Surreality on all fronts.

With the sun rising at 6 a.m. and warm-enough mornings finally here (you can say that again; 30 degrees of difference in about three days), I’ve been taking some early-morning bike rides again. Get my sweat over with first, shower and face the day – it works for me.

Sunrise is a nice time of day to be out, even when you miss it by, oh, 20 minutes or so:

And then I headed inland. Good shadows on a day like…whatever day that was. Tuesday, I think:

In between, I passed a woman on a street corner, that goes around one of the two nearby hospitals. She was kneeling on the sidewalk, hands clasped in what looked like fervent prayer, face upturned toward the building, eyes closed. A relative or loved one inside on a ventilator? Just a generic prayer for the “health care heroes,” as the local yard signs say? Dunno. The weirdest detail: A toy-sized dog, fluffy, sat patiently behind her. (I think she was kneeling on its leash.) Looked like a papillon, very well-groomed.

I’d have taken a picture of that, but it was a private moment. Don’t be an asshole. The world has enough of them.

As I write this, the breaking news – and there’s been so much of it this week – is the president’s executive order on social media:

“We’re here today to defend free speech from one of the greatest dangers,” Trump said before signing the document.

While Trump has threatened such action for years, his signing of the order Thursday was precipitated by a decision by Twitter earlier in the week to mark two of his erroneous tweets with fact-checking labels. The small move set off a firestorm of tweets by the president threatening social media companies with regulations and other punishments.

I’m not sure why, but I started thinking about this one guy, who was included in the Bridge project on the political division of the state when I was there. He was an affluent gent in his 50s who retired early by being a lifelong cheapskate and loved the president with his whole heart. After the election, he joined Twitter. No profile, no bio, no cutesy name. He follows one, just one, account: @RealDonaldTrump. I believe at the time he said he wanted to read the president unfiltered. (Like you have to be on Twitter for that.) I wonder what Twitter is like when that’s how you’ve crafted your experience, eh?

As I recall, he was stupefied – unbelieving – that anyone could not see the Greatness that had been unleashed upon our land by Trump. And yet, sitting there reading the president, oh the things he must be learning. And now this.

November. November, November, November. It’s my birthday month. I’d gladly give up five months of my life and the whole summer and fall ahead to get this shit over with, now.

Then my editor calls and tells me he was driving downtown, just to check on our deserted office, when he saw a goose family crossing the street. Geese are unusual downtown, but the river was only a couple blocks away, and that’s probably where they were headed. Another motorist stopped, and the guy got up, rushed the flock, scooped up two goslings and put them in his shirt before getting in his car to drive away. That story wrecked me for the rest of the day. WHO DOES THAT? I’m still bothered by it.

So let’s part on a more humorous note with… this. As usual, the best stuff is in the briefs at the bottom. Especially the item about Mnuchin.

Posted at 6:02 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

79 responses to “Surreality on all fronts.”

  1. susan said on May 28, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Ha ha ha ha! “McConnell Trampled at Kentucky Derby.”

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  2. Julie Robinson said on May 28, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    Oh man, I wish I hadn’t read that about the goslings. I’ve been weepy all day and just had several frustrating technical issues that put me further on the edge.

    We’ve had a family of Mallards visiting us, eating the seed on the ground under the feeder. Mr. M has been the most noble husband ever, always watchful and guarding Mrs. M while sh had her fill. He would never stop for even a moment to eat himself. Only after she waddled off down to the crick would he snatch a mouthful or two, then quickly follow. Aww, geez….

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  3. alex said on May 28, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    I’ve had the most unshakable sinus headache today and it’s on my last fucking nerve. I’m guessing it’s from the copious tree spooge that’s suddenly all over everything around here. It’s an inch deep like snow.

    We’re supposed to return to the office next week and I’m not looking forward to it. Working from home has made me realize just how much time and money it wastes every day to commute downtown, as well as the toll it takes on my spirit having to deal with certain people I’d rather never have to see face to face. And I’ve finally gotten into a good groove with healthy eating, grazing when I need to and having a pantry, fridge and freezer full of choices. I’m grossed out by the communal fridge at work, what with its fast-food leftover science projects and people who aren’t respectful of others’ stuff.

    Perhaps the most fun I’ve had this spring was coming up with a design for raised garden beds. I almost think they’re good enough that my partner and I could go into business making them, perhaps even pre-fabbing and selling them as kits. They’re substantial, about 600 lbs. We’ve been so busy building them that we still haven’t gotten any plants planted, and then our tractor took a dump and is going to be in the shop for three weeks, so I don’t know how we’ll get the piles of rocks and dirt moved from our driveway to the garden but I guess we’ll figure something out.

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  4. LAMary said on May 28, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    For just a moment I thought there was something on that front page that showed Mnuchin in briefs.

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  5. basset said on May 28, 2020 at 11:53 pm

    LAMary, I coulda gone all day without thinking about that.

    Meanwhile, I need a bush. Or a shrub. Or a tree. Or something. Not sure quite what yet. Used to have a willow tree at the fenced back corner of our upper back yard, the part that’s not actually in the 100-year floodplain. Cut it down a few years ago, sawed through the stump just below the lower edge of the fence but it had grown into the chain link so it just hung there dead and slowly rotting until, come the time of virus, I thought cutting it out would be a good, solitary project.

    Took several hours over more days than I’d expected, whenever I felt like it I’d go out there for awhile with a hammer and chisel and a spade bit in the drill, bore a few holes and pound down to em until finally, this afternoon, the fence was free. Beat and twisted, rusty in some places and freshly scraped in others, but the stump was gone.

    So, what goes there next? We’re thinking something that won’t rise past about chest height or spread too much but will still be enough to hide the beat-up part of the fence. No Bradford pears, that’s for damn sure, but aside from that we’re open to suggestion.

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  6. susan said on May 29, 2020 at 12:24 am

    Beb, how about a viburnum? They are shrubs, some varieties are bigger than others; some have wonderful fragrant flowers (e.g., viburnum carlesi/”Korean Spice”). Or native serviceberry/June berry/Saskatoon berry/sarvisberry. Attracts birds and pollinators. Plus, you can eat the berries, too. Hazelnut?

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  7. beb said on May 29, 2020 at 1:30 am

    Susan I will look into your suggestions carefully but I’m not the one planning a backyard renovation.

    It’s doubtful that anything will come of Trump’s Executive Order. Nothing ever seems to come of his EOs. And Twitter can always suspend his account for violating their terms of service. They can and should do that. though Trump without his spleen outlet will go seriously crazy. Biden could help himself a lot by declaring that as President he will never twit, and communications from him will come via the press department. It’s like the old proverb, “don;t get into a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.”

    I should save nancy’s first picture as a screen saver. Very peacful, very restful.

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  8. ROGirl said on May 29, 2020 at 5:29 am

    I was hoping the front page would have something about the Vice President.

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  9. lisa said on May 29, 2020 at 7:27 am

    My husband has a life long passion for bicycles. He loves them and I believe can repair any type of bike. Our daughter moved to Cleveland after college and he bought her a vintage yellow Schwinn. I have lovely photos of the day he gave it to her.
    She moved to NYC for a big promotion and lugged the Schwinn with her, due to the sentimental value. She’s on the third floor so it was quite heavy getting it up to her apartment. She bought a new Schwinn for $850 (!!!) that’s new and lightweight. The one her dad got her was $30 at a Goodwill. She can easily move the new one up and down those three flights of stairs.

    Like you, she rides her bike all the time. She takes the most amazing photos of Brooklyn. When you’re from SW Ohio and you visit NYC, at least for me, it’s mind blowing.

    My FB is full of the rioting. It’s one fucked up thing after another.

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  10. alex said on May 29, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Alas, I’m seeing plenty of crap on Facebook about the rioting as well, and it’s the usual racists who would deny they’re racists having a hissy. “Why can’t they ‘ask nice’ like MLK?” I’d never heard of Candace Owens before this. She’s Diamond and Silk (only younger, prettier and much more polished) and she’s making a mint feeding her own to the lions of the white grievance movement. I don’t have many friends on Facebook and I’m about to have fewer.

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  11. basset said on May 29, 2020 at 8:07 am

    Not a renovation, just covering up a rough spot in the fence. Probably should mention, too, that the area is full sun and the soil is clay. Don’t know how a willow got enough water to survive there, it’s at the top of a slope some distance from the river.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on May 29, 2020 at 9:13 am

    Roots, basset, roots. Which is why planting something in the same location will be very tricksy. Clay soil full of roots? I don’t envy you.

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  13. Bitter Scribe said on May 29, 2020 at 9:45 am

    Now Trump is mad at Twitter because it flagged one of his tweets. It didn’t remove the tweet, just made people accessing it see a message that it violated Twitter’s terms of service.

    The tweet in question, about the Minneapolis riots, referred to “THUGS” (all caps, his) and charmingly rhymed “looting” with “shooting.” Trump apparently is angry because Twitter is getting in the way of his exploiting racial conflict, which is, after all, how he got elected in the first place.

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  14. Deborah said on May 29, 2020 at 9:50 am

    Basset, how about a lilac? We have really crappy soil in Santa Fe and our lilacs have done just great, the aroma from the flowers in the spring is fantastic. Or what about a vine that will cover the fence? We have silver lace here that grows like weeds, attaches to everything around it. Also trumpet vines have those wonderful flowers, and wisteria, love that. I don’t know if any of these things would grow well where you live.

    Our gardens are sprouting like mad, radishes are the furthest along. We’ve planted tomatoes (lots of those), lettuce (2 or 3 kinds), cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, onions, celery, corn and various herbs. We’ve planted marigolds here and there to help keep bugs away. So far no critters have been digging into anything, thanks to the chicken wire cloches and the ghost pepper powder on the surrounding ground. Our handyman hasn’t been out to set up the drip irrigation system yet, he’s gotten really busy and I’m looking for a new person.

    We are nearing the end of our moth infestation. Our little bird family has been enjoying our dead moth offerings, the babies are flying already, they’re so cute.

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  15. LAMary said on May 29, 2020 at 10:46 am

    I just unfriended a relative on facebook. She gets her news from Ted Cruz podcasts and other sources to his right. Today she was convinced that contact tracing and vaccines are ways the government will control us. I thought she was a fairly well educated person. After telling her that contact tracing has been used for decades for TB among other things and that she probably had a half dozen required vaccines by the time she was two years old I unfriended her. I will just have to do without updates on her kid, my great, great nephew.

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  16. Suzanne said on May 29, 2020 at 10:53 am

    LAMary, what I simply cannot grasp is well educated, reasonable people like your relative who believe this insane stuff. I have friends and relatives like this as well. I worked with a young man several years ago who had a BA from (I think) Indiana Wesleyan U, did his job well, but believed all sorts of crazy conspiracy theories (Sandy Hook shooting staged, Miracle on the Hudson staged). He seemed perfectly intelligent and normal otherwise. The guy down the road from us is a successful engineer, owns his own business, but keeps posting stuff on Facebook about COVID being a hoax and wearing as mask is a sign of not trusting God.
    I don’t even know what is happening.

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  17. Suzanne said on May 29, 2020 at 11:05 am

    Also, I was very angered to hear some journalist, (pundit, not sure who It was) on the radio say that Trump’s Twitter war isn’t that big a deal because only a fraction of Americans are on Twitter and a huge percentage of Trump’s base are not, so it’s not something that will sway people. Ugh. It’s exactly because Trump voters are not on Twitter and don’t get what it is that it’s a brilliant strategy from Trump to go after it. MAGAs follow the anger and the grievances and the violence because of the anger and the grievances and the violence. If they don’t understand, all the better! Refuting what they don’t understand is nearly impossible, just like Trump wants.

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  18. Sherri said on May 29, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    Unreal. Last night, there were two CNN crews in Minneapolis. Both encountered law enforcement. Both identified themselves as CNN. One, the white reporter, was told, you’re good.

    The other was arrested as he was broadcasting. He was cooperating in every way, except he wasn’t white. You can see the full video here:

    The MSP statement about the arrest is here:

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  19. Jeff Borden said on May 29, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Considering all that has been done to them since the first slave ship arrived on our shores, I remain amazed black people in America haven’t burned this whole damned country to the ground.

    In my public speaking classes over the last several years, we’ve discussed words that mean something different today than before. Gay is a perfect example. One word we’ve studied is “thug,” which most of my students believe no longer means a violent criminal but is the socially acceptable synonym for the N-word. Note how the preznit used it in capital letters as riots spread across Minneapolis. He proves the point. It sometimes seems impossible for me to loathe him more than I already do, but he always finds a way to increase my repulsion.

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  20. Scout said on May 29, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    Trump is the THUG.

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  21. Julie Robinson said on May 29, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    By now you’ve probably seen that the ex officer who killed George Floyd has been arrested, and that they both worked at the same establishment in the past, so had history. WaPo has security camera footage from the place across the street showing the actual arrest, which was very low key. It really makes me wonder WTH happened. Mostly I’m just filled with sadness at how the same crap keeps repeating itself.

    We’ve been doing grocery pickup orders but this morning there was an emergency alert from my mother about cat food, so I went in person and now I’m even more discouraged about humanity. 3/4 of the customers weren’t wearing masks, and I couldn’t help obsessing about it while shopping, sending them death rays from my eyes the whole time. When I got to the car I realized I had focused so much on the lack of masks that I forgot an important item, and had to go back in. I was in a very dark mood by the time I got home.

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  22. Deborah said on May 29, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    I went to a hardware store a couple of blocks from where we live, everyone was wearing masks, not that many people in there but all social distancing properly too, then I drove LB to the early voting location so she could drop off her mail in ballot, everyone wearing masks and distancing. Then we had to go to Home Depot because the local hardware store didn’t have what I needed. Again everyone working and shopping at Home Depot were wearing masks etc. then LB went to Michaels while I went to Best Buy in the same complex. LB said one or two customers she saw at Michaels weren’t wearing masks. At Beat Buy they only had curbside service but everyone I saw had a mask. Then we went to another store in the same complex called Total Wine and every single person had a mask on. I rubbed my hands raw with hand sanitizer after each stop. I haven’t been to that many places in one day in months. I feel exposed. This has been one of the warmest days of the season and still people are following the protocol to wear masks.

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  23. David C said on May 29, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    New Mexico just jumped up a few places on the where to retire list, Deborah. Other than the organic market we go to, there’s nothing like that number of customers wearing masks here. On a good day, it’s maybe half.

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  24. Suzanne said on May 29, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    I just discovered that Tracee Ellis Ross is Diana Ross’s daughter. I feel like I have been living under a rock. How did I not know this?!?!

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  25. Sherri said on May 29, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    Remember when Mike Pence flew to Indianapolis on the taxpayer dime so he could publicly walk out of a football game when some players knelt during the anthem to protest police brutality?

    Face it, they’re all motherfucking trash.

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  26. colleen said on May 29, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    and now Trumplethinskin is cutting ties to the World Health Organization. As one does during a pandemic…

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  27. Dexter Friend said on May 29, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    4 years since Kaepernick’s knee went down, which was about the time the definition of ‘thug’ changed. First I heard of it was from my Facebook friend Earl Douglas, producer of “Bennington”, a Sirius-XM show, Channel 103, 2-5 PM. Now it has indeed crashed full-blown into the vernacular. It IS the synonym of the n-word.
    Seeing the Minneapolis police station burn last night was really strange…the whole area was abandoned by cops and security; now the National Guard has been deployed, so tonight will be interesting. It was 20 years ago my brother and I were biking on Minnehaha Avenue , coming from St. Paul towards the HHH Dome and the AA International Convention. I never would have dreamed it would be a war zone a couple decades later.

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  28. Deborah said on May 29, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    I should also add in defense of people in Santa Fe regarding the virus, this morning a guy came to our property to look at the windows in all the units in our condo building because we’re getting estimates to replace them. The guy wore a mask the whole time and when he asked me questions etc, he stayed 6 ft away, all this took place outside so that was good as well. I forgot to take my mask outside with me when I went to talk to him but I sort of felt OK about it because we were outside. So I was more at fault than he was.

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  29. Dorothy said on May 29, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    Sherri it’s a minor point, but that arrest of the CNN reporter and his crew happened live on the air around 7:15 this morning, not last night.

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  30. Sherri said on May 29, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    Thanks, Dorothy. It was before I woke up, so I assumed it was last night.

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  31. Deborah said on May 29, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    We’re hearing a lot of helicopters going over right now and one of our neighbors said they’re because of George Floyd protestors, I haven’t found that to be true yet but I wouldn’t be surprised, Santa Fe is pretty progressive and it’s a state capital so it’s not impossible.

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  32. Deborah said on May 29, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    Jodi P, how are you doing, your family and your work?

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  33. Sherri said on May 29, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    In 2016, the Minnesota WNBA team wore Black Lives Matter t-shirts for their warmups. Four Minneapolis PD officers who were working security for the game walked off the job because of it.

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  34. alex said on May 29, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    Well, golly, it’s happening here too:

    Right now the cops are tear-gassing our local gathering; that headline was written earlier.

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  35. alex said on May 29, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    It’s subject to change but my office building is the one in the foreground with the cop lights flashing on it in the first frame you see. 9:54 PM.

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  36. Dexter Friend said on May 30, 2020 at 1:01 am

    This night is plum-crazed. I can’t turn away from MSNBC. Weirdest responses by law enforcement, compared with past encounters. It won’t end until all 4 murderers are charge with murder 1, which ain’t gonna happen, so how will it end? This could go on for days on end.

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  37. beb said on May 30, 2020 at 1:30 am

    I may be wrong but I thought “thug” came from the “thugge” cult of India. Was adopted into English as a term for a violent person. It was picked up by early rappers who described themselves living “the Thug Life.” So it’s not entirely unsurprising that thug has come to mean the n-word.

    Every where you look it’s cops rioting against Black demonstrators. When cops come out in riot gear with rubber bullets and tear gas it’s to beat up Black and arrest them for being Black. There was an essay I read this week that suggested that since we can’t reform the police perhaps we should abolish them. The argument was that you never see cops in most communities because there isn’t the crime there. They seem to exist to hassle Blacks.

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  38. alex said on May 30, 2020 at 8:45 am

    They’re supposed to have another rally at 2 PM, only this time the gun nutters are promising to show up en masse to keep the peace.

    Fort Wayne’s Finest must have been itching to use all those toys they’ve never played with before. From the descriptions, it sounds like they launched a barrage of tear gas without warning and that’s when things turned violent. The windows in the office building where I work got smashed. Last night while I was watching live I thought it was rather funny when the desk anchor kept directing the reporter on the street to move away from obscene graffiti or groups of people who were cussing loudly because it might “offend our family viewers at home.” That poor reporter couldn’t focus on giving a live report while keeping her eyes and ears out for F-bombs, which were everywhere. Oh, those poor family viewers at home. No doubt they all have PTSD from seeing and hearing the word fuck last night, never mind the folks whacking windows with skateboards and trampolining on cars.

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  39. Deborah said on May 30, 2020 at 9:58 am

    There indeed was a protest in Santa Fe yesterday evening, about 200 people showed up, I read about it in the local paper this morning. I only heard the helicopters, didn’t know about it ahead of time. I’m worried that the gun nuts as Alex mentioned are going to start showing up at these things and then blood will flow.

    One of the things my husband has been saying since Trump was elected, even though he is a vile person and a horrible leader, at least there weren’t riots and wars like in the 60s. Well we’ve got the pandemic and riots now, who knows what else will happen before we get rid of Trump.

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  40. susan said on May 30, 2020 at 9:59 am

    beb @37 – The only time I’ve called the cops—three times— was when some a$$hole blocked my driveway with a car. That’s what cops’ job should be. Don’t need no gun or teargas to write a ticket for that.

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  41. susan said on May 30, 2020 at 10:01 am

    …who knows what else will happen before we get rid of Republicans.

    Fixed it for you.

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  42. Julie Robinson said on May 30, 2020 at 10:12 am

    So Alex, looks like your wish to work from home longer may come true. My husband works across from the Grand Wayne center, and we read that the Hilton, which is attached, had windows out. He drove down to see how things are, and said thankfully their office was untouched. But almost every building on Calhoun had windows out and the big planters overturned. He was heartened to see families sweeping up the glass and cleaning up in general. I’m heartsick to think it will all start again in a few hours, with everyone presumably loaded for bear.

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  43. alex said on May 30, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Julie, I’m still preparing to return Monday regardless. Which means I’m going to spend today doing one of the things I dread most — clothes shopping.

    There was a time when I loved clothes shopping and I was quite a clothes horse. Now in my dotage I couldn’t give a fuck and haven’t shopped in years. Which is why my office clothing is all pretty much shot at this point, plus I’ve lost a lot of weight and can’t make my pants stay up. I break belt loops by constantly hitching up my falling slacks. I’m also out of jeans and casual clothes at this point. The knees just gave out on my fave jeans last weekend when I was kneeling in the garden. Plus they’ve got paint all over them anyway.

    I absolutely dread shopping, having to try things on. And I have to try them on because no two pairs of pants with the same waist and inseam on the label ever fit the same way, so ordering online is out of the question. I expect there will be some good sale prices, though, considering they’re all trying to get customers back into the stores.

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  44. LAMary said on May 30, 2020 at 10:41 am

    Alex, when you find pants that fit right buy more than one pair. I’m tall and most women’s pants don’t have inseam choices like men’s do. I bought a pair of pants suitable for work at Costco about two years ago and they were exactly the right length and they were 15.99. Not bad looking either. I bought three more pairs, black, grey and navy and they are still looking good. Machine washable too. I am so easily pleased.

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  45. 4dbirds said on May 30, 2020 at 11:01 am


    I hope those cops working security lose their jobs.

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  46. alex said on May 30, 2020 at 11:16 am

    LAMary, I plan to do just that. In fact, once I know a product is a perfect fit, I can also stock up online.

    You’d be amazed at how unhelpful inseam measurements can be. I’ve bought things and found them either too short or too long when I assumed my length was 32. I’ve had 34s and 30s that were perfect.

    I always had excellent luck with GAP clothing, but they closed all of their stores around here. I’ve found their sizing method is more reliable than any other brand.

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  47. Heather said on May 30, 2020 at 11:55 am

    Hey fellow Chicagoans, there is an at-home protest tonight: make some noise at 7 PM for seven minutes to protest the killing of George Floyd and the ongoing police violence, racism, and brutality:

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  48. Julie Robinson said on May 30, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    Yep, that’s my technique on pants too. I’m tall and an apple with almost no hips. Probably 1% of the pants I try on don’t look like riding jodphurs. I use it with my husband too, because his idea of shopping is to spend five minutes in the store and then go out for coffee. Actually, I usually just buy things in a few sizes and return the ones that don’t fit.

    After major two rounds of weight loss, we had to replace his entire wardrobe, save his socks. Now he isn’t even wearing suits. I don’t have to iron shirts anymore, but am kind of sad about the money we spent.

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  49. Sherri said on May 30, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    4dbirds, it was 4 years ago, and they did not lose their jobs.

    I watched video after video last night, from multiple cities, of unprovoked cops spraying pepper spray into crowds from the window of moving vehicles (the vehicles were moving at speed, the crowds were not blocking the street), a cop carefully take aim and shoot rubber bullets at a camera crew while they were filming, well back from any disturbance, and cops just randomly attacking people who were peacefully moving along. For some reason, these people didn’t seem worthy to protest, while assholes with guns do. And for some reason, the cops never seem to fear for their life around the assholes with guns, either, only around unarmed black people.

    I subscribe to Charles Pierce’s newsletter, and he makes a key point today:

    Nobody in their right mind thinks that this president* believes in our better angels touching the mystic chords of anything. He profanes against them. He believes them a source of weakness. He struts and blusters against them with every working breath, but that’s only because the very idea of them terrifies him. If the country rediscovers its better angels, he’s out on his ear—and, perhaps, living in an entirely different form of government housing. He can exist only as president* of a divided country, and the more thoroughly the country is divided, the more power he feels is his.

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  50. beb said on May 30, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    The office in Minneapolis is being charged with 3rd degree murder and manslaughter. Manslaughter is a back-up charge since it basically means someone died and someone may have been involved. Now I’m not a lawyer but I was a juror in a 2nd degree murder case. There the prosecutor defined 2nd degree murder has someone having a reckless disregard for the safety of the victim, causing their death. In our particular case two men got into a fight in an upstairs apartment. The victim fled down the stairs and out the door, pursued by the defendant. As he was fleeing the building the victim stumbling and crashed head-on into a parked car and died several weeks later from his injuries. At the time it was obvious that in chasing the victim down the stairs instead of just letting him go amounted to “reckless disregard.” So we convicted and the prosecutor later told us we had put a bad man away where he belonged. The defendant was black but at the time that did not seem like an important detail. I mean it was in Detroit, 70% of the city was black. Over time I have come to question that verdict. Two men in a fight have stopped thinking, basically, while the concept of reckless disregard suggests a certain amount of awareness of the situation. Secondly, stumbling while running down some stairs seems more a random event. Lots of people can run down stairs and out building without stumbling or at worst faceplanting on the sidewalk. That the victim died, again, seems like a random thing, lacking the intent to kill. So, on reflection I think in that case the man was at most guilty of manslaughter, not murder.

    In the Minneapolis case, though, kneeling on a handcuffed guy’s neck for 8 minutes is pretty much a reckless disregard for the prisoner’s safety. So I’m not sure they they are going for 3rd murder, or even how that relates to 2nd degree murder. But he has been charged and that’s an accomplishment. Whether he will be convicted is aother matter.

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  51. Jakash said on May 30, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    It would be too on-the-nose for fiction. 4 years ago, Kaepernick takes a knee to protest racial injustice. He is reviled for this carefully-calibrated, peaceful gesture by the kind of people who find it unpatriotic, while they support the incompetent, racist Russian stooge they’ve elected president. Allegedly law-and-order Republicans, who avidly back a flat-out criminal and his transparently corrupt administration. Little is done to address the injustice that Kaepernick protested, but at least *he* is kept from playing professional football, by gum. Cell phone cameras provide incontrovertible evidence of police misconduct, time and time again. The evidence which had been lacking in the past when it was police accounts of interactions that were the final say. Still, the recent atrocity — a cop kneeling on a guy’s neck and killing him for the capital crime of alleged forgery — is just mind-boggling. As referenced by Luckovich days ago.\

    Meanwhile, Mayor Lightfoot of Chicago has had enough of our Maximum Leader and his racism:

    “‘Donald Trump’s comment last night was profoundly dangerous,’ Lightfoot said. ‘And we must stand firm in solidarity and say this is totally unacceptable no matter who the speaker is. And we see the game he is playing. Because he’s transparent and he’s not very good at it. And I will code what I really want to say to Donald Trump. It begins with an F and it ends with a U.'”

    From about the 4 to 5-minute mark in this video.

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  52. St Bitch said on May 30, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    Only 3 states have third-degree murder. From Wikipedia:

    “Minnesota law originally defined third-degree murder solely as depraved-heart murder (“without intent to effect the death of any person, caus[ing] the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life”).[7][8] In 1987, an additional drug-related provision (“without intent to cause death, proximately caus[ing] the death of a human being by, directly or indirectly, unlawfully selling, giving away, bartering, delivering, exchanging, distributing, or administering a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II”) was added to the definition of third-degree murder.[7][9] Up until the early 2000s, prosecutions under that provision were rare, but they began to rise in the 2010s. Some reports linked this increase in prosecutions to the opioid epidemic in the United States.[10]

    Minnesota law also defines the crime of third-degree murder of an unborn child, with the same elements of depraved mind and lack of intent to kill distinguishing it from first- or second-degree murder of an unborn child.[11][12] Both third-degree murder and third-degree murder of an unborn child are punishable by a maximum of 25 years’ imprisonment.”

    Does this SOP offer any semblance of justice?

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  53. LAMary said on May 30, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    I’ve had the same experience with inseams, Alex. I just returned two pairs of jeans I bought online. Both said they were 32 inches but they were easily three inches short of that.

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  54. Jim said on May 30, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    The damage in Fort Wayne is like a tornado. Pint and Slice fine, Jimmy John’s, Hilton and JK O’Donnels busted up. The police made a choice. They (the police) had Clinton Street blocked during the protest, which was peaceful from 5:00 to 8:30ish, completely in the Courthouse area. The police then gassed, mace/pepper sprayed them THREE times. The first two times the crowd dispersed, and then reassembled. The third time is when they took off, and the window breaking was along running off routes mostly South from there.

    How do we know this wasn’t planned? Steve Shine’s fucking Republican headquarters is untouched.

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  55. Dave said on May 30, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Someone in a van has shot into a crowd in Detroit. Or, someone approached a van and shot into it, killing the driver. I’ve read two different versions. The mayor of Chicago sent a resounding F U to the Orange Idiot. Oh, what next?

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  56. alex said on May 30, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    Steve Shine’s building is so tainted with freak cooties that no sane person would touch it, much less ever enter.

    My clothes shopping expedition was absolutely dreadful. I was sweaty and suffocating in my mask. At Macy’s the place was overrun with people and understocked. I inquired about ten different shoes until I found one they had in my size and it was uncomfortable as hell. Eventually I found two less-attractive pairs but they felt okay. I found one pair of dress slack that fit okay while another with the same waist and inseam were simply impossible. Couldn’t bring the clasps within six inches of each other. I held onto the ones that fit and grabbed another identical pair in a different color.

    Went over to J.C. Penney where the dressing rooms were all closed and was told if pants didn’t fit, just bring them back. I said sorry I don’t have time or patience for that. But Penney does have dress shirts that fit me perfectly and last a long time and they had a BOGO table so I snagged six, along with a couple of belts.

    I still need more dress slacks, as well as khakis and jeans, but just don’t have the patience today.

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  57. alex said on May 30, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    And now I see the local authorities are blaming outside agitators for Fort Wayne’s brouhaha. Of course they’re offering no evidence for this explanation which looks like it was cribbed from the Trump playbook.

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  58. Jim said on May 30, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    Just got back from the courthouse. Unless the outside agitators are the local skateboarders I saw last night, the many PFW students or the Church of God, then, no.

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  59. Suzanne said on May 30, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Gov of MN and mayors of Minneapolis & St Paul all claim outside agitators were causing problems

    Naturally, the GOP, with no proof, claims it was Antifa sponsored by Soros, not white supremecists or neo-Nazis. Probably assume leftists because they didn’t see anyone carrying a Confederate flag.

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  60. alex said on May 30, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    And the Fort Wayne cops are now tear-gassing today’s rally too.

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  61. LAMary said on May 30, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    It’s looking pretty crazy here already and it isn’t even 4 o’clock yet.

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  62. Deborah said on May 30, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    I blame the police for the riots, they’re the ones who started it and they have no clue how to de-escalate it. Many of them only know how to escalate conflict. Those jerks crave it. Not all police do this obviously, maybe not most but the bad apples sure know how to spoil the bunch.

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  63. LAMary said on May 30, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    Some police were the cause and I’m no big police fan, but I would bet most police are appalled by what happened to George Floyd. One really sick bastard cop and three who let him get away with murder is not something most cops would approve. There have been so many terrible racist murders of African Americans in the past five or six years. Trayvon Martin, Botham Jean, Freddie Gray, Ahmaud Aubrey, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown Jr. Those are just the ones who got national attention. There are many more. And this guy in Minneapolis. He kneels on a man’s neck for nearly nine minutes knowing no one will stop him. It’s America’s original sin. We’re still living in a post slavery culture and so many of us are unrepentant.

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  64. Sherri said on May 30, 2020 at 10:45 pm

    I’m not sure I’d say most police, LAMary. George Floyd is hardly an isolated incident. What we’re seeing from the police in how they respond to protests doesn’t argue for most police being appalled.

    The Seattle Police Department has been under a DOJ consent decree for several years now because of racist behavior, and the police union has fought hard against any and all reforms. The whole bullshit mentality of compliance that has infected policing, and the ‘warrior’ culture that has been promoted, means that too often that higher ups may talk about community policing but rank and file aren’t interested.

    Then dress them all up like soldiers and don’t give them any rules of engagement, and elect a president who says don’t be nice to people you arrest, let them hit their head as you put them in the car, and don’t deal with the trauma they suffer. Broken people with guns who think they’re superior to everyone else.

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  65. LAMary said on May 30, 2020 at 11:56 pm

    When LA got rid of Darryl Gates as chief of police and the force was under consent decree, seriously monitored, things started improving. Gates was the worst of the mentality you speak of. He was not on speaking terms with Mayor Bradley, a former cop himself. Rodney King and the ensuing riots changed things dramatically. There are still plenty of asshole racist macho cops but the ones I’ve met at neighborhood meetings seem like pretty reasonable people. The ones I’ve talked to when there’s a problem in the neighborhood have been genuinely concerned and helpful. This was so not the case in the eighties. I had some really bad experiences with LAPD in the eighties.

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  66. Mark P said on May 31, 2020 at 12:45 am

    Atlanta mayor Bottoms is blaming outsiders for the burning and violence there Friday night. She was circumspect, but hinted it was people who wanted to subvert what would have been a peaceful demonstration, and her unspoken implication was that it was the right-wing Trumpistas. You know, the ones with swastikas tattooed on their forearms. She said she knew they weren’t from Atlanta because when they started to march to the capitol building, they didn’t know how to get there. She also noted that a typical Atlanta demonstration like this would be 90% black, and this one was about half and half.

    Local news did wall-to-wall coverage, and as late as 11 pm the police looked *very* restrained, at least from the helicopter view. The first man I saw arrested was white with a shaved head. Make of that what you will. I’m sure he was a very fine person.

    This all makes me wondering whether I’m now a conspiracy theorist, or there truly is some stuff going on. I don’t mean that Trump is actually directing things, only that he’s like, “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” That is, if he knew what turbulent meant, and substitute blacks for priest.

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  67. beb said on May 31, 2020 at 2:01 am

    The last couple I’ve read articles about so-called “Boogalo Bois” and “accelerationists” Nihilistic groups who want to start a race war as a way to bring down the government. So the claim of outside aggitators is sort of credible but I don;t think there is any positive proof as yet. The mayor of Atlanta has a good point that most black protests would be 90% black while these protests have been 50/50.

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  68. Sherri said on May 31, 2020 at 2:16 am

    This is a thread just of the various attacks by the police on journalists across the country:

    So it doesn’t include the video from NYC of the police car running into the crowd, or the SLC cop knocking the guy just standing on the sidewalk with his cane to the ground, or the cop who pulls down the mask of a young man whose arms are up in the air and pepper sprays him, or video of police knocking someone down and then pepper spraying people who try to help the person up.

    We’ll never know precisely what happened, but it is completely evident from the places where there *were* peaceful protests that a big difference is in the police response. In places where the police didn’t escalate, protest remained peaceful, chaos and rioting didn’t happen.

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  69. susan said on May 31, 2020 at 10:16 am

    This video , in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis… Holy crap. Looked like the invasion of Iraq. Those ƒü¢king cops are yelling like Marines. They’re suited up like military. And shooting at people who are standing on their own porches; watching the invasion. It’s not the People rioting. It’s the cops rioting. We need to de-militarize the ƒü¢kingCops, take away their damned arsenals, their fancy-pants armor, relegate them to writing parking tickets and helping people cross streets. No wait, they’d figure out a way to abuse that, too.

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  70. Deborah said on May 31, 2020 at 10:50 am

    This is a good twitter thread about what can be done to combat police violence

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  71. Sherri said on May 31, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    Slate willing to say what happened.

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  72. basset said on May 31, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    8 pm curfew in Nashville today, the two biggest malls are closed, and city buses have stopped running to one of em at the mall’s request.

    Some distraction: Sherri, this car is up for auction near you and looks interesting:

    (short version: 20-year-old Honda Civic with only 5600 miles, already bid up to $27,000)

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  73. susan said on May 31, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    Bassett @72— Oh sure. Bid and win a 2000 Honda Civic that resides in Renton, Warshington. And then have someone steal it. Nope! I have a friend who lives near that area. Her 1997 Civic was stolen three times in six months, from three different locations. First from a high-end area of town (Leschi) where she was house- and dog-sitting. Second, from the parking lot of a school where she was tutoring kids. Third, from the fenced and gated, ground-level garage at her condo. Those Hondas are too easy to steal. There are even lots of yootoob videos showing you how.

    It’s a purty car, though.

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  74. basset said on May 31, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    First new car Mrs. B and I bought together was an 83 Civic… a week or two later she got hit from behind while stopped at a light, totaled it.

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  75. Sherri said on May 31, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    The first car David and I bought together was a 1990 Civic, a great car. When I was pregnant and my back would hurt, I’d get in that car and just drive around, the car seat was so comfortable.

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  76. Julie Robinson said on May 31, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    When my mom stopped driving five years ago she gave our daughter her 2006 Civic. It had 11,000 miles on it at the time.

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  77. LAMary said on May 31, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    What do you all think of the idea that there are, to use a 1960s riot phrase, “outside agitators” involved in the demonstrations?

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  78. Deborah said on May 31, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    There were outside agitators in the 60s, that was sort of the point. People traveled all over the place to participate in protests, the people who organized the protest at the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968 came from all over the place. I myself and LB traveled to The March for Women’s Lives in DC we traveled there from St. Louis. We didn’t go there planning to wreak havoc, we went for a peaceful march. The event in Charleston called for people to go to it from all over the country. The more recent women’s marches happened in multiple cities all over the world but a lot of people traveled to DC to participate in the first one after Trump’s inauguration. Maybe all of those people aren’t called agitators because they didn’t get violent but a protest is agitation, because it interrupts daily life, stops traffic, makes noise etc. I’m not exactly sure how to say what I mean here, I feel like I’m not making my point very well. I’ll try again later.

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  79. LAMary said on May 31, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    I’m hearing a lot of noise about ultra left or ultra right organizations changing the nature of the demonstrations. I know people travel to demonstrations in other parts of the country. I did that during the Vietnam war at demonstrations in Washington, New York and Philadelphia. I mean organized groups encouraging destructive behavior or more extreme behavior.

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