And just like that, spring has kissed us on the forehead, blessed us with her favor, coaxed the first green shoots out of the thawing earth.

All this by way of saying we saw a couple of squirrels fucking in the driveway the other day. The male was having a hard time getting his lady to hold still, and we lost track of them in the higher branches, so I don’t know if the deed got done. I imagine it doesn’t really matter; there’s never a shortage of squirrels in these parts. Wendy managed to catch one the other day; its pea-size brain told it to outrun her, which was very bad braining. It got away, but I suspect it was mortally wounded, so score one for Wendy.

If you’re sensing I don’t care for squirrels, you’re right, but hey — they’re part of the kingdom. I don’t poison or shoot them or anything. Live and let live.

What a glorious weekend, though. Got a lot done. Got a bike ride in. Got over my first vaccine’s side effects (a sore arm) and the first truly warm weather got me fantasizing about a summer of outdoor socialization without fear of death. What a concept.

Couple bits of bloggage today:

This is the local Covid-related dustup: Another recalcitrant Michigan restaurant owner collides with The Book, thrown by a judge who is just not havin’ it:

A 55-year-old Holland restaurant owner operating in defiance of a court-ordered closure and the state’s COVID-19 restrictions, including Michigan’s mask mandate, will remain in an Ingham County jail for up to 93 days.

The story is not paywalled, and reading it, you get a sense of the judge’s impatience. This paragraph, though? Chef’s kiss:

During Friday’s hearing, Aquilina also ordered a man attempting to represent Pavlos-Hackney as “assistance of counsel” to be arrested for contempt of court because he allegedly had represented himself as a lawyer when he was not licensed to practice. Richard Martin, who described himself as a constitutional lawyer and is the founder of the Constitutional Law Group, was ordered to serve 93 days in jail.

It’s worth a google to see the Constitutional Law Group website, especially the video, showing Martin in action.

Here’s video of him getting arrested, and sounding like a dolt:

This is the judge who allowed the extraordinary Larry Nasser sentencing hearing, by the way. It took the better part of a week for every assaulted woman to make a statement.

Also, since we were talking about Josh Mandel here just last week, here’s his latest blurtage. What a dick.

But let’s not let that ruin this lovely day! Let’s get it under way — oh wait, it already is.

Posted at 11:41 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

97 responses to “Vernal.”

  1. Julie Robinson said on March 22, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    Beautiful here too, and I enjoy the squirrels. During this last year I’ve found them more entertaining than anything streaming on the teevee.

    Our daughter got her first vaccination this morning and they poured concrete for our house addition. But the family medical situation continues to be a cluster circling around the drain. Oy veh.

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  2. Jeff Borden said on March 22, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    Even an irritating little knob like Josh Mandel cannot harsh my mellow Monday.

    Yesterday, the underrated, 8th-seeded Loyola University Chicago handily defeated No. 1 seed and Big Ten champion Illinois in the March Madness tourney. Today, the Ramblers upset made Page One of the New York Times and the Washington Post, too. It’s sunny and warm to boot. Life is good.

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  3. LAMary said on March 22, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    Love that the constitutional lawyer is wearing a cowboy hat in his website photo. Of course. Cowboys are free, real Americans. I think Judge Aquilina rocks and I believe Aquilina means eagle. All this symbolism. Phew. Because some jerk restaurant owner wants to defy the law and stay open and make money while her competition loses money obeying the law a judge has her time wasted by a fake lawyer. That’s freedom.
    On another note, I keep reading garbage on FB about undocumented people. The usual comment is, “why don’t they just become citizens?” Anyone who has who knows someone who has gone through that process knows it’s not like getting a dog license or something. It’s long and probably expensive. But you can be a legal resident without being a citizen, which many people do no realize it seems. So I’m listening to one of our NPR stations this morning and a local reporter says that a city had made it possible for non citizens to hold positions on city committees like the arts committee or the recreation committee. Sounds fine to me. Then she says that this will allow undocumented aliens to be part of the city government. What? I don’t think so. State law allows non citizens to be appointed to some positions, like the ones mentioned in this report, but not undocumented folks. This reporter has the same semi literate understanding as FB fools who think you’re a citizen or you’re illegal.

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  4. Jason T. said on March 22, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    Oh, I guess you think only B.A.R. (“British Accreditation Registry”) attorneys should be allowed to call themselves “lawyers”?

    Well, our rights are guaranteed by our creator (i.e. Jesus, the inventor of America, see the landmark case, Christ v. Pilate), not by the gold fringe on your admiralty flags!

    I don’t have time to explain it all, because the lizard people sent by the Rothschilds (Bill Gates, George Soros, the fake imposter Pope Francis, and Queen Elizabeth II) are interfering with my wi-fi and I need to replace the tin foil in my hat again.

    This sovereign citizen crap was wacky 20 years ago, when it was still living on weird dial-up message boards and shortwave radio. Now it’s in the mainstream. I shudder to think what will be mainstream in another 20 years.

    I welcome Joe Biden’s attempt to create “national unity” when 40 percent of the country is crawling with brain worms that feed on cable TV news and talk radio.

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  5. ROGirl said on March 22, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    I’m scheduled for this Friday afternoon for my first vaccine dose.

    Better squirrels than skunks.

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  6. Suzanne said on March 22, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    Jason T, that made me laugh. We had a few residents of our county sho tried that “I am a sovereign nation” stuff about 20 years ago. It didn’t work then, but now? Who knows?

    These are the people who utterly freak at any mention of restrictions on gun ownership but restrictions on voting? Not a problem.

    Also, I absolutely love that Sister Jean is still hanging on and cheering for Loyola!

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  7. Suzanne said on March 22, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    This article, written by the woman who started the ball rolling against Larry Nassar, is worth reading.

    “Teachings that place the burden and blame for men’s sexual addictions on women are rampant in conservative theological circles. Assertions that women are both the cause of men’s sexual addictions and the solutions to their sexual needs fill the pages of popular sex and marriage books in evangelical circles, and infiltrate counseling sessions for followers in crisis.”

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  8. Peter said on March 22, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    Suzanne, last week a sportswriter said that the mainstream media is burying the lede for the NCAA tournament – if Loyola gets one more miracle win Sister Jean gets canonized.

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  9. Deborah said on March 22, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    Squirrels. My ex hated squirrels and shot them with a bee bee gun when he saw them. He kept a running total of his kills as a message on the answering machine and eventually the number ended up being in the hundreds. He started the massacre shortly before I flew the coop and that was a minor one of the many, many reasons I left. After I already had moved out, one of the big shots from the design firm I worked for needed to get ahold of me and didn’t know I had a new number. He came up to me at work the next day and told me he’d tried to call and was confused about the squirrel count. Embarrassing.

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  10. Little Bird said on March 22, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    We don’t get many squirrels in the yard here in Santa Fe. We get skunks and raccoons. When both types are out there it can get interesting. One year we tried to trap the skunks and have them relocated. First night we caught one. The trapping guy told us that most likely meant there were more. So he set another trap and lo and behold another skunk was trapped that night. But that night it rained. The traps had a small section of the top that was solid and not screened/grate. The poor little stinker was trying desperately to stay dry. But neither of us was going to go out (in the dark) to cover the cage. Then the security light went on back there so I looked out of my bedroom window. There was the skunk, huddled as much as it could be in the trap and a raccoon sitting a few feet away, and I’m not even remotely exaggerating, pointing and laughing at the skunk. Poor little stinker.

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  11. Jenine said on March 22, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    I got a good surprise this last week in my yard: one purple crocus and I see daffodil buds. Neither of them bloomed last year, guess the conditions weren’t right. The peony shoots have just appeared too.
    The midwest has the best flower-parade spring.

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  12. alex said on March 22, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    My old Doberman was constantly snapping up squirrels. Between the dog and the electrical transformer underneath the branches of a very tall oak on my property, it’s a wonder squirrels didn’t go completely extinct.

    Here in Hoosierland, we’ve got a scofflaw restaurant owner who probably ought to be in the slammer like his counterpart in Holland, Michigan. Instead this asshat from Bluffton, Indiana, is suing the governor and state board of health for infringing on his freedumb. And the newly elected dickhead who’s our state’s attorney has publicly sided with the douchebag restaurant owner even though he’s going to continue representing the state against him.

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  13. LAMary said on March 22, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    To try to trap skunks or raccoons or squirrels here would be like trying to empty the ocean with a spoon. They are bountiful and they keep the coyotes well fed. There are a lot of coyotes this year. Well, there are always a lot. There are a lot more this year.

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  14. Mark P said on March 22, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    I wonder if coyotes actually eat skunks. My old Doberman dived into a grassy ditch and came out with a skunk in her jaws, but she dropped it very quickly when the skunk sprayed her. She spent the rest of our walk home wiping her face in the grass.

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  15. diane said on March 22, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    Illini here. I comfortably settled in to watch the game thinking it would be a reasonably competitive game but also an enjoyable win to watch. I of course had completely forgotten about S. Jean. Having been taught by nuns in grade school and high school, I should have known better.

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  16. LAMary said on March 22, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    I had a dog who got skunked so many times I lost count. Something must eat skunks or they’d have taken over the world. I have been told we have bobcats here on my hill now. I’m ok with that. They eat rats and we have abundant tree rats here. You see them hopping around in palm trees and yuccas. It’s charming to see them running along the utility lines too. One I foolishly thought I could use a heavy duty plastic trash can to store dog kibble. Rats ate through the plastic on the first night. Had to go to galvanized steel can. We have possums too. They’re good animal neighbors. Once one of my sons did not put the lid on the galvanized steel can tightly and two skunks got into the can and couldn’t get out. I put the lid on tightly, dragged the can out into the street, knocked the lid off with a broom handle, kicked the can over and moved away. Two very well fed skunks (Avo-Derm, good for the coat) waddled out.

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  17. susan said on March 22, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    Great horned owls eat skunks. They don’t have a sense of smell.

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  18. David C said on March 22, 2021 at 6:08 pm

    My only problem with squirrels is every couple of years they gnaw through the clip that holds our internet cable to the pole so the cable falls across our lawn. Spectrum usually gets it back up in a day or two so that’s not too bad. Otherwise, they keep the cats entertained and the hawks move in a couple times a year to clean them out so we’re not overrun.

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  19. Julie Robinson said on March 22, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    At our last place, squirrels used to chew through the phone line every few years. But I’m such a softie, I never minded.

    Since IU wasn’t even in the big dance*, I was going to cheer for Illinois, having grown up there and all. Then I was going to cheer for Iowa, having been born there. Now I don’t know who to cheer for, so why not Loyola–a friend’s dad was a prof there, and that seems as good a reason as any. *No pity for fired coach Archie Miller, who walks out the door with a $10 million payout.

    Spring, glorious spring! Though there was lots of crap news today, a friend has her last cancer treatment tomorrow and celebrating must be done. These days that means a card and a plant dropped off, and it was a pure pleasure to go buy some pansies, with their bright and cheerful faces always turned up in joy.

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  20. Heather said on March 22, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    Ahhh, I love to see women like her and Rep. Katie Porter taking these dumb, entitled guys to school. Inject it into my veins.

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  21. Deborah said on March 22, 2021 at 8:06 pm

    Tree rats otherwise known as roof rats in NM give me the willies, hate them. Creepiest things alive. We had lots of them around our cabin last summer and I refused to go there until we got screens on the sleeping loft windows.

    I hope something eats skunks because we have way too many of them in Santa Fe. Right now I’m reading in the local SF paper online about an abundance of Bob cats in The city, people with pets are being warned. I don’t know what’s bringing them down from the mountains.

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  22. Deborah said on March 22, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    We have a HUGE problem in this country, so sad.

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  23. Dave said on March 22, 2021 at 11:17 pm

    Deborah, the amusing Jason T. forgot to mention that Jesus saw the need for guns when he founded the USA and sadly, we’re both of an age that we’re never, ever going to see anything get done about it. It’s a God-given right, after all, says so right in the Book of LaPierre, Chapter 1, Verse 1.

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  24. Dexter Friend said on March 23, 2021 at 2:20 am

    Eric Talley, Boulder P.D. 51 years of age, 10+ years with the department. Shot dead by a murderer who took 9 others as well, all dead. So many words already said, so many deaths , life is cheap, and gun sales are active. Colorado rejected any federal gun laws, saying they are impotent as they stand beside Colorado state laws. And so, Sooper King massacre, 2021. I knew, or knew of, an Eric Talley before, I just can’t place him, maybe a pro athlete I read of, maybe an actor on TV? This guy left behind 7 children.

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  25. jerry said on March 23, 2021 at 3:41 am

    Beautiful weather yesterday. Instead of getting on with gardening tasks I spent an hour sitting outside reading.

    About twenty years ago squirrels got into our roof space via a rotten fascia board. It was a nightmare. We’d lie in bed hearing them run across the rafters, it sounded as though they were wearing hob-nailed boots. And of course we were worried they would be eating through the cables up there. It took an exterminator a couple of months to finally get rid of them. We then had the fascia boards replaced. A friend of Myra’s claimed we were cruel as the squirrels had as much right to live as we did! Her philosophy was tested about three years later when they found a rat in their bathroom – I’m sorry to say it failed the test.

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  26. Suzanne said on March 23, 2021 at 8:04 am

    I know I have said it before here, but I know quite a few gun owners out here in rural Indiana and I honestly can’t think of one that has said that there should be restrictions on ownership. I have been told many times that if said gun owner had been in some mass shooting situation [Las Vegas? Colorado movie theater? Church in Texas? Any or all] he would have been able to stop the carnage.
    And now we have another attack. Nothing will happen. Gun advocates believe their right to own a gun tops my right to life.
    It really is that simple.

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  27. Mark P said on March 23, 2021 at 9:18 am

    Nothing meaningful will be done about gun murders long as the death cult considers mass murderers an important part of their constituency. The first step is to root out the death cult and consign them to the septic tank of history.

    Unfortunately, death cult members don’t and won’t care about the victims of mass murderers until they become one. At this rate, it shouldn’t take all that long.

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  28. Deborah said on March 23, 2021 at 10:22 am

    This is an excellent article that I needed to read. I have been guilty of this, and I don’t think of myself as being racist towards Asians, but I obviously have been, after reading this I will never do this again

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  29. Julie Robinson said on March 23, 2021 at 10:35 am

    This was the seventh mass shooting of 2021, which means they’re coming at the rate of one every 11.4 days. Let that one sink in a bit.

    Comment from a gun rights’ advocate about waiting periods: “A freedom delayed is a freedom denied”. Seems like lawmakers have no problem with waiting periods for abortions.

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  30. Deborah said on March 23, 2021 at 10:53 am

    The AR15 type guns have got to go, why anyone not currently deployed by the military has one is atrocious. There is absolutely nothing right about having one (or two, or three and on and on). I realize the Biden admin, Schumer and Pelosi have a lot on their plates right now with mainly Covid but something HAS to be done about this. Once again we are all at the mercy of a small minority.

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  31. LAMary said on March 23, 2021 at 11:00 am

    I saw a graphic yesterday showing how many died in AR 15 mass shootings: 170. Sandy Hook, the high school in Florida, the movie theatre in Auroro, CO, Las Vegas and more. Let’s all thank George W. for not renewing the assault weapons ban. I know he looked good compared to the 2x impeached former president but he wasn’t. We forget that shit.

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  32. nancy said on March 23, 2021 at 11:03 am

    My RWNJ ex-colleague in Indiana speaks now of “constitutional carry,” i.e. the idea that there should be no restrictions on open or concealed carry, because the 2nd amendment. The “logic” goes that we don’t need a license to speak freely or go to church, so we shouldn’t need one for weapons, either.

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  33. Suzanne said on March 23, 2021 at 11:12 am

    Oh, yes. Indiana is trying to pass a law that anybody can carry anywhere at any time, no restrictions, no permits, no nothing. Because 2nd amendment.
    The only positive is that even my very right leaning gun loving brother is not for it because of the danger for law enforcement facing anybody anywhere who is likely carrying.
    Well, duh. That’s where this was always heading.

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  34. Mark P said on March 23, 2021 at 11:33 am

    I’ve said it before on this topic: Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.

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  35. LAMary said on March 23, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    The gun lobby does a great job of convincing people that the dems are going to take away their guns. Every time there’s another mass shooting and sane people are disgusted with the easy availability of guns that can fire 45 rounds per minute the gun lobby springs into action. I know I’ve mentioned this before but I’m reminded of it every time there’s another shooting. I had a friend who worked at the same hospital I did. I had even referred him for the job. He had an AR15. When Sandy Hook happened he was sure someone was going to come for his guns so he bought 7 more. He posted on facebook the source for AR15s and told all his friends quick go buy some before the Democrats ban them. I unfriended him, virutally and in person. Not long after that he nearly shot his own son who was coming home late and having trouble unlocking the door.

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  36. Deborah said on March 23, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    So they’ve announced the name of the shooter, a 20 year old from the Denver suburbs. It’s a Middle East sounding name. Now we are going to hear non-stop xenophobia. When it’s a white male: crickets.

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  37. LAMary said on March 23, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    Abd then there is this:

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  38. Mark P said on March 23, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    He may have a Middle Eastern-sounding name, but he must look white. I mean, he was taken alive, right?

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  39. Jeff Borden said on March 23, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    The dead in Atlanta might well be alive if there were a waiting period for firearms. The murderer purchased his gun the day of the shootings. But our wingnutty friends –who deify fetuses and will scream “murder” at those seeking a legal abortion in the name of being “pro-life”– see nothing wrong with these frequent bloodbaths and a waiting period of a week or 10 days or whatever is simply anti-American. Mark P is correct. There is abundant madness in our beleaguered nation and it’s only growing.

    Already, Sen. Rafael Cruz, R-Asshole, is accusing the Dems of “political theater” and claiming they want to “take your guns” as the Senate debates gun control measures. I used to think that only the devastating loss of a loved one might change minds. . .that if the grandchildren of Wayne LaPierre were murdered in a mass shooting or if the children of a prominent gun company were killed by a nutcase. . .but one of the parents of the Parkland massacre lost his daughter and still opposes any kind of gun control. It’s a religious experience, I guess, to have that kind of devotion to firearms.

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  40. Sherri said on March 23, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    You’re right, I do want to take your guns. I want to make it onerous to own and operate guns that serve no purpose other than to make it dangerous for me to go to the goddamn grocery store because some gun owner’s girlfriend dumped him.

    We require people to get insurance to operate a motor vehicle; gun owners should have to carry insurance commensurate with the potential for damage. You want to own 10 AR-15s for self-defense or your homegrown militia? Good luck finding an insurance company willing to write a liability policy on that!

    I don’t want the prayers of politicians who glorify guns in campaign ads. I want kids not to have to do active shooter drills like mass shootings are some unavoidable act of nature.

    Democrats, either kill the filibuster and get to work doing something, or we’ll start looking elsewhere. The klaxons are going off, the emergency is now.

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  41. LAMary said on March 23, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    I’m glad my kids were out of school before the active shooter drills started, although they were both in elementary school when the Columbine shooting happened. We visited my brother who lives very near to that school not long after that. Both my sons have been in school when there was a lockdown because some gang member or members were making trouble. There was a massive fight once between Armenian students and Latino students at the high school both sons attended. No guns. Hand to hand combat. All we ever had at my high school were dumb bomb scares. The kid calling them in was identified by reviewing attendance records. The one kid who was absent every time there was a bomb scare got in trouble. Innocent times…

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  42. Jeff Borden said on March 23, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    The older I get, the less I revere the Founding Fathers, but they really fucked things up with the sloppy wording of the Second Amendment. Ammosexuals will always point to the “right to bear arms” being enshrined in the Constitution, which to Sherri’s point means owning deadly weapons is a right while driving, etc. isn’t. Slave-owning, wealthy landowner bastards should’ve been more careful.

    Maybe we should take the advice of Chris Rock. If we can’t ban guns, make ammunition prohibitively expensive: “I wanna kill you, Joe, but bullets are $5,000 apiece and I can’t afford it.”

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  43. Connie said on March 23, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    I have done live shooter training. I was shot in the leg with a nerf bullet. It wasn’t fun.

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  44. Suzanne said on March 23, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    I think Dems should try to pass gun restriction legislation and when the GQP types object, take a page from old Sidney Powell and claim that “no reasonable person” could have mistaken the founders beliefs about the right to keep and bear arms as statements of fact.

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  45. Deborah said on March 23, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    When I was a kid we had duck and cover drills at school to supposedly survive a nuclear attack. I was terrified thinking about it as a somewhat neurotic kid anyway. How sad that kids today have this reality now. We all have this reality now. Just walked to the grocery store and wondered how many copy cat incidents there will be. Gabby Giffords was shot in the parking lot of a grocery store. Churches, schools, spas, anywhere people can have those fucking guns, it can happen and will, over and over and over again until we do something. Someone on Twitter said, if guns aren’t the problem, people are, than why give the problem guns.

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  46. Bitter Scribe said on March 23, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    There’s a monologue early in “Inglourious Basterds” (or whatever the goofy spelling of that movie was) about squirrels vs. rats. The guy opined that rats are just squirrels with naked tails and bad press. Of course he was an SS officer, so…

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  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 23, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    Jeff B., let’s give the olde white guys credit in 1787: they’re thinking about muzzleloading black powder rifles, mostly flintlocks, which were used in much of the country for squirrel hunting once Cornwallis & Tarleton’s crew had been chased off at Yorktown. And a smattering of pistols which were mostly a rich person’s hobby, not a common household implement, and hard to hit things with at any distance at all. (Unless you’re Aaron Burr.) The idea that any angry young man would have access to a relatively cheap weapon that could loose 100 rounds in a few seconds would have baffled them . . . and asking how they’d word if they’d known is a mug’s game. The challenge is on us today to figure out the principle intended and adjust wording and law to honor it, but on my most conservative day I’m beyond impatient with the whole “a right delayed is a right denied” argument against background checks and waiting periods. Balderdash. Horsehockey. Applesauce.

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  48. Sherri said on March 23, 2021 at 7:39 pm

    I think the principle intended was to allow the olde white guys to put down slave insurrections and steal Native American land, since the olde white guys didn’t want to pay for a standing army.

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  49. alex said on March 23, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    I think gun ownership ought to require liability insurance just like car ownership.

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  50. FDChief said on March 24, 2021 at 9:25 am

    “…let’s give the olde white guys credit in 1787: they’re thinking about muzzleloading black powder rifles…”

    I think it’s even simpler than that; they were thinking with their wallets. And, to a great extent, their “republican” ideology.

    The thing the gunsuckers always elide is the first section of that amendment: “A well-regulated militia…” The rich guys who wrote the foundational documents 1) were appalled at the expense of a standing army (and navy, which is insane when you think of how important maritime commerce was to the infant U.S., but, Jefferson, FFS…) and 2) were deeply committed to the idea that a standing army was a “danger to liberty”. All those soldiers with no citizen cred, just waiting for the demagogue to come along and coup with them? No way, Jose’!

    So their idea was that the Good People of the country would flock to the standards when danger threatened and form “the nation in arms” (keeping in mind that their model were the colonial militias, which largely kept their weapons (and almost all their propellant – the black powder) in a local “magazine” where it would be issued when that alarm was sounded).

    So it wasn’t even the notion of every swinging richard running around with a military-grade firearm that would have bugged them. It was the notion that that firearm was for using on their fellow citizens for random whackadoodle reasons and that wasn’t a good reason to keep those firearms locked up in the magazines.

    And let’s not EVEN go into the notion that they wanted every Joe and Molly to have a bang-stick to prevent “tyranny” coming from the new U.S. government, because the moment that happens Shay’s and the whiskey rebels will need a moment to whip up on your head.

    Nope. The current firearms priapism is a symptom of the prion disease that has eaten the brains of waaaaayyyyy too many Americans, including nearly all “conservatives”.

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  51. Jeff Borden said on March 24, 2021 at 11:39 am


    Agreed. It’s why I wince at the wording of the Second Amendment. The ammosexuals conveniently ignore the “well-regulated militia” –words that perhaps could be used to prove they didn’t intend for willy-nilly gun ownership like we have today– as well as the role of the state National Guard, which seems much more like the so-called “citizens army” they envisioned. Had the powdered wigs been clearer, we might not be in this pickle.

    To Jeff TMMO’s point, I get that our Founders had no idea of how weapons would evolve beyond those old muzzle-loaders. How could they? They also had no concept of electricity, telecommunications, flight or any number of other modern inventions. It’s why I find myself chuckling when I hear people describe themselves as “contextualists” or “strict constructionists” who can discern the intent of these guys almost 300 years ago. Do we really think Benjamin Franklin would be happily embracing AR-15s? Please.

    Finally, why can’t we just face facts and note the Founders were among the wealthiest and best educated of their time. They were truly elitists among the citizenry. They didn’t want the average Joe voting. It’s one reason why we have that damned Electoral College. And as lovely as our sepia-colored view of these men as seething with a desire for freedom, they were also cold-eyed businesspeople with an eye toward profit and wealth building. Howard Zinn’s “People’s History of the United States” is rightly labeled as a leftist version of traditional American history, but the guy does make a helluva lot of good points about how for the average colonist, the result of the Revolutionary War simply meant they paid taxes to local leaders instead of King George.

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  52. Deborah said on March 24, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    I’m sure we’ve had discussions before about this but may I ask you writers how you feel about the oxford comma? A friend of mine put together a proposal for a project we’re going to be working on together and a writer gave her a critique of what she wrote. He said he recommended using serial commas, which I had never heard before but is apparently the same thing as an oxford comma. Just curious, is that the thing now?

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  53. alex said on March 24, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    Deborah, I used to favor it, but now that I’m not in publishing anymore I’ve fallen out of the habit because it’s overly formal and also unnecessary. The Chicago Manual of Style and others still insist on it. The AP style, used by journalists, does not require it.

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  54. Jeff Borden said on March 24, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    I don’t hate many things, but I do loathe the Oxford comma.

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  55. basset said on March 24, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    Meanwhile, the first ice cream truck of spring has just gone down our street.

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  56. susan said on March 24, 2021 at 7:07 pm

    I think the Oxford comma prevents confusion by keeping the series of items separate/distinct. Wikipedia has some good examples; here’s one using a book dedication:

    “To my parents, Ayn Rand and God.”
    Or, “To my parents, Ayn Rand, and God.”

    And this one:

    “Among those interviewed were his two ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall.”

    On the other hand, not using it correctly can also create confusion:

    They went to Oregon with Betty, a maid, and a cook.

    There are several iterations of that one!

    I didn’t used to use the Oxford comma, but I do now after a report I wrote without it, confused some people.

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  57. David C said on March 24, 2021 at 8:06 pm

    I do enjoy comma games.

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  58. Deborah said on March 24, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    Tomorrow morning at 8:45 we’re scheduled for our second Pfizer shots. As a celebration were having a special dinner tomorrow night that my husband (S) is going to make. He bought a good bottle of wine, French, so he decided it was going to be a French meal and it’s going to be cassoulet. He made it once about 2 decades ago and it was a big failure because at the end he decided to pretty it up by putting a bunch of little orange peppers on top. They turned out to be habaneros and it was inedible. We had company and we ended up having to order out for pizza instead. One of our guests politely tried to eat it and I never saw anyone sweat so much. This time S is using no garnish and he’s using a simpler recipe, because the original one is crazy involved and complicated.

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  59. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 24, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    Comma comma comma comma comma chameleon . . .

    (Sorry, couldn’t help it.)

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  60. diane said on March 24, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    Anti Oxford comma here but only because I was trained in grade school by Catholic nuns that it was wrong, wrong, wrong. Those early indoctrinations die hard.

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  61. Mark P said on March 24, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    Or, you could say, to Ayn Rand, God and my parents. I would probably use the comma here, even though there really isn’t much ambiguity without it.

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  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 24, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    Fun and games in Deborah’s neighborhood…

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  63. alex said on March 24, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    City Front Drive? When did that become a thing?

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  64. LAMary said on March 24, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    Comma comma down dooby doo down down.

    I’m older than Jeff TMMO.

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  65. Dexter Friend said on March 25, 2021 at 1:41 am

    Deborah remembers as do I of duck-and-cover drills in grade schools. We had film reels brought to school and rolled to show us how to survive thermonuclear attacks. Also, we were shown films about how drinking alcohol would positively ruin our lives, as the husband would drink up the rent and grocery money. The little film ended quickly when Dad sobered up and brought in a bag of oranges instead of beer cans. Happy once more. Jumping ahead, new school, we were shown the dangers of indiscriminate fucking and sucking. Only graphics showed a syphilitic throat, nasty discolored tonsils, snickering boys laughing about what SHE was sucking on. Moving right along, 5 years later, a young army medic was shown the grossest goddam film he was ever to see, that being real footage of battlefield amputations of all sorts and degrees. A few men ran from the room, I sat there but I am sure I was in some degree of shock just watching it. Later, in the war zone, I saw some horrific injuries but that movie had hardened my resolve as I never saw anything like those army training films showed me in San Antonio. My exposure to those men’s injuries were in ambulance runs to and back from the Navy Air Field where we medics picked up amputees and transported them to the Fort Ord Hospital for rehabbing. Those were the guys who told us younger medics to go to Sweden or Canada or just run and hide and not ever get on the planes to Vietnam…but, you know, sometimes ya just gotta go with the flow

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  66. ROGirl said on March 25, 2021 at 4:14 am

    The topic of the Oxford comma actually came up in an exchange at work yesterday. I write procedures for the quality system, and someone was reviewing a draft I had prepared. He remarked that I use the Oxford comma, and I told him the only reason I do that is because the current versions of software (in this case, Word, but I noticed it in PowerPoint too) force you to do it. They automatically insert lines or dots in the text where the comma would go. The lines or dots can’t be removed permanently, only deactivated each time you open the document (you have to right click and select the “ignore this once” option). So you have to insert the comma to stop the notification. Forced punctuation.

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  67. Deborah said on March 25, 2021 at 8:45 am

    On the NYT website this morning there’s a disturbing Louis Vuitton ad, it’s a photo, well actually a group of photos, of a young woman, who looks to be 15 or 16 to me. She’s obviously naked in all of the shots, in bed barely covered with a sheet. She’s got bed head, bleached hair with dark roots and a just awakened, yearning look on her face. In all of the shots there’s a LV purse, she’s either holding it or it’s next to her. Obviously it did its job, I noticed it and am talking about it. I find it offensive. Am I being a prude? It’s also weird, who sleeps with their purse?

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  68. Deborah said on March 25, 2021 at 9:39 am

    Done! Just got my second shot. This time I didn’t cry, almost but I held it back. Now in 2 weeks I’ll be safe (or a lot safer).

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  69. Heather said on March 25, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Oxford comma 4-evah. I think it provides more clarity, plus it just looks right.

    Got my first shot yesterday at the mass vax site at Chicago’s United Center. It was super-organized, in and out in about half an hour. A cute young man from the National Guard gave me my jab, and the system automatically set up my second appointment. (I love Cloud technology.)
    I did start feeling a bit flushed and hot on my way home, but I think that was due to anxiety, and it went away quickly. My arm was a little sore last night but that was about it.

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  70. LAMary said on March 25, 2021 at 11:10 am

    We were trained to stand close to the locker covered walls in my elementary school. In kindergarten I had one of my older brothers standing over me, as eighth graders were supposed to protect the kindergarteners. Those nukes didn’t stand a chance. I don’t remember air raid drills happening after first grade. A new school was built and I was sent there. Maybe that school was bomb proof.

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  71. Jenine said on March 25, 2021 at 11:15 am

    Yay, vax progress!

    @ROGirl, the software we use every day gives standard spelling/grammar suggestions and sometimes I find it too rigid. At the same time, as we do more and more socializing via text-based interfaces, spelling and usage varies quickly for jokes, emphasis, memes, etc. I would love to see a chaotic spelling environment like in the 1700s when writers used phonetic and idiosyncratic spellings.

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  72. Jeff Borden said on March 25, 2021 at 11:20 am

    Anybody reading about how the Georgia GOP is rewriting the voting laws? Joseph Stalin would be proud. The legislature can step in and take over local election boards as it deems fit, i.e., if a Republican is losing. Voting days and hours are being slashed. Absentee voting will be virtually eliminated.

    This is deeply evil shit. Jim Crow in the guise of “voter integrity.”

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  73. Dorothy said on March 25, 2021 at 11:34 am

    She’s too little for active shooter drills (God help me) but yesterday at my granddaughter’s day care they did a tornado drill. My son sent a video of her crouching down, being a turtle, and saying “fold yourself up tight!!” We’re supposed to have some high winds later today and some tornado warnings are to be expected, too.

    I get my second vax this afternoon. I’m hoping the former Pittsburgher, Dana, will be there on duty again. We talked for 15 or 20 minutes about pizza and fish sandwiches from the ‘burgh. I sewed a gift for her, and I”m also going to remember the bag of Hershey’s kisses I bought for the workers. I left them at home three weeks ago by accident.

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  74. LAMary said on March 25, 2021 at 11:44 am

    The Georgia voting laws news is pretty disturbing. Ya think they’re trying to keep some people from voting? Maybe?

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  75. Dave said on March 25, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    We got our second dose of Pfizer yesterday and so far, all we have are sore arms. My arm was more sore yesterday than it is today, as is my wife’s arm, so I think of that as a good sign that we may escape more painful results.

    We never had nuclear attack drills at my school, not once, even during the Cuban missile crisis. However, my wife remembers getting under her desk in her Columbus elementary school.

    I don’t recall our school showing any movies about the dangers of alcohol or sex, the only movies I recall were the bloody Ohio State Highway Patrol movies with auto crashes and the graphic results.

    The Georgia House majority leader was on CBS This Morning and he was HIGHLY insulted that anyone could possibly think that this is a Jim Crow-type bill, it’s all about making voting safe. He then cited what he said were numerous example of people receiving multiple ballots in the mail and multiple applications for absentee ballots. Sure.

    Deborah, I confess, I had to go look at the NY Times ad. The model is about 35 years old. Her name is in the ad so how could I resist searching her out. Who sleeps with her purse, indeed?éa_Seydoux

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  76. BTW said on March 25, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    My father grew up in Detroit, and in 1967, his parents lived about ¾ of a mile from where the riot/rebellion started. We visited them once more in Detroit, before they moved to Lancaster, Ohio. While I visited family in Lancaster, I borrowed the book “The Forest Rose,” by Emerson Bennett. It may have been required reading in Ohio schools. The racism and impending violence led me to stop reading it about halfway through. The hero’s gun was called “Killn(CLANG).” That the character used the term “white n(CLANG)s” didn’t elevate him to me. “Glass House,” which is about Lancaster, implicitly connected the racism in “The Forest Rose” to the nearly all-white population of Lancaster. My oldest cousin from there was in Army Intelligence, and as his sister put it, “going to Vietnam ruined his life.” Trying to be a heroic nation with a huge, aggressive military has had terrible results, as Dexter recently noted. Whatever, if any, treatment/rehab my cousin underwent for his drinking didn’t take hold, and he passed away at 61. He was a good guy at heart, but whatever he did in Vietnam was likely horrible.

    My father’s parents are buried in Forest Rose Cemetery.

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  77. Suzanne said on March 25, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    I clicked on the Louis Vuitton bag ad. Uh no, I don’t have an “intimate relationship” with my handbag. The one I use now I bought at the Vera Bradley big outlet sale for $20 a couple of years ago. The two I used before that I bought either at a garage sale or Goodwill.
    I guess that means I am cheap and easy.

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  78. Dave said on March 25, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    I grew up in Fairfield County and although I’ve heard of “The Forest Rose”, I’ve never read it and I can assure you that it was not required reading in any Ohio school that I’ve ever known anything about. I did spend a lot of time in Lancaster, especially when I attended the Lancaster OU campus starting in 1968. I knew that the book dealt with pioneer days and Indians and I also can note that the book was first published in Lancaster in 1850.

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  79. Deborah said on March 25, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Dave, I saw that French actress in the movie, “Blue is the Warmest Color”. I’m glad she’s not underage, but she sure looks it to me.

    Suzanne, I don’t like handbags, I don’t even use them, I certainly never slept with one.

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  80. alex said on March 25, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    The Vuitton handbag ad is supposedly reprising a famous Marilyn Monroe photo shoot. (It doesn’t say whether Marilyn posed with a purse in the original.)

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  81. Mark P said on March 25, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    Dave, I didn’t see the Georgia House majority leader, but he seems to have the same stupid idea that absentee ballot *applications* are somehow the same thing as the ballots themselves. It’s either supremely ignorant or a cynical attempt to take advantage of other people’s ignorance.

    We got several applications in the mail. We voted early, so we didn’t use one, much less all of them.

    And, as for his outrage, there’s an old Southern expression: The hit dog howls.

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  82. Connie said on March 25, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Dorothy, yesterday was NationalTornado Drill Day. Every siren in Michigan did a test blow at 1 p.m. Schools and businesses around the country did drills.

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  83. Jeff Borden said on March 25, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    I listened to some of President Biden’s press conference in the car while my wife was visiting her cardiac specialist. I thought he sounded pretty bad and had several moments where he seemed to lose his train of thought. But reading coverage of his remarks, he appears to have addressed a lot of issues competently. He also got a chuckle at tRump’s expense. Nonetheless, I’m sure Fox and hate radio will be all over him with charges of senility.

    Is there anything non-Georgians can do about the state’s embrace of draconian election laws? I can’t boycott a state I don’t visit. Any other options?

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  84. Deborah said on March 25, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    Read on Twitter today: if you won’t wear a mask because God will protect you, why do you need a gun.

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  85. Mark P said on March 25, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    Speaking of tornadoes, there is a long-track tornado now in Alabama headed right towards us. No reports yet on damage over in Alabama.

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  86. jcburns said on March 25, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    Mark P, youall head for shelter! Looks bad on WSB’s radar.

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  87. Mark P said on March 25, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    We are now a couple of miles north of the warning area, so it looks like we’ll be OK here.

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  88. BTW said on March 25, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    Dave– “The Forest Rose” was a work of fiction, and so Bennett could say whatever he wanted. I haven’t picked up any of his other works, but his Wikipedia bio said some of his works had racism and anti-Semitism in them. His hero of “… Rose” used the expressions “red imps of Satan” and “red n(CLANG)s”, so that shoe fits. I’d say that Bennett helped shape the culture as well as reflecting it, the same as FAUXNews and the noise machine in general. Four Republican pols were on four different Villager Sunday talk shows on the same day after President Joe Biden was sworn in, and they all said that the election was stolen. The worst people in this country have access to the media, so the big lie gets repeated. On the rare occasion the host pushes back against a lie, it isn’t a career-ender for the pol or the host. Our political dialogue is close to pro rasslin’, so we got a (shit)heel rasslin’ POTUS for four years.

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  89. Deborah said on March 25, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    I didn’t watch the Biden presser but everything I’m reading about it is that the media screwed up not Biden.

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  90. David C said on March 25, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    Got my vaccination today. They used a strange little bandage thing that has a little plastic window that they injected through. I never had that before. I thought it was pretty neat. I’m a little sore, a little tired, and have a bit of a headache but it’s not near as bad as the shingles vaccine I got a couple of years ago. It was the Johnson & Johnson so I’m done although I read that they’re testing if a second dose will increase its effectiveness.

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  91. Deborah said on March 25, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    We’re moving into zero hour for our cassoulet celebratory vaccine completion dinner, it sure smells good. It includes onions, duck, salt pork, chicken, garlic sausage and cannelloni beans. It has taken my husband a big chunk of the day to make, and this was the simplified recipe. We have a good French wine and then raspberry sorbet for dessert. Ohhh la la.

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  92. beb said on March 25, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    I like to blame westerns and gangster books and movies for our obsession with guns. They so glorified killing people as a or the solution to all life’s problems. Except there never was a rise in gun violence in the 30s and 40s. So I think we have to turn to the John Birch society who taught that government was evil and all patriots ought to be armed to overthrow over-reaching legislation. And it was Birchesque Supreme Court justices who decided that “A well regulated militia” was irrelevant to matters of gun ownership. And since the government itself was the enemy it was unconstitutional to ban ownership of military grade weapons, 50 and 100 round magazines, silences, or where and when one can openly carry one’s murder-piece. To the party that hates government weekly mass murders are the price on pays for “freedom!”

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  93. Dorothy said on March 25, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    Dave @ 75 – what am I missing? I cannot see that model’s name in the Vuiton advertisements.

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  94. David C said on March 25, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    All the jackass politicians shooting things they didn’t like (ACA, tax code, cap and trade bills) poured gasoline on the old Western movie gun themes. Way to send a message that the solution to all problems is to shoot them.

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  95. LAMary said on March 25, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    I think you meant cannelini beans. This is a great source for good cassoulet beans:

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  96. Deborah said on March 25, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    Yes, absolutely cannelini beans but my autocorrect keeps wanting to change it to cannelloni why is that?

    By the way we’ve eaten our dinner and it was fantastic.

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  97. LAMary said on March 28, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    The autocorrect on my tablet tries to change way too much of what I type. Like my last name, my bank account password, my google password…

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