buy fuel and other services funds my ATC which is used to protect you when you fly. That’s why a user fee on ATC gets us pilots upset. We pay our own way already.
    Pilot Joe

    429 chars

  108. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 30, 2015 at 7:51 am

    I get to return to Chimayo this June; can’t wait. There’s a very special feeling around that place.

    99 chars

  109. Wim said on March 30, 2015 at 7:52 am

    I have noticed that no comment count can ever rise above one hundred without the contributions of Pilot Joe and/or Danny.

    I had to look up the acronyms when you guys were talking about your parents signing your student aid paperwork. It never came up when I went to college. I was emancipated in high school. When I took up the notion of going to college, I paid my first year out of my savings and through loans thereafter. If I had suggested that either of them might pay for anything, my parents would have had a hearty laugh, I am sure. Like they’d pay anybody to study old pots and bones. They never got over that I actually found paid work in my chosen profession. It was to them as wondrous as if I had flapped my arms and taken flight.

    755 chars

  110. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 30, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Hey, Brian – this may brighten up your post-car-fire week:

    171 chars

  111. brian stouder said on March 30, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Jeff, that IS an excellent and enlightening article!

    I have a coffee-table sized book of selected images from that family’s collection

    137 chars