The badge.

Sherri said something late in the comments on the last post, about how it’s time for the elected position of sheriff to go away, and mentioned Joe Arpaio. I’m agnostic on the position itself (for now), but she’s right about the office attracting a disproportionate number of lunatics.

Back in the…80s? Maybe? When the tax-protest began to gather steam, there was another group growing alongside them, the Posse Comitatus movement. You can google the Posse Comitatus Act, signed in 1878, but the part that applies to the movement is this:

The purpose of the act – in concert with the Insurrection Act of 1807 – is to limit the powers of the federal government in using federal military personnel to enforce domestic policies within the United States. …The title of the act comes from the legal concept of posse comitatus, the authority under which a county sheriff, or other law officer, conscripts any able-bodied person to assist in keeping the peace.

These lunatics read this to mean: They don’t have to follow any damn laws they don’t want, at least none that federal law enforcement are involved in (like tax protest). And the only legal authority they respect is the county sheriff.

Now, I’ve mainly lived in urban areas my whole life, where the county sheriff worked more or less like the city police chief, enforcing the law in the unincorporated areas of the county. But as the divide grew between whiter, more affluent suburbs and blacker cities, the divide between law enforcement did, too. And lots of county sheriffs got kinda… full of themselves.

In Fort Wayne, the sheriff openly scorned the city, and referred to the county as a “donut,” the hole being Fort Wayne. He ran for mayor, perhaps after he was carried to a legal residence within the city limits on a litter, but lost pretty badly. (See Alex’s comments about the county GOP’s ineptitude in this area.)

Here in Detroit, where the suburban counties go way past mere scorn for Detroit, the model for the county sheriff is pretty different from that of the police chief. You can imagine how.

(Another weird Hoosier detail: The sheriff got a pretty good salary, in keeping with what you’d pay a department head, etc., but he was also permitted to keep a portion of all late property taxes he was somehow able to collect. Indiana is full of weird policy like this, much of it holdovers from the 18th or 19th century. As one of the the GA reporters, a native Bostonian, said in wonderment: “What is this? Medieval France?”)

Anyway, much of the tension in Michigan these days is around the governor’s stay-home order, and the fact Covid hasn’t really reached the hinterlands yet, at least not in the sort of alarming numbers that led to the order in the first place. Four county sheriffs up north have essentially said you can’t make us and announced they wouldn’t enforce the parts of the order they didn’t think were necessary up there.

I find myself torn between two common-sense ideas — that public-health directives are generally not made just for flex, and that local control is best. But one of the sheriff’s made a comment that had an undertone of sneering to it, and was ignorant to boot, something about how “fresh air” was the best thing for this illness. Unsaid: So let’s just get some and wait for it to skip over God’s country, as we all know it will.

Sigh. I grow weary.

So… what else? I am often weary these days, suddenly and without explanation. Zoom fitness, masked trips to the store and the same few rooms are getting on my nerves. Can’t forget the weather, which teases us with one 60 degree day, followed by a week where we’re lucky to hit 40. I told myself I’d go for a bike ride every day it was over 50, and there haven’t been many of those.

Just a bit of bloggage:

An old-style, crazy-polluter, zombie-wasteland steel mill is closing hereabouts. I’ve ridden my bike past the main-road entrance, and always wanted to go back to take a look, but security is very tight.

When a friend offered to take me trash fishing past it last spring, I jumped at the chance, just to get close on the water side.

It looks…foreboding:

The story about the closing is pretty good. We forget that well-paying work around here was often at the price of blowing black snot into your handkerchiefs.

That’s it for me, then. Stay sane, all.

Posted at 6:13 pm in Current events, Detroit life |
 

113 responses to “The badge.”

  1. Jason T. said on April 22, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    Here in Pennsylvania, we not only have county sheriffs, we also have elected “constables.”

    Unlike in certain New England states and Canadian provinces, where “constable” is another word for “police officer,” in Pennsylvania, “constables” are essentially legal bounty hunters — they serve warrants and other court documents on behalf of district courts, and occasionally apprehend fugitives. They don’t get a salary, but they get to keep a percentage of the court fees.

    Almost no one runs for these jobs in most Pennsylvania towns, so pretty much anyone can get elected with a few write-in votes. And although most constables are good folks, but a few are paramilitary police wannabes.

    During the mid-1990s, when the “Posse Comitatus” movement started to take hold, a number of constables in the next county decided that they were sort of something like sheriffs, since sheriffs also serve court papers, and since sheriffs can enforce the laws, why couldn’t they, too?

    So they started pulling over cars and making traffic stops.

    On the interstate.

    You can just imagine how happy the Pennsylvania State Police were.

    Finally, there was a big public meeting called between the constables and the state troopers, and as the leader of the constables began to explain in very flowery bullshit double-talk about the historic constitution of Pennsylvania, and English common law, and how it empowered constables, blah-blah-blah, and oh, by the way, constables were created before the state police, and hey, if they wanted to, they could start patrolling the streets and busting bad guys.

    At that, a big state trooper of my acquaintance stood up and roared, “You do, goddammit, and your ass is the one that’s going to jail!”

    This is a weird country and getting weirder by the day.

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  2. Jason T. said on April 22, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    This was also about the time when the “Sovereign Citizen” movement hit Western Pennsylvania, and cars started appearing on the streets with no license tags, just a piece of cardboard in the back window saying “I AM A SOVEREIGN CITIZEN.”

    The state cops took a pretty dim view of that as well.

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  3. LAMary said on April 22, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    I’ve lived in LA just short of 40 years and for entire time I’ve been here the sheriff’s department has been in trouble about something. Either it’s being gun happy or crooked or my personal fave, forming a gang within the sheriff’s department and intimidating prisoners in the county jail. The ganged up deputies all had matching tattoos with the gang name. The sheriff before the one we currently have is now in prison.

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  4. Julie Robinson said on April 22, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    Indiana law also allows, or at least used to allow, the sheriff to keep any money left over in the food concession budget. It’s a throwback to the Mayberry model when Otis came in to sleep off his drunk and Aunt Bea fed him. She’d get so much per prisoner and meal, and if she was thrifty, it could be a nice little addition to the butter and egg money.

    Actually, I don’t remember if Aunt Bea did that, but many wives of sheriffs did. Rumor is the local county jail serves baloney on white twice a day.

    As Alex wrote, the former sheriff was a rigid little martinet, smug and full of himself and his power. FW voters saw through him and declined to elect him mayor. The current sheriff is also power mad and shoved a teenager around last summer at one of the festivals. He’s being sued but has retained his office. Ugh.

    A small town right next to Fort Wayne, New Haven, used to have its own court system, another nice money maker. Somehow their officers could patrol even in Fort Wayne; I remember a former boss being furious when they pulled her over for speeding in a school zone. The state legislature only managed to get that court shut down in the last couple of years.

    And don’t get me started on the township system. Oy veh.

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  5. alex said on April 22, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    Our current sheriff is facing a civil suit for roughing up a teenager while he was off duty and drunk. He was cleared of wrongdoing by a special prosecutor appointed in the matter. But I think the general assessment is correct that county sheriff’s departments tend to attract power trippers.

    I’ve had a few encounters with them over the years and was struck by how wrong their personalities seemed for the job. In one instance several years ago, I met with a sheriff’s deputy when some concerning things were happening in my parents’ neighborhood. An elderly neighbor found a wallet belonging to a teen-ager on her back deck by her bedroom window. She’s on a heavily wooded four-acre property and her house is a fair distance from the road. She called the sheriff’s department and they wouldn’t do anything. So she looked up the kid’s parents — they lived a couple of miles away — and contacted them. Their son explained (and not very plausibly) that he had lost his wallet while walking home from a party.

    By coincidence, my parents found a large hunting knife outside their bedroom window on the same day as their neighbor found the wallet. So I insisted that we call the nonemergency number and report it. A sheriff’s deputy came out and was dismissive and petulant and couldn’t believe we would bother him with this bullshit. I told him I wanted this to be on the record because these were not normal happenings; obviously someone had been prowling around both of these homes and dropping things.

    I found this piece today both entertaining and disturbing. England doesn’t have a counterpart to Fox News. It also doesn’t have astroturf protests against coronavirus precautions:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/22/i-live-britain-thank-goodness-theres-no-fox-news-here/

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  6. LAMary said on April 22, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    The guy who was sheriff when I first moved to LA died while he was running for reelection. He still got reelected.

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  7. Deborah said on April 22, 2020 at 11:33 pm

    “This is a weird country and getting weirder by the day.”
    Couldn’t be more true.

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  8. Sherri said on April 23, 2020 at 12:30 am

    Law enforcement already attracts too many people who like power trips. They are then trained in a paramilitary environment, with an us vs them mindset, handed a gun, and traumatized repeatedly, with limited support for that trauma. Now make that person someone who is elected in a low turnout down ballot election, who then can’t be fired for misconduct. Not a good scenario.

    I went and read the FB post the Snohomish County sheriff made. It was the usual mess about the Constitution, which these clowns seem to think consists solely of the right to bear arms, go to church, and to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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  9. Sherri said on April 23, 2020 at 1:12 am

    Insane Clown Posse smarter than Republicans.

    https://twitter.com/icp/status/1253103845644828675

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  10. Dexter Friend said on April 23, 2020 at 2:11 am

    DeKalb County, Indiana, a few years ago: Sheriff Jay and wife Kay. He was the boss man and his wife was the jail matron or whatever, in charge of meal service. Good married people income I guess.

    I am watching “Waco”. I find it excellent, not that I remember the facts and chronology, but for the acting. Michael Shannon, so good in Boardwalk Empire and countless other roles, pulls out all the stops in this one. Maybe it’s because he also produced the series. Shea Whigham is also cast, as a real asshole FBI maniac. In real time I remember daytime live updates on TV, as I worked evening shift. I am sure in was in April, 1993, because it was the same time frame when C Webb called the ill-fated time out against Carolina Tar Heels and Michigan lost the men’s NCAA champoinship. Never got that out of my head…Waco either.

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  11. beb said on April 23, 2020 at 3:18 am

    Trump has normalized so many belligerent, gun-toting native arseholes that I don’t know how the country will revert to normal after Trump lives the White House.

    It tears my wife apart that her only family outside of her sisters and their families is a cousin about her age who lives in mid-Michigan. Her cousin is a total trumper. There’s nothing she can talk about that doesn’t get turned into politics. It’s very sad. I’ve seen articles by other people who mention how they can no longer talk so (mostly) their parents because all they talk about any more is what Trump says.

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  12. Connie said on April 23, 2020 at 7:07 am

    Many years ago in southern Indiana I had a jail crew for a day to help move a library into an addition. It was the day we had four pots of homemade chili simmering for a potluck lunch and we invited them to join us. They raved about the food and told us their usual jail meal was bologna on white bread and applesauce. We were happy to give them another helping before they boarded their bus, they were so thankful.

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  13. Peter said on April 23, 2020 at 7:40 am

    Julie, Aunt Bea did cook for the guests in the Mayberry lockup – every so often you’d see her at the sheriff’s office with a hamper of food for Otis.

    I’m not comfortable saying this,but I’m thinking the Fox News crowd has their own phrases or signals to see if you’re one of them – kind of like people in the ’70’s signalling they have weed for sale. My Dad used to say this all the time, and I noticed other older people saying this too – some variation of: “there’s so much hatred in the country right now – it’s never been this bad.” Yeah, I wonder how that came about. Someone kept pestering me about it, and I told them that it’s been worse – there’s that whole Vietnam War and civil rights movement, and then there’s that Civil War I read about.

    Seriously, people are foaming at the mouth that they can’t get their nails done, and Nancy Pelosi is out of touch with America because she has good ice cream, but play golf while people are dying? That’s freedom!

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  14. Connie said on April 23, 2020 at 7:59 am

    The Daily Beast on those sheriffs today. https://www.thedailybeast.com/sheriffs-buck-the-law-refuse-to-enforce-lockdown-orders?ref=home

    Indiana had lots of patronage beyond the sheriff office. Hoosiers will remember when the party in power at the state level controlled, operated, and profited from the license branch.

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  15. Julie Robinson said on April 23, 2020 at 8:01 am

    Thanks Peter, I haven’t watched Mayberry in many many years.

    We had good ice cream last night. There’s a gourmet shop right by us that does curbside delivery four hours a week. You order and pay ahead of time, call them when you get there, and they tell you which table they’ll put it on.

    It all felt a little surreptitious, as if we were buying moonshine, but what a treat it was. Just one pint split three ways, happy memories. Yes this is what it’s come to.

    And have you seen the pictures of newly two year old Prince Louis? The one with rainbow paint on his chubby widdle hands made my shriveled up ovaries explode.

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  16. SusanG said on April 23, 2020 at 8:04 am

    I always thought I was a Jeffersonian-local was good. Then I read the Hamilton biography. A bunch of crazy-ass, gun toting militia men prolonged the war and caused needless deaths. My personality aligns with Team Hamilton-interstate highways, Merchant Marine, national banking systems. Order, discipline, that kind of stuff.

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  17. alex said on April 23, 2020 at 8:21 am

    The Republican talking heads used to get quite agitated about Obama playing golf, and not for the purported reason that he was shirking responsibility but because how dare a black man. Trump, on the other hand, can do no wrong if he does nothing but golf between his tweet sessions on the crapper. But it’s a waste of time to point out GOP hypocrisy about this or, for that matter, the disconnect between piousness and pussy-grabbing, because the whole point of Republican politics is to assert that rules and norms are a cudgel meant to govern the “other” and not themselves.

    Mayberry. A saccharine-sweet fantasy of what a real southern jail was all about (and still is). I enjoy psychoanalyzing the pop cultural dreck of that period. Bewitched is another one. A woman with superpowers but no ambition other than to subjugate herself to a weak husband and a boring middle-class suburban existence where keeping up appearances is all that’s important. I’m sure it was meant as an antidote to bra-burning feminists. And the Brady Bunch. None of the blended-family drama of real life, with exes threatening to go to court and step-siblings fucking because technically it’s not incest. And to think people are nostalgic for such pablum.

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  18. Deborah said on April 23, 2020 at 9:01 am

    We discussed this a few days ago (or maybe it was weeks ago, time has gone completely haywire) about looking at the background, book shelves etc behind people when they skype or zoom etc. Well there’s a Twitter account for that https://mobile.twitter.com/ratemyskyperoom

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  19. basset said on April 23, 2020 at 9:10 am

    We’ve been visiting Mayberry pretty often these last few weeks – Me TV runs two episodes of “Andy Griffith” every weeknight, followed by “Gomer Pyle USMC” and “Green Acres.” And Netflix has all eight seasons on demand, all we need to watch em in order end to end is some of that face-melting weed that I understand is out there now and Grubhub on speed dial.
    The sheriff situation here in Nashville is a little different than most – city and county government are combined, so the police department does the policing and the sheriff serves warrants and runs the jail.

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  20. Scout said on April 23, 2020 at 11:46 am

    While Arizona is often embarrassing af, we did manage to finally oust Sheriff Joe in 2016. Paul Penzone is a really good guy and has done wonders for restoring the integrity of the office. He’s a Democrat, naturally.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Penzone

    Speaking of Arizona, this happened here and I swear, this woman is now my spirit animal.
    https://twitter.com/ScoutVotesBlue/status/1253190472522072065

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  21. Sherri said on April 23, 2020 at 11:55 am

    In King County, the sheriff is responsible for the unincorporated areas, but in addition to that, some of the smaller municipalities contract with the KCSO for policing. The Port Authority also does, so the airport police are KCSO, and the transit systems do, so light rail and buses are policed by KCSO. It’s in the last situation that some of the most worst abuses happen, as you might imagine, as some martinet decides to teach some brown boy a lesson about fare jumping.

    KCSO has been a mess since I moved up here. I don’t think a sheriff has been re-elected since I’ve been here. Maybe the current sheriff can change that. She’s the antithesis of the Snohomish sheriff, being a lesbian female progressive.

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  22. Bitter Scribe said on April 23, 2020 at 11:58 am

    These lunatics read this to mean: They don’t have to follow any damn laws they don’t want, at least none that federal law enforcement are involved in (like tax protest).

    Or like having to treat minorities fairly, which is why a lot of rednecks think their redneck sheriff is the only authority they need to respect. In many areas in the South (and not a few elsewhere), the crackers could lynch and otherwise brutalize black people in the knowledge that the local sheriff would let them, if not join them.

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  23. LAMary said on April 23, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    Sherri, the sheriff’s office is the same here. They are the cops for unincorporated areas and there are usually one or two on each light rail platform at rush hour.

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  24. Jakash said on April 23, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Alex,

    If you do Hogan’s Heroes, Green Acres and Gilligan’s Island next, you’ll have ruined my whole childhood. ; ) Don’t *tell* me Skipper was a fascist!

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  25. LAMary said on April 23, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    New York Magazine reads Woody Allen’s memoir so you don’t have to:

    https://tinyurl.com/y7h7qnmn

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  26. jcburns said on April 23, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    I recommend Perry Mason as a palate cleanser. Turns out when you sternly say “I remind you, you’re under oath,” murderers just collapse on the stand and tell you how they did it.

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  27. LAMary said on April 23, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    Perry Mason is worth it just for Paul’s sport jackets.

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  28. jcburns said on April 23, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Come for the sport jackets, stay for the early 1960s Thunderbird and Lincoln convertibles.

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  29. Bitter Scribe said on April 23, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    What I want to know about “Perry Mason” is, how does that prosecutor keep his job after losing every single murder case he tries?

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  30. jcburns said on April 23, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    Well, not every single one.

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  31. Jakash said on April 23, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    Tying together today’s shout-out to Perry Mason with Mr. Burns’ fond recollection of “Airplane” on his own blog Monday, I offer this 20-second clip from “Airplane II.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRNIFyPVHvo

    I have two questions about Perry Mason. How did Raymond Burr go from being a nasty heavy in a number of dark ’50s movies to being the legal Superhero of Southern California? Mainly, though, when they enter into about the 20th case where they’re pitted against Perry, having lost the first 19, why are Hamilton Burger and Lt. Tragg always so fucking cocky about the proceedings? You’d think at some point, when Tragg shows up at a murder scene and Perry and/or Paul are already there, he’d just say: “Okay, good buddy, what’s it gonna be this time?” and maybe try charging the right guy for a change…

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  32. colleen said on April 23, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    News-Sentinel mortuus est. Tomorrow is the last day for the web site.

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  33. Jim said on April 23, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    alex: I ESPECIALLY want the ones Jakash cited. I’d add Petticoat Junction, The Beverly Hillbillies and Bonanza as must have reviews.

    As far as I’m concerned only Dick van Dyke is off-limits.

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  34. Sherri said on April 23, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    The other thing about the Snohomish sheriff is, his statement is just posturing. Nobody is asking him to enforce the stay at home order. The most cops are doing anywhere around here is telling people to break it up when they see large gatherings. Nobody is being arrested or cited for violating the order.

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  35. Julie Robinson said on April 23, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    Colleen, what?!?!?! I didn’t think that was legally possible because of the Joint Operating Agreement. Are they going to pay Leininger for one page in the JG? This hasn’t hit any site I could find, and I know better than to ask a (former) journalist for their source. Wow.

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  36. jcburns said on April 23, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    I haven’t read the News-Sentinel since that one columnist left. What was her name? (Camera whip-scrolls to the top of this very web page as dramatic music plays: Dun dun dun!)

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  37. ROGirl said on April 23, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Nobody’s mentioned I dream of Jeannie. There’s a piece of mind-numbing crap. Keep the little woman enslaved, but with magical powers.

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  38. Deborah said on April 23, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    You guys know way more about sheriffs than I do. I just don’t pay that much attention, but I’m going to change that. Española (the armpit of the world), a “city” 20 miles from Abiquiu that we pass through on our way to and from Santa Fe, regularly has sheriff problems. The whole place is pretty corrupt though, the last sheriff issue I vaguely remember hearing about was the head guy showing up somewhere drunk when he was supposed to be in charge. About a decade ago we had a drug dealing house across the highway from the turn off to our hood. Our neighbors could watch the drug deals from afar, all night cars pulled up to that house, they’d be there a few minutes then turn around and leave with their drugs. The neighbors called and called about getting it stopped but the word was the dealers were the then sheriff’s cousins so nothing happened for a long time. Finally a new sheriff shut it down. If something happened to our cabin, a break in or whatever, I have no idea who we’d call.

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  39. LAMary said on April 23, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    Agreed on the T-Bird convertibles and Lincolns. Berger, the prosecutor, sucked. He should have changed his legal specialty to personal injury or something. Here in CA there are lots of personal injury lawyer ads on TV, and lately two new subspecialties: Uber and Lyft injuries and clergy and Boy Scout leader molestation claims. Specifically Catholic and Mormon clergy. I think they’re missing an opportunity by not focusing on Southern Baptists.

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  40. Deborah said on April 23, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    Here’s a link to the story about the drunk sheriff. There’s a paywall, you get a few free hits but I’m not sure this link will work for you https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/rio-arriba-county-sheriff-accused-of-being-drunk-at-standoff/article_3a9430ce-6fbd-11ea-9e9a-9ba7af2b07f3.html. As I’ve said here before Rio Arriba is the largest and poorest county in NM.

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  41. Suzanne said on April 23, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    https://www.news-sentinel.com/news/2020/04/23/fort-wayne-newspapers-adjusts-staff-features/
    “Longtime News-Sentinel reporter and columnist Kevin Leininger has been furloughed as a result of the suspension.”
    I can’t say I will miss that one page which usually consisted of far right dribble.

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  42. colleen said on April 23, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    Julie, check out FW Business Weekly.

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  43. Julie Robinson said on April 23, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    Ah. Thank you, Colleen. Hubby always brings home the office copy, but obviously he hasn’t been there.

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  44. Jakash said on April 23, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    “The Liar Tweets Tonight” song parody. “Vote him away … vote him away … vote him away…”

    https://twitter.com/royzimmerman/status/1252653513269587969

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  45. Peter said on April 23, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    Jakash, you said you wondered how Raymond Burr went from a nasty heavy to a legal superstar; well how about Fred Mac Murray? He put Raymond Burr to shame in the nasty department (The Apartment, The Caine Mutiny), and then he’s the lovable father in a overly sweet sitcom? Wow.
    I have not been able to confirm this, but someone who worked in Mies’ office in the mid-60’s told me that Mies just LOVED Bonanza and he would gather the staff together on Mondays and give his review of the previous episode…

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  46. LAMary said on April 23, 2020 at 6:08 pm

    Fred McMurray was in Double Indemnity too. But then he did that Flubber movie for Disney.

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  47. Deborah said on April 23, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    There’s a show on tonight on PBS about Norman Borlaug, an amazing agronomist who saved millions if not billions of lives. He founded the World Food Prize, I worked on a project in Des Moines, IA for the WFP, telling his story in a renovated historical library downtown, it was a 5 year project for me, one of my favorites. It’s an inspirational story. Unfortunately I’m in Abiquiu and won’t be able to watch it tonight. I’ll probably be able to catch it later. Sorry I don’t have a link.

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  48. beb said on April 23, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    I remember watching Perry Mason but have little recollection about it. Since it’s TV I never wondered how the DA kept his job. He was just there to show how brilliant Mason was. In real-life(tm) The DA probably won most of his cases, losing only to the occasional Mason lead defense. The early books were interesting to the extent that Mason would go around hiding witnesses and tampering with evidence. As for Raymond Burr’s transformation from movie heavy to hero lawyer, the answer, I think, is that the producers were looking for a man who could project a lot of gravitas and Burr was excellent at that.

    The skipper on Gilligan’s Island is a caricature of Donald Trump – a fat, blotted incompetent idiot always making threats and never following through.

    And Jeanie of I Dream of Jeanie was enslaved when Allah made genies, so blame him.

    Finally, there were never enough petticoats in Petticoat Junction.

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  49. Deborah said on April 23, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    Here’s a link https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/man-who-tried-to-feed-the-world/

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  50. Jakash said on April 23, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    “Double Indemnity” is going to be on TCM tomorrow night at 8:00 (ET)

    Here’s a 6 1/2-minute TCM bio of Fred MacMurray, narrated by his daughter. She says that his role in “The Apartment” was “polarizing for his fans.” After being approached by a disappointed mother at Disneyland, who said she had taken her children to see “The Apartment” (uh, clueless much?) and that it was no Disney picture, he apologized to her, turned to his wife and said, “That’s it.” “From that moment on, dad never played another bad guy,” his daughter said.

    http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/1150724/Fred-MacMurray-Movie-Promo–Star-Of-The-Month–January-2016.html

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  51. Jakash said on April 23, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    “there were never enough petticoats in Petticoat Junction.”

    And would it have been so terrible to have an overhead shot of the water tank / bathtub?

    On the other hand, Beb, I had no interest in seeing Edgar Buchanan in a petticoat…

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  52. LAMary said on April 23, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    The Apartment is a good movie, but I’m a Billy Wilder fan. That link I shared about the Woody Allen memoir says Woody doesn’t like Some Like It Hot. Sheesh. I agree with him on
    Sound of Music and It’s a Wonderful Life. Very overrated.

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  53. Sherri said on April 23, 2020 at 8:26 pm

    Am I a bad person to want trump to get COVID19?

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  54. basset said on April 23, 2020 at 8:26 pm

    For those of us old enough to remember the Beatles and young enough to hope Dr. Fauci doesn’t get thrown overboard:

    https://youtu.be/KYnV6910Ktk

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  55. LAMary said on April 23, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Sherri, you have a lot of company.

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  56. alex said on April 23, 2020 at 10:11 pm

    And I Dream of Jeannie, oh yes indeed. Thanks for reminding me.

    The ultimate sophomoric fantasy. A bottle-blonde bombshell — in a bottle on your shelf. And so servile! Your wish is my command, Major!

    There was an art film a coupla years ago about a boy and his blow-up doll and it got critical acclaim. It was written by a millennial who probably grew up watching I Dream of Jeannie reruns.

    ###

    I’m only subscribing to the J-G online so I don’t have to look at the Leininger page. But I’m glad it’s gone just the same. No doubt they were looking for an opportunity to scuttle it, so thank you O Great Coronavirus. Your depredations haven’t been totally unappreciated.

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  57. Julie Robinson said on April 23, 2020 at 11:32 pm

    Don’t ever read the comments on WANE. One guy wrote that it was a liberal conspiracy perpetrated by “them”. Nope, I said, no one was buying it anymore; it was pure capitalism.

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  58. Dexter Friend said on April 24, 2020 at 2:11 am

    When Hulu came online and it was free old TV shows, I watched every Superman TV show, and then re-visited McHale’s Navy, but man, I am done with all the old shows now. Since I got Prime, coupled with Netflix, I just do not have time. I just turned off the tube for the night after watching the movie “July 22”. It’s about the Oslo massacre in 2011. Gruesome thing to watch, more murder than one man can stand, but I watched it through.

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  59. beb said on April 24, 2020 at 2:11 am

    There’s a lot of cringe factor in “Some Like It Hot” but I always loved the final lines.

    “We can’t Get married… I’m a man!”

    “Nobody’s perfect.”

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  60. ROGirl said on April 24, 2020 at 6:59 am

    They are starting on a back to work protocol for my office. I sent a list of questions to my manager: how will health status be verified, will we be provided with gloves and masks, will the office be cleaned before we go back, what about cleaning/sanitizing after we get back, to maintain social distancing will people be rotated to work in the office and remotely?

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  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 24, 2020 at 8:30 am

    LAMary, they don’t go after Southern Baptist clergy because they’re congregational, so the largest target in any litigation is limited to a single church . . . and many are quite small. I’ve been quite harsh internally with my own tradition’s clergy when they get snarky about Catholics and litigation and molestation (a Midwest Protestant allowable prejudice), and note that our stats are if anything worse, call it 1 in 500 or less for us vs. 1 in 1000 for priests, when it comes to that sort of case, but trial lawyers hang up when they find out it’s a congregationally governed church claim. There’s just no real assets worth pursuing.

    But while I don’t have the same level of inside information, I’ve been around communities and church life enough to know that Southern Baptists are far from exempt. They just don’t get sued, and the cases are quietly settled by the insurance companies directly with the victim.

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  62. LAMary said on April 24, 2020 at 11:06 am

    JTTMO, I recall a case a just a few years ago in Texas. A youth pastor was accused of molesting kids for years. I don’t know what came of it.

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  63. Peter said on April 24, 2020 at 11:38 am

    I just loved what someone said today about Our Leader’s recommendation for UV light and Lysol injections to cure Covid – Of course Lysol put out a statement saying you should never ingest their product! Using your product for a different purpose that causes harm can really hurt sales – when’s the last time you saw Zyklon B at Home Depot?

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  64. Jeff Borden said on April 24, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    The News-Sentinel may be croaking, but just the other day, John Kass (the K is silent) penned a column in the Chicago Tribune noting that “media elites” were still doing just fine even as Joe Sixpack struggles to survive. Colleagues at his own newspaper, which is enduring wave after wave of cuts and furloughs, were furious, leading our beloved angry old white ethnic suburban man to issue an apology to the scribblers. Other readers pointed out 33,000 journalists fired or furloughed in the past several months.

    At one time, Kass was a pretty good City Hall reporter, but since getting his column, he’s devolved into someone who often appears to be auditioning for a gig at Fucks News. He describes himself as a “libertarian-leaning conservative.” Anyone invoking libertarianism shouldn’t be taken seriously. It’s the political equivalent of a three-year-old yelling, “You can’t make me.”

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  65. alex said on April 24, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    The only liberty that libertarians care about is their own. They’re the only people I know who not only can make it through an Ayn Rand novel but become her sworn disciples for life, even if they read her garbage at age 12.

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  66. Sherri said on April 24, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

    -John Rogers

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  67. Sherri said on April 24, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    From March 25, by The Onion, of course, the most prescient source around:

    https://twitter.com/theonion/status/1242899581924446212

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  68. Jakash said on April 24, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Nostradumbass: I knew there were a couple comments of mine like this out there, but last year’s post from nn.c history offers a fine example of my political acumen and predictive powers:

    “Making a case for a 76-year-old, 2-time-loser, gaffe-prone white guy to be the nominee would have been pretty tough under any circumstances. Doing it in the political climate of 2019, when a fair part of your reputation is as a ‘handsy’ (rather than ‘folksy’) grandpa who ‘mishandled’ the Clarence Thomas / Anita Hill hearings, and while there are quite a number of interesting candidates who aren’t old white guys, seems very unlikely to be successful.”

    I prefer to file that under “What a year it’s been!” : )

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  69. Beobachter said on April 24, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    LAMary@51, have you ever seen the Wilder documentary ‘Billy how did you do it?’
    All 3 hours are on YouTube. Here’s some background:

    https://cinephiliabeyond.org/billy-unique-rewarding-window-mind-one-hollywoods-greatest

    I recently saw ‘Ball of Fire’ for the first time – loved it!

    In other news.. HBO will release their 6-part Perry Mason mini-series on 21-Jun.
    Matthew Rhys (The Americans) and Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) star, looks very noir and no T-birds.

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  70. Sherri said on April 24, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    Watching conservative reaction to COVID19 is reminding me of 9/11, and the similarities and differences.

    Remember the 1% doctrine? Remember plastic sheeting and duct tape? And, while it wasn’t 9/11, never forget “heckuva job, Brownie”.

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  71. Brian stouder said on April 24, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    We’ve discussed this before, but indeed – what does it say about where we were (and remain), that within 20 years of defeating the @%÷€ Nazis, we had a hit 30 minute sit-com on teevee about a Nazi prison camp?!!? We were on the down-sloap in the war in Viet Nam, and laughing about the lovable Nazis? And not for nothing, but here we are in 2020 with a genuinely and invincibly ignorant president, who (literally) thinks nothing of opining that ingesting Lysol(!!) might well be the secret cure to Covid-19….!!!

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  72. basset said on April 24, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Spent my formative years in a military town where several of our neighbors refused to watch “Hogan’s Heroes,” as I still do.

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  73. Deborah said on April 24, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    My husband and I had a bet how Trump would react to his absurd statements yesterday about heat, light and bleach. I said he’d be asked a question about it by a reporter and he’d deny he ever said it. My husband said he’d double down on it, find some clown dr to back him up or something like that. We were both wrong, Trump said he was just being sarcastic. What evil creature would, during a televised briefing to the country where you’re supposedly informing the public about a pandemic we’re in the middle of… would use sarcasm! And think that was the correct response to cover yourself. It goes without saying he didn’t come off as sarcastic when I’ve seen the tapes. What floors me though, Trump thinks that’s the best excuse. What a sociopath.

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  74. Heather said on April 24, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Re: Jeff @63, a lot of people really have no idea how little typical journalists make. They see people like Anderson Cooper earning millions of dollars and assume everyone makes a comfortable living. Looks like the average pay for a Chicago Tribune reporter is around $50-60K, and this city is not as affordable as it used to be. Go to smaller cities and towns and you’re lucky to get $30K. If you’re a freelancer, you’re probably barely getting along. That’s the main reason I left journalism. I have friends who love what they do but I couldn’t deal with constantly being broke.

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  75. colleen said on April 24, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    “Jeez, I was just kidding. Don’t be so sensitive.” It’s what bullies always say when called out on their behavior.

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  76. Suzanne said on April 24, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    My sister-in-law’s Trump loving husband says people are not getting the whole story on Trump’s cleanser statement. We are, he says, clouded by hate. I guess Lysol is as well, which is why they felt the need to put out a statement that ingesting household cleansers is a bad idea.

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  77. LAMary said on April 24, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    I was watching trump when he said that garbage about Lysol and bleach and he didn’t sound sarcastic. Moronic, yes.

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  78. Deborah said on April 24, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    Guv MLG of NM, just extended the lockdown in NM until May 15. NM has/had 2,500+ (Confirmed) cases and 82 deaths. I understand Pritzker of IL, extended it until May 31. I don’t know what the numbers in IL are.

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  79. David C said on April 24, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    I don’t imagine anyone will bother asking during today’s shit show if he thinks it’s appropriate to be sarcastic on the day the 50,000th person died because of his assholery. They should have stuck with the out of context dodge they tried earlier this morning. It’s just as much bullshit, but not as disrespectful.

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  80. LAMary said on April 24, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    I didn’t see all the daily shitshow but I don’t think trump showed up. If he did it was at the very beginning which I missed. And it must have been brief.

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  81. Deborah said on April 24, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Who is Dr Birx anyway? And why would she say this to justify Trump’s ridiculous statements yesterday, “When he gets new information, he likes to talk that through out loud and really have that dialogue and so that’s what dialogue he was having. I think he just saw the information at the time immediately.. and he was still digesting that information”. Isn’t that something you’d say about a 9 or 10 year old? I hope she’s a decent person who is trying to encourage Trump to say and do the right things. I hope she’s not a climbing opportunist. Wishful thinking probably.

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  82. Dexter Friend said on April 24, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    This is out of context, but the two books that changed kids’ outlook years ago and to some much lesser degree yet today are “Catcher in the Rye” (Salinger) and of course “On The Road” Kerouac. For kids lucky enough to have a hip teacher or parent or uncle, anything by Bukowski , also. When I read “On The Road” I went on a quest and eventually bought all of the Kerouac books. It took a bit more tracking to find more Salinger works. I found much of it online, mere years ago. The only Kerouac I would urge new readers to avoid is “Big Sur”. It’s just too real; it’s a log of a descent into madness. It left me depressed for a couple weeks.

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  83. beb said on April 25, 2020 at 3:01 am

    I was under the impression that some of the churches that stayed open on Easter Sunday where those Mega churches so I imagine that those have quite a bit of money to be claimed in a lawsuit.
    https://www.inquisitr.com/6013640/tony-spell-wife-cash/
    Wife of Pastor Tony Spell flashed a wad of cash when bailing out her husband. His church has a bus to pick up parishioners so I think there’s some money there.

    There was a lot of controversy about Hogan’s Heroes at the time, but we weren’t laughing as “lovable” Germans. We were laughing with crafty Americans who was running an underground cell right under the German’s noses. It was not nearly as ground-breaking and controversial as “The Producers”

    The Lysol comment really blew up in Trump’s face. Sure he says he was sarcastic but that gets blown out of the water just by playing the tape. I stopped watching his briefing early on because I can’t stand the sound of the man’s voice. But I understand that Trump appeared for 20 minutes, didn’t take any questions and left. Later aides are suggesting Trump may not do as many or so long briefing as he has been. Someone must have finally convinced him that opening his mouth was not helping his case. Maybe (we can hope) he’ll go to Georgia where he can play him some golf.

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  84. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 25, 2020 at 7:32 am

    beb, many of those “mega” churches are large through a mix of churn and leveraging. Churn, in that they have a relatively small stable core membership, and the events and concerts and gatherings that mark their presence in a community bring in large numbers, but not a lot of regular committed attenders. Leveraged, in that they tend to always have a mortgage hanging over them. A couple of the hot new churches in my area are really in dire straits right now, and need to open the doors (in their opinion, mind you) because they don’t have a core of retired people who, though they may have a fixed income, they have reliable income. The congregation I serve has taken a hit (we just decided to cut me to half time June 1 and my wife who was just hired as choir director last year to zero), but we’re still seeing 60-70% of historic income for March/April. A church with almost all young working families, normally the eldorado for a new congregation, is looking at 20-30% even with plenty of e-giving options (we have none, are just now finally giving me permission to launch a path towards that), and they have a honking huge mortgage . . . our building is traditional and has issues and needs (like stairs everywhere for starters, and a heating system that craps out about three times a year), but we own it.

    Anyhow, like a Trump hotel, quite a few megachurches look like a nice fat target for litigation, but there’s not much there there.

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  85. alex said on April 25, 2020 at 9:17 am

    I live in a rural area that’s seeing rampant development and nondenominational megachurches seem to be sprouting up everywhere with names like Sonlight and Joyspring and Lifepath. I don’t know who’s supporting them but it looks like some cheap grace for the financially overextended.

    The new subdivisions have shifted from the ersatz craftsman aesthetic (if you can call it an aesthetic) to faux farmhouse, but what hasn’t changed is that the sides and backs are plain while the fronts are overloaded with what looks like peel-and-stick styrofoam stonework and plastic bric-a-brac standing in for genuine architectural detail. And none of these homes is complete without three to six garage bays filled with high-end vehicles and recreational toys. Are we about to see 2008 all over again?

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  86. susan said on April 25, 2020 at 11:01 am

    Alex, I assume you know about the wonderful website, McMansion Hell? She’s been on that beat for years! And your description of new houses near you fit right in with her comments.

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  87. Suzanne said on April 25, 2020 at 11:08 am

    You hit the nail on the head, Jeff @83. The mega-churches do some things well but many just put on a show and people come to see it. I used to work with a guy who is very involved in Blackhawk Ministries in Ft Wayne (those in the NE area will know it). They used to do this Living Christmas Tree concert thing that was huge in the area. Tickets were a hot commodity with multiple performances. The music director died and a few other things happened so they stopped doing it and replaced it with different sort of Christmas extravaganza. My former co-worker was so surprised that their numbers for the new show were much lower and bemoaned the secularization of our culture. He was surprised when I mentioned that people probably had been showing up for the Christmas Tree show because it was unique; they never were all that connected to the message.

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  88. LAMary said on April 25, 2020 at 11:44 am

    Since we’re talking about church, here’s something that will take you to church for sure.

    https://tinyurl.com/yczn5vqa

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  89. Sherri said on April 25, 2020 at 11:48 am

    Yep, mega churches have no assets and no money in the bank to speak of. They rely on a continual growth model to keep the banker at bay, and when the growth stops happening, the house of cards collapses. It’s a business model as much as a church. That’s not to say that some of the starters of those mega churches (I hesitate to use the term pastor) don’t milk a lot of money out of them.

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  90. alex said on April 25, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Yay! McMansion Hell!

    Hadn’t visited for a while and boy are they sending up the ’70s right now.

    Speaking of the “Pizza Hut” mansard roofs and “Taco Bell” arches in the current edition of MH, I remember a fun youthful prank in which I joined some neighborhood kids. A new house was going up with just such a roof and we found a large piece of plywood, painted it up and posted it as a sign in the front yard: “Coming soon… Pizza Hut!” This one really did look like a Pizza Hut, and so did its outbuildings:

    https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/15419-Woodcliffe-Trl_Fort-Wayne_IN_46845_M35125-49573

    MH is right. A lot of ’70s houses mix modernism with some really hokey and ugly traditional stuff, particularly wooden spindles.

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  91. Sherri said on April 25, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    I know I’m not a bad person to wish Mitch McConnell would get COVID19, because Mitch McConnell wants to destroy the United States.

    Since 2010, American fiscal federalism has been defined by three overwhelming facts.

    First, the country’s wealthiest and most productive states are overwhelmingly blue. Of the 15 states least reliant on federal transfers, 11 are led by Democratic governors. Of the 15 states most reliant on federal transfers, 11 have Republican governors.

    Second, Congress is dominated by Republicans. Republicans controlled the House for eight of the last 10 years; the Senate for six. Because of the Republican hold on the Senate, the federal judiciary has likewise shifted in conservative and Republican directions.

    A state bankruptcy process would thus enable a Republican Party based in the poorer states to use its federal ascendancy to impose its priorities upon the budgets of the richer states.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/why-mitch-mcconnell-wants-states-go-bankrupt/610714/

    The only difference between places like Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, etc, and failed states in the rest of the world is that the federal government has kept them propped up, despite the fact that they fail to tax themselves enough to pay for their needs or produce enough.

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  92. jcburns said on April 25, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    Okay, I spent a lot of the afternoon deep in the weeds of an in-development approach to testing that, if it pans out (and that is a gigantic IF at this point), could yield easy, frequent, cheap, automated tests of amazing sophistication. I’m going to have some bourbon now and ponder what I read. Oh, and it has an Ann Arbor connection.

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  93. Dexter Friend said on April 25, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    Suzanne: During my now-truncated return to a Christian church which coincided with a new-found sobriety, I attended a performance of that Living Christmas Tree at Blackhawk. I felt so out-of-place that night. Human heads arranged as Christmas tree ornaments, singing songs . I thought it was the goofiest damn thing ever. I wondered why this was so popular with so many hundreds or thousands of adults. It was church-schtick at its zenith. I felt embarrassed to even be there. But boy howdy, did they ever pack in the adults to this deal.
    I do not regret the 4 trips to Promise Keepers events I attended however. These much-maligned great gatherings, packing football stadiums with men , featured the most successful Christian preachers and orators of the day, this being a quarter-century ago. The theme was becoming better men through Christ, and some of the speakers were compelling in their messages. They even had people like former Colorado football coach Bill McCartney, Franklin Graham, and Richard Lugar complementing the preachers. McCartney was the founder of the movement as I recall. It was short-lived, just died out. I went twice to Pontiac Silverdome and twice to Indianapolis Hoosier Dome. Then it faded away quickly. I shortly after quit church and returned to my heathen ways, but at least I was able to quit the smokes and the jug. 🙂

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  94. beb said on April 25, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    Dexter, your description of The Living Christmas Tree sounds so grotesque (singing human heads as ornaments) that I think it would drive a lot of people to drink. You were lucky to survive with your sobriety.

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  95. Suzanne said on April 25, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    Dexter “church-schtick at its zenith” is the absolute perfect description of the Living Christmas Tree. Some trends do need to die.

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  96. Julie Robinson said on April 25, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    So many people invited me to the Living Christmas Tree and other such dreck, and I always found ways to weasel out of going. Alex, you hit the nail on the head when you call it cheap grace. Have you read Bonhoeffer, or did you just think of that. I could write much more but am too tired.

    Edit: or I could let Bonhoeffer say it himself: “Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks’ wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church’s inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap?…

    Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

    Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.

    Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.

    Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: “ye were bought at a price,” and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.”

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lutheran pastor from Germany who was living in America, went back to Germany to fight the Nazis, and was executed for his involvement in a plot to kill Hitler.

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  97. Deborah said on April 25, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    With over 50,000 dead Americans in a very short time, because Trump fiddled, and those Americans dying ghastly deaths alone in hospitals, and then his outrageous statement about heat, light and disinfectants injected or ingested in humans, plus his lying about it being sarcasm as if that was a good excuse, all of that and everything that came before during his presidency, I think he has achieved his Katrina moment. Howard Dean had his scream, Dukakis had his silly helmet wearing in the tank, Nixon had his tapes come to light or the Saturday night massacre etc etc. I could be wrong but I don’t see how Trump is going to get out of this. Yes he had the pussy grabbing, the porn star payoffs and impeachment etc etc. It’s amazing that he weaseled out of all of that and more. I don’t know why I think he won’t be able to survive this, it’s just too much when you add it all up. There will eventually be a tipping point if he hasn’t reached it already.

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  98. Dexter Friend said on April 25, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Deborah, I wondered aloud how many Trump-as-God believers injected themselves with disinfectant in the last 48 hours? You just have to know that in this wide world a few tried it. That UV light inside the body, now that might be too tricky for the goobers to try. I was always disappointed that the media blew up that Dukakis/tank/helmet story so big. It just did not resonate as ultra-goofy to me.
    Last night, 49,000 Covid-19 total deaths in the USA. Now we are cresting 54,000. Overnight, 4,500 more dead. Jesus H., do we ALL have it? Now I hear it lasts in the air for 3 hours. Damnation.

    beb, you made me laugh. And Suzanne, yeah, that tree was creepy.

    I watched the 30 minute Jose Diaz Balart NBC Evening News. Not a peep about the possible death or near-death of Kim Song Un. I read the surgeon attempted to insert a stent into Kim’s heart and was shaking so much, knowing he would be shot if he fucked this up, he actually totally botched the operation and killed or almost killed Kim. Either way, he’s been shot already, we can assume.

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  99. Sherri said on April 26, 2020 at 12:38 am

    So, let me get this straight. A state senator in Michigan wore a mask made by his wife that had the Confederate flag on it, then tried to claim that it wasn’t the Confederate flag, but represented the flag of Tennessee or Kentucky, then when that didn’t fly, said, well, it’s history and we can’t throw away our history?

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  100. beb said on April 26, 2020 at 2:16 am

    I think it was one of the guys at Lawyers, Guns & Money who made a habit of calling the Civil war, “Treason in the defense of Slavery.” I think that pretty fairly sums it up. And wearing a mask made from the Confederate Flag pretty much says everything you need to know about that person.

    I have no idea if Kim Jung Un is alive or dead but I am curious why his next of kin is. It seemed like had had all his brothers eliminated, I think he has a sister but will the NK military accept taking orders from a girl?

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  101. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 26, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Julie, thank you. Blessings of the day to everyone. And Dexter, your story is why I can’t knock them all entirely. They do some good. And the idea that everyone has to be an active member their entire life of an institution and maintain it in order to know the Divine at work in the world and in them? News flash: even most clergy know that’s not the case. We also know most people need a framework, a structure around them, and that none of us should have to face death, let alone life, alone. So we maintain our churches as best we can, trying not to envy the shiny objects down the block or across the county that have full parking lots and mysterious bookkeeping . . .

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  102. alex said on April 26, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Julie, I haven’t read Bonhoeffer but his is certainly the definitive definition. What came to mind in the moment for me was a former neighbor who was all about keeping up appearances including attending a megachurch and posting about it religiously (as it were) on Facebook. I have no doubt she was as bankrupt spiritually as she ended up financially.

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  103. David C said on April 26, 2020 at 9:46 am

    This was written almost six years ago and is about Ebola. It’s like she had a crystal ball into the present. I seriously doubt we’ll actually learn anything for this either or we wouldn’t have had the thousands of morons in Madison yesterday. Shit’s going down the memory hole while it’s still going on.

    https://medium.com/message/ebola-the-real-reason-everyone-should-panic-889f32740e3e

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  104. nancy said on April 26, 2020 at 9:58 am

    Sherri, to answer your question: Yes.

    The only thing we don’t know is whether his wife made the mask. I don’t think that detail was reported, but it’s obviously a homemade deal. He apologized after the Senate caucus leader reamed him out, it blew up into a national story. I did the aggregation for DD and left out one detail that should probably be noted — the TV reporter he melted down in front of is black. I had it in, then took it out; she’s very light-skinned, and I thought she might ID as biracial, so didn’t want to make assumptions.

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  105. Sherri said on April 26, 2020 at 10:46 am

    The trying to pass it off as the flag of Kentucky (not even close) or Tennessee (well, both have stars) is a new twist.

    He obviously wore it to make a statement, but then went all chickenshit when asked to make his statement clear. Coward.

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  106. alex said on April 26, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Spinning things six ways to Sunday (and more ludicrous by leaps and bounds during the progression) seems to work for Trump. For downticket Republicans not so much. You’d have to be dumber than someone who’d drink bleach to think, as an elected officeholder, that Trump’s playbook could save you from this kind of political suicide.

    I’d say “what a dick” but even dicks have more self-restraint.

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  107. ROGirl said on April 26, 2020 at 11:32 am

    As with all narcissists, you can never please them enough. You have to go along with them over everything, and the moment you don’t, you are on their shit list. Any Repub in his good graces today is delusional if she/he thinks that will last.

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  108. Mark P said on April 26, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    beb, I’ve taken to calling the Civil War the Slave Owners Rebellion.

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  109. Brian stouder said on April 26, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    And indeed, the Civil War was the classic ‘Rich man’s war; poor man’s fight’. Show me the Indiana (or Michigan, or Ohio….or Tennessee or Texas or Louisiana, etc) idiot with stars-and-bars on his (Union-built Ford or Chevy or Dodge) pickup truck, and I’ll show you a guy (almost always a guy) who couldn’t pass a 5th grade US history quizz

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  110. Suzanne said on April 26, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    For those wondering what the Living Christmas Tree looked like, here is an example
    https://www.trinitycommunications.org/content/living-christmas-tree-0

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  111. David C said on April 26, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    I’d go if they would call it the singing scaffold.

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  112. Dexter Friend said on April 26, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    JeffMMO: Thanks for responding; I figured you would. I was pretty lost into a downward spiral when my “moment of clarity” occurred, and I began a new path towards recovery which in my case included reading The Scriptures and becoming active in church as well as immersing myself in The Twelve Steps meetings nearly every day, racking up many road miles in the process. Promise Keepers was attacked viciously for many reasons, but world-class speakers do grab a person’s attention. I still remember mild mannered Wellington Boone’s ” I Am A Worm” theme. I know…sounds a little different, but what a powerful message. I have physical problems which makes pew-sitting impossibly painful, and I left the church, and quit attending recovery meetings , but online opportunities make staying sober while staying in touch with others rather easy. But, I do not like hanging around with the local church people at the church where my wife is still an active, attending, member. They are all Trump voters. I sometimes can overcome that, but when political talks start, I just leave them alone and disappear. No one on earth can change them.
    BTW…Ricky Gervais’s “After Life” S2 dropped yesterday. Smashingly great. Netflix.

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  113. Sherri said on April 26, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    I’m glad we have elected boring people who get shit done here: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/05/04/seattles-leaders-let-scientists-take-the-lead-new-yorks-did-not

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