Fresh notebook pages.

It’s a bad policy, but Michigan schools are prohibited by law from starting until after Labor Day, and there’s a tiny part of me that is OK with that. I want the curtain to come down on summer before it rises on the school year, and yesterday was a perfect ending. The day was windy and increasingly hot through the afternoon, the gusts pushing the 80s out like a broom. A big front of thunderstorms was behind it all, and it hit around dinnertime where we are. It was the whistle that blew to clear the pool for good, send all the kids home to lay out their first-day outfits and backpacks, eat the final summer meal and set alarms for the first time in weeks or months.

Then, today, cool again, struggling to reach 70. My social-media feeds are full of pictures of little kids holding signs that say FIRST DAY 2017-18 and older ones smirking at mom.

People who live at this latitude say they like the change of seasons. They better, because they sure do change.

How was your weekend? We did a little sailing…

And I did a little rokkin’…

And there was relaxation, and some cold beers, tacos and laundry. The show was fun, Edgar Winter and Alice Cooper and Deep Purple on one bill, in that order. My young friend Dustin describes himself as an old soul, mainly reflected in his fondness for music that was popular when I was in high school. I wouldn’t have purchased a ticket for $5, but I was happy to be his plus-one as he reviewed the show for the local paper. The revelation was Edgar Winter, who I expected to be at death’s door, but wasn’t, and did a valiant “Tobacco Road” cover in honor of his late brother. Alice Cooper was…Alice Cooper, givin’ the folks what they came there for. Deep Purple took too many extended breaks for keyboard-solo noodling, doubtless to give the lead singer time for oxygen treatments backstage.

“One day, one of these guys is actually going to die out here in front of my eyes,” Dustin told me once. “And then my life will be complete.” He does a pretty fair impression of Roger Daltrey gasping for breath after struggling through the final yell in “Won’t Get Fooled Again” that always makes me laugh. “He actually bent over and put his hands on his knees,” D. said, eyes aglow.

Our first trip to this venue was two years ago, to see Steely Dan, and of course Walter Becker, half of that group’s central duo, did actually die over the weekend. I have complicated feelings about that. Long live their many fine recordings.

During one of Deep Purple’s extended jams, I scrolled Twitter and learned of the DACA situation. What is there to say about that? The nation’s mattress continues to get soaked with pee.

And now we have Irma coming for us, but “The Deuce” to look forward to. One of these things is not like the other thing, and I’m not making the comparison.

Short week ahead, then VACATION FOR ME. Rarely have I needed one so badly.

Posted at 6:00 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

107 responses to “Fresh notebook pages.”

  1. Deborah said on September 5, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Are you headed for some place exotic for vacation? Europe? Surfing? Do tell.

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  2. Deborah said on September 5, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    I transposed two letters in my email address and am stuck in moderation.

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  3. beb said on September 5, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    So why is no-school-before-Labor Day bad policy? It’s 180 days no matter when it starts and starting after Labor Day means no holiday interrupts for the first month. Kids have a chance to get back into the rhythm of school.

    Having Little Rebel Sessions make the announcement about DACA was a twofer for the orange nightmare. If he had made the announcement everyone would have blamed Trump for being the heartless bastard. So he made Sessions take the blame. And he was able to make the little bastard his water boy.

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  4. alex said on September 5, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Then there’s Irma La Douce, which is kinda like both things, although with a distinctly vanilla note…

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  5. Deborah said on September 5, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Alex, now I’m gonna have to watch that movie again.

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  6. susan said on September 5, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    This is what Warshington looks like, via the DOT highway cams throughout the state. Click on the triangle arrows at the edges of the map to move to cams east/west/north/south. The air is pretty much awful everywhere. Ugh. As a local pulmonologist said, “If you can see the air, you don’t want to breathe it.”

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  7. Sherri said on September 5, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    Microsoft, like all the big tech companies, sits on a massive horde of cash off-shore to avoid paying taxes on it. Like those companies, Microsoft wants tax reform, by which they mean a lower corporate tax rate and a tax holiday to allow them to repatriate that horde of cash without paying tax.

    However, today, Microsoft declared that DACA is more important than tax reform, and that they will protect any DREAMer employees from deportation. Maybe tech companies are figuring out that the only thing to do with trump is resist.

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  8. Suzanne said on September 5, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    “The nation’s mattress continues to get soaked with pee.” Best line I have heard in weeks, maybe months.
    But, sadly, it’s true.

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  9. Deborah said on September 5, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    It’s really weird to have lived in 2 cities, one that has already been hit by catastrophe recently, Houston, and another one that could be hit by one soon, Miami. I definitely know people in both cities or at least I knew some people decades ago. I’ve tried to connect with some of them via FB and what I’m finding is that none of the people I knew back then still live there. I guess that’s normal, I mean I don’t live in either of those places anymore as well. I guess it’s clear that people don’t stay in one place anymore and why should they, I certainly didn’t.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on September 5, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Funny how an imminent hurricane pushes everything else to the corners of your mind. Orlando is in a frenzy, with no bread to be found, most places out of water, many gas stations dry. And it’s not supposed to hit until Sunday! The kids already had a good start on prep but we ran around and bought everything we could. Heading home tomorrow to commence worrying from afar.

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  11. Deborah said on September 5, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    It’s hard to even know what to say about Trump’s DACA decision, I’m not surprised but I’m so, so disappointed. I’m so glad that Obama came out with a strong statement today. Miss him so much. I don’t have much hope that congress will do anything before March though. I mean that’s why Obama did the EA in the first place because congress wouldn’t act back then. I feel for those poor kids who have lived in fear for so long.

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  12. ROGirl said on September 6, 2017 at 4:24 am

    I used to travel to Ocala, FL for work. One time I was there when a huge hurricane was sitting in the Atlantic and the panic built day by day. I asked someone when a hurricane had last struck Ocala, and it was in the 1920s. Eventually, the schools closed, there was an evacuation order for the coastal areas, and the airport was going to close. I got a last 7:30 am flight out of Orlando, Ocala is a 90 mile drive. Part of that drive is on toll roads, the toll booths were open because of the evacuation order. I ended up on a jam packed 747. The hurricane ended up moving north and losing strength, causing flooding in the Carolinas.

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  13. basset said on September 6, 2017 at 8:30 am

    I would ask the group’s thoughts on this:

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  14. Icarus said on September 6, 2017 at 9:31 am

    I recall the first day of school always being the Wednesday after Labor Day here in Chicago. We’d have some truncated schedule just to meet the teachers and get the syllabi. Then the next day was a half day because of a Teacher’s meeting. I always thought they should just start the following Monday as a normal day and be done with it.

    Also between snow days and teacher strikes we rarely got out before Flag Day anyway.

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  15. Judybusy said on September 6, 2017 at 9:41 am

    With Irma, I am worried for friends in Puerto Rico–some parts could be without electricity for 4-6 months. PR’s economy is already shaky. The island we are visiting for the first time in February, Guadeloupe, was also expected to be hit, but not as badly. Travel helps you feel more connected and compassionate for people when they are affected by natural and man-made disasters.

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  16. Connie said on September 6, 2017 at 9:59 am

    My weekend was chilly and rainy, still is. We are up north using a friends cabin in the woods. This is coming to you courtesy of Empire wifi and breakfast at Joes Friendly Tavern. I have almost fifty years of memories of this place.

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  17. Bitter Scribe said on September 6, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Maybe Daltrey gasping for breath is Mother Nature’s, or Father Time’s, punishment for that “Hope I die before I get old” line.

    Of course Congress won’t do anything about DACA. Those dolts couldn’t organize a one-car funeral. But, as Neil Steinberg pointed out this morning, it’s uncharacteristically clever of Trump to have dumped the issue into Congress’s lap. One more reason for them to hate him.

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  18. Deborah said on September 6, 2017 at 10:08 am

    So true Judy Busy, when I started traveling internationally for business and pleasure it opened my eyes and my mind. Especially in the world of design, my profession, I saw how cities like Barcelona (for instance) were such fantastic places to be and to wander around in. I saw that the US had a long way to go to figure things like that out. Plus getting to meet people in Bangkok (again, for instance), and see how they lived was fascinating and gave me a better understanding of how people in different cultures are people too. I know a lot of the commenters here have had similar experiences in their lives. Life in the US can be so chauvinistic, and I don’t mean the male female kind of thing, I mean thinking that everything about our country is better than everywhere else. We have a lot to learn.

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  19. alex said on September 6, 2017 at 10:41 am

    I’ll bite, Basset. Truer words were never spoken.

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  20. brian stouder said on September 6, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Connie – sounds marvelous! And you’re the birthday-girl, yes?

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  21. brian stouder said on September 6, 2017 at 10:43 am

    …and – what Alex said!

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  22. Deborah said on September 6, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Connie, I’ve been to Empire some friends of ours have a place there and they spend the whole summer there. They have a converted shed that they turned into a fantastic place, they’re both architects. They also have a fantastic garden.

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  23. Suzanne said on September 6, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Deborah@18–If you can’t travel, reading about other cultures is an eye-opener, one that few people engage in. A co-worker recently told me she was amazed at how much I knew about the world for someone who had not traveled widely. Duh. I read a lot and not Christian Amish novels. It’s not that hard to engage with the broader world from the comfort of your couch, but you have to make the effort.

    The John Pavlovitz article pretty much said it all. The focus on homosexuality(and climate change, evolution, and gender roles) to the detriment of everything else in the world is shrinking church attendance more than most church leaders want to admit. They like to think the secular world is out to get them, when I think most of the secular world just plain wants to ignore them and do if they can.

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  24. Mark P said on September 6, 2017 at 11:13 am

    beb @3 – Sessions is doing what he does. He’s a racist and a liar; he doesn’t need Trump to tell him to do racist things and lie about them.

    basset @13 – The link conforms to my impression of modern, American, evangelical Christianity. Not that there aren’t good Christians: I know some. But good Christians are good because of who they are, not what they believe. Bad Christians are not acting in accordance with their beliefs, the make their beliefs conform to their behavior. Personality controls behavior and belief conforms to behavior. A good Christian, one who loves his neighbor, forgives people, doesn’t judge, who helps the poor, would be the same person and do the same things if he (or she) was raised in a different religious environment or an environment with no religion at all. So, in conclusion, I think that many, if not most, modern, American, evangelical Christians are evil. They voted for an evil man for president because they are evil, and they voted for their evil senators and representatives because they are evil.

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  25. Julie Robinson said on September 6, 2017 at 11:42 am

    My daughter and I had lengthy discussions about the hateful Nashville statement, which came out just as I got to Orlando, a couple of days after Harvey hit and all right-thinking Christians were involved in relief work and prayer. The inappropriate timing of the release just confirms the cluelessness of these people. I completely disavow it and the use of the term Christian by its authors.

    Here’s the statement you should read, from a Lutheran pastor who ministers to those who are hurt by Nashville–Nadia Bolz-Weber’s the Denver Statement.

    I am tickled by this comparison of the two: (Nashville) WE DENY that the Lord’s arm is too short to save or that any sinner is beyond his reach. (Denver) WE DENY that God is a boy and has actual arms. This makes me smile every time I think of it.

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  26. Jenine said on September 6, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    @ Bitter Scribe: I love “couldn’t organize a one-car funeral”. Reminds me of “couldn’t find his ass with a three-man working party”.

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  27. brian stouder said on September 6, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    or – ‘couldn’t pour piss out of a boot, if the instructions were on the heel’

    or – ‘could %$&*-up an anvil’

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  28. Peter said on September 6, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Janine – I had heard it as “couldn’t find his ass with two hands and a map”.

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  29. Sherri said on September 6, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Once, when I was still going along with my parents’ wishes and attending their church with them when I visited them, I was there in their Sunday School class after a hurricane had hit Florida. There was some discussion about the hurricane, but the discussion was that God was telling us that we need to turn from our wicked ways. I tried to keep my mouth shut, but couldn’t, and pointed out that real people just like us were suffering, that people had lost everything and some people had been killed, and that maybe it wasn’t about a message to us sitting safely hundreds of miles away.

    Later that day, my parents got a phone call from the class secretary, saying she and the teacher had agreed to send some money the class had to the relief effort. I honestly don’t think it would have occurred to any of them to do so had I not shamed them into it. I know my parents’ charitable giving when I was growing up was always to the church.

    That was also the last time I went to church with my parents. I knew I couldn’t stay silent, and that would just provoke difficulties with my mom. Not going would cause an ugly scene, too, but at least I wouldn’t have to sit through any more nonsense like that.

    So, the Nashville statement and its timing doesn’t surprise me. These are people who put ideas before people and who have by aligning themselves with trump have valued power even more than those ideas.

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  30. Suzanne said on September 6, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Well if people do believe hurricanes are God’s way of telling us something, shouldn’t they be noticing that the two most recent big (I mean yuge!!) ones are targeting red states with a laser focus?

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  31. Bitter Scribe said on September 6, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    sherri @29: I know my parents’ charitable giving when I was growing up was always to the church.

    That’s true for a lot of people’s parents. I suspect it’s the source of that statistic that conservatives love to cite about how they give more to “charity” than liberals.

    I have an increasingly hard time thinking of church donations as charity. To me donating to your church is like paying the dues at your country club. It’s a fee you fork over for the spiritual comfort of sitting among mostly like-minded people every Sunday. The money goes to light, heat and maintain the building, pay the minister’s salary, etc. This all needs to be done if you want to have a church, and Godless knows I don’t begrudge anyone their church or other place of worship. But it doesn’t really benefit anyone except the congregation. That’s why I can’t consider it charity in the sense of donating to, say, a soup kitchen.

    And yes, I know a lot of churches use donations for good works. But in the vast majority of cases, that’s only a tiny fraction of the money they take in. It has to be, because donations are pretty much a church’s only income.

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  32. Jakash said on September 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    The tireless task of bashing Republicans with many of my comments, while defending them with others continues. Mark P @ 24 concludes: “I think that many, if not most, modern, American, evangelical Christians are evil.” Some probably are, but I’d humbly suggest that most are brainwashed and have a rather limited experience with humanity, not evil. Which is hardly surprising since getting them to accept a certain view of the world is the main feature of the program, not a bug, by any means.

    I appreciate that link, Basset @ 13. I’d heard about the Nashville Statement, but hadn’t actually read it. Both Mr. Pavlovitz’s and Ms. Bolz-Weber’s responses (linked to by Julie @ 25) are excellent. (And Julie highlighted the line that I liked best, as well.)

    But for most Christians who might find the original statement appealing, I’d really focus on the fear more than the hate. (There are definitely plenty of haters, and have been throughout history, don’t get me wrong.) Whatever he *actually* believed at that point, my favorite President (uh, that’s Obama) felt comfortable enough as recently as freaking 2008 to state “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage.” The rapidity of change in this culture from that moment to this has been breathtaking and remarkable. I was pretty far ahead of Obama’s public position on this, myself, largely because I was no longer inhibited by attempting to reconcile my attitude with that of my Catholic upbringing. The fact that many Evangelical Christians are having a hard time reconciling what they’ve been taught (and, thus, believed) their whole lives with the facts on the ground in 2017 America doesn’t surprise me at all. Again, I think that most are probably more fearful than hateful in dealing with the issues.

    What struck me about the Statement was that, not all that long ago, (surely measured in decades at most, not centuries) almost every Christian would have happily signed on to it. I’m no scholar of Catholic theology, but I don’t really think that anything in it is contrary to Catholic Canon Law, e.g. That so many Christians, exemplified by those at this site, see the essential Christianity in acceptance of others’ sexuality, rather than in attempting to cherry-pick Biblical verses to deny other folks’ choices, is how this country has progressed so rapidly with regard to gay marriage, etc. But I’m amazed that it has happened this fast and I think that it largely has to do with one’s personal experience in the world. So many folks in the blue states and cities know and love LGBTQ children, relatives, friends and co-workers that accepting their sexuality is just part of accepting who they are. Many of those who are cheered by the Statement don’t have that lived experience, and that has to make a big difference.

    So, of course I agree that releasing that Statement now is hurtful and misguided. But I don’t agree that most Christians who haven’t wrapped their heads around the fact that what they’ve been taught about sexuality is no longer going to be the dominant or even acceptable view going forward are evil.

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  33. Bitter Scribe said on September 6, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Jakash: “Evil is he who evil thinks.”

    OK, that’s maybe simplistic. But if someone who dehumanizes 10% of the population based on their sexuality doesn’t want to be considered evil by me, he or she had better start piling up points on the good side of the ledger.

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  34. Jolene said on September 6, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Trump’s evangelical advisors are taking credit for the six-month delay that was announced as part of the plan to wind down DACA. Doesn’t sound terribly influential to me, but I suppose it’s better than nothing.

    Jakash, I think you are right. The signs of that fear are everywhere.

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  35. Jolene said on September 6, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Here’s a musical day-brightener from last night’s Tonight Show.

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  36. Sherri said on September 6, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Yes, fear drives the reaction of evangelicals. I don’t men to dismiss their fear, or tell them they shouldn’t feel it. That doesn’t excuse their responsibility for their actions, though.

    The example of Jesus is about not acting on your fear, but reaching out to the oppressed, the disenfranchised, the other, the people considered unworthy by society. The Nashville statement privileges the feelings of the in group, pretends that they aren’t feelings but rather the clear dictate of scripture, and tells others that their feelings are to be denied or aren’t real or shouldn’t be acted upon. It is remarkably damaging to a kid to give them the message that what they feel is wrong, because what they hear is that they themselves are wrong.

    I don’t want to get into a debate on whether the signers of the Nashville statement are evil, but I do believe they are causing harm while convincing themselves they are doing it in the name of love.

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  37. Mark P said on September 6, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    jakash — I recognize that charity is one of the theological virtues, but I don’t have it.

    Anyway, evil is as evil does (kind of like what bitter scribe said). I don’t buy the argument that these “evangelicals” are simply brainwashed. All the evidence was there that Trump was evil. He obviously violated the traditional Christian standards of behavior, but he also violated at least some of the Ten Commandments, for those who are into that kind of religion. By his own admission, he coveted his neighbor’s wife. He bore false witness against his neighbor with his accusations that Obama was a muslim and not a citizen. Based on his settlement on the Trump University suit, he stole (plus all the statements from Trump contractors who said he stiffed them on work they did for him). I’m sure he has violated others, but surely that’s enough. All of that was as plain as the nose on the devil’s face, but the evangelicals voted for him anyway. Besides voting for Trump, they voted for Republican senators and representatives who promised to do the very things that Jesus said would condemn a person to hell, like taking medical care for people. Sorry, but “I was brainwashed” is not going to cut it with me, or, I suspect, with any god that might be. So, until I see confession and penitence, I’m calling them evil.

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  38. brian stouder said on September 6, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    speaking of heartless, brainless, relentless hate, ol’ Oxy-Rush must have taken some hits of extra-powerful dope.

    an excerpt:

    “These storms, once they actually hit, are never as strong as they’re reported,” Limbaugh claimed on his syndicated radio show. He added that “the graphics have been created to make it look like the ocean’s having an exorcism, just getting rid of the devil here in the form of this hurricane, this bright red stuff.”

    Why would the media exaggerate the threat of a hurricane? Here’s Limbaugh’s theory:

    There is symbiotic relationship between retailers and local media, and it’s related to money. It revolves around money. You have major, major industries and businesses which prosper during times of crisis and panic, such as a hurricane, which could destroy or greatly damage people’s homes, and it could interrupt the flow of water and electricity. So what happens?

    Well, the TV stations begin reporting this and the panic begins to increase. And then people end up going to various stores to stock up on water and whatever they might need for home repairs and batteries and all this that they’re advised to get, and a vicious circle is created. You have these various retail outlets who spend a lot of advertising dollars with the local media.

    The local media, in turn, reports in such a way as to create the panic way far out, which sends people into these stores to fill up with water and to fill up with batteries, and it becomes a never-ending repeated cycle. And the two coexist. So the media benefits with the panic with increased eyeballs, and the retailers benefit from the panic with increased sales, and the TV companies benefit because they’re getting advertising dollars from the businesses that are seeing all this attention from customers.

    Huh? Wha?? Hurricane news is just free-market (and fake!) capitalism run-amok?

    One of these days, the mountains of shit that he shovels over the airwaves will avalanche down upon him…and when they ascribe a few dozen deaths to what the irresponsible broadcaster was blathering about, that may be the day.

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  39. Jolene said on September 6, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Wow, given the actual costs of severe weather to all kinds of businesses, that’s quite a theory.

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  40. Suzanne said on September 6, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Brian, funny you should mention the free market in all this. I was just telling my husband about Limbaugh’s statements about the hurricane and I said I didn’t get why he would be upset over people making money off the fear of destruction because that is the free market at work! I thought Limbaugh was for that, right?
    Great minds think alike

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  41. Icarus said on September 6, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Don’t let natural disasters distract you from man-made ones

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  42. Sherri said on September 6, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Wow, I didn’t see this coming:

    That makes the seat more flippable.

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  43. Deborah said on September 6, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Suzanne, I totally agree that reading can take you far in your self education. My mother who grew up in the Midwest was only allowed to go to school until the 9th grade because of her family’s economic situation, she lived on a farm out in the boonies and for her to attend the closest high school they had to pay room and board for her to live in town and they could only afford to do that for one year before the Great Depression hit, her younger siblings didn’t even get to go for one year. But my mom was a big reader, was always reading when I was a kid. To the extent that she was a horrible cook because she always had a book in her hand as she was stirring or flipping and as a result burned just about everything. She did travel a bit in the US, during WW2 she was basically Rosie the Riviter in LA, CA where she lived with her aunt and uncle. Then my dad wanted to live in Miami, FL after spending time in the Caribbean where he was stationed during the war when he was in the navy.

    I still maintain that travel gives you a big advantage, I didn’t make it abroad until I was 37 and first went on business. Yes it can be expensive, but there are many ways to travel on a budget and the cost is soooo worth it, IMHO. Not just for the fun and enjoyment but for how it makes literature, history, culture and geography come to life for you. Even as the old codger I am now, I’m always astounded by how much I learn when I travel, it’s so rewarding to me. Reading sets the stage and when I come back from a trip I’m encouraged to read lots and lots more about where I’ve been, and what happened there in the past, and why.

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  44. David C. said on September 6, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Michigan’s law mandating school start after Labor Day must not have teeth. I was back in Grand Rapids over the weekend and the Forest Hills district started on the 28th.

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  45. Deborah said on September 6, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    As someone who no longer goes to church, but spent a lot of time in church in my youth and being a teacher in parochial schools way back when (Lutheran) I will say that it was a long, hard, thankless job. I don’t like to think about church giving as paying country club dues. Everyone I knew back in those days was being paid paltry salaries and worked their asses off. They did it because they were committed, totally. The cost to the parishioners was miniscule compared to what the real costs were, because we sacrificed to make it affordable to many people. As much as I have been disillusioned by the organized church, and yes there are assholes out there like Olsteen, or whatever his name is, it’s not all like that, or at least it didn’t used to be from my perspective.

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  46. Julie Robinson said on September 6, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Well, as far as pumping up the economy, I probably spent about $400 on hurricane supplies–mostly food that will be eaten or donated to a food bank if not used. Batteries, lanterns, power blocks for cell phones should come in handy later, and knowing they have them makes mom feel better. I helped my sister with weather apps on her new smart phone which made her feel better.

    Part of the reason I so willingly forked over the dough is that our daughter’s little church has cut her already paltry pay. So there’s that. She has to go find another part-time job to try and make ends meet. Thankless; not quite, but almost.

    Deborah, your mom and mine cooked the same way! Only mine also left the kitchen while reading, the result being pretty much everything was burned. Also, my MIL didn’t get past high school and didn’t get to travel much, but she read both daily newspapers and was one of the best-informed people I knew.

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  47. Dorothy said on September 6, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    I’m friends with a few of you who read here regularly on Facebook. For those of you I do NOT know via Facebook, I should mention my mom passed away yesterday. She had recently moved in with my sister Diane and was doing pretty well. Still, she was 95 and her heart had been weakened for awhile. She survived a fire in her apartment building in December last year, and suffered the heartbreak of losing her last sibling in May, my Uncle Jack, who was 13 years younger than she was. Diane gave her a glass of water and her evening pills around 6:30 pm, and went into another room. She heard some odd noises not long after, and dashed into her room, and found Mum unresponsive. She called paramedics who declared her deceased at the home. If there is a desirable way to die, that has to be it. Die in a chair safe in the home of someone who loves you. No suffering – it’s exactly the way I hoped the good Lord would take her. She and my dad had been married 61 years when he died in 2005. They had ten children, 21 grandchildren and 11 great-grands. What a life. I will miss her so much.

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  48. brian stouder said on September 6, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Dorothy – that’s marvelous, terrible, wonderful, beautiful, heart-breaking, and life-affirming, all at once!

    Here’s wishing you and yours all the best, especially as your family deals with all the immediate stuff

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  49. Deborah said on September 6, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Julie R, do you have window coverings for your house in Orlando? When I was growing up in Miami, everyone had them. Either metal awnings that lowered to cover the windows when a hurricane happened or wood panels that people assembled over the windows right before the storm hit. Ours were the wood kind. I can’t imagine going through a hurricane without them. The strongest storm I remember had 125 mph winds and they say Irma is 185. Less than that is expected in FL but still like 145 or something. The longest we were without electricity was 3 days. They are expecting some areas of PR to be out for months. Wow.

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  50. Deborah said on September 6, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Dorothy, I’m so glad to hear that your mom passed away without prolonged suffering. We are all hoping that when the end comes for my 98 year old MIL, it will be quick and painless. She’s ready, and she is still sharp as a tack. She fell recently and sprained her ankle badly. We had all made plans to be there to help her out but she bounced back faster than any of us expected. Your mom sounds like she had a wonderful life with lots of love around her. I’m sure you’ll miss her tremendously, peace to you and your family.

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  51. Suzanne said on September 6, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    My sympathy, Dorothy. Yes, that is a wonderful way to pass on, in a comfy place with someone you love with you.

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  52. Dave said on September 6, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    May I offer my sympathies, Dorothy. My mother passed away July 14, she was 90 and we five children weren’t all that sad, Mom left us several years ago, she hadn’t hardly known us even a little bit for the last couple of years of her life and she was not very good before that. She was living (existing) in a memory care facility in Reynoldsburg, OH. Dad passed away in 2013, on the day of their 65th wedding anniversary. Five children, seventeen grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren. On her 90th birthday, we were all there but she didn’t know any of us. She did enjoy her Dairy Queen ice cream cake, something she always liked and my sister made sure she had one every birthday.

    We ran, Deborah, we’re in Dothan, Alabama, for the night, going to go to our son’s in Nashville. If it misses, we’ll return home next week. We packed pictures and important papers, there are plenty of other things that we would hate to lose but it’s all mostly replaceable. We’ve got a car full of pictures. If, by chance, we lose it all, we will probably make a choice to leave Florida.

    I think Limbaugh may have reached a new low. Just when you think they can’t go any lower.

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  53. Deborah said on September 6, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    I was already long gone from Miami when Andrew hit, but I remember hearing that the neighborhood where I lived as a kid was virtually wiped out. I think by then my dad had died and I no longer had any family in the area. The strongest hurricane I survived was called Donna, I think it was 1964, my mother had died shortly before and my dad’s job kept him involved during the hurricane, so my sister and I had to fend for ourselves during the worst of it. It was scary as hell, having no electricity and the sound of the wind against the wood window coverings was like a freight train plowing into the house over and over again and again. I remember venturing outside during the eye, which was perfectly calm and smelled like fish. Then for the next few days we had no electricity, and had to grill our meals outside, all the while listening to the battery powered transitor radio playing the Supremes latest hits. I’m sure my mind has truncated all kinds of memories and I probably have all the dates mixed up, but that’s my story and it’s a vivid memory as I read about Irma.

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  54. Heather said on September 6, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    My condolences, Dorothy. I envy you for having your mother for so long, and am glad that she passed in peace.

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  55. Sherri said on September 7, 2017 at 1:04 am

    I’m sorry for your loss, Dorothy, but glad your mother had a peaceful end.

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  56. Dexter said on September 7, 2017 at 3:33 am

    My son-in-law, the former NetJet pilot, is now a pilot for a start-up aviation company flying out of Miami Executive Airport.
    The planes aren’t getting much rest as the folks are leaving for parts unknown.

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  57. Deborah said on September 7, 2017 at 4:29 am

    Will someone please explain to me the significance of the Trump/Shumer/Pelosi deal? I don’t get why it’s important. I get that Trump bucked his own party, but why did the dems want the three month extension of the debt limit. What do the dems gain? I don’t understand.

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  58. David C. said on September 7, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Here’s one take on it, Deborah. It sounds about right to me. Ryan and McConnell have shown they can’t get anything done. Pelosi and Shumer offered tRump a deal he couldn’t refuse and proved tRump can’t get anything done without Democrats.

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  59. Deborah said on September 7, 2017 at 6:48 am

    I obviously can’t sleep. I just read in the Santa Fe paper online that the smoky haze shrouding us is not from any local fire but is coming all the way from CA, OR and MT. Wow, I had no idea.

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  60. Deborah said on September 7, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Thanks David C, I’ve bookmarked that site, that was an informative explanation. I agree with him about O’Donnel.

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  61. David C. said on September 7, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Lindy West on Ivanka.

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  62. Julie Robinson said on September 7, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Dorothy, I’m so sorry about your dear mom, and I know you will shed tears, but I agree that’s how I’d like to die. Especially after going through Alzheimer’s with my in-laws.

    Deborah, almost no one in Orlando has hurricane shutters or anything similar because it rarely gets a storm bad enough to need them. Here’s hoping this one isn’t the exception, because there’s no lumber left in town.

    When the storm becomes imminent my disabled sister will go to the kids’ house, and they will ride it out together. Our son works for the county and has already volunteered for rescue or clean up duties. Our daughter will open her church if needed for evacuees, and in general will take care of everyone else. I’m proud that they are helpers.

    Nextdoor is full of postings about where water or gas are available, and several listings volunteering to help elderly or disabled in their preparations. The city is pulling together.

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  63. brian stouder said on September 7, 2017 at 9:36 am

    David C – an interesting article.

    In sum (imo) he ratifies all that Lawrence said (and you gotta enjoy Lawrence’s smirk, as he states his opinions!)

    Don’t know why the guy doesn’t like O’Donnell – but, ‘to each his own’, eh?

    Anyway – between Rachel and Lawrence, my keel remains even, in these storm-tossed seas we’re traversing

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  64. Icarus said on September 7, 2017 at 9:41 am

    David C, that article makes Trump look smarter than he is, but sounds about right.

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  65. Icarus said on September 7, 2017 at 9:43 am

    David C, that article makes Trump look smarter than he is, but sounds about right. It’s a shame politics works like that….needing to do things in a way to provide cover, and protect against “threat to their continued careers as leaders of their party”

    ugh…i suppose it’s better than not working together at all.

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  66. Heather said on September 7, 2017 at 9:54 am

    One coworker at our Orlando office said it took him an hour to find gas yesterday morning; I’ll have to send him that gas link. I’m sure they’ll close the office there if it hits.

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  67. Peter said on September 7, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Dorothy, I’m very sorry about your Mom passing away.

    Mine died about two years ago after a somewhat short bout with dementia. An engineer I work with sent a note to me at the time which I’ll pass on to you: “Welcome to our club! There’s no annual dues, but the initiation fee is very steep.”

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  68. basset said on September 7, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Deborah@43, I hear you on the value of travel… I was 61 before I got to another country, excepting brief forays into Canada and Mexico.

    We mentioned Walter Becker’s death recently – didnt know till just now that Dave Hlubek died the same day:

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  69. David C. said on September 7, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Brian, I haven’t seen Lawrence’s show in ages, so I didn’t know how his take lined up with Booman’s. We don’t get cable and they don’t offer it as a podcast like they do Rachel’s show. BTW, Booman is Martin Longman, web editor and a columnist for Washington Monthy.

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  70. Jakash said on September 7, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Mark P @ 37,

    My comment was specifically addressing that Nashville Statement and the mindset of those who might agree with it. I surely agree with your points about Dolt 45’s behavior and program largely being antithetical to Christianity. Yes, it’s hypocritical for Christians to support such a prevaricating, rapacious libertine. But I think many of them believe that the Lord works in strange ways and that he is the crude conduit which will lead to a Pence theocracy. Many of them are folks that enjoy all the benefits of 21st-Century science and technology, yet still manage to believe that the world is 6,000 years old, so it’s pretty clear to me that logic and consistency aren’t their strong suit. Anyway, I guess we’ll agree to disagree about them all being evil. There’s a lot of compartmentalizing when it comes to politics and one can support certain aspects of the Republican agenda without thinking that Dolt 45 or David Duke are great guys. I just don’t believe that well over 50 percent of all Christians and 53% of white women in America (percentages who voted for him, and vote for those Reps and Senators) are all evil. I believe many of them are misinformed, uninformed and bamboozled by Fox News, etc. and the country is paying the price. Evidently, I’m in a distinct minority here on the ole nn . com in giving any of them the benefit of the doubt, if you can call this comment that…

    So, Basset, you’re just gonna toss that Pavlovitz link into the mix and not even offer an opinion about it? ; )

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  71. Deborah said on September 7, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Jakash, is that 53% of all white women eligible to vote or 53% of all white women who voted in this election?

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  72. Joe Kobiela said on September 7, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Just finishing up a rescue flight out of Fort Lauderdale, the air traffic coming out of Florida is really heavy, wouldn’t be surprised if we head back down Friday, for more people.
    Pilot Joe

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  73. brian stouder said on September 7, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Joe – I don’t envy this part of your job. at all.

    Here’s wishing you blue skies and tail winds

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  74. brian stouder said on September 7, 2017 at 11:49 am

    (….and I cannot resist ribbing you a bit, and asking – how does it feel to be targeted as a heartless profiteer and Climate-liar by Oxy-Rush Limbaugh, eh?!)

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  75. Suzanne said on September 7, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    I ran across this last night about the Nashville statement. This is what I found amazing:
    “A couple of people in college ministry were at the table. They said that it is impossible to overstate how alienating the enthusiastic support their parents gave to Donald Trump was to their students. A number of college students have left the church entirely over it.”
    How would Dreher find this amazing? College students, children of evangelicals that have grown up on purity rings and chastity balls and abstinence instruction seeing their parents’ full throated support of a man who lies, cheats, engages in predatory sex and it surprises anyone that those kids conclude that it’s all been a bunch of BS?

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  76. Bitter Scribe said on September 7, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Deborah @57: The significance is that in three months, the Democrats get to hold Trump’s and the Republicans’ feet to the fire. Democratic votes in the House are needed to raise the debt ceiling, because too many Republicans there refuse to do so without impossible concessions. This gives the Democrats leverage, which they intend to use on issues like DACA and (hopefully) health care.

    Yes, it’s unsavory to play political games with the nation’s credit rating, and I cursed the Tea Party jerks when they did this under Obama. But what goes around comes around. As Jack McCoy said on Law & Order when he was threatening to have a suspect’s wife arrested: “You chose the game. We just upped the ante.”

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  77. Joe Kobiela said on September 7, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    To be honest, I haven’t listened to Rush in probably 2-3 years, so I have no idea what’s been said. I also haven’t really even had the television on since May, all anyone does on both sides is scream at each other, just tired of it all on both sides.
    Pilot Joe

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  78. brian stouder said on September 7, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Joe – Amen!

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  79. basset said on September 7, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Jakash, I thought I’d just let it go as long as everyone was agreeing… has some interesting live maps of South Florida air traffic, we might even see Joe in there. What was that tail number again?

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  80. Jakash said on September 7, 2017 at 2:19 pm


    Among the people who voted, based on questionnaires. According to those, only 43% of white women who voted went for Hillary.

    “Voter demographic data for 2016 were collected by Edison Research for the National Election Pool, a consortium of ABC News, CBS News, MSNBC, CNN, Fox News and the Associated Press. The voter survey is based on questionnaires completed by 24,537 voters leaving 350 voting places throughout the United States on Election Day, in addition to 4,398 telephone interviews with early and absentee voters.”

    There’s a lot of interesting, depressing stuff about the election in here:,_2016

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  81. brian stouder said on September 7, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    A non-sequitur, but an interesting question that someone voiced, when I was watching the other-than hurricane-news* at lunchtime:

    If the giant ex-FBI director Comey was really trying to be ‘even-handed’ when he went before the cameras in his October-surprise announcement about an ongoing investigation of Secretary Clinton’s email server, then how on Earth does he justify NOT telling us at that same time about their concurrent investigation of Russian infiltration of the Trump campaign?

    *I remember, many, many years ago – when Nancy was an ink-stained wretch at the News-Sentinel – that the term “weather terrorists” came up. If memory serves, this was related to winter-weather, and possible snow-accumulations and so on

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  82. Peter said on September 7, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Pilot Joe, my son works for American out of Milwaukee, and this morning they flew him TO Miami – they need extra hands to work the additional planes and then batten down the hatches, and a lot of the local staff have evacuated.

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  83. Julie Robinson said on September 7, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Our flight out of Orlando yesterday was completely full, and when I got home I saw a news story about a young mother on the flight, evacuating with her two very young children. I can tell you that she did not have a fun flight, as the baby screamed the entire time. She was standing up and trying to comfort him the whole time, but he was miserable. I didn’t even realize she had another child with her until I saw them later in the airport. I guess she was in a flood zone and her husband is a firefighter who was likely to be on duty the whole time, so they decided to get them out.

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  84. basset said on September 7, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Back to my post at 68… looks like there aren’t many Molly Hatchet fans on here, at least not compared to Steely Dan.

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  85. Joe Kobiela said on September 7, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    GATOR COUNTRY Mr Basset.
    Put gaj 821 in flight aware to track me, I’m scheduled North to Bradley Connecticut then Philly, Nantucket, Martha’s vineyard, then Boston, but it could all change.
    Pilot Joe

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  86. basset said on September 7, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Molly Hatchet has been their own tribute band for awhile… some of the original members left, new ones were brought in, then one of the new guys got ownership of the name somehow, toured a remade Molly Hatchet with completely new lineup, and hired Hlubek, one of the originals, back later. That’s the music business… lots of 70s bands out there with few or no founding members.

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  87. Dexter said on September 7, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    I have a friend in Clearwater who was going to ride it out, then got so scared she called the airlines to find the price of a flight to NYC had gone up…one way, $1,000 to $1,500 now, much much cheaper last week. Gas seems to be about $2.56 to $2.83…not bad if they can find gas with roughly 1/2 the pumps sold out. Another friend has five dogs and is staying with them, between Miami & L. Okeechobee.
    Nobody seems to give a fuck about the NFL kickoff to the season tonight, even though Tom Brady and the Patriots are playing. I know all I have been watching is msnbc & The Weather Channel.

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  88. Jolene said on September 7, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    The airlines are not raising their rates; it is always true that tickets purchased for immediate use are very expensive.

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  89. Deborah said on September 7, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    I changed my flight back to Chicago, because of scheduling conflicts. I wanted to change it from next Weds, the 13th to tomorrow the 8th, but it would have added $400 to the cost. By postponing it until Monday, the 11th it’s only added $125. So dates make a big difference. We’ve obviously noticed this before. I’ve got a lot to do in NM to get everything in Abiquiu ready and also LB and I have some major projects in Santa Fe that we’re trying to wrap up. So thankful that we don’t have to think about hovering fires or floods, not to mention damaging winds.

    We’re having our landlady over for dinner tonight, have a rustic tomato tart on the menu with a New Mexican bent instead of Italian, with tomatoes, roasted green chilies, onions, Mexican cheeses, cilantro etc, on a hopefully flaky rustic crust. I made the dough, LB did everything else. I will miss her cooking when I’m back in Chicago.

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  90. Rana said on September 7, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    Dorothy, I’m sorry to hear of your loss.

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  91. alex said on September 7, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Dorothy, I give you my condolences as well.

    Worried about two friends in Hollywood, Florida. One was planning to drive to North Carolina today. The other was being stubborn and plans to ride this one out, although he barely lives outside the city’s evacuation zone. Another friend from Chicago was vacationing in Puerto Rico and managed to get back on Tuesday.

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  92. Dexter said on September 8, 2017 at 3:16 am

    My s.i.l. is boarding up the house he rents, then flying some more rich peeps to California, then riding the cockpit jumpseat of a commercial jet back to Metro and then back to Toledo to await further instructions.

    Burns-Novak’s Vietnam series premieres soon. My old army pal did time in stockades for refusing to go to the Vietnam war after he had joined the army. He drove to Boston to hear Burns and hopefully ask a couple questions…here is his story, edited for a blog post.

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  93. Deborah said on September 8, 2017 at 3:49 am

    They need to primary Manchin’s ass

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  94. Dorothy said on September 8, 2017 at 4:56 am

    Thanks for all your kind words friends.

    I keep wondering where my neighbor Darlene (a retired school teacher) might be. She left on Sept. 1 for a two week Caribbean cruise. She was so excited to go. She’s a widow – she told Mike and I a few years ago that at her husband’s funeral she found out he’d been a spy! That still kind of amazes me. Anyway, she never had kids. She has a nephew she dotes on, and his family. I’m sure the cruise company is keeping them safe, but where would they go under these circumstances? Are they parked in a dock just drinking themselves into a stupor? Some vacation…!

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  95. basset said on September 8, 2017 at 8:09 am

    They might just run out to sea away from it and get out of range. Might go to port and ride it out, too.

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  96. basset said on September 8, 2017 at 8:13 am

    I wouldn’t want to be the one making that decision, though… my dad was in a massive typhoon in the summer of 45, big naval fleet headed for Okinawa and when the storm hit they were told to hold course and keep going. lost a destroyer entirely, one sweep of the radar it was there and the next it wasn’t… smaller than a cruise ship but still large.

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  97. basset said on September 8, 2017 at 8:17 am

    My mistake, it was actually December of 44:

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  98. Deni Menken said on September 8, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Dorothy, may many years of fine memories sustain you. So very sorry about your mom.

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  99. brian stouder said on September 8, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Dex – excellent (and thought-provoking) link.

    His miniseries The Civil War was (I think) a gateway series, or at least it was for me. Before I saw it, the American Civil War was an abstraction – something that interested my dad…and after that series, I read shelves of books about battles and about the politics of the day, and (of course!) Shelby Foote’s trilogy, and it (that war) became an inescapably real (and still extant) pillar of whatever America is right now, as it probably also did for many other folks.

    By way of saying – if Burns’ series does anything like the same thing for the war in Vietnam/Southeast Asia – then it’s all good

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  100. Minnie said on September 8, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Brian Strouder, I recommend Christopher Hickey’s Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South. A friend turned me on to it. Here’s a short clip of Hickey speaking about it. That clip leads to the full hour-long talk.

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  101. Judybusy said on September 8, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Oh, Dorothy, I too am so sorry about your mother. What a long, wonderful life!

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  102. brian stouder said on September 8, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Minnie – I will add it to the list!

    Leaving aside history, and moving to current events – how many people have you heard advocate for using nuclear weapons to try and break up ‘these hurricanes’ before they make landfall? I’m up to three now (all young males) – and my standard response is a dropped-chin/smirk/walk away…!

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  103. Julie Robinson said on September 8, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Right, because all we need to worry about is a little nuclear fallout dispersed by 100+ mph winds. Aieeee.

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  104. brian stouder said on September 8, 2017 at 11:58 am

    …and speaking of hue bags of toxic wind – there’s this update on Oxy-Rush, and the lying-media/fake hurricane front:

    an excerpt:

    On his show Tuesday, Limbaugh said he was reading the paths of the hurricane and was certain it would curve into the Atlantic, and even if it did so, Limbaugh said “official” meteorologists and the media would have accomplished their goal.

    “If it ends up not hitting where you are, hits somewhere else, you might temporarily breathe a sigh of relief, but you’re still gonna think, ‘Man, there might be something to this climate change,” Limbaugh said. “Do not doubt me, with everything being politicized, of course it is an objective of some, not everybody, of course, but some of the people involved here.”

    Even Big Water was in on the conspiracy, Limbaugh concluded, as people were stocking up on cases of bottled water for the storm that wouldn’t come when they could just use the water coming out of their taps.

    What a dope!

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  105. brian stouder said on September 8, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    (make that “huge” bags of toxic wind!)

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  106. 4dbirds said on September 8, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    So sorry about your mother Dorothy.

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  107. Jakash said on September 8, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    I’m not really looking forward to an 18-hour Ken Burns TVpalooza about the Vietnam War (though we’ll probably give it a chance,) nor am I inclined to read another book about the Civil War, but both Dexter’s and Minnie’s were intriguing links.

    I certainly am in no position to argue with you about Vietnam, Dexter, but, having read that gentleman’s post, I can only give you my clueless, grumpy-aging-civilian PBS-fan’s take with regard to it. I certainly admire your friend for his costly resistance to the war, especially his having served time in stockades. But if he expects Ken Burns to cover the topic by putting “South Vietnam” in scare-quotes and referring to it only as an illegitimate entity, I think he’s being rather unrealistic. I’ve read little about and seen none of the documentary yet, so I don’t know how or even if Burns deals with the years leading up to the U. S. military involvement, but it seems to me that the show he would like to see would be completely different from what Burns does, which is tell the story of what happened more than offer a political seminar about the decades preceding an event. And as Brian points out, this show will generate lots of interest in the topic, for folks to explore in many different ways. One could make a show about the Civil War that spent half its time pointing out that the Confederate States of America was a treasonous enterprise, but it wouldn’t fill very much of 18 hours.

    People with axes to grind offering long-winded opinions rather than asking questions, I imagine, is why Question-and-Answer sessions tend to be curtailed in this over-caffeinated political environment. Nobody attending a PBS preview attended by 1100 people should be at all surprised that they don’t actually get to address the guest of honor, IMHO. He writes: “I paid $16.28 for admission to this Preview in hope of getting to speak.” That’s on him, not KB or the organizers of the event. And I gotta say, I thought it was a little disheartening to read that he spent a week fretting how to concisely pose a question and then indicated that, given the chance, he would have uttered a statement telling Mr. Burns how mortified he was by him, instead. The bottom line is that I don’t think Ken Burns ripped him off.

    “I imagine most attendees were there to worship ‘America’s Storyteller.'” Well, he got *that* right, and the fact that WGBH is trying to use one of its greatest assets to help keep the lights on is also distinctly unsurprising.

    The question of corporate influence on shows like this is certainly a valid and important one, and I have to admit David H. Koch’s prominence with regard to PBS funding is disturbing to me.

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