So today I awoke to an astonishing 57 degrees at 5:30 a.m. For November, that’s, well, astonishing. But then a front blew in and I walked to the parking garage in a driving rain. To wit:
I hope this isn’t the turning of my marvelous luck of late. I’m hoping it’s just a wet head.
So much has been going on the Syrian-refugee front, it’s hard to keep up. And it’s best I keep my mouth shut, as Michigan has been snatched up in this, and southeast Michigan in particular. So I’ll leave that to you people.
In the meantime, I leave you with an amusing column about Bobby Jindal, a great correction from the NYT (scroll to the bottom) and yet another suicide bombing. Because that’s the way of the world these days.
Let’s get through the end of the week, and keep your powder, and heads, dry.
Sherri said on November 19, 2015 at 1:20 am
This is a fascinating article about Megan Phelps-Roper, granddaughter of Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church, the infamous picketers, and Twitter: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/23/conversion-via-twitter-westboro-baptist-church-megan-phelps-roper
Wim said on November 19, 2015 at 1:38 am
Even if you grant that he deserves it, some of Jeb Lund’s criticisms of Jindal are more snark than substance. It reads kind of like kicking a man when he’s down. Which, admittedly, is the best time, or at least the easiest.
Sherri, that’s a long and fascinating read. Thanks for the link.
coozledad said on November 19, 2015 at 7:13 am
Amber Phillips at WAPO flings shit at Obama. It’s an oblique, jelly-kneed, half-ass, both sides do it criticism that smells like all the coterie writing they did in support of the war. If anyone should be turned away from this country it’s the purveyors of this crap:
This is probably a more effective message than accusing your opponents of “popping off” or being “scared of widows and orphans,” the latter which President Obama said Wednesday in Manila in an impassioned speech attacking those who want to block refugees from Syria.
In doing so, Obama leaves little room for nuance in a heated political debate that desperately needs it.
She’s not going to find any “nuance” dripping out of Ted Cruz’s shriveled Canuck balls, no matter how hard she Judy Millers his tool.
Wim said on November 19, 2015 at 7:23 am
If the purveyor were a man, would your first comparison be to fellatio?
basset said on November 19, 2015 at 7:28 am
Unusually warm weather, yes, that was how I rationalized not shooting any deer and barely seeing any opening weekend in Newaygo County. Been like that the last several years, the locals say there are fewer deer around but at least I haven’t heard anyone blame it on Obama.
45 in Nashville this morning, front arrived overnight and opening day here is Saturday.
Actually, temperature does make a difference in the onset of deer mating season – won’t happen en masse in warm weather.
coozledad said on November 19, 2015 at 7:29 am
The chief whore over at WAPO is that needle dick Fred Hiatt, so yes. The press corps who dressed up that smoking turd of the Iraq debacle and sold it to middling NPR listening American douchebags ought to be choking on something. I personally don’t give a fuck if it’s a cock or a garotte wire.
Wim said on November 19, 2015 at 7:35 am
Well, good, then. Let there be true equality of violent fantasy ideation. Personally I’d like to somehow force certain people to grow a conscience and then suffer regret, like Angel from Buffy, the rest of their unnatural existence.
coozledad said on November 19, 2015 at 7:41 am
Personally I’d like to somehow force certain people to grow a conscience and then suffer regret
Well don’t your little asshole suck lemon drops! There’s that wordforce, though. How do you intend to force?
I guess those refugees can eat the leavings from your giant conscience.
alex said on November 19, 2015 at 7:44 am
Wow, the Phelps-Roper piece was quite the bracing story of redemption. I like that she so casually uses the word “shit” now.
Wim said on November 19, 2015 at 7:48 am
Well, see, there’s that word somehow, which is to my scheme what the question mark was to the Underwear Gnomes. Of course I cannot force anyone to grow a conscience, no more than I can force you to not be a blustering misogynistic prick as you please.
Wim said on November 19, 2015 at 7:58 am
Oh, and of course, I’m as likely to force anyone to grow a conscience as you are to force them to eat cocks and turds. Which is the point, asshole.
coozledad said on November 19, 2015 at 7:59 am
Oh, I see they still encourage academic grunts to use Ren Faire English.
Wim said on November 19, 2015 at 8:12 am
You think I’m an academic grunt? Thank you. That’s truly amusing.
Dorothy said on November 19, 2015 at 8:31 am
I thought this kind of exchange went away a long time ago here. Come on, guys. Let’s try to keep it classy. Or at least civil. This is neither this morning.
Connie said on November 19, 2015 at 8:36 am
The last few days I find myself saddened and appalled by the so-called Christianity I see around me. I find myself thankful that I walked away from you people and your evil bigoted religion. There is no defense left. There certainly is no love.
This is a religion at the heart of which is a story about a middle eastern family seeking a home during this season.
I can’t bear to look at the news. The headlines make me cry. Typing this makes me cry.
I grew up in Dutch Michigan. The only reason my high school wasn’t all white, is the churches having sponsored Cuban refugees. Say that again: Churches sponsored refugees.
Nothing left to say.
brian stouder said on November 19, 2015 at 8:39 am
What Dorothy said.
And the morning-brightening photo of our proprietress certainly shows a clear-eyed journalist (albeit with a view through drizzled lenses!)
brian stouder said on November 19, 2015 at 8:41 am
…and, what Connie says, too!
Wim said on November 19, 2015 at 8:41 am
Yes, Mom. Yes, Dad. I’m sorry.
coozledad said on November 19, 2015 at 8:48 am
Connie- there are a handful of churches in urban areas who still uphold the values of charity and humility. Even an old atheist like me can feel the spirit move on the rare occasions I find myself in one. There are good folks in every faith. There are asshole atheists calling for a war on Islam.
I have to agree that the pact between Southern Baptists and Catholic Dominionists that has become the generic faith of Republicans is an evil faith. They worship an evil God.
Wim said on November 19, 2015 at 8:49 am
Happy to agree with you on that, C-dad.
Connie said on November 19, 2015 at 8:58 am
Suzanne said on November 19, 2015 at 9:01 am
I too, as a Christian, am saddened by the number of people of my faith who advocate turning people in crisis away and pretty much going to the Middle East and blanket bombing the whole place. It makes me ashamed. Caution, certainly, but not blanket “no Group X allowed”. A mentally ill man killed a bunch of kids in an elementary school but Governors are not advocating turning away any mentally ill who try to enter their states. A young man with white supremacy aspirations killed 9 black people in a Bible study but no Christians that I know are calling for background checks to ensure no white supremacists enter the state.
Sad state of complicated affairs all the way around
coozledad said on November 19, 2015 at 9:03 am
A long time ago, I saw an interview with Morrissey, and somewhere in between shots of him looking sad, he said the novel is dead. Well, he wroted one.
At this, Eliza and Ezra rolled together into the one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation, screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation with Eliza’s breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra’s howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it whacked and smacked its way into every muscle of Eliza’s body except for the otherwise central zone.
I might have to buy that sumbitch.
I’m sad to see Aleksandr Hemon made the list, but maybe guys shouldn’t write about sex.
Deborah said on November 19, 2015 at 9:13 am
And speaking of bad writing about sex, I finally finished reading Jonathan Franzen’s Book, Purity. There was enough in the plot to keep me interested but the sex scenes were embarrassing.
Heather said on November 19, 2015 at 9:14 am
There is an excellent tweet going around the other day: “if only we had a seasonally appropriate story about middle eastern people seeking refuge being turned away by the heartless”
Heather said on November 19, 2015 at 9:15 am
“was” an excellent tweet–still drinking my first coffee.
brian stouder said on November 19, 2015 at 9:20 am
I think one of the house rules hereabouts, if we ever have any, could be stated as: Don’t be a ‘bulbous salutation’.
alex said on November 19, 2015 at 9:44 am
Or a central zone.
alex said on November 19, 2015 at 9:55 am
Today we learn who watched himself gavotte.
brian stouder said on November 19, 2015 at 10:33 am
I’ve always heard that the thing was about Warren Beatty, who seems to have peaked as Clyde Barrow.
And now I know (thanks to Uncle Google) what gavotte means!
Connie said on November 19, 2015 at 10:40 am
I thought she had already said it was David Geffen.
Deborah said on November 19, 2015 at 10:54 am
If that is a current photo of Carly Simon, she looks fantastic for 70.
coozledad said on November 19, 2015 at 11:01 am
I live in one of these shit-eatin’ backwoods areas, which might as well wall itself off and cousinfuck itself the rest of the way to an anamorphic white cum-bubble of stupid. They’re getting ready to vote in concealed carry on county property.
Hat tip. never visit Person County, or its lone conurbation, Roxboro. It’s what old racist Republican trash are dreaming for the rest of the country, and it sucks ass. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be shot because some old feeb is having “the sugar”.
Judybusy said on November 19, 2015 at 11:30 am
Trump is now calling for Muslims to have to register in a national database and carry a special card. Why not just round them up, because that worked so well with Japanese Americans during WWII. Suzanne @22, this makes your point so well, regarding the double standard. It’s so disheartening that this man is being taken seriously!
Sue said on November 19, 2015 at 11:43 am
Judybusy, that’s not going to help if these people are deviously trying to blend in and look like normal Americans. Perhaps they should be required to wear something, some symbol… maybe a patch of some kind on their clothing.
brian stouder said on November 19, 2015 at 11:44 am
I remember when Dubya was still a new president, and we had the horrific attacks on America at NYC, and he actually made sense (for awhile) – insisting on decoupling these nihilistic chuckleheads from the Islamic religion that they claimed.
That must have been a million years ago.
(and by the way, it was wealthy, privileged nihilists that hit us, not refugees)
Deborah said on November 19, 2015 at 11:45 am
“… an anamorphic white cum-bubble of stupid…”
LOL, where do you come up with these? And I never use lol, unless I’m really laughing uncontrollably.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 19, 2015 at 11:57 am
Brian @ #30 — no, I think he peaked at John Reed. Which is enough, even if he wore an apricot ascot from time to time.
Jolene said on November 19, 2015 at 12:05 pm
“Why not just round them up, because that worked so well with Japanese Americans during WWII.”
In fact, the mayor of Roanoke, Virginia had just this idea yesterday. Apparently, he never got the memo saying that the U.S. government apologized for this action and paid reparations way back in 1988.
This happened yesterday, and this guy has gotten his comeuppance from multiple sources.
mouse said on November 19, 2015 at 12:12 pm
Sherri @ 1—-Best read I’ve had in awhile.
Suzanne said on November 19, 2015 at 12:45 pm
Ran across this today. Another bit of pure irony from the Hoosier state:
alex said on November 19, 2015 at 12:49 pm
Too bad Daniels doesn’t have the balls to call out his successor Mike Pence for being a jingoistic jizzrag sockpuppet.
coozledad said on November 19, 2015 at 12:55 pm
Deborah: It’s just what I’d write if the local paper would print a letter to the editor that wasn’t a piece of stale Victorianisms and backwater Jesus gook.
I’m beginning to think it’s time to contact the appropriate agencies to see if we can house some Syrian refugees here on the farm. There’s plenty of room landwise, but they’re almost going to have to be tradespeople who can build their own dorm/kitchen complex.
I guess the government would have mobile homes they’d let them borrow. I’ve always thought Danville, VA would be an ideal place for a young, energetic expat community.
Think of the the clothing stores and restaurants that could fill the several square miles of hopeless hick empty space.
brian stouder said on November 19, 2015 at 2:09 pm
So the thoughtless, shallow, and shrill Trumpster now says we have to do “unthinkable” things….and the opinion pollsters say he’s on a roll
Yahoo News asked Trump whether his push for increased surveillance of American Muslims could include warrantless searches. He suggested he would consider a series of drastic measures.
“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule,” Trump said. “And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”
If there is any such-thing as a “conservative”, wouldn’t that person work to “conserve” our basic rights and freedoms, rather than entertaining the idea of immediately discarding them, as their first response? Wouldn’t a conservative citizen reject the sort or radical statements coming from the Donald?
Sherri said on November 19, 2015 at 2:38 pm
Jeff(tmmo), remembering you work with truant students, you might like this article about an effective truancy board in Spokane: http://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/in-class-out-of-court-how-one-school-district-triumphed-over-truancy/
Judybusy said on November 19, 2015 at 2:55 pm
Ugh, Jolene @ 39, one of my FB friends let me know about that, too.
brian stouder said on November 19, 2015 at 2:57 pm
Sherri – a wonderful, wonderful article, indeed
Jolene said on November 19, 2015 at 3:23 pm
Yes, great story, Sherri. Thanks for posting it. I’m more than a little discouraged with humanity, so it’s great to hear about people who not only haven’t given up but are finding ways to make things work.
Cooz, I’m pretty sure you could find not only tradespeople among the Syrian refugees, but an architect or two. Before everything went to hell, Syria was a reasonably prosperous country with lots of well-educated people. It’s a small number, of course, but I’ve seen refugees interviewed in Europe who spoke good English and had worked as teachers, IT professionals, and other skilled jobs.
basset said on November 19, 2015 at 3:33 pm
the Megan article was indeed outstanding.
Sherri said on November 19, 2015 at 3:50 pm
Okay, this article is more depressing. We talk a lot about the difficulties faced by the kids left behind by society, who have few prospects for ever getting ahead. But the kids at the other end, the children of the high achievers, face their own stresses and pressures. Sure, they have many more chances to recover, but not if they don’t survive.
Gunn High School in Palo Alto has become known as the Suicide School. I’ve mentioned it here before. I have friends whose kids went to Gunn, friends who pulled their kids out of Gunn because of the toxic culture, and friends who wished they had pulled their kids out of Gunn. I lived about a mile from the train crossing that was the suicide location of choice. A friend’s sister was one of the suicides in the first cluster. The problem hasn’t gone away.
Connie said on November 19, 2015 at 4:15 pm
Jolene, that line is perfect. Discouraged by humanity. My next status update.
This is my first post in my new ipad air two, thankyou employer. I am also buying my old ipad2 for$70.
So my ios is fully updated and I note the keyboard now has a happy face. Still no apostrophe. I believe that Apple’s choice to put the apostrophe on the second keyboard will mean the end of its common use in the not so far future.
alex said on November 19, 2015 at 4:16 pm
The story that’s being largely ignored is that most of these Syrian refugees are educated and middle-class and this is why they’re fleeing.
A local attorney who was one of my gradeschool classmates has been working to assist Syrian refugees and just returned from a stint in Europe. He was one of the smartest kids in my class when we were young, and there were really a tiny few who hold that distinction. His parents were Syrian and were among the very few educated parents in the neighborhood. He had been getting lots of positive press coverage up until now and I hope that his message will continue to rise above the din of stupid in this fucking hick-ass city.
beb said on November 19, 2015 at 5:56 pm
Brian Stouder: “If there is any such-thing as a “conservative”, wouldn’t that person work to “conserve” our basic rights and freedoms, rather than entertaining the idea of immediately discarding them, as their first response? Wouldn’t a conservative citizen reject the sort or radical statements coming from the Donald?”
Even so-called Constitutional conservatives deep in their hearts aren’t interested in law or the rights of others. They thirst dictators, strong men like Putin. As much as they talk about small government what they really want is a government that beats anyone who isn’t like them.
George Takai (Sulu on Star Trek) actually lived in an interment camp during WWII. He’s sponsoring a muscial about it on broadway. After the mayor of Roanoke spoke about putting Syrian refugees in interenment camps, Takai invited the mayor to come see the musical.
David C. said on November 19, 2015 at 6:08 pm
I’m with you Connie. I can’t stand to listen to the news. I spent the whole day today with earbuds in so I wouldn’t have to hear the crap from my co-workers. I’m doubly disappointed because my former supervisor and friend to just about everybody there is a Muslim – an Iraqi refugee. I can’t say I can understand people who don’t know Muslims being freaked out. It shouldn’t take much thought or empathy to see their humanity. But to know a Muslim an still act like that. I just don’t know. It’s sad and frightening.
Sherri said on November 19, 2015 at 6:34 pm
Everybody, from a Cold War physicist to ISIS terrorists, can fall for an urban legend: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/magazine/the-doomsday-scam.html
coozledad said on November 19, 2015 at 6:44 pm
How they think. What they believe.
Deborah said on November 19, 2015 at 7:00 pm
I’ll have to read those links about truant students and high achiever’s kids. We just got back from making a quick trip to get wine for an emergency visit from some friend’s of Little Bird to help us set up Chromecast. I’m trying to get it to work from my laptop and we can’t figure out how to switch our TV back to cable after being on HDMI. We’re not techy enough to figure it out for ourselves. We got Netflix a couple of months ago and have been watching it from our laptops, it will be so nice to watch it on a bigger screen. We also just got a load of firewood delivered for the winter.
I worked for an architecture firm in St. Louis for many years, one of the co-founders of the firm, Gyo Obata, is Japanese and his family had to go to one of those internment camps in Utah during WW2. His father was an art professor at UC Berkeley and his mother was an ichibana specialist when his family had to leave everything to go live in the camp. Gyo was a student at UC Berkeley at the time and was able to escape having to go to the camp because Washington University in St. Louis accepted him and somehow he was exempt from going because of that. Then after he graduated he served in the military. Anyway, his father did many sketches and paintings of their life in the Utah camp, they had made a traveling exhibit out of this work and it has been in many museums since. I saw the exhibit, the camp in his artwork looked pretty dismal, even though the sketches were quite good. It wasn’t in a very beautiful part of Utah either, it all looked mostly flat and scrubby. It’s hard to fathom that our country did that to people then and many want to do something similar to muslims now.
Deborah said on November 19, 2015 at 7:17 pm
Another thing I wanted to comment on is what Alex said about many of the Syrian refugees being educated and middle class and that’s part of the reason they want to flee. I lived in Miami, Fl during the influx of many Cubans in the 50s and 60s. I definitely found this to be true of the Cubans who lived in my area of Miami. They had to take menial jobs but many had been Doctors, Lawyers etc in Cuba. The many Cuban kids I went to school with came from families that were highly educated and had money before they fled, before Castro. The director of design at the place I worked in Chicago before I retired was Cuban and he said that Cubans were considered the “Jews” of the Caribbean, by that he meant that their families were strivers, encouraging their offspring to be successful and because of that they were often resented. I remember people I grew up with looking down their noses at Cubans, when in reality those Cubans were way more sophisticated and intelligent than my neighbors. Way, way more.
Deborah said on November 19, 2015 at 7:29 pm
OK, I got the story a bit wrong, here is a more accurate version of Gyo Obata’s family at the internment camp, scroll down to the section titled “World War II” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiura_Obata
Charlotte said on November 19, 2015 at 8:36 pm
Deborah — I take Sunday lunch to an elderly local character. During WW2 he claims his grandfather went into the county courthouse and retyped and re-filed the immigration papers of several local Japanese families, changing them to Chinese. Could be apocryphal, but I wouldn’t doubt it. The camps were close to here, and the railroad was also loathe to lose their skilled shop workers.
This whole refugee hysteria is making me blind with anger … when did the rhetoric of courage and bravery morph into the rhetoric of cowardice? (Bush2 is my guess.)
alex said on November 19, 2015 at 8:58 pm
Here’s a story that ran on my former classmate back in September:
And an article that ran just earlier this month before demagogues decided to make a political football out of it:
coozledad said on November 19, 2015 at 9:04 pm
This whole refugee hysteria is making me blind with anger … when did the rhetoric of courage and bravery morph into the rhetoric of cowardice?
That’s why they went after the humanities first. They’ll finish stripping the sciences out if that’s what’s required to keep the economy oil-based.
Sherri said on November 19, 2015 at 9:58 pm
Conservatives always want to shut down the Department of Education. Can we shut down the DEA instead? Apparently, the DEA has been using ADAs in Riverside County to authorize their wiretaps all over the country. Need a wiretap and not sure you can get it? Call up the friendly ADA in Riverside County!
Jolene said on November 19, 2015 at 10:01 pm
… when did the rhetoric of courage and bravery morph into the rhetoric of cowardice?
This question has been on my mind too. Have been thinking of writing something about what seem to me to be dramatic shifts away from what I grew up believing were essential aspects of the American character–willingness to take risks, to be bold and openness to new people and new ideas.
I know, of course, that there have always been darker strains as well, but I really feel like the post-9/11 obsession with safety has made us a lesser people.
Jolene said on November 19, 2015 at 10:16 pm
Thanks for the links re your friend, Alex. Great to read about someone doing the right thing.
Dexter said on November 20, 2015 at 1:02 am
Someone called in a bomb threat at the local middle school yesterday afternoon. The cops called in …well, hell, go ahead and read this if you care to: “ON 11/19/2015 at 12:44PM the Bryan Police Department received a call from an employee of the Bryan Middle School of a note being found that stated a bomb was in the school. The Bryan Police Department and Bryan Fire Department assisted in evacuating the school. Bomb sniffing dogs were called in from the Toledo Police Department, University of Toledo Police Department, Allen County Bomb Squad and Bowling Green State University Police Department. The building was checked, but no explosive devices were found. The incident is currently under investigation by the Bryan Police Department. Also assisting at the scene was the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Williams County Sheriff Office.” -END OF REPORT-
Dexter said on November 20, 2015 at 1:15 am
Movin’ on up…my nephew’s wife is striking out on her own.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 20, 2015 at 7:08 am
Sherri, thank you; that might get deployed sooner than you think. I’m in the middle of a morbidly fascinating cluster-fardle around that subject, at what is not a good time of year for me, but oh well. I’ll say more later — but kids, just get up and go to school, okay? Thanks.
Midwest folk, make sure to turn off inside taps to outside spigots, and then go out and drain ’em off. It’s important!
Jolene said on November 20, 2015 at 7:41 am
It’s so amazing to think about what an effective protective system tuned-in parents are. There are so many kinds of trouble I could have gotten into that never occurred to me because that’s just not how the world operated.
I recall faking illness to skip school when I was in third grade. My younger sister had the mumps, and I was jealous that I hadn’t gotten them and was missing out on the attendant privileges of being sick without really suffering. That lasted two days before my mother got the picture, and I was off to school. Am pretty sure I never tried that gimmick again.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 20, 2015 at 7:46 am
The problem with touching those mercury thermometers to a nearby light bulb while mom’s back was turned was that if you overestimated how long and how hot you wanted to get it, you’d pop the darn thing. Silver globules everywhere.
Or so I’m told.