Weirdness here.

My battery’s dying and my brain’s empty, but I wanted to share this deeply strange photo of David Letterman, taken this week at his alma mater, Ball State.

I really can’t take my eyes off it.

He does look happy, doesn’t he?


Happy Tuesday, all.

Posted at 12:20 am in Media |

114 responses to “Weirdness here.”

  1. del said on December 1, 2015 at 1:22 am

    He looks relaxed.

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  2. MarkH said on December 1, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Looks like a Hoosier jihadist; letting the beard go, then bothering with a coat and tie. Happy maybe, but still emotionally conflicted.

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  3. Jolene said on December 1, 2015 at 1:27 am

    He does, indeed, look happy, and, like you, lots of people are fascinated with the beard. Here’s a picture that was taken at a recent benefit for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. I like the reference to the “Amish talk show host.”

    And here’s a nice story about the benefit, which was held the night after the Paris shootings.

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  4. Jolene said on December 1, 2015 at 1:28 am

    Hoosier jihadist! Even better than Amish talk show host.

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  5. Dexter said on December 1, 2015 at 1:49 am

    How did they get him out of Choteau? I know David Letterman was a long-time NetJets customer, maybe he still is. He used to fly out to his ranch frequently on weekends. NetJets is the airline my son-in-law was a captain with until it looked like the company might not survive the economic collapse a few years ago and he quit and went into business for himself, a huge mistake, it turned out.
    Letterman is worth just under a half-billion dollars. He can afford to travel any way he wants. Hey, I just stumbled onto some weird info: Howard Hughes was worth anywhere from 1.5 billion to over 43 billion dollars…who possibly knows exactly?
    One site claims John D. Rockefeller was worth $318.3 billion at his death.

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  6. Jolene said on December 1, 2015 at 4:04 am

    Harry has to go to school, Dexter. Can’t spend all year in Montana because the boy needs his education.

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  7. Jolene said on December 1, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Dexter’s question about Choteau prompted me to look for it on a map. In doing so, I found this interview with Letterman conducted in NY by a guy from a Montana TV station several years ago. (He mentions that Harry had been three during the previous summer. He turned 12 recently.) Not much news in the interview, but he talks about Montana in an appealing way and, of course, for fans, more Dave is better than less Dave.

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  8. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 1, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Not shaving (mostly) was a liberation. My mom’s still unhappy about my beard, which is nothing compared to the glory that is Dave. You go, sir! And the winter winds off the Bitterroots is chill and cutting, or so they tell me.

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  9. Heather said on December 1, 2015 at 8:43 am


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  10. Dorothy said on December 1, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Heather beat me to it – I thought “He’s gearing up for his seasonal job!” My husband didn’t shave when he had his colon cancer surgery five years ago and he really loved the break from the chore of shaving every day. When he did shave again it was to celebrate finding out his first post-surgery scans were clear. Let’s hope that’s not why Dave stopped shaving. I imagine it buys him a little bit of camouflage, too.

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  11. Jenine said on December 1, 2015 at 9:39 am

    @Heather & Dorothy — yeah! all he needs is the red suit! What happy looking cheeks.

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  12. brian stouder said on December 1, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Well, he either looks like the Macy’s Santa on the day before Thanksgiving, or else a whacko looking for the nearest women’s health clinic

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  13. Deborah said on December 1, 2015 at 9:48 am

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  14. Deborah said on December 1, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Darn, I was trying to find a picture of Happy but now I see that it’s Doc.

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  15. brian stouder said on December 1, 2015 at 9:56 am

    …or (as Deborah points out) – Doc!

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  16. coozledad said on December 1, 2015 at 10:21 am

    About that “white Republican Christian religion…”

    The man accused of opening fire Friday in a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood was charged with rape in North Charleston more than 20 years ago, according to police reports…

    A woman who worked at Citadel Mall reported to North Charleston police that Dear had asked her out numerous times and she always refused, saying that she was married, according to a police report. Dear allegedly continued to call her at work and home about two to three times per day telling her that he wanted to see her.

    On Nov. 29, 1992, Dear showed up at the woman’s house while she attempted to take out the trash, according to the police report.

    “The suspect then allegedly put a knife to the victim’s neck and forced her back inside her residence,” the report states. “The suspect then allegedly forced the victim down into the couch, struck her in the mouth with his fist, and then sexually assaulted her.” …

    Dear has a history of arrests in South Carolina out of Colleton and Beaufort counties, records show. A background search completed by The Post and Courier found that Dear was arrested in 2003 on a cruelty to animals charge but was found not guilty in 2004. He was charged under the state’s Peeping Tom law in 2002 but that charge, too, was later dismissed, according to a background search.

    In 1997, Dear’s then-wife reported that her husband assaulted her, according to incident reports released Saturday by the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office. She declined at the time to file charges against Dear…

    His second wife, Mescher, described Dear in divorce papers filed in 1993 as a controlling, abusive, womanizing man who liked to gamble but was tight with his cash when it came to supporting his family. She stated that he threw her around the room by her hair during one argument and beat her head on the floor. She also said in a sworn affidavit that Dear “erupts into fury in a matter of seconds,” and she “lived in fear and dread of his emotional and physical abuse.”

    “He claims to be a Christian and is extremely evangelistic, but does not follow the Bible in his actions,” Mescher stated in the affidavit. “He says that as long as he believes he will be saved, he can do whatever he pleases. He is obsessed with the world coming to an end.” …

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  17. Bill said on December 1, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Letterman will donate the Late Show set to Ball State.

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  18. LAMary said on December 1, 2015 at 10:34 am

    He could be participating in no shave November.

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  19. alex said on December 1, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Just tease up the hair a bit and he could be a hippie smiley-face sunshine icon on a tie-dyed shirt.

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  20. ROGirl said on December 1, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Gee, he (Dear) doesn’t LOOK like a stalker, rapist, murderer.

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  21. brian stouder said on December 1, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Much as I admire our incumbent president, I’ve no love for his man Rahm – who just dumped his police chief in Chicago.

    That story will only get uglier.

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  22. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 1, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Brian, that could be one of the smartest things he’s done since taking office. We’ll see. There are fine Chicago cops out there, I’m sure, and perhaps there were not a few in decades past, but I was carefully schooled by my dad on how to handle being pulled over by a Chicago cop in the 70s — and both he and I are as white as Caucasians can get: even so, it was understood that you had to start from an assumption that you were going to get shaken down at best, beaten at worst (all before possible jail), so it started with “always have a $5 paperclipped to your driver’s license” and went from there. If your license was returned sans $5 and the cop fiddled with his clipboard and said “I gotta go off shift soon and catch breakfast, you want to check this info?” and handed it to you, you’d better have a $10 or $20 to slide under the clip, or you were probably going to the station to make some calls. All my friends of whatever ethnicity knew that Chicago cops were a breed apart. No doubt Blacks and Hispanics had it worse, and they had to fear any county deputies they might meet the moment they went “downstate” where I just had to be polite to get off with warnings . . . but Chicago was at its most lawless when you were on the side of the road with flashing lights behind you.

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  23. Sherri said on December 1, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Instead of trying to break the teachers union, Rahm should have paid attention to the police.

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  24. jeff borden said on December 1, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Rahm has turned out to be a disastrous mayor. In fairness, he inherited a Gordian knot of issues left behind by Richard M. Daley, who stayed in office at least two terms too long. The schools are a wreck, the cops are a wreck, the infrastructure is a wreck,etc. The corruption and cronyism he promised to address is as rampant as ever. And while he is constantly pointing out the city is broke, Chicago has something on the order of $1.5 billion in TIF (tax increment financing) cash set aside, which the mayor most recently used to grease a new basketball arena for DePaul University alongside McCormick Place. For non-Chicagoans, that is nowhere near DePaul’s downtown or Lincoln Park campuses. This is proceeding despite the fact that the Wirtz and Reinsdorf families, who own the Blackhawks and Bulls along with the United Center, offered DePaul a 10-year deal for free use of the facility.

    Back to the cops for a minute. It’s bad enough that a white cop who had 18 citizen complaints including several for physical aggression killed that black teen by shooting him 16 fking times. There were at least another 9 or 10 cops at the scene who remained silent and should be severely disciplined, yet they likely won’t. Only 3 percent of complaints against CPD have been found warranted in recent years. People of color –this includes Hispanics– look at the police as an occupying force or, in some cases, an outright gang of thieves. In short, it’s a sewer and the good cops are just as covered with slime as the bad.

    There is no question Rahm put this off until after his reelection. There is no question he would have been ousted if this aired ahead of the vote. The state’s attorney, who also played a large role in this clusterfk, is up for reelection in March. We’re looking forward to introducing her to the private sector in my house. As for Rahm, the best we can anticipate is that his bungling, fumbling, greasy performance as mayor should put a stake through his political heart

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  25. Joe K said on December 1, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Gee, do you think that if the Rahm father had let the video out prior to the last election, he would have been voted back in? Not to mention the $5 million pay out of taxpayer money to the family.
    He should be in jail along with little Dick Dailey, I will give the protester credit they have been well behaved so far, might have something to do with the cop being charged already as he should be.
    Pilot Joe

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  26. Joe K said on December 1, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Gee Jeff,
    What would have you said if Rahmy was a republican?
    Pilot Joe

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  27. jeff borden said on December 1, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    You’re right, Joe. I love my city, but goddam, we keep electing grifters and douchebags. You ought to take a gander at some of the aldermen. OMG.

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  28. Jolene said on December 1, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    A report on Dave’s visit to Ball State. He says he’s aiming to be a Charles Darwin look-alike, not Santa Claus.

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  29. Icarus said on December 1, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    “Rahm has turned out to be a disastrous mayor. In fairness, he inherited a Gordian knot of issues left behind by Richard M. Daley, who stayed in office at least two terms too long” and wasted a lot of money on a futile Olympic bid.

    The city needs money, i wonder if there was some other source besides TIFs and taxes. let me think:

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  30. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 1, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Oh, I think Rahmbo will take a beating at best, indictment at worst, over the withholding of the videotape until after the election. But his asking for/requiring the police superintendent to step down at this point is an uncharacteristic move in “The City That Works,” and I have to give the divil his due. But if someone can find the mayor’s thumbprint on anything that kept that dashcam video under wraps, it’ll be a rodeo I doubt he can ride out. Meanwhile, we apparently lost the chance to have a Mayor Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, which would have been quite a development for the power structure . . .

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  31. Jeff Borden said on December 1, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    The next scalp likely will be Anita Alvarez, the state’s attorney. She has defended her office for taking so long to bring charges, but the logic falls short. And she has done some other hinky things in the past. She’s likely to be ousted in the March election.

    No city or state does well under one-party rule. Chicago and Cook County are a mess because there is no “loyal opposition,” just a bunch of dynastic families of every race and creed who sail under the D flag.

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  32. Dorothy said on December 1, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    I need to stalk Ball State’s website for announcements of future Dave visits. I’d take a day off work to drive over there and attend it! You wanna come with me, Jeff TMMO?!

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  33. Sherri said on December 1, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    On a totally different topic…

    I met a crazy person yesterday. Crazy, in the positive sense of the word, in the “it’s the crazy people who change the world” kind of way. I’ve mentioned here that I’m on our district’s committee for a middle school math curriculum adoption, and we’ve spent this fall getting pitches from publishers and digging into materials to narrow the field down to a couple of finalists that we can pilot in classrooms. Most of the pitches from publishers are useless to mostly useless: an hour of marketing speak, lots of time spent on their whiz-bang computer tools, and if we’re lucky, a little time with a teacher representative who then spends most of her time selling to the teachers about how great this is in the classroom. In other words, very little time actually talking about, you know, math. But that’s okay, it’s only an hour, the rep leaves and we spend the next two hours in small groups tearing apart the materials.

    But yesterday, we had a presentation from a very small publisher, and the presenter was the head of the company, who was also the primary author of the text, and who had been a math teacher. The presentation was great. She talked about why she had written the curriculum; she had been a high school math teacher in an inner city Portland school, and felt her students hadn’t been prepared for high school, and needed a better middle school math program.

    Ahead of the presentations, I usually research the publishers and the authors, and find out where the funding came from. I just like to know where the money comes from; these are all Common Core curricula, and Common Core is pretty much a fully funded Gates initiative. It turns out that about half the curricula we’ve looked at have had substantial funding from Gates in development. Not necessarily a bad thing, but something to know: there is an agenda the Gates Foundation is pushing.

    I couldn’t find any information about where this company got funding. So, I asked, where did you get the money to develop this curriculum? The answer astounded me. She self-funded. She and her husband took out loans on their house, went $500k in debt, promised royalties in lieu of up front payments to their co-authors, and just did it. In other words, they self-funded a startup to do a middle school math curriculum, pretty much out of idealism, not to get rich! She said this was during the housing boom, when the banks would give anybody a loan, and they were young and didn’t really know what they were getting into, so they didn’t know enough to know how crazy it was.

    So, there’s one good thing that came out of the housing nonsense! (I liked the curriculum, too.)

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  34. Sherri said on December 1, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Oh, and they’ve been successful enough that they’ve paid the money back and are in the black. Their curriculum is in wide use in Oregon (they’re in Portland).

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  35. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 1, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    That’s a beautiful story, Sherri. Thanks.

    Dorothy, I have trouble believing in it, but if there’s a world beyond the college search and application process, in that world, I might drive across US 36 to get to Muncie and sit with you to listen to Dave! Here’s to that world . . .

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  36. Jolene said on December 1, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Dorothy, I think the interview that prompted the article in the NYT is an annual event. That is, each year, Letterman invites someone to the campus for a public conversation. There’s more info about the event on the Ball State web site. Google “ball state letterman”.

    I couldn’t see, for sure, which campus unit sponsored the talk, but it seems likely that it was this one:
    College of Communication, Information, and Media
    David Letterman Communication and Media Building
    Room 102
    Muncie, IN 47306

    Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Phone: 765-285-6000

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 1, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    On Chicago: my now 30+ year wife’s biggest concern in our engagement, and through our first few years of marriage, was that because she knew how much I loved Chicago, I would try to drag her there. I had to move to Ohio to convince her I just would take any opportunity I could to visit, but had no desire to live in a Lincoln Park brownstone. By time we’d lived in West Virginia six years, all my friends who had were relocated out to Elmhurst and Winnetka or Oak Park anyhow. I sing Chicago’s praises, but from a discreet distance. People like Jeff B. and Deborah who are dealing with the tart with the sweet, the sour with the slightly insane, have my respect — but not my envy!

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  38. Jolene said on December 1, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    I meant to add: They may be able to tell you how Letterman’s event is managed and whether next year’s is already scheduled. The news report on the campus web site said that students camped out overnight to get a ticket, so, if they’re available to the public at all, it’d probably be good to start early.

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  39. brian stouder said on December 1, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Sherri – that’s the best, most uplifting thing I’ve read today/this week/this month….actually, considering this is December 1, let’s say that’s the coolest real-education* thing I’ve read in 2015.

    You should share that with Diane Ravitch, too

    *’real education’ meaning public, open-to-all, and not a money-grab scheme

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  40. Deborah said on December 1, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Yeah, I love Chicago but I also love that I can get out of it and spend time with mountains and junipers. Chicago has its problems but it’s also a huge, complex entity, I can’t imagine what it would be like to try and manage it, even for 1 day much less a whole term or two. I’m gonna cut Rahm some slack.

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  41. coozledad said on December 1, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Ha ha, durr durr.

    The only thing that makes this bearable is knowing how many of the people in these moronic exchanges, Reagan included, are turning to black muck in the ground.

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  42. Deborah said on December 1, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Good one by Dahlia

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  43. Deborah said on December 1, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    I’m reading “Lila” by Marilynne Robinson, I started it this morning so not that far along. I was looking for the one she won a Pulitzer for (forgot the name) but they didn’t have it at the local bookstores so I ordered it and got the only one they had in stock to tide me over. I’m ashamed to admit I wasn’t familiar with Robinson’s work until someone here (Charlotte?) linked to an interview video that Obama did with her in Iowa. So far I’m enjoying it.

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  44. Julie Robinson said on December 1, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    There was a Tribune left in the breakfast room at our hotel Sunday, and there was a lengthy story about the Laquan McDonald killing that was very, very damning. Some cops went to the Burger King across the street and demanded to see their security videos. After they left there was an 86 minute gap coinciding with when McDonald was killed. It’s amazing they thought they’d not get caught.

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  45. MichaelG said on December 1, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Somebody mentioned shaving. I’m in the middle of round two of my chemo. Three and four to come through mid Jan. I’ve lost my hair (again) and haven’t shaved since last Thursday. Probably won’t shave again until March or April. Dahlia’s a love.

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  46. Jolene said on December 1, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Deborah, I missed Charlotte’s post re the Robinson/Obama video. Will look for it. In the meantime, I thought you might be interested in the print version.

    Part 1

    Part 2

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  47. Sherri said on December 1, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    I’ll put in another plug for Dahlia’s podcast, Amicus. The last episode, on the color blind constitution with legal historian Risa Goluboff, was one of the best yet.

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  48. basset said on December 1, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Nancy, here’s a replacement for that Volvo:

    four and a half miles on it!

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  49. Dave said on December 1, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    All of this talk about shaving, I’ve decided that beards make me look even older than I need to look and gave up on them long ago. Guess I’m in the minority here but I think David Letterman looks awful with that beard, he reminds me of the locally known peace activist from North Manchester, IN. I don’t mind shaving every day and do it almost every day. I have one brother who has had a beard for a good 30 + years now, mostly gray today, but he keeps it very neat.

    I once had a very red beard, matched with blond hair, but that’s changed.

    JeffTMMO, I’m dying to know if you were ever stopped by a Chicago cop and forced to use those defensive tactics.

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  50. susan said on December 1, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Something about retiring talk show type comedians and their scuzzy beards. Jon Stewart did that. So did Stephen Colbert. Wonder what that’s about? I think they all look better without that face hair. But then, I am kind of grossed out by face hair, which is surely teeming with awful bacteria and tiny lice. Just ugh.

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  51. Hattie said on December 2, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Not having to be “on” all the time is the most wonderful thing about retirement.

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  52. Dexter said on December 2, 2015 at 12:52 am

    Dave, comrade. I hate old man beards too. I had beards several times, but not when gray arrived. I wore many different cuts of mustaches until all folks would say was “porn stache”…maybe famous porn performer Ron Jeremy ruined it for the rest of us joes…but I shaved it off around 1989.
    The last half of October and into November I had to drive to the Toledo VA outpatient clinic daily (for a week) to get vitamin B-12 shots. Hanging around that place, I noticed hardly any veterans maintained the soldier’s mandatory clean-shaven face. At least 95% of the vets in the waiting rooms had long gray hair, sometimes pony-tailed, sometimes up in a man-bun, but nearly all had beards or bushy mustaches or just a couple weeks growth of beard. I guess all that shaving in their active service days made them just not give a shit anymore.

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  53. Sherri said on December 2, 2015 at 3:35 am

    Well, it won’t be formal until Jan 5, but it looks like I will become a planning commissioner. I had my interview with the mayor, a planning commissioner, and a member of staff right before Thanksgiving, and the mayor recommended me to the city council this evening, and the council members interviewed me. Because of the holidays, they don’t have another business meeting until Jan 5, but my appointment will be part of the consent agenda then, so approval is assumed. Once the consent agenda is passed, I’ll be sworn in. Then the work begins!

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  54. basset said on December 2, 2015 at 6:09 am

    Great to hear that, Sherri! What city? tell me offlist if you’d rather.

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  55. David C. said on December 2, 2015 at 6:13 am

    I haven’t shaved in 38 years. With all the time I’ve saved over those years, I’ve actually done very little. At least not that anyone would notice.

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  56. Jill said on December 2, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Congratulations, Sherri! I’m always glad to see people willing to step up and serve like you are.

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  57. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 2, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Dave, I only ever lost my $5 in Hammond. To date, I’ve never been pulled over in Chicago. My dad, who was a lumber salesman around the area, got pulled over a number of times, and has an assortment of stories. His last job was as a sawmill manager, no longer on the move, but he has stories about various representatives of the Cook County authorities visiting the shop with a clipboard in their hand and larceny in their hearts. Fast Eddie was their alderman, and he was.

    But I have to admit, when the license was handed back to me with just the paperclip on it, and I was told to “drive more carefully now, y’hear?” without even a warning citation, I got a pragmatic lesson in civics that I’ll never forget. A middle class white bread boy suddenly realizes things don’t work the way you were told in Schoolhouse Rock.

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  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 2, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Deborah, have you seen this?

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  59. Julie Robinson said on December 2, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Sherri, congratulations and thank you. It’s going to be interesting to hear about the experience and especially what kind of lobbying you’re subject to. Around here the commission is firmly in the developers’ pockets, with disastrous results. It’s common for new strip centers to be built right next to ones that are 75% empty, and will never be filled, what with the steady growth of online sales.

    There are a *few* men who look good with neatly trimmed beards, but not many. I hate it when our son grows one; it’s black and curly and I fear he’d be targeted for the special pat down at airports, if you get my drift.

    And now, a PSA: if you have relatives who’ve had cataract surgery but have since had their vision deteriorate, get them to the eye doctor stat. About 20% develop a film that can be zapped away in about 10 seconds with a laser, as my mom did on Monday. For her the difference is even more dramatic than when the cataract was removed. She later told me she hadn’t been seeing anything in that eye.

    With Medicare and her excellent supplemental insurance, it only cost her $100. Your results may vary of course, but this is a major quality of life lift for her.

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  60. ROGirl said on December 2, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Robinson’s Pulitzer book is called “Housekeeping.”

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  61. Connie said on December 2, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Whereas here the planning commission is arguing with developers over how many varying facades a new subdivision must have.

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  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 2, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Some of you have expressed dislike of her, but this combo on today’s show I have to post here, from Diane Rehm’s Twitter feed:

    @drshow Wednesday’s lineup: Hour 1: The Chicago police chief’s firing. Hour 2: Berry Gordy joins us to talk @motown.

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  63. Suzanne said on December 2, 2015 at 8:03 am

    I’ve tried to like Robinson. I read Housekeeping & Gilead (which I thought were OK) and tried to get through her book of essays The Death of Adam, but it was so dense that I had a hard time getting her drift. Sometimes, there would be great insight and other times, it read like a high school essayist trying to sound important by using 6 long, obscure words when 2 would have gotten to the point much better. I have this saved in my Facebook account, but haven’t yet read it:

    It’s supposed to snow today. S.N.O.W. I want to stay home and bake instead of going out in the crud.

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  64. Deborah said on December 2, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Jeff (tmmo), yes that was the video that made me decide to check out Robinson’s work. The photo in that link shows Obama and Robinson walking up stairs. They said the location of the interview was the state Capitol in Des Moines but it looks very much like the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates building also in Des Moines. That was a project I worked on for five years before I retired.

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  65. Deborah said on December 2, 2015 at 8:50 am

    I keep referring to the Obama/Robinson interview as a video but it was only audio and the transcript is in Jeff’s link. Funny but I could have sworn I saw a video.

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  66. coozledad said on December 2, 2015 at 8:51 am

    It’s about the racism. And getting goober trash to the polls. Always has been:

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  67. Jeff Borden said on December 2, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Nelson Algren once described Chicago as being like a beautiful woman with a broken nose. I think that’s fairly apt.

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  68. Julie Robinson said on December 2, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Suzanne, I’ve tried to like her too and found her depressing. But, the library is full of thousands of other books, so I’ve moved on.

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  69. brian stouder said on December 2, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Cooz – I would only add that, while it’s certainly about getting the goobers to the polls, it’s also about establishing hurdles and difficulties for everybody else.

    Honestly – if the Donald wins even just the Republican nomination, it will be the biggest win the goobers have gotten since Andy Johnson beat out his impeachment trial.

    We’ll get to see, in 2015, what it might have looked like if George Wallace had ever won the Democratic nomination

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  70. Deborah said on December 2, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Also Wikipedia says Robinson’s book “Housekeeping” was nominated for a Pulitzer in 1982, but that she won it in 2005 for “Gilead”

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  71. coozledad said on December 2, 2015 at 10:13 am

    It’s a short step from the typical authoritarian cultism, xenphobia and racism of the right, to the old Austro-German practice of sippenhaft.

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  72. brian stouder said on December 2, 2015 at 10:29 am

    A non-sequitur –

    so, how many points does THIS guy have?

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  73. alex said on December 2, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Has anyone here had experience freeing themselves from ransomware/malware?

    This morning on my Safari browser the page suddenly changed to and gave me no other option but to download a new version of FlashPlayer. When I quit Safari and reopen it the same page comes back. I’m not about to download anything from this page, but I’d like to know how to get free of it.

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  74. suzanne said on December 2, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Alex, my husband had that happen. It changed his Google Chrome to some other strange thing browser and then every window he opened, opened two more windows full of ads. He finally had to take it in (A Plus in Fort Wayne) and they got it solved.

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  75. Heather said on December 2, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Happily I have only have to have a few dealings with cops in Chicago in 20-plus years of living in the city, but the last one really opened my eyes. Short version: several years ago I caught a guy breaking into my place, managed to flag down a police car (the first thing the cop in the car asked me: “Was he black?” He wasn’t.), they caught him 20 minutes later. When I went to the station to give my official report, the cops were all “say he was halfway through the window, then it’s breaking and entering” as opposed to attempted burglary or whatever. I actually hadn’t seen him near the window, only running away after he’d slid it open, but I was so shook up and upset, and of course they are in positions of authority and you want to please them, so I said what they told me to.

    But later, when I had to testify in court, I had to be honest, because I just could not lie under oath. The whole thing made me think–what if I had been assaulted or raped and the cops were pushing me to identify someone who I wasn’t sure about? It is such an emotional experience and it’s so easy for them to manipulate you. I really do not trust them after that experience, even though I am sure most of them are good people, whatever that means.

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  76. Deborah said on December 2, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Another term I had not heard before,

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  77. Sherri said on December 2, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Basset, I’m in the city of Redmond, WA, where, thanks to Microsoft, we have many more jobs than homes. The planning commission has been working on increasing density in downtown and close to Microsoft, where transit (only bus for now, but hopefully someday light rail) is convenient, in order to deal with increased growth now and expected growth as required under the state’s Growth Management Act.

    Alex, my go-to malware remover is Malwarebytes. It’s been the most effective I’ve seen. I’ve only used the Windows version, but they have a Mac version as well. It’s free, too, though they do have more enhanced pay versions.

    I’ve been reading (slowly, I’ve been busy) on a book that traces the idea of a “Christian America” back even before Brown v Board, to a corporate reaction to the New Deal. “One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America”, by Kevin Kruse, unveils the coalition of CEOs and religious leaders who banded together with the support of Eisenhower to add “under God” to the pledge, make “In God We Trust” the national motto, and build a mythos of America as a Christian nation to chip away at the reforms of the New Deal.

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  78. Peter said on December 2, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Jeff TMMO at #22 yesterday – Sorry I wasn’t here yesterday, but your Chicago cop story reminded me of the time we were stopped on Fullerton.

    The cop asked my friend for his license, then asked where he worked. Once the cop went back to his squad car, one of the guys in the back said “Ken, the cop wants some money. When they ask where you work you’re supposed to answer “I work in a bank counting money. Would you like to see a sample of my work?””

    The cop came back, and my friend said “I’m sorry officer, I gave you the wrong answer for my job. I actually work in a bank counting money. Would you like to see a sample of my work?”

    The cop relies “ARE YOU TRYING TO BRIBE ME?” and pulls my friend out of the front seat of the car through the window.

    30 years later and we still laugh at that one.

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  79. susan said on December 2, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Ha ha ha ha ha! Hilarious! Peter, you really made me laugh out loud at that story. But I bet it wasn’t funny at the time, eh?

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  80. Jakash said on December 2, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    I’ve lived in Chicago for decades and had only two incidents with cops, neither of which ended up in a ticket. Of course, my commute is on the El and I don’t drive around town all that much. If they’d be significantly more stringent in fairly administering the traffic cameras, the lack of personal interaction involved might be seen as a plus. I hate the cameras pretty much myself, because they make me worry about being hit from behind when I stop — occasionally too soon to be on the safe side — but I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for folks who complain about racking up legitimate tickets for running red lights.

    Amazed to read that $5 comment and then personal incident from Jeff (tmmo), my hero. (Not being sarcastic, either.) If even HE is willing to put forth a bribe, it’s certainly an eye-opener for this “middle class white bread boy (who) suddenly realizes things don’t work the way you were told…” Even reading it and understanding the rationale, I don’t think I could do that, though. Peter’s comment pretty well demonstrates why…

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  81. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 2, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Yep, and ’85 is when they were *really* getting serious about cleaning that out. (In the Police Department, not City Hall, that is.)

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  82. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 2, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Cops and prosecutors are still handicapped (IMNSHO) but their sense of the possible. That’s needed, but it shouldn’t be determinative. On my end, where I’m closer to the “victim advocate” side of the equation than the law enforcement pointy-stick end, we still have to explain to grieving or just plain angry people why some things just can’t be charged. And while that’s the prosecutor’s call, the cops know that three hours of paperwork for something that’s almost certainly going to be spiked (for lack of evidence, insufficent proof on a number of levels) is time wasted in the office when, to do the folks in blue justice, they know they’re helping us all better on the road and along the sidewalk than behind a laptop filling out futile forms.

    So they try to be “helpful,” to the victims, to the community, and to some degree themselves, and tell people what can and can’t be done. They’re usually right, but the tweeners are where assumptions start to blind them. Especially when, from a cop-view, most victim-offender cases are more offender-offender cases (one hits another who stole from them because their brother hit his sister, both drunk, one on probation and the other was until recently). Or as an occasional commenter here says, “You can’t make a policeman take the romantic view.”

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  83. Jakash said on December 2, 2015 at 1:09 pm


    The other day during the cable/phone discussion, you mentioned having a Tracfone and accumulating way too many minutes of time over the years. I’ve had one for years, as well, but have never bought a one-year card. From what I’ve seen, if you’d just buy the cheapest card, with the fewest minutes and 30 days, when you go to pay (online, at least) I’m pretty sure an offer will pop up that will give you an additional 365 days of service for $49.99. That would probably end up saving you 30 or 40 dollars and not pile up an additional 800 minutes. I’ve never actually just bought the cheapest card – I usually get at least 200 minutes — but I never buy a card with more than 90 days of service, because they offer that extra year. For whatever that’s worth! : )

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  84. Dorothy said on December 2, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Goodness there’s lots to digest in all these comments! I just wanted to chime in and say Dave I agree with you – I don’t like that beard on Letterman. I’m not crazy about most beards but if they’re neat and clean I’m okay with that. My cousin Ruth Anne is now divorced from her first husband, who always had this gross, black beard that never looked trimmed or particularly neat. His nose looked sunken in his face too, so his appeal to Ruth Anne must have been his intellect. My sisters and I used to make faces about him (among ourselves when we were acting catty) and the usual first comment was “Can you imagine KISSING someone with that beard?!”

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  85. coozledad said on December 2, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Marco Rubio just emailed me an offer for a card. Is it the kind I can buy a boat with?

    Junious – I’m running for you.

    I am running for President of the United States because I know you and your family deserve a better opportunity, more freedom, and the ability to grow as a nation.

    I’m bringing new ideas forward for a New American Century of revived prosperity and strengthened freedom for all Americans – while calling for a rejuvenated foreign policy that stands strong in the face of Chinese and Russian provocation, with Israel and against ISIS, and deals forcefully with threats to the American people at home and abroad.

    Are you ready for a New American Century? I need to know you’re with me as we prepare to take on the stale ideas of the last 8 years. That’s why I’m asking you to be part of Team Marco – a group of dedicated Americas with a can-do attitude who share my vision and go the extra step to support my campaign.

    Membership Card

    I’ve gone ahead and included a virtual, personalized card in this email. Feel free to print it and carry it until your card arrives – however, your membership isn’t activated until you initialize your membership.

    Would you like to do something incredibly important for America’s future? Here’s how you can become a Team Marco member:

    Opal donation of $25

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    Ruby contribution of $100

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    Please note: your Membership is not active until you complete your donation. Whichever membership level you choose, it will go a long way toward ensuring my campaign will have the critical resources we need to continue spreading our message in the weeks ahead, into the new year, and during the all-important primary battles next spring.


    Of course the greatest satisfaction you’ll receive as a valued Team Marco grassroots leaders is the knowledge that you have made a personal investment in our mutual fight to bring about a New American Century.

    Marco Rubio
    Marco Rubio

    P.S. Junious, will you take the extra step right now that makes so much difference to my chances? I’m ready to lead our country into a New American Century as your President, but I need your strong support now – please become a member of Team Marco at whatever level is right for you today.

    P.P.S. I’ve gone ahead and included a virtual, personalized card in this email. Feel free to print it and carry it until your card arrives – however, your membership isn’t activated until you initialize your membership with a donation today! Note: the Team Marco membership card you receive in the mail will not be personalized.


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    • nancy said on December 2, 2015 at 2:03 pm


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  86. coozledad said on December 2, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Junious Kissinger. Orthodox rabbi and raccoon hunter.

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  87. Judybusy said on December 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Housekeeping was also made into a movie, in 1987; I remember liking it. I think I’ve alos tried to read Robinson and didn’t care for her. That’s why there are so many authors out there. Sherri, thanks for the reminder about Lithwick’s podcast. Also, congratulations! I also look forward to hearing about your next adventures. I put your book recommendation on my to-read list.

    As many here do, I listen to many of the Fresh Air podcasts. A recent one (November 12th; I guess I waited to catch up) featured an interview with NYT reporter Jessica Silver-Greenberg about her three-part series on how the Supreme Court has undermined the ability to file class-action lawsuits. It is worth the listen, and I am sure there is much more info in the original Times series. The Week magazine used to have a section called “Boring but Important” and this comes under it. Also, most of what they put in this section was not boring and definitely important!

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  88. jcburns said on December 2, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    That’s an injunious nom de plume.

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  89. brian stouder said on December 2, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Best pun of the thread!

    And in other news, same ol’ story, again

    Authorities in San Bernardino, Calif., said Wednesday they were responding to a report of an active shooting in the city, with officials saying there were as many as three possible suspects and “multiple

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  90. Charlotte said on December 2, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Marilyn Robinson is one of my absolute, all-time literary heroes. Housekeeping is a very very weird book of the highest order of weird — deeply indebted to Emerson and Transcendentalism — especially the set piece in the frozen valley on the far side of the lake (Robinson grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho). She’s a deeply odd bird, in part because of her lifelong engagement with Calvin, and in part because she seems to have found a way to disengage herself from the noise that threatens to drown us all — she’s a writer who is most interested in her characters’ battle with moral issues and their own character flaws. I adore her, but she’s a writer who demands really close reading, and even I’m not always up for that. Her new book of essays is on my coffee table, waiting until I have time to approach it.

    The interview with Obama struck me in particular by the way *he* was interviewing *her*. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a sitting or former president interview someone else, and make so little mention of concern for his own legacy, or talk up his own accomplishments less. I was kind of stunned.

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  91. Jolene said on December 2, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Obama interviewed David Simon earlier this year.

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  92. ROGirl said on December 2, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    I loved Housekeeping too. It was dreamlike and otherworldly, and it was hard to tell when it was taking place (the ’30s or ’40s, I think). The flood and the lake pieces stood out for me. I should read it again.

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  93. susan said on December 2, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Jakash @83 – Thank you for the tip. I need to investigate that, as the minutes keep building up and building up. I thought the only way to roll over accumulated minutes was to buy that one-year card. On the other hand, you are buying 200 minutes for $39.99 + 49.99 for year’s service = $89.98? When for 10 bucks more I would get 800 minutes with the year’s service and the 93,000,000 accumulated minutes rolled over?

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  94. beb said on December 2, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    I was 19 the last time I shaved. That was 46 years ago. My wife has never seen me without a beard. I keep it trimmed closer than Letterman does, tho. I have been mistaken for Santa a couple times.

    Alex, Malwarebytes has been pretty good to me for cases like yours. I’m not sure if they cover Mac or only Windows. There’s a trial version that’s free,

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  95. David C. said on December 2, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    My wife has never seen me without a beard either. I’ve really only had two people express dislike for mine. My maternal grandmother always asked why I hid behind it because I have such a nice face. She got the hide behind part right, it’s a good place to hide. The other was a jerk I had a job interview with who said he’d never hire anybody who was too lazy to shave in the morning. My paternal grandmother liked it because it was red like my great-grandfather’s. Too bad it isn’t red anymore. I’d probably look younger without it because I have a full head of black hair with just a bit of gray. Oh, well. I guess I’m too lazy.

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  96. Scout said on December 2, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    14 dead so far in San Bernadino, and at least that many wounded. The dailiness of this is depressing. News flash: politicians sending prayers to the victims and their survivors doesn’t change squat. It’s time for them to spare us the hand-wringing and fucking do something about this.

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  97. alex said on December 2, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Problem solved. All I had to do was hold down the shift key while launching Safari. I haven’t been infected by malware yet, just by an obnoxious popup trying to force me into installing it. I read up on it on the internet today. It’s a new one since October and its web site has recently become among the top seven for number of hits per day.

    I used Malwarebytes to get rid of malware on a PC a while back and and use AdBlock Plus on all of my computers.

    These days I’m much more skeptical of popups that tell me that software like FlashPlayer needs to be updated. That’s how my PC got fucked up. The malware turned practically every word in any text on a web site into a hyperlink that would take you God knows where. The only time I update FlashPlayer now is when I’m trying to watch a video or stream music from a trusted site and the site tells me that my version of FlashPlayer no longer supports their offerings.

    Chicago cops… I’ve had some bizarro incidents with them, and the worst wasn’t while driving but inside the police station at Addison and Halsted. I went in to file police report for my insurance company because someone did a hit-and-run on my car while it was parked in the street. At the counter I was asked for my ID and when I reached into the vest pocket of my jacket the cops whipped out their guns and told me not to move.They told me they thought I was drawing a gun and they said they would be within their rights to shoot me on the spot. I had to let them frisk me and take my wallet from my coat pocket and they told me to never make such a move again in the presence of a cop. Where else was I supposed to keep my wallet? Where the pickpockets could get at it? So I wouldn’t have any ID when it came time to file a police report? My impression of the encounter is that there are a lot of hotheads attracted to the policing business in Chicago and that this particular bunch was on a power trip on an otherwise boring afternoon shift in Boyztown.

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  98. Sherri said on December 2, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Nothing is going to be done to stop the daily parade of mass killings in America until we accept the words of Walt Kelly: We have met the enemy, and he is us. As long as it’s still more politically expedient for politicians to demagogue about excluding Syrian refugees than to make it harder to buy guns, people will die.

    We live in a terrified society, one that is ludicrously afraid of all sorts of things. Problem is, we’re not afraid of the things that really might kill us.

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  99. Deborah said on December 2, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    I have been glued to the TV for hours. I hardly ever do this, but it is riveting. This is such a weird situation, not the usual mass shooting. What in the world is this about?

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  100. Danny said on December 2, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Gotta agree with you Scout on the politicians tweeted responses. Enough of the “thoughts and prayers.” The only one I heard today who I could reasonably give that response was Gabby Giffords:

    “On a plane & just seeing reports of the tragedy in San Bernardino, CA. Sad, awful, & frightening news. Praying for #SanBernardino.”

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  101. Charlotte said on December 2, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Alex — we got shaken down by a cop on Lake Shore Drive — in probably 1990? something like that. In my brother’s little Toyota truck, with a cap on it. They pulled us over because LSD has a “no trucks” rule. The cop told Patrick to walk back to his cruiser with him. Apparently, on the way there, the cop told Patrick he could “buy him a cup of coffee” and make this all go away. Patrick put on his best earnest who-me North Shore face and said “Officer! Are you asking me for a bribe?” To which the cop growled, “No kid, that’d be illegal. Get the fuck out of here.”
    But all kidding aside — could we please find out what the hell was going on in Holman Square?

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  102. Dexter said on December 2, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Jeff at #67 wins the thread, simply for mentioning my literary hero, Nelson Algren.
    Spike was on the radio with Ron Bennington (XM 99 Rawdog) today. When Spike was done hawking “Chiraq”, his Friday release movie, the shit went down in San Berdoo.
    This is backing up on us…what the fucking fuck? Real world makes FX’s “Fargo S2 seem tame .

    My big mystery dating back 45 years…where does transmission fluid go when it’s obviously disappearing from it casing. No visible leaks under car, it can’t get into the fuel to burn off…where does it go? I have dumped in 48 ounces since Monday and it’s barely reaching the dipstick again. Friday is my appointment, may be time for ANOTHER goddam used car. Oh help me Jesus.

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  103. Jakash said on December 2, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    susan @93,

    Well, to be frank, I wouldn’t even pay $1 for 600 minutes that I’ll never use. ; ) But what I’d suggest for you is attempt to buy a 30 minute card with 30 days for $9.99 and, before you pay, see if they offer you the extra 365 days for $49.99.

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  104. coozledad said on December 2, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Apparently, if it’s San Bernadino and it’s a Wednesday, there’s a strong possibility the shooters are jacked up on meth.

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  105. coozledad said on December 2, 2015 at 8:26 pm


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  106. Dexter said on December 2, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    A history lesson, a book…in case your are stuck in an airport right now and need to kill some time…on topic; this is Chicago.

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  107. Sherri said on December 2, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Igor Volsky is on fire connecting the dots on twitter:

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  108. alex said on December 2, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Charlotte, I always understood the “no trucks on the boulevards” rule in Chicago to apply to commercial vehicles — box trucks and semis and so forth. I’ve driven pickups on the Drive without incident, but I’ve heard stories about people getting abused for it. And it isn’t just LSD but any street that’s considered a boulevard under the 1913 or so boulevards plan, which includes a bunch of streets nobody knows about unless they’re avid Chicago architecture and history buffs.

    As I don’t live there anymore, I take the same attitude I took when I got ridiculous tickets in other places: The collectors don’t have any teeth, so gnash away, fuckers!

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  109. alex said on December 2, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    As long as it’s “just another day,” here’s a mnemonic. Maybe Cooz could rejigger the lyrics to suit the zeitgeist.

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  110. beb said on December 2, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    This isn’t just the second mass shooting in four days, this is the third mass shooting today Yeesh!

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  111. Dexter said on December 2, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    The late Bill Granger of the Trib (Joe Gash was his pen name under which he wrote crime novels) would sometimes write of the no-trucks-in-express-lanes rules in Chicago. Bill drove a light truck w/ bed cap. I have driven pickups at times but never had any problems with cops hassling me over driving a truck…I reckoned the cops just could not keep up with all the violators; after all, the Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the USA for many years…right? The local Chevy dealership went somewhere and bought a dozen used Fiat Abart tiny cars. Half of them sold within two weeks. (The lot is just 100 yards from my house)

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  112. Dave said on December 2, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    My father was driving a pickup truck and run off of Lake Shore Drive in 1962. I know it was 1962 because it was the year he spent attending school in Oak Creek, WI.

    I worked with a man who had a beard for years. One day, purely on a whim, he shaved it off. His teenage son came home from school and wanted to know who he was, to the point where the son started yelling for his mother, that there was a stranger in their house.

    Quite frankly, I best like what Scout said at #96.

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  113. susan said on December 3, 2015 at 12:15 am



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