Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

It’s Memorial Day as I write this, and while I have largely kept my resolution to minimize screen time this weekend, even a reduced schedule of check-ins reveals the patriots are out in full force, demanding I give thanks for my freedom, purchased with the blood of brave soldiers.

Which is why I was struck by a final post, by a veteran, positing that we haven’t fought a war for our freedom since 1945. Korea, Vietnam, Gulf Wars I and II and the many skirmishes in between — Grenada, anyone? — were mainly foreign-policy blunders for which we are still paying, in one form or another, while their architects go about unpunished.

A bold statement. And yet, one with which I largely agree.

Grenada, man. Haven’t thought of that one for a while. I sat next to a Grenada vet at a dinner party once, who had me in stitches describing the ambitious officers who swarmed all over the island during that brief war-with-umbrella-drinks, getting their campaign ribbons so as to continue their career climbs unimpeded by a failure to “see combat.”

“And what did you do there?” I asked.

“Maintained a radio beacon for aircraft,” he said. “It was on the beach. I had to check it every 30 minutes, which was good, because it reminded me to turn over and tan the other side.”

And yet, still, about 20 American lives were lost, 6,000 troops were sent, to protect 1,000 American civilians in residence, most of them medical students. I wonder how those dead soldiers’ loved ones feel about their sacrifice.

Ah well. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

The long weekend was much-appreciated, even if it was fairly formless. The heat descended like a sledgehammer, and I spent much of Monday indoors, reading lazily and trying to avoid the outdoors. Had a long bike ride early, just to shake off the laziness, before it got too steamy. Saw an old friend, met a new one — Icarus, one of our commenting community. We sat in a nearly deserted air-conditioned bar and had a couple of beers, chatting about Grosse Pointe and Chicago. Sunday was a long day, starting at 5 a.m., when I went to a sunrise party, one of the many, many unofficial events connected to the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, or Movement. It was held at an art park run by a merry chap, and a certain happy anarchy presides over the place. Note the spire, a new addition in the last couple of years:

It shoots fire:

Gentrified Detroit is creeping out to him, and I wonder how long the place can endure. A graffiti artist died there a while back; he fell through a roof. It seems only a matter of time before someone decides such lawlessness can’t be tolerated, especially with flamethrowers. But for now, it rocks on, and I was happy to be there, one of a handful who arrived after a night of sleep. Most appeared to have played through the night.

In between all this lazing about and dawn’s-early-light partying, we watched “All the Money in the World,” a reminder that rich people are often some of the absolute worst ones in it. And I read the news, paying attention to the repeal-the-8th vote in Ireland, and the conservative keening about it stateside. I wish they’d spend less time worrying about culture war and more studying politics. A friend told me that a four-point win or above in any race qualifies as decisive, and this one, with 66 percent in favor, is a legit landslide, without qualification. That speaks to a deep dissatisfaction among the people who had to live with this law, the humiliation it heaped on women who had to go abroad to get abortions, the real harm done to those with medical complications related to pregnancy (including the worst complication of all), not to mention Ireland’s shameful history with the Magdalene laundries and other mother-and-baby homes. A vote that lopsided speaks to a people trying to right a wrong, and at times like this it’s probably best to keep your mouth shut, if you disagree.

And now, in the waning hours of this lovely long weekend, I’m going to return to my book. A novel. An escape. Let the summer begin.

Posted at 5:51 pm in Current events, Detroit life, Movies |

65 responses to “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.”

  1. Brandon said on May 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Saw an old friend, met a new one — Icarus, one of our commenting community. We sat in a nearly deserted air-conditioned bar and had a couple of beers, chatting about Grosse Pointe and Chicago.

    If I get to that part of the mainland, maybe I will. It’s always a little different meeting in person those you know only online.

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  2. David C. said on May 28, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    I saw this article about an American family who moved to Ireland because it outlawed abortion. Poor dears don’t know what to do now. Howzabout suck it up and join the civilized world – world that is now genuinely pro-life with family leave, a family allowance, and health care for everybody. They’re whining about illegal voters, too. I have a couple of Irish Facebook friends and they both said that right-wing Americans telling them how to vote was good for 10% of the vote. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but I wouldn’t be too surprised.


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  3. Jeff Borden said on May 28, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Surely the Orange King’s Memorial Day tweet will join MLK’s “I Have a Dream” as one of the great orations in American history. . .

    “Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!”

    What a worthless bag of shit. Nice, my ass.

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  4. Julie Robinson said on May 28, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Didn’t tune in to news at all today. Did my laps in the pool, then we had a cookout for the kids’ friends where they had lots of fun and we tried to remember wearing bikinis.

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  5. beb said on May 28, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    Geoge H W Bush who is on death’s door sent out a better tweet than the orange monster ever could.

    If Il Douche really cared for the men and woman in our armed services he would declare an avenue to citizenship to any non-citizen who serves in the military and qualifies for an honorable discharge at the end of their first turn of duty. If a guy is willing to die for this country the least we can do is call him an American.

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  6. brian stouder said on May 28, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    A great post, indeed. Feels like summertime (and what is the totem on the right side of the first pic?) (On second thought, don’t answer that!)

    We watched a worthwhile Nicole Kidman movie on the tv-machine (The Dressmaker); and a truly off-beat 2014 Western w/Tommy Lee Jones and Hillary Swank called The Homesman.

    Aside from that, we’ve just been chillin’

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  7. FDChief said on May 28, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    I post this every year on this day. It never seems to get much traffic.

    “It seems to me that the VERY best thing for the majority of Americans would be to think of this Memorial Day not as time reserved for barbeques and softball in the park, but as the time it took a 19-year-old private to bleed out, alone amid the dying crowd in the grass before the wall at Fredricksburg.

    The time it took a husband and father to convulse his way into death from typhus in the tent hospital outside Santiago de Cuba.

    The time that the battalion runner, a former mill hand from Utica, New York, spent in a shell hole in the Argonne staring at the rest of his life drizzling out of his shattered legs.

    The time it took for the jolting trip down the Apennines to the CCP, unfelt by the father of three because of the jagged rip in his gut wall that killed him that morning.

    The time required to freeze a high school kid from Corvallis, Oregon, to the parched, high ground above the Yalu River.

    The time it took for the resupply bird to come to FSB Albany for the plastic bag that contained what had been a young man from the Bronx who would never see the Walt Frazier he loved play again.

    The time taken up by the last day in the life of a professional officer whose fiance will never understand why she died in a “vehicular accident” in the middle of a street in Taji.

    I’ve been proud to be a soldier. But the modern view of war as video entertainment for the masses sickens me. Every single fucking human being needs to have it driven into his or her forehead with a steel nail that every single day in every single war some person dies a stupid, meaningless death that snuffs out a world in a moment. That those empty eyes zipped inside a bag or covered by a bloody blanket were once the windows to an entire universe.

    That the price we pay for “forging our national will” is paid in the unlived futures of those we kill and those of us who die to make it so.

    Maybe then we’d be sure of what we want and what we do before we open the goddamn doors of the Temple of Janus.”


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  8. Dexter Friend said on May 29, 2018 at 1:21 am

    I watched the Arlington ceremony and heard Trump, then postponed my planned trip to Williamston, Michigan’s Summit Cemetery to finally visit the grave where my US Army basic training buddy has lain since early 1971, dying at Christmastime, 1970 in a helicopter crash in Vietnam, east of Saigon, shot down in an observation chopper. I knew he died from an account in the Stars and Stripes paper we’d get sporadically over there. But, at 96F, with potentially heavy freeway traffic on a holiday, and my old van, I postponed it again. Next time I have a clear schedule I’ll just rent a new car and go there worry-free…it’s only about 110 miles from here.
    I was against my generation’s war since I was 15 and called into radio shows with my thoughts about it. I distrusted all the pols, from lying HHH (“light at the end of the tunnel”) to LBJ & Nixon, from George McBundy and Maxwell Taylor to McNamara and to the military’s General Westmoreland. Amidst all this, with huge protests occuring in major US cities, I then had to decide to flee the country, go to jail, or just go to the draft. No money to flee, no skills to support myself if I had gone to Canada, and not about to go to jail for anything, I just went, and I took the step. In 1975 the terrible war ceased and then as the years rolled by, the events nance mentions went down. I worked in the factory later with a sniper who was sent to Grenada. He said the tough part was lugging that big heavy sniper rifle kit up some hill where his job was to sit there for about 12 hours everyday. Never killed anyone. Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Shock and Awe, crispy critters, giant water bottles, IEDs…all these terms in the news, and really, all the talk about freedom? Lies. Remember blue fingers in the Iraqi election process? All of it bullshit. Still, I remember and honor, at least in thought, family such as Uncle Joshua Eberly, a lieutenant in the Union infantry who died in battle at Chickamauga in 1863, Dad’s uncle who died in training at a facility in New Jersey in 1918 of the flu epidemic. I honor the memory of two uncles who fought in the freezing Battle of the Bulge, and I honor the memory of my boyhood pal Steve who died in a swollen river in Vietnam 52 years ago. They all died because they were just doing what they had to do, they died serving the cause, whatever it was and however they interpreted it.

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  9. Suzanne said on May 29, 2018 at 6:45 am

    I saw The Homesman. Read the book, too, which is excellent. Offbeat, yes, but a great depiction of the reality of life on the prairie. Depressing, monotonous, difficult. I don’t doubt many more people than anyone will ever know lost their minds.

    FDCHief, that was truth. This year, in particular, I couldn’t stomach all the patriotic fluff I saw everywhere. It’s a fine line between honoring the dead and celebrating death. I think too many choose the latter and romanticize it.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on May 29, 2018 at 9:35 am

    We always watch the concert from DC on PBS, and in recent years they’ve focused heavily on the horrific injuries survivors are coming home with. There was a segment this year on suicide with hotlines available. I don’t know if the vets who need that information are watching or not.

    It’s a huge problem. Our son has several friends who served, and they all came home with huge issues. A couple are doing better now; one says he has found his life’s mission helping to fund and build homes for other vets. I hate these trumped up wars that have damaged a generation. Two generations now, I guess.

    Yesterday the young people were out in the sun and the pool, and as I saw their pale, pale skin, I went into full Mom mode. I marched out there with my cans of sunscreen and told them I couldn’t help myself, I had to ask them to put sunscreen on. I apologized profusely, but explained that once my mom genes had been activated, they couldn’t be turned off. I was embarrassed but compelled.

    They were all very kind and several of them indulged me by putting on sunscreen. I like to think they are thanking me today.

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  11. Bitter Scribe said on May 29, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Whoever he is, that vet has it exactly right. Pretty much every war we’ve fought since World War II (Korea possibly excepted) has been the result of stupid or uninformed politicians making foolish choices, which they or their successors refused to disavow because it would make them lose face.

    When I hear “Support our troops,” I think, Yes, support them against their worst enemies: blundering politicians.

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  12. FDChief said on May 29, 2018 at 11:20 am

    I think one thing that every GI “gets” that a lot of Americans who have never worn the tree suit doesn’t – and, mind, this doesn’t make the GI’s “better”, or more patriotic, or the sort of speshul snowflake that all the “support the troops” blather makes us out to be; remember, these are the same dickheads, stoners, jocks, nerds, goofballs, cut-ups, and regular doofs you went to high school with only they’re all wearing the same colored clothes – is the appallingly, mind-boggling, stupid randomness of death in war.

    Many, maybe most, of the people who die in wars die doing something pointless, get blown away seemingly at random. Not everybody; some guys really DO get theirs assaulting Pt. Du Hoe, or defending Bastogne. But for every troop who gets waxed doing something military there’s half a dozen who get blown to rags by some random artillery round, or, even more ridiculous, get run over by some half-asleep logpac truck driver, or take a round through the head while squatting to take a dump.

    War really is a huge fucking waste, waste as in “thrown away”, tossed carelessly on the junk heap in what seems like total randomness. Talk about Grenada; I was one of those Grenada heeee-roes and I can back up your man’s tales. Yep, it was a total goat rodeo…and, yet, people – Americans, Grenadians, Cubans – paid in blood.

    Example; the Ranger Batt guys were tasked to pull an airmobile raid on what was supposed to be a military installation on a place called Calvigny Point. Something in the airlift went wrong; I’ve heard various versions, from simple pilot error by one of the UH-60 helo drivers to panic when some random joker started shooting at the incoming aircraft. Whatever the reason, two aircraft collided, with one of them falling into chalks of Rangers on the ground with main rotor turning, randomly chopping guys into Ranger tartare. Three KIA, 4 WIA and I mean horrifically wounded; arms and legs lost, just cut to pieces.

    And the supposed “military installation”? Deserted. Utterly worthless. The intel was completely screwed, and two guys with a case of C-rations could have walked into the place and taken over like a boss.

    So as long ago as it was and as much of a footnote to history was it is, people died in that ridiculous little “war”, and they were as dead as any GI who stormed ashore across Omaha Beach.

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  13. Bitter Scribe said on May 29, 2018 at 11:27 am

    As I recall, the Grenada invasion was promulgated by Ronald Reagan to make people forget that hundreds of Marines had been killed by a suicide bomber in Lebanon. It worked, at least in terms of maintaining Reagan’s popularity. The man knew optics, if little else.

    FDChief: Thanks for the honest firsthand account of Grenada.

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  14. nancy said on May 29, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Thanks to FDChief for the best posts of the day.

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  15. Bitter Scribe said on May 29, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Regarding the Rod Dreher post Nancy linked to: He’s whining about how the Irish abortion-rights vote is yet another nail in the coffin of “traditional Christianity.” Then, perhaps dimly aware that being unable to force “whores” (his word) to bear children against their will might not count as a loss of “religious liberty,” he switches to gay marriage, his favorite bugaboo. Apparently having to endure the presence of married same-sex couples is a violation of that “liberty.”

    I would like to take the nitwits at the New Yorker who greenlighted their profile of Dreher and force them to read Dreher’s drivel until their brains scramble.

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  16. alex said on May 29, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Roseanne cancelled! Yay!


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  17. Dave B. said on May 29, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    I was going to be drafted into the Army, so my buddies and I joined the Marines in 1966. After a tour in Vietnam in the DMZ and surviving the 77 day Siege of Khe Sanh and many other hot spots, I was discharged as a sergeant and a purple heart recipient. My welcome back home was underwhelming to say the least.
    Years later I realized the only freedom I’d damn near died for was the corrupt leadership of S. Vietnam. Vietnam was a series of blunders brought on by many U.S. presidents…unlike the Iraq war which was Bush and Cheney’s war.
    I’m not bitter, but jealous of the way our G.I.s are treated today…even though they are all volunteers, unlike most Vietnam vets.
    What really pisses me off is the fact that so many of today’s chicken hawks like Bush, Cheney, Trump, and John Bolton went to great extremes to avoid combat back when they had the opportunity.

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  18. ROGirl said on May 29, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Now that Roseanne Barr’s tv show has been cancelled because of a racist tweet, when will Donald Trump’s show be cancelled?

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  19. FDChief said on May 29, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks, Nancy. I only wish that they had been about a matter less grievous.

    For anyone interested in that bizarre, forgotten little “war”, I wrote a personal account of my Caribbean adventures here: http://firedirectioncenter.blogspot.com/search/label/Grenada

    Keep in mind it’s NOT “history”; it’s MY history, what I saw when my country paid to send me on a trip to the Spice Island. It’s a very…odd time and place that is now almost forgotten.

    But a lot of the sort of thing that got Americans, Grenadians, and Cubans killed and maimed over the next thirty years got started on a sunny October in 1983. So you might find something to ponder in young Doc Chief’s History of a Campaign That Failed…

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  20. brian stouder said on May 29, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Dave B – well said!

    And – indeed – another ivy-league guy who could have very easily skipped the draft, and the war – but who enlisted and ‘saw the elephant’ and came home a decorated combat veteran? –

    Bob Mueller, of course!

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  21. brian stouder said on May 29, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    …and indeed, our current Commander-in-Chief prefers that ‘his heroes’ not be the ones who are captured…..

    completely ignoring that McCain could easily have opted out, too; or sold out, once he was captured…which in itself ignores the intestinal fortitude it takes to fly a damned plane off the deck of a ship; let alone facing the prospect of having to land it again on the ship; let alone getting shot down and having to bail out of the plane; let alone face capture and torture at the hands of the people you’ve been bombing….!!

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  22. Deborah said on May 29, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    FDChief, I look forward to your comments, they’re always on point. Thanks for what you say and how you say it.

    I read that first Wanda Sykes quit the Rosanne show, then they canceled it. Good for Wanda.

    I’m sitting outside, another beautiful day in Santa Fe, and another week of no rain according to the forecast. That isn’t good at all. We lost about 2/3 of our lavender plants in the side yard. I think it’s because there was so little precipitation over the winter, but I’m no expert. They still might rally but they’re probably not going to produce much this season. We got a grocery bag full of lavender last year for making into sachets (and I mean the stuff harvested from the stalks). I’ve been looking all over Santa Fe for Silverlace vines for the trellis we built and have been having no luck. Silverlace is very prolific around here, grows super fast and needs less water, also attracts bees like mad. I don’t know why it is so scarce at the nurseries right now?

    In Abiquiu we are experimenting with planting. So far I’ve only planted 2 Russian sages, they hold up pretty good in drought conditions. Although we are watering them with water we haul in.

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  23. Dexter Friend said on May 29, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Dave B. : 29May71, the day a Capt. Dooley signed my separation from active duty papers at Fort Lewis, WA. 47 years ago today. Glad you made it back, too. Underwhelming, a good choice of a word. My niece’s ex came home from Iraq as part of a Reserve unit to a huge townspeople’s welcoming turnout, with parties all through the night. In our war, after 1966, we went individually and we left Vietnam individually, joining units along the way. I flew over knowing no one on board, and left with strangers too.
    I have the same understanding and feelings about the war as you do. Hell, I felt that way when I was there! I met one man from the Khe Sanh siege; I met him while sitting in a waiting room at Battle Creek VA hospital in 2015. Shortly into the firing, he was hit by small arms fire. His next memory was waking up on a jet evac plane. He had been medevaced to the hospital in Da Nang and after a while sent back home, stopping in Japan. He was a quiet fella, didn’t say much else…he was there as a driver for a friend. The exam room was on the cardiac unit floor and his pal had a bad ticker.

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  24. Dexter Friend said on May 29, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    brian…Bob Mueller and John Kerry were classmates at the most elite prep school in New England; both went to Vietnam, and Mueller received the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” for heroism and the Purple Heart Medal. Mueller, as a Princeton man, easily could have found a way out of service, same for Kerry. And for anyone who even slightly believed the “swift boaters” who called Kerry a coward and other nasty references, you were wrong. My friend Joe was a swift boat EM and he told me how harrowing it was patrolling those narrow as well as the very wide waterways of the Mekong Delta on north to the more narrow rivers…sitting ducks, always on the alert 100% because you knew the shooting was going to start…but when? John Kerry was a war hero.

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  25. David C. said on May 29, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    I feel bad for ABC. Who could have known a crazy racist actress, who adores a crazy racist president, would have Tweeted crazy racist things. Couldn’t somebody have put up a sign or something?

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  26. alex said on May 29, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    I find it encouraging that ABC still has standards, but you’re right David C. What the fuck were they thinking in the first place? That Roseanne would humanize Trump voters and make them seem warm and fuzzy?

    The fallout in the local media comments sections on the web is pretty predictable. The nutters are out in full force demanding that ABC cancel shows they perceive as liberal. Talking points gleaned from Fox I suspect.

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  27. Julie Robinson said on May 29, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Roseanne had one good joke, about wanting a riding vacuum cleaner, and somehow she built a career from that. I’m not sure there was sufficient creativity or intellect for more, but in true sitcom fashion it didn’t stop anyone. I hope she goes away for good and fear she will now be the right wing’s new darling.

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  28. Suzanne said on May 29, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    A brief look at the posts on Facebook about canceling Roseanne’s show, yes, many comments about free speech, just a joke, just her opinion, etc. Really? Stating that someone is the spawn of Muslims and apes? Stating that Georg Soros became wealthy by turning in his fellow Jews and then stealing their money during WWII (when he was just a kid)? ROTFL. Not.
    FWIW, I didn’t find Kathy Griffin’s pic of Orange Julius’s head funny either.

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  29. Joe Kobiela said on May 29, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    I take it your down at the big rally? :]
    Pilot Joe

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  30. Jolene said on May 29, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    I didn’t hear it myself, but apparently both Sean Hannity and Tomi Lahren, one of the most loathesome of right-wing media personalities, denounced Roseanne Barr’s remarks, so there is still some shame in that side of the universe.

    It was, though, as others have said, a bad bet to try to build a show around her. Sara Gilbert, who drove the reboot, said that both Roseanne’s actual children and the people who played her children on the show tried to keep her away from social media, but, obviously, they didn’t succeed.

    Barr has said, at various points, that she has bipolar disorder, and her behavior provides no reason to doubt her. Her flamboyance and outrageousness are characteristic of people who don’t take their disease seriously, and the fact that the tweet that precipitated her firing was posted at 2:30 AM is just another indicator of her being out of control. Mania drives people to go without sleep and do and say crazy things.

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  31. Linda said on May 29, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    I really liked several seasons of the first incarnation of the Roseanne show, until the wheels fell off and it got out of touch with reality. The second incarnation seemed a cynical ploy to suck up to red state people. But the fiasco proves something: if people are assholes or self destructive, don’t bank on them, no matter how tempting it might be. It will bite you in the ass.

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  32. Dexter Friend said on May 30, 2018 at 2:47 am

    Jolene, you are in-tune. On Tuesday, Roseanne’s dismissal was discussed on the comedy sat-channel I listen to, on XM. Ron Bennington interviews many celebs and he reported Roseanne was clearly unbalanced during the last interview. At one point she froze, looked around, up and down, and sort of panicky asked “where the hell ARE we?” She’d stay on-point for a while then for moments become non-responsive, then snap back to reality. But not as bad as Art Garfunkel in his old age, jeezuss…that guy is off his fucking rocker. He began his interview and 3 minutes in, decided he needed coffee and he began wandering the hallways. He had been doing interviews at various stations in the complex and had had coffee at each interview. Nuts. Twenty minutes later the interns found him and he gave a decent interview. But Ginger Baker? OMG. He’s so baked and just out-of-it, the interview lasted about 20 seconds and his handlers took him back to his hotel for a nap. Totally deranged.

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  33. Julie Robinson said on May 30, 2018 at 8:20 am

    She’s blaming Ambien now, and I understand it may have such side effects. So why not put the phone where she couldn’t get to it? These are not the actions of a mature adult.

    And she’s saying she was wrong, but at the same time retweeting messages supporting her. Again, this is not how apologies work.

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  34. Joe Kobiela said on May 30, 2018 at 8:50 am

    See there is a growing concern over e-bikes on Michigan trails, pro-con? Whats your opinion on it, personally I can see arguments on both sides, great for people that need some help, but where does it end speed and safety wise?
    Pilot Joe

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  35. Deborah said on May 30, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Has Trump got any capacity for shame? I wake up to a story about how Trump led the crowd in booing McCain at a rally last night. McCain is dying for God’s sake. No matter what or who the president of the United States should not be smearing ANY individuals in public like that. Disgusting.

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  36. Suzanne said on May 30, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Read a tweet this morning from a reporter who was at the tRump rally (why is he even having this Nazi-esque rallies? Oh, wait. I know).
    Reporter said he talked to several people who were very pleasant and engaging until the rally started and then they turned really ugly, chanting awful things. He likened it to a pro-wrestling match or the Jerry Springer show ; every one knows it’s fake but part of the shtick is the screaming and yelling and said several people told him so. They just like the atmosphere.
    Thing is, they don’t all know it’s fake. tRump doesn’t seem to know.

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  37. Icarus said on May 30, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Lots to catch up on. First, pleasure meeting you in person Nancy. It was easy to talk to you and I felt we could have closed that place down talking about everything going on under the sun if we didn’t have other obligations.

    Second, I was wondering. Do the people who are butt hurt about Colin kneeling and feel that the 1st amendment doesn’t apply when you are on the job also feel that the 2nd amendment doesn’t apply if your employer says you cannot bring your firearm into the office, in spite of you CC level? Or a place of business does the same?

    Third, Hope this works, but if it doesn’t:

    Mrs. Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian

    It’s such a delicate balance: To be *just* racist enough to cash in on the #MAGA demographic and make the network money, but not be *too* racist enough to drive away advertisers and lose the network money.

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  38. jcburns said on May 30, 2018 at 11:12 am

    I think Trump’s the worst of both worlds: he’s smart enough to realize he’s just playing on/manipulating/fanning the flames of the ugly crowd psychosis, but he’s egotistical enough to believe the adoration for him is quite real.

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  39. Jolene said on May 30, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    In a now-deleted tweet, Roseanne blamed her unfortunate tweet on Ambien. Sanofi, the manufacturer, responded brilliantly:

    People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.

    I love that last sentence so much. Understated and dismissive. Exactly right.

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  40. Jakash said on May 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    “She’s blaming Ambien now, and I understand it may have such side effects.”

    Aaaand, the drug maker responds:


    “People of all races, religions and nationalities work at Sanofi every day to improve the lives of people around the world. While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”

    (I know that’s not what you meant, Julie.) : )

    BTW, folks, if you enjoy innocuous websites trolling the trollers, check out Dictionary . com’s Twitter feed sometime.


    “There’s another way of saying ‘departed from the truth.’ It’s just four letters long. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/lied

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  41. Jakash said on May 30, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Well, Jolene beat me to the punch with that one, regardless, but I guess I loaded up a comment with too many links and it’s in moderation. I realize now that one of what I thought were 2 links contained a link, itself. D’oh!

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  42. Scout said on May 30, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Dear John,

    Thank you for your service! https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-leads-crowd-booing-mccain


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  43. Suzanne said on May 30, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Booing a dying man who was tortured for his service to the country they claim to love.
    Trump is just such a sick person. How in God’s name do so many not see this?
    But there is this: https://www.christianpost.com/news/liberty-university-cinema-dept-producing-feature-film-trump-prophecy-224312/

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  44. Dexter Friend said on May 30, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Trump’s condemnation of McCain was as pathetic as his MAGA supporters of this narcissistic sex offender President of the USA.
    Joe, as a healthy younger man who enjoyed biking sans helpers, such as tiny engines and such, who can no longer pedal due to pain from each pedal stroke, I applaud the option for disabled folks to tap into the resources of technology regarding e-bikes. I am considering budgeting one into my out-going funds myself.
    Detroit is going to be the center of racing Saturday and Sunday. http://detroitgp.com/eventinfo/
    For the first one, in 1982, I and some friends planned to go. Alas, we all got stone-drunk the night before and were too hungover to drive to Detroit.

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  45. David C. said on May 30, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Icarus, our company’s happiness squad, also known as the student council got so sick of the 2A crowd putting suggestions in to allow those with concealed carry permits to carry at work that the facilities VP finally sent a letter to everybody saying “no, not now, not ever, so quit asking”. They were plenty butt hurt about that.

    I’m with Dexter on e-bikes. My 81-year-old dad bought a bike about five years ago and liked riding but couldn’t handle the hills anymore. I think a little assist would have helped keep him riding. In cycling circles they’re rather controversial, but I think they’re a great idea.

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  46. Jakash said on May 30, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    I don’t imagine that many, if any, of y’all wanna read an article about beach litter in Chicago, so I’ll highlight what I found to be the most disturbing paragraph:

    “Although plastic breaks down into smaller pieces over time, the smaller bits never really go away, and they can absorb toxic chemicals in the water. Small fish and wildlife mistake the harmful microplastic for food. And according to a recent study published in the scientific journal PLOS One, that microplastic has turned up in water samples from Chicago, and even beer whose water source was Lake Michigan.”

    Also, while I’m pretty tired of the way *every* freaking thing becomes political these days, I couldn’t help thinking of this sentence as being analogous to certain MAGAts’ efforts toward mainstreaming racism and xenophobia since Il Douche’s ascendance: “‘If you’re driving along the highway and the highway’s full of litter, you’re more likely to litter,’ Ferrari says, explaining that to some, seeing all that trash makes it seem more acceptable for them to add to the pile.”


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  47. Charlotte said on May 30, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    Here’s the e-bike vehicle of my dreams (too expensive though): https://organictransit.com/
    I dream of throwing Hank-dog in the back and assisted-cycling the 28 miles down valley to Himself’s cabin. I had an EE major student in my tech writing class this spring who was an e-bike evangelist. Navy vet with little kids, loved his ebike (which he built, being an EE major) because it meant that as a family they could get by on just one car.
    The big news here is that one of my girls, daughter of my BFF, just got a big role in a new Netflix series. Uma Thurman plays her mom — my Lilliya is the dead girl, but it looks like she’s in all 10 episodes. Could NOT be more proud of her! https://themuse.jezebel.com/uma-thurman-to-star-in-netflixs-upcoming-supernatural-h-1826406929

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  48. beb said on May 30, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    Congrates to Lilliy. That’s quite the achievement, getting to be in all ten episodes of a series even though her character is already dead. And with Uma Thurman. That will look great on her resume.

    I think Friend Dexter has summed up the pluses and minuses of e-bikes.

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  49. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 30, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    Working on getting my heart re-started from watching the series finale of “The Americans.” That was the best parking garage scene since Hal Holbrook told Hoffman and Redford to follow the money.

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  50. Jakash said on May 31, 2018 at 12:40 am

    Spoiler alert for “Americans” watchers. Jeff was more coy in his comment, I’m plowing on ahead…

    Yeah, I don’t know if I believe it, but that was really an awesome scene. Frankly, I don’t see how Stan would get out of that garage alive, based on what we’ve seen previously. I half-expected her to run him over once he let them get in the car. Ole Phil is a pretty smooth operator, though.

    Not too thrilled with Paige’s choice, as I don’t see how things can go very well for her, being inexperienced and guilty of treason and all.

    Nice the way they had all those episodes of the son getting along with Stan so well, and them him going out to the college with the news.

    It’s cool to leave it like they did, but I’d have preferred a resolution of the Stan’s girlfriend mystery. It was the kind of show where I thought about 5 different shots in the final 15 minutes would be the fadeout…

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  51. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 31, 2018 at 7:42 am


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  52. Deborah said on May 31, 2018 at 7:45 am

    I never thought I’d be on Session’s side for any reason, but here I am.

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  53. Julie Robinson said on May 31, 2018 at 10:03 am

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Trump has a strange way of making us feel sorry for those we had disliked. Sessions, Comey, McCain, even a couple of those former press secretaries.

    The Americans is one of those shows I’ve never seen a single episode of. What platform is it on?

    Perks of being on vacation: I’ve spent the last 45 minutes watching monarchs flit around our front yard garden. We planted a pollinator garden when I was here in March, and it’s grown more than in three years at home. What a miracle, and what a privilege to be a witness.

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  54. Mark P said on May 31, 2018 at 10:53 am

    I hope you will excuse the mess around here, but my head just exploded. It seems that the Georgia Republican Party is demanding that the Democratic nominee for governor release her income tax records.

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  55. Jolene said on May 31, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Trump has a strange way of making us feel sorry for those we had disliked. Sessions, Comey, McCain, even a couple of those former press secretaries.

    Even George W. Bush, though only on grounds of human decency, not policy. Nothing, though, could make me think favorably, of Cheney.

    Julie, The Americans is streaming on multiple services: Amazon, iTunes, and some others. See the buttons under the top photo at the link below. It’s a great show. A bit slow in the penultimate season, but it’s worthwhile to,stick it out for the final season. I’m thinking of rewatching some of the earlier seasons, as I realize I’ve forgotten lots about what happened then.


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  56. Jolene said on May 31, 2018 at 11:30 am

    This analysis of Melania Trump’s recent tweet is pretty funny.


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  57. Dorothy said on May 31, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    The Americans was always on the F/X channel on cable. At the end of last night’s show they said you can stream all episodes via Amazon prime right now. So if you have Amazon prime, Julie, you’re able to see it. That’s how I watched the first 4 seasons because I too had never seen it. Then last year I started watching season 5 on F/X. It’s a mesmerizing show.

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  58. Sherri said on May 31, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    One of the most fascinating aspects of The Americans is the marriage at the center of it. The show has done a good job of exploring that very complicated territory.

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  59. Scout said on May 31, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    I. Just. Can’t. Even.

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  60. Julie Robinson said on May 31, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    No cable, but within the fam we have access to Netflix, Prime, Hulu, and HBO. I’m trying to find something to watch when Colbert is away. And by I’m trying, what I really mean is something hubby and I can agree on. Because I’d just watch old British shows all the time; Downton Abbey for the 10th time, anyone?

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  61. Jakash said on May 31, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    The Perpetual Outrage Machine firing up almost every day these days is monotonous, and depressing. I clicked to read some of the coverage of “The Americans” via Jolene’s link and then got swept away by the Samantha Bee nonsense which is the #1 story on that site, and is raging on Twitter, of course.

    When the Perpetual Outrage Machine gets fueled by the False Equivalency Booster, it’s even more annoying.

    Bee evidently said “You know, Ivanka, that’s a beautiful photo of you and your child, but let me just say, one mother to another, do something about your dad’s immigration practices, you feckless c***!” I’m not wild about her saying that, myself, but I wasn’t wearing “Trump That Bitch” or “Fuck Your Feelings” t-shirts a couple years ago, either.

    Right winger arguments: “She should be fired, just like Roseanne.” Uh, a woman calling another woman the c-word is not at all the same as the racism of Barr’s tweet. Using a crude word to call somebody feckless, when they are indeed indifferent and ineffective, does not compare to suggesting somebody seems like an ape because of their heritage or looks.

    “What if somebody had used this term about Chelsea, Malia or Sasha?” Uh, none of them were officially employed at the White House, with a West Wing office. If everybody who used that word with regard to Nancy Pelosi or Hillary were fired, then calling for Bee’s removal might at least be consistent.

    The fact that those allegedly upset today gladly support a president who is demonstrably quite crude, himself, is telling. The kicker is that the MAGAts’ fallen champion, Roseanne, tweeted “anyone who thinks Hillary isn’t a cunt is a pussy,” herself, a month before the election. Hmmm… I don’t recall a whole lot of right-wing outrage about that.

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  62. Little Bird said on May 31, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Funny, Melanias tweet doesn’t sound like something Michelle said…..

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  63. Dexter Friend said on May 31, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    I remember when calling a woman “that” caused fights, ends of friendships…serious trouble. Then,and now I hear, not so much. It’s softened, seems less abrasive as I understand from friends a generation younger than I. I do know from dialog in Irish films, men call each other “conts” constantly, it’s apparently so common. Sam Bee can be quite funny and poignant; I am sure her comment was well-thought out, and I say spot-on. Ivanka Trump Kushner is decidedly a feckless “one of them ones”.

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  64. Little Bird said on May 31, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Dexter Friend, she lacks the depth and warmth.

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  65. Suzanne said on May 31, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    On an NPR story about the midterm elections, yet another Trump supporter states that Trump people didn’t vote for him because he’s conservative. They voted for and support him because they want to send a message to Washington. Right. The message they sent is that they are a bunch of fools who are easy for a grifter to scam. Not really the message they meant, I am certain.

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