Rendering unto Caesar.

I’ve been following the talk in the comments about the price of car insurance wherever everybody is. People? In the words of Jame Gumb, you don’t know what pain is. Michigan has the highest-priced auto insurance in the nation, and Detroit has the highest in Michigan. We’re not in Detroit proper, but we are in the same county, and man, do we pay.

My no-collision-coverage premium on the old-ass Volvo is double what an entire year’s worth of coverage was on my brand-new VW back in Indiana. Most younger people around here pay for their coverage monthly, because a couple thousand in a six-month premium is too much for a lot of people to handle. A monthly insurance premium that costs more than a car payment is very common around here; in fact, I think I just read about a guy who surrendered his lease on a new Cadillac (payment: $540/month) because his premium was something like $560 a month — FOR INSURANCE — and he couldn’t swing it anymore.

Our premiums are due in August and March, and I DREAD August and March. Now that Kate has a car, it’s…about $2,500 extra in those months.

And Alan wonders why I want to give up my car entirely.

Oh, well. Another weekend in the books. I just paid our taxes, and I’m about to make a cherry clafoutis for the “Game of Thrones” watch party we’re attending tonight. There was actually quite a bit of discussion about how the menu should be structured — medieval-ish, with a touch of dragon fire? At one point I was committed to individual savory hand pies, because it seemed very Kingsroad Inn and Hot Pie, but finally the host decided he’d smoke a pork shoulder, so that’s the plan. I’ve never seen a pig on “Game of Thrones,” but the cruel boys at the Wall called Samwell Tarly a pig when he arrived at Castle Black, so…

Wait, you’re not into it? Don’t know what I’m talking about? That’s fine. You don’t have to be in on the fun. I don’t even think this is the greatest TV show of all time, but it does have actual dragons, and I’m totally there for that. Also, it is SUCH an improvement on the books, it’s in the ‘Godfather’ Hall of Fame for Adaptations That Transcend Their Source Material, and that’s a plus. Five or six more books I won’t have to read.

I’m really — as in really, really, really — hoping next week is an improvement on the last, which sucked. It was a stung-by-gnats thing, mainly, just a thousand things piling up and conspiring to make me crazy and late and under-rested. All this is balanced by the fact we have some milestones coming up soon, too, and happy ones. Kate graduates from Michigan in just about two weeks, huzzah. We have two separate ceremonies to attend, one for her school (she’s up for an award) and the one for the whole university, in the Big House the following day. I was hoping they’d get Michelle Obama for a speaker, but it’s the governor, and I guess I’m fine with that. I hope her speech is a good one.

Friday was the open house for the senior theses, and we went to that. Kate’s thesis project was an album-length recording of her new band, recorded, mixed and mastered by her. (Here’s their Bandcamp page, with only two tracks on it, both recorded by someone else.) Her boyfriend had a show, too, featuring a dancer with sensors stuck all over her body. The sensors were tracked by cameras that triggered music, so she was essentially dancing to music her body was composing in real time. That was pretty cool, even though one of the sensors flew off in the final frenzied minutes of the performance, and landed at my feet. It was the one on her forehead; when we first saw her, Alan whispered, “What a weird piercing.”

So. On to the clafoutis. In the meantime?

“Fox brain” is a thing, and it has victims. I have many friends whose parents went from nice moderates to angry, fearful racists in a matter of months. I’m sure you do, too.

Ivanka! Everybody’s favorite Trump, discussed here. This is what a person with cotton where their brains should be does:

When she ran her multimillion-dollar lifestyle brand, she worked relentlessly at “cultivating authenticity,” as she put it. She dreamed up a world full of serendipitous moments and marvelous coincidences, with the pastel-hued bags and shoes to match. Ivanka told W magazine, at age 22, “There are very few things we can control in life, but how we project ourselves is one of them.” That discipline has meant, as her brother Don Jr. told me, that “you can put Ivanka in virtually any environment and she’ll thrive.” In the White House, she has projected herself as a cosmopolitan peacemaker, dedicating her efforts largely to issues such as women’s economic empowerment, workforce development, and the fight against human trafficking. She is not a conservative, she enjoys telling people. She is a “pragmatist.”

Has anyone told her that cultivating authenticity is an oxymoron? Guess not.

Finally, I’m finding Bernie tiresome in the extreme. That is all. Talk soon.

Posted at 5:41 pm in Detroit life, Same ol' same ol' |

85 responses to “Rendering unto Caesar.”

  1. David C. said on April 14, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    I’ve never been on the Bernie bandwagon. His position seems to be Medicare for all or nothing. I mean, dude, have a backup plan just in case the political revolution you’re expecting doesn’t happen. Hearing him talk is almost as irritating as hearing tRump talk too. Not to the point I want to hang myself like when tRump talks but pretty close. I’m pretty well undecided still but the one I’m not looking for is someone to try “let’s all get along” again. I want someone who will put their boot on their necks and not let up until they figure out how to live in a democracy. Not too much to ask, right?

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  2. Deborah said on April 14, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    I’m so with you about Bernie, I’m not on his bandwagon, never have been.

    Nancy, it’s hard to believe your daughter is already graduating. I think I started reading this blog when she was about 8, time flies. Congrats to her and to you for getting her to this point.

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  3. Colleen said on April 14, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Congratulations to Kate and to her mom and dad. Like Deborah, I remember her being a wee thing when I started reading the blog.
    Not enamored with Bernie. He leaves me meh. I like Warren, and I like the newly announced Mayor Pete. But really. Anyone but the current occupant.

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  4. Suzanne said on April 14, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Never been a Bernie fan but I did love his comment during the debate with Hillary Clinton when he announced that nobody cared about her damn emails.
    At this point, I’d vote for my neighbor’s cat if it was running against tRump.

    I haven’t watched Game of Thrones but I am unnaturally excited for the Masterpiece Theatre Les Misèrables production that starts tonight. I hope it’s not a disappointment.

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  5. beb said on April 15, 2019 at 1:03 am

    With regards to Kate’s graduation just be thankful the commencement speaker isn’t John Engler. It’s actually amusing that the student of an Indiana evangelical college does not want Pence as their commencement speaker.

    I’m kind of bothered that the top four Dem candidates are all men and the women are all well below them. Biden and Sanders are too old, it’s as simple as that. Does Beto really stand for anything? As someone who grew up in the area east of South Bend I am curious about Mayor Pete but my heart currently belongs to Elizabeth (warren that is).

    Some friends of ours are big LOTR fans. Viewing parties for the 20-plus hours of the extended cut movies. A trip to New Zealand…. Just like GOT.

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  6. David C. said on April 15, 2019 at 5:53 am

    Engler is an MSU guy. I think UofM would burn the whole place down before they’d invite Engler to speak. That would have been true even before his assholish term as interim President of MSU.

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  7. alex said on April 15, 2019 at 7:31 am

    I’m not optimistic that Mayor Pete could win this thing, but I’m glad he’s challenging the idea that the GOP owns exclusive rights to God and that talking the talk is a sufficient proxy for walking the walk. Although the message will certainly be lost on the many who think going to church and voting Republican is earning them points toward their Golden Ticket, it’ll still rankle the hell out of them, praise be!

    Speaking of Fox brain, I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation at a table behind me at a restaurant this weekend between two women, one of whom was having a tizzy about socialism. I guess it’s the new shariah.

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  8. ROGirl said on April 15, 2019 at 8:05 am

    Insurance rates in the Detroit area are tied to your distance from the city of Detroit. The closer you are, the more you pay. Think of the mile roads as the markers. I live north of 13 Mile and pay more than someone who lives north of 14 Mile.

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  9. Suzanne said on April 15, 2019 at 8:55 am

    Les Mis on PBS was well done, except that I kept expecting someone to break into song! The casting so far is good and is staying pretty true to the book, at least from what I remember.

    On to Monday!

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  10. Diane said on April 15, 2019 at 9:55 am

    I also have never seen the appeal of Bernie at all, although my husband does.
    I am charmed by Mayor Pete and believe that he is bringing very good things to the quality and tenor of the discussion, so I am glad he is in the race. My pick so far though is Elizabeth Warren, which is the kiss of death for her. My early picks never fare well.

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  11. JMG said on April 15, 2019 at 10:42 am

    Why is Michigan auto insurance so expensive? I live in Massachusetts in the Boston area, justly famed for bad driving, and ours isn’t nearly that much.

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  12. Deborah said on April 15, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Currently my personal first choice is Kamala Harris, she is young, black and a woman. I like Warren but I’m afraid she’s doomed because of her baggage and her age. Next in line for me is Mayor Pete, I like what he says and how he says it. Biden is too old, Bernie is too old as well, and too much baggage. I like Klobacher, Booker and Castro too, but they have long rows to hoe. Mainly, I’m happy that all these Dems are getting attention in the media and conversations are being had that are important for people to hear.

    And obviously I’ll vote for the Democrat who gets nominated, and I’ll give money and work for that person in any way I can.

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  13. Sherri said on April 15, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Mayor Pete is wish fulfillment for old political pundits. They see themselves in him.

    He’s the white guy at the table who says the thing the woman just said that everybody ignored, and everybody gushes over him.

    He’s a McKinsey consultant, he’s going to be perfectly constructed to convince you he’s just what you need, then screw you over.

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  14. alex said on April 15, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Michigan is different than other states in that it has no-fault insurance. In theory, this is supposed to result in lower premiums. In practice, it does exactly the opposite. I read somewhere recently that Michigan is finally trying to get the no-fault law rescinded. It was adopted in the 1970s.

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  15. FDChief said on April 15, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Living in Oregon as I do I’m often in the company of Berners, and, while I’m a New Deal Democrat like Sanders it’s the vaguely creepy cultism that gives me the fantods.

    I mean, three years ago Sanders was the candidate that was willing to talk openly about plutocracy and the New Gilded Age. He didn’t have any more ideas about how to implement his agenda in the face of relentless GOP obstruction than a cow knows about the Council of Trent, but he was at least willing to “shout at the right buildings”.

    Now there’s a crap-ton of Democratic candidates willing to do the same, and many of them have a more pragmatic approach than Sanders does; he seems to be stuck in his senatorial mode, which is throwing out progressive ideas and then hectoring his coworkers when they don’t fall in line.

    But, for a lot of the folks here it’s Bernie or Nothing. IMO that’s little better than the idiot Trumpkins. The last thing we need is another election with a “Only I Can Save You” egotist running…

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  16. Bitter Scribe said on April 15, 2019 at 11:59 am

    Bernie Sanders can suck a turd as far as I’m concerned. I’ll never forget how his constant slagging of Hillary Clinton, well after it was clear she’d be the nominee, helped drag her down.

    FWIW, Warren is my first choice but like Deborah, I think her age and that stupid Pocahantas shit will work against her. Harris is my #2.

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  17. basset said on April 15, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Never heard of a clafoutis till just now, but we have a recipe bookmarked and intend to try it.

    Didn’t know there was a new band either, that first track on Bandcamp reminds me of early Alice Cooper. So right after graduation there’ll be an opening slot on a major tour, then a big label release?

    Not much use for Bernie here either, I can only take being constantly scolded for so long.

    Ordered some new glasses this morning to replace the ones I lost. Counting that, a new camera, and the cost of overnighting my spare glasses it’s looking like a $600-plus fall.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on April 15, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Mayor Pete is 37, with no national experience, and much as I like what he has to say, he’s unseasoned. I’d tell him to run for Governor or Senator, but he couldn’t get elected in Indiana.

    The Bernie bros vehemently despise Nancy Pelosi and distrust most moderates. I think Dems are going to have a lot of trouble finding a candidate that satisfies both sides, much less can defeat Trump.

    IRS good news: our daughter benefited from tax changes this last year. Her church doesn’t withhold so she has to file and pay self-employment taxes. She saves up to be ready for tax day, but this year she owed thousands less than last year. Of course, she’s earning poverty pay to begin with, so the extra money is very welcome.

    Mueller report being released on Thursday!

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  19. Jakash said on April 15, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    “He didn’t have any more ideas about how to implement his agenda in the face of relentless GOP obstruction than a cow knows about the Council of Trent, but he was at least willing to ‘shout at the right buildings’.” That’s a very fine sentence, as usual, from the FDC. The fact that he wouldn’t sully himself by deigning to be part of the Democratic party until he realized that running for their nomination would give him a much bigger megaphone for shouting at the buildings is pretty much a deal-breaker, by itself, for me.

    Personally, I don’t have a #1, #2 or #3 at this point, and am paying little attention, as I very much enjoy my average citizen’s position of not needing to even consider these alternatives for close to a *year* from now, at least. The nature of the campaign-industrial complex in this country, with the concomitant length of the campaign “season,” disgusts me. This attitude paid rich dividends for me when I avoided almost all references to Don Trump, up until he became the nominee. What wouldn’t I give to go back to those blissful days of being ignorant about the true nature of his criminal, unconscionable, ongoing grift-a-palooza and hate-focused enterprise?

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  20. Suzanne said on April 15, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    Cathedral of Notre Dame is burning. I am sick.

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  21. LAMary said on April 15, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    Heartbreaking, Suzanne. Seeing the spire fall was awful.

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  22. LAMary said on April 15, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Our buffoon in chief suggested water tanker drops. Perhaps he will suggest more raking of the area as well.

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  23. JodiP said on April 15, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    I saw that about Notre Dame as well. Heartbreaking.

    I am also sick of Bernie; I’ve never really cared for him. Pete for prez? No thanks; far too young and inexperienced. Later, I will have to look into Sherri’s comments about him.

    Warren has a lot of specific policy suggestions, which I appreciate. I am concerned about her age, though. The job (if done properly) is beyond exhausting.

    Jakash, I like your approach–I’m not obsessively reading up on everyone, but it’s hard to escape some of the knowledge. By the time primaries are done in MN, the choices will be far fewer, and I’ve got better things to do.

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  24. Julie Robinson said on April 15, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    A fire chief neatly refuted the tanker theory, saying it would contribute to further collapse, and that you don’t fight fires from the top of the roof, since roofs are made to keep out water.

    Parisians must be devastated. I am too.

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  25. Deborah said on April 15, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Glad I got to see Notre Dame in Paris in December. May be gone forever.

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  26. LAMary said on April 15, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    I’ve seen the water tankers working here in CA and for one thing they don’t drop just one giant bucket of water on a place. It’s a trail of water, so they would be dropping tons of water on an area considerably larger than the cathedral. Secondly, it’s TONS of water. Yeah it would make a roof collapse. I feel like Trump does not deserve the ability to comment on a fire at a 12th century cathedral. That sounds stupid, I know, but he’s too crude, too bombastic, to grasp the profound sadness of this. It’s not just a tourist attraction. It’s a milestone of architecture and civilization. It’s a building meant to inspire humans to look up and imagine something larger than themselves.

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  27. Little Bird said on April 15, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    At my GoT screening party we had crudités and dip, bread, salami, three types of cheese, bacon wrapped water chestnuts drizzled with honey and brown sugar, and of course wine. And the episode was amazing.
    I wonder what caused the fire.

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  28. Julie Robinson said on April 15, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    Exactly. Couldn’t he just express sorrow? Instead he tries to make himself superior.

    Those of us in the Fort will remember when the St. Mary’s church here burned, 1993. It wasn’t the cathedral, but it looked like a European cathedral on the inside; absolutely breathtaking. One of the newspaper photogs snapped a stunner of the spire before it fell. The gold cross on its top is shining through the smoke and the flames. I thought about that while watching the Notre Dame spire fall over and over. Kind of felt like 9/11, watching the twin towers fall repeatedly.

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  29. FDChief said on April 15, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Don’t sell shouting at the right buildings short; we’re headed for a return to 1899 if We the People don’t get off our dead backsides. Sanders gets big props for being the one who started the shouting.

    But…at some point you have to figure out how to turn that into policy, and I think Sanders is stuck in the shouting phase. Contrast that w AOC and the Green New Dealers, who are willing to throw political meat to the green-skeptics to get them inside the tent.

    Still…the main issue is stopping the bonfire the GOP has set. Because, as we’re seeing; once the building is fully engulfed quibbling over personal preference is meaningless.

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  30. Deggjr said on April 15, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    Not a big Bernie fan but would gladly vote for him (or any Democratic candidate) over Trump.

    It seems all the Democratic candidates are trying to find a lane. Bernie seems to have the student loan debt lane to himself. If I was in that lane I would be fanatical too.

    The Medicare-for-all slogan really worries me. It’s too much ‘if you like your plan you can keep your plan’ times 1000 when considering employer sponsored healthcare. Bernie may actually believe it but I think for other candidates Medicare-for-all shows a lack of thought.

    Medicare option for all yes. FWIW

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  31. ROGirl said on April 15, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Fwiw, Notre Dame was extensively restored in the 19th century. Statues had been destroyed in the revolution, the spire was rebuilt, and other changes were made.

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  32. Sherri said on April 15, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    Ideas are easy. Coalitions are hard. Change happens when coalitions are built around ideas. Our political press doesn’t really value coalitions unless it’s a coalition built around the personality of a leader, rather than around ideas.

    Bernie had some ideas, but has never known how to build a coalition. He stumbled into a personality cult instead, and now is running on that. Obama was less effective than he should have been because he wasn’t good at building coalitions. He thought ideas should be sufficient (and no, I’m no saying he should have reached out across the aisle, I’m saying he did very little to build the Democratic Party and create a bench to follow him)

    Hillary was actually good at coalitions, but Clinton Rules applied. Many female politicians I’ve encountered are better at building coalitions, but the press always finds some flaw with their personality.

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  33. beb said on April 15, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    The lost of the cathedral is a terrible lost. While I may be rebuilt so much of what was inside it was irreplaceable. Comparisons to the Twin Towers of 9-11 seems apt but more so to the fire of Brazil’s Natural History Museum. I’ve heard that they were doing renovations on the structure. I suspect that’s where the fire started. And as others have states, while the walls were stone the roof was wood and I suspect the floors as well. What a terrible, terrible lose.

    I will vote for the Democratic nominate no matter who that is. There is no viable alternative.

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  34. Andrea said on April 15, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    So very sad about Notre Dame. My husband and I got to visit Paris about 18 months ago and spent an afternoon there. We returned the next night for a classical music concert featuring three sopranos. It was glorious and now appears to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me.

    @Sherrie, you are not the only one giving Mayor Pete the side eye. This critique is pretty devastating and has definitely influenced me:

    I’m glad he is in the race, if only to further the conversation about who can be a candidate. I had the chance to spend New Year’s Eve at a small dinner party (18 people) including a US Congresswoman, and other highly regarded people in Democratic politics nationally and in Illinois. Everyone there was at least a dozen years older than me. The conversation was dominated by who would be the best candidate. The group was shocked when I said that the nominee should not be a white man (the room was 17 white people and one person of Asian origin.) They were arguing for Bernie, Biden, Sherrod Brown. Talking about Hickenlooper. For me, I am interested in a woman and/or POC at the top of the ticket. Haven’t ruled any of them out yet.

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  35. David C. said on April 15, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    Weird thought, but Philippe Petit must feel really strange right now.

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  36. Sherri said on April 15, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Andrea, those people belong to what Jay Rosen calls the Cult of the Savvy, which is how he describes most political journalism. It’s focused on the horse race, not on what affects people.

    The Cult of the Savvy says that Dems should get behind a white guy and then he will be able to attract those lost Rust Belt votes just because. Everybody else will come along because they have no choice.

    I think that’s wrong both on what is right idea and on what will win. I don’t believe those white men who voted for trump are coming back if only we nominate a white man. I believe doing so underestimates how pissed off women and people of color are are being sidelined. We do have a choice, which is to sit it out. Hell, the dystopia is already here, electing a white man savior isn’t going to fix it. The problem is bigger than that. No matter what happens in 2020, things are going to get worse, because the rot in our institutions is real and needs to be torn out and rebuilt. The Republican Party needs to be destroyed, and I don’t think that’s going to happen in 2020.

    I’m really not a make things worse to heighten the contradictions person. I just think we’re on that path no matter what happens in 2020. So, I’m seriously considering sitting out a race that is Bernie-trump or Biden-trump, because I don’t see the point. As I’ve said over and over, trump ain’t the disease, he’s the symptom. Bernie is incapable of fixing the disease, and Biden won’t address it.

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  37. Joe Kobiela said on April 15, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Comparison to the twin towers seem Apt, except this looks like a accident, instead of a terrorist attack, and so far no casualties compared to the 3000 deaths on 9-11.
    Nancy any reason you would know why your sight is now coming up as Not Secure?
    Pilot Joe

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    • jcburns said on April 15, 2019 at 10:25 pm

      Let me give this one a try, Joe. It simply means that nn.c is served to you using the http protocol instead of the https protocol. That’s it. Any site that that is using the http protocol is sending the text of these pages to you unencrypted. That means that spies can read it if they intercept the packets. However, they can also read the site by..uh…just going to the site. There is really no reason for blogs or websites that are presenting lists of useful data or public information…sites that you don’t do financial business with…to be encrypted. It’s just wasteful. (Sites that are encrypted by definition send a lot more bytes down the pipe, and take a lot more processing time at the server and on your machine to encrypt and decrypt.)

      I absolutely think that sites you enter any sensitive information on should be encrypted both ways in transport (i.e. https), but all you’re entering here is your opinion and you’re entering it to be publicly seen anyway. Tim Berners-Lee, the guy who invented http and, well, the web, agrees. http is just fine for many, many, many purposes on the web.

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  38. Deborah said on April 15, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    I don’t know Andrea, I read your link from Current Afffairs about mayor Pete by Robinson and I couldn’t finish it because I found it suspect. My husband was a hayseed from small town IL who went to Harvard after he served in Vietnam Nam, he still has high reverence for the institution and the city of Cambridge as Pete does. I’ve been to Harvard Square many times and I didn’t pick up on a prevalence of homelessness. While there were many Harvard hangers on there, it never came off as dire homelessness to me. Maybe I was just there with stars in my eyes and didn’t see it out of wantoness. Just my humble opinion. Look up Robinson and see where he’s coming from, Yale Law etc. Hmmmm.

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  39. Deborah said on April 15, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    Wait, wait, wait Sherry, did you really just say you would wait out a Bernie or Biden vs Trump election? Seriously? You wouldn’t vote for the dem if it were one of them? I don’t want either one of them either but either one would be a milllion times better than Trump. Maybe I misunderstood?

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  40. Heather said on April 15, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    It sounds like Notre Dame isn’t a total loss. The roof and the spire are gone but the interior looks like it’s not in bad shape. I guess we’ll see. It will still take years for it to be restored. Glad I got to see it on my first trip to Europe in 1990 or so.

    Apparently the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem also caught fire today. A bad day for religious structures.

    I can’t believe Kate is graduating! Seems like she just got there.

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  41. Sherri said on April 15, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    Yes, Deborah, that’s what I said, that I am seriously thinking about it.

    We are in a crisis as a country. I do not believe that the crisis will be resolved by the results of the 2020 election, no matter who wins. Even if a magical female led progressive ticket wins the race and the Dems control both houses, the crisis is going to continue. I believe some fundamental changes have to occur.

    While there are many in the Democratic Party who talk as if they believe we face existential crises, there are not as many willing to act as if we do. Bernie may be willing, but is ineffective. I don’t believe Biden is willing. I believe Uncle Joe believes that if we just get mean ole trump out of the way, we can go back to being buddies again and get along across the aisle. Biden is a creature of the status quo, the white male status quo.

    I want to disrupt the status quo, because I think we face an existential crisis.

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  42. Little Bird said on April 15, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    This also happened.

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  43. brian stouder said on April 15, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    What Sherri said.

    I immediately fell for Kamala Harris – United States Senator from California (showing she can win in big important races) and with a pretty solid legal background (good ol’ Abe showed that a practical, day-to-day understanding of the law is a pretty good tool to have, to be an effective president).

    She could win the race – and she could certainly do the job

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 15, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    We pay $2,350 per annum (actually $1,175 twice a year) for three cars & drivers in central Ohio; two older Impalas and my newer but well worn Ford Focus. I think without the 20 year old at Ohio University it’d be more like half that.

    Congrats to Kate! Our lad is a year behind her, but he’s in music education and planning to do another semester; he could do student teaching next spring, but then would not be in a high school during marching band season. It’s a squeeze to get the music ed curriculum into four anyhow, so it makes sense to just do the fall student teaching after all the course work is done, and when he can go watch how another school does drill, et cetera.

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  45. David C. said on April 15, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    I don’t have the privilege to sit it out and neither do most people. Maybe you do, Sherri, but I don’t. Sure the status quo sucks, but half a sucky loaf is better than letting a madman blow up the loaf along with everything in a 2000 mile radius. I don’t much care for Bernie or Biden either, but if it’s them or tRump that’s easy. If tRump gets reelected, my sister probably loses her health insurance. I’m not going to let that happen. People would be hurt. People with lives and no resources to make the suffering comfortable enough get through your disruption.

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  46. alex said on April 15, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    I want to disrupt the status quo, because I think we face an existential crisis.

    Go vote for fucking Jill Stein, then, or whatever other third-party lunatic throws in. Let the perfect be the enemy of the good so we can sit through another four years of this bullshit followed by an eternity of ruin.

    I’ve lost all patience with this line of thinking. I have friends who didn’t vote for Hillary and sat out the election because she was “too establishment,” “too much in the pockets of Wall Street,” and so now we’re all owned by Wall Street. Thanks, fuckers. You might as well be wearing MAGA hats as far as I’m concerned.

    I would love to have a woman president just as much as you would, Sherri. But as FD Chief says above, once the building is engulfed, quibbling over personal differences is meaningless.

    I don’t think my health can take another four years of Trump. And I can’t take any more leftists who are as loopy as their right-wing counterparts.

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  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 15, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    For the record, I’ve served as a minister with churches that went through a fire, and where a previous minister was a sexual predator. Congregations can endure after a conflagration and losing all their stuff. I’d rather follow an arson than another fornicating SOB. Notre-Dame de Paris will recover. It’s like George Washington’s hatchet. The axe head has been replaced twice, and the handle three times, but it’s still the original artifact . . . in a way. More practically, the U.S.S. Constitution in Boston Harbor is the original “Old Ironsides” and it has been repaired and renewed and restored to at least 85% or more of the original material. What if it was 99%? Or more? Would it really matter?

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  48. Andrea said on April 15, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    @Deborah, there is a whole lot more in there than not noticing the homeless at Harvard, starting with not mentioning enormous racial disparities in South Bend, and including his whole excusing of the McKinsey Corp. I think it is a fair critique to point out that he has not accomplished much, and that for all his proclamations of faith, he hasn’t done much or seemed very aware of the least among us.

    To be clear though, if he is the nominee, I am all in. I cannot stomach another four years of Trump.

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  49. Sherri said on April 15, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    I won’t be voting for Jill Stein or any other grifter, and my money and time will still be active in 2020, downballot. I’m not sitting out a damned thing, I’m working my ass off to change things, I just don’t think voting for Biden or Bernie is as important to change things as some of the rest of you seem to think, especially now that the Republicans have fucked up the judiciary for a generation.

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  50. Dexter Friend said on April 16, 2019 at 3:41 am

    Mayor Pete and Rachel had quite a discussion at the end of the business part of the interview last night. Rachel said she included her identity on her application for Rhodes Scholar, and was accepted, and found out later she was the first openly gay candidate ever to become a Rhodes Scholar. Mayor Pete was closeted until 2014, 2015. Rachel said it “would have killed me to be in the closet that long…”. So far, no hint of issues such as would Pete close that fucking embassy in Baghdad, close Guantanamo, pull all troops out of The Region. Medicare for all, like Bernie advocates? Is he serious about that. I am edgy about Kamala Harris laughing off her weed smoking, when she was such a goddam hardliner on Cal law and order in her past. Klobuchar seems to be a crazed war hawk, am I wrong? I think if Mayor Pete Buttigieg is rejected, it will not be for his lifestyle nd orientation, maybe he’ll be considered way too young. Maybe he can be a VP. I know Bernie gets little love here, but he’s in line with my beliefs. I would also vote for Joe Biden. That centrist senator from Colorado makes a lot of sense, and I could vote for him. Can you even imagine Beto getting elected? Is he fading already…I mean, Mayor Pete already out-polls him. How about Pete and Beto on a ticket? Elizabeth Warren isn’t getting much ink these past news cycles. She may be lying in the grass, awaiting the right time. She’s such a dynamo, I surely ain’t counting her out.

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  51. Suzanne said on April 16, 2019 at 9:00 am

    I think Warren suffers from the same problem Hillary did to some extent. Female and knows the details and intricacies of policy, which the average person doesn’t understand and many in the MAGA crowd aren’t smart enough to grasp. In other words, they don’t have good soundbites. The attributes that would make a good president often aren’t the attributes that make a good campaigner. Warren, fortunately, doesn’t have all the Bill baggage that Hillary had nor, so far, the conspiracy following (an intelligent, well educated friend of my son’s still swears the Clintons had lots of people killed), but give the conspiracy crowd some time.
    I don’t care for Bernie the more I read about him, but I will vote for him if he’s the Dem choice. Heck, I’d vote for the mourning dove nesting on my porch if she is the Dem choice.

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  52. Suzanne said on April 16, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Also, because we aren’t far enough down the rabbit hole, we now have Glenn Beck spouting crap that the Notre Dame fire was started by Islamists, but that it’s being hushed up. And we know people will believe it; I know too many people who hold his word as truth.

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  53. Julie Robinson said on April 16, 2019 at 9:11 am

    Is Beck also accusing firefighters of dereliction of duty? An elderly family member keeps writing “where were the firefighters?” on every facebook post I see. Everything I’ve read is about what a difficult building it was for firefighting, given its age, height, and large amounts of old wood and lead.

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  54. FDChief said on April 16, 2019 at 9:13 am

    The critical difference, Sherri, is that the American “left” of which people like Biden are the right-most endpoints CAN be actually pushed left. The Right has gone fully whackaloon QAnon Alex Jones bull-goose-looney.

    So I’m not a Biden fan either (meaning I’m gonna help try and turf him out in the primary). But if he DOES win I need to accept the he IS the only hope for any sort of change away from neo-feudalism. Worse, and less, hope then someone else. But hope all the same.

    Encouraging people to see conservaDems as “part of the Corrupt Duopoly” is a big reason we’re where we are now.

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  55. Andrea said on April 16, 2019 at 9:26 am

    David Brooks won’t go away.

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  56. Deborah said on April 16, 2019 at 10:04 am

    A lot of damage is done in the senate, it will be hard as hell to turn it blue in 2020. The presidential nominee can help pull in votes for senators so it will be important to be a winnable democrat no matter who.

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  57. Jenine said on April 16, 2019 at 11:15 am

    @David C. (35) holy crap about the wire walker!

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  58. Sherri said on April 16, 2019 at 11:23 am

    The Biden of the bankruptcy bill, crime bill, Clarence Thomas hearings, and school busing can be pushed left where? Serving as Obama’s Veep, where he got to play Uncle Joe and not have to take a stand on policy, should not obscure his record. Yes, I’m pissed that he seems to get a pass on things that Hilary was raked over the coals for.

    Look, this isn’t about the Corrupt Duopoly (though I want to destroy the GOP). This is about fundamental structural problems we have, that we need to make changes to deal with. I look around and see climate change, I see massive inequality, I see a large generation underemployed and in debt and unable to afford housing, I see our infrastructure crumbling, and I see a government that by design allows an aging white minority to rule to the detriment of all, including themselves.

    I don’t see anyone in the field that is the next Lincoln, capable of reshaping government. It’s a much harder problem now, of course. Warren probably comes the closest, in that her ideas and proposals show that she’s thinking about these things. Absent a Lincoln, if I’m going to be faced with a President who can’t work on these problems, is it too much to ask that it not be yet another old white man?

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  59. Jakash said on April 16, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    Sherri’s comments @ 36 and 41 are the scariest election commentary I’ve read anywhere thus far. How the effect of that rationale differs from that of a Jill Stein voter or BernieBro-sitter-outer in 2016 seems inconsequential, essentially. To me, the existential crisis that is most immediately pressing for the nation as a whole is having Dolt 45 in charge of the nuclear arsenal.

    I hope she’ll reconsider — it’s pretty freaking early, and, as I indicated earlier, it’s not productive for me to even be thinking about *next year’s* primary and election at this point. (Though I realize that it’s not as early for those donors who help determine whose message gets heard the most, given our corrupt and broken system.) Gotta say, I’m encouraged to recall that Dexter made several comments last time indicating that he could not vote for the war-monger, Hillary, but ended up doing so.

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  60. Jakash said on April 16, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    As for the security of this website, our Norton anti-virus “Safe Search” engine gives it the bright-green “safe” check mark.
    “Computer Threats: 0
    Identity Threats: 0
    Annoyance factors: 0

    Total threats on this site: 0”

    Just adding that to the discussion, though Mr. Burns’ comment last night covered the matter thoroughly and sufficiently, of course. : )

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  61. Jakash said on April 16, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    My comment @ 59 might be a tad misleading. Ideally, she won’t *need* to reconsider by the time the vote arrives, as I certainly don’t want either Bernie or Biden to be the nominee…

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  62. Suzanne said on April 16, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    I’m sure by now you’ve all seen the photo of the Notre Dame interior with the gold cross still brightly shining. I’m already tired of seeing it on Facebook with some tagline that about God still being here or something similar because the fire couldn’t obliterate this cross. Apparently, God didn’t care about the cross on the spire that went toppling into fiery oblivion.

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  63. Joe Kobiela said on April 16, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Thanks wasn’t really worried just curious because it just popped up in the last week.
    Pilot Joe

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  64. Julie Robinson said on April 16, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Sherri, if I understand you correctly, you are saying you won’t work for Biden, Bernie, or other white guys on top of the ticket. You clearly said you would work downballot @41. Given the Electoral College, that seems an acceptable choice. My Presidential vote in Indiana is wasted anyway.

    Suzanne, the point of those posts isn’t that God didn’t care about the other spire, but that God is still with us in tragedy. Your view may vary, obviously.

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  65. Suzanne said on April 16, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    I know, Julie, and I get that. I guess I am just crabby today.

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  66. Sherri said on April 16, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    Exactly, Julie.

    What I’ve said in this thread about the problems we face I’ve said here repeatedly, but what freaks people out is the idea that I might not fall in line and vote for the nominee in my safely blue state?! I’ve been saying for a couple of years that I think we were headed towards a cataclysmic event, and my not voting for President is the scariest thing I’ve said?

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  67. LAMary said on April 16, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    The Paris firefighters were stuck in rush hour traffic. The cathedral is on an island in the Seine in the middle of Paris and all the bridges to that island were clogged with traffic.

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  68. Julie Robinson said on April 16, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    Suzanne, I’ve been crabby since November 6, 2016.

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  69. Peter said on April 16, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Boy, so much to comment on these days!

    2020: I don’t care who gets the Democratic nomination – they could pick Jesus and Fox News would crap all over him. As far as I’m concerned, they should pick someone who has enough balls to prosecute the criminals in this administration instead of letting bygones be bygones. It isn’t a matter of retribution or revenge, it’s a matter of getting us back to a sane, responsible government. That’s why I’m for Warren – she knows where the bodies are buried and how to exhume them.

    Notre Dame: I’ve been in several church cocklofts, including Notre Dame (in 1994), and I can’t find the right words to describe them. The disturbing part of yesterday’s fire was the rapid burning of the massive timbers. Fire suppression design for heavy timber structures is based on the assumption that a heavy timber will get a heavy char but not burn through for at least several hours; the timbers at Notre Dame are far thicker than a US loft building, and those beams burned through. That’s disturbing.

    It really pains me to say this, but I think Trump should get a pass on his tweet from yesterday – at the time he wrote it, few people knew the extent or location of the fire; not many knew that the ceiling itself is mostly stone (he surely wouldn’t know that), and desperate times call for desperate measures.

    I have to confess my ignorance of the subject – even though I’ve been an architect for over forty years. I always thought it was a good idea to replace the wooden cocklofts with a metal structure – even though a church in Chicago had a fire, replaced the wooden roof with a metal structure, and then THAT burned down years later. Yesterday I heard from a structural engineer that Notre Dame was lucky that the wood structure wasn’t replaced by metal beams – the steel would have expanded in that heat, pushed out onto the outer walls, and could have caused them to collapse.

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  70. Jakash said on April 16, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    I’m aware that we may be headed toward a cataclysmic event, especially given that we’ve already been through several that more-or-less qualify, as well as aware of many of the other non-Seattle-area issues that you’re concerned about, Sherri. But my fears about the next election allowing the Republicans to retain the presidency are growing. Whether your vote in a blue state “matters” or not, the fact that somebody as intelligent, well-intentioned and active as you are is now “seriously considering sitting out” the election if you don’t like the looks of things in 2020 — well, that’s something that I was totally unaware of, which is part of why I find it so “scary.”

    Peter feels that “Trump should get a pass on his tweet from yesterday.” Obviously, among all the venal, false and preposterous things he either says or tweets, that was small beans. What bothered me about it was that it displayed his usual “shoot first, ask questions later,” “I know more than the generals” mentality, even on a topic that was totally out of his purview. And then you have his cult members defending him, because he’s a “man of action.” Please…

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  71. LAMary said on April 16, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    No pass for Trump for yesterday. He told Californians to rake the forests to prevent fires, something he claimed he had learned from the Finns. No doubt he noticed the use of water tankers in CA and thought he’d pass that along to the French. He’s the guy who knows more than anyone about construction, military strategy, healthcare and everything else. Somehow in spite of all the knowledge he comes off as a jerk. So he’s telling the Paris fire department that they should use a tool that isn’t used on buildings and that they need to hurry. I think firemen know they need to hurry. He was just trying to sound superior again.

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  72. Dexter Friend said on April 16, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    LAMary: The fire department experts early-on knew to use heavy water drops would collapse the whole thing, and this was on the news ASAP. Six hours later Trump was calling for water drops atop the building. Also, the extension ladder system the French had to use because the narrow access routes were all they had, unlike NYC and other big cities, were criticized for lack of the proper equipment. Then the NYC former fire commish got on msnbc and said he tried to get the French style heavy ladder system for NYC but he was shot down on that idea. The reason is the French system can get way-higher than the NYC system, but cannot match the power of NYC’s water blasts. Trump just says bullshit. We can ignore the dumb sonofabitch, actually. ~

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  73. Deborah said on April 16, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    No pass for the Trumpsplaining. He blows his mouth off about stuff he doesn’t have a clue about all the time, it’s laughable, LMAO or I’d cry.

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  74. Deborah said on April 16, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    I think I meant “shoots his mouth off”, but same difference.

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  75. alex said on April 16, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Pilot Joe, I’ve been noticing the same thing on my home computer, and it’s not just NN.C but the local newspapers also are being flagged as “not secure” web sites. I think it’s our internet provider, Mediacom, because I don’t get the same message on my computer at work.

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  76. David C. said on April 16, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    I’m getting it too, Alex and Joe. Not here though.

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  77. ROGirl said on April 16, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    I’ve been getting the message on my phone. I’m traveling for work and when I logged into the hotel wifi the unsecure network message came up.

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  78. Deborah said on April 16, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    Off topic, can anyone give me advice about copper cookware? I’m giving up on cast iron Lodge cookware at the Abiquiu cabin, it’s too heavy, takes forever to heat up on the camp stove, collects sticky dust when it’s hanging from the pegs on the walls because of the oil rub you’re supposed to use after cleaning, it means I have to scrub them before using. Plus when I rinse them after cooking the water is always dark and gross. We recycle our grey water for other uses like cleaning out our bathroom buckets. I’ve been thinking that copper pots and pans would look really nice with the warm wood tones of the cabin interior. From what I can tell online they’re expensive but I only need a couple of pieces. Does anyone know if copper holds up well, if it requires a lot of upkeep?

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  79. susan said on April 16, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    I finally had to do a search on “not secure” website URLs:

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  80. Julie Robinson said on April 16, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    I have the https everywhere extension loaded on my Chrome browser, so I get the not secure message every time I open nnc. But I figured jc had it all under control, though I appreciate his explanation.

    Deborah, I think you aren’t supposed to cook in copper, but it’s okay if it’s lined. We have a set of copper bottomed Revereware that we got as a wedding gift. At first I scrubbed the bottoms frequently so they continued to gleam but gave up pretty fast. Now they’re coppery brown and they look fine to me.

    Trump gets no passes on anything from me.

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  81. Dave said on April 16, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    I’ve got one website that I can’t even open when using Chrome anymore, it tells me that it’s unsafe and does not open. I cannot open it using the browser Opera, either. It’s at least as safe as this site, I’ve been going there and participating for well over a decade but now it will open with Safari and Firefox. I can’t claim to understand why.

    I don’t have to go into the many ways I intensely hate Trump again but I still wonder why everyone doesn’t. I cannot grasp it.

    I don’t think anyone who is currently the mayor of a smaller city like South Bend has much chance of becoming president. But then, I didn’t think an ignorant moron like the current occupant had a lot of chances, either, which doesn’t say much about the current state of the country.

    One other thing and completely off topic, my stepniece, my brother’s stepdaughter, was murdered in Columbus about twelve years ago when she left a High Street bar with a man, drunk, underage, a whole list of reasons she should not have been there. There’s a show on the cable network Investigation Discover tonight about the case. I don’t know anything about what it will be other than that. For all I know, I may need to apologize ahead of time for even bringing it up

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  82. LAMary said on April 16, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    Deborah, copper is a pain in the ass to maintain if you want it to look pretty. If you just want it for cooking it’s ok. I have a copper double boiler that I have not used in years. As Julie says it’s not for cooking. My double boiler has a porcelain insert. Steel pans with copper bottoms are great and Revere Ware is the classic. I’ve got some old Revere Ware and I use them often.

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  83. Deborah said on April 16, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks for the advice. After doing internet research and going to a fancy schmancy cooking place here in Santa Fe, I pulled the trigger and ordered 3 pieces of really nice copper cookware that are no longer made, on eBay! It’s a brand called Mauviel, made in France, copper on the outside, stainless on the inside with bronze handles. The pieces are in very good condition from the photos and less than half as much as they would have cost new. I’m stoked, they should be here early next week. I’ve had very good luck with eBay, never felt like i got scammed on anything. Mauviel is no longer making the ones with bronze handles, I don’t know why, the ones they make now have either cast iron handles or stainless steel handles. The bronze handles are gorgeous.

    To celebrate that and in sympathy with France because of Notre Dame we went to a French place for dinner, had a wonderful meal and a good bottle of French wine.

    My husband returns to Chicago for a few days, this time I’m not taking him to ABQ airport because of the missing wing mirror form the collision. I’m taking the car in to a place tomorrow in Santa Fe to get an estimate and hopefully getting it fixed, in the meantime we have insurance for a rental so will hopefully be getting that then too.

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