Substitute grandma.

Hello from Sunday, the last day of what has been a perfect summer weekend — the heat blew out, the sun remained, and the humidity has been low and tolerable for three whole days now.

Tomorrow it will be 90 again. Sigh.

I hope you all had a good one. I spent Saturday seeing friends from Ohio, in town for a wedding. I babysat their grandson while they all danced the night away at the Detroit Athletic Club. Ezra is nine months old, and quite the little charmer, as you’d expect. He was really getting his crawl on, and as even a high-end hotel suite is not baby proof, it was a few hours of following him around, cupping my hand around the razor-sharp edges of tables, redirecting his urge to pull on electrical cords and improvising toys out of things like empty water bottles. (It’s a great toy — lightweight plastic can be intriguingly crushed by even an infant, and it makes a great crackling sound. If you feel inclined to lecture me about BPAs shedding or some such, keep it to yourself. He found it delightful.)

As it’s been a while since I went through this, I was amazed by all the changes in child-rearing customs and technology. Ezra is still pretty much entirely formula-fed, eating mushy vegetables only as “practice food,” his grandmother said. Rice cereal? Has been shown the door by contemporary mothers. Something about arsenic; I had no idea. But the real revelation was the Baby Brezza, aka the Keurig for infant formula. You dump the powder in the top, the water in a reservoir on the side, select a temperature and amount, stick the bottle under the spout and press a button. You get a warm bottle in seconds. Screw on the top, give it a shake and serve. Amazing.

But Ezra, being curious as all babies are, was happiest when I plopped him into his stroller and took him outside. We started at a community garden outside the hotel, but what really made him happy was to get into the thick of things down around Campus Martius, in the heart of downtown. And with a Tigers game and various summer activities in full swing, it really was the thick of things — it was like the old D-Day photos down there. The fountains! The music playing on restaurant patios! People everywhere! He was thrilled. So we walked, and walked, and walked, and today my feet are sore. But he was a happy little guy.

Of course, even New Detroit has a certain amount of the Old in it:

I’ll tell you one thing Saturday did — I checked out of the news for almost 18 whole hours. That made absorbing the NYT this morning a little more like times of old. I’m now following the Thai cave rescue, which is, if you can believe this, a pleasant break from paying attention to ol’ what’s-his-name. At least four out as I write this, with fingers crossed for all of them, soon. How nerve-wracking that must be for all involved. Every one of those Ezras has a mom who is worried to the edge of hysteria. All hopes for a good outcome to the last one.

Happy start of the week to all. Heat notwithstanding.

EDIT: OK, so given today’s topic, I have to include this jaw-dropper, about the U.S. upending a U.N. resolution encouraging breast-feeding. Is there anything this horrible bunch won’t do? Ahem:

American officials sought to water down the resolution by removing language that called on governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding” and another passage that called on policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that many experts say can have deleterious effects on young children.

When that failed, they turned to threats, according to diplomats and government officials who took part in the discussions. Ecuador, which had planned to introduce the measure, was the first to find itself in the cross hairs.

The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.

Every day, a new nightmare. Sigh.

Posted at 11:36 am in Detroit life |

81 responses to “Substitute grandma.”

  1. Jakash said on July 8, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Neil Steinberg, reflecting on the cave children:

    “Maybe it’s the optimist in me, but these stories touch on something precious. They remind us of the value of every life. Experts from half a dozen countries, including the United States, which sent Navy divers, rushed to Thailand. It was breathless, front page news. The same children who would be turned away from our borders with a sneer of mocking derision were suddenly of enormous value — suddenly, I would suggest, given the enormous value they deserve.

    I hope that the boys are rescued, all safe, and reunited with the parents. And moreover, I hope that the world, relieved, sees the contours of a lesson in this. Why do people only become important when buried alive? Why are the lives of others precious only when they are put in peril? Something to think about.”

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  2. Deborah said on July 8, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    People seem to be wondering how much $ Nestle donated to the Trump campaign and other GOPers. Not encouraging breast feeding in less developed countries where clean water can be iffy, is another example of monstrous American self centeredness.

    I’m stuck in Santa Fe for a few days without a car, because I’ve got another god damned UTI. My husband went on to Abiquiu because we have season tickets to the chamber music festival and we were having guests over to our cabin afterwards. He took the Jeep, which is fine I can walk if I need anything and I don’t need anything. I’m not doing anything today but rest up, UTI’s are so uncomfortable.

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  3. beb said on July 8, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    At first I wondered how could anyone be opposed to breastfeed or restricting what kinds of baby foods to market then I realized that companies like Gerber’s and Simulac have a lot invested in manufactured baby foods. Still it seems incredible petty to object to a policy paper that no one will read. And then to threaten trade war with other countries over this. It’s like Trump is going out of his way to make America the Leper Nation of the world.

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  4. Julie Robinson said on July 8, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Nestle has been using these kinds of tactics for 40 or more years; I remember boycotting them back in college. They convince poor mothers who have the best possible food for their children–breast milk–that they are inadequate. Then they sell them formula they can’t afford, which means they often dilute it so babies don’t get the calories they need. Then there’s lack of refrigeration and clean water and resulting infections and diarrhea, which can kill a baby very quickly. Oh boy, don’t get me worked up; I’m already exhausted from a week of firework-happy neighbors.

    I so enjoyed the weather break and spent half the day working in the yard yesterday. I used to go out every morning to weed and water but haven’t been around much this summer, and boy do the flower beds reflect my neglect.

    Praying for those boys.

    Deborah, is Little Bird around to monitor your health? I also have a history of UTI’s and have learned that mental confusion is a side effect. I won’t realize just how sick I am and need someone else to tell me and get me in to the doc.

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  5. Dexter Friend said on July 8, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    It seems nance will be a good, attentive grandmother someday perhaps. Since my wife had grade schoolers when we met 43 years ago, I am already a great-grandfather, having a step-daughter who is 28. Ezra looks like a sure-winner.
    Now it’s 83F and I have to get crackin’ as the Brits say. I have to sweep, scrub carpets, and also mow the lawn. I’d rather just pour a tall iced tea and watch the Cubs and Redlegs on teevee. A friend who must remain anonymous for obvious reasons phoned me to tell me a secret, saying he had to tell someone, as he was going crazy waiting for tomorrow and a visit to his accountant and lawyer. Yes, he hit a lottery prize…all he would say was that it was not a national prize, it was a state lotto prize and not a shocking sum but a substantial one. He said he’s leaving his home state and moving to Ireland right-quick, too, by gum! With no wife or life-partner or dog or cat, not even a fish in a tank, he’s ready to go. Well, I have known many lotto winners since the USA’s lotto programs began in select states nearly 50 years ago. I even worked with a lady who won $2 million in the early days of Indiana’s lotto and she quit and moved to Phoenix immediately. A lady I worked beside for 26 years won a million bucks on a scratch-off a few years back at the Waterloo liquor store. The other side of the coin reveals that everyone else appears to be suckers, trying to win vs. long odds. Je me rends, mon amis.

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  6. Deborah said on July 8, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    Yes, Julie LB is here. I’ve had many UTIs but never experienced mental confusion from it that I know of.

    I finished watching the movie, Get Out, disturbing.

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  7. nancy said on July 8, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    The thing that’s so baffling about this is, the formula makers have already won. Lots of women start breastfeeding, but most drop out after a few weeks or months. Very few stick it out for a year. Sometimes it’s mom, sometimes it’s the baby, but considering that infants are supposed to be a year old before they get dairy milk, they still sell plenty-plenty Similac, etc.

    If they really wanted to sell more formula, they’d go to work on the cost of child care. It’s as expensive as college, only it comes when you’re young and struggling, and there are very few scholarships.

    This country is so goddamn dumb.

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  8. jcburns said on July 8, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    What could be better than Ezra?

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  9. David C. said on July 8, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    It seems so weird to me that food, baby food, is locked up tighter than cigarettes and alcohol in the grocery store. I’m not up on these things, but what could be in it that makes it so damned expensive that desperate people resort to theft. The basic ingredients can’t be that expensive, but there we are. We’re in a world where what would be considered luxuries a few years ago are cheap and necessities (formula, medicines, etc.) are expensive with near exponential cost growth. How can this continue without it ending with some serious neck stretching or severing.

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  10. Icarus said on July 8, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    David c @ 9

    The fact is it is so damn expensive that people have tried various creative ways to steal it. You cannot return it if it is opened because someone once retuned a batch that they swapped out with flour or something.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the ingredients themselves were inexpensive. But greed consumes. It’s not like people are choosing breastfeeding over formula because they could go either way….usually you end up on formula because you couldn’t produce enough milk….

    Look at the oil companies…they have enough wealth to last generations but they don’t want any competition to even put a small dent in their income. I guess going from 10.9 billion to 10.8999999 billion* is that noticeable

    *not real numbers just made up to illustrate the point

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  11. Deborah said on July 8, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    I breastfed LB until she was about 14 months old. At first it was hard but after a while it seemed so much easier than preparing bottles and formula. I was a member of the Le Leche League, they were extremely helpful. They often said that women sometimes used the not producing enough milk to cover up their guilt for not wanting to continue doing it. I say to each her own, but many studies do show that breastmilk is healthier for the baby.

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  12. basset said on July 8, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    Mrs B and I saw the remastered “Yellow Submarine” today, in a small art-house theater with top of the line sound and projection. Amazing, there are instrumental parts in the songs I’d never heard before.

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  13. Suzanne said on July 8, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    I nursed my kids until they were about 11 months old. They lost interest by then so I figured they were done. I loved the convenience and price of it! I never did really master the pump, though, so that tied me down and the kids pretty quickly knew the difference between formula and breast milk and refused the formula.

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  14. Jolene said on July 8, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    I don’t have any data to support my perspective, but I suspect more women quit breastfeeding because it’s so inconvenient to keep it up after you go back to work. And as most women do not get any of much family leave after giving birth, they have to go back to work sooner than is really desirable. The absence of family leave is another part of our national dumbness.

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  15. Rana said on July 8, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    Jolene, I’d agree with that assessment, too. Pumping is uncomfortable and awkward even if you have a quiet, supportive environment in which to do it. Mothers who work long hours in contexts where having time and space to pump is rare or discouraged aren’t going to be able to keep it up. (Think the clerk at Walmart, the part-time waitress, the overworked maid at the fancy hotel, the farmworker picking strawberries.) Of course, those are also the women least able to afford formula and childcare, so it’s a catch-22.

    This country is incredibly cruel to children and their families, unless you are rich.

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  16. Andrea said on July 8, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    I breastfed all 3 of my kids — spent 5 years breastfeeding in total. There were definite challenges, but all 3 of my kids were not able to digest cow’s milk proteins (whey, casein). Had I not breastfed, they would have had to have specialty formula which cost an arm and a leg. Working through the issues of pumping at work, etc. seemed worth it. Kid #1 nursed until I was in my 2nd trimester with kid #2, when he was 14 months old. Kid #2 nursed until she was 2.5 years old. If you had told me that someday I would nurse someone who could talk to me about it, I would have been horrified, but it was not weird at the time. Kid #3 nursed until she was about 17 months old. Gave it up while we were in the midst of a 2 week trip to Spain. I was annoyed with her because I did not have any bottles or sippy cups with me in Spain and had to go out to buy them.

    This administration’s bullying on the breastfeeding issue is just number 832 on the list of why I hate them, and it would normally be something I would be incandescent with rage about.

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  17. Dexter Friend said on July 8, 2018 at 11:59 pm

    I remember 40 years ago, trudging through the remnants of The Blizzard of ’78 to lug home cases of Similac.

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  18. Sherri said on July 9, 2018 at 1:52 am

    I had every intention of breastfeeding my daughter, but my daughter had other ideas. She just wouldn’t nurse effectively, and I had to pump to keep up my milk supply. We had to supplement with formula, and she never did become a good nurser. I fought with it for four months and gave it up. It was really discouraging at the time; I had ‘failed’ at getting pregnant without medical intervention, I had ‘failed’ at giving birth (scheduled c-section thanks to a breech baby who would not turn), and now I had ‘failed’ at nursing. But, somehow, despite those ‘failures’, I ended up with a healthy, happy kid, just one who still follows her own path at her own pace!

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  19. David C. said on July 9, 2018 at 6:06 am

    I hadn’t seen part II of l’affaire breastfeeding until this morning. Russia introduced the same as resolution as Ecuador and it passed. Don’t want to piss off the boss.

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  20. Julie Robinson said on July 9, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Sherri, I so understand that feeling of failure. I felt such earth-mother strength that I had provided my baby everything she needed while pregnant. Breastfeeding felt like a continuation, and I loved it.

    But with our son I had a medical condition that led to weaning at six weeks, and I also felt like my body had failed me. Being sleepless and hormonal contributed. My hubby took over some of the night feedings, and that helped a lot.

    Said son is also happy and healthy, which in the end is all that matters. But that Baby Brezza? I don’t recall bottle prep as onerous, and I would hate hauling it around.

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  21. basset said on July 9, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Our nephew & his wife have one on the way and we thought about getting them a Brezza till we read the reviews. Short version: most users liked it, a few said it tended to clog up and if you have ants they can get into the formula powder holder.

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  22. Suzanne said on July 9, 2018 at 8:51 am

    I do remember breastfeeding being more difficult than I expected. I mean, sheep do it so how hard can it be?? I was sore, got an infected milk duct, and dehydrated. I had quite a bit of time off after the birth (unpaid, of course) so that helped immensely to get me going. If I had had to return to work in 6 weeks, I doubt I would have been able to manage it.

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  23. Deborah said on July 9, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Is this good journalism or conspiracy theory? It sure seems fishy when it’s all spelled out like this in one article

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  24. Connie said on July 9, 2018 at 10:12 am

    I found breastfeeding very difficult and extremely boring. I did eight weeks until I went back to work.

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  25. Deborah said on July 9, 2018 at 10:42 am

    What I meant in my last comment that what Trump has been up to seems fishy, not that the reporting seems fishy. Not sure that is actually “reporting” though because there’s a lot of speculation mixed in.

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  26. Julie Robinson said on July 9, 2018 at 10:48 am

    I’d forgotten that a very important part of anatomy was flatter than average, apparently (who knew? not I), so we did need help at first with latching on. The nurses were amazing and supportive. During my next pregnancy, I wore a product to help that anatomical part become more, shall we say, extended. Little plastic shields that made me look like a Wagnerian opera star. But only at home. Hope that’s neither TMI or NSFW, and google at your own peril. I’m not gonna.

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  27. Icarus said on July 9, 2018 at 10:55 am

    I highly recommend the Brezza, especially if you have multiples. It is a godsend when you wake up in the middle of the night and have to feed a crying baby so that one of you can continue to sleep.

    Yes it does get clogged but it’s usually temporary thing. Sometimes we’d set it for 6 ounces and only get 2 so you have to spin the wheel again and see if you get 2 or 4 on the next selection. You don’t cart it everywhere, but you might take it with you on a long trip.

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  28. Sherri said on July 9, 2018 at 11:16 am

    I quickly learned that my daughter was perfectly happy taking a cold bottle, like straight out of the refrigerator cold, so that simplified life considerably. She really didn’t care about the temperature; if we were out somewhere, if I had pre-measured formula and bottled water, I was set.

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  29. ROGirl said on July 9, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Apparently there are theft rings that go after baby formula. It’s a valuable commodity.

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  30. CW said on July 9, 2018 at 11:42 am


    That article reads like a condensed version of “Trump / Russia: A Definitive History,” by Seth Hettena, who is an investigative reporter reporter for the AP. It looks like, at the very least, Trump’s been laundering Russian mob money for decades. It’s a well researched book, and the implications are pretty frightening.

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  31. Deborah said on July 9, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    LB went from breast to bottle at 14 months oddly enough. She abruptly didn’t want to have anything to do with breastfeeding but wasn’t at all ready for a cup. She had been given bottles occasionally so she knew what they were. I think she liked the independence it allowed her while she still got to suck on something.

    Is all this talk freaking out the males among us?

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  32. JodiP said on July 9, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    I have found the breastfeeding discussion enlightening! I’ve never had kids, but have gotten the sense over the years of how fraught the decision can be. I am not at all worried about the guys in the room. I think they are sensitive enough to know this is a BFD and deserves space.

    God, we had a hard night Saturday. The friend whose sister died by suicide, leaving behind a husband and 12-year-old son, came over with his partner. The sister lived in Charlotte, so our friend was there for 2 1/2 weeks. He is a wreck, and we are so glad we can be there for him. Lots of listening and hugs. It’s pretty much all I can think about today.

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  33. Jakash said on July 9, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Hey, I’m a male among us! Freaking out? No. TMI? On a free-wheeling blog like this, one wouldn’t think so. “Google at your own peril?” Uh, nope. A topic I’ll be making any further comments about? Definitely not. Kinda surprised Brian hasn’t chimed in, though. ; )

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  34. Scout said on July 9, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    I tried being the earth mother to my two, but neither latched and frankly, I wasn’t invested enough in the whole idea to pursue it, so both of mine were bottle babies. They are both extremely healthy adults, so even while I understand that the natural immunities are important, not being able to breast feed doesn’t doom your kids.

    I just found out my granddaughter is expecting. I am going to be a great grandmother next spring, and my mom will be a double great. Here’s a crazy family statistic: My Mom is 80, I am 60, my daughter is 40 and my granddaughter is 20.

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  35. beb said on July 9, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Sherri@18 — You pretty much described our daughter. And she turned out to be a pretty good kid. All those “failures” you experienced which were not failures make it hard to avoid depression.

    Deborah @31 — freaking out? only a little

    Since retiring I haven’t been on Jefferson St but this weekend the family took a drive down it to Belle Isle (sorry if all lthe Detroit references confuses out of towners) I was surprised to see that bike lanes had been run all the way down from the Grosse Pointe to downtown Detroit. A whole was taken out in both directions and fenced off with pylons. Looks good. I wonder if Nancy has used the lanes yet and what’s her opinion of them.

    Belle Isle is a large island in the Detroit River. It used to be a city park but as part of the bankruptcy was taken over by the state parks system. The place is so much clearer than before with a lot of improvements being done. The most striking thing is that they’ve finally fixed the series of lagoons on the island for boating with rental place for kyaks and pedalboats. It was really wonderful seeing so many people paddling around.

    The Iowa State Supreme Court has rejected a 72 hour waiting period with a very strong defense that for women to be free they must have a right to abortion. Good for them.

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  36. alex said on July 9, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    I was bottle fed. My mom wasn’t about to give up smoking or drinking and her doctor said not to nurse, though he didn’t think partying while pregnant was a problem.

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  37. Bitter Scribe said on July 9, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    It’s amazing to me how the U.S. strong-armed Ecuador into backing down but then caved when Russia picked up the issue. There are only two possible interpretations: either Trump and his minions are bullies and cowards, or they’re in Russia’s pocket. I don’t know which is more contemptible.

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  38. Julie Robinson said on July 9, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Bottle-fed with Carnation evaporated milk, like most of my generation. You went into the hospital and were knocked out for the delivery, then given shots to dry up your milk and bound up, your child down at the nursery where you hardly saw them, no father or support person in the delivery room. My folks didn’t have a phone, so Dad went down to the police department to shoot the breeze with his buddies until he got the call to go buy cigars. If you were lucky you had diaper service. What have I left out?

    We loved Belle Isle when we were there five years ago, even in its faded glory. It was sad seeing the rotting remnants of the zoo, and hopeful to see the volunteers keeping the botanical conservatory going. We had taken a picnic and would have stayed longer, but there weren’t any bathrooms open. I’m glad to know there’s still life there.

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  39. basset said on July 9, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Not much to add to the breastfeeding discussion but it doesn’t bother me. Would be nice to get some response on “Yellow Submarine,” though… if you think my attempts at introducing new topics fall flat here you oughta see me in person.

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  40. alex said on July 9, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    I’d go see the remastered Yellow Submarine if I could shroom and not get arrested.

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  41. basset said on July 9, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Altered states did cross my mind but I’m nine weeks from retirement, can’t get in trouble now. Most everyone I noticed there, at a Sunday matinee two blocks from a major university, seemed to be about my age and not visibly intoxicated.

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  42. Peter said on July 9, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Nancy, I have to second your opinion about the cave rescue. I’m so happy that 8 have made it out alive so far, and I’m even happier that it’s so involved and takes so long that it pushed Trump antics off the lead story.

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  43. Deborah said on July 9, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I was bottle fed so was my older sister, both baby boomers. Probably because she died when I was 14 and my sister 15, we never heard any stories from our mom about our birth experiences except that we were bottle fed as infants. Also she was a lot older when she had us than most of the moms in our generation. I never saw a baby breastfeeding until I was nearly an adult myself, except for photos in National Geographic. Nowadays they have all kinds of cool scarves and shawls for breastfeeding moms to employ in public discreetly. In my day there was nothing like that except to drape a hot baby blanket across yourself. LB would end up pouring sweat and so did I. But mostly you’d have to go sit with your nursing child in a stinking restroom stall. How hygienic.

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  44. beb said on July 9, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    A couple of interesting things
    A mystery writer inspired by Raymond Chandler reflects on the inherent sexism of his fiction but remains inspired by its noire sensibilities. She makes an interesting point that the rugged lone wolf / lonely knight of the streets and all the other people yearning to be free are really yearning to retain their dominance over others. The more I think about it, the more that freedom = dominance makes since. What are “sovereign citizens” are about is to be above rules, to dominate the rule-followers. All the callimg cops on Black people is about asserting their dominance.

    The other is a quip from Michelle Wolfe about pro-life people.

    She decribes “pro-life” as a propaganda term like “Healthy Ice Cream or Handsome Testicles.” That had me ROTFLMAO.

    Belle Isle now has working bathrooms!!!

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  45. alex said on July 9, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Meanwhile our local Planned Parenthood clinic is shutting down, having been harassed out of business by the nutters:

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  46. FDChief said on July 9, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    The Trumpkins are really hard to believe. It’s like your idiot roommate that spent the better part of a long weekend sucking down hash oil and living on Pirate’s Booty and emerges from the haze Monday afternoon announcing that he has discovered the secret to becoming the Master of the Universe (that consists of some sort of complex nonsense that, when boiled down, is “nonsense”) and proceeds to piss all over the bathroom floor.

    What isn’t utterly moronic is somewhere between irritating and “WTF?” How the hell do their fanbois keep pretending that this is anything but an utter shitshow? I mean…is it all worth it just for “Fuck you, libtards!”?

    And the stuff that’s not incoherent and ludicrous is just vile, like the same knucklehead then deciding that since he can’t be the MotU he’s going to be a comic book villain, complete with ridiculously “evil plans”.

    How can anyone not up Rush Limbaugh’s capacious backside to the shoulders (and, yes, I’m looking at you, Newt…) think this is anything but a bad parody of governance?

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  47. Colleen said on July 9, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Formula is also desired because it is used to cut drugs. Which ones, I do not know. Coke? Heroin?

    Even though I don’t live there any more, I am pissed about PP closing in the Fort. The right to lifers are saying “harassment? Who? US?” when everyone knows damn good and well that they stop at nothing when it comes to harassment. Never mind that the FW office didn’t provide abortions…

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  48. Deborah said on July 9, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    That is depressing Alex, a real shame. Planned Parenthood does so much that’s critical for many women.

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  49. alex said on July 9, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    For years the harassers have been doxing staff and patrons there, essentially putting targets on their backs. Horrible people. Now that they don’t have Planned Parenthood to kick around anymore I shudder to think what they’ll do next.

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  50. Jolene said on July 9, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    I wouldn’t be happy to see Amy Coney Barrett become a Supreme Court justice, but I must say that I’m impressed by a woman who, by the age of 46, could become a distinguished law school professor and something of a legal scholar while also becoming the mother of seven children (five biological, two adopted). She must be either very disciplined or very untroubled by chaos.

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  51. Charlotte said on July 9, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Jolene —

    Or have a lot of money for nannies …

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  52. Jolene said on July 9, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    Until recently, Coney Barrett was a university professor, and her husband is a federal prosecutor, so they are not poor, but not exactly rich either. One of their seven kids has special needs. I’ve no idea what kind, but the article I saw implied extra effort to care for him. I’m sure they’ve had help, but, even so, it’s a lot to manage.

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  53. Dexter Friend said on July 9, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Colleen, sort of on-theme with your comment, I remember when I was a young man socializing in crowds , every now and then a powerful odor would be emanating from some people. I asked some of my doper pals what it was, and he said it’s the sugar used to cut the H. Mostly, powdered sugar mixed with corn starch, but there was something else there, as strong a smell as the old patchouli oil that girls smeared on themselves back then. I did a history search just now and came up empty, so for now it’s a mystery. Personally, from being the age I was, with heroin easily available, I certainly saw much usage of the stuff, and that firmed up my disgust and hatred of it, so I never experimented with it. I was the medic in charge of a detox facility in Vietnam for a few months, not pleasant duty.

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  54. Sherri said on July 9, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    It’s Kavanaugh. Now watch the effort to make him seem less conservative than he is, by claiming the right wing doesn’t like him because of his links to the Bushes.

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  55. Deborah said on July 9, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    The time is now to make as much noise as we can to stop Kavanaugh. Especially after what he’s said about indicting a sitting president, not to mention Roe and Obamacare. The issues that hits my family the hardest are the ones related to healthcare, I will be hitting the streets whenever I can, using my phone and digging into my wallet.

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  56. Sherri said on July 10, 2018 at 1:17 am

    I’ve said before I fear we are heading towards some cataclysmic event. Twitter threads like this one, by a former ambassador to Israel and Obama NSC member, feed that feeling:

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  57. Dexter Friend said on July 10, 2018 at 1:17 am

    The most disgusting nominee ever was Clarence Thomas, and he got in just fine, Anita Hill brushed into the dustbin of history. Kavanaugh claims he is a changed man since his Bush-era days, so let’s let the vetting spell out this little puzzle. There’ll be hell raised, but don’t you think he’ll get in?

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  58. Jolene said on July 10, 2018 at 6:21 am

    There’ll be hell raised, but don’t you think he’ll get in?

    Yes, he’ll get in. In fact, I wonder whether the smart thing wouldn’t be to simply let the vote go forward, let the red state Democrats vote for him, and move on to electoral battles that can be won.

    There was a guy on TV yesterday from a grassroots group who said his group planned to spend $5 million fighting this nomination. Am not sure it makes sense to use resources that way when there are so many good candidates for Congress and state-level offices who could use the support.

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  59. Deborah said on July 10, 2018 at 8:08 am

    I think the dems need to fight like hell even if there’s only a remote possibility that Kavanaugh won’t get in. Time is a big factor, if we can prolong the process in any way to make it happen after the election that will fire up the electorate to a fever pitch. In the meantime make as much noise as possible. I realize the republicans will be fired up too but there are more of us if everybody votes. Don’t give up.

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  60. Deborah said on July 10, 2018 at 8:40 am

    This smells bad

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  61. Suzanne said on July 10, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Well, the Putin/GOP plan is working perfectly, isn’t it? The new Supreme Court justice nominee believes that the sitting POTUS must not be distracted from his presidential duties by investigations into his criminal activities. If Congress wants an investigation, they must first impeach but if the GOP maintains the majority after the Nov elections, there will be no impeachment. So Trump can continue his mob activities, pussy grabbing, rape, pillage, and whatever else, unimpeded for at least two, possibly six more years.
    And Kavanaugh as the SCOTUS choice was negotiated prior to Kennedy retiring, Kennedy whose son took care of all Trump’s Russian loans.

    Putin, shirtless atop his steed, is smiling broadly.

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  62. Sherri said on July 10, 2018 at 10:51 am

    I think the Dems need to fight like hell against Kavanaugh precisely because there are important elections ahead. The Dems need to establish an identity of being willing to fight, and they don’t have that right now. The key to the game is turnout, and it’s hard to galvanize turnout for party that won’t fight.

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  63. JodiP said on July 10, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Well, I thought ALEC was worrisome enough, but then there’s this organization . It’s called the Council for National Policy and has been working at undermining democracy for decades. I don’t have time to read it all but it’s scary. As Suzanne called it, the Russians are involved. They were approached as early as 1991.

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  64. Deborah said on July 10, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    I found this link online, think it was from Daily Kos, Wikipedia defines collective narcissism which fits Trump supporters to a T. Basically cults fit into this definition too

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  65. Icarus said on July 10, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    I’ve tried to post this 3x but it just hangs, hopefully it works….

    This gives me hope in a hopeless place

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  66. beb said on July 10, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Via Eschaton – via Lawyers, Guns and Money, comes this Vox article listing all the terrible things Kavanaugh as done.
    On the Starr Commission he was the one proposing all the explicit sexual questions to Clinton and he was a prime leaker of the investigation. He’s a GOP goon.

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  67. Deborah said on July 10, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Southwest will stop serving peanuts on flights. Since there were only ever about 10 nuts in a package, who really cares.

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  68. Dorothy said on July 10, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    I’m so behind reading here – we left last Friday morning for PA to go to my niece’s wedding which was Saturday. I tried to read all the comments above mine but had to stop at 37 or so and just felt the need to chime in. I nursed both of my kids with very little problems – first one stopped at 19 months and the second one at 18 months. Neither of them ever bit me (I know a lot of people who complained about that and was always glad I never experienced it; I had occasional hot spots/plugged ducts but nothing serious. I too was in La Leche League, Deborah, and found them very helpful. Neither of my kids ever had a bottle at all – their pediatrician said they got sufficent liquids via my milk and that was good enough for me. I didn’t use pacifiers either. I’m not judging – just telling.

    The wedding in Indiana, PA was just tremendously wonderful. It was on a golf course – the wedding party arrived for the ceremony via golf carts. The heat was non-existent. Slight breeze made the red-headed bride’s long net veil billow so prettily. She had a gold thread embossed, tight-fitting bodice, and a mermaid skirt below in all white. She and the groom are so good looking and I can’t wait to see what their kids will look like. My granddaughter was amiable and took some tentative steps in the lobby of the hotel – she’s only letting me or her mom hold her these days when lots of family is around. Her daddy comes home from his deployment in two days and we are all so anxious to see how she acts about that. Her other grandpa, though, is very near death after suffering the effects of pancreatic cancer for nearly a year. That’s why my son was allowed to come home a little early. It’s nice when your commanding officer understands the need to be with your spouse to support them when a parent is dying.

    I wish I had more weddings to go to every other day. It sure kept my mind off of what’s happening to this country every GD day. We topped off the weekend by watching the Bucs beat the Phils at PNC Park (broke their losing streak of five straight games). All in all we had a marvelous weekend. A week from this Saturday we’ll be out of town again and I’ll be seeing the 2 PM matinee of Hamilton at the Kennedy Center in DC! Then we’ll have three days at Bethany Beach. Can’t complain about that now can I?

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  69. Icarus said on July 10, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    This gives me hope in a hopeless place

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  70. Deborah said on July 10, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Dorothy, sounds fantastic, so glad your son is coming home too. How long has it been since Olivia has seen her dad?

    LB had her first PT session today, she learned a lot about what could have caused things to go wrong in her hip and her trainer made her feel better about getting back to normal eventually. She’ll go twice a week for 6 weeks. She’s still in the wheelchair for shopping etc, she’s gotten really good at using it and she has developed some good muscle tone in her arms.

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  71. Icarus said on July 10, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Thai cave rescue: All 12 boys, soccer coach freed from cave

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  72. Dexter Friend said on July 11, 2018 at 2:07 am

    I just saw a video of the rescue…the boys were wrapped like cops and ambo drivers wrap corpses, but these cocoons had air regulators. Amazing. I wonder if calming agents were injected into the boys just before the journey up and out or they simply toughed it out. I assume people are so happy of the mission’s success, they may just forget about punishing the stupid coach who took them to near death. Now it’s feared the boys have been bitten by bats, and are in iso for up to a week for monitoring. But if that coach writes a book, I won’t buy it. He must be deranged to have taken that soccer team onto such a nutty adventure.

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  73. Dorothy said on July 11, 2018 at 6:00 am

    Josh left in January so he hasn’t seen his girls for 7 months.

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  74. Suzanne said on July 11, 2018 at 9:11 am

    From what I have read this morning, tRump is making a complete ass of himself at the NATO meeting. Shocking, I know.

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  75. Icarus said on July 11, 2018 at 10:45 am

    @Dexter, I don’t know, I haven’t read all the details but I’m inclined to cut the guy some slack. I thought I read somewhere that the monsoons came much earlier than any local would reasonably expect and they don’t have all the fancy smancy weather tracking stuff we do in the first world.

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  76. beb said on July 11, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Dexter raises an interesting point: were the boys giving calming agents before their trips out of the cave. I don’t know but the boy’s coach was trained in meditation techniques and had taught the boys how to meditate. Which helped keep them calm during their isolation. I’m sure that helped during their extended dives.

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  77. Julie Robinson said on July 11, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    It was jarring to see them in what looked like body bags, with their faces blocked off. Then I saw an explanation that their eyesight could be damaged from the sun after so long in complete darkness.

    Dorothy, I’m so glad your son gets to come home, even if it’s for a sad reason.

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  78. Sherri said on July 11, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    The whole Clinton impeachment stupidity tends to focus on the bad actions by the president, but as this op-ed points out, let’s not forget how bat-shit bonkers the witch hunt was. And now one of the principals of that witch-hunt (and of the Vince Foster suicide investigation, and stopping the Florida recount) has been nominated to SCOTUS.

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  79. Deborah said on July 11, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Dorothy, I hope your son was in a location where he could FaceTime with his daughter. What a long time to not be able to hold your kid though. I realize a lot of service people have to leave their families, an additional sacrifice, not to mention risking life and limb.

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  80. Sherri said on July 11, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Demand every last document.

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  81. alex said on July 11, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Speaking of rockets’ red glare…

    Some much needed levity. From the summer of ’76.

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