Raw wounds.

It’s impossible to get through life without offending someone, but this feels like a particularly wearisome week for offense.

There’s this lady:

Linda Dwire was outraged over two women speaking Spanish in the aisle of a grocery store in Rifle, Colo., on Monday. She confronted them over what she believed was an erosion of American values.

Then another woman intervened to restore civility in a personal moment inflamed by national tension over immigration policy and American identity.

“I’m calling the cops. You leave these women alone! Get out!” Kamira Trent roared in a video taken by one of the women.

Man, I hear languages other than English spoken in public all the time. In fact, most aren’t even Spanish. I recognize Spanish. I’m pretty good with most of the other common tongues around here, too — Arabic being the big one, but in a typical week, it’s not unusual to hear many, many others. My favorite is when you hear some version of Whatever-glish; I once eavesdropped on a Latina in a Mexican restaurant who was switching, at top speed, between Spanish, English and slang that almost qualified as its own dialect. It was dizzying, blahblahblahblahBITCHPLEASEblahblahblah. It didn’t make me worry about American values. But you knew that.

And there’s this oft-remarked-upon plague, the leaf blower. (Disclosure: I own one. But it’s the far, FAR quieter electric version:

A bunch of neighbors were sitting around the other night, talking yard work, and the conversation returned to a frequent target: a certain ex-neighbor, now long gone, who was unduly fond of his leaf blower. This is a familiar tale, how he tormented the block every autumn weekend chasing leaves around his small yard with his shrieking machine, leaving behind the lingering stench of gasoline fumes and resentment. I never met this fellow—he moved out before I moved in—but his legacy is secure: He is The Asshole With the Leaf Blower.

Perhaps that’s redundant. The tragedy of the leaf blower is that it makes assholes of us all, users and neighbors alike.

You can say that again.

And then there’s this column. Headline: I watched a rape. For five decades, I did nothing. Yep, it’s pretty raw. Read at your own risk.

Guys, I’m trying to get back into the groove of three entries a week, and I know this is pretty thin, but it’s been a far busier week than I anticipated. So go and have a weekend, and I’ll see you here afterward.

Posted at 12:16 pm in Current events |

49 responses to “Raw wounds.”

  1. Deborah said on October 5, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Holy cow, that article by the guy who watched a rape was disturbing, but kudos to him for recognizing it for what it was and finally telling his story publicly. Extremely sad that that happened and still happens today, way too often.

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  2. beb said on October 5, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    The gods hate me. I made two posts not twenty minutes ago and Nancy drops a new thread.

    This would have been my third post.

    Protesters held a kegger outside McConnell’s house, chanting “what do you do with a drunken justice…”

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  3. Sherri said on October 5, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Remember all the praise Flake got for his big retirement speech on the floor of the Senate last October? Suckers.

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  4. beb said on October 5, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Speaking of leaf blowers… Is it legal to blow lawn clippings into the street? I see this done a lot. Not blowing leaves, but after mowing a yard the worker comes babck and clears the sidewalk and drive by blowing the clippings into the street.

    According to Mike the Mad Biologist the city of Washington, DC was wrestling with the issue of noisy leaf blowers. The city council was considering mandating the use of (slightly) quieter electric blowers. Don’t recall how that went but of course landscapers were opposed.

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  5. beb said on October 5, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Sherri, as e say here in Detroit (no we don’t) Flake is all hubcaps and no car.

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  6. connie said on October 5, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Clippings in the stret is supposdly illegal around here. Grass clippings in the street can be particularly dangerous to motorcycle riders.

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  7. Dexter Friend said on October 5, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    In a few minutes Collins shall sell her soul to Lucifer, just wait for it. Me, well, don’t fuck with me about this creep Kavanaugh any more today…I will be glued to 4 baseball playoff games. Baseball is the only true religion. First up: Cleveland Tribe V. Houston. This is the swan song for Chief Wahoo. He will be buried at postseason end. From now on, just a great big red “C”. How boring.

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  8. Deborah said on October 5, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    I see that a verdict has been reached in Chicago but won’t be announced until an hour or so.

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  9. Deborah said on October 5, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Question: Can Dr. Ford sue Trump for slander? I’d contribute to a go fund me for that.

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  10. Deborah said on October 5, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Guilty of second degree murder?

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  11. Dave said on October 5, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Yep, Dex, she’s doing it now.

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  12. Deborah said on October 5, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Kavanaugh most undoubtedly will be confirmed but can you imagine how he’s going to be able to perform as a SCOTUS with all of this baggage? This isn’t over, by a long shot. Women are freaking mad.

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  13. MarcG said on October 5, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    I hear people speaking three languages (often in one sentence) all the time. Latvians speak Latvian, Russians speak Russian, and pretty much everyone speaks English. Welcome to Eastern Europe! The problem is when people decide to speak Russian and English, and leave out the Latvian. Maybe that is the problem in Detroit, or wherever, in America. You speak your family tongue (Arabic, Russian, Ukrainian, whatever), and the local neighbourhood tongue (maybe Spanish, French, whatever), and English only rarely, or when at school or at the DMV. So the people that only speak English, as is their custom, get all freaked out! They don”t even know that people speak different languages!

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  14. FDChief said on October 5, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    If there is any upside to Trump, it’s that the GOP has ripped the mask off. It has stopped pretending about “limited government” and all the other Burkean nonsense. It’s just plutocracy and vulture capitalism and racist, proudly stupid xenophobia all the way down.

    There’s nothing left there to recover. There’s no “Weimar GOP” to take over afterwards. Nope. This time, if the Republic is to be saved, Zhukov must hammer into the Tiergarten and across Potsdamerplatz with merciless fire and steel. The flayed bodies of the Teabaggers and Trumpkins must be piled across the broken barricades, and the Party leaders hung from the lampposts. The GOP must be destroyed.

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  15. Jeff Borden said on October 5, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    I kind of enjoy hearing other languages when I’m walking around or riding the el. It makes me feel like I’m living in an international city, which I suppose I am.

    Brett Kavanaugh, a lifelong Republican operative involved in everything from the hunting of Bill Clinton’s penis to the justification for torture for the Bush administration, will soon be our newest justice. Perhaps he will provide the critical vote in Gamble v. United States, which if overturned will allow the federal pardons issued by the Orange King to extend to the state level. The whole reeking cabal of crooks and creeps in this horrific administration will be saved from any prosecution for their crimes.

    Obviously, he’ll be a vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, but keep an eye on Griswold v. Connecticut, which affects contraception. And we can say goodbye to any hopes at all for sensible gun laws, campaign finance reform, etc.

    Mitch McConnell is a cockroach, but he has won two gigantic victories with Kavanaugh and Gorsuch. We’ll be living with the consequences for a very long time.

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  16. David C. said on October 5, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    God damn that woman is a phony. She may have bought herself a pass in the primaries when she runs for re-election, but she’ll be toast in the general if there is any justice.

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  17. Deborah said on October 5, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    OMG when Grassley was asked today if the Republicans would try to get Women on the Judiciary committee now he said they’ve tried but it’s so much hard work, maybe women don’t want to do it. Aaargghh! These old white men need to go.

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  18. Deborah said on October 5, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    Another OMG moment. My niece was so excited to post on FB that her husband gave their son his first gun. This cute little kid is 2. The gun is way bigger than he is. This is the daughter of my right wing sister of course. I’m so depressed to see this. I just hope they lock this gun up carefully and responsibly so that nothing horrendous happens. This is so disturbing.

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  19. Diane said on October 5, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    In the land of weird coincidence, I was in Rifle, CO today. Just passing through and stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom, get a Diet Coke, etc. But now that I think about it, the clerks were all white women unlike one county over where I live where the clerks and customers are often Hispanic and it is quite common to hear Spanish spoken. I admit I never noticed before.
    But in Rifle’s defense, they have a good library.

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  20. Colleen said on October 5, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    I don’t get why people get so flipped out about people not speaking English. The boot camp class I am in right now is about 50/50 English and Spanish speakers. One trainer is Puerto Rican, and she goes between Spanish and English without pause.
    Back in the olden days in Lorain Ohio, the steel mill had signs in English,Spanish and Hungarian, which covered the majority of their workforce. People speaking other languages has always been part of our culture. It’s just that now, with the Trumpites out from under their rocks, the narrow minded bigots feel they have carte blanche to harass people who are minding their own business, but doing so in a foreign tongue.
    I’m so sick of this. It feels hopeless. But I got my mail-in ballot today, and I am going to vote. But not for any Republicans.

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  21. Rana said on October 5, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    Jeff, it looks like the Gamble case has dangerous but not inevitable implications. Basically, it means that anyone prosecuting for a federal crime should be careful to not overlap it with state crimes if they want it to be heard in both venues.

    My understanding is that Mueller’s been very careful about keeping the streams uncrossed; if a pardon is issued for a federal crime (all Trump is allowed to do), there is ample material for related but still distinct state-level charges that would not constitute double jeopardy and which would not be eligible for presidential pardon.


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  22. Dexter Friend said on October 6, 2018 at 3:17 am

    I usually only hear English and espanol here, mostly when the tomato pickers arrive and harvest tomatoes. This is tomato country, big time…there are trailer camps situated all around by Stryker on towards Wauseon. Defiance is a Latin town…they have had several Mexican-heritage mayors. Since 127 goes by a couple hundred yards from my house, it’s not uncommon to hear French being spoken in the little diners we have here. Canadians passing through, of course.
    Sandi, daughter #2, lives in Homestead/ Miami, Florida. She sent me a clip of a car containing several African Americans pulling into a Miami Taco Bell. The entire Taco Bell staff was Spanish-speaking and would not take the order from the car…the customer-lady had a shit-fit and demanded food…the clerk in the window slammed the window, locked it, and called la policia. End result: the worker was fired…I assume she could at least understand if a menu was pointed at…I think maybe she was just a plain old non-woke racist.

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  23. David C. said on October 6, 2018 at 6:36 am

    I hear Hmong spoken here as much as I hear Spanish. Most of the people selling vegetables at the farmer’s market are Hmong. If anyone has their knickers in a twist because “they” don’t assimilate need to go to the market. The older people don’t speak English well, but they always have their children with them who, of course, speak English like natives. Their grandchildren will likely speak very little Hmong, which feels sad.

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  24. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 6, 2018 at 7:06 am

    This study is worth your time if you still have some WaPo clicks left; interesting to me is that you see states mostly one way or another — Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio where a large hunk of the readership here resides are some of the few complicated stories, where you see the full spectrum dotted across their landscapes.


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  25. Deborah said on October 6, 2018 at 7:27 am

    I hear a lot of languages while I’m walking the streets in Chicago. For some reason on Michigan Ave I hear a lot of Asian languages. I can discern when it’s Japanese but not other languages like Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese. I can’t tell the difference because I haven’t been exposed to the differences enough. I think I recognize Japanese from movies when I was a kid, that had subtitles but you could still hear the dialog.

    My husband comes to NM this evening, then tomorrow we go out to Abiquiu where we’ll stay for a while. The cottonwood trees along the Chama River should be near peak golden. And there may even be snow on the Sangre de Cristos later in the week. The low in Santa Fe Tuesday night will be in the upper 30s and rain is expected, so in the higher altitudes that may mean snow.

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  26. Deborah said on October 6, 2018 at 7:49 am

    Off topic: calling all typography nerds https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/oct/04/font-of-all-knowledge-researchers-develop-typeface-they-say-can-boost-memory

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  27. alex said on October 6, 2018 at 11:21 am

    I miss living in Chicago and have to admit it’s quite a jolting experience whenever I hear foreign tongues in Indiana because it’s so unexpected and I used to think nothing of it. Here the middle-eastern store clerks speak Arabic among themselves and it turns out the Asian cleaning crew that comes in at night to clean my office doesn’t seem to know any English at all (or understand what a urinal cake is — they keep fishing it out of the urinal and placing it on a ledge, evidently mistaking it for an air freshener).

    The only time I ever saw a cultural clash like the one in Rifle, Colorado, was in Boyztown, Chicago, back in the early aughts. I was grabbing my morning cuppa joe at Starbucks when a huffy red-faced man started bellowing at the baristas, demanding that they order the gay people in the store to stop displaying affection in front of his children. The manager informed him politely that this was the accepted norm in this particular store and neighborhood. The man continued throwing a tantrum and the manager told him to leave, and a hearty round of applause went up in the store as the man skulked out.

    Now that I think of it, I remember one other occasion during the early aughts when at one of the summer festivals, an out-of-towner went apeshit in front of a street vendor who was selling art featuring caricatures of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. “He’s your president, goddammit! Show some fucking respect!” he screamed at the people gathered around the booth. People started shouting back “No he’s YOUR president” and booed him down and he backed off.

    I’m trying to remain optimistic that toxic masculinity is losing its grip on the world and that the Trump years, including the Kavanaugh debacle, are going to be remembered as one of its last dying gasps. But we really have to remain vigilant and not complacent.

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  28. Suzanne said on October 6, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    It’s amazing that people in my rural area complain about immigrants not speaking English and then will happily tell you about their grandparent who always spoke with a heavy German accent and always spoke German at home and that their church’s biggest controversy was when they stopped having services in German in the 1960s (or later).
    Also, people have told me they remember in their childhood the signs at the edge of town that told blacks that they had to be outside the city limits by sundown.
    But, sure, minorities and immigrants nowadays are just not trying.

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  29. Deborah said on October 6, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Suzanne, immigrants are fine as long as they’re not brown dontcha know.

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  30. Jakash said on October 6, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    So, Suzanne, I greatly appreciate the insights you often share with regard to the attitudes of rural Republicans, of whom I know none. Any thoughts on the growing media “take” that this Supreme Court bullshit has fired up those on the right? I mean, obviously the folks who were already contentedly aboard the Trump Train are going to gloat and be delighted to have stuck it to the libs. But do you think there are many folks that were *not* willing to support Hair Furor and his agenda before, who are onboard now because of this fight?

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  31. Suzanne said on October 6, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Jakash, I don’t know. I haven’t talked to anyone who has become more or less fired up because of it but I have had conversations with several people who said that even if the assault happened it was a long time ago and that woman really needed to get over it. I have tried to explain to several how the accusation came to light, that she first contacted her representative when K’s name showed up on the short list, because she simply thought somebody should know about it and things escalated from there. That seems to go over well but will it change their minds? Don’t know.
    The thing is that abortion, among Republican voters that I know, is huge, huge, huge. They will ignore corruption, sexual improprieties, and many other things in order to promote the end of legal abortion. The “right” outcome is worth it to them.
    This alleged assault of Kavanaugh doesn’t really resonate because they have no concept of the Ivy League (beyond the names of the schools) and the type of people who go there from wealth and privilege because that is so outside their frame of reference. So if Fox News tells them it’s a left wing hit job, their experience can’t refute that. If K says he got into Yale on his own without connections, they won’t look into his background, see that he was a legacy among other privileges, because they really don’t understand how any of that works or that such a thing exists.
    If any of that makes sense.

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  32. Deborah said on October 6, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    I know this is probably crazy, but it makes me want the Dems in WV to not vote for Manchin, even if it means the Repub wins, just to get Manchin out. I’m sure that’s what the Republicans want though so maybe not, because we need all of the Dem senators to hang on and then get some new ones. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if it worked out that Manchin could lose and the Dems could still capture the Senate?

    I want the Democrats to fight for us, no more playing nice, how can we when the other side plays as dirty as can be. We need to pack the courts, stall and obstruct. Sorry to say it has come to that in my mind but how else do we get the craven ones from having all the power. It must be stopped. I hope there is such a blue wave that it blows them away, obviously we all want that.

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  33. alex said on October 6, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Suzanne and I live in the same general vicinity and encounter the same types. A lot of people don’t recognize that Trump’s out of his league and looking like the fool that he is because they mistake his bluster for candor, and his simplistic bullshit explanations for policy (“Canada and Mexico are ripping us off and it’s all Obama’s fault because he’s a weakling”) is accessible to them in a way that substantive discussion is not and never will be. He knows how to flatter people who feel insecure about their own ignorance and they see any attack on him as an attack on them.

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  34. Suzanne said on October 6, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Exactly, Alex. For people in this area, work is everything. Idleness is the devil’s workshop. Life is experienced in very simplistic terms; there is little nuance. So, to see Kavanaugh as a very intelligent, hard working family man who may also have engaged, and may still engage in, disgusting lecherous behavior is out of their scope of thinking. A discussion of the reaction of people to her story compared to his in terms related to a traditionally patriarchal society just will not happen.

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  35. beb said on October 6, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    we’re trying to get our roof replaced today. The contractor knows his business but it’s hard to make any progress when we get a heavy downpour every couple hours! They did get the back side finished before giving up for the day and plan to come back tomorrow (Sunday) to do the front half. Hopefully it won’t be raining (as much) then.

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  36. Bitter Scribe said on October 6, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    The only reason or excuse to use a leaf blower is if you’re a professional landscaper or own grounds of an acre or more. Ordinary homeowners who use them should rot in hell. That is all.

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  37. Deborah said on October 6, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    We got a leaf blower in Santa Fe mainly for this area in the back of the building that is a drainage swale, that’s lined with river stones. There’s a tree in the middle of it. It’s impossible to rake. It’s an electric blower that we only used on weekdays, late morning or early afternoon, so we don’t wreck people’s weekends.

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  38. Sherri said on October 6, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    I still think abortion is a pretext, not the real force. If abortion were outlawed tomorrow, there’d be something else to replace it. Abortion allows them a way to feel righteous about what’s really bothering them: that they have to live and interact with people who aren’t like them, not by their choice, but because the government tells them so. They feel overwhelmed by all those people, who seem to want to change everything when everything was just fine the way it was.

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  39. Jakash said on October 6, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    Thanks for the reply, Suzanne. Yeah, your *explanation* makes sense. Now, the idea that outlawing abortion would make anything better in this country or the world makes no sense to me, but I agree with you that it’s the most important issue to a significant segment of voters. Let’s see, we’ve got 7.7 billion people in the world, with climate change threatening plenty of them already. Oh, well.

    Even if it is a pretext for some, as Sherri suggests, it’s been very effective in getting otherwise moral folks to support immoral, hypocritical candidates who promote other policies that those voters don’t actually agree with. I’m sure there are many who feel the way that she suggests, but not some of the generally well-intentioned, essentially single-issue Catholic voters that I’m familiar with.

    Hey, I’ve heard of a “very intelligent, hard working family man” who might have made a good Justice — goes by the name of Merrick Garland. : )

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  40. Deborah said on October 7, 2018 at 11:01 am

    I have a question for some of you here who used to be Republicans and over time switched to either Independent or Democrat. What made you switch? What made it impossible for you to vote for Republicans anymore? I can guess what put you over the top but I’d like to hear it from you. Brian? Others?

    I’m experiencing Moral Injury, which is defined as the betrayal of “what’s right” in a high stakes situation by someone who holds power. I think a lot of us here are experiencing this obviously.

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  41. Deborah said on October 7, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Hey, I learned something interesting today from this website https://makemyvotematter.com/. It’s meant for students who can register to vote in a state or district either where they go to school or where their home is. This website will calculate where their vote matters most. But I figured I’d try it with both of the addresses where I reside, in IL and NM. It turns out both places are equally competitive in this election so I’ll keep voting in Chicago. Which I already assumed since in both places the House representatives are Dems and Senators are both Dems, governors in both places are currently Republicans but the Dems are polling higher for this election. I didn’t know that you can be registered in multiple places as long as you only vote in one. You are encouraged to cancel your registration in all but one but you don’t have to do it before you actually vote. Interesting. For those of you out there who might have more than one residence you might want to check this out.

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  42. Kristen said on October 7, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Is it just me, or was the dress the youngest Kavanaugh daughter wore at the swearing in creepily reminiscent of a handmaid’s dress?

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  43. Deborah said on October 7, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Another interesting site shows all of the SCOTUS’s, the presidents who nominated them, details who voted Yay or Nay if you click on the vote count, the V stands for voice vote so there’s no official count. https://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/reference/nominations/Nominations.htm

    OK now I’m off to Abiquiu for a few days.

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  44. Sherri said on October 7, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Deborah, if you want to hear a discussion with a “recovering Republican” who has really wrestled with what he used to believe and what his party is and was, I recommend the latest episode of With Friends Like These, where Ana Marie Cox talks with Max Boot.


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  45. alex said on October 7, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    I tend to agree that abortion is a pretext. Movement conservatism is really a very inhumane and unsympathetic world view, not to mention a hard sell in a pluralistic society, so professing sympathy for fetuses is the one trick they rely on to blunt criticism and claim moral high ground. If they really gave a fuck about it they’d endorse contraception to combat abortion rather than demonizing it as one and the same thing. Pro-life sentiment by itself might in fact garner a whole lot more support than it does if it weren’t inextricably part of an authoritarian package deal.

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  46. Dorothy said on October 7, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    I had a friend (Delia) in grade school in the late 60’s whose mother was born in Germany. Her mom knew English but she and Delia spoke to each other in German almost exclusively. Delia told me that her mother understood German much better than English and that was why they spoke to each other that way. I am very intolerant when I hear of anyone who complains about someone not speaking English. I hope I never have to witness something like that cuz I’ll likely get arrested when I give the offending person a tongue lashing.

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  47. Jakash said on October 7, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Oh, I agree that it’s largely a pretext for the ones using it to maintain power, Alex. And the idea that the morality of using freaking *contraception* seems to be up for debate in 2018 beggars belief.

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  48. Dave said on October 7, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Our oldest son’s father-in-law is an immigrant from Nicaragua, who came here when he was about 28. He understands and speaks Spanish better than English and his family speaks to him mostly in Spanish, including our son, who is fluent. Of course, my wife and I can’t speak Spanish a lick, so we have to follow along as best as we can. Are we offended by this? Not in any way.

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  49. Sherri said on October 7, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Jakash, my experience is that well intentioned otherwise moral people are more than capable of supporting immoral politicians who promote policies they don’t otherwise agree with without abortion ever being brought into the equation. That’s pretty much what I grew up around, I would argue.

    We really need to get past this notion that people can’t be well intentioned and moral and yet also do and believe deeply awful things. I know and love many people who are very moral and also racist af. They’ve never used the n-word, they would never do anything to personally harm a black person, and they’re racist af.

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