After a couple years of shooting Kate and the band, I’m sort of out of angles, but I never claimed to be a photographer. So it was nice to get this snap from one of Alan’s colleagues, whom we met at this show Saturday night. Guess what? She’s a photo editor, so she’s got the eye:


Head-bangingly good.

How was your weekend? I’ve reached Peak Prince, I think. Neil Steinberg argues that every celebrity doesn’t need to get the Full Diana (a phrase I wish I’d turned, alas), although I think he forgets what the Full Diana was. We’re here at, what? Four days after Prince assumed room temperature? He’s already been cremated and funeral’d, and inevitably the world will move on, by Wednesday at the latest. I seem to recall the Full Diana going for at least three weeks. The Full Reagan was about 10 days. The world needs content for all the content providers, so it’s to be expected.

But the fine weather continued, if a little chillier this weekend. Sunny, though, and by Sunday even fine for shirtsleeves. Did some grillin’, did some chillin’, spent a little time looking over the comments and marveling at you people. FYI, Danny, my friends visited Bistro Jeanty in Napa on your recommendation and said it was fantastic, and they’ll probably be back in the next couple of days. They even sent a photo:


Marrow, mmmm. Perfect food for carnivores.

And LAMary, I am now using “tired and emotional” as my new synonym for “drunk,” a la Princess Margaret.

So today I am a happy girl. Tomorrow I might not, but for now, let us wallow. A little bloggage for y’all? Sure.

An essay appropriately titled, “The End of Empathy,” right here:

My brother’s 32nd birthday is today. It’s an especially emotional day for his family because he’s not alive for it. He died of a heroin overdose last February.

This year is even harder than the last. I started weeping at midnight and eventually cried myself to sleep. Today’s symptoms include explosions of sporadic sobbing and an insurmountable feeling of emptiness. My mom posted a gut-wrenching comment on my brother’s Facebook page about the unfairness of it all. Her baby should be here, not gone. “Where is the God that is making us all so sad?” she asked.

In response, someone — a stranger/(I assume) another human being — commented with one word: “Junkie.”

Let’s give this whole thing some context: this one word was posted in response to a comment posted by my mother on the Facebook page of her only son on his would-be birthday had he not died at thirty years old of a heroin overdose less than two years ago.

Maybe you saw the photo that appeared over the weekend, of little Prince George being introduced to the Obamas when they visited the U.K. The pic is heart-meltingly sweet, with little George in his jammies and robe and Obama in the deep-squat, meet-kids-eye-to-eye pose he does so well. I made the mistake of reading the comments on one news site where I saw it, and I won’t be making that mistake again. Talk about a lack of empathy.

Generally I leave keeping up with the wingnuts on the right to Roy, but I follow a few myself. I couldn’t help but notice that Rod Dreher, whose middle name is very likely Hysteria, has been on a roll lately about transsexuals in bathrooms, just simmering with OMG and THIS IS CRAZY and so forth. I can understand his argument, not being utterly bereft of empathy myself, but on Friday he had a particularly screechy post sandwiched between two tributes to Prince, and I just got pissed, because it reminded me of one of the best things Lance Mannion ever wrote, about Kelsey Grammer and his Conservative Republican act:

Grammer doesn’t live anything like a Republican-approved lifestyle. He lives the life of the sort of big city liberal Republicans affect to despise. And as far as I know he’s quite happy with that life and has no plans to change it. He’s not about to move to any place Republicans regard as part of the “real America.” He’s not leaving Hollywood or New York for Topeka, Biloxi, or Wasilla. He’s not about to give up acting to start an oil company, become a hedge fund manager, or a cattle rancher.

…Now, I don’t believe that any Republican should have to go live in Topeka, Biloxi, Wasilla, or anywhere else on Sarah Palin’s short list of places that count as the real America. But I do believe that happy and contented East and West Coast elitists like Grammer—and conservative members of the punditocracy in Washington—should stop talking as if they believe that the lives lived in places like Topeka, Biloxi, and Wasilla are more “authentically” American than lives lived in Brooklyn, Brookline, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, or San Antonio and that the people in the one set of places are more American than the people living in the other.

And it’s probably too much to ask, but could they acknowledge that the lives they live in the most decadent parts of decadent Blue America have been made possible for them by liberalism?

People like Dreher, they want all their culture. They want plays and orchestras and great food and interesting novels and museums and all the rest of it, but they don’t want to acknowledge that many, even most, of the people who produce such things and run the institutions that encourage them, are mostly filthy liberals who don’t care if a transsexual woman might still be packing a penis into the ladies room. Confine them to their authentically real communities of Fritters, Ala., for a few months and they’d go stir crazy, but they’d never acknowledge that Prince, who may have been a Jehovah’s Witness but also danced in his undies and gave Tipper Gore fits, might be one of the Other.

OK, it is now time to top off the weekend with “Game of Thrones.” Later, folks. Let’s have ourselves a week, shall we?

Posted at 12:11 am in Current events, Detroit life |

81 responses to “Cold-hearted.”

  1. MarcG said on April 25, 2016 at 1:59 am

    OK, I just want to share someone’s thoughts about the transsexuals in bathrooms issue. Separate bathrooms for Catholic priests? Watch the video.

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  2. Sherri said on April 25, 2016 at 2:44 am

    The people shouting the loudest about transsexuals in bathrooms and protecting women are some of the same people who think women lie about rape, so I’m having a hard time with empathy there. But I worked with someone who transitioned from male to female over 20 years ago; one day he sent an email out to co-workers letting us know he was now going to be a she, and as far as I’m aware, it wasn’t a big deal. We just started calling her by her new name, and I don’t thin anyone paid much attention to which bathroom she used.

    So, apparently even if you are biologically female, if your voice is deep enough and you aren’t sufficiently feminine in appearance to not frighten people, you should carry id so you can use public bathrooms? Donations to the ACLU can be made here:

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  3. Brandon said on April 25, 2016 at 3:51 am

    People like Dreher, they want all their culture. …Confine them to their authentically real communities of Fritters, Ala., for a few months and they’d go stir crazy ….

    Rod Dreher was born in Baton Rouge and raised in St. Francisville, Louisiana. After living in New York and Dallas, he returned to St. Francisville.

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  4. Brandon said on April 25, 2016 at 3:52 am

    Rod Dreher: Called to live in this community.

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  5. Deborah said on April 25, 2016 at 5:29 am

    Kate has quite a soulful look on her face in that photo.

    The bathroom thing is so riculous. It’s transparently a juiced up wedge issue for the elections. Who ever gave it a second thought before?

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  6. David C. said on April 25, 2016 at 6:39 am

    The bathroom thing has always been with us. We couldn’t possibly use the same bathrooms as the coloreds, we couldn’t possibly pass the Equal Right Amendments because unisex bathrooms, and now transsexuals in the bathrooms. Yet, Dennis Hastert seemed to be able to go to the bathroom without molesting anyone (else), so maybe people just go to the bathroom to piss and we should just relax.

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  7. adrianne said on April 25, 2016 at 6:51 am

    I just can’t get exercised by the trans/bathroom debate. However, I can get pissed off at Dennis Hastert’s longtime sexual abuse of boys on his wrestling team and his desperate bid for mercy in advance of Wednesday’s sentencing (not for sex abuse, but for trying to evade bank reporting laws by withdrawing cash to pay off one of his victims). Here’s the Law360 take on when the whole sordid tale came out at last:

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  8. ROGirl said on April 25, 2016 at 7:17 am

    Dennis H was an opportunistic scumbag before he went unto politics.

    I think the nauseating orgy of self-indulgent public mourning after Diana died set the benchmark for all unrxpected, too soon before their time, celebrity deaths. Now it’s de rigeur to publicly wail, beat your chest, buy cheap flowers, stuffed animals, and balloons, and stand around conspicuously near likely spots where media events could erupt.

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  9. basset said on April 25, 2016 at 8:07 am

    I had to look up “yahrzeit.” Another sign of my cultural cluelessness, I suppose – this past weekend I had someone get genuinely upset with me for not knowing anything about some band called the Smiths. Apparently they were a major force on the music of the 80s and their influence is still felt, I should know their work, so forth. Smiths fan was drunk so I didn’t take it seriously.
    The empathy story got it right. She mentions entertainment media interest in her brother’s death, who was he? (As if I’d know.)
    My brother died the same way, no Facebook though.

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  10. LindaG said on April 25, 2016 at 8:40 am

    For those who have missed coozledad, he is in good form at his own blog.

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  11. brian stouder said on April 25, 2016 at 8:41 am

    Great photo – and it looks like Bernie Sanders had a front-row seat!

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  12. Julie Robinson said on April 25, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Nice pic of the girl, who must be just about done with freshman year. Upcoming: the summer of adjustment.

    Kelsey Grammer has had four wives, six kids (at least one born without benefit of marriage), multiple stints in rehab, and a sex tape. What makes you think he wouldn’t fit in Topeka? I’m not being facetious; our country has fundamentally changed. The nicest families in our church have multiple single mothers, divorces, and drug use. This is how we live now.

    I took a break from the perfect weather to take Mom to A Midsummer Night’s Dream at a local college and they nailed it. Great slapstick, mastery of the language, effective set; not to mention some studly young men in britches. Yay Shakespeare!

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  13. Deggjr said on April 25, 2016 at 9:18 am

    The Slacktivist wrote a great post on ‘Real Americans’ from a New York perspective:

    Two excerpts:
    1. Please indicate which stripe on the American flag represents your home state. (New York’s is that red one third from the bottom.)

    5. Has your state ever committed treason in defense of slavery, declaring war on the United States of America and firing on American soldiers fighting under the American flag?

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  14. Pam said on April 25, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Just a couple of thoughts: Remember the “full Diana” when EVERY SINGLE FLOWER in all of England was sold out, no more available? That fact really surprised me when I heard it on TV. And there was a special detail to keep the flowers from blocking the view of the driver of the hearse.

    Roy Dreher, I wonder if he is any relation to Monsignor Dreher at Resurrection Church? Dad’s favorite story about his tyrannical and hysterical ways was — he insisted that the doors to the sacristy remain closed during services. So he turns to the congregation and intones, “Dominus Close the Doors Vobiscum!” Dad about spit he laughed so hard. And the hand gestures went with the story.

    Oh and even the Donald is mystified at the uproar over transexuals in bathrooms. What a made up BS issue.

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  15. Charlotte said on April 25, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Someone in the Twitterverse suggested the solution to the bathroom issue is to just put the Prince symbol on all bathroom doors …

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  16. Heather said on April 25, 2016 at 10:37 am

    There’s another meme going around showing stats that the most common child predators are straight people–and often family members. Reported cases of a transgender person attacking a child in a bathroom? Zero.

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  17. alex said on April 25, 2016 at 10:37 am

    Kelsey Grammer’s Republicanism is just a snooty affectation. So’s his voracious heterosexuality, I suspect. It would suck to live with a dick, never mind not gettin’ any.

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  18. brian stouder said on April 25, 2016 at 10:43 am

    LindaG, thanks for the link, and the reminder. It was good stuff, indeed

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  19. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 25, 2016 at 11:05 am

    For anyone wondering, with reason, why people like Nancy or myself keep reading Dreher’s blog, he can follow two or three unhinged diatribes about the danger of not policing our restrooms with something like this:

    He’s a fascinating and thoughtful writer, with blind spots or perhaps more accurately hair triggers that you just start to scroll past quickly.

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  20. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 25, 2016 at 11:11 am

    But you really need to watch the first 27 minutes at least of the video Coozledad posted, with my colleague Rev. William Barber dissecting the North Carolina maneuvers around HB 2; I was very happy to be able to get him up here to Columbus, Ohio last summer to speak here to our denomination — Rev. Barber is also a Disciples of Christ pastor as I am, and he spoke as part of our biannual General Assembly.

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  21. Julie Robinson said on April 25, 2016 at 11:20 am

    At work; clicked on Cooz and thought, this is not a page I want in my history on my work computer.

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  22. LAMary said on April 25, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Alex, I’m with you on Kelsey Grammer. I know a few guys like him. They think they are brilliant. A lot of people assume they are gay. Any women they make a point of being seen with are somewhat stereotypical i.e. strippers, flight attendants, models…

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  23. brian stouder said on April 25, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    There is a Lincoln historian who has written a pretty good book or two, and who I’ve met at various Lincoln Colloquiums over the years, named David Guelzo.

    The guy could be Kelsy Grammer’s twin brother, including that he talks and laughs just like him.

    If the guy was purposely mimicking Grammer, he couldn’t do any better a job of it (I once watched him deliver a lecture on the Emancipation Proclamation at the old Fort Wayne Lincoln Museum, and he paced around the auditorium as he spoke, all the while showing off his saddle shoes!)

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  24. LindaG said on April 25, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Brian Stouder @19 – You’re welcome.

    Julie Robinson @21 – Agreed. Love him but I read him only on my home computer.

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  25. brian stouder said on April 25, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Make that Allen Guelzo!

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  26. St Bitch said on April 25, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Ditto Brian…thanks LindaG and Jeff(tmmo)…I’m sharing the Rev Barber video on FB.

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  27. Brandon said on April 25, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    For whatever reason, Coozledad has stopped commenting here a few months ago. It begs the question, Why?

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  28. Sue said on April 25, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Martha Stewart likes to serve that bone marrow stuff to her high-class guests. It even has a fancy French name, pot au bones or something. But whenever I look at her pictures, I want to say Martha, you’re serving your guest bones and boiled root vegetables. Even if you stick a special tiny spoon in the middle of the bones, it’s still bones and boiled vegetables.

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  29. Sue said on April 25, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Anyone watching “Look Who’s Back” (Er ist wieder da) on Netflix? I heard about it last year and was surprised to see it on offer.
    German with English subtitles. Too long, very funny, kind of disturbing.

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  30. Sherri said on April 25, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    She can dance with the President, but she can’t board an airplane:

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  31. Dexter said on April 25, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Was that platter of large marrow-filled bone sections for one person, a single serving? When I was a kid , Mom & Grandma made roasts frequently and I was never encouraged nor dissuaded from eating the marrow, or just sucking it loudly out of the bone-center. I did feel guilty because no one else in my family would ever do that. I loved that stuff, but haven’t had the taste for it for many years. I was so surprised when I began frequently seeing marrow being heralded as a delicacy in recent years. But one of those bones in the picture would have been too much marrow for me, even at my peak marrow-sucking days.
    Oh…I finally found out about the actors…horsemen gather for “mounted shooting” and Swanton, Ohio is one of the hotbeds. I take it riders with guns blast targets while galloping horses play along. The Lone Ranger, Tonto, “The Virginians” cast reunion, all part of the show.
    I just thought studios would own and restrict usage of The Lone Ranger franchise…I mean, if I open a hamburger stand with flat-on-the-top semi-arches and call it McDonnell’s…McDonald’s lawyers will be on me like flies on ice cream .

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  32. Danny said on April 25, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Nance, really glad your friends enjoyed their dining experience. We’re going up there in July with the parents and will be visiting the Bistro.

    Over the last several years, I’ve been doing a lot of hiking due to a nagging Achilles injury that has kept me off the bike. And something that Dorothy said years ago about not listening to music while exercising stuck with me. Instead, my aural palette is now whatever the surrounding environment provides which in my case is usually wilderness. Well, I had a huge payoff this weekend when a witnessed a bunch of acorn woodpeckers frolicking in a stand of dead oak trees. What amazingly beautiful little birds. Later on the trail, a red tail hawk flew about twenty feet above me. Thanks Dorothy!

    A lot of people don’t realize that San Diego has many fine trails where you can get away from it all. Secluded beach trails are also available where I’ve seen Peregine Falcons feeding their young, flocks of Pelicans fishing and baby seals taking a nap on the beach. Very cool.

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  33. brian stouder said on April 25, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Danny – I can attest to the singular beauty of San Diego, California.

    The only place that I’m as smitten with as your part of the world is Western Maryland (when the colors are up, in the Shenandoah); I can not give higher praise!

    (The zoo is on that marvelous hill-side, and is dream-like in its beauty)

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  34. Danny said on April 25, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Brian, your right about Western Maryland. Even though I grew up in B’more, we did occasionally get out there.

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  35. Suzanne said on April 25, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Jeff -19. Interesting article as I skimmed through. I’ll have to read more carefully later. It ties into an article I’m reading at home from The American Scholar, ten years or so ago, about how the war in Iraq was fairly doomed because the powers that be did not understand at all how the cultures in this areas operate. If I can find a link, I’ll post it.

    This on top of the article I think I posted a week or so ago from 2006 which is very predictive of what Trump & Sanders are tapping into:

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 25, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    And the most dangerous aspect of that misunderstanding is that somehow they (we) thought they (we) did (do) understand it. I’ve had occasion to try to learn more about Iranian Jewish culture, Israeli Baha’i culture, and the traditions and practices of Azerbaijani Armenians, and if I am being asked to press family members about particular plans or preferences, I am only too aware that I really have no idea how things are really being heard. And even after years of interaction around the edges and occasionally in the middle of times of serious stress and problems, I still don’t quite “get” it — but I know I’m on the soundest ground when I am asked to help by them, with their interested involvement. To press them against their will on subjects more important to me than them, I’m not even going to be able to process their hostility properly, let alone when I think they’re agreeing with me.

    That was never clearer than my six years serving and leading in West Virginia, where I was fortunate enough to realize early on that no one would ever, and I mean ever, say “no” to me. And they never did, either. Didn’t matter how much they did or didn’t agree with what I was proposing, or how much they were or would participate — in Mountaineer culture, it’s rude to disagree, especially with a preacher, and certainly with an outsider. They’d let you know the answer was actually “no” in time, and if you learned your cues, you could keep from embarrassment or frustration pretty quickly, but if you started out saying “I think we all should join hands and leap off this cliff into the crick,” you’d hear “That is one fine idea you’ve got their preacher, and I’m sure we’re all willing to join you in that.”

    So how we thought we could shape Sunni/Shia Arab/Persian culture and governance with enough guns and drones, I don’t understand at all. Heck, the US government still hasn’t entirely pacified the Confederacy, or the West, let alone West Virginia. Ask any BLM or FWS officer driving a marked vehicle into those terrains.

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  37. Julie Robinson said on April 25, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Well, we don’t have any mountains or oceans, but for sheer physical beauty in my book you just can’t beat Foster Park and the mass tulip plantings. Mom and I spent a couple of hours wandering around this afternoon; drinking in the artistry of the color combinations, the scent of the lilacs, the startling purple beauty of the redbuds, and we didn’t care about the lack of mountains or oceans. It’s the best park in town and at its peak right now. My soul is refreshed.

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  38. Deborah said on April 25, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    It was 82 in Chicago today, thunderstorms are expected tonight and then it will be cooler tomorrow. I walked 8 miles today getting a lot of errands done, but it was too hot, it felt like we went from winter to a weekend of spring and now summer but today was an anomaly, I hope.

    One week from today we are moving and am I ever stressed out. Now the street is all torn up where the moving truck should be pulling in to the service area, I doubt that it will be done by Monday. We thought that maybe there was an emergency sewer problem or something like that but nooooo, it’s Verizon that’s tearing up the street. F*cking Verizon. They didn’t tell the building that this was happening, it caught everyone by surprise. It’s crazy that we have to get a truck to move across the street anyway, this is utterly ridiculous. Our moving truck may have to load in front of our current building, which means it will take longer for them to cart everything from the service door all the way around the building, then the loaded truck has to pull a few feet into the service area of the building across the street. All because Verizon can’t be bothered to alert the buildings that they are disrupting. I suppose they expected the city to do that because heaven forbid they would have to spend time and money to do it. Plus we are biting our nails over the construction work in the new place that is supposed to be at a certain point before we move in. We were over there earlier today and no one was working. Oh brother.

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  39. Sherri said on April 25, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    How anyone thinks you can institute democracy with a gun is a mystery to me. I don’t read Dreher, but I have read Bacevich quite a bit, and he’s a smart man. He may be more conservative than me, but I always learn something when I read him, and I respect him a great deal. Retired army officer, historian, lost a son in Iraq, he’s earned my ear on matters foreign and military.

    I don’t think you have to spin a story about whether we pay attention to the white working class to explain Trump or Sanders. There’s not enough of the white working class left in the Democratic party to explain Sanders; they left the Dems 40 years ago. The white working class, even at its peak of earning and union support, has always been susceptible to a demagogue blaming the other for their economic uncertainty; the Republicans just haven’t had anyone willing to completely abandon the dog whistle and say the quiet parts out loud until Trump. So the white working class segment is beating out the evangelical segment of the Republican coalition.

    The white working class left the Democrats over race, and they sold their soul to the union busting Republicans. Had the unions still had any political force, the free trade agreements would probably be different.

    That’s one thing you have to remember when you talk about getting big money out of politics. Even if you succeed, it creates a void, and some sort of collective action will come about to fill it. There’s a lot more to getting big money out of Congress than overturning Citizens United. That’s just about elections, which are important, but equally important is how legislation gets written. I think progressives and liberals need to learn from the right that it’s not just about the big battles, it’s about chipping away. The right hasn’t (yet) overturned Roe v. Wade, but they’ve effectively made it irrelevant in areas of the country. Brown v. Board is still extant, but de facto segregation is worse than ever. The Voting Rights Act still stands, but is hobbled.

    So, let’s hear it for restoring the Office of Technology Assessment!

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  40. Sherri said on April 25, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    And, if you want beauty, come on out to Seattle in the summer. Mt Rainier, lakes, Puget Sound, ferries!

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  41. Julie Robinson said on April 25, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Sherri, we were there for the tulips in Skagit County a few years back and were lucky enough to see all those places. It is a place of astonishing beauty. Unfortunately, when I was there for 10 days in October the sun didn’t shine once, and I started to feel hopelessly depressed despite spending those 10 days with my beloved daughter. There wouldn’t be enough happy lights for me to live there.

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  42. Deborah said on April 25, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    We are going to be in Seattle for the wedding of my brother-in-law in mid-June. We had talked about staying for a week or so and doing some hiking, maybe whale watching but we’ve decided to only stay 3 days for the family stuff and the wedding day. We’ve just got too much other stuff going on in our lives right now. I’m sorry to miss the beauty, but my nervous system can’t take it during all the construction we’ve got going on simultaneously.

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  43. Sherri said on April 25, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Julie, that’s why I specified summer. Winter in Seattle is not for the faint of heart. The sun doesn’t shine often, and even when it does, it’s not for long. For all that Mt Rainier is so close and spectacular, we can go weeks without seeing it at all. You wouldn’t think it would be possible to completely hide a 14K foot mountain that’s only 54 miles away, but it’s true. It was quite a shock moving here from the Bay Area.

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  44. susan said on April 25, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    Sherri @43 -I always like the expression said by Puget Sound denizens, “Oh look! The Mountain is out today!” And that’s the first place I ever heard, in a weather forecast during a mostly gloomy day, “sun breaks.” Yeah, you couldn’t pay me to live there, though (and a colleague tried to). But now, east of the mountains…that’s my kind of country.

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  45. LAMary said on April 25, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    My job has taken me to Seattle a few times, always in winter. It’s dark, 45 degrees and either drizzling or raining. I’m not complaining, just verifying how sucky winter can be in Seattle. LA is stinking hot in summer. Visiting LA in August or September is not good idea.

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  46. Jolene said on April 25, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    People in Seattle are very glad that there are at least some people who don’t want to move there. It becomes increasingly crowded with each passing day, and the price of housing is approaching San Francisco levels.

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  47. Sue said on April 25, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Just finished watching “Look Who’s Back”. As long as it is, I still recommend it. Watch through the credits.
    Quite an amazing movie.

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  48. Sherri said on April 25, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Susan, yeah, I knew I was in trouble when “sun breaks” were a regular part of the weather forecast. That and advertisements for moss removal on roofs. When we were trying to survive our first winter up here, someone told us that it takes about three years to get used to winters here, and that was pretty true. The combination of the gray skies and the drizzle and the short days make it tough even on natives. But July and August are incredible, September is usually great, and June and October can be good.

    The sun shines east of the mountains, but pretty much everything else I enjoy is better on this side of the mountains.

    Jolene, housing is expensive, but I have some hope that we’re doing more to mitigate that than the SF area has. There’s better regional cooperation among the cities here, and while there’s always resistance to density, it’s not as dominant as in the Bay Area. The state’s urban growth boundary legislation, which was set in law back in 1990, forced more of a regional solution for housing and transportation. There’s not enough housing to meet the growth, and particularly Seattle right now isn’t facing up to some changes that have to happen, but I don’t see the same degree of head in the sand approach to growth as I saw in the Bay Area.

    So, despite the gloomy winters, people want to live here. Much to my surprise, I’m still here almost 13 years later, and I’m not going anywhere.

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  49. Dexter said on April 26, 2016 at 1:44 am

    Julie Robinson: I assume crime is no longer the fear factor it was years ago in Foster Park. When I lived in West Central neighborhood, I used to go to Foster with friends for picnics, frisbee, softball and later bike riding. I have always utilized city parks wherever I found myself…in Fort Wayne it was McMillen for ice skating, Shoaff to watch rugby players beat hell out of each other, Memorial for softball , and West Swinney for pick-up baseball games and just walking around. Lawton Park had basketball courts and we’d get hellacious games going. Foster always was the crown jewel in my mind. Years later I’d get some friends together and we’d load up bicycles and ride the River Greenway from Johnny Appleseed to and through Foster Park. Then assholes with guns started jacking innocent bike riders for their cash, wallets, and if your bike was worth anything, kiss it goodbye. That’s when I said “fuck Fort Wayne, Indiana.” I never got jacked, but I never rode that nice bikeway again.

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  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 26, 2016 at 7:17 am

    A well done story that tells you quite a bit even while so much is not known. I didn’t know this town or family per se, but I’ve done funerals down there for relatives from here, and they is us and vice versa. There’s a hint of Juarez, of Sons of Anarchy, of Breaking Bad, but also of The Sopranos in a bluegrass key all lurking up in the hills around the modular homes at the center of this, themes hidden in the multifloral rose and blackberry bramble up the slope underneath the second-growth canopy of oak and hickory. Blue tarps on roofs and blue plastic barrels out back, dogs that may or may not bark, and for whom?

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  51. Julie Robinson said on April 26, 2016 at 8:40 am

    There’s been crime on the river greenway all over the county and I wouldn’t go for a bike ride alone. I have no fear of strolling the tulips on a weekday afternoon. We stopped at the nearby Wendy’s for drinks afterward and Mom commented it was nicer than the one by her house, up on tony Dupont Rd.

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  52. brian stouder said on April 26, 2016 at 8:52 am

    My fine young son works at the Foster golf course, as he progresses through college. It is quite beautiful over there, indeed

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  53. nancy said on April 26, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Crime on the Rivergreenway? Recently? I recall some dodgy stretches, but never saw anything other than other cyclists/runners. There was one guy who gave me some lip, but I got in his grill and he actually shrank back from me.

    I concede this may be rose-colored hindsight; my bad-neighborhood meter has been utterly recalibrated by Detroit.

    Sorry no blog today, folks; I was just tired and half-crabby.

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  54. Julie Robinson said on April 26, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Yeah, sadly, there have been robberies and at least one rape. All over the county, not confined to any one area. Just read about another robbery a couple of weeks ago. It’s as though we humans have to spoil everything that’s nice.

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  55. Deborah said on April 26, 2016 at 9:46 am

    I don’t recommend Chicago in February, January and March are a little better but not much. And July-August can be miserable with occasional breaks. The rest of the year is great.

    On the other hand I can’t think of a time of year I would not recommend people to visit Santa Fe. It gets cold in Jan-Feb but the days are always sunny and it’s a dry cold so it doesn’t soak into your bones like it does in the Midwest.

    Going to go over to the new place this morning. Here’s hoping it’s buzzing with activity.

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  56. brian stouder said on April 26, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Well, them-there Yuppies go joggin’ and bikin’, and I bet you could get $10 or $20 off one of ’em!

    Leaving aside crime, our son has become less surprised by what one might see on the river greenway; usually men whizzing (often golfers!)

    For the record, I like Nance’s half-crabby posts best

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  57. Joe K said on April 26, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Evidently they are having problems in Iceland at the public pools bad enough that there are now signs showing naked people with one foot up on a bench drying their groin area with a blow dryer with a a big red slash thru said sign, will need a full report with pictures from Mrs Nall this summer.
    Pilot Joe

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  58. brian stouder said on April 26, 2016 at 10:06 am

    No Blow Jobs at poolside, eh?

    I suppose it’s a safety issue; if you drop the blower into the pool, you’ll fry someone

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  59. susan said on April 26, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Wow, Jeff. Can you imagine a funeral with eight family members in coffins laid side by side by side by… I cannot imagine that.

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  60. Jolene said on April 26, 2016 at 10:35 am

    “Look, we are just hillbillies,” he said. “We ain’t no revenge in our hearts.”

    What a heartbreaking statement!

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  61. alex said on April 26, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Deborah, I once worked on a fluff piece hyping Chicago as a tourist destination in February because that’s when hotel vacancies are the highest and the best deals on rooms can be found.

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  62. basset said on April 26, 2016 at 11:10 am

    we have a greenway 35 yards from our back door, the city ran it through there years after we bought the house & there wasn’t a damn thing we could do about it. realtor says it increases our value. 2 more years, I retire and we’re outa there.

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  63. Suzanne said on April 26, 2016 at 11:50 am

    The 10+ year old article I mentioned above about how the West screwed up miserably in Iraq and elsewhere. (I thought I posted it earlier, but apparently didn’t) Very interesting, especially because obviously, no one in power reads stuff like this. Or if they do, no one listens to them.

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  64. Danny said on April 26, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Speaking of movies, anyone see “The Cure” about an eleven-year-old boy with AIDS? Very well done with some humor too. It struck a chord with me since I have a cousin in his thirties who got HIV through a blood transfusion when he was four.

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 26, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    What I’d be uneasy about in doing that funeral is the knowledge that the killer(s) remains loose. And if I know Piketon at all, there’s gonna be family intent on having it open casket . . . which won’t happen, but I can already hear the conversation in the funeral home conference room. “Well, um, ma’am, after an autopsy there’s really . . .” “I know they won’t look perfect, but can’t you do something so we can see them at the service?”

    Once we’re in the sanctuary, my own preference is for closed casket, but I’m rarely asked and never prevail if I am and don’t say what was expected. I get the need for closure, and know it’s very real that if you never see the person who died as they are, you tend to “see them” all over the place for weeks, but I’m with the more liturgical churches’ rule that open they may be for the wake and/or calling, but once we roll up the aisle, let’s keep it closed. In Appalachia, it’s not even closed always at the cemetery until the casket is lowered — and I did a service once where people pulled up late as the straps were lowering, and the vault crew raised up the departed, we opened the casket one more time, and only then finished the committal.

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  66. Dave said on April 26, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    It’s hard to believe that gunshot victims who were shot in the head would make the family demand open casket. It was just posted that one victim was shot nine times, I would think that would rule it out.

    That poor family, regardless, didn’t deserve that, and from what I’ve read about the case, one of the big mysteries is why the dogs didn’t bark and howl and carry on like dogs do.

    Julie Robertson, was that a shot at the Dupont Road environs? We lived in that area in two different homes, north of Dupont, for nearly thirty years, by choice, and never thought of it as toney. It sure did grow during our time there, however, and perhaps got more toney as time went on. Just messing with you.

    When I was still working and went over the River Greenway on a bridge east of Brooklyn Avenue regularly, I used to see some characters that didn’t look like they were out for the exercise. Just saying. . .

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  67. Dexter said on April 26, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    …just recalling personal scared moments and one robbery…when I was 17 I won a ticket (yeah, just one ticket…how cheap!) to a Cubs game, for picking every sponsor’s name and having my name drawn out of a barrel. I rode the New York Central and the el train to Wrigley, and on the Addison platform I was accosted by two dirty bums , holding empty glass Mountain Dew bottles (yeah, glass)huffing tobacco smoke at me, and raising the bottles and demanding my cash. Hell, all I had was a return ticket and probably $6. I acted like I was going for my pocket and just sprinted over and down the big stairs. Then, of course, the incident when I saw the Jackson Prison parolee beating his ex-GF cuz she was pregnant, and he threatened to kill me (cops found a loaded hand cannon in his borrowed pickup truck…sheesh) and the time I was shoved around and robbed of a small bottle of freshly-purchased wine and 38 cents in an alley in Macon, Georgia. Shit, I was attacked by a gang of hillbillies right in Waterloo, because in the bar I was running my pie ho,le rather loudly about politics and I made a favorable reference to communism. You don’t even say that word in a small-town Indiana bar! Ha! Everybody was drunk, lots of shoving and scratching and I got tagged twice and landed a hard haymaker once. By that time six of my local buddies joined in and OMG, we cleaned their goddam clocks but good. Ah, memories!

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  68. Sherri said on April 26, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    I’m sure everyone here is shocked to hear that the former bully basketball coach of IU is campaigning for Trump. Maybe instead of Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair, we’ll have Bobby Knight throwing one this year!

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  69. brian stouder said on April 26, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    I think Sherri and Dex have the Thread Win won!

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  70. Dexter said on April 26, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    And this is Coachella…I’d say rivalling Burning Man in fashion critique:

    (Thanks, brianstouder…been years since I even shared a Thread Win in your opinion. 🙂 )

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  71. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 26, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    This is why us old white guys need to step back and be quiet instead of trying to be cool and hold onto the right to introduce candidates:

    No, it’s both worse and funnier than you heard.

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  72. brian stouder said on April 26, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Well, we can’t let the Donald have ALL the free media!

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  73. Julie Robinson said on April 26, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    To be honest, Dupont IS pricier than south side. No dig intended, as I’ a former south sider myself and wouldn’t care to live way out north. Mom’s point was that the Dupont Wendy’s is filthy and not well run.

    Sherri, don’t you know that Coach Knight was simply getting a chair to an elderly woman across the way without a seat? 🙂 I was appalled too.

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  74. Brandon said on April 26, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Sherri, #68: The late Dean Smith (U. North Carolina) would be for Bernie, but not obnoxiously so.

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  75. Heather said on April 26, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    RE the Coachella fashion–why would you ever wear a unitard or a bodysuit to a music festival where you have to use a portapotty? I just read a piece about people who spend thousands on clothes and plastic surgery for Coachella to be “Instagram-ready.” So much for being present for the actual experience.

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  76. Dave said on April 26, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    We used to go into that Wendy’s on occasion, not frequently, but I don’t think it was dirty and run any differently than some others we’ve been in. Perhaps it’s going downhill since our departure. Now, the McDonald’s down the street facing away from Dupont, that place is poorly run, our experiences there weren’t all the best.

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  77. Colleen said on April 26, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Shrug. I ride the greenway alone from time to time. (that said, I have pepper spray on my handlbars) Only thing I’ve come across what what I assumed was a couple engaging in some sort of “transaction”, be it sexual or chemical. Or both. I live within walking distance of the park and simply adore my neighborhood. Unfortunately, the entire south side gets the reputation that only a small part of town should have. And yes, the tulips and lilacs are gorgeous right now.

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  78. brian stouder said on April 26, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Colleen – hear hear!!

    I love South Fort Wayne (along with the rest of our town), period.

    Plenty of drugs and violence in north Fort Wayne, but somehow it is only indicative of some ‘larger truth’ when it’s in south Fort Wayne

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  79. LAMary said on April 26, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    I’ve seen and heard the term “festival fashion” or “festival chic” several times lately. It describes a sort of middle era Stevie Nicks meets Gwyneth Paltrow in her London era look. Lot of expensive peasant blouses and artfully torn jeans.

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  80. Deborah said on April 26, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Speaking of fashion, during the few warm days we’ve had here in Chicago, I’ve been seeing a bunch of young women wearing blouses that have slits starting at the shoulder and going down to about the elbow. Their shoulders are exposed but the sleeves come down to the wrist (so long sleeved). Anyway, it is not my favorite look. It seems uncomfortable.

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  81. susan said on April 26, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Fashion? Here’s some appropriate Fort Wayne fashion…

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