Summer is here.

Kind of a lazy day today — a drive to Ann Arbor, radio thing*, lunch at the Korean barbecue joint, back to the A2 office, phone calls, emails and the fallow period between stories when you sow your seeds and hope something sprouts.

Fortunately, it was warm and sunny. Oh, summer, come to mommy. I’ve been waiting so long.

*Someone asked in the comments for a heads-up on radio things when they happen. I’ll do that from now on, but I’m not sure when this one will air yet.

In the meantime, tomorrow will be a repeat of today. Driving to Lansing. Sunroof open, I expect.

So how about some bloggage to lead us into Mother’s Day weekend?

Not exactly a …maternal story, but a good one just the same: Riding along with a woman on her long, long way to get an abortion. (She lives in Wyoming. The clinic is in Montana. Wide open spaces.) A sad story, well-told.

This happens all the time in Grosse Pointe: The police being called for “suspicious activity” that boils down to “I saw a black person.”

A nice photo essay, with an introduction by Roy Edroso, aka alicublog. “Hyper gentrification” — a new one on me.

Friday, I hug you and kiss you.

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

45 responses to “Summer is here.”

  1. Wim said on May 8, 2015 at 7:26 am

    One time at a motel in the Research Triangle, as I walked to my room a very polite and friendly youth in a yellow tracksuit offered to supply me with crack, or meth, or anything else I might need. I said I was fine, thanks, he bid me a cheery goodnight, and I went into my room to call the front desk. About fifteen minutes later a county mountie showed up to take a report from me, and after I had given pretty much every detail I could think of, the young white cop hesitated and asked:

    ‘Black fella, was he?’

    I slapped my forehead. ‘Sorry,” I said. ‘I should probably have said that right up front, huh?’

    He laughed and bid me a cheery goodnight.

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  2. Andrea said on May 8, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Thanks for the link to the abortion story. We really really need to read these. It helps, I think, for us to see women like this, like me, as real people who made a well-informed choice. A pox on the politicians who make it so damn difficult — 72 hours waiting for crying out loud — when the situation itself is usually so without their assistance. Absolutely no one I know who has had an abortion, and I know many and count myself among them, did so without considerable thought beforehand. And I don’t know any who regret the choice they made.

    Going to make a donation to Planned Parenthood right now.

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  3. Andrea said on May 8, 2015 at 8:05 am

    There. That’s done and I feel better. But I also want to add, a double pox on Hobby Lobby and all of the other assholes who make access to contraception more difficult — Looking at you, Colorado, for ending your highly successful teen pregnancy prevention program. You can’t have it both ways.


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  4. Jolene said on May 8, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Wow, Andrea, that news from Colorado is just terrible. I had heard about that program last year and hoped that other states would emulate its success. Now it doesn’t even look like it will be sustained where it has already demonstrated great effectiveness. I mean, 40% changes in unwanted behavioral outcomes are just not achievable through social interventions or religious teaching. Or, at least, I haven’t heard of any such outcomes.

    This news fits with beb’s observation from yesterday: What’s the point of having laboratories of democracy if you’re not going to pay attention to the results of the experiments that the laboratories conduct?

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  5. Dave said on May 8, 2015 at 9:16 am

    It’s upsetting when you live in a place like we live in now here in Northeast Indiana and haven’t voted for any of the sitting politicians in state government for a long time but they’re entrenched. It’s the same way in our area of Florida, where we may live and vote someday. Voter turnout in the recent city primaries in Fort Wayne was 9.87%, I think. Also the opposition in these parts is almost always weak.

    And now our farm-subsidized congressman wants to be our next senator.

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  6. brian stouder said on May 8, 2015 at 9:44 am

    What Dave said.

    (and indeed, I think if Tom Henry wanted the Senate seat, he might just make it….but yes, that’s wishful thinking on my part)

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  7. alex said on May 8, 2015 at 10:00 am

    What Dave said. And I’ll add that we have a GOP supermajority legislature following the ALEC and Koch Brothers marching orders to a T on the economic front while also goose-stepping behind James Dobson in the culture wars. Polls and surveys show that a majority of the Hoosier electorate is opposed to almost everything this legislature is pursuing but nobody bothers to vote these assholes out.

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  8. Charlotte said on May 8, 2015 at 11:03 am

    The geography in that abortion story is a little odd — but might also be fudged to respect her privacy. The amazing Susan Wicklund ( had a clinic here in Livingston for several years, and we all donated to her fund that covered travel expenses as well as abortion expenses for women wh needed it. She closed a year or so ago, retired actually, after something like 35 years in the trenches. Her story is quite something — and the book is quite good.
    Planned Parenthood has clinics in Billings, Helena, Great Falls and Missoula — but even for women in the state, it’s a haul. And often an overnight stay … and we see a lot of out of state women.
    The good news is that a woman’s right to reproductive freedom is written into the Montana state constitution (drafted in the 1970s) … so as long as providers are willing to take the crap, and deal with the protesters and crazies who show up at their houses and all that (although at least in Livingston, the cops were really good about protecting Susan’s clinic), then it’ll continue to be legal. It’s not even a perennial on the right-wing-crazies radar (knock wood).

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  9. Charlotte said on May 8, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Well this is sort of interesting — Krakauer isn’t really doing events for this new book, but he did a conversation with (I think? The President of the University of Montana?) in Missoula the other night. He’d been expecting a hostile audience, but got the opposite — except for this one guy at the end who tried to relitigate something? the case? Krakauer? rape in general? The vid is worth a look at how Krakauer tried to accomodate the guy, and then disarmed him:

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  10. Dexter said on May 8, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Krakauer rocks. I discovered him while glancing through a copy of “Outside” magazine…must have been over thirty years ago. I’ve read his books but this new one…too much for me to spend invested hours on a topic which revolts me to the core. I just can’t hack it.

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  11. brian stouder said on May 8, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    “Friday, I hug you and kiss you”

    Line that Frank Gannon never spoke, but that he (possibly) often thought…

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  12. Bitter Scribe said on May 8, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    As I read that WaPo story on the woman driving an 800-mile round trip to have an abortion, my rage mounted. I would like to have had her accompanied by every jerkass “pro-life” politician in America, preferably tied to her car bumper.

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  13. brian stouder said on May 8, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Make that Bill Gannon!!

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  14. Sherri said on May 8, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    This column made me think about the times money (or at least being part of the dominant social class) covered up for my mistakes in parenting, like falling asleep one afternoon and being an hour late to pick up my kid at school one day.

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  15. Sue said on May 8, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    2 things:
    Yesterday Brian asked our UK friends to explain what’s happening with their election. Now I want to know too because everyone seems to be surprised and horrified that the incumbent was re-elected but I can’t figure out why, even when I read an analysis, because I don’t understand the references. Apparently Scotland is about to start beheading people or paint themselves blue or something?
    Charlotte, I watched the Krakauer thing and kept getting distracted by the oddity of the sign-language interpreter not being up on stage. Why is she on the same level as the audience? I thought she was interpreting for someone sitting nearby maybe, but she seemed to turn more to the audience when things got more bumptious.

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  16. brian stouder said on May 8, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Sherri, that was a very fine article, and gives one pause for thought.

    And more thought.

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  17. Jolene said on May 8, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Sherri is right. Money makes everything easier, including parenting. And consider Sherri’s link in connection with the one Andrea posted above. People don’t want to subsidize either contraception or child support. Until humans become significantly better at planning ahead, we’ll need one or the other.

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  18. Deborah said on May 8, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Summer in the city, back of my neck getting dirty and gritty. Why does it seem to go from winter to summer? What happened to spring? The tulips have opened, but they look fried already. I took a long walk this morning, first down to the School of the Art Institute where my husband was doing a review for a friend of his teaching an architecture class and then after that I went home for a bit to take care of business. Then I walked up to the conservatory in Lincoln Park and then back down on the Lake Front back home. It was very hot and humid, ugh. Already? Give me Santa Fe weather, please. All together I walked about 8 miles but it wasn’t comfortable for the last 2 1/2 for sure. Too hot and muggy, already.

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  19. Sue said on May 8, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Jolene, I want to subsidize contraception. I want to hand that stuff out like candy on Halloween.

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  20. Andrea said on May 8, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Sue and Jolene, in a few years Colorado may be able to quantify the results of its natural experiment by comparing before and after rates of child abuse, TANF, Medicaid, juvenile delinquency, child poverty, lifetime earnings, etc. Delaying pregnancy and reducing teen pregnancy have huge impacts.

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  21. James said on May 9, 2015 at 5:43 am

    Is Coozledad still around?

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  22. Deborah said on May 9, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Here’s some pretty amazing footage of post-war Berlin

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  23. Jolene said on May 9, 2015 at 9:04 am

    That is amazing footage, Deborah. Incredible to think of what people had to come back from to create the modern city they have today. I’m sure there were many who thought it impossible.

    For a contemporary example, google images of Aleppo. I wonder what we will see there in seventy years.

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  24. susan said on May 9, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Aleppo. Any bets that it will be rebuilt, such as with Berlin? That’s rhetorical.

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  25. susan said on May 9, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Oh, I forgot the end tag…

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  26. susan said on May 9, 2015 at 10:31 am

    never mind. The link is there, anyway.

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  27. jcburns said on May 9, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Hey, want to send someone a nice, compact, readable Google search URL not filled with your personal tracking code? Half of that stuff that’s in a URL you’d copy from the Google isn’t really useful.

    But it’s easy(ish.)

    You got your www, you got your search? then you put what you want to search after a q= and if it’s more than one word, put plus signs between the words.

    if you want an image search, put tbm=isch& in there before the q (the query!)

    Or you can just wait for me to look at your comment, sigh, and chop out the extra stuff.

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  28. susan said on May 9, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Oooops. Thank you J.C. (my tail between legs, ears pinned back), I had no idea about doing that. It doesn’t seem that easy, though, for a doofus like me.

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  29. beb said on May 9, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I just got around to reading the article Sherri linked to. It’s an excellent piece. I’ve heard bits and pieces of its arguments before but this brings it all together in an easy, readable essay. There’s something wrong with our country when poverty is view as a moral failing. Perhaps because so many Americans began as immigrants and through luck and hard work became something. But hard work without luck just leaves you tired and poor.

    As a misanthrope and grouch, I would happily pay taxes so that all women would receive free birth control. Just because its free doesn’t mean they have to use it but just because they’re poor shouldn’t mean it’s out of their reach.

    I also think we need to rethink welfare. We re-thought it once before and made a poor plan worse. It’s time we admit we made a mistake and try again. Rather than means-testing welfare, and making up lists of what poor people can and can’t buy with their dole (one list would ban sharp cheddar cheese but not mild. WTF!) Instead we should just give them enough to get by on and use it was needed. Will they waste it on booze and crack? Evidence says no. Florida’s drug-testing for welfare recipients found that vanishing small numbers tested positive for drugs. I suspect that higher number of politicians would test positive for drugs than the poor.

    What I’d like to see is the formation of a dole (or a guaranteed wage) that pays the same as the minimum wage (or maybe 80% of minimum wage). If employers want workers they’re going to have to pay better than minimum wage, but if there re no jobs available people wouldn’t be through into utter despair.

    Likewise a National Health program.

    But how do we pay for all this you ask? First recognize that unearned income is still income and should be taxed the same as earned income (maybe ever higher since the people with earned income had to sweat to get their money, the unearned income people did not. Finally, let’s make the so-called “Death tax” a real death tax, everything after the first hundred million goes to the state. The same “moral peril” that applies to giving poor people free money applies to giving free money to the vastly wealthy. We shouldn’t corrupt our nation’s elites by letting them inherit wealth beyond imagination.

    As for business taxes (well taxes in general) it pays to remember that taxes in the 1950s were high compared to today yet it never stopped anyone or any corporation from becoming rich.

    (since I’m one paragraph away from sputter all over the monitor, I think I’ll stop here. No: one last thing, communism is a bad word in America, but it was the inevitable reaction to the Gilded Age of the late 19th century.

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  30. Deborah said on May 9, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Yeah JC, that may be simple but I don’t understand it. I think I have a learning disability when it comes to technology.

    So yesterday it was hot and sticky in Chicago, but today it’s damp and cold. To be honest I’d rather have this than what we had yesterday. It looks like we’ll be having more of this tomorrow and into the week. It’s not THAT cold, but the dampness makes you feel it in your bones.

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  31. Jerry said on May 9, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Today in a feat of incompetence that surprised even me I managed to make comments about the UK election results on yesterday’s comments section! If anyone is desperate enough to want to read my thoughts they are at number 32.

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  32. Jolene said on May 9, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    JC’s instructions are pretty straightforward. He’s telling us how to post links that show the results of a search rather than a specific web site or article. If you look at the links, you’ll see that each has three parts:
    1. Go to Google (the URL for Google)
    2. Conduct a search (search?)
    3. Use this search term
    – In JC’s first example, the search term is Nancy Nall (q=nancynall)
    – In his second example, he is searching for images of floppy discs
    (tbm=isch&q=floppy+discs). It’s a two-word search term; hence, the plus sign.

    So, these links should get us information about and pictures of David Letterman.

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  33. Sue said on May 9, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Thanks Jerry. You sure have a lot of political parties. Even with all those parties, it seems from what you’re saying you’re going to be going down the ‘screw the poor’ path we’ve been traveling here in the US.

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  34. Charlotte said on May 9, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Beb for President!

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  35. Dexter said on May 9, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Celebrating a bittersweet victory: damn neighbor gathered up a giant pile of construction waste and crap and torched it, filling my home with acrid smoke. The blaze was sky-high when my prayer was answered and a deluge put the fucker out of business, just drowning his black smoke fire. Take that, asshole!

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  36. Jerry said on May 10, 2015 at 2:09 am

    Sue, you suggest a lot of parties in the election. I had the choice in my constituency of:
    Conservative – everything is better run by private organisations rather than the state. Trust us with the economy.
    Labour – let’s look after the workers. Trust us with the NHS.
    Liberal Democrats – we can work with either Labour or Conservative and help control their extreme urges.
    UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party) – leave the EU, get rid of immigrants.
    BNP (British National Party) – stop immigration (especially if they aren’t white).
    Green – let’s worry about the environment.
    National Health Action Party – patients not profits.
    Christian Party – strong moral values. Against gay marriage and abortion.

    Those are rather crude representations of their positions but I think most people in this country would know who I was talking about.

    All rather moot as the Conservative got 53% of the vote – and probably always will!

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  37. Jerry said on May 10, 2015 at 2:11 am

    That’s 53% of the vote in the constituency on a 70% turnout.

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  38. Deborah said on May 10, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Wow, a 70% turnout is huge.

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  39. Sue said on May 10, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Oooh, let’s get a large tub of alcoholic beverages and play ‘match the US politician to the UK party’.
    Deborah, a 70% turnout in a big election is standard in my county. And they vote overwhelmingly Republican, for the last several years local races usually haven’t had a Dem choice at all.

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  40. brian stouder said on May 10, 2015 at 11:16 am

    let’s get a large tub of alcoholic beverages and play ‘match the US politician to the UK party’


    Conservative – everything is better run by private organisations rather than the state. Trust us with the economy.

    Jeb Bush

    Labour – let’s look after the workers. Trust us with the NHS.

    Elizabeth Warren

    Liberal Democrats – we can work with either Labour or Conservative and help control their extreme urges.

    Hillary Clinton

    UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party) – leave the EU, get rid of immigrants.

    Rick Perry

    BNP (British National Party) – stop immigration (especially if they aren’t white).

    Raphael Cruz (of Canada)

    Green – let’s worry about the environment.


    National Health Action Party – patients not profits.

    Bernie Sanders

    Christian Party – strong moral values. Against gay marriage and abortion.

    Rick Santorum

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  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 10, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Just to confuse matters further, Mohammed Atta wrote his master’s thesis on urban renewal and historic preservation in Aleppo. There’s a through line here I don’t have the heart to follow.

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  42. Deborah said on May 10, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    I just finished rereading the memoir by Alison Bechdel, Are You My Mother. I was going to call it a graphic novel only it’s true about her own life, but calling it a graphic memoir seemed wrong. Anyway it was an interesting read on Mother’s Day. A very foggy day in Chicago.

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  43. alex said on May 10, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    A very muggy day here. We’ve been toiling in the garden and soon will get ready to go make dinner for my mom. We’re having this. I gave it a “dry” run on Friday — quite literally. I used boneless chicken because it was all I could find. The lesson is don’t, or cut the oven temp down to about 350 and shorten the cooking time about ten minutes.

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  44. Sue said on May 10, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    My daughter made me a lovely brunch today and I shared this heartwarming poem of parenthood with her. Happy mother’s day, all!

    This Be The Verse
    By Philip Larkin

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

    They may not mean to, but they do.

    They fill you with the faults they had

    And add some extra, just for you.

    But they were fucked up in their turn

    By fools in old-style hats and coats,

    Who half the time were soppy-stern

    And half at one another’s throats.

    Man hands on misery to man.

    It deepens like a coastal shelf.

    Get out as early as you can,

    And don’t have any kids yourself.

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  45. Deborah said on May 10, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Hilarious Sue, and so true.

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