Crazy times.

The police arrested a “Detroit man,” a white real-estate agent living downtown, for what they called credible threats against the governor, attorney general, mayor and Rashida Tlaib. His Facebook page is public, and still is, and it’s interesting to see the outlines of his obvious-but-not-too-obvious mental illness – paranoia, threats, conspiracies, etc. It reminded me of something that’s interested me for a while, i.e., how mental illness is shaped by the times.

In fact, I think we’ve talked about this here before, how once, people claimed demons visited them in their sleep, usually having sex with them. Today, they’re more likely to claim aliens did it. A transparently obvious memory of, or reaction to, sex abuse of some kind gets wrapped in the trappings of the time.

We’ve also talked here about Edward Bodkin, the Huntington castrator (Google it). I still remember the debriefing from a colleague who’d just hung up the phone from interviewing the editor of Ball Club magazine. He was trying to get an idea why men would go to a grimy house in rural Indiana and willingly let someone cut off their testicles (free of charge, but you had to agree that the procedure be videotaped). The editor explained that some might have been transsexuals (we didn’t use terms like transgender then) who couldn’t afford sex-change surgery (we didn’t say gender-reassignment or gender-conforming then), and figured getting rid of part of the offensive anatomy was good enough.

But then he went off down a rabbit hole about the whole cult of body modification. These are people who simply don’t think the body they’re in is the one they’re supposed to be in. They’re not trans, just…unsatisfied. If there were a spectrum, at the mild end might be tattooing, with extreme plastic surgery closer to the middle, and at the other, people who use shotguns or saws or other implements to do enough damage to a limb that a doctor might have to just amputate what’s left. Because in their minds, they are amputees.

(You might put fitness freaks somewhere on that continuum. Rare is the person who is 100 percent pleased with every pore on their face, but I also think there’s a reason so much fitness activity is dressed up in the virtuous clothing of better health. Certainly it is better to be active than sedentary. But if you’re spending hours and hours a week in search of a different pair of arms, maybe you belong on that scale, too.)

Hoarding – was that a thing before the last 20-30 years? We’ve called people pack rats forever, but there’s something about the great, post-1980 age of Getting and Spending that seems to fold into hoarding rather neatly. Animal hoarding, ditto.

And so now we’re in an age when people in the highest offices in the land freely talk bullshit about American carnage and Qanon and pedophiles in pizza joints, and suddenly we have all these very suggestible, mentally fragile people making threats against the political enemies of those who, just to use one example, imply that a U.S. senator is a pedophile, and, well, you see what happens.

(The president’s eldest son, I have zero problems diagnosing from this distance, has extreme daddy issues and, I am sorry to say, these tactics won’t work to make daddy finally love him.)

Back to the guy who was threatening the Michigan politicians. If he hadn’t included the mayor, I’d think he also has…problems with women, shall we say. Actually, I will say it: He has problems with women. The other day I was emailing about this with a former colleague, who didn’t think the complaints about Gretchen Whitmer are motivated by sexism. I said, what are we to think when the expressions of those complaints are so often made with gendered insults? TYRANT BITCH, etc. Hmm? No answer.

Of course, part of the problem is, there are far fewer gendered insults for men. “Prick,” maybe. But even “asshole” doesn’t work; we all have them, after all.

OK, then. How was everyone’s weekend? We had one perfect day and one rainy day. Rode my bike on both. The Spotify mix tossed up “I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar,” which is always amusing, and I regret to say that was the high point of Sunday’s ride, because then it started to rain and the now-predictable right-side lower-back pain came in right behind it. Saturday’s was better; I went with a friend and when it was over, got a couple of tall boys from a nearby likka sto’ and that was the cool down. We sat at opposite ends of a bench and talked about different types of feta cheese.

And Friday was our 27th anniversary. There was cake, there were flowers, there was a mushroom risotto. It was all quite nice.

And now the week ahead awaits. Let it be peaceful and healthy for all, but if Barack Obama’s gentle reproof in his virtual commencement address makes a particular skull explode, yeah well shit happens.

Posted at 5:30 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

121 responses to “Crazy times.”

  1. Peter said on May 17, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    I’m starting to think that the last days of Trump will make for a wonderful movie.

    Just a shame we won’t be around to see it.

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  2. Linda said on May 17, 2020 at 8:32 pm

    If your skeptical friend has trouble believing that misogyny is involved in the political attacks against Whitmer, remind him that the object of anti quarantine forces in Ohio is Dr. Amy Acton, the health department head, as opposed to Governor Dewine. It got to the point that Dewine told these people to direct any criticisms against him.

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  3. beb said on May 17, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    I am surprised that it is not against the law to bring guns into the state house. I would have thought that the legislature would have banned that a long time ago since there are always people determined to shoot up the law (and the law-makers). And since it’s hard to determine when some one has made a creditable threat against someone or was just spouting off, think we should just arrest all of them and give them the “freedom” of germ infected local gaols.

    I spent the past week in Indiana sitting with my 98 year old father so my sister can attend to a Lions Club flower sale. It was pretty quiet there. Almost pleasant. Brought a hanging basket of begonias as thanks for doing that. My wife was happy to see them and that made me happy.

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  4. alex said on May 17, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Junior made his baseless allegations of pedophilia at daddy’s behest. Trump would never test the waters with that kind of a shitbomb himself. He’d make his kid do it, and once it creates a buzz and gains traction in MAGA World, then Trump can feel free to make the same assertion.

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  5. alex said on May 17, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    And speaking of shitbombs, this one reeks:

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  6. LAMary said on May 17, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    Left side lower back pain here. Sciatica occasionally visits me. Started when I was expecting kid number 2. Advil PM lets me get some sleep and although it’s rough when I first wake up walking around seems to ease things. I’m guessing another day or two and I’ll be ok. I’m not going anywhere anyway. I’ve got a nice lasagna in the oven and a salad tossed and dressed to sit on the side, so it’s all ok right now. I got a package of genuine Kirkland toilet paper yesterday. Got to savor those weird little 2020 victories.

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  7. Brian stouder said on May 17, 2020 at 10:22 pm

    Today I carefully completed my vote-by-mail absentee ballot (issue A1A is the FWCS renovation question) and then drove downtown to put it into the main post office’s mailbox. I think Trump will have his ass handed to him in November, and he’ll seize the opportunity to be yet another aggrieved rightwing charlatan of the airwaves. The real question will be – how will the Republican party ever recover from such a complete intellectual implosion, as personified by such an incredibly selfish, insensitive, shit-for-brains oaf as djt?

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  8. beb said on May 17, 2020 at 11:59 pm

    I think the only reason Trump hasn’t accused Biden of pedophilia is that he can’t spell it. But then Junior is actually a dicker version of the father.

    The Tara Reade story is troubling all around. As Elizabeth Warren said about another case, “why would she lie?” We should believe a woman when she says someone molested her. But then the timing, right at the time when the field had been cleaned for the presidential nomination. It felt like political hit-job. It reeks too much of the hit on Al Franken, which I remain convinced was a hit-job. Minor over familiarity compared to claims that Trump literally grabbed a woman and stuck it in her. No one seems to care that Trump was credibly accused of rape while Reade’s story kind of evolved over time. There are suggestions that Biden should step down. And replaced by who? There is no “unity” candidate hiding in the wings. And replacement for Biden would split the party I think, and I think that’s the plan.

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  9. Deborah said on May 18, 2020 at 12:40 am

    I still maintain that devolution is a big cause of what is going on. I don’t know exactly when civilization peaked but we’re on the down slope now.

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  10. Dexter Friend said on May 18, 2020 at 2:47 am

    Sometimes an urban myth circulates that draws in the rubes, then becomes a widely passed-around joke, and then why I’ll be a sonuvabitch, it was true all along. Part of my job in Vietnam was as a drug abuse quick-cure rehab clinic attendant. Two young dudes had some acid mailed to them, dropped it one quiet night, and decided to fly home. No airplane needed, they figured. In our compound there was a small office building with two floors. Yes they did. They climbed to the roof peak and took off. To their amazement, they crashed to the ground, busting themselves up pretty badly, and I had two patients to look after. One guy was clammed up but the other matter-of-factly told me exactly what I just wrote. Even my many friends who have dropped acid maybe hundreds of times were sure I was bullshitting them. Nope. Also, the talkative one told me he’d been dreaming of climbing into a box and mailing himself home. Drugs. Yep.
    Now for body adjusting/modification, I knew a guy in California who had a plan. Most of us dreaded the orders for Vietnam, but this guy could barely contain himself he wanted to go so badly. He planned to get there, obtain a weapon, and blow off at least one toe so he would be getting disability the rest of his life. So every one of us who hated the thought of going, went, while in a double entendre situation, apparently this guy told too many people of his plan and they kept him right there in California. Was it a genius maneuver to stay stateside?
    And as for California, I wa blown away last night, as STARZ now is showing the QT film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”. I had not heard spoilers, thank the gods, so was I surprised and delighted at the ending. A classic for sure. Anyway I thought so.
    Back to body imaging, I listen to a guy who calls in to a radio show on XM who had weight loss surgeryabout 5 years ago. He went under the knife at 440 lbs, and now is 180 and has been for a few years . Who can criticize that? Risks, yeah…but rewards maybe more often. Split tongues, loopy droopy ear stretchings, implanted horns, botox, to each his own. I never understood wanting tattoos, and my 3 daughters all have them , while they never understood my tobacco usage when they were kids. They just didn’t understand the attraction/addiction.
    The oldest daughter had estate settling business in Michigan this weekend so she drove there from Las Vegas. She called me Friday morning , saying she was running errands there in the desert valley. Two minutes later, my door was being knocked and she was on the porch, that jokester. The old surprise visit. I put my mask on and let her in; we practised social distancing, no hugs. Then her daughter and her granddaughter drove up from Columbus and they headed back to Las Vegas. I disinfected every surface, hope I did it right. This bug is awful.

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  11. Deborah said on May 18, 2020 at 5:19 am

    My husband has stories about what some of the guys in Vietnam would do to get drugs, especially heroin. It was pretty desperate.

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  12. ROGirl said on May 18, 2020 at 5:23 am

    I watched Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, QT captures the zeitgeist, the characters fully inhabit it, and the ending delivers the bloody, violent goods. But I couldn’t help but focus on his alleged/reported foot fetishism. There were 2 scenes in which female characters put their bare feet up and the camera focused on them for a long time.

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  13. Suzanne said on May 18, 2020 at 9:08 am

    “… I also think there’s a reason so much fitness activity is dressed up in the virtuous clothing of better health.”
    Totally agree. I’ve tried fitness classes but generally give up after a while because of either the instructor being waaaaay too into it or because I feel shamed by not being able to do half the stuff. One class I took for a while involved lots and lots of squats but my knees are bad and it hurt. When I told the instructor, she told me squats were good for me and that she didn’t really know what she could give me as an alternative. She also made some snide remark once about a woman in the class who had had knee replacement. The instructor is someone I know vaguely from another venue and she works out all the time in excess. She also talked in class about how we can’t serve God and our fellow man if we aren’t healthy, and tried to give all kinds of bogus health advice.
    So now, I mostly work out with a video that I can do in the privacy of my own home. I can sweat, grunt, and pant without judgement. I’m overweight, I know, but I do what I can in moderation.

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  14. Heather said on May 18, 2020 at 9:51 am

    Gendered insults based on exclusively male stuff don’t carry the same punch because misandry isn’t a powerful force in our culture, unlike misogyny. When you call a woman a bitch, that term carries a whole load of baggage about women with power. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

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  15. Jeff Borden said on May 18, 2020 at 9:52 am

    I wish someone would do a deep dive into the life of Daddy Fred Trump, which is where this particular family DNA took a hard turn into swinish behavior. He was, of course, a racist pig who attended a Klan rally in NYC n 1927. He didn’t want to rent to black or Hispanic people. Daddy Fred and the Orange King were sued by the DOJ in 1973 for discrimination. Likewise, he seems to have a been a cold, hard man, who sent troublesome junior to a military academy to iron him out. Yet he consistently bailed out the future reality TV performer to the tune of hundreds of millions, so he must’ve felt some love for his offspring. Or, did he do it so the tRump name wouldn’t be sullied?

    The O.K. seems to have been a similarly cold and distant father if Ivana’s book is correct. Remember how he balked at naming his first son after himself lest the child grow up to be “a loser?” He apparently had little to do with any of them until they reached adulthood. And so now Junior puts on daddy’s demeanor like a little boy dressing up in father’s suit. The whole family including Princess Nepotism would keep an army of psychotherapists busy for decades.

    Any Faulkner fans out there? I sometimes look at the tRump klan as an urban version of the Snopes family.

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  16. Deborah said on May 18, 2020 at 10:52 am

    Big Faulkner fan here. My husband and I listened to “Light in August” on a road trip and we were astounded by similarities between the rhetoric you hear now from the nut job right. Another author from the Deep South Eudora Welty, has written many stories that describe mindsets that are like the misfit Republicans of today. We’ve been listening to a compilation of her stories on our trips back and forth to our cabin.

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  17. Jim said on May 18, 2020 at 11:48 am

    Would the Ohio U folks here explain why it is in such bad financial shape? They just let 50+ faculty go, and had already bought out 70+ prior to COVID.

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  18. Sherri said on May 18, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    I can’t speak to the Ohio U situation, but there’s going to be a bloodletting among colleges and universities. Some trends that were already causing pain before C19 are going to be exacerbated.

    State budgets are being decimated by this crisis, which will mean state funded schools can expect funding cuts. Foreign student enrollment had already been trending downwards thanks to the anti-immigrant stance of the administration, and C19 and further anti-immigrant steps will make that disappear. Out of state enrollment is also likely to plummet.

    Costs of opening for fall are going to be dramatic if you’re a residential college. Costs of not opening are also going to be dramatic. In either event, is this year’s freshman class going to show up, or take a gap year, or go to community college near home?

    We’re also past the Millennial boom; there are fewer kids in future cohorts, so the potential college population is declining.

    Normally, in bad economic times, people go to school, but there’s so much uncertainty right now no one knows what people are going to do. Many schools right now are planning on some form of in-person instruction, but those are just plans right now, with a lot of open questions about how that is actually accomplished (single residency dorm rooms?cohorts of students who are housed together and take classes together? What to do about faculty members who are at risk?)

    The Cal State system has announced that they will remain online only for the fall.

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  19. Julie Robinson said on May 18, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Sherri, I think you’re right. Just like businesses that were already on the edge, colleges who were struggling before won’t have the reserves to keep going.

    A nephew was sent home from the University of Virginia when they closed overnight. They had to book him a very expensive flight, and he didn’t think through what he needed at home to finish the semester (he’s a freshman, so I’m cutting him a break on that, plus at first the college said it was just an extended spring break). They ended up flying him back to get his books, and now have driven back to bring everything else home. There’s no word on what’s happening for the fall, but if I were a parent of a student, I wouldn’t want to pay full tuition for online classes. It’s a lose-lose situation.

    Our local newspaper has been running a series on college costs and student loans, and it’s been a shocker. We thought it was ridiculously high when our kids went, in relation to our own expenses. But a chart showed that schools in Indiana have doubled or tripled since our daughter started at Valpo in the fall of 1998. Who can afford that?

    BTW, one of our Senators, Mike Braun, has proposed the elimination of student loan origination fees. This would save the average undergrad $294. So great to know he’s looking out for us.

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  20. Sherri said on May 18, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    I think many people would be surprised at the degree to which foreign students were footing the bills at many colleges and universities. The Trump administration has hurt that flow of students, and now is making noises about making it harder for foreigners who graduate from college here to stay here and work. That, plus the fact that we are a terrible hot spot for C19, may slow the foreign student flow to a trickle. Another way this administration has done generational harm to us. Russia couldn’t have done this much damage to us with a war.

    Yes, it is very expensive to attend college, which is why all those Millennials keep talking about student loans. We told them they had to get a college degree, then unlike with the Boomers, we didn’t pay for it. We are lucky, that we could afford to send our daughter to college without debt, but that’s only because of tech salaries and stock options. It was still mind-boggling, the difference in what it cost from when we went to college, or even to grad school, and what we paid for our daughter’s college.

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  21. Andrea said on May 18, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Chicago-area people: If you are available tonight, WTTW is airing an hour-long compilation of documentary portraits of Chicagoans during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Each episode was produced and directed by my husband. It airs at 9 pm. tonight, called Firsthand: Coronavirus.

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  22. Julie Robinson said on May 18, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    My mom said tuition at Iowa State College in 1950 was around $50 a semester, or was it year, at any rate, almost nothing. So when my grandparents bought me a $500 savings bond, they thought they were paying my way through. My last semester at IU in 1979 was the first time it cost $1000 for out of state tuition. My folks would send me $250/month and I easily paid my rent, utilities, food, and other expenses from that.

    If I had a kid of that age now I would tell them to live at home if there’s a school in their town, or find a job that will pay at least some tuition expenses. Right now I’d tell them to sit the year out, except jobs will be extra hard to find.

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  23. Jeff said on May 18, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    I teach part-time at Loyola in Chicago. All adjuncts have been told to expect fewer classes because of an expected steep decline in enrollment this fall. And we’re still not sure if all classes will be online, which likely also will have an impact on enrollment.

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  24. LAMary said on May 18, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Sherri, I was going to comment on how much more foreign students pay and how that subsidizes the locals. One of my sons went to Cal State LA. He had some scholarships and grants and he worked. He also lived at home. Before starting there he took some classes at community college and got some freshman requirements out of the way basically free. Foreign students don’t have any of those options and tuition for them is at least three times as much as full tuition for a local. Plus housing.

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  25. Jim said on May 18, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    All: as far as most state regionals go, foreign student tuition is really a pretty small slice of the revenue. The two big sources are enrollment (unlike U of M, almost all in state tuition) and state revenue.

    Indiana hasn’t announced state cuts (yet), but Ohio has. Even so, some campuses there (notably Akron and Ohio U) are definitely worse off than the norm.

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  26. Deborah said on May 18, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    My husband taught at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago for 15 years. They are in deep hot water partly (and maybe mainly) because foreign students dropped off dramatically over the last couple of years because of immigration policies. My husband didn’t teach there last year and some of his tenured friends have indicated that the situation is dire for the school to continue to exist.

    Today our elderly couple upstairs Neighbors returned home from an outing and the wife with Parkinson’s was walking toward the stairs to their place upstairs when she fell. LB and I ran over to be of assistance since we heard it from where we were sitting outside. Her husband couldn’t lift her by himself and I have to say when we assisted she was Very heavy. It’s just a matter of time before there’s a major catastrophe.

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  27. 4dbirds said on May 18, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    Happy anniversary Nancy.


    Try yoga. I stuck my nose up at the mention of it for a long time because I was an army girl and if it didn’t hurt it wasn’t doing me any good. Then I got old. I went to a gentle yoga class and saw many people who looked just like me. No skinny yoga girls to compete with. The instructor asked each of us about any physical issues or injuries we had and while guiding us through the poses, she never asked us do anything that hurt. After that course, I graduated to Yoga I and again was not forced to do anything my body couldn’t do. I was amazed at the workout I got. I was usually exhausted and sweating and look forward to the final relaxation poses. Anyway, I’m a convert.

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  28. Sherri said on May 18, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    I know here in Washington, the Cal State schools, particularly Cal Poly, have become an attractive alternative to UW. Even with out of state tuition, the price is competitive, and there’s not the same difficulty of getting into the major you want (in many of the tech fields, like CS, you don’t get admitted into the department until sophomore or junior year, and it’s highly competitive. They turn away more people than they admit.)

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  29. Deborah said on May 18, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    Something weird is happening when I type on my iPhone, odd random capitalizations. Also my camera and my flashlight don’t work. My camera works on the selfie setting but not when I’m directing it outward. It’s just a black screen. I have been spraying my phone when I have to use it at Whole Foods to activate my Prime membership for discounts. I hold the spray far away from the phone to get a light dusting of the disinfectant on the surfaces and then I immediately wipe it down with a dry cloth. I really hope I haven’t messed up my phone doing this.

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  30. Suzanne said on May 18, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    4dbirds, I did go to a gentle yoga class for a year or more a while back and it was perfect! It was through the local hospital and the instructor was gentle, kind, and encouraging. She told us frequently that each body is different so some poses simply may not work with certain bodies. As you said, a good workout but I always felt great when I was done. But, the hospital stopped offering the class a few years ago. They had one or two others, but never in a time slot I could attend. There is only one yoga studio anywhere near me and I tried it once or twice but it was crowded and I wasn’t impressed with the instructors.
    My daughter has a yoga studio she loves within walking distance of her and I am jealous of that.

    I do use the website Do Yoga With Me sometimes. It has some great workouts but it does take time to sort through them and pick one that seems appropriate.

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  31. Deborah said on May 18, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    Can I just say that trips to the grocery store or any other stores are so stressful that I am drained when I get home, it’s so hard to think about doing anything else physically. I love doing gardening and yard and indoor projects but these days it takes all of my energy to complete the smallest activity. Am I the only one?

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  32. Bitter Scribe said on May 18, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Quentin Tarantino’s thing seems to be rewriting the tragedies of history to allow for violent revenge/comeuppance: Nazism, slavery, and now the Manson killings. It used to bother me, but now I’m, meh, whatever.

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  33. Sherri said on May 18, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    On the problems colleges face:

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  34. jcburns said on May 18, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    Oh Deborah, spraying at your phone isn’t a great approach. If I may offer, when it comes to electronics: spray or lightly dampen the cloth, and then use that to wipe the device. Much more control, and just like the virus, you don’t get aerosolized droplets of stuff everywhere you don’t want.

    Many modern iPhones are pretty waterproof, but bottom line: electronics (the actual stuff inside) and moisture do NOT mix. True of keyboards and screens on desktops/laptops too.

    (What you’re describing sounds like the digitizer—the matrix of tiny wires that picks up your finger tracings—is hosed, and maybe the circuit board that attaches it and the camera to the main circuitboard. Um, expensive maybe.)

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  35. Icarus said on May 18, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    My mom said tuition at Iowa State College in 1950 was around $50 a semester, or was it year, at any rate, almost nothing.

    while I’m sure $50 wasn’t a lot even in 1950, whenever someone says ‘It only cost X back in Some_Year’ it often leaves out the context of what the dollar was worth.

    Was $50 in 1950 the same as $500 in 1970 or $5000 in 1990?

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  36. Icarus said on May 18, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    While I value my college education, I do think colleges did some shitty things too. I went to a liberal arts college in a podunk town in Missouri that insisted all freshmen must live in the dorms unless they are townies. Because of bonding. I mean a guaranteed influx of dorm paying residence.

    and don’t get me started on forcing people who have nothing in common and would kill each other in the wild to be roommates in the name of diversity.

    plus they always seemed to have too many assistant deans and not enough professors who actually teach. TAs did the dirty work and now it is adjunct professors working for slave wages.

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  37. Deborah said on May 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Well JC, that’s kind of what I suspected. Again, when I get in my car after using my phone at Whole Foods to register my Prime membership, I’m so freaked out about disinfecting right away I’ve sprayed my phone directly. I’ve held the spray far away so only a very fine mist hits the phone, but that’s probably been enough to screw it up. Why I didn’t think to spray the cloth instead of my phone directly is of course maddening that I didn’t do it that way. I’m always so relieved to be back in my car after the stressful ordeal of shopping I’m usually not thinking straight. Darn it. If I ever get back to Chicago I’ll take my phone in to the Apple store to see if there’s anything possible to repair it. There is an Apple store in Albuquerque, but it’s 60 miles away and it’s usually a zoo in there, can’t imagine what it would be like these days even with a reservation. I can live without my camera and my flashlight for awhile, and I won’t be spraying my phone again, ever.

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  38. LAMary said on May 18, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Has anyone other than my very bored self seen that video of Trump’s face superimposed on Bill Pullman making the speech at the end of Independence Day? With Ted Cruz, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Mike Pence faces superimposed on soldiers in the audience? Trump tweeted it. I hope he gets sued for using the film and Pullman’s voice and Pullman’s words (he ad libbed much of that speech).

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  39. jcburns said on May 18, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    And, if I may be a bit paternal, hey, don’t be spraying anywhere near your car electronics or the guts of your TV or…anywhere your circuit boards come up for a breath of outside air.

    I do have a “well, it’s worth a try” idea. If you can get a can of compressed air (Home Depot?), blast some air into the phone’s lightning/USB port and the speaker holes and then just let it sit somewhere out of a pocket or purse. Turn it off completely and then power it back on. (Yes, some of this is tech support 101, but well…)

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  40. Julie Robinson said on May 18, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    Icarus, I totally agree with you. I was waiting for a phone call while writing, and when it came, I hit submit. So I did a little research. Uncle Google says that $50 in 1950 is the equivalent of $535.51 today. I’m pretty sure we’d all be happy to pay that!

    Adjuncts are the dirty little secret of higher education*. At most schools they make almost nothing and get no benefits. Yet students pay the same amount for their classes as they do for a full tenured professor. A friend teaches a nutrition class online at the local college. She is a registered dietitian and takes ongoing education herself, but she doesn’t even have a master’s degree.

    *Or is it one of the dirty little secrets?

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  41. susan said on May 18, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    Icarus @35 – According to, $50 in 1950 is the equivalent of $531.93 (963.9% cumulative rate of inflation). That still seems like an amazing deal even for only a semester of college.

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  42. LAMary said on May 18, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    I think I paid 1150. per quarter in the mid seventies at University of Denver. I had a financial aid and I worked two jobs so I made it through.

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  43. Jakash said on May 18, 2020 at 6:07 pm


    I’m pretty sure that you can just tell the checkout person your phone number, or enter it yourself on the keypad, and you wouldn’t need to get your phone out at all at Whole Foods. You just need to be sure to “verify” your phone number in the app or at the website, so that their system will acknowledge your number. That’s what I did when we had a trial membership, since I have a dumb-phone.

    “3. Or provide the verified mobile phone number associated with your Amazon Prime account during checkout. You’ll need to verify your phone number either in the Whole Foods Market app or at to activate your savings at checkout.”

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  44. Suzanne said on May 18, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    I am pretty sure when I started at IU Bloomington in 1976, tuition was a flat fee of something like $300 for anything between 12-18 credit hours. Before I graduated, I think they switched to charging by the credit hour, but it was something around $25-$30 per credit hour. I think a semester of housing (dorm room & meals) was jus a little over $1,000. I worked in the summer and worked a little during the school year and pretty much paid for it myself. Now, in state tuition at Bloomington is around $11,000.

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  45. LAMary said on May 18, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    Trump says he’s taking hydroxychloroquine and has been for two weeks.
    Choose one:

    He’s lying.

    I understand it has some bad side effects.

    I hope he washes it down with some bleach.

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  46. Jim said on May 18, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Julie: it’s dirty, but not secret. Full disclosure: I hire and supervise math adjunct faculty. The pay varies widely across the US, but is pretty awful based on cost of living anywhere. We finally got ours increased, and it’s all the way up to an entry level of $2000 per three credit course, masters required.

    My department was a long time revenue generator. Here’s the math: 35 x 3 x $300 per section for a full section. Not counting the state money for enrollment. Subtract the instructor pay, and you see how other parts of the university were subsidized.

    The dirty secret is how little Arts and Sciences professors and adjuncts are paid versus Engineering and Business. At a regional a new Ph.D. in Psychology for example gets $50,000 per year or less, despite having huge numbers of majors.

    Icarus: My son and I went to liberal arts colleges (pretty good reps), and they used no adjuncts, except in something very specialized at a high salary.

    Back to my problems: I can only hire adjuncts with a masters, and during the daytime hours they pretty much don’t exist. I can hire old folks like me, but that is it. They mostly say (rightly), meh.

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  47. Jim said on May 18, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    Sorry, but I’m on a serious hatred of the state of affairs. The OPEN secret is the criminal amount we pay early childhood and social work professionals, especially given how important the jobs are and how much education is required. Look at salaries for jobs that require a MSW, and we STILL won’t hire enough of them to make it remotely a job that doesn’t cause massive amounts of burnout.

    Finally, the discussion of what things used to cost reminded me how state aid for education has decreased since 1970, and how we now openly con veterans and first gen students with for profits like U of Phoenix and Kaplan, um I mean Purdue Global.

    I am going to start drinking early tonight.

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  48. Deborah said on May 18, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    Jakash, yes I know I can give them my phone number at Whole Foods but when I’m wearing a mask with a plexiglas partition between us, it’s hard for them to understand me, also them wearing a mask and repeating it back to me behind the partition, I can’t hear them either, and people are waiting in line behind me making me nervous. It seemed easier for me to use my phone and clean it later, but I won’t be doing that again. I think I’ll write my number on an index card and hold it up for them next time, maybe that’ll work. Of course I’ll then have to clean the index card after each use, but it won’t cost me possibly having to get a new phone.

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  49. Deborah said on May 18, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    If Trump is moving his lips, he’s lying, so I find it hard to believe he’s actually taking hydroxychloroquine. And if he is, who prescribed it for him for that purpose? He pretends he’s right all the time, even when he’s completely wrong and we all know it. Even his supporters know it, right Joe?

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  50. Scout said on May 18, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    If Don Coronaleone is taking hydroxychloroquine with his already fragile health it could do him in. That would be such a shame. (/sarcasm) However, it’s probably more like Sharpiegate. He says something completely asinine and then everyone around him has to scramble to make him seem right.

    We watched Becoming last night on Netflix and we both literally bawled the whole way through it. The contrast between the kindness, sincerity, dignity and intelligence of the Obama family and the daily viciousness and stupidity of the trumps is unbearable. I will never understand how this happened.

    On the matter of college tuition, I am hearing more and more that families are choosing community colleges or trade schools over universities, due to the horrific debt graduates now face along with diminished job prospects. Universities have priced themselves out of the market for most average American families. It is becoming only for the elite, just like our overlords want it.

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  51. Sherri said on May 18, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    Jim, one of the reasons I was willing to send my daughter to a small liberal arts college, even though it was pricey, was because I knew they weren’t using adjuncts and they didn’t have 500 student classes.

    All total, >$200K. I’m glad she’s done, and I hope her college can survive.

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  52. Sherri said on May 18, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    Our health care system is so screwed. As unemployment rises, and people lose insurance coverage, things are going to get worse.

    Lots of dirty little secrets about how things work are being exposed.

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  53. LAMary said on May 18, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    I know those 100 student classes existed when I was in college but I only had two that were close to that. One was a biology class and luckily the teacher was great at engaging and keeping everyone’s attention. The other was a math class I had to take to graduate. I spoke to the professor at the beginning of the quarter and he said he would make sure I graduated, and he did. He helped me out when I felt like I had lost the plot a few times. I actually got a good grade. Thank you Dr. Dorn.

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  54. basset said on May 18, 2020 at 8:26 pm

    Suzanne@44, that’s about how I remember it, started at Bloomington in 73. Sophomore year I found a co-op dorm where I could get a break on the fees for working in the kitchen and cleaning up the public areas, that and a couple of part-time jobs and a lot of detasseling and manual work in the summers got me through.

    Had it to do over again today, I’d probably go to technical school for videography or GIS or something.

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  55. susan said on May 18, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    Obama should tell Orangula not to take hydroxychloroquine. That would solve that problem.

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  56. jcburns said on May 19, 2020 at 12:25 am

    The tuition at both schools I attended, one private and pricy and one a fine Ohio state school allowed me to meet some wonderful amazing people who I otherwise never ever would have become friends with.

    One of them, of course, runs this here blog.

    So, worth it.

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  57. Sherri said on May 19, 2020 at 12:25 am

    So we have Georgia making “mistakes” in reporting (how you make a mistake in ordering dates is a mystery), Florida getting rid of the data scientist who built their C19 dashboard because she wouldn’t cook the books, and Trump saying if you test less, you’ll have fewer cases. These Republicans really seem to believe that if they just don’t look, the virus will go away.

    Funny, I’ve been trying that since 2016 with Trump, and he’s still there.

    If we were going to elect a fascist, why couldn’t we elect one who could make the trains run on time?

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  58. Dexter Friend said on May 19, 2020 at 2:17 am

    My brother entered Ball State in 1965. He told me he needed $600 for books, tuition, and dorm fees. Another $300 for a meal ticket. I think he said he had to work enough to get another $900 saved up for the last half of the year…maybe they used the quarter system. He got by by playing lead guitar in a band that played campus gigs and small events from Muncie to Indianapolis. He always said Styx stole their name, The Styx and Stones. They had a bass guitarist named John Hiatt, he said…no relation to the great famous star, John Hiatt, or his daughter the fantastic Lily Hiatt.

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  59. basset said on May 19, 2020 at 10:50 am

    Mentioning this today to give everyone time to prepare the appropriate celebration… tomorrow is the 60th anniversary of the first show of the Beatles’ first tour, backing a singer named Johnny Gentle at the Town Hall, Marsh Hill, Alloa, Clackmananshire, Scotland:

    Seven shows in nine days, wrecked the van, drummer got his front teeth knocked out and quit after the band limped home, broke.

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  60. basset said on May 19, 2020 at 11:12 am

    And if that link doesn’t work, which it probably won’t, try this one:

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  61. Suzanne said on May 19, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    This is an excellent history lesson on how we got here

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  62. LAMary said on May 19, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Sherri, throw Mike Pompeo into that mix too.

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  63. alex said on May 19, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    The Bodkin body-mod story is but one of many weird tales to come out of the town of Huntington, a singularly creepy place. I just happened upon a couple of mugshots that capture the vibe in its purest essence:

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  64. Julie Robinson said on May 19, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    Jack Spratt and wife.

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  65. Deborah said on May 19, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Suzanne, your link at #61 was excellent. Thanks.

    Whenever we swat and kill a miller moth we put it outside for the birds. We have a family of Canyon Toohees near our front door, we put the carcasses on a stump we call the “offering stump” now for the mom and dad we call Mr. and Mrs. Mischief. It’s cute, they collect the bugs and their babies squeal in delight while they’re being fed. We are endlessly entertained.

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  66. Deborah said on May 19, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    Scout, I’m seeing some excellent poll numbers for Scott Kelly over McSally. You must be thrilled. But the claws will be coming out so we all need to be cautious.

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  67. jcburns said on May 19, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Mark Kelly, but yes.

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  68. beb said on May 19, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    The blogger Atrois (at Eschaton) talks about college fees from time to time. He was college in the 70s and mentioned how easy it was for him to get data processing (typing) jobs that paid $6-7/hour, which would be like $12-14 an hour today. But then it was easy to put yourself through college. Fees were low and summer jobs were easy to get and paid well. The whole economy has been hollowed out since. Work is hard to find and it pays crap. But we have more billionaires than ever so hurrah for capitalism!!! (/sarcasm)

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  69. LAMary said on May 19, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    My NYT college job paid 6 bucks per hour, which I thought was pretty great. I worked 10-15 hours per week. My other job was as a bartender in a Holiday Inn. In the summer I worked full time and made a lot more in tips than I did in pay. When school started again I worked some weekends, sometimes at events with an open bar and sometimes filling in at the bar or poolside bar. Great tips.

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  70. Julie Robinson said on May 19, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Many of my friends would get a factory job in the summer and it would pay their way, along with a little work-study (remember that?). The misery would remind them of the alternatives to college.

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  71. Scout said on May 19, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    Deborah, it does actually look like this is the year AZ finally turns blue. We would have both Senate seats plus the presidential vote. That would be a true milestone here.

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  72. Deborah said on May 19, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    Doh, Mark not Scott. Where did I come up with Scott? Is that his brother’s name?

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  73. David C said on May 19, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    Deborah, yes it is.

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  74. LAMary said on May 19, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    Identical twin astronauts. That’s just too Patty Duke Parent Trap for me. It could be a wacky script.

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  75. Joe Kobiela said on May 19, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    There are a whole bunch of people who don’t consider their factory jobs a misery, we took it seriously working hard to turn out a quality product.
    Pilot Joe

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  76. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 19, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    Purdue in 1978 was about $300 a semester for full-time tuition & $1,150 room and board, 20 meals (no Sunday night dinner), call it $3,000 a year? Which my inflation calculator says would be about $12,000 today. And that’s a bit more than what my son pays at Ohio University now, but rent is another $550 a month and no idea these days what he pays for food. Anyhow, I’d say in adjusted terms it’s about doubled from Purdue to Athens in the intervening forty years.

    Of course, my access to a DEC PDP 11/70 was limited, and gave me about 5 K memory storage, while we would speak in reverent tones about the semi-mythical CRAY supercomputer at Los Alamos that dealt in . . . MEGAbytes. Now my son has a 1 terabyte drive in his backpack.

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  77. Julie Robinson said on May 19, 2020 at 11:20 pm

    Joe, all the factories my friends worked in were without air conditioning. They were also in the midwest, and in the summer they were miserable. And noisy. And mind-numbingly repetitive. And they stood up, crouched over, had to watch their fingers/hair/sleeves, and got harassed about their figures as they went to the lunch room. If it was so great, why did you leave?

    Scott Kelly’s book, Endurance, was a surprise favorite for me last year. It wasn’t just about his year in space, but also how he turned his life around after being a complete screw up when he caught the astronaut dream.

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  78. David C said on May 20, 2020 at 5:35 am

    Julie, my guess is that Joe worked under a 30 and out union contract. He retired at about age 50 with a full pension and was able to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot. It’s a great thing that he was able to do that. He probably voted his whole life for people who tried their damnedest to prevent anyone from living that life. Now they have their wish. Nobody gets to live that life anymore.

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  79. ROGirl said on May 20, 2020 at 7:55 am

    I go into production plants regularly. Conditions vary widely, but with very few exceptions, most workers take their jobs seriously and work hard to turn out a quality product. I consider myself fortunate that I didn’t have to take that kind of job, but I don’t look down on the people who do.

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  80. Julie Robinsonn said on May 20, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Nor do I, except for the sick bastards who harassed my best friend. I was stating examples from my friends in the latter part of the 70’s. That’s all.

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  81. Icarus said on May 20, 2020 at 9:39 am

    I don’t think anyone is disagreeing with this, but it is possible to acknowledge the less than desirable conditions of working in a plant while not looking down upon the workers or the work itself.

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  82. Joe Kobiela said on May 20, 2020 at 10:11 am

    You were close, 31 years yrs and retired at 49, however I didn’t vote for Billy Clinton who was the one that signed NAFTA. I was laid off during the Carter and Clinton administrations and recalled during the Busch Administration.
    Pilot Joe

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  83. Jakash said on May 20, 2020 at 10:45 am

    Excellent. As long as some prefer to suggest that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, and while our president likes to hint that American Nazis are “very fine people”, it makes perfect sense to vigorously pretend that it’s a toss-up as to which is the union-busting party.

    BTW, is the Busch Administration the one that fired the Clydesdales?

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  84. Deborah said on May 20, 2020 at 10:50 am

    I worked in a metal fabrication factory one summer when I was in college. I was the shipping and receiving clerk’s assistant. I was lucky to have an air conditioned room to be in most of the time while most of the factory was not conditioned and this was in hot, humid Miami, as I said, in the summer. There was a big window in the air conditioned room and I got flash burn from the arc welding going on outside the windows. Flash burn happens to the cornea of your eyes if you look too long at the welding flame. I knew not to look at it, so not sure how I got it, that was very painful.

    Yesterday I mentioned we have a family of Canyon Towhees in our yard, but I spelled it wrong. This is the first morning I didn’t notice any Miller moths inside so we didn’t have any dead bugs to place on the Offering Stump near their nest. I haven’t tried to open the patio umbrellas yet, I’m sure a bunch of moths will fly out when I do that, so there will be offerings. I read that towhees often hang out in parking lots to get dead bugs off of car grills. The mom and dad of our little family are quite tame around humans.

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  85. Sherri said on May 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Joe blames Clinton for NAFTA, when the concept for a North American free trade zone was Reagan’s and it was actually signed by GHW Bush. It was ratified by Congress under Clinton.

    The agreement between Canada, the US, and Mexico was signed in December 1992, before Clinton took office. Clinton added side agreements to try to protect workers and the environment before sending it to Congress, where it was passed by more Republicans than Democrats, and signed into law by Clinton a year later,

    But sure, Joe, Clinton is to blame for NAFTA and the loss of jobs, and union-busting Republicans are the party who cares about the working man.

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  86. LAMary said on May 20, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    Jakash, I was wondering about the Busch administration as well. Does anyone know what actually happened to Spuds McKenzie? I think Anheusergate is a real thing.

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  87. Sherri said on May 20, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    And while I’m at it, I’m tired of hearing from the JD Vance’s and the Chris Arnade’s of the world, white men with degrees from elite universities who made money in finance, who go around telling us the problem is that people like me don’t care about “back-row” people. You can read thousands of words they generate without encountering race or unions; they’re telling just-so stories that don’t disrupt the status quo.

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  88. Jakash said on May 20, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    “The weird thing with the hydroxychloroquine situation is that Trump is an insane moron but also a huge liar so you don’t know if he really takes it or not because it’s believable either way.”

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  89. nancy said on May 20, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    Chris Arnade in particular chaps my ass nine ways from Sunday. Also, I’m tired of being told — and of this being accepted as fact — that people like me are “coastal elitists” who sneer at these fine folks. Michigan is a long way from the saltwater coasts, and anyway you have no idea who I sneer at, Chris, so fuck right off.

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  90. Sherri said on May 20, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    I may live on the coast, but the only degree I have is from Tennessee Tech, so people like Arnade (Johns Hopkins), Vance (Yale), and Josh Hawley (Stanford) have some nerve calling me an out of touch elite.

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  91. David C said on May 20, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    My brother tells me I’m an elitist. So all it takes is an engineering technology degree from Ferris State University.

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  92. LAMary said on May 20, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    A family member who buys a new car for cash every two years, has never had to take out any sort of loan except a mortgage which he paid off in 15 years, and even when he was unemployed for three years never was hurting for money, loves telling me I’m an elitist. He inherited a business, a house and a lot of cash and had his tuition paid for undergrad and grad school (which he blew by the way when his lame thesis about coastal elitists got rejected) and now he’s just angry about everything because Pelosi and Obama and Congress and Hillary. He’s also showing signs of doubting Trump’s brilliance and invincibility.

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  93. beb said on May 20, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    I was trying to think of some clever comeback about the Busch administration and was coming up with nothing. So kudos to Jakash for a comeback that hits it right out of the ballpark.

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  94. Suzanne said on May 20, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    Chris Arnade, when his book first came out, had me intrigued. He seemed like someone who really wanted to tell the stories of the lower classes, of those left behind.
    Then I listened to an interview of him somewhere and shook my head. He could chronicle the stories of the underclass because he was grew up middle class, made a crap ton of money off the very financial system that keeps them down and when he got bored with that, went off to find the real America, which he could do because he didn’t have to worry about where his next meal came from. In the interview, I don’t think he had any clue that he came across as so clueless. He never really knew these people existed! And that they cared for each other, and loved one another, and had lives that were hard, and that they had their own way of functioning that he hadn’t imagined. Who knew?
    Well, many of us knew. We’re living it, or did live it, every day. We’ve always shopped at resale shops, always made do, have always drive. used cars, always had furniture that doesn’t match, and always have had to worry about money.

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  95. Deborah said on May 20, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    Today LB and I went to the area in Santa Fe they call The Plaza. It’s usually crowded with tourists enjoying the restaurants and shops, lots of hotels and inns around it. Some of the shops are open now, the restaurants that are open are only offering takeout. The hotels are closed. The sidewalks are empty, no tourists (I’m selfishly, guiltyly thankful). The open plaza in the center is green and beautiful, no trampling on the grass. The shops that are open have prominent sale signs out and there are some closed for good, some really unfortunate favorites and some were just junky souvenir shops that I’m not sad to see close. There were few people shopping, obviously people are still nervous about venturing out and/or they don’t have money to spend obviously. It was easy to social distance, the few people out all were wearing masks. Parking is free so they can draw people there. This is going to be dismal. But we need to take be careful and strategically focused. Better to be safe than sorry.

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  96. David C said on May 20, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    It’s nothing like that here, Deborah. It seems like everyone is out. Maybe 10 or 20% are wearing masks. The grocery store is crowded and the parking lots of the seem quite full. In our county, the number of cases has doubled in a week. I wonder what it will take. Ten times, one hundred times? I don’t know, but I think we’re in real trouble here.

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  97. Deborah said on May 21, 2020 at 9:45 am

    Nancy, I understand Trump will be touring a facility in Ypsilanti today, wondering if you’ll be covering that? And I wonder if he’ll wear a mask during the tour? Funny how he only seems to make tours in swing states during an election year.

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  98. Suzanne said on May 21, 2020 at 9:50 am

    Indiana’s governor has, in my mind, destroyed any goodwill he had built up during this crisis by rushing into opening up the state. Yesterday, he announced that although he had previously said he’d open the next stage after Memorial Day, nope, he’s starting it on Friday. Go out and gather! Please wear masks but it isn’t mandatory and oh, we understand that people who are claustrophobic and have other issues don’t like to wear them, so try to wear one, but…

    It really is a death cult.

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  99. 4dbirds said on May 21, 2020 at 9:57 am

    I get called an elitist by the people I left behind in the small Texas town where I lived for 8 years (Facebook groups). I joined the army and my first job was as a clerk/typist. They hammered in grammar and spelling and I guess that very basic skill still shows in my posts to them. Also since I am liberal they just assume I’m an elitist. I want to scream that my family ate beans and rice most evenings, As a child, I never knew what a big Christmas was and I had to recycle dresses during the week and let me tell you all the mean girls at school loved to tease me about that.

    However, that 20 years in the army, much like JTFP’s factory job, gave me a nice pension and I am also in a well paid second career. I live in a modest home, have a modest car, but I love to read, visit museums, to go to lectures, events and have taken college courses whenever I had the time.

    So if I’m what is considered an elitist, I wear it with pride. I’m beginning to think it means, to a certain group group, that if you care about your community, you care about those left behind and you hold a certain amount of skepticism with politicians and law enforcement.

    Liberal elites? GTFOOH

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  100. Sherri said on May 21, 2020 at 10:57 am

    I engaged with a friend of a friend last night on mask wearing. His position was masks don’t work, because the virus is too small, so all this mask stuff was just another way to instill fear and fear is about control. I said yes, the virus is too small, but masks weren’t to stop the virus, they were to stop the droplets carrying the virus, and we had plenty of evidence that they worked at that. His response was that non n95 masks weren’t the greatest thing since sliced bread, and it was selfish, self-centered, and egotistical in the extreme to try to shame others into wearing them.

    This guy wasn’t stupid, really. He posted sources to back his notion that mask-wearing wouldn’t work. He just posted bad sources, and ignored sources that disagreed with his priors.

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  101. Julie Robinson said on May 21, 2020 at 11:19 am

    The morning paper was one Hoosier stupidity after another. First, the governor saying how we’d earned the earlier opening, while his health commissioner expressed doubts. Second, a picture of seven seniors celebrating their graduation, outdoors but as close to each other as possible. Third, County Councilors consider replacing health commissioner with a part-timer when she retires in a couple of weeks*. Fourth, the letter to the editor stating faith in God will conquer the coronavirus.

    And that’s just what I read before giving up on the online edition, the physical copy not having arrived despite a phone call. It’s enough to make someone a curmudgeon.

    *Because it’s not as if we have any health crises going on or anything.

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  102. Suzanne said on May 21, 2020 at 11:34 am

    Good summation of the morning paper, Julie. If I wasn’t living it, I’d swear it was bad fiction. I love the Journal-Gazette, but it has printed way too many photos of people not social distancing during this pandemic.

    And that letter to the editor was completely over the top:

    “In response to William Dotterweich feeling “disheartened” regarding people choosing not to wear masks (Letters, May 15), most people are sick and tired of this whole pandemic. It seems people want to play it out to drama, so much that it ruins the economy and the whole of American freedom and way of life.

    If a person chooses to live their life in fear and paranoia, that is their choice. Don’t judge other people because they have moved on and want to live a normal life.

    Where is Dotterweich’s faith in God? Stop blame shaming people. It is not your right to do so.”
    Jacqui Emberton
    Fort Wayne

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  103. Sherri said on May 21, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    So, apparently we coastal elites who live in fear are supposed to stop shaming the freedom-loving, gun-packing, pro-life Christians who don’t want to wear a mask.

    I want to know, if I wear a mask because I live in fear, they carry a gun because?

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  104. Icarus said on May 21, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    here’s what we’re up against. The following is a response from a friend via FB messenger:

    I say, everyone that’s immunocompromised continue to protect ourselves. Let those that aren’t build immunity and open the economy. This virus isn’t going away. When everything eventually opens up it’ll be worse if we fuck up our immune systems. So wait for a vaccine? So Bill gates can make more money ( he has a patent btw) and force us all to get it? Yeah… in this country you can’t force people. Only half the population gets the flu shot. There’s like 9 mutations now to Covid 19. Vaccine won’t work on everyone just like flu shot doesn’t.

    I can go on and on… bottom line, I’m not hating on [mutual HS friend who won’t wear a mask because of anxiety issues and childhood trauma with not being able breath at some point] and people like her. Like I said… I know doctors and nurses that aren’t wearing them outside of work, I’m not exaggerating.

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  105. Suzanne said on May 21, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Icarus, in a nutshell your friend is saying that anyone with a compromised immune system or is elderly or has any other reason to fear COVID, just needs to sacrifice themselves for the rest of society so those people that want to live their lives, go to Applebee’s and get their nails done, etc, don’t have to suffer.
    To them, my elderly parents, my diabetic brother, my friend with RA, my friend with lupus, and on and on are expendable.

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  106. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 21, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    This “we’ll wreck our immune systems if we keep protecting ourselves” thing has become common in the open-‘r-up, anti-mask community. It makes not a lick of sense to me, but it’s the big new argument — we HAVE to expose ourselves to various infectious agents all the time, you know, like why it’s important to meet people with different views, other ethnicities, to travel and be exposed to various world views antithetical to our own. Right?

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  107. Icarus said on May 21, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    Suzanne, you should see the rest of the note. Friend is wearing a mask.
    Hates it but cannot risk otherwise because they are immunocompromised and their parents primary caregiver. parents don’t leave the house and anyone that comes over does wear a mask.

    But their belief is that if they do what they need to protect themselves, people like our mutual non-mask wearing friend won’t kill them.

    But also, they believe this was a man-made virus purposely released to cause havoc.

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  108. LAMary said on May 21, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    I’ve been in one or two of those “wreck our immune system” discussions. Also the hating on Bill Gates discussions, haiting Fauci discussions and the virus will disappear the day after the election discussion. I get called a sheeple a lot or get told I’ve drunk the Democrat koolaid. Lately a neighbor has been quoting stuff from the Federalist Papers, the one related to the Federalist Society, not the actual Federalist Papers. She seems to be telling me to just go die since I’m 67 years old and she needs to get a massage.

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  109. Sherri said on May 21, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    Yeah, I’ve seen the immune system argument. It’s one of the intersections between the conservative freedom-loving anti-maskers and the 5g conspiracy ultra natural anti-vaxers.

    Of course, one of the ways Covid does its damage is through a cytokine storm, which is the immune system overreacting, so I’m not quite sure how “we’ve got to build up our immune system” fits with that, but whatever.

    I see that Alex Berenson, the former NYTimes reporter who has been going around claiming that the virus isn’t as bad as the media claims, is talking about selling merchandise with #TeamReality on it.

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  110. Heather said on May 21, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Same with the immune system argument, plus I have a friend on my FB feed who talks about how building up your immune system through diet, etc. can protect you from all kinds of nasty things, including Covid. Why doesn’t the healthcare industry know this? They do but they and pharma make too much money when you are sick! Of course.

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  111. Mark P said on May 21, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Sherri, the gun toters tote their guns to keep someone from pulling their pants down and exposing their tiny, little penises. They consider that an existential threat. Of course, in most cases (like Trump’s, for example), their stomach will prevent a good view (thank the dogs!).*

    I don’t know what to think about the infection numbers. In Georgia, the daily infections show a seven-day period so clearly you could keep time with it. A seven-day running average smoothes it. It does look like it might be coming down. When you look at the cumulative totals it looks like Georgia might be right at the peak. Good news, right? The only problem with that is that it implies as many cases going down as there were going up, and that’s a lot. But who cares?

    America! F#@k yeah!

    *Oh, my goodness, I body shamed a moron.**

    **Oh my goodness, I mind shamed an idiot.***

    ***Oh my goodness, I intellect shamed a cretin.****

    ****Oh never mind.

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  112. David C said on May 21, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    Of course the people who prattle on about boosting your immune system will believe it for a minute but you can’t (other than getting immunized). I saw this article which compares 2020 snake oil to 1918 snake oil. The tl;dr version is the more things change the more they stay the same.

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  113. LAMary said on May 21, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    On the recommendation of an NP I know who is on the front line in Washington, I’ve boosted my vitamin D intake. Not a lot, and I’m getting more sunshine as well. Geezers frequently don’t get enough vitamin D so it makes sense. I trust his advice. It also has nothing crazy or dangerous about it.

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  114. susan said on May 21, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    LAMary @113 – Well, you can take too much vitamin D. And doing so is toxic to your body.

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  115. Deborah said on May 21, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    LA Mary, I take vitamin B12 supplements, my Dr advises it. For a while I had to go in and get a B12 shot every week, or maybe it was twice a week. The good news was I could easily get to my Drs office, it was on my way walking to work.

    I get plenty of sun in NM, too much.

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  116. LAMary said on May 21, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    Thanks for that heads up, Susan. I didn’t realize. Since I’m taking the vitamin D as part of a multivitamin for “mature” people, it’s probably nothing close to toxic.

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  117. 4dbirds said on May 21, 2020 at 4:48 pm


    I too take B12 shots, but I give them to myself. The pharmacy gives me vials and syringes and I give myself the entire vial in one sitting on the first of every month.

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  118. Sherri said on May 21, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    LAMary, I wouldn’t worry. That link Susan posted talked about toxicity with dosages of 60000 IU daily for several months. I take a Vitamin D supplement that is 2000 IU. Plus, many calcium supplements contain Vitamin D to help with absorption, usually around 400 IU.

    Getting enough Vitamin D naturally can be challenging here ;-).

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  119. Sherri said on May 21, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Call it a tactical mask, and some of those he-man gun toters, would rush to cosplay with it.

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  120. LAMary said on May 21, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    I just spent about a half hour outside watching two hawks circling in a very blue cloudless sky. Some crows, flying far below them seemed to be annoyed with the competition. I’ve seen crows harassing hawks a few times. A gutsy move for a crow, I think.

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  121. Sherri said on May 21, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    Facebook is the latest big tech company to announce that hey, working remotely seems like a reasonable thing, saying they expect to be 50% remote within 5-10 years. Microsoft hasn’t made any big announcement yet, but I have to believe that remote work is going to be a big part of the future there, too.

    On the Planning Commission, we’re about to start work on the new Comprehensive Plan for Redmond, to go through 2050. When the employer that makes you double in size during the day suddenly swerves and working remotely becomes more of an option, as opposed to just a few months ago when I was thinking about the huge campus remodel Microsoft was working on that would add an additional 8000 jobs (and included a 6000 stall underground parking garage), that changes everything!

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