A hash of it.

I’m a feminist, but I try not to be too prickly about it. A lot of what younger women get upset about — catcalling, being told by total strangers to smile, having men simply assume they can impose upon my time without permission — simply doesn’t happen to me anymore. And I’m older now, and know that everybody, no matter their age or station in life, is figuring it out day by day. Which is to say: I try to forgive. You never know.

Saturday morning is my gift to myself. Almost every week, I get up early and go to the Eastern Market to drink in the glory of fresh vegetables glowing under the rising sun, or at least do a little people-watching. Then I stash my haul and take myself out for breakfast, at a coney island (non-Detroiters, read: diner).

I almost always sit at the counter rather than tie up a table. I usually order the hippie hash with eggs over easy. I’m in and out in 30 minutes.

On Saturday, seating was tighter than usual. Only two single stools.

As I sat down, the guy next to me started talking. To me.

“Man, I love this place,” he said. “It’s a dying breed. They just don’t make ’em like this anymore.”

Three statements, one an opinion, the other two incorrect. Just smile and nod, said the angel on my shoulder. Set him straight, countered the demon on the other.

“Of course it’s not a dying breed,” I said. “There are probably dozens, no, hundreds of coney islands like this, all over the city.”

He nodded. “Yeah, it’s a great place,” he said.

OK, so maybe we’re dealing with someone not quite all there. He didn’t look homeless or mentally ill, didn’t smell drunk, but you never know. He was wearing a day-glo vest that suggested he had a real job, working near traffic. But the devil had led me into temptation, and now we were having a conversation.

“They just know you, they remember your face,” he enthused. “See? She brought you coffee, the way you like it.”

Too late, I smiled and nodded, then picked up my phone and started scrolling Twitter, the universal symbol for we’re-done-talking.

He wasn’t done talking. “It’s so great here,” he went on. “I love this place. The food is so good.” Kept scrolling. “Excuse me if I’m talking too much,” he said. I smiled and kept scrolling: Oh look, the president is yelling about Puerto Ricans. Someone sat down on the other side of him, a man, and he started in with him, only it was about football. The guy gave him two replies, then picked up his own phone. Back to me.

“They really serve the best corned beef I’ve ever had,” he said. “It’s so…good.”

The angel reappeared on my shoulder. This poor man probably lives by himself and has no one to talk to, she whispered. Can’t you be a good person, just this once?

“I’m not much for corned beef, but I’m sure it’s very good,” I said, still looking at my phone.

“And the hash browns!” he went on. “They’re so great!”

WTF, I’m thinking. This isn’t a conversation, he’s just babbling. His food arrived. Corned beef and eggs. He started to eat, briefly stopping his patter, but not for long.

“Mmm, I just love this,” he said. “Sooo good.”

By now I was staring fixedly at my phone and actually turning my body away, to the extent I could without imposing on the person on the other side.

“Look at that yolk!” he crowed. “Just look at it!”

I turned back to him and snapped, “OK, that’s ENOUGH.”

He went on chortling to himself: “Mmm, these eggs, so good.”

My own food arrived. I bolted it, grabbed the check and left. A stranger, a man, had successfully ruined my breakfast because I lacked the spine to shut him up immediately.

This is my life now. Squabbling with crazy men in diners.

Of course, when you turn to the news, you get this:

Without taking an iota of glory away from first responders, I am increasingly uncomfortable with what happens pretty routinely now after these tragedies – the deflection of horror into generic praise for first responders, who are, after all, doing the jobs they signed up for. Maybe those who do are only looking for something, anything, good to say when confronting oceans of blood. But there comes a point where Mister Rogers’ advice is simply what it is: Comfort extended to children. It’s fine to look for the helpers. But if you can’t, or won’t, look at why the helpers were called in the first place, you’re simply deflecting.

Yep, I’m politicizing this tragedy. Join with me. Let’s politicize the shit out of it. Because it happened due to a failure of policy. Policy is decided through politics. So let’s get to it.

Happy Tuesday, all.

Posted at 9:17 am in Current events, Detroit life |
 

63 responses to “A hash of it.”

  1. Suzanne said on October 3, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Very good editorial on why nothing is likely to change.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/02/opinion/gun-control-vegas-shooting.html

    I have several relatives who are what I would call “gun nuts”. Any discussion I’ve ever had with them on gun violence boils down to that any restriction on buying and having guns of any kind is a violation of their rights according to the 2nd Amendment and that it is the first step to the government taking their guns (Nazis did that to Jews. Without that, there would have been no Holocaust because they could have defended themselves) and it’s the first step that will lead to a government which will continue to erode all our freedoms. They never vary from this. Never.

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  2. Joe Kobiela said on October 3, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Deborah,
    Read the article, especially like the part about mental health screening, I believe we used to have that,but it was against their rights.
    Pilot Joe

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  3. Connie said on October 3, 2017 at 10:20 am

    https://whatever.scalzi.com/2017/10/02/2017-word-counts-and-writing-process/ John Scalzi says I’m not writing as much as I should, because it is just so hard to tune out.

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  4. brian stouder said on October 3, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Last Friday evening, Grant (our 22 year old college senior) and I went to good ol’ South Side, for their football game with North Side – and it was a very fine evening, indeed. The stands were loaded with the young folks, but also others near my age – as the class of ’82 was having a reunion and many of them were in attendance (I’m a class of ’79 guy). As the game progressed and the crowd thinned, and my son wandered off to gab with the band director and others, one young lady about 15 feet to my right was sitting with her friends, and I noticed that she had a wad of cash sticking halfway out her back-pocket. I kept half an eye on that – pondering whether I should say something (and risk being ‘that strange guy at the game’).

    Finally – I decided to go into dad-mode, and walked over (remaining conscious of not crowding her space) – and said something like “excuse me – but I think you’re about to lose your money” – and she looked at me like ‘are you talking to me?’ – and I smiled and retreated back to my spot, and she got hold of her cash (it might have been $20 or $30) and put it away.

    By way of saying, if I were at a lunch counter, and a person sat at the seat next to me, I might offer up a smile or a nod – but NOT an extended soliloquy on the wonders of hash browns (or whatever else!)

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  5. Charlotte said on October 3, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Scalzi’s way ahead of me on my best week — I’m a 500-1500 words a day writer — and if it’s 1500 that’s usually after 2 or 3 days of 300 counts. Sigh. Keep your fingers crossed for me folks — novel went off to my incredibly sweet former editor in NYC who honored his house’s 1st look option in the contract for my ancient 1st novel. Two weeks without a “no” (I think my chances are 50/50 at best).

    Okay, off to Yellowstone with my estranged 82 year old father and my stepmother who might, just might (oh sweet Jesus please) be seeing the light that he’s not someone she should still be clinging to like she has. At any rate, we’re bonding a little by rolling our eyes at the geezer. “Look Dad! Elk!”

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  6. Jeff Borden said on October 3, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Why don’t you stuff some earphones into your ears? As someone who apparently exudes the aura of “this guy looks like a sucker who will give me money,” I tend to attract a lot of panhandlers and gas money hustlers. But stick those buds in my ears and they don’t even bother.

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  7. LAMary said on October 3, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    I don’t usually reply to trolls in Facebook, but yesterday I did. I told people they were full of crap a lot yesterday and then either explained the basis of my opinion or left them alone. I’m just sick of this. My patience with politicians who are subsidized by the NRA, which was never much more than cynical acceptance, is gone.

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  8. Jenine said on October 3, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    @Charlotte, sounds kinda ghastly, I wish you great vistas and lots of patience.

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  9. Michael said on October 3, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    If the shooter were Muslim the incident would have been politicized before they counted all the bodies. This is getting so old.

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  10. Sherri said on October 3, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    We didn’t get into this situation all at once, and we won’t get out of it all at once either. After an event like Vegas, there’s a focus on “how could we have prevented this specific incident?” While these mass casualty events can provide a catalyzing force, I think the way to reduce them here is to chip away at the larger problem of gun violence. The people killed in Vegas weren’t the only people shot to death that night.

    We’re never going to be able predict in advance who is going to start shooting people; we can find common characteristics, but even so, most people who share those markers don’t go on shooting sprees. It seems simple enough to keep guns away from the mentally ill, but the vast majority of people suffering from mental illness aren’t violent. I take medication daily for mental illness, and the only danger of letting me own a gun is what I might do to myself if I stop treating my mental illness.

    But I do think there are things we can do to reduce gun violence. Undo the more permissive open carry and concealed carry laws that the NRA has managed to pass. Get rid of Stand Your Ground laws. Treat domestic violence like a serious problem, rather than something that bitch does to get back at me. Tax ammunition. Require liability insurance.

    There are non-governmental actions to take as well. Companies can refuse to allow guns on their property. What if organizations like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts started promoting the idea that you should ask if there are guns in the house before going over to a friend’s house to play? Churches can do the same.

    The laws won’t change until the culture changes. The elected making the laws don’t vote the way they vote because the NRA gives them money, it’s because they’re afraid the NRA will fund an opponent to run against them. If such an opponent can’t gain traction, then the NRA loses its leverage.

    Don’t focus on solutions to stop the next Vegas. You’ll never find one. Find ways to reduce gun violence, and events like Vegas will happen less often.

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  11. Jenine said on October 3, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Here’s a youtube video of male bison having a head waggling confrontation followed by a tussle at Yellowstone.
    What magnificent wattles on the biggest guy!

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  12. Suzanne said on October 3, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    I agree, Sherri, but see my comment above. I know very few gun rights people with whom I can have a rational conversation about minor tweaks to gun laws like requiring liability insurance, restricting the amount of ammo that can be purchased, or getting rid of open carry laws. Any time I have mentioned things like that, I get an earful about citizens needing to be armed against the government who will otherwise have us all lined up and off to the camps while they take away our right to worship God. It is hard to imagine the paranoia that is common in rural America if you don’t live here.

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  13. Deborah said on October 3, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    I’ve noticed that the comments have character counts now, at least they do on my iPhone. Is that a hint?

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  14. jcburns said on October 3, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Just an experiment, no hint!

    I got 280 characters to work with on Twitter, and wondered what the average nn.c comment length was.

    There is NO LIMIT here. Go nuts!

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  15. Sherri said on October 3, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Suzanne, I’m not talking about having a conversation with rural paranoiacs. I know how pointless that is. We didn’t change the culture around smoking by convincing smokers, we changed the culture around smoking by convincing other people that they didn’t want to be around smokers. Convince kids and suburban parents that being around guns is bad, and the culture and laws will change.

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  16. Heather said on October 3, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Sherri, that’s an excellent point. I’ve read essays about parents who have to ask their kids’ friends’ parents if they have guns in the home. If yes, they don’t send their kids over there, because they’re afraid of accidents if the kids find them.

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  17. Heather said on October 3, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    I see a five-minute edit button! Yasss!

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  18. Sherri said on October 3, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    On a different topic, I’m probably the last to it, but I’ve been binge watching This Is Us, and really enjoying it. It’s been the perfect antidote. I just finished season 1, though, and now I need some new feel good material since season 2 is just underway. Suggestions?

    (Edit button FTW!)

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  19. Suzanne said on October 3, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Excellent point, Sherri!

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  20. Judybusy said on October 3, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Sherri, we love cozy mystery series. Two of our favorites are Miss Fisher and Death in Paradise. They are not intellectually challenging. Miss Fisher takes place in 1920s Australia, and the wardrobe for her is incredible. Death in Paradise was filmed on Guadeloupe, and that’s how we found out about that lovely island, which we are going to visit in February. Did you ever get into Grace and Frankie? We loved that as well.

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  21. Dorothy said on October 3, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    This is my life now. Squabbling with crazy men in diners.

    Now I feel better about sharing something I did last week that drove me nuts. And it was my own damn fault for answering a call on my cell phone. So on Thursday afternoon I was home early because I’d had an eye doctor appointment. Hubby was home with the nasty bug I had earlier in the week. The caller ID just said Mount Vernon, OH, which is where used to live. Usually I ignore these because I know they are telemarketing. What made me answer it, I don’t know. They mention a medical alert system I can sign up for, and I hit the 1 button to talk to a person, and girlfriend immediately launches into her spiel. Over top of her I’m angrily saying “HOW do I get you people to stop calling me?! I do NOT want or NEED a medical alert system. And she starts shouting waaaaay louder than me “OLD GEEZER! OLD GEEZER! OLD GEEZER!” over and over again. I put her on speaker phone so my husband could hear her, and I said “You need to take me off your list – I am supposed to be on the Do Not Call list!” but she would not stop, so I hung up. Within a minute my phone rings again, this time from a different Mount Vernon OH number. It was her! And she said “And I’m not going to take you off our calling list, bitch!” And she hung up. Well I”m LIVID by this time. I called her back on that second number, and a man answered. After apologizing for bothering him, he said “I get these kinds of calls all the time! I don’t know what the hell is happening!” Then I hung up, and tried calling her on the first number she used to call me from. Same gig – a different guy. And then I knew – she was cloning numbers. Is that not illegal? How do they catch these low lifes? I”ve been meaning to call my Attorney General’s office but have been pretty busy at work. But do any of you know if it’s worth my time to report her? And in the meantime, I vow to never again answer one of those phone calls. I was so furious for several reasons on Thursday, but now when I think about it I really want to laugh at her calling me Old Geezer over and over. I’d punch her lights out if she was within reaching distance, I swear to God. Old Geezer THAT, snotnose boob!

    OMG THE EDIT BUTTON! (How many characters did I use, JC?!?!)

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  22. Judybusy said on October 3, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Dorothy, that’s awful. Once your blood pressure returns to normal, you may be interested in listening to this podcast by Planet Money. It’s all about robocalls. As an experiment, one of the staff answered one, and it rivals yours for how bad it got. I learned that robo callers often use numbers with your prefix, to fool you into thinking it’s someone from your hometown.

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  23. Dave said on October 3, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    We get calls all the time from our old exchange and frequently I get calls on my cellphone that start with the same area code and prefix as my cell number. We mostly ignore them, I’ve never had anyone call me “Old geezer” or get terribly nasty. The other day, I did answer one and it was a legitimate wrong number, I told him to tell everyone in Fort Wayne hello, and he laughed.

    The ability to clone numbers makes it so hard to stop these pesky calls. Calling them back doesn’t work, as you’ve discovered, Dorothy.

    At first, I thought our hostess was going to tell us she got into a interesting conversation, how wrong I was.

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  24. Jim G said on October 3, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Dorothy,

    You can report the robocalls to the FCC here:

    https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us

    They can’t do much about individual spoofed calls, but if enough people report calls they can sometimes figure out who is behind them.

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  25. Jakash said on October 3, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    We get lots of calls with our area code and prefix, but the real treat is when we get one on our land-line, *from our own number*, with the Caller ID showing *our name*. I think that’s happened 2 or 3 times now — the first time really freaked me out. I assumed it was my ghost of Christmas future chiming in… Still, didn’t answer, though.

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  26. Icarus said on October 3, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    @Sherri

    excellent points.

    (Edit button FTW!)

    yes. and if you are looking to tweak, order the comments from most recent (or have a sort button) and have the link to the comments at the start of the post because when you come back several times you just want to get to the newest comments with minimal scrolling.

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  27. Bitter Scribe said on October 3, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Praising the “first responders” is the new version of “support the troops”: a way to deflect criticism. If you were skeptical that a war was justified or necessary, you were against the troops, and if you criticize inaction in the face of natural disasters or mass shootings, you’re insufficiently grateful to the first responders. IOW, the people who make the messes are hiding behind the people who clean up their messes.

    I used to respond to beggars and unwanted conversationalists by pretending to be a foreigner and babbling in vaguely Slavic-sounding gibberish. Not exactly dignified, but it always worked.

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  28. Dorothy said on October 3, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Thank you, Jim G. I just filled out the form and submitted it.

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  29. FDChief said on October 3, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    What I find deeply ironic (and by that I mean “dear God, how fucked up is this..?”) is that when I was a GI and being paid to, y’know burn women and children and kill villages, the only accessible firearms for my 500-odd-man infantry battalion was the Staff Duty Officer’s sidearm. Every other firearm was locked in the company arms rooms and that included any personal weapons owned by individual troopers.

    When we drew arms for, say, range fire we were inspected when we came off the firing line to ensure we had no live rounds or even expended brass cartridge cases.

    The ease with which any dingus can acquire semiautomatic firearms and a gajillion rounds of ammunition is, simply, insane.

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  30. Icarus said on October 3, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    I used to respond to beggars and unwanted conversationalists by pretending to be a foreigner and babbling in vaguely Slavic-sounding gibberish. Not exactly dignified, but it always worked.

    I tried to do the same with Polish but I don’t know enough to pull it off half the time unless I really bring my A game.

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  31. Bitter Scribe said on October 3, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Icarus: Gibberish is the way to go. If you try to speak Polish or any other actual language, there’s always the danger that the beggar/lonely guy will be a native speaker, and then you’ll never get rid of him.

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  32. jcburns said on October 3, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Icarus, have you tried clicking on any of the names in the ‘commenting today’ sidebar? gets you to the comments (or a SPECIFIC one) at lightning speed.

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  33. alex said on October 3, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    I used to respond to beggars and unwanted conversationalists by pretending to be a foreigner and babbling in vaguely Slavic-sounding gibberish. Not exactly dignified, but it always worked.

    I used to answer telemarketing calls in my best pidgin English. “Solly. No home. No Ingrish.”

    I recognize the robocalls anymore and lately I pick up/hang up so that there won’t be a long dial tone on my answering machine as so often happens, or reminders to call back on my cell phone.

    One very persistent company has a recorded perky-sounding female voice telling me I’ve won a vacation, and they always use my old exchange from my old neighborhood in Chicago. I had ported the landline number to my cell phone years ago.

    If you transpose two digits of a local Ob/Gyn clinic you get my landline, I discovered. I get a lot of messages intended for that clinic.

    (Yay! Ruv crick to edit. No typo!)

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  34. Peter said on October 3, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    When they call and say they have a great deal for my phone, cable, credit card, etc. I tell them that’s great – I want to spend MORE money on fees and interest, because I don’t think I spend ENOUGH, and I think that AT&T (or Comcast, etc.) deserve MORE of my money because it’s so hard for them to make a profit.

    That’ll shut them up.

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  35. Deborah said on October 3, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Our Comcast bill in Santa Fe went through the roof this month, so I called them with every intention of dropping cable and only having internet. They gave me a deal lopping $100 off the bill and still keeping cable minus a few channels that we never use. It’s just for a year and when the time is up it’s goodbye cable.

    I get many robocalls from 312 numbers on my cell, I fell for it at first, now I ignore them but they haven’t lessened.

    I’m still extremely steamed that a minority of assholes can keep us in the dark ages of gun violence. Why do we let them?

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  36. Jolene said on October 3, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    What is cloning phone calls? Never heard this term.

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  37. Jolene said on October 3, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Nick Kristof has some ideas for reducing gun violence based, more or less, on the approach Sherri is suggesting, i.e., a multi-faceted approach that, over time, could cut down the carnage. Getting caught up in what would have prevented the last horror show is a trap.

    Of course, as Suzanne pointed out, even these reasonable ideas will be met with opposition. I posted Kristof’s column to a Facebook discussion last night, and two different guys gave me point-by-point refutations as to why these were lousy ideas.

    We need more people who will treat gun violence as a voting issue the way Second Amendment absolutists do.

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  38. Deborah said on October 3, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    I think cloning calls means that there is some way that telemarketers can rig up their calls to you to have your area code no matter where they’re calling from. I’ve noticed that some of the calls I get have a number that shows up on my caller id that’s really close to my number, like one digit difference.

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  39. Deborah said on October 3, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Is it just me in my liberal bubble, or does it seem that more people are incensed by the lack of any gun control efforts. Will this fade in a few days? Probably.

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  40. David C. said on October 3, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Our phone is VOIP and we have the option of a shit list of blocked numbers, but you just can’t keep up. After the hurricanes the phone was ringing off the hook. We didn’t answer, but it never stopped. So we’ve gone to a white list of numbers that are allowed to call us. Anyone who really needs to call us knows an alternative way to contact us. We keep it on the white list for a month or so and it seems to calm down.

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  41. Suzanne said on October 3, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    It does seem like people are little madder about this shooting. The carnage hit a country music concert in a conservative, open carry state and was perpetrated by a middle aged white guy with no history of issues. In other words, these are all “real Americans” in a place where being able to strut around with a gun in the open would, in theory, scare the “bad guys with guns” enough to keep them on the straight & narrow. It didn’t.
    Also, the way the shooting happened, only a completely delusional person would think that being at that concert with a weapon, even an Kalasnikov rifle, anyone would have been able to take out the active shooter. He was too far away, behind a dark window in the dark. Even if the “good guy with a gun” could have pinpointed where the shots came from right away, he would never been able to hit the shooter from that distance.
    So, in a flash, all their normal pro-gun arguments lost their luster.

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  42. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 3, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    The problem with the demon on the other shoulder is that he makes such a compelling case. And to be perfectly frank, is not always wrong.

    JC, some of us should not be tempted to excess. Get thee behind me, Webmaster!

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 3, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Click to edit . . . as George Takei would say: “Oh, myyyyyyyy.”

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  44. Bitter Scribe said on October 3, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Suzanne @ 41: One genius thinks that someone in the next room should have been packing, stepped across the hall and…I dunno, shot the door down?

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  45. Jolene said on October 3, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    GOP hypocrisy on another topic.

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  46. Saint Bitch said on October 3, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Sherri@18,

    “The Deuce” on HBO…David Simon’s signature on it…and it looks like Megan Abbott is a story editor.

    More in the “This is Us” vein…”Atypical”, a Netflix original…a high-functioning autistic teenager looking for romance, and his family dynamic. I was just browsing and got binge-hooked, in spite of having to scrunch my eyes closed (then peek through my fingers) whenever Jennifer Jason Leigh’s painfully stretched face-lift was on the screen. As she plays the thoroughly annoying MILF of the series protagonist, with an unsympathetic story arc, she was a distraction…but not enough to detract from the lead, and the excellent actress who plays his sister.

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  47. Heather said on October 3, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Jolene, I saw a tweet from the Daily Beast asking any woman who was pressured to have an abortion by a GOP House member to contact them.

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  48. Colleen said on October 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    If I don’t know who the caller is, I don’t answer. They can leave a message. They rarely do.
    I am so sick of “thoughts and prayers” I could throw up. They. Do. Nothing. And the people saying that now is not the time to discuss gun control. Well when is a good time? We’ve got a mass shooting every day (last I read, there have been 270 some this year). And the gun nuts go apeshit at the mere mention of ANY law that would regulate firearms. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of a lot of things in this country right now. And most of all, I am sick of feeling so completely powerless to actually DO anything.

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  49. David C. said on October 3, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    RBG gave Gorsuch a good smack-down in the Wisconsin gerrymandering case. It won’t matter to him. Like Scalia, original intent means whatever he needs it to be to rule as he damn well pleases, but at least she managed to shut him up for the rest of the arguments. https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/ginsburg-slaps-gorsuch

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  50. Dexter said on October 4, 2017 at 3:19 am

    Brian, About 15 years ago I was cycling and on the sidewalk were three gabbing teen girls. As I crossed the street behind their sidewalk, I saw a fiver, which I retrieved, and asked them if they were missing any cash…and yeah…one had cash hanging out her back pocket, and she had lost the fiver.

    fdchief: yeah, stateside the weapons were under heavy guard. Even at some duty stations in Vietnam, the 16s were locked up. So a guy in our platoon obtained an AK-47 (a Czek one, a good one) and a bunch of ammo and magazines, so if hell broke loose, at least we’d have one rifle at the ready at all times. None of us medics ever were issued our promised .45 pistol.

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  51. Suzanne said on October 4, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Yesterday I was slightly hopeful about this latest shooting spurring on change on guns. Today, nope. Radio report that Republican politicians are saying they won’t consider any gun control measures. Followed by an interview ith a man whose daughter was shot in Vegas. She lived but will have a bullet lodged near her spine for the rest of her life. Was he rethinking his stance on readily available guns and gun parts? Nope! Not the guns fault. Crap happens in life

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  52. coozledad said on October 4, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Republicans could go kick those prone bodies down the street and bathe in their blood, and dumbass Americans will just heave a sigh of relief that the blood god has been sated. They believe in the ugly pink husks of their souls that it reduces the chances of it happening to them. This country is fucked because its moral literacy topped out at “Gunsmoke”.

    Show me a woman-hating streak of gunhumping shit and I’ll show you a murderer, and a plurality of white male voters as well.
    https://twitter.com/ThePlumLineGS/status/915537427900624896

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  53. Deborah said on October 4, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Maybe we should start protesting outside of gun shops like the anti-abortion people do outside of abortion provider clinics. Of course this would probably get you on a death threat list but it might make people think about it. Oh, who am I kidding, it will just make the gun nuts more angry and how does that help? Are there any groups out there doing this?

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  54. Deborah said on October 4, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    I just read something on Slate from a few years ago that protests at gun shops aren’t popular because people exiting at gun shops often have loaded weapons on them and a protest could entice them to use it. Sick. Why are we at the mercy of horrible people who hoard guns and worship their right to do so? I am soooooo tired of this.

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  55. Rana said on October 4, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    L. A. Mary (@#7), I have argued with so many fools on the internet the last day or so that I maxxed out my self-imposed “swear jar” quota. (Basically, if I get into it with random people about some controversial topic, my penalty is that I need to donate money to an organization doing work to fix the problem.) I am thoroughly and officially OVER IT with regards to people who like to “argue” by talking points and who can’t actually think about the implications of what they’re mouthing.

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  56. Rana said on October 4, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Regarding the phone calls… one advantage to being mildly phone-averse (I prefer text) is that there’s only a handful of people who actually call me. So any unfamiliar number can be safely ignored and sent to voicemail.

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  57. Heather said on October 4, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    I don’t answer numbers I don’t know. And when someone I know does call me, especially a family member, I immediately start to worry that someone died or is ill.

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  58. Sherri said on October 4, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Fucking Democratic Party.

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a12781302/democrats-alabama-mississippi-progressives/

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  59. Charlotte said on October 4, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Sherri — this makes me crazy! If there was a better race to throw money into, and to maky hay off of its the guy who prosecuted the Birmingham Church Bombing vs. Ray fucking Moore! And the Dem party can’t see this? Go for the moral high ground, go loud and go big. Jesus on a cracker …

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  60. Sherri said on October 4, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    It’s always, always, always about the relationships.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/04/opinion/gun-control-nra-vegas.html

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  61. Dexter said on October 5, 2017 at 3:02 am

    I am a big fan of David Simon. After the first few episodes of The Wire he’d come on the chatroom and we’d kick the show around for fun. We were pretty sure it was him and not a troll/phony. Anyway, The Deuce is stacking up in my dvr…whorin’ just doesn’t interest me. Hell, years before the show’s time-set (1971), my high school’s senior trip took us to Manhattan and on the rainy night we were marching to Radio City Music Hall, the whores lined the streets and the class sponsor teachers were barking at us to not look at them nor talk to them…so the topic is worn thin for me. Also, the chain smoking —having to watch that makes my chest hurt. Maybe I’ll catch up, yeah, maybe. Now Ray Donovan, that’s my show. And “Dice”, with Andrew Dice Clay, so damn funny. And after five years, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is back and it never missed a beat.

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  62. Dorothy said on October 5, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Dexter I feel the same way about The Deuce. I had such high hopes for it. But I could not get past the first episode – in fact I didn’t watch the whole thing. It was too gloomy and I just could not work up any desire to see more of the same. I think Nancy is watching it and will look forward to her take on it.

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  63. Diane said on October 6, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Dexter @61,

    I felt the same way about The Wire. I’m from Baltimore and for several years people kept telling me how great it was, how I absolutely needed to watch it, etc. and I just couldn’t get into the idea of a series about dealing drugs in Baltimore. I started the first episode a couple times and finally, probably on my third attempt just about as season five was ending on HBO, my husband and I watched the series long enough to get thoroughly hooked!

    So my husband asked me why I was recording the Deuce since he didn’t think either of us would have an interest in 70s porn. I said, it might be like the Wire, something that we don’t think we want to watch but end up loving. We haven’t watched any of it yet because we also recorded Ken Burns Vietnam series and are making our way through it (actually, he is done and I am on episode 6).

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