A virus.

Like a lot of you, I have a love-hate relationship with social media — Instagram, Twitter, but mostly Facebook, which is the 900-pound gorilla of social media. Just when I think, hope, that Facebook has peaked and I can leave this party sooner rather than later, I see the referral traffic from Facebook for the publication I work for has only grown. For many people, Facebook is the main portal to the internet, how they get their news, how they communicate with friends far and near, an ever-changing TV channel tuned to You, starring Your Friends, reflecting Your Excellent Opinions. In my business, you can’t ignore that.

Things I love: Keeping up with all your vacations, meals, children, sunsets, etc. I genuinely enjoy these, because you people live lives far better and more fun than mine.

Things I hate: Seeing how the ever-running Facebook newscast of events like Friday’s go, because people? Y’all suck as editors. When bombs explode, when many people die, when we are shocked by breaking news, there seems to be a way these things unfold.

First, there’s the great Profile Pic Transformation. Once these were grassroots efforts, now they’re one-click deals offered by Facebook. Change your profile picture to the French tricolor. Change your profile pic to the gay-rights rainbow. Change your profile pic green (I think that was for the Arab spring). Or find an image of your own and change it to that. Why? To “support” the French, because apparently without this gesture, they might think the whole world is yawning over a rock club stacked deep with corpses. They might feel, y’know, unsupported.

Then the memes arrive, the quotes and jokes and zingers rendered in the display-size fonts, maybe with photos, suitable for sharing on your Facebook wall. Because my friend circle is lefty-heavy, I see these most often; they come from groups like Occupy Democrats and so forth, but I see them on the other side, too, from Tea Party Patriots, a group with an apparently limitless supply of eagle photos, always combined with their equally limitless supply of flag photos.

Then the inevitable grief-shaming starts. You can’t feel X about Y unless you also feel X about Z. It is accompanied by the bullshit, the clickbait stories that get hastily thrown up and turn out to be utterly wrong, but they’re satisfactory to read in some way: The refugee camp at Calais is burning, the Eiffel Tower has gone dark, etc., none of which happened. I used to make it a point to fact-check “news” stories people post that are total crapola, but stopped when most people either shrugged or otherwise said, “Eh, it’s still a good story.” And that is how Mitch Albom continues to thrive, year after year.

I believe facts matter, that emotions may be part of a story but should never be the whole part; there’s a reason the “how do you feel” question is the ultimate mocking reflection of (especially TV) clueless news gathering. But apparently I’m in a minority here.

But then, always, comes a story like this: A “mystery pianist” showed up at the site of the rock-club massacre to play John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Because isn’t that what the world needs now? To sit and imagine a world that not only will never come to pass, but probably shouldn’t, because what kind of world would it be without countries, religion, greed, hunger, the ideas of heaven and hell? I’ll tell you: Boring. Go get a lobotomy if that’s the world you really want, but I prefer the what’s-around-the-corner craziness of reality. But check out that pianist, or rather, who’s closest to him — photographers with expensive cameras, i.e, professionals. Behind them, the phones-held-high ranks of the hoi polloi, doubtless thinking, I can’t wait to post this on Facebook.

I don’t want to be cruel here. I know people do a lot of these things because they feel they have to do something, and sometimes this is all there is for an average person to do. For much of my career, when terrible news happens, I’ve been called to work. I’ve spent hours in newsrooms while terrible news clips played over and over on the TVs, and all around were editors and reporters, working the phones, tearing up pages, subbing in new photos and headlines. Action is a useful way to deal with the shock of shocking events, and getting a decent quote from some Mideast specialist to throw into a story about to leave the floor feels more useful than hitting a Share button.

But the term “slacktivism” exists for a reason, too. Hey, I support the French, too. (I better; I drink enough of their damn wine.) France, tell me what you need from me and I’ll do it if I can. I bet you need more than my face under the tricolor, but if that’s what you want, OK, sure. On the whole, though, I bet you’d rather I open another bottle of wine. Keep the economy going.

This, exactly.

Disclaimer: If you did the French-flag thing to your Facebook profile picture this weekend, of course I’m not talking about you. You are an angel.

I’d give you some bloggage, but there is so, so much to read at the moment, and many of you have been posting all weekend in the comments of the last post.

Don’t miss Charles Pierce, certainly.

When 9/11 happened, I said that it took some real balls to climb upon a pile of 3,000 corpses to flog your unrelated political opinions, but since then it’s a fairly regular occurrence, as Frank Bruni points out.

Not Paris-related, but something I meant to post last week but neglected to, in my fog of late-week fatigue: A look back at a 1988 Free Press profile of then-unknown Ben Carson. With links to the original piece. Enjoy.

And let’s hope for a less Facebook-worthy week, shall we?

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events |

64 responses to “A virus.”

  1. Sherri said on November 16, 2015 at 1:01 am

    The only thing I can do to support France is the same thing I can do in the face of death anywhere and everywhere: keep living my life. We should know by now, but don’t, that sending soldiers and bombs and drones won’t stop terrorism. Terrorism isn’t new, and it isn’t unique to radical Islam, and soldiers and bombs and drones have never stopped it. Throwing away civil liberties in the same of security won’t stop it either.

    The only thing that stops terror is a refusal to be terrorized. Easy for me to say thousands of miles from Paris, but I know I’m far more likely to die in a car accident than at the hands of a terrorist, or from heart disease, or cancer, or just plain old age. I don’t want to see anybody else, whether American or Middle Eastern, to preserve my “freedom”, or “security”, because such a death would be pointless.

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  2. Dexter said on November 16, 2015 at 2:02 am

    I learned how to use computers at work, simple things like deleting inventory and locating parts on the factory floor. Since we didn’t have a computer in the house until 1996, I missed the old AOL chatrooms people fondly reminisce over, I missed the old dial-up chats , but I got in on one-topic dedicated chatrooms when they were the thing to do. That was fun and once in a while a celebrity would pop in; I have chatted with David Simon over an episode of The Wire and once I discussed war books with msnbc’s Col. Jack Jacobson. Then came 2005. Craig Crawford was a bit of a media darling then, appearing multiple times a day on msnbc and also regularly on Don Imus’s morning simulcast. Soon Craig started a blog and with Iraq bubbling over daily, we began getting 300+ posts a day on Craig’s blog. Craig knows computers and he maintained several platform renditions of his blog like Mr. Burns does for nance.
    When Facebook hit, Craig informed us and most of us joined right around Day One.
    Facebook changed everything. Most all my emails are personal business. I still get spam, but only a few friends email much at all…everybody else uses Facebook. The New Yorkers I listen to on the radio have been saying for years that Facebook is dying and Instagram and Periscope have dominated lately, and they all use Twitter for everything else. However, that’s them, not me and my circle. We fucking love Facebook and we praise the path Mark Zuckerberg trudges.
    And I was still drinking Wild Turkey and longneck bottles of beer in 1991, the last time the Lions beat Green Bay in Wisconsin. Until Sunday. Yes, the Lions beat the Packers. Talk about an odd thing to happen.

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  3. Linda said on November 16, 2015 at 5:43 am

    All your loves/hates around Facebook are sound, but in the
    Sat few days, when I’ve had bad cold and laryingitis, I have not had a real conversation. When I went to the doc, people were careful to shield their children from me. The pharmacist wouldn’t touch my hand. My bro in law left soup on the front porch in fear of my germs. My sis won’t talk on the phone because I’ll strain my vocal chords. If it weren’t for Facebook and texting, my life the last few days would be a one woman leper colony. And at least the changing pics mean my peeps slightly give a damn and are paying attention to the world with some empathy. It’s like losing your shit over Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays. It’s not anything I want to blame/shame over.

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  4. Alan Stamm said on November 16, 2015 at 5:48 am

    “And that is how Mitch Albom continues to thrive, year after year.”

    C’est magnifique.

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  5. Brandon said on November 16, 2015 at 6:11 am

    What actually happened at the refugee camp: http://qz.com/550144/fire-swept-through-the-giant-refugee-camp-in-northern-france-last-night/

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  6. David C. said on November 16, 2015 at 6:12 am

    All that shit is verbal and visual homeopathic medicine. It does no damn good, but maybe it keeps people from doing something that’s actually harmful – like beating the drum to blow up more shit.

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  7. Suzanne said on November 16, 2015 at 6:53 am

    I did come across this on Facebook – http://www.straight.com/news/420321/gwynne-dyer-explains-why-terrorism-overblown-and-why-islamists-want-western-countries

    I couldn’t find out a lot about the author or the website, but it did make a lot of sense to me. Hopefully, it isn’t one of those bogus sites that’s a pack of lies, but makes sense anyway, so you click “like”.

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  8. alex said on November 16, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Suzanne, that looked like a perfectly legitimate piece about an academic lecturer, not the sort of stuff you’d expect from people whose agenda is to spread misinformation. In reading it, it almost reminded me of the lecture I heard when the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran was in town. She put things into perspective in much the same way the subject of the linked story does.

    I think it’s a fair observation that we are inordinately consumed with fear of terrorists while being inured to far more prevalent dangers. It won’t stop the media from keeping us on tenterhooks about the Parisian attacks being a prelude to an event on U.S. soil.

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  9. coozledad said on November 16, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Terrorism and the oil economy are codependent. If there’s a religion at the heart of all of it, it’s authoritarianism coupled with a resentment of liberalizing trends and the values of urban, literate civilization.

    The massacre at Sandy Hook never provoked a backlash against gun fondlers because gun fondling is one of our cherished state religions, much as it is with ISIS. No one ever suggested we mount an invasion of the ignorant hick-ass hollers of the US in response to the murder of George Tiller. And that’s because we coddle our little fundie throwbacks here, and give the miserable bastards everything they need to thrive and do damage. We’re the Saudis of hick terror.

    Pierce is right. In every case where there’s an act of terror, the money needs to be followed and seized. If you can’t interdict arms traffic, manufacture arms that will blow up in a shooter’s face. Get them in wide circulation in every country prone to the authoritarian impulse. Give them all a bellyful of uncertainty, especially that Saudi Royal trash and their friends in the US.

    And blast this NSFW shit everywhere:

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  10. Wim said on November 16, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Suzanne, I remembered Gwynne Dyer from his miniseries _War_ from the early Eighties, and the companion book that soon followed. He’s been making lots of sense for a really long time.

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  11. ROGirl said on November 16, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Fear of terrorism took over from fear of Communism after the fall of the Soviet Union. Terrorism existed before that, of course, but it was contained to certain targets, for the most part.

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  12. jcburns said on November 16, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Nicely written, Nancy. Well expressed, well reasoned. Therefore, definitely NOT Facebook-worthy.

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  13. coozledad said on November 16, 2015 at 8:07 am


    H/T Juanita Jean

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  14. Julie Robinson said on November 16, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Reading Lolita in Tehran is one of the best books written, ever. (Azar Nafisi’s follow-up, not so much.) The connections she draws between classic literature and its relevance in a revolutionary society are brilliant. Required reading.

    It’s been a slog here and will continue so for several weeks. I’ll pop in to read as I can, though.

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  15. Deborah said on November 16, 2015 at 8:31 am

    My friends who recently moved to Paris requested that we change our photos on Facebook so we did. I am not ashamed, it made them feel better. They live in a suburb outside the city and yesterday they took their children on a train in and frolicked around the Eifel Tower. They were happy to see a lot of other people doing the same, living their life in a fantastic place.

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  16. Andy said on November 16, 2015 at 8:51 am

    ISIS is self-funded from oil fields on land they now control. Estimates vary, but in the range of $3mm a day or $1billion per year. ISIS controls land, which is a requirement for the calphilate they have declared. This is in contrast to other terrorist groups.

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  17. Andy said on November 16, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Surprisingly shallow piece, btw.
    Major attack by a group who’s stated goal is the death of non-believers and the subjugation of Western civilization. (News flash, the values arising out of the enlightenment are NOT universal, as much as we could like to think they are.)

    So what is the lead here? Facebook and it’s irritations. I know it’s your cup of coffee and all, but I would have expected something, well, relevant.

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  18. coozledad said on November 16, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Clueless fucker:
    “We say to the states that take part in the crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a day, God willing, like France’s and by God, as we struck France in the center of its abode in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its center in Washington,” the man said.


    Tell me how this hick trash is unlike our hick trash.

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  19. Jeff Borden said on November 16, 2015 at 9:19 am

    A little over a week ago in Chicago, a 9-year-old boy was lured into an alleyway on the south side and shot multiple times to get at his father, a major gang leader. This is what gang violence has devolved to in my city. . .killing an innocent child to pay back his asshole father. People living in the worst neighborhoods live with real terror every day. Will their children return from school or be caught in a cross fire? Will they be unlucky enough to be waiting for a bus alongside a gang banger targeted for elimination by a rival group? Will their toddler be killed in their bed by a stray bullet flying through the window of their apartment?

    The events in Paris are horrific in their scope. But gun violence in my city will take as many lives in a few months as were lost on Friday in France. For the year, the toll likely will be three or four or five times higher than the death toll achieved by ISIS. But my country will spend hundreds of billions fighting “terrorists” in the Middle East while ignoring the carnage a few miles from my house. And if any of the GOP candidates have their way, we’ll be right back at it with boots on the ground, which is exactly what the radical Islamists seek. If only Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et.al. had read Osama bin Laden’s manifesto, perhaps they would not have acquiesced to everything he called for in it after 9/11.

    I expect more military action and more money spent and more hate and vitriol directed at 1.5 billion people in the world who practice a religion different than most of ours. But it won’t change a thing in Chicago, where we will just keep watching as more of our people are murdered.

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  20. brian stouder said on November 16, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Deborah at 15 – Amen.

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  21. Peter said on November 16, 2015 at 9:23 am

    OK, so I’m a callous guy, but when ISIS claimed that they targeted Paris because it is the world’s center of depravity and adultery I had to think that none of them have ever been to Vegas.

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  22. alex said on November 16, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Perhaps they realize no one would give a rip if they took out Vegas.

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  23. Linda said on November 16, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Peter@19: devoted Islamic warriors make a point of not get getting around much.

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  24. nancy said on November 16, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Deborah, if you were asked to do so by an actual French person, you get a pass. Actually, you always get a pass, for being generally awesome.

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  25. Minnie said on November 16, 2015 at 10:12 am

    I have the tricolor OVER the equality sign. Imagine.

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  26. Sue said on November 16, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Dexter@2, not so odd, the Packers haven’t won since Mike Ditka put on the green and gold. #daCurse

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  27. brian stouder said on November 16, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Well, as a complete non-sequitur, we’re working on a story on this end.

    After lots of consideration, Pamela has decided to re-enter the paid-labor force, and today she had an interview – which seems to have progressed well.

    Watch this space…

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  28. Jolene said on November 16, 2015 at 11:37 am

    President Obama just gave an eloquent defense of decency, compassion, and tolerance in the face of terrorism during a press conference in Ankara, as well as a forthright defense of what the U.S. Is doing to counter it. Worth your time to listen to it.

    On a less elevated level, John Oliver comments on the relative appeal of ISIS vs. Paris.

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  29. AndreaJ said on November 16, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Brian at #19, ditto here in Baltimore, where the homicide rate went past 300 over the weekend, the first time since 1999, and after it was down below 200 since 2011.

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  30. Judybusy said on November 16, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    My partner, my 18-year-old niece and I will be travelling to Paris in June. I’m a little nervous, but not enough to change our plans. I emailed the woman who manages the apartment we’ll be staying at; she happens to be in the US now so is OK.

    Brian, good luck to Pamela!

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  31. alex said on November 16, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Stay classy, Mike Pence:


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  32. beb said on November 16, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    So is Michigan’s Rick Snyder. Memo the Syrian refugees are the people trying to get away from ISIS, not ISIS itself.

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  33. MarkH said on November 16, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Memo: it has been acknowledged that ISIS operatives have successfully infiltrated said Syrian refugees. At least one, maybe two were in the Paris group.



    Is it not logical to safely assume this would happen?

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  34. MarkH said on November 16, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Meantime, check out what Paris has done, lighting the Eiffel Tower. Glorious sight.


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  35. coozledad said on November 16, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Looks like the Republicans are back to the immigration policies they favored on the eve of WWII. “Christian” is a new stand in for anti-Semite.

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  36. Deborah said on November 16, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks Nancy, my friends who moved to France this past summer are the coolest family, a married gay couple who adopted two kids, the luckiest kids in the world. One of the guys is French he took an engineering job in Paris after working in Chicago for 15 years or more. The other guy is an architect, we worked together in Chicago for about 10 years off and on. The nicest people you can imagine.

    The frozen stuff is starting to fall now here in Santa Fe. We got up at 3:07am to take my husband to the airport in Albuquerque for a 5:50am flight to Chicago. It rained the whole 60 miles there and 60 miles back. He comes back next Monday night and stays till the following Sunday for Thanksgiving, and the last of the construction on our Abiquiu project for the winter. We have a cozy fire going in our fireplace and I’m about to curl up to read the book I’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks, it’s OK, Purity by Jonathan Franzen, I’m finally a little more than halfway through it. As I said here before it’s hard for me to work myself up to read it even though once I do, I like it.

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  37. coozledad said on November 16, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    In light of the American Right’s entrenched Francophobia, I wonder how long it will take them to start singing the praises of the Vichy party (FN) under Marie Le Pen. Getting back in the sack with the Nazis will be like old home week for the Bush party. Even though they’ve already had a few make-up fucks, this one has the promise of taking down a socialist, with whom they can’t pretend to be in solidarity forever.


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  38. jcburns said on November 16, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Talk about doing evil from Ars Technica, a site for the geeky and those who inspire to be:

    Privacy advocates are warning federal authorities of a new threat that uses inaudible, high-frequency sounds to surreptitiously track a person’s online behavior across a range of devices, including phones, TVs, tablets, and computers.
    The ultrasonic pitches are embedded into TV commercials or are played when a user encounters an ad displayed in a computer browser. While the sound can’t be heard by the human ear, nearby tablets and smartphones can detect it. When they do, browser cookies can now pair a single user to multiple devices and keep track of what TV commercials the person sees, how long the person watches the ads, and whether the person acts on the ads by doing a Web search or buying a product.

    [This is why I use an ad blocker in my web browsers.]

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  39. brian stouder said on November 16, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Cooz/Alex – word.

    I’d say our hapless governor (Pence, in Indiana) is going off half-cocked, but that gives him too much credit.

    And leave it to jc to direct our attention away from the extremely remote possibility of getting ventilated by some heart-less ISIL terrorist, to the almost dead-certainty of getting groped by some soul-less internet phisher

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  40. Scout said on November 16, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    I scroll like crazy through most of the FB bullshit, but I did change my avatar to the Eiffel Tower peace sign one. Out of solidarity blah blah blah, but also because I am a graphic artist and I really liked it.

    Arizona’s peach of a Governor decided to use the Paris event to refuse access to Syrian refugees. What a total derp move… not that I would have expected better from Governor Douchy. http://www.kpho.com/story/30529818/ducey-halts-placement-of-refugees-in-arizona-after-paris-attacks

    The Charlie Pierce piece is the best I’ve read on this tragedy because it is solution based.

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  41. brian stouder said on November 16, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    Scout – indeed; and our Pence is a peach (or a SonOfAPeach), too.

    Arizona got me laughing yesterday because NASCAR was at Phoenix, and got rain delayed.

    Did I say rain delayed? More like monsoon-delayed!!

    they blew and blew and blew the track, and delayed the thing 6 or 8 hours, and then ran…until it rained again!

    Rain in the desert, though, is a good thing, I’d suppose

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  42. Scout said on November 16, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    brian stouder: It is colder than a witch’s tit in Phoenix right now! Damn climate change. Yesterday was awful for anything outdoor related, but the day before it was 80 degrees and sunny. We divided our time between three festivals and a bonsai event at the Japanese Friendship Garden. It was a truly lovely day. I’m just hoping for good weather on Thanksgiving because we are having a dozen people over for an outdoor afternoon meal.

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  43. coozledad said on November 16, 2015 at 4:13 pm


    The Republican governor of North Carolina has joined the list of subhumans, traitors and cowards who are giving in to the aims of ISIL. I hope one day he is unfortunate enough to become a refugee, because other nations would be absolutely wise to forbid the human shitstain of the American Right any form of sanctuary. They’re a pox.

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  44. brian stouder said on November 16, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Excellent link, Cooz. I just overheard a fellow praising our governor for his exclusion of any refugees from the middle east, and the Raw Story article is exactly the right response to that

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  45. Jeff Borden said on November 16, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    The Republican governor of Illinois just jumped on the anti-Syrian bandwagon.

    Saw something on FB that touched me: “If only there were a seasonal story about a Middle Eastern family seeking a safe place but being turned away by the heartless.”

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  46. Sue said on November 16, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Wisconsin’s in, of course.

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  47. beb said on November 16, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    BoingBoing’s clickbait of the days has to be “An upskirt peeper creep in Japan confessed something super weird to police.” The something weird is that he hopes to be reincarnated as pavement. Why wait. I’, sure we can plant him in some pavement now, and I’m sure Jimmy Hoffa can make room for him.

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  48. Icarus said on November 16, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    coming to this very late (as usual). I often wonder what will become of Facebook. I figure:

    Option 1: it *could* fade away like Friendster or Myspace.
    Option 2: it could fade into the background and still be around but used less and less often
    Option 3: it could evolve into something very different thatn it is today.

    Nancy do you accept FB friend requests from commenters like Zorn does or do you keep it to just real friends?

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  49. nancy said on November 16, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Good question. I have four requests pending now, and I’m not sure how to respond. One is from someone with whom I have three common friends in Indiana, but doesn’t even have a profile picture up. One is a guy I bought something from on eBay and who lives in Peru — at least I think so, if it’s the same guy (it’s a common name). One is a mysterious older man with whom I have no common friends. One is from a woman whose name sounds vaguely familiar and lives in Indiana, but not the part I lived in, and with no common friends.

    Sometimes people here will add me, but they usually include a note saying, “Hi, I’m Scout,” or some such. Those I accept.

    Generally I want to get a sense if you’re adding me to yell at me, or is you’re genuinely interested in what I might say and share there. I certainly don’t demand political orthodoxy, but I get enough criticism in the rest of my life that I don’t go looking for it on Facebook.

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  50. Scout said on November 16, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    According to this, the Republican governors can bluster and posture all they want to, but they can’t legally bar the Syrian refugees.

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  51. Deborah said on November 16, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    God damn the Republican governor of Illinois. What a piece of shit.

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  52. Jolene said on November 16, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Thanks for that link, Scout. I was just about to post the same one. Seems to pretty definitively rule out the kinds of prohibitions that these GOP governors are announcing.

    I wondered, actually, if the governor’s had this authority. They can’t, after all, decide who enters or leaves their states. Doesn’t sound like the governors stopped to think about the limits of their legal authority.

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  53. Jolene said on November 16, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Wouldn’t be a bad idea to call your Republican governor and tell him or her how disappointed you are in their Un-American and un-Christian stance on refugees.

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  54. Jolene said on November 16, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    A second link on the question of legal authority for refugee resettlement. This one contains a bit more procedural detail re the federal agencies and nonprofit organizations that do this work.

    Have any of you been involved in refugee resettlement through your churches or other organizations?

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  55. Hattie said on November 16, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    I’m with you 1000% on all of this.

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  56. David C. said on November 16, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    They wouldn’t care a rat’s ass, Jolene. They know it’s not remotely legal, but they do it anyway because there isn’t anything too douche-baggy for their mouth-breathing supporters. They also follow Republican Jesus, you know the one who said “But I say, do not resist an evil person (or an inconveniently brown one): but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him and blow him away with your AR-15”.

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  57. Suzanne said on November 16, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    I dislike Pence as it is, but this refusing any Syrian refugees just makes me incredibly sad, especially for someone who wears his Christianity like a badge of honor. A news report said there were less than 20 Syrians who came here last year, but Pence must be certain that all 20 were carrying weapons and marching orders from ISIS. Christianity tells its followers to help the helpless, but, honest to goodness, Indiana, not here.j

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  58. coozledad said on November 16, 2015 at 5:54 pm


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  59. Brandon said on November 16, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    It’s very easy to share things on Facebook.

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  60. Sherri said on November 16, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    I don’t have a love-hate relationship with Facebook; I have no relationship with Facebook. I refuse to have an account.

    All those red-blooded Republican governors trying to close their borders to refugees are simply cowards. If they really believed that we were involved in an existential clash of civilizations, they should be happy to have refugees come here where it would easier for those “good guys with guns” who “stand their ground” to take care of business.

    Bunch of chickenhawks.

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  61. Deborah said on November 16, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    My husband refuses to have a Facebook account too. He doesn’t want an Internet presence at all. I joined Facebook when I was still working at my last job before I retired. I check it out way more often than I post, comment or like other posts. I don’t share there nearly as often as I do here.

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  62. Charlotte said on November 16, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Let’s see — I use Facebook to keep up with people I know in real life (and a few internet friends of such duration that they feel like IRL friends). I use Twitter to chat with many sheepherding people in the UK, other writers, and the renowned Duchess Goldblatt. I’ve recently become addicted to Instagram/Ravelry where I pretty much just follow knitters (esp the past couple of weeks — ugly politics send me down the rabbit hole of pretty knitting pictures). I have a Tumblr but I haven’t posted anything there in ages — and then there’s my blog, which I’m sort of using as a space to play with ideas I’m trying to develop for the Feral Nonfiction Manuscript.

    If anyone needs some cheer on a gloomy day — here’s classic Hollywood dance scenes set to Uptown Funk — I’ve watched it several times: http://www.slate.com/articles/video/video/2015/11/mashup_of_uptown_funk_and_hollywood_golden_era_movie_dancing_video.html

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  63. brian stouder said on November 16, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    A few years ago, I tried the Facebook thing, and found it surprising when people I hadn’t seen or spoken to in 20+ years began appearing.

    This was a turn-off, and THEN I learned how hard it was to terminate a Facebook account….but we got ‘er done

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  64. Brandon said on November 16, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    “A few years ago, I tried the Facebook thing, and found it surprising when people I hadn’t seen or spoken to in 20+ years began appearing.”

    In my case, that was a good thing.

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