Once more, with feeling.

Just watched the president’s statement on the Oregon shootings. He was righteously, and rightfully, pissed. Then I checked Facebook. One of my gun-nut “friends” said Obama will do anything to score political points, and the clear answer is for everyone to go around armed, because shooters choose gun-free zones, blah blah blah bullshit bullshit bullshit.

Yeah, unfollowed that guy. Don’t need to hear that today.

As the week of the drinking project draws to a close, I’ve been thinking? ‘Bout drinking. Our magazine is policy-focused, but as I said in a radio interview yesterday, extreme college drinking is not a policy problem, at least not wholly. It’s cultural. I’m not sure what caused it, if anything caused it. I talked to one dean who said the modern era of blackout drinking started with “Animal House.” I said, “But that movie was about an earlier era of campus drinking,” and she essentially shrugged. Who knows? Most people my age who were lucky enough to have the traditional college-as-sleepaway-camp experience probably drank beer, and only beer. We were out to get hammered, yes, but there was a certain act-like-you’ve-been-there-before mood in the room. If you barfed, you’d gone too far. These days, I think barfing is the point. Puke and rally! There’s a phrase I learned this year.

If you haven’t checked out the I’m Shmacked YouTube channel, you really should. These videos keep getting better; check out the one from Florida Central University and tell me that doesn’t look like the most fun school in the world (with lots of great, shakin’ booties). Who wouldn’t want to go there and party with all those fine booties? Universities can’t compete with this. So what’s the answer?

I’d start with lowering, yes lowering, the drinking age. Phase in a new threshold of 19, say. It’ll be a rapprochement, of sorts, with kids. How do you make someone trustworthy? Trust them. Who doesn’t think that part of the problem is that we make alcohol this ridiculous, forbidden fruit for 20 years, 364 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes? Then one…more…minute and WHOA 21 SHOTS FOR YOUR 21ST, DUDE. I’ve been letting Kate have a glass of wine with Thanksgiving dinner and other occasions for a couple years now. Of course, it can’t be when she will ever drive a car, because if she’s stopped and breathalyzed, if she blows a whisker over.00, she loses her license.

Bottom line: We can’t treat the most popular and pervasive mind-altering drug in the country like crack cocaine on one side of the line, and like ambrosia on the other.

But I’m already sick of talking about this. I want to enjoy the weekend, eat a taco or three, chillax. Think I will. Hope you will, too. Let’s all join hands and think good thoughts for my young friend Dustin, who’s getting his gall bladder out today, too. All together now: Ommmmmmm.

Posted at 12:32 am in Current events |

84 responses to “Once more, with feeling.”

  1. Wim said on October 2, 2015 at 5:36 am

    For me there was great value in having spent a couple of years in the real world after high school and before college, and not least, I’d learned how to party without harm to myself or others. If only they taught a course in it. Expecting teenagers to be adult about things was just as foolish then as it is now, and if memory serves, there were plenty of people whose sole purpose was to get as drunk as possible as fast as possible.

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  2. Julie Robinson said on October 2, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Small correction: it’s the University of Central Florida, where our nephew is a history prof and would only roll his eyes at that video. Imagine trying to teach those kids.

    I’m gonna agree with lowering the drinking age, perhaps following a more European model. Learn to drink in a sensible atmosphere.

    And speaking of college and drinking, I had a deja vu moment an hour ago when the good folk in the next room reminded me of my freshman year of college. And now they’re done and I can’t sleep, and I have to be up in two more hours to spend another day packing up my mom’s house. Blech.

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  3. basset said on October 2, 2015 at 6:33 am

    “Puke and rally,” had never heard that until Mrs. B and I went fishing in Alaska this past summer… I see now where our boat captain got it.

    Sad news for those of us who were at IU Bloomington in the mid 70s – Leon Varjian has died. High school math teacher in New Jersey, didn’t show up for work Tuesday, looks like a heart attack.

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  4. David C. said on October 2, 2015 at 6:39 am

    I’m almost to the end of another crappy week. Oh well, I’m off to Weston’s Antique Apples near Milwaukee, the best place in the world for apple lovers, this weekend. I always get a variety because why not, but Spitzenberg’s are becoming my favorite. Apples on our trees were a bust this year, the God-damned squirrels ate them all.


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  5. basset said on October 2, 2015 at 6:45 am

    That UCF video would have sent 17-year-old me running in the other direction – did more than my share of stupid partying at IU, but come ON…

    looked for IU on the Shmacked channel and got a link to something about Little 500 with a rap soundtrack, I ain’t watchin’ that.

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  6. ROGirl said on October 2, 2015 at 6:45 am

    The Animal House influence occurred to me as well. The era it depicted was pre-pot, so it was solely about drinking. I think it helped revive frat life, which had declined quite a bit in the late 60s and into the 70s, and it made toga parties a new trend, along with the drinking that accompanied them. My college experience, while admittedly limited, involved social pot use on a regular basis, with drinking on weekends. The drinking age thing probably added to the mix. I was allowed to drink before my 18th birthday, at most I would have a beer or a few sips of something sweet enough to be palatable.

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  7. alex said on October 2, 2015 at 6:52 am

    The gun problem needs a grassroots movement like the one started by Candy Lightner. Lightner, you may remember, founded M.A.D.D. in the 1980s after her child was struck and killed by a repeat offender who got off with a relative slap on the wrist. Within a few short years, social acceptance of drunk driving cratered and legislators scrambled to change the laws.

    Lightner, it should be noted, eventually broke with the organization when she felt it had become “too neo-prohibitionist.” But that’s a great tribute to just how successful the movement had become.

    If 80-some percent of the public favors background checks and closing the loopholes that make purchasing a gun easier than exercising the right to vote, then it’s time to corral this sentiment into a bloc that raises consciousness and threatens lawmakers.

    I was just young and foolish at the time M.A.D.D. got started and I resented any incursion on what I considered my rights as a young person to have fun. It’s the same sort of attitude being displayed by those crass fools who would pretend that mass-shootings are nothing but Obama publicity stunts. I eventually found myself outnumbered and acknowledged that my position was indefensible. Roughly during the same time frame, people began questioning why they had to put up with others’ cigarette smoke, and social consciousness on smoking did a 180-degree turn as well. Both the alcohol and tobacco industries were exposed for their mendacities, which were trifling compared to the hooey that’s being trafficked by the gun industry. I’m a firm believer that social consciousness can be changed on guns too.

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  8. Suzanne said on October 2, 2015 at 7:25 am

    I want to thank you, Nancy that in this research, you have affirmed what I have been saying for years but could get few people to agree with, and that is that the college drinking culture has changed focus from getting drunk as a side effect of drinking to getting disgustingly drunk as the main goal. Far too many parents encourage the behavior (“Well, I was in college once. You want the kids to have fun!”) and then are shocked to read articles like the one Nancy wrote. If you go to a football game at most Big 10 schools, wander the parking lot and you’ll see numerous alums with full bars, drinking themselves into a stupor. Wander the parking lot at half time and you’ll realize a great many of them never made it to the game.
    I talked to a dad a few years ago whose son flunked out of college after 2 years and the dad pretty much thought it was very humorous. Yuck, yuck- spent too much time drinking and not enough time studying. It’ll be hard to change the culture as too many of the parents have bought into it.

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  9. kerry said on October 2, 2015 at 7:51 am

    I became familiar with the term “pre-gaming” at my daughter’s orientation at Ole Miss about eight years ago. In a convocation with freshmen and parents he asked for a show of parental hands by all who knew what that meant. The dean instructed those of us who didn’t know to ask our kid. “It’s when you do shots in your room before you go out for the night,” my worldy girl whispered. Great. Why do kids down a bunch of booze – mostly hard liquor – before they leave their dorm rooms? Because they’re too young to go to bars. You’re right, Nancy, raise the drinking age. Incidentally, my daughter says that once she turned 21 and could buy a legal drink she found herself drinking less.

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  10. coozledad said on October 2, 2015 at 7:54 am

    I was surprised how quickly the right decided the shooter must be a Muslim, and all the Pam Geller dingleberries had decided it was the opening of a hot war on Christians.

    Even weeks after the Charleston shootings, Republicans were still pulling the “He killed them people cuz they wuz Christians” bullshit.

    Fortunately for Republicans in this instance, the shooter, while a Republican, described himself as mixed race. They ought to be able to make something of that among themselves. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of jiujitsu they use to try and appear not racist towards Ben Carson.

    We’ll have to have a Gun Safety Administration to man checkpoints at the entrances of businesses, schools, and churches to confiscate guns. Applications for employment should ask people directly if they have a “relationship” with guns. There has to be a concerted effort to convince these people to leave the US.

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  11. Connie said on October 2, 2015 at 8:22 am

    At the end of yesterday’s comments Joe K recommended a band called “Here Come the Mummies”. I will add the votes of both my daughter and my brother to Joe’s. Although my daughter would tell you that if there are two shows one may be designated family friendly. You should choose the other one if possible.

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  12. Connie said on October 2, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Detroit will be the topic of the frugal traveler column in Sunday’s NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/01/travel/detroit-budget-travel.html?_r=0

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  13. Kirk said on October 2, 2015 at 8:30 am

    That UCF video is about a step and a half from a trailer for a “Girls Gone Wild” video.

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  14. coozledad said on October 2, 2015 at 8:30 am

    If the shooter had been Muslim, there would have been a bloodbath, coordinated and executed by the Right, and abetted by the educationally challenged mushy middle of this benighted country. I’ve seen that shit happen already

    The fact it coincided with election season would have just been gravy for the likes of Huckabee and Ted Cruz, and they’d have whipped their numbnuts soldiery up to a murder froth quicker than they got hicks burning down Planned Parenthood clinics.

    I had to drive to Danville, VA, yesterday, and noticed in addition to a shitload of trucks flying Dixie Swastikas, a bunch of snake flag license plates jammed in the parking lot of “REV Arms”, a one stop for easily convertible full auto guns. Didn’t hear about the shootings until I got home, but I’ll bet the masturbators overleveraged themselves buying military hardware.

    Sorry kids, won’t be no Christmas this year. Daddy spent all the money tryin’ to find his cock.

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  15. alex said on October 2, 2015 at 8:43 am

    I second Joe on the Mummies. I was there last night and made a couple of video clips on my phone to send to a friend who’s a big fan.

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  16. Dave said on October 2, 2015 at 9:07 am

    WHAT? No Schmacked video for Ohio U, with its rep as a party school?

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  17. Joe k said on October 2, 2015 at 9:56 am

    See Alex something else we have in common. Wish I would have known you were there.
    Pilot Joe

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  18. brian stouder said on October 2, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Agreed – with what Cooz said at 14.

    And instead of outrage and hysteria, had the fellow been a Muslim –

    Donald Trump, who actually is in serious contention for winning the Republican presidential nomination –

    says (and I quote) “These things happen”


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  19. Jeff Borden said on October 2, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I’m waiting for Wayne LaPierre to pop up at any moment to sneer at the notion of safe campuses and demand everyone start packing like Wyatt Earp.

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  20. alex said on October 2, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Vatican confirms pope got ratfucked into meeting Davis. Who invents these words?

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  21. ROGirl said on October 2, 2015 at 10:33 am

    I think the racist undercurrent in much of the gun defender rhetoric prevents rational discussions of common sense ways of preventing future mass shootings. The “other” is an existential threat.

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  22. beb said on October 2, 2015 at 11:37 am

    It came to me one day that we ought to reverse the ages of drinking and driving. Let kids drink at 16 so “baby’s first hangover” happens at home and the kid has to live with the repercussions of that. Moving the driving age to 18 would keep the kids from driving while drunk. But I can see where there would be problems with kids not able to drive before 18. How would they get to work? But then, do kids still get jobs at 16?

    Rather than blame Animal House for binge drinking I’d blame MTV’s “Spring Break” specials. They glorified wild behavior and most of the events were sponsored by beer companies. I’m sure MTV was not allowed to advertise beer or have beer companies ‘sponsor’ events but when the kids came to these party towns they found beer companies everywhere encouraging them to drink–wildly and excessively.

    These gun massacres, I think, need to be placed at the feet of those most responsible, not the gun manufacturers but the right-wing talk radio which has driven people mad with their inflammatory remarks. But it doesn’t hurt to note that the NRA is a tool of gun makers such that anything the NRA says should be viewed as partisan hackery.

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  23. LAMary said on October 2, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Ratfucked? I haven’t heard that word since Watergate.

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  24. brian stouder said on October 2, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Well, speaking of that Watergate terminology, I am exceedingly happy that Arne Duncan is out, at Education.

    (although I suppose I’ve been blinkered on any qualities that guy has, thanks to a few years of reading Diane Ravitch’s unstinting hostility to that guy’s actions)

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  25. Sherri said on October 2, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    What if President Obama treated gun violence the way “pro-lifers” treat abortion?


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  26. Kirk said on October 2, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Massacre-of-the-week problem solved: Disgusting “Christian” bag of shit hypocrite Mike Huckleberry says it’s the media’s fault.

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  27. adrianne said on October 2, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    I’m with Nancy on lowering the drinking age – I don’t think it was a coincidence that the rise in blackout drinking occurred during the Reagan years, when states were essentially forced at gunpoint to hike the drinking age to 21. Seems silly.

    Oh, and here in Gotham, the New York Post is calling the Oregon shooter “the AntiChrist” after he apparently questioned his victims about whether they were Christian.

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  28. Suzanne said on October 2, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Kirk, but remember how it wasn’t the fault of right wing talk radio when Gabby Giffords was shot? Nope, just a nut with a firearm…I am really beginning to dislike Huckabee more than I did. And I never liked him.

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  29. Jakash said on October 2, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    I like alex’s comment #7 a lot. Who’d a thunk in 1950, ’60 or ’70 that folks would ever be disallowed from smoking cigarettes in bars? And, like him, I didn’t much appreciate MADD’s “incursion on what I considered my rights as a young person to have fun”, which I exercised to an embarrassing, and what now seems a pretty frightening, degree. But, I too eventually realized that my behavior was indefensible. Why can’t a similar societal consensus be implemented with regard to controlling whether any random nut can buy a gun, and where? Well, the right-wing Supreme Court justices reinterpreting the Second Amendment is certainly a roadblock, but surely some sensible legislation could be crafted to circumvent them. Anyway, I also appreciate that alex concluded on a hopeful note, which I find pretty rare in discussions about what can be done about the gun-worship prevalent in the country.

    And Huckleberry is a disgrace, but what else is new? I thought, with regard to the Pope’s meeting Davis, that another indication of the lack of wisdom behind it was that, if, as a religious figure, you find yourself cruising in the draft of the Huckster, you might wanna consider driving on a different course…

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  30. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 2, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    This is up where a bunch of y’all live; Dan Fisher came and worked with us in 1989-91 with the Burning Tree Mastodon, and he’s since become the Midwest go-to guy for buried Quaternary proboscidians. Hoping they find not only cut marks but some stone tools. I’ve got a mastodon rib cast on the shelf here in my church office with half-a-dozen marks, and a chip on my shoulder still from the “volunteer” who swiped our flint finds from the mud pit we were working in, and denied handling them later, leaving us no lithics to discuss in the final report. Maybe Dan will be more fortunate this time!


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  31. brian stouder said on October 2, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Oh – and here’s triple/triple good thoughts for friend-of-NN.c Dustin, and his gall bladder procedure – which, with any luck at all, has already been successfully concluded

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    • nancy said on October 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      Actually, we have an update there. Surgery postponed until Tuesday; the patient has a touch of bronchitis, and they didn’t want to give him pneumonia.

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  32. brian stouder said on October 2, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Oh man! It would be trying enough to gear up for the whole thing – and it must be doubly trying to arrive at the day, and get delayed.

    Wishing more strength, for him and all his people

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  33. alex said on October 2, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    How’s this for some Vatican spin control? Feel better everyone?

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  34. Peter said on October 2, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    The eye opener for me was when we brought our son to college – SIU, which to people of my age was the no. 1 party school.

    The dean of students gave a nice slide presentation on how SIU was no longer a party school, and showed slide after slide of statistics that showed that, on average, SIU students were less likely to get arrested for drunk driving, public intoxication,etc. The Carbondale police chief spoke about that this isn’t due to them not enforcing the law; on the contrary, they were very vigilant.

    They didn’t expect one parent’s follow up question: What did SIU do to rehabilitate their party school image? The police chief answered that it’s really due to other schools passing SIU, and the economy down here is so bad a lot of students can’t afford to pay tuition and go out and drink.

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  35. Sherri said on October 2, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    The sheriff out in Oregon doesn’t want to say the name of the shooter because he doesn’t want to “glorify his cause.” Fair enough. I’ll respect that. The shooter apparently owned legally purchased 13 guns plus one he had traded in, and brought 6 of them with him on his rampage, but the sheriff, who spoke strongly against gun control measures and threatened not to enforce any federal measures imposed after Sandy Hook, thinks that now is not the time to talk about guns.

    The shooter’s mental health is already being dissected based on scraps of social media postings and interviews with people who sort of knew him. Of course, he must have had mental health issues, because we all know the only reason we have mass shootings all the time here is because of people with mental health issues who aren’t stopped by sane people with guns.

    Obviously, nobody really believes the argument that improving mental health care would reduce mass shootings, because nobody making that argument is doing a damn thing about improving mental health care, and they fight any restrictions on gun purchasing by anybody, including people with known mental health issues.

    I don’t know yet which manufacturers profited off of this latest bit of terrorism, though it has been confirmed that one of the weapons involved was an AR-15, the US domestic terrorist’s version of the AK-47: more expensive than the AK, but produced by multiple manufacturers and widely available. It seems to be the favorite.

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  36. MichaelG said on October 2, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    That’s exactly what it is, Alex. The Vatican now realizes they stepped in it and they’re trying to put the best face on things.

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  37. basset said on October 2, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    the civilian AR-15, unlike the Kalashnikov and its variants, won’t fire full-auto without some illegal modifications.

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  38. Suzanne said on October 2, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    I did hear on the radio (NPR) that one student in Oregon admitted to having a concealed weapon with him as the college isn’t a gun free zone. However, he did not have time to get the gun out before the cops showed up. If I’m not mistaken, there was also a guy with a concealed weapon at the Gabby Gifford incident who never had time to pull it out. So, so much for that argument…

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  39. Sherri said on October 2, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    I didn’t mean to imply the AR-15 was an exact substitute for the AK-47, basset, just that the AR-15 seems to fill the same niche for our mass shooters.

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  40. Jolene said on October 2, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Humans. So creative about finding novel ways to die.

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  41. MarkH said on October 2, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    All full-auto weapons are illegal without an expensive special use permit from BATFE, which also requires a squeaky clean background check result. So any full-auto modification to ANY weapon is illegal.

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  42. Sherri said on October 2, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Did I say a goddamn thing about full-auto? You obviously don’t need full-auto to kill lots and lots of people, so it just doesn’t matter. When I say the AR-15 is the AK-47 of the domestic terrorist, I mean it seems to be the weapon of choice. I don’t give a fuck that weapon lovers want to quibble over semi versus full auto.

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  43. Sue said on October 2, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    ‘the argument that improving mental health care would reduce mass shootings’
    And its companion, enforcing the laws we already have. Don’t forget that one.

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  44. Colleen said on October 2, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    30 years ago, when I was a freshman at a “dry” campus, my roommates used to “pre party” before they went to the fraternity houses. So that’s not a new thing. I remember the tour we had of the college, when our guide assured my parents and me that there was no alcohol allowed on campus. Holy cow, the parents’ taillights had barely faded after freshman drop off before the booze came out! Dry campus? Notsomuch.

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  45. Deborah said on October 2, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Another good thing about lowering the drinking age is that it would mean a kid would only have to drink 18 shots in one day, on that birthday. Har har.

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  46. MarkH said on October 2, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Sherri @42 — Just clarifying Basset’s post on the subject, that’s all. But your point was already taken in the earlier post. All it takes is one weapon and one round. Didn’t mean to piss anyone off.

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  47. coozledad said on October 2, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Jeb Bush is a callous, stupid motherfucker. He’s been in the public eye too long, and he makes this country look worse than it is:

    It’s time to strip his family of its citizenship and send them away.

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  48. brian stouder said on October 2, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    But only if they take the undead Cheney* with them.

    *if Dickens was writing the story of post 9/11 America, he couldn’t have named our craven former Vice President any more appropriately

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  49. brian stouder said on October 2, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    An speaking of Dickens – Jason Chaffetz is pretty well named, too – as he (and his lunatic wing of the party) are chafing at the chance to veer harder right!!

    All I can say is – GO Jason Chaffetz!! Fight for that Speakership!! The messier the fight the better!!

    Ol’ McCarthy was just too McCarthy-ite, right?

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  50. devtob said on October 2, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    One armed student explains why he was reluctant to take be the good guy who takes out the bad guy:

    “Luckily we made the choice not to get involved,” he explained. “We were quite a distance away from the building where this was happening. And we could have opened ourselves up to be potential targets ourselves, and not knowing where SWAT was, their response time, they wouldn’t know who we were. And if we had our guns ready to shoot, they could think that we were bad guys.”

    From a TBogg story about an MSNBC interview at Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/2015/10/armed-vet-destroys-gun-nuts-argument-on-mass-shooters-by-explaining-why-he-didnt-attack-oregon-killer/

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  51. basset said on October 2, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Apparently I’m a “weapon lover” and as such unworthy of being heard. No problem, used to it. I’m just hoping the next TV reporter I see yammering on about a “semi-automatic assault weapon” explodes into a ball of flame on the spot. That and ending candlelight-vigil stories with “…let the healing begin” oughta be illegal.

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  52. Hattie said on October 2, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    I hate the Bushes with a hate that is strong and true.

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  53. alex said on October 2, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    What if President Obama treated gun violence the way “pro-lifers” treat abortion?

    Sherri @ 25, if he treated gun violence the way pro-lifers treat abortion, he wouldn’t really give a damn about it except insofar as it could be used as a pretext for imposing dominionist theology on everyone.

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  54. beb said on October 2, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    basset @51: How many 50-round ammo clips do you have? A) none B) at least one.

    If you answered “A” you are not a gun nut.

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  55. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 2, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    Here’s my 40 round “clip”: http://www.19thcenturyweapons.com/1110/other/pix/musketctgbx.jpg

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  56. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 2, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    …and the district information officer shadowed this year’s 4th grade downtown tour, which spent more time outside of buildings than we normally do, since there’s a major two-year redevelopment project going on downtown, but here’s what I do when I’m not doing other things:


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  57. Deborah said on October 2, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Jeff (tmmo) your link about showing the kids your town is really sweet.

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  58. Dexter said on October 3, 2015 at 1:39 am

    Working class and poor young fellas of my era ended up in the army, with many of us ending up in Vietnam. Not all of us found ways to crowd into colleges (at BGSU classrooms spilled out into hallways as college rolls exploded due to the military draft which loomed everywhere.)
    Most all of us were the same age as the Schmacked kids in those videos. When I got to California in early 1970 I hung out with guys who liked to smoke Mexican weed. All was fine until the USA government began supplying Mexico with this nasty dangerous stuff called Paraquat, a highly toxic vegetation destroyer which wiped out much of the supply up Highway 101. Our army post went dry. When weed was plentiful and oh so cheap ( a four finger tall baggie was ten dollars ) all we drank was a bottle of Mateus which we passe around. We drank beer once in a while…maybe six guys bought a sixer and we had one each, but we really “looked down our noses” at the guys who got all drunked up and ended up beaten and cut up, thrown in jail, all the trimmings. We were above all that, we smugly thought. When the Paraquat ended our party ways, we still did not abuse alcohol. I thought we were the norm and the redneck beer swillers were the losers. Here we are, 45 years later, and the kids love alcohol and Ecstasy, techno music, and vaping has all but replaced rolling a joint. It is obvious that booze has won out over all… drug choices change as time moves on, but alcohol rules. It got me, too, after just a couple years away from the army, as I settled into a job-routine, I began drinking regularly until twenty years rolled by and I grabbed a beer and said to it, “John Barleycorn, you are king of the world; you have been my inspiration and my idol for two decades. But now good-bye .”
    OK…after all those words, here’s my point: not all of the booty-shakers and beer pong players and 21 on the 21st pounders will make it out of that morass. Lowering the drinking age? Michigan allowed 18 year olds to buy whiskey over 40 years ago. It didn’t last long. Anybody remember why the state raised it back to 21? Maybe in nuclear families a kid could be taught to drink like a gentleperson, but kids use booze to plain-and-simple just get all fucked up. T encourage and organize for a low drinking age just means more profits for the booze distillers. For alcoholic kids, kids who have the gene, the disease, easy access to booze just hastens the progression. I knew kids in ICYPAA who told stories that made me cringe. These are young kids in AA who banded together in youth groups…they have their own conferences, they are amazing and enthusiastic and they inspire us oldster-oldtimers. I’d like to see the topic “We should lower the drinking age to 18 again” brought up at an ICYAA meeting. It would be interesting as hell. http://www.icypaa.org/news

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  59. Sherri said on October 3, 2015 at 2:50 am

    Basset, seriously, if you think I haven’t been sufficiently deferential to you on the topic of guns over the years in this forum, then I don’t know what else to say.

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  60. basset said on October 3, 2015 at 3:40 am

    Beb@54, the most I can do is ten, on a .22 target pistol. It’s semi-automatic, but I better not quibble.

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  61. brian stouder said on October 3, 2015 at 3:49 am

    Jeff at 56 – I’ say that’s a Thread Win, walking away.

    Your rendition of Chattanooga Choo Choo to a bunch a’ kiddos may not have turned any chairs on The Voice*, but I betcha every time those young folks go past that station, for the rest of their days, they’ll think

    Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?, etc

    *We love The Voice. I think Blake would have said “You’ll have to come back”

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  62. Deborah said on October 3, 2015 at 7:08 am

    I’m really enjoying the Cabin Porn book, here’s another review http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/sep/20/cabin-fever-call-of-the-wild-sheds?CMP=fb_gu

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  63. Linda said on October 3, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Alex@20: who invented the word “raft!cked?” Its origin is old, going back to (where else?) the presidential campaigns of Richard Nixon. The young dirty tricksters of his campaign, like Donald Segretti, used it to describe false stuff they pulled on campaign opponents. I remember reading it in the Dan Rather Gary Paul Gates book, The Palace Guard.

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  64. alex said on October 3, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Thanks Linda. My awareness of Watergate at the time was limited to that of a small child hearing “Watergate this, Watergate that” on the boob tube, where the word was probably never uttered. But as it applies to Republican dirty tricks, it’s perfectly apt in the context of Kim Davis and her sleazy lawyers.

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 3, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I thought it was Segretti, who had a poetic turn of profanity.

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  66. Deborah said on October 3, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Well I waited too long to buy a box of tomatoes to can. I think it was Freudian, deep in my subconscious I didn’t really want to go through all of that again. The cold I had last week postponed going to get some and now it’s way too late. We went to the same place about 30 miles from here that we got excellent tomatoes at a great price last year (30lbs for $30), and they were out. It was a beautiful drive so it wasn’t a complete bust.

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  67. Bill said on October 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    I was watching TV coverage about the Oregon Community College shooting and wondering who among our elected representatives would be so in need of campaign contributions from the NRA and how much they actually received. So, using Google, I found this:


    The most any one individual receives is $9,900. Now we know how these politicians value life.

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  68. beb said on October 3, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    I like thought about gun violence


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  69. Deborah said on October 3, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Bill, my guess is that there’s a lot more $$$ that the NRA gives through super pacs and ways that aren’t tracable.

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  70. Jill said on October 3, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Fun tour, Jeff (tmmo). Thanks for the link.

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  71. Dexter said on October 4, 2015 at 2:29 am

    The fan behavior inside M Stadium used to be as wild as the activities all around campus on game days are now. When Don Canham was AD http://www.mgoblue.com/genrel/050305aaf.html
    at UM, he showed the Big Ten how to market the merch, and advertise the football game experience as exciting fun. Right then the ten year war with Bo and Woody commenced and Canham was hailed as a genius.
    Part of the fun was a wide-open security policy. I attended most of the home games from 1976 to 2001. I’d bring in a Zingerman’s sandwich , a dozen apples to sharer with my seat-neighbors, a couple waters and as many cans of beer as would fit inside my bag. After the games we’d have to wade ankle deep through empty half-pints of schnapps , bourbon, and kick hundreds of beer cans out of the way. It was a hell of a party every home game. Then it stopped. Canham retired in 1988, Bo retired in 1989. Just like that, security appeared. Barrels appeared at funnelling-in checkpoints. All water bottles, all booze and beer , and all food was confiscated. I saw a guard snatch away a single cookie a student tried to bring in…”it’s my lunch! I’m going to eat it now.” Nope. Into the trash. Coincidentally, ticket prices doubled all at once, the year after I retired, ending my enjoyment of attending M football games. I guess it’s natural that since the folks can’t bring the party inside the gates anymore, they get all crazy in the halls and lots around the houses on State and Hoover, back up Hill and Main, and wherever their houses are.

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  72. basset said on October 4, 2015 at 7:49 am

    never went to a single football game while I was at IU. Drank more than my share, just not in that context.

    Not sure if the following trick qualifies as a “ratf*ck,” it’s certainly a clever prank though:


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  73. coozledad said on October 4, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Good, good.


    Q: What is the difference between Fiorina and a horse?

    A: Incitatus did make it into the Senate.

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  74. Suzanne said on October 4, 2015 at 8:31 am

    Re: college drinking. A relative of mine posted a pic of he & his college age daughter (over 21) at a bar/restaurant with drinks in front of them. Post titled Daddy Daughter Druken Bourbon Date. I also know a number of parents who head to campus to help their kids celebrate the Big #21.

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  75. coozledad said on October 4, 2015 at 8:48 am

    John Boehner is the worst kind of weak-willed pansy-ass yellow-bellied coward in modern politics. His recent decision to resign reeks not of courage, but of the lowest, basest, cowardly lack of balls since Sir Robin ran away. The bullshit headlines of him ‘sacrificing’ his job in order to get a budget deal have the foul stench of weak-kneed pseudo-journalism seeking to put lipstick on rat-faced dick-weasel. John Boehner played the media, and his cowardice could result in the GOP fucking up our country beyond recognition. Rather than leave with his head held high, John Boehner should leave DC with his fucking tail shamefully tucked between his whiskey-wobbly legs.

    Wonkette and Charles Pierce are the last stand of political journalism. The rest are just co-opted DC fuckbowl ciphers.

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  76. brian stouder said on October 4, 2015 at 10:46 am

    So, after reading Cooz’s link, which is quite good, this one also drew a click from me, the better to stay abreast of the doings of low-level Michigan politicos – although this is from February


    an excerpt –

    An obituary of Ms. Bond says she was a veteran of the Navy, where she served in the Military Police, and notes:

    As an active member of the Christian Motorcycle Association, Christina was on FIRE for the LORD. She often served the Berrien County Jail in ministry as well as being an active member on her church’s prayer team.

    The obit doesn’t mention how her church’s prayer team did against its crosstown rivals, the Temple Beth Israel Fightin’ Feygeles.

    I mean, wow. Not sure how the hell one would ever unholster one’s firearm, with ‘the girls’ in the way – but whatever

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  77. coozledad said on October 4, 2015 at 11:01 am


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  78. Deborah said on October 4, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    I did something today I thought I’d never do. I bought a noisy obnoxious leaf blower. I feel so decadently suburban. But the thing is here in Santa Fe hardly anyone has grass because it takes so much water. Rakes work on grass but they don’t work well on pecan shells or rocks, which is what our complex has. So I broke down and bought an electric blower today and it works fabulously on scooping up all of the fallen leaves. It’s noisy as hell so I won’t be using it very often, our neighbors will be happy to know. It also worked great on sweeping the sidewalks, in that way I was just being lazy because it really isn’t necessary to do that because a broom works just fine, but holy cow the blower went so fast. We are having a block party for our lane on Friday evening and we’re getting the place spruced up for that. It was nice to have it all go so quickly.

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  79. brian stouder said on October 4, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    …and a rechargeable battery/electric blower isn’t too obnoxiously noisey, really

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  80. alex said on October 4, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    Much as some people are disdainful of them, leaf blowers are a necessity where I live or you’re ass deep in leaves (and nuts and every other sort of debris). We have a chipper/shredder as well, a riding mower, self-propelled walk-behind mowers, string trimmers, hedge trimmers and a chain saw. In the spring we get tree spooge all over the roof and use the leaf blower to clear it off lest it turn to black muck. And in the fall the leaves pile up on the roof as much as they do on the ground. We’re dreading the upcoming battles, but it’s the acknowledged cost of living where we do under a heavy canopy of trees.

    I can see how, in our old age, we’re either gonna have to be rich and hire someone to take care of our property or we’ll just have to mow it entirely down like the people who were here before us. Sucks getting old.

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  81. beb said on October 4, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    “Sucks getting old.”

    alex, those are words to live be.

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  82. Sue said on October 4, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Alex@7, the difference between a mom starting Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and a mom starting Mothers Against School Shootings (or whatever), is that within a week of the announcement of the organization, the MASS mom would be in hiding. Remember the national, across-the-board outrage when Joe the Plumber said your dead children don’t trump my gun rights? Neither do I. And he was referring to children who had been literally shredded by gunfire.
    Driving drunk in every possible way using every possible vehicle was never considered a constitutional, almost God-given right. You weren’t considered cowardly or a pinko liberal if you didn’t have dozens of vehicles to drive drunk in. Politicians didn’t weep with patriotic fervor when describing the need for every red-blooded American citizen to drive drunk everywhere they went. People didn’t elect their representatives based on the rating they received by the Tavern League (or whatever national equivalent might be out there).
    People who drink alcohol do not fight to the death (of someone else) for the right of everyone to drink as much as they want, no matter what happens.
    80% of Americans might favor restrictions, but they aren’t electing people who feel the same way, and at this point anyone running on that platform is quite likely putting themselves at risk. Ask the Michigan politician who’s been targeted for ‘arrest’ by that Oathkeeper.
    Comparing MADD and an equivalent gun-restrictions group doesn’t take into account how far the latter would have to go just to get to a MADD-level starting point.

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  83. MichaelG said on October 5, 2015 at 12:02 am

    Getting old may indeed suck but it, in the words of the ancient cliché, sure beats the alternative.

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