Lie, memory.

Many years ago, during one of the anniversaries of Neil Armstrong’s trip to the moon, the newspaper I worked for invited readers to share their own memories of the historic occasion. We printed them all, even though they could not have been even remotely accurate.

That’s because many of the readers recalled incidents like this: “I was in kindergarten, and we were all taken to another classroom, where a TV was set up, and we watched it together. I still get chills, thinking about Armstrong taking that first historic step.” Couldn’t have happened, because the moon walk happened in July, when kindergarteners are almost entirely not attending school, and at close to 11 p.m. Indiana time (might have been 10 p.m., not sure what the time-zone situation was then), when they definitely wouldn’t have been. I was 11 going on 12, and I missed the first steps because I couldn’t stay awake. (I call my tale “The Lark’s Lament.”)

It was an early lesson in the fallibility of memory. So even though I consider Ben Carson not even remotely presidential timber, OK, I’ll give him a pass on somehow believing that Gen. William Westmoreland or someone close to his rank offered him a full ride to the U.S. Military Academy, as recounted in one of his books:

“That position allowed me the chance to meet four-star general William Westmoreland, who had commanded all American forces in Vietnam before being promoted to Army Chief of Staff at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.,” he wrote. “I also represented the Junior ROTC at a dinner for Congressional Medal of Honor winners, marched at the front of Detroit’s Memorial Day parade as head of an ROTC contingent, and was offered a full scholarship to West Point.”

As has been pointed out since Politico broke this story on Friday, there are some couldn’t-have-happened problems with this story. Westmoreland’s schedule says he was playing golf in suburban D.C. that day, although he did come to Detroit a few months earlier, and Carson could have been at that event. But the events of 1969 can seem distant indeed. He may well have heard “you’re a promising young man, Ben. Why, you’d probably be a shoo-in at the Point, and you know, everyone who attends gets a scholarship.” And heard it as, “We’re giving you a scholarship to West Point because you’re so special,” which is how it’s presented in the book. I don’t care what anyone says, in our culture “you’re/I’m getting a scholarship” is seen as a reward for achievement or potential, and saying so is drawing attention to it. Just getting into West Point is an accomplishment on a par with cracking an Ivy or other top school, and saying you’ve been admitted, or to any service academy, is enough; no one gets “a scholarship,” in this sense because everyone gets a scholarship.

Maybe you didn’t know that; that’s OK. Maybe he felt the need to say so because some people might not understand this. Hmm, OK, but say so — it only takes a phrase: “Like all West Pointers, I’d be attending on a full scholarship.” It’s even somewhat possible that Carson himself doesn’t understand how West Point works, but if that’s the case, what the hell is he doing running for president? That’s a basic-knowledge fact that someone who aspires to be commander in chief ought to know.

There’s this phrase you might have heard about, IOKIYAR — it’s OK if you’re a Republican. Imagine if a Democrat had said something like this, and imagine whether the defense would be as staunch. My God, John Kerry was mocked by some of these people for merely claiming service in Vietnam. Carson is being treated as a hero for not setting foot in the place.

So. How was your weekend? Mine was fine. Fall has settled into that late-season period where 95 percent of the leaves are down and nearly all the outside chores are done, and all there is to do now is untangle the Christmas lights and maybe squeeze a book or two in before the holiday whirl starts. We had our gutters cleaned by the guys who come around this time of year offering to do so. I didn’t know Alan had hired them until I was standing naked in the bathroom and saw one climb on a ladder past my window. Hey, guys! I have no idea whether he saw me or not.

So, bloggage:

Move on, nothing to see here, says Ben Carson. You understand, right?

So let’s get this week going, then.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events |

61 responses to “Lie, memory.”

  1. alex said on November 9, 2015 at 5:58 am

    The GOP is poring over tens of thousands of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails looking for smoking guns while the press treats it as a serious matter that may yet turn up said smoking guns, and Carson thinks he’s getting unfair treatment? Grow a pair, buddy, and while you’re at it grow a fucking brain too.

    I remember Neil Armstrong’s moon landing. Yes it was in July 1969. I was seven years old and we were in a motel room somewhere out west on a summer vacation to the Grand Canyon. Maybe they should ask Ben Carson whether he thinks the event was faked by the media, another old right-wing article of faith.

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  2. alex said on November 9, 2015 at 6:17 am

    Some extra linkage that might be of interest to a few people here. Exactly the kind of history I love to read and to write about.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on November 9, 2015 at 7:03 am

    One of our son’s friends went to West Point, and his so-called scholarship included several years of mandatory service after graduation, including a couple of tours in Iraq. I’d rather have student loans.

    Our daughter was in Chicago between two meetings so we hopped in the car after work on Friday for a quick visit. The warm, sunny day brought everyone out, and we had to pass on deep-dish since the wait was estimated at an hour and 45 minutes. The Art Institute was also crazy busy and navigation was slow. Still, it’s one of our favorite places to visit and I’m glad we made the effort.

    Aside from all that, it was truly wonderful to see our truly wonderful daughter, who is now sporting peacock hair, and regaled us with tales of speaking truth to clueless church administrators. And the smile on my mother’s face when Sarah said she questions everything was priceless, since that’s how she raised us too.

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 9, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Thanks for that link, Alex. I may be spending lots more time in Athens the next four or five years.

    Julie, clueless church administrators? I’m shocked, shocked.

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  5. coozledad said on November 9, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Carson is running on his autobiography, when it suits him; he says it’s not fair to hold him to account for discrepancies.

    His defense seems to be “Nobody looks at Obama’s college transcripts”.

    Hillary toughed out eleven hours of a show trial without breaking a sweat. Carson decompensates regularly in five minute intervals.

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  6. coozledad said on November 9, 2015 at 7:52 am

    “Maybe one of those students will come forward, I don’t know,” Carson said during the “Meet the Press” interview. “Maybe they’re not spending all of their time reading the Wall Street Journal.”

    He’s not a candidate so much as a Terry Southern character come to life.

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  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 9, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Or Tom Robbins.

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  8. Jolene said on November 9, 2015 at 8:05 am

    As a defense against the charge that the Perceptions class he claimed to have been in didn’t, in fact, exist, Carson offered a syllabus from 2002. The guy seems to have no idea of what meaningful evidence is.

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  9. ROGirl said on November 9, 2015 at 8:49 am

    I’m loving your shoutout to Nabokov’s delightful memoir “Speak, Memory.” Did his mother really bring him the giant Faber display pencil from the store when he was sick?

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  10. coozledad said on November 9, 2015 at 9:07 am

    ROGirl: The family could have afforded it. They had a private railway car for their spring vacations in Biarritz and Monaco.

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  11. Jeff Borden said on November 9, 2015 at 9:13 am

    I’ve seen a few stories that explore Ben Carson’s popularity with the Republicans and the one that makes the most sense to me is how he allays any concerns about racism within the party. If they are supporting a black man, how can they be bigots? It’s why Carson tries to position himself as a member of N.W.A. when he’s really Johnny Mathis. It’s important to the white base that he was a violent black thug redeemed by Jaysus and put on the path of right-wing righteousness. Obummer smoked pot and snorted coke? Oh yeah? Well, Ben Carson tried to stab a friend! Or a family member! Or whatever Dr. Ben says at this particular moment.

    My original thought was that like many of these GOPers, this was all about selling his latest book, but he really sounds messianic, like he believes what he is saying.

    One last thought: The right-wing media bubble is now so airtight that when these hothouse flowers are outside the Fox New, AM radio, Internet fever swamps, they wilt. Trump and some of the more established players are used to this, but for poor Dr. Ben, who has never heard a harsh word directed at him, it’s an entirely new and unpleasant experience.

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  12. brian stouder said on November 9, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Not to sound like my mind is in the gutter, but it seems to me that those gutter-cleaner guys certainly owed you, at the end of the day!

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  13. Deborah said on November 9, 2015 at 9:38 am

    My weekend was uneventful, we filled five gigantic bags with leaves and ran a bunch of errands. Little Bird was looking for a gizmo (I can’t think of the name) to burn sugar on the top of creme brûlée, we found one for a good price at a kitchen gadget outlet store. Really, a boring weekend. Today I’m driving down to Albuquerque to pick up my husband at the airport, then we are off to Abiquiu where a crane will be lifting our cabin’s structural moment frames into place, it’s a tall narrow structure, not a typical cabin.

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  14. Dorothy said on November 9, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Here’s hoping that guy on the ladder didn’t take his cell phone out and …. well, you know. I was walking the dogs yesterday afternoon on our court and saw two trucks parked in front of a house two doors up from our house. The first truck had absolutely adorable decals on display on the front windshield. The big one that ran all across the top of the windshield said “Four doors? Room for four whores!” and then running down the side of the driver’s side was another one that read “Diesels Drop Panties.” The house where they were doing the work is the new family that moved in two months ago. They have two sweet little boys who (I’m fairly sure) don’t read yet. Here’s hoping yesterday was the first and last time those idiots do any work on our street.

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  15. Dorothy said on November 9, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Oh I forgot to mention – they were cutting down trees on that property.

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  16. Pam (the sister) said on November 9, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Deborah, I know exactly what that thingie is you’re talking about. It shoots out flames from the end kind of like a blow torch, only smaller, right?

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  17. nancy said on November 9, 2015 at 9:57 am

    It’s basically a blowtorch, but on a much smaller scale. Alan says anytime I want to make creme brûlée, he has a soldering iron in the basement that will do fine.

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  18. Jeff Borden said on November 9, 2015 at 10:24 am

    We have seen the gilded excesses of Donald J. Trump’s hideous NYC penthouse. Now, gaze upon the home of r. Ben Carson. . .humble servant of god.

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  19. Deborah said on November 9, 2015 at 10:29 am

    That’s exactly right, it’s a miniature blow torch, but Little Bird asked for it in the kitchen store as a creme brûlée torch. The guy behind the counter said he had never heard of it before and didn’t think they had it. But little Bird found it in the store herself and proceeded to teach the guy how it worked. Anyway we have one now. LB is having company from the Netherland’s tonight and they’re going to make creme brûlée. We bought a quart of heavy whipping cream for it, I hope there is some leftover.

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  20. Deborah said on November 9, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Gin and Tacos has a good post up that Sue and David C will enjoy.

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  21. brian stouder said on November 9, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Jeff – somewhere in the middle of the last thread, Cooz posted that link, which caused me many guffaws!

    The Jesus-in-a-fluffy-bathrobe one was pretty good, as was a biblical quote, chiseled into the wall, complete with a mis-spelled word (the ‘r’ in ‘Proverbs’ tripped ’em up)

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  22. Deborah said on November 9, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Sorry about all of my comments this morning. I thought this was cool, check out the Google Doodle, today would be Hedy Lamarr’s 101st birthday (she died in 2000). I had no idea she was also an inventor,

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  23. Judybusy said on November 9, 2015 at 11:34 am

    My wife worked 12-hour shifts all weekend, so I flew solo. Saw a perfectly awful disaster pic, “San Andreas” with one friend at his home. We began the night with a patio fire, cooking hotdogs and catching up. We had so much fun mocking the movie! Saturday I went to another friend’s to watch Dr. Who, joined by a couple other guys. One brought his 4-week old daughter who snoozed the whole time. In a fun coincidence, I ran into the same guy and his husband at a mall the next day. Running into people like this is my super power. Last night, I continued working my way through the Inspector Lewis series….

    In the fall, I crave leaves like zombies crave brains. Our maple tree’s leaves all blew away before I raked, so I’ve taken a couple large bags from neighbors. I’ll use them to protect plants.

    I’m reading a couple travel-related books: one published in 1893, about an American couple’s honeymoon trip through Europe, and one by Rick Steves called “Travelling as a Political Act.” He recounts his journeys to the former Yugoslavia, El Salvador, and a few other places. I had no idea he was so political, and he hopes to use his bully pulpit to encourage Americans to look more closely at our policies and the effects they have. I was able to get the 1893 book from my library!

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  24. brian stouder said on November 9, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Judybusy, this past weekend, as usual, at some point Chloe (our 11 year old) said “Dad, let’s go to the library” – and I immediately said something like “It’s a plan!” – and off we went.

    What would I trade in order to have sons and daughters who love to read?

    As it is, if I keel over tomorrow, I know they’ll be fine

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  25. Sherri said on November 9, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    The University Of Missouri President has stepped down:

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  26. brian stouder said on November 9, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Sherri – the part of the article that I thought was most striking was:

    He made the announcement at the start of what had been expected to be a lengthy closed-door meeting of the school’s governing board. He largely pre-empted that session in a halting statement that was simultaneously apologetic, clumsy and defiant.

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  27. James said on November 9, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Here’s my take on Dr. Carson:

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  28. jcburns said on November 9, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    As seen in the Mizzou article, I think the statement “It’s 2015, it’s time to change this” will be a rallying cry for taking care of more and more longtime US social/cultural inequities. Well, until 2016, of course.

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  29. brian stouder said on November 9, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    James –


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  30. Julie Robinson said on November 9, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    A little leaf story: our neighbors have Irish twins who do the expected amount of wrangling. The older one and a friend offered to rake our leaves, and did a decent job, so I gave them $10 apiece for about an hour of work. Wednesday the city picked them up, and a couple of hours later the younger son came over wanting to rake–guess he heard we paid well.

    When I told him we didn’t need them raked now, but would wait until closer to the next pickup, he was crestfallen. In his face I saw every moment of childhood when I wanted to be and do like my older sister but couldn’t because I was too young to cross the street (or to drive), or she thought of it first, etc. And I felt really bad for him, but reality is reality. I told him to come back when all the leaves were off the trees but we didn’t need any raking until then.

    The kicker is he wants money to buy a safe! Between his older brother and younger sister he doesn’t have any space of his own.

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  31. ROGirl said on November 9, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    That’s Hedley.

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  32. brian stouder said on November 9, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    A new low, even for Toad Starnes

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  33. Peter said on November 9, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    I’m willing to give Dr. Carson a littler slack on one item because something similar happened to me – for some unknown reason, my ACT scores were quite high. High enough that I was getting offers from top tier colleges – if they only knew.

    One letter was from the Army: a partially filled out application to West Point, along with a letter saying that I just had to fill in the rest and sign, and they’d get the congressman to sign off on it.

    My family thought that was the funniest thing they ever saw; everyone had a guess as to how long I could tough it out at West Point. My sweet Mom had the high figure – “four days until you call us collect from a pay phone!”.

    After I looked at it a second time, there were other forms to sign, which made it look like it was a bait and switch from the local recruiter. Which I think is what Ben got.

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  34. Sherri said on November 9, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    The question I have about the West Point thing and Carson is that if he told them he was going to pursue medicine, I doubt that would have put them off at all; they would have told him that the Army could pay for med school, too. For that matter, if he was such a hot-shot JROTC student, he would have known this, as well as knowing that ROTC could pay his way through undergraduate somewhere else, at the cost of a service commitment. Like so many of his stories, nothing quite adds up.

    But I’ve never seen nor heard of anybody with a portrait of themselves with Jesus hanging in their house before. He’s really the evangelical Trump: a narcissist through and through, but with a Christian patina.

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  35. brian stouder said on November 9, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    He seems to have a Savior-complex, unless you’re about to rob a 7-11; in which case he’ll advise you to aim your firearm at some other poor soul

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  36. Jeff Borden said on November 9, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Amanda Marcotte has an interesting piece up on the Salon site, which takes a deeper look at the entire business of selling books and speaking engagements to the Christian right. She argues truth is less important in these books than the religious lessons imparted, suggesting this is why a bookish sort like Carson (if you believe his neighbors in Detroit) would paint himself as a dangerous badass who might’ve become a murderer had a belt buckle not broken his knife. The climb from near sociopathic killer to religious neurosurgeon sounds more compelling than a nerd from an impoverished household rising to his status.

    She also argues that Carson is less upset about what these allegations of lying or exaggerating are doing to his presidential campaign and more concerned about how they’ll affect future book sales. He will be an in demand speaker and author for many years if he plays this right.

    BTW, I’m in the midst of a dustup with a woman friend on Facebook who loves Bernie Sanders but so hates Hillary Clinton she will not vote for her if she gets the nomination. Her arguments echo those of the Ralph Nader backers who helped elect George W. Bush. As a long-time believer in the old saw “Don’t let perfect become the enemy of good,” I will throw my vote to her because the alternative is simply too terrifying to consider, but my arguments are not making a dent. What am I missing here? Why would a Sanders supporter allow a President Carson or Rubio or Cruz to happen just because it wasn’t Bernie at the top of the ballot?

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  37. brian stouder said on November 9, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Our 20 year old is a Bernie-man, but our 17 year old will take-the-Hill (along with her mom & I); he’s quite passionate.

    I make a point of not falling into a Bernie vs Hillary argument, but instead agreeing wherever I can.

    I suspect that in November, our household will contribute 4 votes for President Clinton-45

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  38. Jolene said on November 9, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Beats me, Jeff. If you figure that out, perhaps you could explain why these impoverished Kentuckians thought it would be a good idea to vote for Matt Bevin, the new GOP governor, who has promised to undo what is, perhaps, the most effective implementation of the ACA in the U.S.

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  39. Scout said on November 9, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    The people who are Carson supporters are likely the same ones losing their collective shit over this year’s Starbucks holiday cup design.

    Brian, I’m irritated at how militant some of the Bernie people are. Could they seriously be thinking that if they withhold their vote should Hillary be the nominee, their snit will prove some point other than handing the country right back to the regressive party that totally screwed up the first decade of the 21st century? To modify a Ghandi quote, “I like your Bernie. I don’t like your Bernie followers. They are so unlike your Bernie.”

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  40. Scout said on November 9, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Bummer, I totally screwed up the link.

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  41. Jolene said on November 9, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Seriously, the possibility that the new Kentucky governor will undo the ACA in his state is one of the most depressing ideas bits of policy news on the horizon. Recognizing that his state had some of the worst health statistics in the nation, Steve Beshear, who is about to leave office, positively threw himself into making the new law work effectively. They built their own website, hired lots of navigators to help people sign up, and reduced the uninsured population dramatically. Apparently, the law is written so that Bevin can’t simply undo it by executive order, but it’s a huge threat to some of the most beaten down people in the country.

    The people of Kentucky should, by rights, rise up against the GOP politicians who have lied to them or, at least, failed to lead them to a way of life not dependent on coal mining. Many reject the idea that the decline of coal is a consequence of played out mines and the increasing availability of other cheaper, cleaner fuels. It’s so much easier to blame Obama and the EPA.

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  42. brian stouder said on November 9, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Scout, I’m with you.

    Twenty-year-olds are what they are, though.

    HRC has to do what BHO did, and actively seek out and energize those folks.

    One big opportunity is in her selection of running-mate (I agree that O’Mally is looking awfully good for that slot)….and indeed, if Bernie is half the man they say he is, then he will lead as many of his followers as he can onto the Hillary bandwagon

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  43. Sherri said on November 9, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    I think the Bernie supporters and the Trump supporters have some similarities: they’re mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore. They just want something different. Obama had a message that was different, but couldn’t deliver. Yes, I know Obama delivered the ACA, which is quite astounding considering that Dems have been trying to do that since Truman and failing, but from their vantage point, it wasn’t single payer, it catered to the insurance companies too much, it just wasn’t enough. Plus, they’re unhappy (as I am) over Obama’s drone warfare.

    There’s much I like about Bernie, from a policy standpoint. I just don’t get the sense that Bernie has been a driver of change in the Senate, though, so why would I think he would be a driver of change as a President? Besides, as much as I would prefer more radical changes, the truth is, change happens incrementally by design in our system, one step at a time, and the hardcore Bernie supporters are headed for disappointment if they expect anything different, even in the unlikely event that their hero would win the election.

    I’d be delighted to be proved wrong, but twenty year olds just don’t vote. Not unless the draft is reinstated.
    Hell, most people don’t vote. I’ve been mulling over why so few people vote, having just gone through a local mayoral race. I think maybe we ask people to vote on too many things. I’m very involved, and it’s hard for me to be informed about some of the races I’m expected to vote on. And then we have our very own initiative grifter out here, Tim Eyman, who makes his living putting anti-tax initiatives on the ballot.

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  44. Sherri said on November 9, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Back to Missouri – Dan Wetzel points out the economics behind the football team’s power in forcing out the Missouri president:

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  45. beb said on November 9, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Kevin Drum has a very informative article about Ben Carson’s history of fabulation.
    The short version is that evangelicals are heavily in tales of redemption. So Carson pulled a knife on someone but GOD made him a better person. Carson needed $10, he fines the cash on the street – thanks to GOD. Another time he needed $10 but it wasn’t on the street, instead GOD arranged for a bogus Psych test with a $10 reward for sticking to it. All these are for the betterment of GOD, which is OK because lying to your enemies isn’t lying.

    The fact remains that casual lying combined with his gross ignorance of so much the real world not only makes him unqualified to be president but makes one wonder if his medical license should be revoked as well.

    creme Bruel…. I think Julia Childs used an ordinary propane blowtorch. Does the job and undoubtedly was a lot cheaper.

    Work has decided to add NN.c to its list of blocked websites. THis has adversely affected me since nn.c was my morning dose of sanity. Now I’m agitated all day long.

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  46. David C. said on November 9, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    I have no doubt that Sanders will campaign vigorously for Hillary. Last night, he said she would make a better President on her worst day than any of the Rs on their best. If the Sandersnistas ignore that and don’t vote or pull a Nader they deserve what they get. But I won’t. We all lived through President Cheney because of a similar snit and if any one of them still thinks there would have been no difference between President Cheney and President Gore they need to have a drool cup fitted courtesy of Obamacare.

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  47. Little Bird said on November 9, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    The brûlée torch we purchased was all of $13 at the outlet store. As opposed to the $30 they were charging at the kitchen shop nearest my home. Tonight I get to learn how to use it! I may need to get one of those storage units somewhere to keep all my kitchen gadgets though.

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  48. Charlotte said on November 9, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    While I’m thrilled that Bernie is getting the traction he is, I think Hillary’s last Senate performance has probably sent me over to her side. She’s ready. She seems to have quelled her weird performance ticks that made her seem inauthentic — and while I’m worried about her fondness for Netanyahu, and her coziness with the technocratic thieves of World Money — I’m also quite convinced that she’s pragmatic, has useful relationships both in the Congress and with the lobbyist community, and might just be able to Get Some Shit Done.
    But I want Sanders to keep running … his message is crucial as is his outreach to all sorts of groups the DNC usually shuns ….

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  49. alex said on November 9, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Jeff Borden, I feel your pain. I knew some people who voted for Nader in 2000 and again in 2004 and they couldn’t be reasoned with either. They like to argue that we live in a red state that the Dems won’t carry anyway, so we might as well waste our votes in protest.

    We had a creme brûlée torch. Used it mostly as a cigarette lighter and it lasted about as long as a cheap Bic. It was refillable with lighter fluid but the mechanism went kaput.

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  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 9, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    “A failure cascade…” The exact cause of the Edmund Fitzgerald’s loss is more knowable than you might have heard; if you have a geeky love of engineering and ships, this is a fascinating if tragic 33 page read. Theory Four sums up all that is known, in detail. (You can take the humanities major out of Purdue, but you can’t take the Purdue out of a geek!)

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  51. basset said on November 9, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Jeff, I got as far as “numerical modeling methodology” and stopped there. I just refuse to deal with that. Even the mention of it reminds me of failing math in school, I tense up just thinking about it.

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  52. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 9, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Just skim over the wonky stuff and get to the geekery — lots here for we who are not math-enamoured.

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  53. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 9, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    (Or just scroll to near the end and see “Theory Four” which really pulls all the facts together.)

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  54. basset said on November 9, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    Jeff, I’m well past “not math-enamored.” Not going there. Someone tell me what it says.

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  55. alex said on November 9, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    It got smeared by a big wave.

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  56. jcburns said on November 9, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    The gales of November came early.

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  57. Deborah said on November 9, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    I’m at the airport waiting for my husband to arrive. We’re staying at a pretty cool place in Albuquerque tonight called Los Poblanos, it’s a working lavender farm, with an historic inn and a very good restaurant which I found out is unfortunately closed on Monday. They make lavender lotions and potions and sell them in what they call the Farm Shop. Since my husband’s flight is so late and Little Bird is having overnight guests from Europe staying at her (our) place we decided to stay in Albuquerque for the night. When I first started coming to NM I wasn’t crazy about Albuquerque but I’m finding some cool things to enjoy now, it’s either getting better or I’m just now finding out about the interesting things to do.

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  58. Dexter said on November 10, 2015 at 2:42 am

    Life sometimes reflects the game of telephone. I will list a couple examples from many I have experienced.
    While sitting in a bar in my old hometown the big brother of a close friend walked in and took the next barstool. I only knew him vaguely, he being about ten years older, and during bar talk he mentioned “so how was it when you played for the White Sox that one year?” My one game played on a Major League field, while playing for a team that entertained crowds and allowed us young players to showcase our talents for a possible pro contract, was the game he had heard about. Somehow in small-town gossip, after about 20 years, had morphed into the tale I had been a Big Leaguer. Nope, not close at all. ( About a third of our team eventually signed pro contracts and did very, very well, but in the Organized Baseball Minor Leagues. One guy from the 1960’s, Paul Casanova, made the Big Leagues, and way back in the 1950s Hank Aaron the Hall of Fame star played for that team). My career ended when Uncle Sam sucked me up into the Green Machine when I was 19, in my second summer of trying to get a contract. All I have to tell folks is that I was indeed offered a try-out in Florida for the spring of 1970, for the new Montreal Expos. And I was in the army in California by then.
    Another time I was attacked by a group of rednecks for being a “communist”. I had been talking a bit loudly in the bar about my disdain for the government’s handling of the Vietnam War. These stupid sons-a-bitches misconstrued my oratory into “communistic” [sic] non-patriotism. The fight occurred on the sidewalk outside the bar, which was at an angle across from the cop shop. I took a few gut punches and I blocked a haymaker and I got my shots in as well. I hit one of those assholes so hard on the jaw my hand was messed up for six weeks after. I was against 4-to-1 odds though and if a cop had not just then pulled up to the station and witnessed the mayhem, I would have shortly gotten my ass stomped but good. The cop stopped the fight and we all went our own ways. That was in 1976…I never bellowed out my political feelings like that again.

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  59. basset said on November 10, 2015 at 6:42 am

    An interesting collection of old-time music, transferred from the original wax cylinders:

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  60. Wim said on November 10, 2015 at 6:54 am

    That’s amazingly cool, Basset. Thanks for sharing.

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  61. Jenine said on November 10, 2015 at 9:29 am

    @Deborah. Albuquerque is a big and fairly ugly sprawl. But somewhere within is a whole lot of great cultural stuff going on. Plus green chile cheeseburgers.

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