Why bother?

The other day we watched “Hunger,” which is not “The Hunger,” the sexy, vapid vampire movie directed by Tony Scott, and not “The Hunger Games,” the franchise I lost interest in after part two, but a grim, grim, incredibly grim account of the IRA hunger strikes of the early ’80s in Belfast’s notorious Maze Prison. I knew a little about this, having lived through that era and also, having read “Say Nothing,” the recent history of Northern Ireland, but there was something about seeing it on the screen that underlined just how bleak and ghastly that whole era was, pitting the bullheaded Margaret Thatcher against the even more bullheaded Irish Republican Army, and in the end 10 men starved themselves to death in a brutal prison, to get the attention of the world.

And succeeded, I might add. But what a cost.

Early on, we see the largely self-imposed, horrific conditions the men are living under. They refuse to wear prison clothes because, they say, they aren’t criminals but political prisoners, and won’t wear the uniform of criminals. They want to wear their own clothing. The warden won’t agree to this, so they’re sent to their cells nude, with blankets to cover themselves. That was the so-called blanket protest. Then they used the only weapons at their disposal — their excrement and urine — and smeared the walls of their cells with the former, and poured the latter out into the hallways from under the doors of their cells. This was the “dirty protest.”

(Excrement and urine and other bodily fluids are prison weapons of long standing, any guard can tell you. Or Clarice Starling, who has semen thrown in her face in “The Silence of the Lambs,” as you’ll recall.)

Anyway, I don’t recommend this film for a bleak January night, although it is very good, and Michael Fassbender really outdoes himself prepping for the role of Bobby Sands; he dieted himself down to a veritable skeleton.

Also anyway, I am not sure how to explain how I got onto this, but… oh, right. I was telling Alan that I find myself whipsawed madly between wanting to put on some damn nice clothes and go SOMEWHERE OUTSIDE OUR HOUSE AND KROGER, goddamnit, or just giving up putting on any clothes at all. Since it’s been cold, I’m wearing longjanes most days, and when I come inside, I take off my pants and go around the house in my underwear. My own little blanket protest.

The new, easier-to-catch Covid variant has now been identified at the University of Michigan, which means it’s everywhere, and we’re far from the top of any vaccination priority list, so now we wait. Through the rest of the winter and likely into the spring and who knows, maybe the summer. I hope Biden’s plan gets moving. Flood the damn zone with that stuff.

Because we all know the potential alternative. Condolences, again, to Dexter on the loss of his Carla Lee.

And condolences to anyone who is missing Larry King, even though I can’t imagine why. I was Googling around and found that I wrote about Larry in 2010, but I really wrote about James Wolcott’s hilarious Larry takedown, published after Michael Jackson died. It’s linked within, and I suggest you read it.

Of course Mitch Albom rose to bravely defend King’s moronic interviewing style, but I won’t link to that. You can find it easily enough.

I will link to this NYT piece, by their excellent health reporter, interviewing Dr. Fauci on what it was really like to work for Dipshit Don.

Time to rewrap my blanket and go rustle up dinner, then. The week awaits.

Posted at 6:27 pm in Current events |

72 responses to “Why bother?”

  1. Suzanne said on January 24, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    I read the NYTimes piece on Fauci earlier. It was somehow comforting to hear Fauci verify what we all knew was happening. Fauci is a better man than I, if I were a man. I would have probably hit someone.
    “The people around him, his inner circle, were quite upset that I would dare publicly contradict the president. That’s when we started getting into things I felt were unfortunate and somewhat nefarious — namely, allowing Peter Navarro to write an editorial in USA Today saying I’m wrong on most of the things I say. Or to have the White House press office send out a detailed list of things I said that turned out to be not true — all of which were nonsense because they were all true. The very press office that was making decisions as to whether I can go on a TV show or talk to you.”

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  2. LAMary said on January 24, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    Can Trump be tried at The Hague for crimes against humanity? He’s responsible for a good sized chunk of those 400,000 deaths. His ego, stupidity and callousness killed people.

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  3. Deborah said on January 24, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    James Wolcott, now there’s a blast from the past. I had to google him to see if he was still alive, I used to read him religiously, but haven’t thought of him in years. Out of sight out of mind.

    I think more and more will come out (example: Fauci’s revelations etc) that will damn that twice impeached, finally private citizen, to hell.

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  4. basset said on January 24, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    And Dr. Birx was on Face the Nation this morning describing how 45 showed charts she’d had nothing to do with, while the information she’d provided was sidetracked, apparently before it got to him. She says she’s about to retire, though, so there ya go.

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  5. alex said on January 24, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    I thought Debra Birx was supposed to be on 60 Minutes tonight but here we are at 8:45 PM and football’s still in the third quarter with 12 minutes to go.

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  6. basset said on January 24, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    I believe 60 Minutes is not happening this week, if I remember correctly they said last week they’d be back in two.

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  7. alex said on January 24, 2021 at 11:35 pm

    Bummage. And disappointed Dr. Fauci held back although I understand if he doesn’t want more mail from Trump supporters.

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  8. Dexter Friend said on January 25, 2021 at 12:48 am

    As a newshound a little more than most in my family, I have followed the progression on the mutant strains, starting in England, then South Africa, then in the USA, Ohio, now Michigan, California, and at least 50% and probably 70% more contagious than the one that has infected so many. As I was talking to Lori in Las Vegas Sunday noon, it came to me in a startling vision that this is the end times perhaps. Scientists, Fauci included, say the vaccine will prevent contracting strains, yeah…and I worry the mutations will soon become resistant and bypass the DNA blockers or however that works with the vaccine. It is everywhere for sure. My neighbors, oldsters younger than me, got it and survived. All 3 daughters got it and lived, m granddaughter, 30, got it at work; she’s OK now. And of course it took my wife last Wednesday. Oh…my friend the mechanic answered my call for road service Saturday. He’s talkative, and told me of all the locals who have had Covid19. A long list. Well, my shot is scheduled for Thursday here at the senior center. I am expecting a call cancelling it, as Governor DeWine has been on TV begging the feds for vaccine for Ohio.
    I followed the Bobby Sands story in mainstream papers and left wing periodicals, horrific detailed accounts like nance reported here. My old Hoosier co-workers in the factory joked about it, saying if the dumb fuckers won’t eat then let them die, by gawd. They had no clue what was going on. I remember the day Bobby Sands died. I was disgusted with the whole situation there. “The Troubles”.
    Oh…some of the tools I learned in my recovery program (I am a 28-year sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous who does not give a fuck who knows I am an ex-drunk) have helped me cope from the loss of my wife, so I am as OK as is possible, I guess. Again, your condolences really helped, sincerely, they did, they do.

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  9. David C said on January 25, 2021 at 6:08 am

    The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is up for review this week. It’s one dose, simple refrigeration. So that should be in people’s arms in a month. It’s a race against time and idiots. The Wisconsin Lege is going to try to cancel Gov. Evers’s mask mandate. They only need a simple majority so they’ll probably do it.

    LAMary @ 2. The US isn’t a signatory of the ICC so tRump can’t be sent there – at least not by us. Maybe he’ll decide to take a runner and another country can send him. The theory of us not taking part in the ICC was that the US had a fully functioning court system. If only.

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  10. Dorothy said on January 25, 2021 at 6:10 am

    An excellent book about The Troubles was “Say Nothing” by Patrick Radden Keefe. My son recommended it last year and I read it very fast – it was top notch. One bonus of the pandemic is that I’ve made more time to read. I finished a Lisa Jewell book last night (the first LJ book I read was much better) and started a third at bedtime. I should stop running out and buying more books by an author when I finish a book I liked. But when you get caught up in a good one, you think the magic is in all of their books. This is not necessarily true. I need to go back to Barrack Obama’s latest. I bought it and got 1/3 of the way through it but set it aside. It seemed to get rather dry. It’s on my nightstand so I’ll get back to it.

    Dr. Fauci was a great guest on Maddow Friday night. He definitely confirmed that he was not granted permission to appear on her show last year to talk about the virus. He asked to be allowed, but whoever held the power in that scenario did not grant permission. And there it was, 56 hours after the new President was sworn in, Tony was talking to Rachel and it felt great to see him speaking freely. It’s still hard to believe that he was the premier expert on the topic and yet they gagged him.

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  11. Suzanne said on January 25, 2021 at 8:19 am

    Our daughter read Say Nothing last year and said it’s an incredibly good book. It was interesting to discuss it with her as I remember all that happening but honestly knew very little about it. It’s on my “to read” list.

    I am concerned about the delay in the impeachment trial. Are they hoping for more evidence? That seems silly since the Senate was also the victim. It seems like Dems are just giving the GOP more time to spread lies & let the furor die down, which it is. The NY Times, remember, is doing tough investigative stories on Biden’s watch.

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  12. Mark P said on January 25, 2021 at 9:23 am

    Dexter, the coronavirus situation could be the beginning of a Stephen King story. I have had the stirring of the beginning of the earliest worry that things could get much worse. I hope I’m wrong. I hope the vaccine gets out quickly enough that we can stop the pandemic. Of course we are starting with the handicap of a wasted year.

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  13. ROGirl said on January 25, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Larry King seems quaint now, an artifact from another era that it’s hard to believe ever existed.

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  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 25, 2021 at 9:40 am

    Can’t be the end times. I saw the movies in college. This is nowhere near what they told us.

    I did have a colleague in a neighboring state share on a private board about having a church leader’s wife come up to him as pastor of the congregation, point to her mask, and say “this is the mark of the beast, you know, as foretold. There is no buying or selling without it!” He was frustrated that it left him so speechless she walked away before he could say anything coherent.

    My count which is anecdotal and informal is four ministers I know who have resigned under a variety of official reasons, but all five of us largely since August got out because we just could not see a sustainable path forward through COVID denial & precaution anger on the one hand and maintaining budgets and expenses on the other. Make of it what you will.

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  15. Deborah said on January 25, 2021 at 10:04 am

    In the late 90s I made a trip to Northern Ireland for work to oversee the color selection for some carpeting being made there. The carpet factory was in a town called Portadown which was a central hotspot during the troubles. There were still remnants of it, houses with “gable paintings” were still there. Gable paintings were political murals that people painted on the sides of their houses along a parade route. The factory workers were very willing to talk about those times, it was fascinating. The only problem for me was that their accents were so strong I could barely understand them. We went to Belfast for dinner one night and our hosts drove us around showing us bombing sites etc, like tourist attractions.

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  16. Deborah said on January 25, 2021 at 11:45 am

    Got my Covid test result back, negative. I haven’t stepped one foot out the door since I came back from the test on Saturday morning, not even to take out trash or do laundry, my husband has done that. I’m trying to keep from being anywhere I could get exposed. Still hoping my surgery doesn’t get delayed, snow is supposed to start late this afternoon, going until tomorrow, but they’ve reduced the forecast amount to 5-8″.

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  17. Julie Robinson said on January 25, 2021 at 11:45 am

    Since we never had cable I only saw Larry King in clips here and there and I didn’t get why he was so popular. He was just another old white guy who’d been married too many times. Meh.

    I’m feeling pleased with myself after a thrift store trip this morning. We had a whole lot of clothes to drop off and I popped inside and found four men’s shirts at half off. You can cut a lot of masks out of an XXL shirt. Both my son and husband asked for more masks, as it seems we’ll be wearing them for many months to come. I’m trying not to buy new, since the manufacture of fabric is so energy intensive. My other source, Mom’s stash, was pretty much floral pastels.

    The thrift store also got my Parka of Tribulation (TM Nancy). If it’s that cold, I’m not going out. It’s a nice one and very warm, but I will scream if I have to wear it again, so someone else can have the use of it through the rest of this winter.

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  18. LAMary said on January 25, 2021 at 11:55 am

    I have a friend from Belfast and to be honest I can only understand about half of what he says. We message each other just fine, but the spoken word? No. That accent is inpenetrable.
    MM Jeff, that anger is real. I don’t know what to do with it. So many of my friends are nurses and I hear the war stories. Then some ass tells me it’s all fake, that hospitals are lying on the death certificates to get more money, that the nurses and doctors are getting rich on the overtime. At least two people told me they were at a hospital and it was empty, which is blatantly a lie. Nurses are tired and angry and burned out. Everytime the family member of someone who is probably going to die says they thought it was fake they don’t know whether to feel pity or to slap them.

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  19. Charlotte said on January 25, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    Oh Dexter! My deepest condolences. I’m so so sorry, and so sorry you couldn’t be there with her.

    Did a college semester in Dublin in the mid-80s, and we took a road trip up and across the North just before we left. (We’d show up at B&Bs and they’d say “Don’t you kids have families? It’s nearly Christmas. Well sure now I’m closed up for the season but let me ring across and see if we can find you a place.” Said with that familiar Irish affection/exasperation.

    We had to go through a couple of checkpoints, which after dark were especially terrifying. English teenagers about our age out there in the ditch with rifles trained on us. And in Belfast we drove into a Control Zone by accident — when they heard Adam’s NY accent they too, exasperated, told us to turn around before we got ourselves killed.

    I roomed in the house of an Irish television journalist, who’d covered some of the bombings — our Irish folklore prof had been a huge Nationalist and she told me how the paper had sent him up to cover a horrific cafe bombing. “That took the wind out of his sails,” Nuala said.

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  20. David C said on January 25, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    I lose track of all the marks of the beast. Before my time but I’ve heard Social Security cards were the mark of the beast. In my lifetime it was UPC codes. So they’ve recycled “You can’t buy or sell without it”. If masks are the mark of the beast are scarves or balaclavas. It’s too confusing for me.

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  21. LAMary said on January 25, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    The in house Brit lived in Manchester and the IRA did a major bombing there in the city square. That’s left him with some seriously anti IRA sentiments. I just leave it alone.

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  22. Brandon said on January 25, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    In October 2012, Larry King co-moderated a debate among four third-party candidates hosted by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation.

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  23. Peter said on January 25, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    Larry King was a guest voice on the Simpsons – in season two! Homer is led to believe he will die because of bad sushi “FUGU ME!”, so he turns to the family Bible for comfort, only to find out it’s a bunch of cassettes narrated by King.

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  24. LAMary said on January 25, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    I love the idea of Larry King cassettes of the bible. It reminded me of an episode of The Simpsons when Bart and Milhouse go to Knoxville for the world’s fair. Milhouse buys a talking Al Gore action figure. When you pull the string it says, “You are hearing me talk.”

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  25. Dexter Friend said on January 26, 2021 at 1:23 am

    “McConnell drops filibuster demand after days of gridlock”, says the scroll on msnbc.
    McConnell simply caved, and now watch the news because Schumer will be in the news daily. Finally McConnell is forced to take a seat and let Schumer get on with business, Covid19, immigration, everything.
    I had a Facebook friend from Newtownards, Stangford Lough, east of Belfast, for a few years, then he sort of turned all squirrelly and confrontational about stuff like the proper times to drink tea and coffee, and how a real man drinks stout and not fizzy lager, and he surely seemed drunk a lot when he sat down to type. I had to drop him.

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  26. Deborah said on January 26, 2021 at 9:11 am

    I don’t like stout, but I found it delicious when I was in Ireland, I had a pint every night I was there at various pubs. After my work trip in Northern Ireland I went to Dublin for about a week and had the best time. I made the trip with a woman architect who was on the same project the carpet was for. She went with me on the Dublin part too only she was Christian Scientist so didn’t indulge in the stout. Pity.

    I don’t understand what McConnell is up to, it seems like he doesn’t either.

    And is it Sea Shanty or Sea Chanty? Chanty makes more sense to me. A shanty is a small dilapidated building isn’t it?

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  27. David C said on January 26, 2021 at 10:11 am

    I’ve seen both sea shanty and sea chanty in places with professional writer types who have probably looked it up.

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  28. susan said on January 26, 2021 at 10:36 am

    David C @27 – Here’s a recent podcast episode in which Mignon Fogarty explains sea shanty/chanty. It’s probably not what you think.

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  29. jcburns said on January 26, 2021 at 11:46 am

    Susan, your link was empty, sorry to say.

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  30. susan said on January 26, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    Hmmm. Thank you, JC. Let’s try that again, see if this works: Grammar girl

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  31. LAMary said on January 26, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    I had a long strange trip on phones and computers for the past two days. On Sunday I got an email confirming my order at a pricey Asian seafood restaurant in a city about 50 miles away, to be delivered by GrubHub. Calmly I thought, WTF? It had been paid for from my PayPal account. I called GrubHub. I called PayPal, and I called my bank. I thought I had fixed it. Nope. Yesterday I see an additional 71.41 to GrubHub for an account with them to keep ordering food. I messaged PayPal. They messaged me back an hour later saying it had been investigated and that they had documentation showing I had indeed got an account with GrubHub and that I was also responsible for the expensive Asian seafood order on Sunday. This all sucked a big chunk of cash out of my bank account. I called GrubHub. I got a young woman in the Philippines on the phone. I explained everything and even though she was on the other side of the Pacific, she grasped the concept that I would not order take out from a restaurant 50 miles away. We went through lots of required steps and while we were talking I kept hearing a rooster crowing. She reversed the charges (almost 300 bucks) read the whole legal statement thing an asked me if I had any questions. I said yes, “Is there a chicken in your office?” She apologized and said there was chicken outside her office because she was working from home. She was very helpful and understanding about my issue and having a chicken crowing every few minutes during the call was sort of nice, so I told her there was no need to apologize for the chicken. I stayed on the line for the satisfaction survey and gave her top ratings.

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  32. Deborah said on January 26, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    LAMary, that’s hilarious, good for you. I’d ditch PayPal I used it once for something that I had no choice to order except through them, I don’t remember what it was that I wanted to order. I used a credit card with PayPal and then eventually that card got hacked and I never added another card to the PayPal account so I assume it is voided. I don’t trust them.

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  33. Deborah said on January 26, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    I’m going to be getting my cataract surgery any minute, all decked out in gown, cap, sockettes, etc, looking forward to the relaxer. The walk over to the hospital wasn’t bad, not much snow, all sidewalks were clear. I was way more worried about that than the procedure.

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  34. basset said on January 26, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    Hope that goes well… given the timing, maybe you’re already relaxed.

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  35. Deborah said on January 26, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    Maybe I’m in limbo here, I just wrote a comment that isn’t showing up about my procedure, probably spelled my name wrong or something because my vision is slightly blurry. I’ll wait before I rewrite it, to see if it shows up later.

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  36. Suzanne said on January 26, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    “So it was indeed a triumph for the KGB to manipulate an American into attacking foundational elements of American foreign policy, and doing it with the KGB’s strategic talking points.

    As for the man behind the ad, he was a flashy 41-year-old real estate mogul from New York.”


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  37. Deborah said on January 26, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    So here’s what I wrote if it doesn’t eventually show up: Relaxed, done and walked back home. Boy howdy did it make a difference already. It’s a good thing I’m retired and wasn’t required to make color selections on projects because I would have been waaayy off. When I close the eye that had the surgery and look out the other eye, everything looks dirty, white looks grayish yellow, I had no idea. It doesn’t hurt only feels like it does when I have an eyelash stuck in my eye. I only had to wear an eye shield walking home because it’s slightly snowing and they didn’t want dirty snow blowing in it. I should wear the shield at night too to keep me from rubbing my eyes in my sleep or something. And I don’t have to wear glasses for distance anymore, only for reading.

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  38. LAMary said on January 26, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    Oh boy. Fun times ahead. Melissa C——e says she’s running for the state legislature in Michigan. Is she in your district, Nancy?

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  39. Julie Robinson said on January 26, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    Deborah, glad the surgery went so well. Mom looked at her green purse afterwards and said she had thought it was brown! I very much look forward to the day I cant get mine done.

    They asked me if I wanted to watch from behind a window. I said I’d read a book.

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  40. Dorothy said on January 26, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    That was exactly what my husband said, Deborah, when he had his cataract surgery. Must be 5 years now and he still just needs only readers. He could tell the difference immediately. When the doctor told him he needed surgery, I was in the room and she asked him “What do you see at night?” And he gave me a sheepish look. He’d not been telling me how bad his night vision was. Now he can see so much better. He was sorry he didn’t get the operation sooner.

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  41. Dorothy said on January 26, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    Sorry – above comment should have said ‘What do you see when you are driving at night?”

    And I just FINALLY got the pangram in today’s NYT Spelling Bee. I got to Genius level today!

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  42. basset said on January 27, 2021 at 7:50 am

    Reporter sat in on a QAnon chat room and “it turned my brain to mush”:


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  43. Suzanne said on January 27, 2021 at 8:29 am

    From the joy of watching the inauguration, I am now more demoralized than ever. Republicans are doubling down on the Capitol attack being no big deal, look the other way, an unfortunate incident. I think the Dems made a huge mistake by not impeaching immediately. I wrote to one of my senators (Braun) & my Rep (Banks) expressing my displeasure with their support of the election fraud lie. Braun’s response was that while the Capitol attack was unfortunate & it’s sad people died, “it would be a disservice to all voters if we reflexively dismiss the concerns millions of Americans have with the integrity of the 2020 election and don’t make every effort to restore trust in our democratic institutions. The 2020 election was conducted unlike any other in our nation’s history. The COVID-19 pandemic caused many states to make unprecedented changes to their voting process resulting in millions of mail-in ballots being cast around the country with different standards verification, eligibility and bipartisan oversight from state to state.”
    Banks has yet to respond. I doubt he will.

    Then last night we watched Frontline’s episode on the Capitol attack. I went to bed more depressed than I have been in weeks. At my job, all I hear from my boss is that she is over this pandemic. Yeah, honey, we all are but the virus doesn’t care. She almost never wears a mask because she had COVID (can she still spread the virus? She doesn’t know and doesn’t care) and whines every day that she needs a vacation so bad. Yeah, honey, we all do.

    I am sick of people and think a hermit retirement sounds wonderful.

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  44. Deborah said on January 27, 2021 at 9:45 am

    My heart goes out to people who have to go to work around people who aren’t cautious about the virus, or have selfish, entitled political beliefs that they spew around the office. I’m once again so thankful I’m retired.

    I’m still peering around dazzled by how clean and bright everything looks, it’s helped my winter doldrums tremendously. We watched the Burt Lancaster movie last night, “The Swimmer”, there was a scene where Lancaster was underwater in a neighbor’s pool looking up at the sun and other activity in the water and I told my husband that’s exactly what it looked like to me while the Dr was performing the procedure on my eye. LB had asked me after my surgery what it was like to be awake and seeing what was happening, that was it exactly for me. The eyelash in my eye feeling is gone, now it feels a little bruised but not horribly. This minor discomfort it has caused compared to the gain is hardly worth mentioning. If anyone out there is putting off the surgery, don’t.

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  45. alex said on January 27, 2021 at 10:58 am

    So Bob Morris, the asshat state rep who launched a risible crusade against Girl Scout cookies a couple of years ago (evidently he thinks radical feminism and leftist ideology are secret ingredients not identified on the packaging) is now sponsoring legislation to prevent state and local government from imposing any health-related restrictions whatsoever during a pandemic because freedumb.

    Not trying to one-up Suzanne here with horrible hoosier stories, but rather affirm that we’re survivors in a real-life version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

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  46. basset said on January 27, 2021 at 11:00 am

    Good to hear it worked for you. Mrs. B had both eyes done to little or no effect… and she is scheduled for a procedure I forget the long exact name of but it essentially involves lightly scraping the surface of the cornea to maybe clear up her vision some. More on that to come.

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  47. Suzanne said on January 27, 2021 at 11:16 am

    LOL Alex! Hoosier survivors of the lunatic fringe Conservative takeover of the state! Pretty much sums it up.

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  48. Julie Robinson said on January 27, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    Deborah, just imagine when you get your second eye done! I had a typo above, but I’m very much looking forward to mine, only my cataracts aren’t ripe enough yet.

    Last night I went down a long wormhole about the state of journalism today and none of it will be surprising to journos still in the field. An Idaho editor was fired after tweeting about her problems getting Excel for a new reporter’s computer. McClatchy (which bought Knight Ridder and owned the Fort Wayne property for a millisecond before selling it off) no longer pays for MS Office, as one of their many cost-cutting policies.

    Another is having everyone work from home and selling their office space. They’re doing it for the second time in Miami, after their beautiful Biscayne Bay building went to a storage unit firm. They’ve also furloughed the entire advertising staff. That one really puzzles me, because at most papers that’s where the vast majority of revenue is generated.

    Alex, I almost wrote about Morris yesterday. He also stated there’s no proof that masks work. He used to just be our local idiot taking potshots at the Girl Scouts, but now he’s become truly dangerous.

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  49. LAMary said on January 27, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    Don’t you wonder where all the really loony politicians come from? And who is voting for them? It’s not just loony. It’s stupid. I don’t get it. If someone with sterling credentials told that idiot that masks do work he probably wouldn’t believe them and then say they were part of some weird conspiracy.

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  50. Jeff Borden said on January 27, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    All you Hoosiers will either be cheered or depressed by the political gossip out of Ohio, which is working intently to become Indiana if not Kentucky. The former Ohio State assistant wrestling team coach who ignored the pleas of his student athletes when they complained about a team doctor fondling their penises during checkups –the one and only Jockstrap Gym Jordan– is looking to replace human windsock Rob Portman as Ohio’s senator. (What is it with wrestling coaches? Former House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert of Illinois was caught paying off former high school wrestlers to keep them from reporting his molestations and even had a Barcalounger installed in the lockerroom where he could look into the showers.) If you’re not from the Buckeye State, you may recognize Jockstrap Gym as the Freedumb Caucus member who is simply too muscular and manly to squeeze into a suit jacket. He’s an asshole’s asshole on par with Cruz and Hawley, but not nearly so well educated. He’ll be a disaster.

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  51. Deborah said on January 27, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    On the other hand Sherrod Brown is the other senator in Ohio, so it is possible for a progressive to get elected there. I hope the Dems find a stellar candidate to run. Jordan’s district is one of the most gerrymandered things I’ve ever seen. Hopefully a state wide election won’t be that stupid.

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  52. Dorothy said on January 27, 2021 at 2:08 pm

    Suzanne I had recorded that Frontline but this morning when I saw the topic, I just deleted it. I had no desire to sit through more of what I had already heard/seen/witnessed on the day it happened and the days afterward. I’m sorry you slept so poorly after watching it. I am trying to avoid any mechanism that messes up my sleep after four years of piss poor shuteye.

    Did anyone else here watch the PBS show POV – The Mole Agent? It was wonderful – don’t miss it if you see it showing another time. (I just checked our PBS listings here in Dayton – it’s on again tomorrow night at 10:00, and also Saturday January 30 at 3:30 AM.

    A long and revelatory article about phone scammers in the Times today.


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  53. Julie Robinson said on January 27, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    There’s another zoom book club coming up, but I’ve decided not to participate. It’s about talking with people you disagree with, only the book mentions our former president so much I found it triggering. Which is to say I didn’t watch Frontline either.

    I’m over at Mom’s and once again she’s deleted about 200 emails. As I was moving them back to her inbox, I discovered she subscribes to a trashy discussion group of Prince Harry and Meghan. Well, I guess it’s helping her mind stay active?

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  54. Scout said on January 27, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    After having it in our queue for months, we finally watched The Great Hack. I’m even more pissed at Zuckerberg, et al, than I was before. The next must see tv viewing will be The Social Network. One consolation, I never received any of the targeted ‘news’ pieces on the socials, and I learned it is because I was apparently not deemed persuadable. Good to know, but it is obvious who in my feed IS.

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  55. Jakash said on January 27, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    “it would be a disservice to all voters if we reflexively dismiss the concerns millions of Americans have with the integrity of the 2020 election”

    62 lawsuits, of which all but 1 were unsuccessful. The “concerns” were not dismissed out of hand, they were dismissed for lack of evidence. On Twitter, lots of easy claims of fraud. In front of a judge, not so much. “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history,” according to the Department of Homeland Security.” That doesn’t seem “reflexive” to me.

    I really thought after the insurrection that maybe some reasonable Republicans were going to be willing to risk the ire of the Trump cult and do the right thing. Suzanne is right, though, as usual. Even something as outrageous as what happened on Jan. 6 just isn’t cutting it in getting them to end their deal with the devil.

    I wonder if audio of Trump saying “Go to the capital, kidnap Pence and Pelosi if you can find them, and do whatever you need to in order to stop the certification” might be enough to get them to change their tune. You know, the 2021 version of the “shoot somebody in the middle of 5th Avenue” standard.

    Seems pretty simple to me. For 2 months Trump lied about the fact that the election was stolen to allow for the possibility of some kind of coup. He’s too stupid, lazy and unimaginative to have actually orchestrated one much beyond that, not that he wouldn’t clearly have been happy to benefit if others came up with an effective plan. (Unfortunately for him, Rudy and Jenna Ellis were not nearly “the elite strike force” required.) Had he conceded on Nov. 7, or Dec. 7, for that matter, and graciously told his cult that he accepted that Joe Biden had won fairly and deserved to be president, it’s very unlikely that anybody would have stormed the capitol. His words led directly to all the crimes committed on Jan. 6. You don’t even need to wonder what other pressuring — of state legislators, federal legislators, the military, whomever — he did behind closed doors. Encouraging a mob to prevent the peaceful transfer of power, even if nothing else had happened that day, violates his oath of office.

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  56. Deborah said on January 27, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    Off topic, apparently China has developed an anal swab Covid tests that’s supposed to be more reliable than the throat swab. I don’t think they’ll be offering those in drive throughs.

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  57. ROGirl said on January 27, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    Cloris Leachman has died.


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  58. alex said on January 27, 2021 at 9:06 pm

    The things you notice when your house is clean…

    Tonight I found a stinkbug inching along the window woodwork with a big fuzzy plume hanging out of its ass. Never saw anything like that before. Was it giving birth? Then I realized that it had a bunched-up cobweb stuck to its rear feet and was working to dislodge the mess.

    I debated whether to grab my Shark Vac and imprison it with the rest of the dead spiders and bugs in its clear acrylic holding cell and decided nah. It was working too hard for its freedom and I shouldn’t add to its misery. It’s gone now, presumably liberated. Or maybe just struggling somewhere else out of sight, out of mind. Except it’s not out of mind.

    Today was cleaning lady day and I came home to a freshly made bed, vacuumed floors and sparkling counters. And a stinkbug dragging a wadded-up spider web. All in all, I’d say it’s worth it.

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  59. basset said on January 28, 2021 at 8:29 am

    Today, I learned what a “glowie” is, and why the far right fears them:


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  60. Deborah said on January 28, 2021 at 10:47 am

    Why do I even have to know the names of Margory Taylor Green and Lauren Boebert (and I hope I spelled them wrong), that’s what I find exasperating about the media. Now we have to hear about these freaks all day long. I realize knowing what whack jobs they are, maybe reduces their ability to be even whackier. Maybe. I wish we weren’t giving them oxygen, but then that’s exactly what I’m doing right now. Sigh.

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  61. Heather said on January 28, 2021 at 10:53 am

    LA Mary, I’ve seen a lot of complaints about PayPal in freelance groups from people who use it for payments from clients. Apparently the company always sides with the client if they complain and the content creator/designer/whatever can be out hundreds or even thousands of bucks when the client decides they don’t want to pay.

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  62. LAMary said on January 28, 2021 at 11:16 am

    Once all the money is back in the right places I’m killing the paypal account. It’s going to be sort of a pain because all my newspaper and magazine subscription monthly payments are connected to it but I’d rather not go through the annoying three days of drama again, especially since whoever got into my account could do it again. About a year ago I received two cheapo fake fitbits in the mail. They were charged to my paypal account. I called the company that sent them and that was useless. I messaged paypal and they denied my claim for the 99 dollars I’d been charged. But then they refunded it. A mistake I guess. I didn’t send back the 99 dollars, nor did I send back the bizoobie (a word a friend created for badly made rip offs of other products) fitbits. One is still sitting my desk drawer. The other one was noticed by my son. “Is that a fitbit?””No, it’s a crappy bizoobie fit bit I got free. Want it?” Now it’s his.

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  63. Julie Robinson said on January 28, 2021 at 11:28 am

    Mary, I got hacked for $500 on Paypal, and they couldn’t have been less helpful; just told me to work it out with my bank. As soon as I had the money back I did kill the account. But I didn’t have any auto payments set up on it. A few times I’ve bought shoes on Ebay using a credit card through Paypal without setting up a PP account, so I’ve felt safe. Whatever that is, right?

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  64. Icarus said on January 28, 2021 at 11:33 am

    Deborah @ 60, remember when Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann (I’m not looking up the spellings) were the crazies of the GOP?… Now they look sane compared to Margory Taylor Green and Lauren Boebert. Imagine what will come along later that makes those two look tame.

    Dexter, I don’t believe I got to chime in my condolences to you. Very sorry for your loss.

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  65. alex said on January 28, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    I wasn’t too freaked out by the stinkbug, but this morning as I was drinking coffee and looking at the computer I heard a strange clicking sound and discovered a shrew trying to tunnel underneath an exterior door — from the inside! What the hell was it doing in the house?

    It took off, later reappearing in the living room where it was digging at the extremely slim space between the carpet and baseboard. I opened a door and it made a hasty exit.

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  66. susan said on January 28, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    Alex, you live in a zoölogical garden. I look forward to hearing about your next biological encounter.

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  67. LAMary said on January 28, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    I had a mynah bird take up residence in a tree outside my dining room once. It used to bark like a dog and mutter to itself. It took a couple of days for me to figure out it was that bird and not a stray dog and a guy muttering to himself in my back yard.
    I also had a bug appear in my kitchen once that was so big and ugly my huntress cat wouldn’t go near it. Jerusalem Cricket is what it was. Hideous looking thing. I’ve seen quite a few since then (I was a newbie to LA then) and I’ve also explained to quite a few newcomers what the hell that hideous thing is.

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  68. basset said on January 28, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    Are any of you all selling on eBay without using Paypal? Or can you even do that?

    Just leaving the health dept. after Mrs B’s second covid shot.

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  69. Sherri said on January 28, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    Two factor authentication. Turn it on and use it on any important accounts, especially those involving money.

    I also have a separate email account that I use for buying things, and that account has two factor authentication.

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  70. Julie Robinson said on January 28, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    basset, I don’t think anything I own has enough value to sell on eBay, and I’m happy to find new homes for stuff through friends and charities.

    Great news about Mrs. B’s vaccine. You’re still waiting?

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  71. basset said on January 28, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    I am, coming up on the 13th. She’s really high risk and got in on the first round, I do some occasional work at a hospital and they offered me one.

    Did some selling on eBay years ago but haven’t in awhile. First sale that comes to mind was a camera to some Canadian guy who called me saying it was broken but he was gonna keep it, wanted his money back and more to get it fixed. Good try.

    Mainly, I just want to declutter. Estate sale stuff I meant to turn, trinkets and artifacts from various sources… easiest would be just to open up the storage locker and have an auction but the you-store place won’t allow that.

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  72. David C said on January 28, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    I haven’t sold anything on eBay in years. I still get emails from a seller’s forum and they’re all up in arms about some change to Pay Pal that makes it take longer to get their money. I think it is possible to sell now with a credit card instead of Pay Pal but I’m not sure. We mostly just give stuff away to Goodwill now. eBay takes too big a cut and dealing with Craigslist loons is not close to worth the effort.

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