Not him.

Like Neil Steinberg, I am having Trump fatigue. So let’s handle him with a very light touch today, shall we? It’s Friday, after all. How about a cocktail to start?


This is why the countertops to the right of my sink are always sticky — it’s Alan’s bartending station. To be sure, he’s made us some awesome cocktails this summer, and here we have the elements of the Skeleton Key, a cocktail said to be invented here. It was imagined to be a Halloween drink, but it’s very refreshing for summer, and last weekend being payday, we got the name-brand ingredients. And they’re pretty sticky, but it’s nice having a good mixologist under the roof.

Moving on! What would you do if your plane landed belly-down — that is, with the landing gear up and not where it’s supposed to be — slid to a stop with an engine in flames, and the captain comes on the intercom to say EVACUATE THE AIRCRAFT NOW? If you answered anything other than “try to retrieve my bag from the overhead bin,” you must not be flying on Air Emirates. Everyone got away alive, but man.

And with that, enjoy your weekend, all.

Posted at 12:17 am in Current events |

67 responses to “Not him.”

  1. Hexdecimal said on August 5, 2016 at 3:44 am

    Ah… Bitters. That magical substance is worth it’s weight in gold on hangover mornings. A drop or two in your tea makes the queasy stomach go away. And, it lasts foreve in your cupboard. It medicinal property is only augmented by its occasional use in mixed drinks. Keep the top of the bottle and cap clean as it’ll dry and make it difficult or impossible to open. That little extra effort will be rewarded on those hangover mornings. Remember, just a drop or two.

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  2. adrianne said on August 5, 2016 at 6:51 am

    Leave your bags behind, people! I watched the video in horror yesterday. Great save by the pilot and air crew.

    Bitters are indeed the magic potion. Not too much – it’s your father’s cocktail.

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  3. ROGirl said on August 5, 2016 at 6:52 am

    It could be worse…

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 5, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Why would one mix Woodford Reserve with anything other than a bit of water? Why? #TheHorrorTheHorror

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 5, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Sherri, I fell asleep before finishing my ruminations on AMBs, but my sincerest hope is that you’re right about registration, and there’s good reason to think that’s so . . . it’s their vast and diffuse and incomprehensible (even to themselves) anger that I worry about after President Hillary is sworn in. What will it attach itself to next? Or will it never organize much more than tweetstorms about movie reboots that don’t suit them?

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  6. alex said on August 5, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Jeff, that was quite some rumination indeed. I’d have been spent too. It was dead-on down to the minutest detail.

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  7. basset said on August 5, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Drink looks good, not familiar with St. Germain though. We drink gin & tonics this time of year – and getting the good tonic water rather than Canada Dry or whatever really does make a difference.

    Fifty years ago today – the Beatles released Revolver. You know all the songs.

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  8. Suzanne said on August 5, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Jeff, yes on the AMBs. There is one from my area who immediately popped into my head. A year or two older than my son, dead-end job, main hobby is paint balling and has “We the people” boldly tattooed on his forearm. My son blocked him from Facebook due to all the foul, racist things he posted. His dad ran for county sheriff a few years ago…and lost, but, naturally, it wasn’t his dad’s fault. It was Obama’s fault, you know, even though the guy that won has been a cop for years while his dad’s only experience was as a part-time occasional reserve deputy. Reality for an AMB is not what most of us consider real.

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  9. Deborah said on August 5, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Yes Jeff! And even adding water is questionable to me. Keep that Woodford Reserve around for sippin neat.

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  10. Deborah said on August 5, 2016 at 9:47 am

    I went back and read the AMB comments, since I went to bed early last night. Boy howdy. In my world that’s a subcult of a subcult. I hope it’s not as pervasive as it sounds. I see AMBs out there, but I could never describe them in such minute detail.

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  11. Icarus said on August 5, 2016 at 10:22 am

    was the last two sentences of that link a typo or are they really trying to emphasize that no terrorist were involved

    “The airline said there’s no evidence terrorism was involved.

    The airlines said there’s no evidence terrorism was involved.”

    looking forward to trying a skeleton key

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  12. Danny said on August 5, 2016 at 10:51 am

    ROGirl. I absolutely cracked a smile at the second to last photo: “On a sad, sad quest to see the Old Man of Storr”

    The smaller girl on the left looks so miserable!

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  13. MichaelG said on August 5, 2016 at 11:14 am

    The grabbing the luggage thing was a big point of discussion after there were videos of people carrying theirs away from the burning 777 that Asiana splattered on the seawall at SFO. It’s an easy thing to condemn but who knows what one thinks when standing in a slowly moving aisle on a downed aircraft while desperately wanting to leave.

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  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 5, 2016 at 11:31 am

    What I didn’t get to last night: it doesn’t excuse, but it goes a long way (for me) to explaining the AMBs and their attitude — they can’t shake the narrative that Gramps left school in 8th grade, went to the plant/mill/mine/shop, and worked his way along to owning a cabin at Indian Lake, got a new Buick every other year when the spotlights went up at the lot, could take the family to Phil’s for spaghetti most Fridays, and headed up to the UP or Canada every summer for two weeks. It all worked out fine.

    The idea that great-great-grampa came here from Wurtemberg or Silesia without literacy or a clue short of which end of a shovel to hold, that great-grampa ran numbers for Big Eddie until he got a city job that led to a factory job that killed him at 38, and that the other strivers who seem to be passing the AMBs by with their darker skin and incomprehensible stories behind them are living out their own family narrative not too dissimilar from their own . . . except they don’t really know that story, because Aunt Carol keeps up with all that genealogy stuff for the family. They have aspirations of entitlement, and expectations of indifference, but they can feel it slipping away and are nervous about what it would mean to put on collared shirts and listen when people ask you questions. I hear over and over from civic folk that there are good jobs going unfilled, and I can’t shake some suspicion that what it really is comes down to how many “job providers” like an over-large workforce because it lets them keep personnel costs down. There are jobs — what there aren’t, where I’m standing, looking over the shoulders of lots of AMBs wondering where and how to push, are paths up and out. Too much of that blockage is self-inflicted, but some of the self-justification of the self-inflicted limitations (remember Ted, Gene Weingarten’s friend not voting 12 years ago?) is a sincere inability to see those paths open up for anyone around them, so why should it be any different for them.

    And that’s when the neck tat starts to look like a not so bad idea. If $14 an hour is all I’m ever going to do, and the cabins around Buckeye Lake are all tear-down rebuilt weekend homes for slicksters out of Columbus who spend maybe 16 days a year in them, leaving the computer controlled lights to click on and off without occupants, then you break into a few, smoke some more weed, and figure in another month you’ll go back to iForce for another 25 hour temp-to-hire post. They, at least, are always going to be there.

    Aren’t they?

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  15. nancy said on August 5, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Jeff, this is slam poetry you’re laying down here. Along the way, you’re describing *precisely* the conundrum that Michigan employers are scratching their heads over — there are 70,000 job postings on some state website, why aren’t people applying? Then you drill down on some: This one requires at least some post-high school education, but no problem, we have this trailer that rolls around the county, and we’ll teach you how to operate a simple, computerized work station in whatever passes for a modern light-industry factory. OK, so now you’re trained. Starting wage is $13/hour, and after an unspecified period of years, you can top out at…$23/hour. That’s $47K and change a year. Not bad money, but…not great, either. That’ll buy a house of some sort, but not in a great neighborhood or school district, and your wife had better be working, too. A new car is $30K, daycare for two kids is $12K/year, vacations, meals out, all the extras? It goes fast.

    So yeah, they see a door in, but not a path through. And a lot can’t see anything beyond.

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  16. Sherri said on August 5, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Well, the AMB are capable of doing harm wih the angry tweetstorms about movie they don’t like; just ask Leslie Jones, the black star of Ghostbusters who was the target of the ire. They usually need a leader to stir them into action and to direct their rage.

    Individually, AMBs are dangerous to the women in their lives, of course. Collectively, the danger would seem to be someone like the next Milo Yiannopoulos deciding to direct this rage in a more dangerous direction.

    The AMBs here are physically a bit different; not as uniformly large, though still tend to be large, and much more often have long hair and full beard. You can usually hear them as they approach, because one of them is usually declaiming about something in a loud voice. These AMB may even have college degrees and have engineering jobs at the lower rungs of a tech company, but those companies don’t recognize their genius and are full of idiots. Women are the real bane of their existence, because they fail to see their overwhelming attractions and immediately want to have sex with them.

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  17. Dorothy said on August 5, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Jeff I read your most excellent words to my hubby as we zoomed along I-70 on our way to Pgh. Very amazing and illustrative indeed.

    I didn’t read many if yesterday’s comments until this morning. Just want to agree with LA Mary about IKEA’s kitchen stuff. We own a bunch of their do-dads. I love my pepper grinder that looks like a mini bowling pin. But my all time favorite IKEA item is my sewing chair. I’ve probably had it 20 years.

    When we stopped in Cambridge for gas I saw my first Trump Shop, a pop up tent establishment at an empty parking lot. There were only two cars there. Here’s hoping that’s some kind of sign. I’m not sure what kind of sign, but I was glad there weren’t twenty cars there.

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  18. Sherri said on August 5, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Jeff(tmmo) and Nancy, our AMBs are a little higher up the totem pole. Clearly, they have the possibility here of high paying jobs; a starting engineer at Microsoft is going to make quite a bit more than $47K. Housing is expensive, but I don’t get the sense that the inability to get into the housing market is what is frustrating them. These are people who have succeeded by reasonable standards, but not the level they think they were entitled to. They have a computer science degree, but they had to go to UW-Bothell or Western Washington to get it, not UW. they don’t like having to prove themselves at an entry-level job working for some manager they think is stupid. They think it all should be handed to them on their terms, not anybody else’s.

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  19. Sherri said on August 5, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    I should add, the AMBs are almost always white, though we live in a really diverse area. I rarely see Asian AMBs or Latino AMBs. Our homeless population is mostly white and black.

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  20. Suzanne said on August 5, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    My older brother (62) is close to qualifying as an AMB in the sense that he has done zilch to help his kids move up & on past high school. He relies on Jeff’s outdated narrative theme that no longer works. “Nobody helped me,” is he and my sister-in-law’s mantra. “The kids can pound the pavement & find a job, or enroll themselves in college. That’s what we did!” Both have been at the same job for 20+ years & have no clue what the application process is now. The kids, consequently, have not managed college, have very low level fast food/construction type jobs, and have been in trouble with the law. But my brother can’t seem to get past that they can manage their lives like he did, eventually finishing college after multiple stops & starts, with decent paying factory jobs in between. I have tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade him that college/job hunting is all much more complex now, but to no avail. You are so correct, Jeff, that that narrative, however false, has a strong hold.

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  21. brian stouder said on August 5, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    All this thought-provocation is genuinely a good thing.

    I’ve had lots of help, one way and another, over my lifetime.

    And I will honestly say – my job, which I got 30 years ago (this December) was gotten by White-Guy Affirmative Action. A brother-in-law of a friend knew there was an opening and said “put in an application there, and tell them I sent you”….plus, my Associates Degree from ITT Technical Institute mirrored the guy who hired me.

    I’ve never really used that degree at all, but it served its purpose.

    Good fortune/good luck/good friends….good gracious!

    All I know for sure is – I’ll do everything I can to assist our son who is about to turn 21 (this weekend), and who is working a job and who is a junior in college; and our just-turned 18-year old daughter, who is a senior in high school this year.

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  22. Sherri said on August 5, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Ok, this is one of those campaign stories that is evergreen: the stealing of campaign signs.

    You always lose some campaign signs. We have a lot of windy weather in the fall here, and signs get blown over, or blown off the stake. (Our mayor has run more than once and re-used signs, so we didn’t use the wire holders, we constructed our own wooden holder with the sign screwed in.) We’re used to repairing signs and replacing signs. But last fall, we were having to do so at a much higher rate. The stake for the sign in my front yard was broken twice. Signs were being discovered way into the blackberry bushes. Finally, a couple of days before the election was over, the mayor got a call from a supporter, a nice old lady.

    She called the mayor’s office and told his secretary that she needed to speak to him right away, but that he needed to call her back on his personal phone because it was about the election. He did, and she told him that she had been out walking and saw someone pull up one of his signs and fling it away. So she followed him, and got closer, and saw him do it again. She got close enough to see who it was, and it was our opponent! She didn’t want to confront him, so she let him go, but, she told the mayor, she went back and put those signs back up!

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  23. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 5, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    For what it’s worth, y’all are reading the dark unstated underbelly of what I wrote for publication here.

    And yes, AMBs are almost necessarily white. There are angry single males of black and brown types, but the cultural norms for them are different, and honestly we don’t see that many of them in this county. I’ll leave that description to those closer to the issues involved.

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  24. Sherri said on August 5, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Nice, Jeff(tmmo). Similar to what my sponsor always reminded me, breathe! Actually, she was less nice about it, she’d say something like you’re making me feel like there’s no oxygen in the room and I can’t breathe, so would you take a breath already!

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  25. Sherri said on August 5, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Women make up almost half the law school graduates, and have for twenty years or so, though they still lag well behind at the higher levels and in certain areas of the law. Still, does it surprise anyone that there’s a need for the ABA to set national standards for professional behavior concerning sexism in the courtroom, or that’s there’s controversy around it?

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  26. Sherri said on August 5, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    He was well loved:

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  27. Danny said on August 5, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    I suspect that the average size of law firms spans from small to medium size business with less than 500 to 1000 full time employees. Usually businesses in this size range do not have particularly strong, well-staffed HR departments with developed training regimens to promote diversity, inclusion and work-place harassment prevention. So maybe it is not so surprising.

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  28. Deborah said on August 5, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Jeff, your comments have been inspiring today, making me think hard about what life is like for a lesser known segment of the population of our nation, at least lesser known to me. I’ve been trying to think of how it got this way, there seems to be a severe lack of good judgement in these populations. This devolution of good judgement has been happening for a number of decades, obviously. When, as you say great, great gramps picked up the shovel he wasn’t well educated or even well nourished but he had the good judgement to recognize that there was a better way out there and he could begin to make it happen. I get it that blaming others is way easier than action, but action prevails, isn’t that obvious? How does one re-instill good judgement? How do you re-instill hope that a better way is even possible? I know you work on these issues everyday and my hat is off to you. What a task.

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  29. brian stouder said on August 5, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Well, the girlfriend is a princess, so there’s that!

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  30. Julie Robinson said on August 5, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    That one hits a little too close to home since Dad also died leaving both a wife and a girlfriend, never having bothered with a divorce. Mom felt she deserved her widow status, while girlfriend wanted a loving companion shout-out. We managed to negotiate a simple listing of names with no descriptors, but at one point Mom left the house after threatening to drive her car into a concrete bridge. That was one VERY tense visitation/memorial service.

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  31. Peter said on August 5, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Hello friendly commenters: If you could let me know what is a good tonic water to get (instead of Canada Dry) I’d be much obliged because my dad and brother in law love them their vodka tonics, and I would like to oblige them with the good stuff.

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  32. Charlotte said on August 5, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Because I know he’s a favorite around here — Charlie Pierce on why the GOP deserves to die:

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  33. MichaelG said on August 5, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Schweppes? It’s what I use but if there’s a better altenative, I’m all ears.

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  34. Deborah said on August 5, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Those interested in pie crusts: I’m trying it again. This time I’ve got the advice of a Danish friend who lives in Abiquiu, I’ve tasted and seen her’s and they are exquisite, so here’s hoping. She said to avoid the ugly upper crust syndrome that’s all cracked and cater-whumpus I should, instead of forming a ball when I put it in the fridge to cool down for an hour, I should flatten it somewhat, so I did that. Then she said when I’m ready to roll it out I should not use wax paper, but use Saran-wrap type stuff instead which I will do. We are making a tomato corn pie for dinner tonight, I love those so I’m hoping it looks as good as it tastes this time. I’m in charge of the crust and Little Bird is doing the contents. Hopefully we’ll make a good team at it.

    We’re about to get a storm here, wind is really blowing, it’s all cloudy, thunder in the distance, Yay monsoon season.

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  35. Sherri said on August 5, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Um, Danny, any business of 15 or more employees is potentially subject to an EEOC complaint for a hostile work environment, so I seriously doubt that any law firm of that size doesn’t have an HR department and policy to prevent workplace discrimination. That article was about courtroom sexual harassment between opposing lawyers.

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  36. Jean S said on August 5, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Jeff, I’ve been thinking about your description of AMBs all day. Here in Orygun, they’re as white as can be, of course. What gets me is the inertia. That plus the tendency to blame everyone else….

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  37. Suzanne said on August 5, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Deborah, this is my go-to pie crust. All butter and tasty!Plus, it gives very explicit instructions which I like.

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  38. Charlotte said on August 5, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Deborah I use the one in Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio — he calls it the 321 pie crust for the ratio of flour to fat to water. It’s been pretty foolproof for me …
    (And yeah, a flattened disk is easier to roll out when it’s cold. I like parchment paper for rolling, but saran wrap works too … ).

    People are STILL calling women “honey” and “darling” in court?!? WTF?

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  39. alex said on August 5, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    Of all businesses, law firms employ people who already know better without having to be told by HR. The profession is still largely an old boys’ club and buying off the occasional sex harassment victim who complains is just part of the cost of doing business.

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  40. Sherri said on August 5, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    The DNC hack was inevitable and no big deal compared to the thing every computer security researcher I know fears: hacking the vote:

    I went to grad school with Andrew Appel, the Princeton professor in the article, and in an environment of smart people, he stood out. He also stood out as a hacker. Back in those days, at the beginning of the school year, the department would hold a programming contest. As a first year grad student, Appel won, but not by correctly solving the problem the fastest; rather he hacked the system to get the best time.

    Verified Voting, one of the organizations mentioned in the article, was founded by another friend of mine from grad school as well, David Dill. Both of these guys have been tirelessly working on the problems of electronic voting machines for years.

    The last time I had to relearn that I can’t discuss anything to do with politics with my parents was over electronic touch voting machines. My parents aren’t doing it anymore, but for quite a while, they worked elections. I found out that to save time, since they live out in the country, Dad would go into town and pick up the machines the night before the election, and they would sit in his truck overnight. I was horrified; these were basically laptops with touch-screen voting software on them. I tried to explain the security risks involved and what someone could do with just a few minutes of physical access to the machines. Instead I was told I didn’t know about election fraud because in the old days people used to drive around with liquor and go out to the other side of the tracks, so to speak, and load up people to go vote. I dropped it; they didn’t want to hear it.

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  41. Deborah said on August 5, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    My tomato corn pie actually doesn’t look half bad. So much better looking than others. I actually posted it on FB. I never do that.

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  42. brian stouder said on August 5, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Deborah, it sounds excellent!

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  43. Sherri said on August 5, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    The Khan family:

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  44. Jolene said on August 6, 2016 at 3:21 am

    Thanks for that link, Sherri. A couple more.

    On the experience of Muslims in the military:

    An op-ed by Captain Khan’s family in Iraq:

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  45. basset said on August 6, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Peter, The tonic we use comes in 4-packs of little longneck bottles- forget the brand but I will check later today.

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  46. adrianne said on August 6, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Sherri, that NYT story on the Khan family made me cry. What a remarkable family. Makes me all the more furious at the odious attacks on their patriotism coming from The Donald and his draft-dodging pals.

    We’re not out of the woods yet on the election, (although I wish it were tomorrow), but the idiotic narrative does seem to be turning in the direction of Trump, a Danger to the Republic.

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  47. ROGirl said on August 6, 2016 at 8:56 am

    I work for a small family-owned automotive supplier with 2 plants in Detroit. The confluence of race, class, immigration and opportunity couldn’t be stronger. Most of the unskilled, low wage workers are Mexican or black. Many of the Mexicans are undocumented, so they don’t have many options (the INS came through a while back). The work is demanding and the turnover is huge, although a number of the Mexicans have stayed for several years. There are more whites in the higher skill machine operator jobs, but people come and go from those jobs, too, and competition pulls people away.

    I think this situation is fairly typical for the industry. It’s complicated, there aren’t any easy answers. Despite the truly dysfunctional family I grew up in, I think about the opportunities that I have had, the fact that education was important. It’s very different for a lot of people.

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  48. MichaelG said on August 6, 2016 at 10:54 am

    ROGirl, without wanting to sound like a jerk, your comment that “competition pulls people away” is telling. Maybe if wages and benefits were improved a little there might be a tad less turn over.

    US team looked like a bunch of French sailors on leave.

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  49. beb said on August 6, 2016 at 10:58 am

    From time to time NN.c is blocked at work because it’s a “chat” site. Other blocked sites include gaming, gambling, hate, weapons, but also “personally hosted” sites like boingboing and “NewsfromME (Mark Evanier). So Friday I didin’t visit here till after work and was totally confused by references to AMB. And it wasn’t until today that I got around to reading the tail end of Thursday’s comments to find out what everyone meant. Ah — angry Men-boys. Naturally the first thing I thought was that need an club to get together in. Perhaps something like the National Angry Men-Boy Love Association: NAMBLA.

    Also this morning I was surprised to find TPM was referencing a column from the Detroit Free Press. First I wondered how I missed it because I always go to the Freep as part of my morning reading. But then their web-page is delightfully devoid of real news. The article TPM refers to is this:

    James O’Keefe, relentless Republican trickster tried to impersonate Brian Dickerson for the purpose of committing voter fraud. It didn’t work. O’Keefe narrowed skirted committing felony voter fraud. The Oakland County DA isn’t looking into the matter because it was too small a crime. (I thought #allcrimesmatter) Also Oakland is reliably Republican and they’re not going to harass one of their own.

    As Sherri@40 points out the real threat is hacking those electronic voting machines. In fact there have been challenges that these machines were hacked in 2004 and 2008, by the Republican party. The answerr to this is paper ballots, which are still used in England (I’m told) and quickly counted because the election committee aanticipates the number of counters needed in advance. The beauty if a paper ballot is that there is always a physical, savable, re-countable ballot. Our worship of technology, in this cass, is misplaced.

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  50. ROGirl said on August 6, 2016 at 11:07 am

    MichaelG, you are right, but that’s how the industry is these days. Entry level jobs just don’t pay a lot, people do move around to find a better situation, they take jobs where and when they can find them. The suppliers have to negotiate contracts with the OEMs (Ford, GM, Chrysler, etc.) in which the OEMs dictate the pricing, so some of this is driven by the contract terms.

    A lot of companies subsidize job-related classes and even degrees, but not all of them.

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  51. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 6, 2016 at 11:52 am

    We should ask Jeff Bezos for a quote to do online voting. What has accomplished with internet security is awfully impressive. I’d rather have him do it than it go through “bidding” by the party-in-power through states and counties. That’s how you get “lowest bidder” inside-dealing trainwrecks, tech-wise. We’re seeing it right now in Ohio with mandated education technology and state supervised bidding.

    Online voting, steep penalties for multiple voting: I’d vote for that.

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  52. Sherri said on August 6, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Online voting is a security disaster on many different levels. Jeff Bezos is not the hero who can save you. I do t have time to explain why right now, became I’m leaving for Ashland, but sometime this weekend I’ll try to get into it.

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  53. Deborah said on August 6, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    From the farmers market in Santa Fe this morning: roasted green chile (med hot), shishitos, squash blossoms, peaches, leafy greens. Looking forward to dinner tonight with grilled sausages and peaches, a salad with the greens and squash blossoms plus other vegs. I love this time of year in New Mexico.

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  54. Jerry said on August 6, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    beb@29 voting in the UK is on paper. Polls close at 10pm with a race to announce first by some constituencies. First result is expected soon after 11pm! Lots of planning and organisation required.

    I’m very dubious about electronic voting- too much control in too few hands with all the counting out of our sight.

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  55. Deborah said on August 6, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    We harvested the last of our lavender this afternoon and hung it up to dry inside. We got more than last year, this was the second harvest of the season. The place smells terrific.

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  56. basset said on August 6, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Peter, that’s Fever-Tree tonic water we’ve been using, from the liquor store instead of the grocery.

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  57. brian stouder said on August 6, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Well, as an old guy, let me say that I liked those massive, mechanical voting machines they used to have, where you really did “pull the lever” to close the curtain, and then pulled the various toggles for whoever you were voting for, and/or pulled the handle for a straight-ticket (you could then go back and switch specific votes in different races) – and then you threw the big lever the other way to open the curtain again – and cast your vote.

    At the end of the day, we (the polling place officials) would turn a big crank – which ran a roller over the various vote totalizers, and then remove the big paper (must have been something like 24″ x 48″, or thereabouts) with the results….imprinted with the numbers from lots of little mechanical totalizers.

    Any absentee ballots for the precinct would have been delivered earlier in the day, and would be manually added to the mechanical totals.

    Then the numbers were re-confirmed – in the presence of the Republican and Democratic polling place judges and so on – and everyone signed-off on the forms, which were taken downtown to be turned in.

    And indeed, there were various ways that things could possibly be tampered with. An old-timer told me about how a dime (or some such) could be placed (by anyone) on a particular candidate, and then he or she would not get any mechanical votes…

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  58. alex said on August 6, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    What the fuck are shishitos? Sounds like something that would make my poopootos hurhurto real babado.

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  59. Deborah said on August 6, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Ha ha Alex. Shishitos are chile peppers that are very mild. They’re smallish, you can grill them on skewers or sauté them, they are delicious. You just pop them in your mouth and pull off the stem. I had never heard of them until we had a presence in NM. You can get them in Chicago though, I’ve seen them at Whole Foods there.

    We ended up having to move our feast inside because there was a big storm. We had root beer floats for dessert which we had a craving for so decided to do it.

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  60. Sherri said on August 7, 2016 at 12:50 am

    Whew. Long drive. Safe in Ashland.

    So, online voting, and why it’s a bad idea. The biggest problem you want to guard against in election security is the undetectable fraud. That, the breach that changes the vote totals without a trace, without the voter knowing that her vote has been miscounted and without election officials even knowing the vote has been hacked. This can been done with electronic voting machines, but, and here’s the key point, you generally have to have physical access to the machines. That’s bad enough, but when you start putting the machines on the Internet, all bets are off.

    Let’s think about how elections are run in this country. States determine the rules, but generally counties implement those rules. We could hire a bunch of really smart people from Amazon (or Microsoft, or Google; Amazon isn’t any better or worse) to build a really great system, but no system is foolproof, and a bunch of fools from Hazzard County are going to run it. They’re not going to have any money for IT, and their elections head is going to pick the password “1234567”. Hackers are going to ba all over that.

    Okay, so you can limit what damage can spread from a county. The point is, it’s not just about designing and building a system, which is hard enough, it’s about the constant battle to keep it secure. Companies like Amazon et al spend enormous resources fighting off a steady stream of attacks every day. A state which runs 3 Or 4 elections a year is not going to spend the kind or resources it would take. Itts asymmetric; it’s cheaper and easier to break in than to secure against the intruders.

    Why? Because of people. People reuse passwords. There are insecure systems on the same network with systems intended to be secure, because it’s an old system and no one expected that. (That’s how the Traget breach happened, and it’s how the proof of concept car hacks happen.)

    Let’s also think about the voters. The voters would be the least secure part, and not because of intentional fraud. To really make my vote secure, you have to add inconvenience, and that’s not what we want to do with voting. For example, as noted, Amazon works hard at security. They store your password encrypted. But what if you forget that password? Oh, they’ll send an email with a reset. Okay, but what if you can’t access your email? You call them up, you answer some questions about yourself intended to identify you, and you’ll get your password reset. Because ultimately it’s more important to them to be able to sell you something than to be absolutely sure it’s you.

    You can turn on 2 factor authentication and never reuse passwords and use a password manager so that you use secure passwords, all of which I do, but most people don’t, and most people aren’t going to.

    Anything can be hacked. Security is about knowing that you’ve been hacked and limiting the damage. Online voting makes both of those hard.

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  61. Sherri said on August 7, 2016 at 1:49 am

    There’s no such thing as a protest vote:

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  62. adrianne said on August 7, 2016 at 9:07 am

    I’m with Brian – I love the old-fashioned voting machines, which we had in New York until 2 years ago. Now I have to mark a paper ballot by filling in the little circles, like the SAT, and feeding it into a machine. Not half as satisfying as pulling all those levers and then giving it a good crank!

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  63. Sherri said on August 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    I miss the old mechanical voting machines, too. I haven’t used one since I lived in Pittsburgh some 27 years ago, but they were so satisfying. We have the fill in the bubble ballots, but we don’t even get to feed it into the machine anymore since we went to vote by mail. More convenient, but I miss going to the precinct to vote.

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  64. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 7, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    That thunk when you threw the lever over and the curtain opened back up — it told you that something substantial had just been completed. I miss those machines, myself.

    Paper ballots and penciled ovals make plenty of sense to me. The current “electronic” ballots with the paper roll under the murky plastic window don’t leave me with a good feeling, hence my willingness — in comparison to those — to consider online versus more of that. But I’m more comfortable with the cards/sheets/ballots that are still there to be recounted, since (to sum up Sherri’s point, I think) stuff happens, and it’s people who make it happen.

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 7, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Lots of people walking around at the county fair here with Trump signs.

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  66. Deborah said on August 7, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Power is out all over Santa Fe and there’s a rumor that the whole state is out. Not sure if that’s true, but if it is it might take a while to get it back on.

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  67. basset said on August 7, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    Just noticed, Peter, the Fever-Tree mixer on the thread-opening photo. Good stuff.

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