No more drownings, if we can help it.

Just a quickie today: Had an early start and a late finish yesterday, and besides, Wednesday night is for “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu, so t.s. for you guys.

Speaking of which, that show is freaking my cheese right out. I generally don’t get swept up in dystopian fiction, but this adaptation is very very good and very very powerful. I don’t think I was all the way in until a flashback scene, to the time before Gilead, when one character remarks that soldiers are rounding people up, another says the army wouldn’t do that, and the first one says, “This is a different army.” I can’t be the only one who thought, So that’s what Erik Prince has been up to lately.

Anyway, there was a double drowning in the Metro this week — a toddler and his father in an apartment-complex pool. The boy’s tricycle was found in the water, too, and the theory is, the kid drove his bike into the pool, the father jumped in to save him, but neither could swim and neither made it out. The grim punch line: They drowned in five feet of water. The father could literally have stood up and probably gotten his nose and mouth into the air, and he certainly could have bobbed his way to shallower water.

The incident prompted me to do something I’ve been meaning to do for a while — donate $100 to Detroit Swims, the program run by the YMCA here to teach city children to swim. Most children of color cannot, and a $100 donation covers lessons for one kid to go from scaredy-cat to water-competent, including transportation and even a swimsuit. On impulse (and because I was on my second beer), I set up a Crowdrise account for it, posted it to my social media, and a few of you who follow me there contributed. Huzzah, we now have $400.

This is not a pitch for donations, although (koff) here’s the link. Give if you feel like it, or better yet, find a similar program in your own city and donate to that. The Ys do great work in this area, but they’re not the only ones. These tragedies shouldn’t happen, and I thank Sherri, Ann, Jolene, Kathy and others who pitched dollars into the kitty.

On to the day ahead! What fresh hell will it reveal on the Trump front? Oh yeah, this.

One final note: I did a lot of driving yesterday, and listened to the most recent Pod Save the World ‘cast. The guest was career diplomat Bill Burns, who explains clearly and calmly how modern diplomacy works, including back channels and when they are and aren’t appropriate. Highly recommended.

Later, all.

Posted at 8:46 am in Current events |

116 responses to “No more drownings, if we can help it.”

  1. Peter said on June 1, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Oh my gosh. I don’t think I’ve ever been the first to comment, and this is turning out to be a weighty responsibility.

    Best wishes for everyone! Sickness to Trump!

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  2. Lou Gravity said on June 1, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Here’s a link to an NPR article about pools and segregation.-

    And here’s a story from two weeks ago –

    There’s much more available about this -it’s no accident that “most children of color cannot swim.”

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  3. coozledad said on June 1, 2017 at 9:21 am

    This is a different army.

    Like Mark Walker’s phalanx of highway patrolmen, police and private bodyguards at his town hall? Trump’s personal army of ICE agents?
    When your elected officials are travelling openly with brownshirts, your democracy is over.

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  4. coozledad said on June 1, 2017 at 9:36 am

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  5. Sherri said on June 1, 2017 at 9:39 am

    I’m a not very good swimmer, and I made sure my daughter could swim well as a result. It can be amazing to me how oblivious middle class white people can be to the needs and lacks in minority populations, though. Once when I was on the program committee for our schools foundation evaluating grant proposals from schools, we had a proposal for after school swimming lessons at a nearby pool. We had lots of proposals for after school programs involving art and science and math, and the committee was all happy with those. But some of the committee members starting harrumphing about this one. Not academic! Not appropriate! Learn to swim some other way!

    Some of the rest of us pointed out that we lived in an area with water everywhere, that this was one of the schools with the highest minority and free and reduced lunch populations in the district, and life wasn’t that simple. We won the day, but never won those people over.

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  6. Suzanne said on June 1, 2017 at 9:42 am

    At this point, I simply do not understand how anyone can fail to see that there is some truth to the accusations of Russian ties to Trump, the election, and the GOP.
    I keep returning to Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts and his descriptions of the early years of Nazi control–the attacks on Jews that most people saw as isolated incidents, the outrageous things Hitler said that people called rhetoric. And then I get really scared. We are there and I have so many family members and friends who would question my sanity if I mention that fear.

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  7. Judybusy said on June 1, 2017 at 9:54 am

    I’ve got that ‘cast cued up, as well as the latest Pod Save the People. Elizabeth Warren was on the latest Pod Save America, and reminded us that many workers are not guaranteed 40 hours of work a week. Some have been fired for asking for more hours. Retail cuts hours based on how busy they are. I think it’s time for an updated Nickle and Dimed.

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  8. Julie Robinson said on June 1, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Yesterday was the sad anniversary of my 31 year old uncle drowning while on a fishing trip to Canada. He was running the family farm and had four children, the youngest not even a year old. They weren’t able to locate him for four days and the waiting was wretched. My grandparents never recovered–they had lost a daughter to cancer a few years earlier–and both died within three years. It was the beginning of the dissolution of the family and the proud farming tradition on the family land. All gone now.

    Sherri, like you, my own mom wasn’t a swimmer so she took us to swim lessons every single summer and today it’s my favorite way to exercise. But unlike your school, the one my kids went to recognized swimming as an important life skill, so during the winter quarter they bused the 5th-8th grades to the Y once a week for swim lessons. Our daughter even almost passed her lifeguard test the final year.

    In the Garden of the Beasts and The Handmaid’s Tale both have lessons for us today, if the right people would read them. Do those people read? The Handmaid’s Tale still has a long wait at our library and I wanted to reread it before I watched this adaptation. I’m next in the queue though!

    Speaking of libraries, it’s the first day for the summer reading program, a favorite of my childhood. This year our library has a program for adults. Think I’ll go sign up.

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  9. brian stouder said on June 1, 2017 at 10:24 am

    …and let me just say again – The Six, a book about the Mitford sisters (English aristocracy in the 1920’s and ’30’s) was equal-parts entertaining/terrifying/enlightening

    regarding how (nominally) “good” people tumble right into fascism and nazi-ism, and who never (ever) concede that they were wrong

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  10. Heather said on June 1, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I’m almost convinced we are already a de facto Russian state and just haven’t realized it yet.

    The Handmaid’s Tale is great and is also freaking me out. Just yesterday it was announced that T would roll back the requirement for employers to include birth control coverage–any employer, not just those with religious ties. On Twitter I noted that you couldn’t come up with a better plan for unplanned pregnancies (hmmm) and also that, duh, a lot of women use birth control for health reasons, including me. I’m 47, not going to get pregnant, but I take the pill to help prevent ovarian cancer, which killed my mother at 42.

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  11. Joe K said on June 1, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Can’t ever remember not being able to swim, always took lessons in the summer and spent lots of time at the Garrett Pool.
    Always thought it should be mandatory for schools to have a pool and you needed to be able to swim as a requirement for graduation.
    Pilot Joe

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  12. Dorothy said on June 1, 2017 at 10:33 am

    My son bought me The Handmaid’s Tale a week or so ago as a thank you for taking care of his baby girl (12 weeks old today!) recently when his wife went back to work. They treated me well and also bought me dinner one night, and the bonus was having the baby to myself for five days during the day! I look forward to reading it after I finish Lincoln at the Bardo (which I find pretty damn neat to be honest). I’m slow – I’m also hand quilting a table runner that’s due for a contest on 6/14, and of course this damn job gets in the way M-F, 8:30-4:30.

    One of my brother Joe’s best friends drowned in the Atlantic ocean a long time ago. In the 70’s, right in front of his wife and young son. Another friend was there with them on vacation, and this friend (Jim, but always known as “Craze”) tried mouth-to-mouth but Tommy was gone. Joe said Craze (he was nicknamed this waaay before this sad incident) was beyond despondent. Craze is now surrogate father to that guy’s son, who has kids of his own now.

    My kids and husband swim very well. Me, not so much. I can get by, but I’m not fond of being under water. I got a lot of ear infections one summer when going often with friends, so I kind of stopped going under water. I think if I needed to I would know what to do. But it’s been awhile. I love to swim for exercise, though. It’s my favorite thing when I can get over to the campus pool, or when we travel. Indoor pools are a favorite if we have time.

    I had no idea Trump could block Comey’s testimony next week. I pray fervently that won’t happen. I want to hear what he has to say. Anything that can move us closer to having Trumps suitcases sitting out on the sidewalk, waiting for the copter to whisk him away from Washington for good, will make me rapturous.

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  13. Deborah said on June 1, 2017 at 10:59 am

    I can just imagine the uproar if Trump tries to block Comey from testifying. If that happens and the Republicans don’t say anything, I’m going to explode.

    There was a horrible drowning a few years back, a Chicago family was in Fort Worth, TX for a Baptist Sunday school convo and a little girl fell in a fountain at the water gardens, her brother jumped in to try and save her, then the father jumped in, they all drowned. There was a faulty pump or something that made the fountain extra deep. My husband designed the Fort Worth convention center and he suggested a connection from the convention center to the water gardens close by. After the drowning he felt terrible. The designers of the water gardens were sued but the fault was determined to be the maintenance of the equipment for the fountain because it was supposed to be only 3′ deep and at the time of the drownings it was 9′ deep. If you’ve ever been to the water garden there it’s quite spectacular, water cascades down steps into the center of the fountain where the drownings occurred. There are other fountains around the gardens too. The water garden was designed by the well known architect Phillip Johnson who practiced well into his 90s.

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  14. Sherri said on June 1, 2017 at 11:17 am

    It’s next to impossible to get taxpayer money to build pools in schools. The people I was dealing with were balking at using donated money to pay for swimming lessons!

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  15. Suzanne said on June 1, 2017 at 11:32 am

    I don’t swim well at all. I took swim lessons in the summer when I was a kid but we had no place to swim, so I never could practice. My mom & dad both worked so there was no one to take us to the nearest public pool.
    We went to my aunt & uncle’s lake cottage occasionally in the summer and swam puttered around in the lake. It’s a miracle that no one drowned. Kids out on the lake, jumping off the raft which was in deep water, parents mostly on the shore, drinking and chatting. I don’t think anyone would have noticed for a while if one of us disappeared.
    It’s still a thing of wonderment to me. We swam in 30′ deep water with no lifeguard and no one paying much attention, but by golly, we were forbidden from even wading in ankle deep water for an hour after eating a light lunch. Cramps, you know. Sink like a stone to the bottom and drown.

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  16. Jeff Borden said on June 1, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Anyone hoping this foul administration or the oaf who sits atop it reads is probably being naive. This is from Jennifer Rubin, generally an annoying hard-right conservative but one who has found the Orange King impossible to support.

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  17. Mark P said on June 1, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    It is not unusual to see a story on our Atlanta news about someone drowning in one of the lakes around here. The victim often has a Hispanic name, but not always. And it’s not always a child.

    When my father was a kid, he and his friends swam all summer long in the river here in Rome. My brother and I never swam in the river — too much pollution in those days — but our father took us to the pool all the time in the summers. When my mother worked at a now-closed textile mill here, we could swim in a huge pool associated with the plant’s water treatment facility. The plant had its own treatment facility that drew water from the river near where my father used to swim. It pumped the clean water through the pool and into the plant continuously, so it was extremely clean and very cold. It was great. Of course it’s gone now, along with the textile company. Georgia Tech used to require that every graduate pass a drown-proofing class. I don’t think they do it any more. Of course everyone should know how to swim before reaching college age.

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  18. brian stouder said on June 1, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    My lovely wife now works for the Helen P Brown Natatorium, which is part of Fort Wayne Community Schools, and which is adjacent to my old high school, South Side. It is a world-class, Olympic-sized pool, and it hosts swim meets all the time, in addition to public availability and swim lessons and so on.

    Truly, it is exactly the right thing, in the right place (it’s just south of downtown, and therefore draws in city-dwellers), and at the right time. It was built about 30 years ago, and when it was still fairly new there was a drowning there. They then installed a state-of-the-art safety system (Poseidon? One of those Greek gods…!) and indeed, safety is A1A there, always.

    And indeed, one of my colleagues, when he heard that my wife worked there, proceeded to attack why FWCS needed to spend money on such a ridiculous, extraneous, extravagant indulgence…whereupon I dropped my chin a bit, and expressed my disagreement. But you’ll have that, eh?

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  19. brian stouder said on June 1, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I forgot the link!

    OK – bragging-mode now “Off”

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  20. coozledad said on June 1, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Accidentally posted this on previous thread:
    Putin is pretty much crowing that he took the US down. We lost to the Russians.

    Always remember who handed our superpower status away, while screaming “Support the troops!” Traitor Republican trash.

    Treason demands capital punishment.

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  21. Heather said on June 1, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    It’s also worth noting that saving someone from drowning is dangerous if you don’t know what to do–the drowning person panics and often pulls down the would-be rescuer. Maybe parents should also learn some basic techniques just in case. Of course if you see your child in the water, you’re going to jump in no matter what.

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  22. brian stouder said on June 1, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Treason demands capital punishment.

    Hell, given America’s track record with those who commit treason, we’ll probably name a US Army fort after the Donald

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  23. Jolene said on June 1, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Speaking of Putin, I just heard that he’s going to be interviewed by Megyn Kelly on her new Sunday evening show on NBC. Two show-offs at once.

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  24. Icarus said on June 1, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I suspect part of the drowning is also hitting ones head and becoming unconscious. Most of our high schools had pools and swimming is part of the P.E. rotation (which should be Pass/Fail, not graded for Christ’s sake). Is that just a big city thing? I’m also 30 years removed from HS so I don’t know if the more recently built ones don’t have them.

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  25. adrianne said on June 1, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Suzanne, I hear you on the Nazi parallels. Just recently rewatched Cabaret with the family. Chilling to see how the violence becomes normalized.

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  26. Jolene said on June 1, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Sherri, if schools won’t build pools, how do they field swim teams? Or is swimming not a school sport?

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  27. Jeff Borden said on June 1, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Megyn Kelly spent many years peddling Faux News bullshit –who can forget her insistence that Santa Claus is white, goddammit, during the annual War on Christmas idiocy– and got rich and famous doing it. She is not deserving of any kudos for leaving nor is NBC News for hiring her. She is an extremely attractive, telegenic woman. Period. I discern no great journalistic chops, no great writing skills, no incisive insights. And if the story at the end of this link is correct, she’s not very bright.

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  28. Peter said on June 1, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Our HS did not have a pool but the swim team used the one in a nearby park.

    In my teens I worked at a Boy Scout summer camp, and during the last week I would be switched to Aquatics to help out with the inner city kids who came up and had never swam.

    Some of those kids were so scared that the first day would involve sitting on the pier and just put your legs in the water and kick around.

    Maybe that’s why I was so angry reading the stories of towns that would fill in their pools instead of integrating them. And it wasn’t just the deep south – Cairo, Illinois filled in their pool as well (although you could argue that Cairo is pretty far south in more ways than one).

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  29. Deborah said on June 1, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    I had my 6 wk post-op check up this morning, even though it’s only been 5 wks plus 2 days, today was one of only three days I could fit in with my surgeon because of his schedule and my travel schedule for the summer. Everything is going very well, to the point that they say I don’t even need to make the twelve week normal post-op check-up since I’ll probably be in NM then and I’m doing so well (yes!). They have me down for physical therapy and one of the options is aquatic but I’ll probably not go for that option because I’m supposed to do the exercises they teach me every day for 30 mins a day. I certainly won’t have access to a pool every day at our cabin in Abiquiu (plus I’m not a water person even though I grew up in Miami, FL). I can get the PT wherever I am but I’m trying to get at least one session at the Rehabilitation Institute here in Chicago before I leave for NM because it has such a stellar reputation (also I went there pre-surgery and they were fantastic) and from what I’ve gone through with LB, Santa Fe doesn’t have the greatest healthcare options available.

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  30. Deborah said on June 1, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    I’m waiting for the climate change pronouncement by Trump, every indication is that he will pull us out, but this is his reality TV method of making everyone hang on his every utterance. Why am I putting myself through this?

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  31. coozledad said on June 1, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    While everyone was shitting their pants over Cathy Griffin, Donald Trump waved his dick in the planet’s face.

    Republicans are the vilest, and maybe one day we can use that prison industrial complex to rid the world of them.

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  32. Deborah said on June 1, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Well, he said it. Trump is a raging asshole. We are fucked.

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  33. coozledad said on June 1, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    It’s not just Trump. It’s his legion of uneducated trash. It’s bitter old white shit standing on the edge of the grave, getting its last kicks in at the living. It’s the senile, the racist and the fundamentally immoral- the assgrabbing old goblins who hijacked billions of dollars worth of healthcare for themselves but would deny it to others.

    If you want a picture of every Republican, and I do mean every goddamn one of that lot of garbage, think of the Portland murderer exercising his privilege as a bloated white. Think of him getting off.

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  34. Deborah said on June 1, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    I agree, Coozledad, every Republican who stands there with their mouth shut, is just as much an asshole. What is wrong with this country?

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  35. Sherri said on June 1, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Jolene, there are high school swim and dive teams. They use public pools for the most part. King County operates several aquatic centers. Our school district does still have one pool in a high school, but it’s pretty old. A bond a couple of years ago that would have included refurbishing it failed. The most recent bond that will update that high school does not include money for doing anything with the pool. The district also tried to partner with the city of Kirkland (where the school is located) to do something, but nothing came of that. Separately, Kirkland tried to pass a taxing authority to build a pool, and that failed (Kirkland already operates one of the few outdoor pools in the area.)

    Redmond High School uses the Redmond Pool, which is truly on its last legs. The city is in the process of gathering public input and working on a proposal about what to do about the pool, the community center (our current one is also old, and owned by the school district, who needs it back), the teen center (which needs a lot of work), and the senior center. What should those look like in the future? Are they separate facilities? Are they one big facility? (Land becomes an issue then.) Do we want/need separate teen and senior centers? Then there will be the issue of paying for them. There are a number of people I’ve talked to who are passionately in favor of building an aquatic center. There are also a number of people who don’t see the need; there’s always Golds’ Gym or the Pro Club, they think. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that not everyone can afford a membership to a gym or gets a Microsoft discount. (The nearest Y is in Bellevue, and not that close.)

    We do have a beach on the lake that is open for swimming with lifeguards in the summer, but June isn’t summer up here, usually. There’s a reason our school year doesn’t end until mid-June or later, and doesn’t begin until after Labor Day.

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  36. 4dbirds said on June 1, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Heather, my 26 year old daughter is on birth control because she never went into puberty and the pills are essentially hormone replacement therapy for her. Needless to say, I hate Republicans and especially Trump.

    I don’t think I know anybody who drowned. We all swam as kids. The pool is where our mother’s sent us during the summer.

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  37. Peter said on June 1, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Cooz, Deborah, you need to put this in perspective.

    At the rate Trump is going we’re going to be dropping the big one any day now, and that’ll screw the environment a heck of a lot more than reneging on this deal would.

    See? Silver lining.

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  38. coozledad said on June 1, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Peter; The Russians won’t let that little shit drop the big one before the oligarchs grab this country by the pussy and shake it down. Trump’s fellow American criminals are just amateurs. They’re about to learn how the Russian mob kills superfluous white fucks.

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  39. Peter said on June 1, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Oh Cooz, while what you say is very believable, I think our Cheeto Mussolini is going to channel his inner Jack D. Ripper.

    If he does, who would be Major King Kong riding the top of the bomb? Spicy? Pencey? Kushie?

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  40. Deborah said on June 1, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Peter, Kushie, I like that.

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  41. Jakash said on June 1, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Tweet from Josh Gondelman:

    “Today carbon dioxide truly became president.”

    Reply from Katie P.:

    “It moved on those ice caps like a bitch.”

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  42. Jakash said on June 1, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    The U. S., Syria and Nicaragua, eh? The Axis of Medieval.

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  43. Jolene said on June 1, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    The U. S., Syria and Nicaragua, eh? The Axis of Medieval.

    Not only that, but Nicaragua stood outside the agreement because they didn’t feel it was aggressive enough in addressing climate change. So, it’s us and Syria. Great company.

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  44. kayak woman said on June 1, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    I’m not sure if was my imagination or not but it seemed like there was a steady stream of drownings on Lake Michigan last summer, one teenager after another. All bodies of water of any size and form need to be taken seriously but, c’mon, the great lakes? Swimming on a beach where there is no lifeguard and the water is well over your head only a few feet off shore in a lot of places? And riptides or undertows? Growing up spending summers on a great lake, my cousins and I were taught strict rules and also watched like hawks at all times — and our backwater beach doesn’t get over your head until after the second sandbar and has no riptides or undertows. “Don’t go past the second sand bar!” We were “privileged” kids who were taught to swim and could *always* get one of our parents to “lifeguard” us. Hope I am not sounding judgmental because that’s not my intent. These are all tragic accidents and all our children (and their parents) need to learn to swim as well as basic water and boating safety rules. Okay, rant over, sad about the double drowning!

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  45. kayak woman said on June 1, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    P.S. Forgot to mention that sometimes our parent lifeguards were wearing winter jackets as we swam. Not always warm in the summer up there but most of us swam every day anyway.

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  46. Deborah said on June 1, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Kayak woman, when we were in northern WI over the weekend I was surprised how many kids were in the frigid lake water. We were 50 miles south of Lake Superior. It was cold.

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  47. Colleen said on June 1, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    My mom doesn’t swim well…she never really learned until college…so she made sure my sister and I toom lessons. We both swim like fish now, and I am grateful for the lessons.

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  48. Mar P said on June 1, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    It doesn’t matter what Trump does regarding the climate change pact. The US doesn’t matter any more; we’re irrelevant. Trump says he will go back into the pact after he negotiates better terms for the US. The rest of the world is going to laugh at him. What do we have to offer anyone? They are better off without us, since the US always tries to water down climate agreements anyway. Now that the climate change denialists are out of the game, maybe the rest of the world can come up with serious proposals for mitigating climate change. We can watch from the sidelines as China becomes the biggest manufacturer of solar panels and we’re left trying to sell coal to a world that doesn’t want it any more.

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  49. kayak woman said on June 1, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Deborah, I neglected to say that “our” lake is Lake Superior (technically the Upper St. Mary’s River but close enough). I still “swim” there but these days “swimming” for me equals walking out and diving under a few times to cool down. When I was younger (teens and early 20s), we didn’t have indoor plumbing and if I wanted to bathe (which I always have done *every* day), it had to be in the lake. If there was any significant wave action out there, I would ask my mom to come down just in case anything weird happened. She would *always* oblige.

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  50. David C. said on June 1, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    I took swimming lessons. It didn’t take very well. I would call my swimming barely adequate. I won’t drown, but I won’t win medals for my technique.

    I hope they lock the Donald up where he can see the waves lap at Mar-a-Lago and finally sink under the waves.

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  51. Jolene said on June 1, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Check out who Trump is consulting about his policy plans.

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  52. Rana said on June 1, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    This scared the hell out of me the first time I read it, and it still does. Very useful information:

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  53. Connie said on June 2, 2017 at 7:35 am

    I grew up not so far from Lake Michigan and our city parks dept made sure we had bus rides to other area pools for swimming lessons. My high school tried to pass a bond issue to expand the school including a pool. I have never forgotten the letter to the editor that said “I learned to swim in a ditch and so can they.”

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  54. Linda said on June 2, 2017 at 7:48 am

    In Toledo, the Josh Project is working to teach young people of color to swim after one lady lost he son to drowning. They do great work.

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  55. Suzanne said on June 2, 2017 at 8:26 am

    This is getting old. Another day that I get up, listen to the news, check Facebook & Twitter, and think how the current administration has been way worse than I imagined. Way worse.

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  56. basset said on June 2, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Exactly. You could not make this shit up.

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  57. coozledad said on June 2, 2017 at 8:42 am

    And yet, Americans still eat Republican shit like little puppy dogs. It’s like there’s a sizable portion of the population who would stick their head up Ted Nugent’s draft dodger ass.

    It’s better to start wrapping your head around the idea that people from the party of Trump are diseased, and a quarantine is long overdue.

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  58. Suzanne said on June 2, 2017 at 9:14 am

    I just heard a GOP congressman from (wait for it) WV claim the withdrawal from the Paris agreement proves that the war on coal is over. Did not know there was a war on coal. He also said we just need to figure out how to burn coal more cleanly and that climate change is something to keep our eyes on but it isn’t really a problem. So in a backhanded way, he even admits that the environment is an issue. But gotta keep the coal industry happy.

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  59. Sherri said on June 2, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Suzanne, Joe Manchin, the Dem Senator from WV, said yesterday that the Paris accord did not strike the right balance between jobs and the environment. I know Manchineel is just barely a Dem, but still, the pollution that coal causes evidently extends to the brain.

    If people would stop pretending coal jobs could be brought back, maybe some some attention could be paid to attacking problems that can be helped.

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  60. Danny said on June 2, 2017 at 10:43 am

    I’m a big clean energy honk and I fail to see what if anything Trump thought he accomplished by pulling out of a non-binding agreement that was just the first step to improvement. Like with ACA, we should fix it, not scrap it.

    And renewable energy jobs are good jobs. And I’m always encouraged by the diversity I see within that sector of the energy biz. Lots of young people and lots of women in key roles. It’s refreshing.

    And whenever I have a cinvesatiin with someone who trots out the meme that renewables need subsidies, I akways point out that if they think oil and gas doesn’t get subsidized, then they don’t know why the US has been in repeated military adventures in the Middle East. It ain’t because they export Filbert nuts.

    Well at least the swimming lessons will come in handy as the oceans rise.

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  61. Sherri said on June 2, 2017 at 10:51 am

    In completely off-topic news, I found a dress and shoes for my awards banquet! My feet will only hate me for a day or so after, not so much for the heel (only 2 1/2 in), but the pointy toes.

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  62. Jakash said on June 2, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Am I correct in assuming that a “cinvesatiin” is when folks get together to shoot the shit about covfefe, Danny? ; )

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  63. brian stouder said on June 2, 2017 at 11:19 am

    It’s all about symbolism; DT is a one-trick pony, and his trick is making visceral appeals to his base, period.

    He doesn’t do ‘governing’; presidents hire bespecteled geeks to do the actual – you know – work of governing, while presidents and other Chief Executive Officers regale each other about chocolate cake (or whatever) – and FIRE any of those bastards who make them have to cut into their ‘me-time’.

    Note to DT: yes – it’s nice to hang out in the White House (despite that you probably want to rent it out, or sell it to those nice Russians, or Flynn’s Turks); but you do get ALL the blame for anything that goes sideways, while you’re in office. You get that, right?

    Gutting the EPA, and whacking the NOAA, and trashing international agreements and casting aspersions at our allies and friends…all of these actions WILL be cited as events continue to unfold, for better or worse. Yes, you’ll get undeserved credit when things go right (unemployment went down! Woo Hoo!!) and undeserved blame when things go sideways (ahh hell! A Chinese plane clipped a Navy weather plane)

    This morning on Morning Joe, Scarborough kept referring to “President Bannon” – as he thinks that unshaven wife-beater is setting the agenda and calling the shots….and he makes a good point.

    I wonder if we can impeach the guy for simply NOT doing his job? – even leaving aside that you can’t throw a dead cat in his cabinet room, and not a foreign agent – including the president himself! (It would be interesting to see Senator Schumer say “Mr President, you’re fired!” right after the Senate convicts DT)

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  64. Julie Robinson said on June 2, 2017 at 11:26 am

    And the unemployment numbers only went down because so many people left the workforce; that is, they gave up looking for jobs.

    Sherri, you’ll have to post a pic of yourself in all your splendor at the banquet.

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  65. brian stouder said on June 2, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Sherri – what Julie said!

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  66. Deborah said on June 2, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Sherri, I bought a pair of very flat but dressy sandals yesterday. I wasn’t planning on bringing any dressy shoes to the family get together in Charlotte this weekend, then I found out that my mother-in-law bought herself a whole new dressy outfit for the big dinner event. Since I have to wear yoga pants because I still can’t have much of a waistband because of my back issue, I figured the least I could do was wear some dressier shoes for that one event to show some respect to my 98 year old m-i-l. They’ll come in handy other times too, and I got them on sale at Bloomingdales.

    We leave for the airport in about a half hour, ugh, I hate travel days.

    President Bannon! God save us.

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  67. brian stouder said on June 2, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Deborah – here’s wishing you a pleasant voyage, and cooperative joints and muscles.

    Heck – if you’d have gone to Charlotte a week ago, you could’ve gone to the speedway and watched the Coca-Cola 600 stock car race….which DID come to an end, yes?

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  68. coozledad said on June 2, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Fifteen years hard labor for every damn one of them.

    Or placed in an ICBM and lobbed up Russia’s asshole. Traitor filth.

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  69. Jolene said on June 2, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Fifteen years hard labor for every damn one of them.

    I hate all these people with the heat of a thousand suns.

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  70. alex said on June 2, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Here’s a real estate listing that shows just how affordable it is to live in a shithole like Fort Wayne. It’s also a nice glimpse into the decadent lifestyle of a right-wing douchebag charter school owner who went broke because of gross incompetence, which is quite a considerable feat in that business.

    For your viewing pleasure:

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  71. Jakash said on June 2, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    This is quite the lengthy Twitter-thread, but he ain’t wrong:

    44/ So, with all this in mind, tell me why the fuck there are men in media and liberal politics blasting Hillary even now. Why?
    45/ Could it be—and hey, this is just a shot in the dark—that maybe, just maybe, sexism is driving this shitty narrative?
    46/ Could it be that we accept this obviously ridiculous analysis that Hillary was bad at campaigning because… we hate empowered women?
    47/ Could it be that Hillary’s flaws are cartoonishly magnified and override all sensible discussion because… America is a sexist country?
    48/ I don’t mind critiques of Hillary. I have my own to offer. What I mind is the double standard of critiquing her but not male peers.

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  72. brian stouder said on June 2, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Jackash – a great link, indeed. HRC has played by all the rules; took a dignified, low profile in the post-election period, and has been remarkably graceful, for a person who won 65,844,954 votes (48.2%) to her opponent’s 62,979,879.

    Ol DT would work himself up, with spittle on his tele-prompters, darkly intoning that we have a “rigged system…RIGGED…totally rigged” – right up ’til he won the White House while his opponent earned almost 3 million more votes than he did.

    The bunnies and prairie dogs in Colorado and Wyoming and South Dakota have more presidential political pull than a voter in San Francisco, California…but we digress.

    Leaving that aside – Alex’s link is pretty marvelous. The young folks and I will often ‘take the long way home’, meandering around West Central Fort Wayne as we head to wherever (we live in West Fort Wayne, a few blocks north of the University of St Francis, and their centerpiece Bass Mansion, which is mentioned in the ad). Our town is old enough that there are some truly astounding bits of architecture scattered throughout where old Fort Wayne

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  73. Jolene said on June 2, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Wow, alex, that is some house for the money. If you’ve been paying attention to the photos purchased by the Obamas, the Trump/Kushners, Kellyanne Conway and others, you know that’d be a several million dollar property in DC.

    Here are the comps in my neighborhood.

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  74. Suzanne said on June 2, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Who lived in that house, Alex? I am fairly certain that years ago it was a local doctor.
    I remember driving past a year or two ago, and it obviously was uninhabited. The lawn and flower beds were unkempt and all the blinds drawn. But seriously, those lions!!

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  75. Julie Robinson said on June 2, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    He’s the guy that made a killing selling his company, then went bankrupt with his next one. But in the interim he got quite a head for power–bought his wife a seat on the Philharmonic Board, tried to buy himself a mayor (less effective there and some convictions followed), set up a huge charter school that managed to siphon hundreds of thousands of dollars from education taxes to REITS, etc, etc, etc. He also bought the house on Forest Park and put up those ridiculous lions. When we drove past at Christmastime my mom saw them and started laughing hysterically.

    No idea where he is now.

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  76. Charlotte said on June 2, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Which Jeff is the pastor/social services person on the thread? (Sorry for forgetting) — this is pretty harrowing out of the WaPo — multi-generational households surviving on disability. Which seems to be functioning as a basic income in many places:

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  77. Jolene said on June 2, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    It’s Jeff(tmmo), Charlotte. I saw that story too. It’s an awful situation. I can’t even imagine where to begin with such a family. If I had the authority, I think I’d try to find better parents for the kids, ensure a modest income and medical care for the two women, and advise a long-acting contraceptive for the woman who is still of childbearing age.

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  78. Julie Robinson said on June 2, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Forgot to add that when the charters had to close because of low test scores, they had run up all kinds of debts, which the state of Indiana forgave. Because it forgives charter schools. What a deal.

    I read that Wapo article too, and it sounded like the people who come to our church on Wednesday nights when we have a free community meal. We also give out a limited number of food vouchers for the mega food bank, and a few bus passes. The guy who does the interviews says we’re just putting on bandaids, that each person could use a full time social worker for a couple of years to make them productive members of society. And that’s for the ones who want it, and are capable.

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  79. Sherri said on June 2, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    And the comps in Redmond:

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  80. Charlotte said on June 2, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    We have a trophic layer of the Livingston population that could be out of that article. The guys I bought firewood from (until they egregiously ripped me off last fall with a load of rotten wood) could fit right in — living in the little house they inherited from their folks, who were railroaders. One dropped out of school in 8th grade, and is barely functional (but sweet). His brother more competent but has been gone most of the year — back in jail I figure. Cops are there regularly. Doors were off the other day. Someone’s a registered sex offender. There are teenage boys living there sometimes. House is trashed, and a trailer parked in the yard. Firewood seems to be the only source of income since I don’t think they’re competent enough to be dealing drugs (the methy folks who moved in across the street, different story). A whole layer of folks whose grandparents worked for the railroad when there were jobs you could get without many skills — those have been gone since 84. These are not people who can work in tourism, or who even have the skills to do plumbing, electric, auto repair, or even work carpentry crews — because they don’t show up. But you know, bootstraps —

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  81. Danny said on June 2, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    Charlotte, I read your post and Alvin Lee and Ten Years After’s song came to mind (I’d Live to Change the World). Man, this has been a long week for only being a four-day one.

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  82. Sherri said on June 2, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    Back when I was a kid and we lived in a subdivision out of town (instead of way out of town in the sticks), a family moved in down the street. They got the down payment to buy the house when one of their kids drowned in a culvert and they sued someone, I don’t remember who. They lasted about a year or two, I believe, before they lost the house. One of our neighbors bought the house in the foreclosure, and we helped clean the place. It was like a Superfund site. There was dog poop everywhere, the kitchens and bathrooms were filthy, the carpets were trashed, and every inch of the place just reeked.

    The experience of having that family in the neighborhood probably did ease things when a black family moved into the neighborhood a few years later, though.

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  83. Danny said on June 2, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Love not Live. The in my post. Damn autocorrect.

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  84. basset said on June 2, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    Saw an old gray-headed guy in a Ten Years After t-shirt as we were both going into a restaurant tonight . Here in Nashville you never know if tht means he’s a fan or was actually in the band.

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  85. alex said on June 2, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    The $700K comps in Alexandria and Redmond are like the $80-$90K shit around here. Of course there are tradeoffs. You have to live amongst bible-thumping ignoramus shitheads.

    In these parts, even the creme de la creme who live in $30M houses and wouldn’t shake hands with someone in a $700K hovel are bible-thumping ignoramus shitheads. To wit:

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  86. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 2, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Where to start on that WaPo Missouri story about the ways disability payments function today.

    There’s “disability” and there’s “inability,” just as there’s anti-social and the folks I think of as asocial. We’ve generated a culture where the formerly work-able clueless and limited could still find a job, a decent income, and another job after they stumble their way out of the last one. In the 50s and 60s in this town you could go from Wehrle Stove to Continental Can to Holophane to Kaiser Aluminum to Rockwell to FyrRepel to Owens to Dow. Five years average at each, and you could then retire into your paid for bungalow and be a Papaw or Meemaw.

    Now if you are unable to comfortably manage a computer screen and a user interface, if you have a tendency to the occasional eruption of profanity at a boss, if you have lapses at the end of the month into a weekend binge that goes four or five days occasionally, you are toast. If you piss the line on this month’s test, if you take a swing at the foreman, if you say to an office staffer “I’d like me a piece of that, hey” — let alone if actual medical issues cause you to miss two days within the first nine months temp-to-hire, you are unemployed and you become de facto as unemployable as a person with jail time, and if you have state prison paper on you, you’re french toast with sprinkles and syrup. Stick a fork in you.

    There’s no semi-optimal life out there for the marginally de-competent. If you IQ test below 85, we have services and legal protections and supportive workshops and employment settings for you. If you have a degree and a clean record, you can move into the nervous certainties of today’s uneasy middle class. But if you have no high school degree, or even barely one, and a couple of bad endings in the workplace because you just can’t resist the temptation to tell off an officious supervisor or have the impulse control of a puppy, you can find it nearly impossible to get a job that heads to full time in any feasible time frame, benefits are a fantasy, and public supports are the only solid anyone will do you.

    Yes, parents game me and my colleagues in the schools and the courts all the time to get their kids a diagnosis, and get angry when we deny that their child is ADHD or autistic. They know neighbors who get that extra $135 a month or more that makes all the difference. And yes, assessment teams in schools and clinical committees in community collaborative have anguished conversations about what to do with Jimmy, who really is improving in his reading and is ready for a return to mainstreaming . . . but mom or grandma will literally come apart financially if we push too hard for a result of “Jimmy is fine, he’s just struggling to get C’s, and there’s a path forward for him that’s not in the special needs program.” So do we enable, facilitate, support the assertion of dysfunction in order to maintain the income stream? Oh yes, we talk about this all the time.

    TANF goes only so far, SSI is a long complicated piece of Kabuki theatre even if you lose a limb, and Medicaid for the kids is tricky if mom’s boyfriend wants to lay low because he owes $33,000 in Kentucky for child support. So disability for mom, and for mom through the kids, becomes a path forward for her, even if it means a ball-and-chain for the child, which they may do better without, but if foster care is 30 days away if mom loses the extra income, are they really going to do better? So you write “child needs services.” You recommend “family conferencing” following the third call to 911 by Mom because the kids won’t come in at night when she yells. You give information about how to plan for the second SSI filing as you complete the process for the first, because no one gets disability the first time, anyhow.

    Could they work? Sure. If there was a job where someone with poor interpersonal skills and erratic work habits could make a decent living showing up 4 out of 5 days, with kids who do, in fact, have ear infections and odd skin diseases and the occasional bout of flu let alone food poisoning, and who doesn’t have a chance of earning the “next stage” award in the HR program at TechCorp, Inc. or the ability to keep physically moving 6.5 of 8 hours at the vast new Amazon warehouse 15 miles away, let alone the skills to keep a crap car consistently working to get them there and back without missing a day in the first 30 or more than two in the first 90. They are crude, charming but abrasive, canny but not bright when it comes to working out someone else’s needs, and yes, they expect someone to help them in a pinch and yet they expect nothing but a slap in the face from life, all at the same time. Can you find that person a job? I have repeatedly, but they rarely last. A bad day, a day with a bad back, a bad attitude by the boss or a boring day and a text at the wrong time . . . and I can’t find them a third job this month, which means eviction notices next month.

    It’s not a huge population, but it’s a consistent 5 to 10% of our community, and if there’s a point to this sad recitation, it’s that folks like this aren’t a creation of our modern era, they’re a new casualty of this modern workplace. They used to get along by getting by, and could; now they can’t get anywhere without a handout because of the unforgiving and non-negotiable basis of the HR world. Then they drop into the dark economy while trying to maintain the official files with Metro Housing and Medicaid and the school district Special Services and their TANF case worker. Which ironically only increases the dependence we say politically we’re trying to avoid.

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  87. LAMary said on June 2, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    I think I may have told this story before. My ex and I saved someone from drowning once. There can be fierce cross currents at some beaches. It was late in the day and my ex and I had agreed to meet at the beach after work and eat some junk food for supper. We saw a woman wading and suddenly she dropped. There’s a steep drop off in places at this beach. She was being pulled out and sideways by the current and she was panicky and occasionally her head was going under. Without a word the ex and I kicked off our shoes and jumped in and brought her in. She was exhausted. Nobody said much more than “are you ok” and “thank you.” It was a weird feeling.

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  88. Jolene said on June 2, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Some entertainment for the music lovers among you:

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  89. susan said on June 2, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    jolene @ 88 – That’s wonderful! Thanks. Randy Rainbow’s “Covfefe” is swell, too.

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  90. Sherri said on June 3, 2017 at 12:41 am

    We’ve got good old-fashioned home brew terrorism going on in this country, but the trump administration wants to take an immoral and unconstitutional Muslim ban to SCOTUS because it pisses off and screws over all the right people.

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  91. Sherri said on June 3, 2017 at 12:47 am

    “As a Christian, I feel that it’s my job to help offer a counternarrative,” Parker writes. “That God gave every woman gifts, and the agency to realize those gifts, and that nothing about choosing to terminate a pregnancy or to delay childbearing puts a woman outside of God’s love.

    “… No God I believe in would judge this woman for wanting to be the best version of herself.”

    A Christian abortion provider who travels to provide services in areas where he is needed:

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  92. basset said on June 3, 2017 at 5:21 am

    Well said, JeffTMMO. Is there any bright spot in the cloud, any way to turn some of that situation around?

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  93. Suzanne said on June 3, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Jeff@86, well said. I worked for a time with mostly low income people and you eloquently stated what I saw. Most of the people weren’t bad people and they wanted to work, but they really didn’t know what that entailed. Many were of limited intellectual ability; several, to be blunt, were dumb as a box of rocks, and I could not see how they were employable unless employers were willing to work with them, mentor them, and give them a pass when they messed up. Employers are not willing for the most part. They had very limited computer skills. Yes, most had smart phones, but did not know how to open a Word document or how to save it. Most had terrible social skills.

    So what do we, as a society, do with these people? Some, I truly believe, would say to let them starve. I am not willing to do that.

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  94. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 3, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Teaching “soft skills” gets a fair amount of mockery on the right, and it can be done in an unfortunate, condescending manner, but Suzanne, you put your finger on it when you said most minimal income folks have smart phones, but can’t save a Word doc — they know survival skills, and are remarkably adept at them, but struggle with living skills. Grocery lists, planning the weekend, getting ready for work on time. And chaos breeds chaos, so the one “organized” family member (there’s always one, sometimes it’s the twelve year old girl) is shoveling sand uphill against grandma’s nearly-but-not-clinical manic phases, the cousin who moved in “for a few days” last month who walks in at 3 am and starts playing Wii with the sound up, and the older brother who wore your Arby’s uniform shirt out the door this morning because it was there and looked clean.

    My progressive clergy friends are all very big on the concept of “universal basic income.” I try to ask myself if it’s just residual social conservatism, but I really do worry about the unintended consequences that settle in under such a plan. With extended families in West Virginia where I served six years before coming back to my little patch of heaven here in Ohio, I saw how striving young family members would be yanked out of college, pulled back down into the frog bucket, because up Henderson’s Hollow, that tumbledown house and three trailers ranged around the level spot at the end of the lane, the basic economy was tied to grandma’s Social Security and pension, Tammy Beth’s SSI, and Brother Bob’s disability . . . so Horace’s 30 hours a week at the Spee-dee-mart was more important to the family than his finishing at Fairmont State, and grandma would tell him so. Proponents of universal basic income say it’s harsh and judgmental to assume that people would choose near-poverty and not working over continuing to work and achieve while having a secure guaranteed safety net, and I’d love to think so . . . but I can’t get there. Yet.

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  95. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 3, 2017 at 7:56 am

    My conservative friends in this area are happy to join the Trumpian clamor to decry the low percentages on “work related activity” in our TANF/PRC cash assistance programs, and quote the latest right-wing website blurbs about the “ridiculous activities that count” as work-related, such as soft skills classes and parenting programs. Child care support is still not what it could be for people trying to get into the work force, but the biggest problem is that the bar has been moved for what it means to be a low-end, entry-level, basic worker. By which I mean a job with a company that issues W-2s and has any benefits at all, even if it takes a year to get them. There are lots of McJobs, which around here mean cash only, throwing pieces of tile into the truck or working crew on tree removal or cleaning houses, etc.

    For what I would call an “actual job,” the bar has risen in that you can’t even test dirty for weed or alcohol (how many of my friends’ dads in the 60s and 70s would have survived the Studebaker plant or US Steel mills testing Monday morning for BAL?), you can’t miss more than 2 days in the first 9 months, and you have to be able to keep up with a steady physical pace of activity, intermittently interacting with a non-user-friendly data kiosk? It is exactly like the change in high school graduation rates alongside of grad requirement changes: we’re trying to graduate nearly twice as many kids as we did a generation ago, increasing academic and technological expectations as we mandate those 90 & 95% attendance figures. And no one wants to talk about the fact that pushing your attendance and graduation rates up past 80% means you are now asking high schools to engage with mental and social challenges they used to just walk away from — “Charley? He just needs to join the Army, not take calculus.” Now, Charley can’t join the Army without a high school diploma, and if he can’t manage to handle the technology, he comes home in six months with a general discharge.

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  96. coozledad said on June 3, 2017 at 8:14 am

    If you believe in nothing, honey, it believes in you…

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  97. Deborah said on June 3, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Pertaining to Jeff tmmo, not the definitive explanation obviously, but my perspective from personal experience:

    LB was diagnosed with among other things to have a deficiency in executive function because of her neurological condition, NF. This diagnosis was determined by a neurological psychologist when she was a young adult.

    Info from various sources:

    Executive functions consist of several mental skills that help the brain organize and act on information. These skills enable people to plan, organize, remember things, prioritize, pay attention and get started on tasks. They also help people use information and experiences from the past to solve current problems.

    Interesting fact:

    Certain genes have been identified with a clear correlation to executive dysfunction and related psychopathologies… the heritability of executive functions is among the highest of any psychological trait.

    So basically, I think there are lots of people out there for whatever reason, be it poverty, genetics or some combo of those conditions, injury, disease etc, are trying to cope undiagnosed in the world. They are at a great disadvantage and are often discriminated against. It’s an invisible condition physically, very hard to pin point without proper diagnostics.

    Here’s more info if you are so inclined to find out more about it

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  98. coozledad said on June 3, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Whoa! Huge Trump Rally. There must be about fifty pounds of shit in those shorts!

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  99. Sherri said on June 3, 2017 at 11:24 am

    BTW, a couple of Republicans in the state legislature have taken time out from their arduous non-progress on education funding in the second special session to introduce a bill to privatize The Evergreen State College, the College shut down by threats this week, because it’s too dirty hippy liberal for their taste.

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  100. Charlotte said on June 3, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Jeff — all of what you describe is what we see out here — and probably the same percentage — 10-20% of our town population. Folks whose grandfathers had good union jobs with the railroad, but 2 generations later, it’s just chaos. My friends who teach struggle to keep those kids heads above water — and while I lean toward Universal Basic Income, especially if corporations are going to pull out and leave whole swathes of the nation without employers, I watched a kid next door who had the equivalent in an insurance payout from his dad being killed in an industrial accident just sink into sloth and drug use because he never *had* to get a job. That was fun — the 2 or 3 years when the meth house was right next door. By the time his enabling mother across the street sold the house out from under him to get him out, he was unemployable. I can’t help but think “the poor are always with us” is one of those universal truths we’ve struggled with as long as there has been civilization — what do do with the members of the tribe who cannot, or will not, pull their weight?

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  101. Sherri said on June 3, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    I don’t think there’s a magic solution to the problem, other than accepting that some people can not or will not become pull their own weight and managing the damage they do to theirselves and others. It becomes easier to manage the damage if we get past the resentment, but that’s also human nature, I suppose.

    Seattle and King County are going to try to manage some of the damage of heroin addiction by providing safe injection spaces, but the locations haven’t been set and there’s a group gathering signatures to place a measure on the ballot to stop it. One of the leaders of the group, a state senator, thinks it’s important to be able to shame people into rehab, and safe injection sites take that away. Never mind that just on the other side of the border we have a city with experience in operating these sites effectively in Vancouver.

    When and where I grew up, people like that worked as farm hands. And yes, occasionally, they’d go on a bender and not show up for a few days, but if they worked hard nough otherwise and it didn’t happen too often, they’d usually get taken back. No benefits of course, and this was before Big Ag and migrant farm workers who will work harder.

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  102. beb said on June 3, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Basset@84: You made me laugh. When did all my favorite bands and musicians become old geezers? Then I look in the mirror and wonder who’s that old geezer looking back.

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  103. Snarkworth said on June 3, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    beb, I’m quite partial to old geezers, especially the one who sits across the breakfast table from me. Of course, I’m still the sylph I was forty years ago. Well, maybe two sylphs.

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  104. Deborah said on June 3, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    We’re in Charlotte, NC for this family get together and I think my husband has pink eye? Does anyone know what you can do for it? Does he need to find a Dr? He will resist doing that. I know it’s contagious and I don’t want him to pass it on to his 98 yr old mother.

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  105. basset said on June 3, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Beb, you’d be amazed how many old rockers are in Nashville writing songs, producing records, or just keeping it going one way or another.

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  106. Sherri said on June 3, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Another perspective on cost of housing differences, NBA finals edition:

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  107. Charlotte said on June 3, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Deborah, wet tea bags will work for a sty — but for pink eye, try the pharmacist first to see if the antibiotic goo they give you is available over the counter now. If not, look for an urgent care (“doc in the box”) — because he really doesn’t want to give it to his mother.

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  108. Heather said on June 3, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Deborah, many Walgreens and CVS stores have walk-in clinics too.

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  109. Jolene said on June 3, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Here’s a Mayo Clinic feature on pinkeye. Sounds like antibiotic eye drops are recommended. Avoid contact lenses. Good luck.

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  110. Joe Kobiela said on June 3, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    6:30 reservation’s at Shorty’s tonight, I’ll buy you a beer if you can guess who I am.
    Pilot Joe

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  111. Sherri said on June 3, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    A reaction to the disability piece:

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  112. Deborah said on June 3, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Well, so far this has been the most bizarre family get together, my husband’s brother and his mother both came down with a gastrointestinal issue and my husband has what seems to be pinkeye. Weird and kinda scary. We return to Chicago on Monday and my husband has an eye Dr appt before we go to NM, thank goodness.

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  113. Peggy said on June 4, 2017 at 12:34 am

    I grew up in Detroit and love to swim. I’m heartsick at the idea of a dad trying to save his child and not being able to do so. I sent $100 to Detroit Swims in response. Good job on drawing attention to this, Nancy.

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  114. Deborah said on June 4, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks for all the pinkeye advice. Turns out everything is much better, probably just scratched it. We had a very emotional get together the first night, lots of family reminiscing that got everyone choked up. My husband was wiping his eyes a lot. We had copious amounts of rich food which probably had an effect on people’s gastrointestinal systems. Everyone is much better today. It’s amazing how family get togethers change as everyone ages.

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  115. Diane said on June 4, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    We were in Vietnam on a bike tour in March. One of the places we stopped was an orphanage in central Vietnam near the coast. There was a huge pool with lots of kids swimming. You could see the initial skepticism in some of the Americans’eyes but the Buddist monk there (who must be used to it) quickly explained that lots of Vietnamese don’t know how to swim and these kids were from villages that had had severe floods and many of them had lost relatives to downing and so the pool was to make sure they could swim.

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  116. Susan Pennell Bringardner said on June 4, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Nancy, Just saw this link to your web page. I always knew you’d be a great writer/journalist!

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