Turn the page.

It’s Monday, which is allegedly a day off for me. It rarely works out that way — I always end up doing something work-related — but I have no deadline bearing down, I spent yesterday dusting and vacuuming, there’s food in the pantry and we’re supposed to get two to four inches of snow today, so I’m clearing the decks and declaring this a Real Day Off. I’m going to read my old friend David Heath’s new book about the development of the Covid vaccine and maybe even take a nap.

But first, a few words for you lovely people.

I read Neil Steinberg’s year-old blog about John Kass this morning, and it reminded me of a truth about newspapers, or what’s left of them: Not everything in it is for you. Or for me. A newspaper is what used to be known as a generalist publication, meaning there had to be something in it for everyone in the whole family. Horoscopes, puzzles, comics, sports scores, stock prices, etc. When we arrived in town, the News and Free Press would even include a few paragraphs of shipping news, i.e., which vessels would be passing up and down Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River, in case you were curious about what the Arthur M. Anderson was carrying, and where she was heading.

If I had read Neil’s blog before I read yesterday’s Page One weeper in the Freep, I might have found the strength to avert my eyes before they started rolling back in my head. It’s paywalled, so I’ll summarize: A registered nurse, a father of seven young children, is recently widowed. The headline: While ER nurse was saving wounded Oxford kids, his wife was dying from COVID-19. He was working the ER, his usual post, when the school shooting happened last November. The story is pitched as a tribute to #OxfordStrong, as the inevitable hashtag goes, because even though he has lost his wife and has all these kids and a demanding job, his church and neighbors are rising to the challenge, etc.

This is not the sort of story I generally find compelling. I’ve read too many of them through the years, and that people are capable of great good and generous grace is not news to me. I’m glad the guy is getting by with a lot of help from his friends. I’m ready to leave the rest of it unread when, record scratch:

As Holt prepared for Elizabeth’s funeral, he Googled her name, trying to find her obituary for some details, and he came across a website that mocked Elizabeth’s illness and death. John and Elizabeth Fowler held strong anti-vaccination views and were attacked on social media.

“I stumbled upon that website,” Holt said. “You know what? I’m OK if you want to be anti-vax or pro-vax. But I’m not OK when you’re anti-people. The problem with politics and vaccinations and religion, and all of that, is that people get caught up in the concept, or they get caught up in the construct of it, rather than the people.”

This wasn’t a debate about an issue. This was an attack, almost a gleeful celebration that she had died.

I bet I know which website he might have found — there’s one whose URL I can’t remember, which lists the deaths of outspoken antivaxxers, and then there’s the Reddit sub called Herman Cain Awards. Probably one of those two. I’ve seen them, but don’t participate; I haven’t the emotional bandwidth, and the older I get, I figure, why bother, it won’t do any good.

That said, this nurse is full of shit. His late wife was a nurse, too, I should mention that. So these two nurses, health-care professionals, he with a master’s degree with “an emphasis on public health,” are/were not only anti-Covid vaccine, they appear to be anti-all vaccines, if this passage is any indication:

“I don’t trust the vaccine companies,” he says. “Because there’s no control. They can make a product that the FDA or whoever CDC says it’s safe. But then if your kid is affected, you cannot do anything to them about it. They’re completely protected by the government.”

He says that McLaren Oakland allows medical and religions exemptions to a vaccine mandate.

“I have a master’s in nursing with an emphasis on public health,” he said. “So I’m not uneducated, right. It’s just, I, I’ve told my kids I said, ‘hey, when you get older, and if you want to pursue college, I’m perfectly OK with you when your immune systems are stronger. If you do a slow course of the different vaccines you need to forward your education, I’m OK with that.’ I just didn’t want to do it when they’re young.”

“Do you regret that you and your wife were not vaccinated?” I ask.

“No,” he says.

Just once, just once!!! I want to hear one of these people say, “Y’know, we were wrong about that. Elizabeth should have gotten the vaccine. All of our now-motherless children should be vaccinated against the vaccine-preventable childhood diseases. And of course I, a nurse who works in an emergency room during a pandemic, will be getting my Covid vaccine a.s.a.p.”

I mean, he’s a NURSE. He works in a HOSPITAL. He has a MASTER’S DEGREE. He studied PUBLIC HEALTH. And somehow he got that degree without learning about vaccines. Or the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, for that matter. I wouldn’t set foot in that fucking hospital.

I shouldn’t have read that story. It wasn’t for me.

OK, then. The snow is coming down, but in flakes so fine you have to look for it out the window. Time to crack that book. Happy Monday, if that’s possible.

Posted at 10:35 am in Current events, Media |

72 responses to “Turn the page.”

  1. Deborah said on January 24, 2022 at 11:16 am

    I do not understand healthcare workers especially, not taking the vaccine, it makes no sense.

    LA Mary, thanks for the suggestion in the previous thread of using a personal photo for a zoom virtual background, I had no idea you could do that. My husband has some great photos of our view in Abiquiu that he could use. He just needs to figure out how to do it. One of the other owners of the condo uses a backdrop for zoom calls, but it’s not virtual, it’s something they pull down like a window shade. Which seems weird to me now that I know you can do it with a photo virtually.

    My husband’s younger sister is moving to suburban Chicago from Charlotte, NC, since their mother died and her daughter moved to suburban Chicago with her family, my s-i-l didn’t see any reason to stay in Charlotte. She sold her house there only a week after it went on the market and she got a bunch of money for it, she’s ecstatic. Her house in Charlotte was her dream house but with no family there anymore she decided to buy a condo in the same suburb where her daughter lives now. Anyway, Alex, it seems like a good time for you to sell your houses, you can probably be set for the rest of your life. I can’t imagine maintaining rental property, it seems like a huge headache to me.

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  2. Jeff Borden said on January 24, 2022 at 11:40 am

    There’s a syndicated column in today’s Chicago Sun-Times sighing with relief that Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers were eliminated in the playoffs Saturday because it will deny the anti-vaxxer QB a global stage for his warped opinions, which apparently were formed by listening to Joe Rogan.

    One of my family members suffers from horrible rheumatoid arthritis and is scheduled for a procedure to alleviate her pain and repair her messed up hand. It now appears her procedure will be pushed back because the hospitals around her are filled with non-vaccinated coronavirus patients. I walk the dog with one eye on the ground because I don’t want to slip on the ice, break a bone and be forced to sit in an emergency room waiting room for up to 14 hours because there is no staff available to set a bone.

    I find myself cycling between white hot rage and gloomy acceptance. Neither are good for my mental health.

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  3. Bella said on January 24, 2022 at 11:51 am

    I read the Freep story yesterday about the widowed nurse. Certainly it was sad, but I kept on thing you have a Master’s. Not trying to be unkind but he’s a big guy. I would think after losing his wife he might consider getting vaccinated, unless he wants to leave his children orphaned.

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  4. David C said on January 24, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    I have a hard time blaming the anti-vaxxers. My wife is starting to pull herself out of a food intolerance eating disorder rabbit hole. Both her mom and I have been telling her to not depend on the internet for medical information. She said to me the other day when she resolved to not look thing up, which she’s doing a great job of, that whatever question you ask of the internet the answer is always yes. So if you ask “Are vaccines dangerous”, Yes. “Is eating bread bad for you”, Yes. It had potential but without gatekeepers, not so much. RFK Jr. though, needs to have his ass kicked from here to the other side of the country.

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  5. ROGirl said on January 24, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    Is heart surgery dangerous? Yes. Would I rather risk dying from a heart attack? No.

    I would rather risk any negative effects that the covid vaccine may cause than run the risk of getting sick.

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  6. Jason T. said on January 24, 2022 at 1:27 pm

    This paragraph from Steinberg’s blog on John Kass … my God, this paragraph! Laugh? I think my pants will never dry:

    Kass? I’d have great difficulty reading an entire column. Not if you paid me $1 a word. Not if you put a gun to my head and cocked the hammer back and told me I had to get to the end and summarize it or you’d pull the trigger and splatter my brains against a white wall. I mean, I would try, particularly for that buck a word. And maybe, probably, I could do it, but it would take intense concentration, fingers raking my cheeks, eyes whirling to track the pale little moths of thought as they slide off the page and flap silently away, casting strange shadows, circling around me like butterflies around Alice’s head.

    I’m so glad you hipped me to Neil Steinberg. Reading his work is an absolute delight.

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  7. Jeff Gill said on January 24, 2022 at 1:28 pm

    Deborah (or anyone interested): open Zoom, then click “zoom.us” and on the drop down, click “Preferences.” On that window, you get a sidebar list, and go to “Backgrounds & Filters” — when it switches to that, there’s a [+] over to the right. Click there, and it will let you browse your images on that computer to upload one. There are some common sense guidelines about it has to be a certain size and resolution, but most personal pics will work. You may have a clipping effect depending on the shape of the original that means you don’t get it framed the way you want behind you, but you can gauge for that and re-size your image and upload it again. And there are some stock backgrounds already in there, but this is for adding your own. Once it’s “in the system” it works anytime you’ve logged into your Zoom, even on other computers. Teams or Groups or Skype I do not know . . . but Zoom is pretty indulgent. I have half a dozen personal backgrounds I use, plus a pic of me sitting facing Pedernal (so mostly the back of my head) I use on Zoom when I don’t have video on.


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  8. Suzanne said on January 24, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    I admit to being a generally empathetic person but these COVID deaths among people who refuse to be vaccinated do not stir any empathy or sympathy. I do feel bit bad about my lack of compassion, but my 90 year old mother-in-law, fully vaccinated and boosted spent over a week hospitalized with COVID which she probably caught from staff at the assisted living facility where they now live. She is out of the hospital now, but she has lost a lot of ground.
    If someone wants to remain unvaccinated, fine, but stay home a don’t interact with the rest of us.

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  9. LAMary said on January 24, 2022 at 2:04 pm

    My virtual background works on Teams too.

    I have lots of nurse friends. I only know of one who is anti vaxx and I seriously don’t get it. He rants about people should have avoided the preventable comorbidities (like being over 65?) or they should have taken lots of vitamin D. This guy works in the ER and he did, last month, finally get vaccinated when Omicron showed up but his wife and kids are not vaccinated.
    And speaking of Omicron, sinus infections are very common as an after effect. I know this from personal experience. Talked to an NP today and she said I should not use antibiotics yet. If it goes on longer, then maybe. For now, a funky cough, lots of nose blowing, and pressure above my eyes. It’s not life threatening or life altering, just gross.

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  10. Deborah said on January 24, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    Jeff, thanks for the info, I’ve passed it on to my husband. And I followed you on Twitter too. I like that image of you in NM, I can relate, obviously. I never tweet anything, I just read others, a lot, an inordinate amount of my time is spent on Twitter, way too much.

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  11. Deggjr said on January 24, 2022 at 3:11 pm

    There’s no point in piling on John Kass but I will anyway.

    For years his columns read as if he wrote them in about an hour, without ever leaving his basement or even picking up the phone. Lazyass Kass.

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  12. Icarus said on January 24, 2022 at 3:46 pm

    I use to like Kass in the early noughties but I also liked Dennis Miller. Both went deep into the right-wing and lost my fanship forever.

    Alex from the previous thread: you definitely should sell while the market is hot. Based on all the headaches and work needed that you’ve posted over the years, take the money and run.

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  13. LAMary said on January 24, 2022 at 4:49 pm

    Someone has been jackhammering near my house for the last 5 hours. I can’t see who or where it is, but it’s too close and too loud.

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  14. alex said on January 24, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    I remember Steinberg’s takedown of John Kass the first time around and it was right up there with Nancy’s musings on Bob Greene. Very little I read these days makes me laugh so hard, and that one was all-time good. Of course, Steinberg’s a good read any goddamn day, but he really outdid himself that time.

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  15. Mssr. Coffee said on January 24, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    Have you read the RFK Jr. book? I mean, as in “actually read it?”

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  16. Colleen said on January 24, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    I’m with Suzanne. I’m usually a pretty compassionate person, but anymore, notsomuch. Anti vaxxers are no better than bullies.

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  17. FDChief said on January 24, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    I get that these people didn’t come up with this weapons-grade anti-vaxx-stupid all by their ownselves. Every talking head they listen to, from fucking Trump all the way down to skeevy broadcast pimps like Joe Rogen and Tucker Carlson, is filling their fat heads with this “you just don’t get vaccinated” nonsense.

    But I’m a right bastard and a member of the polio-and-smallpox generations. You have a pathogen? You get fucking vaccinated. Not for yourself alone, but because you live in a society, in a community, in a nation, and you owe all of them a duty not to be a completely selfish asshole.

    So I am utterly done with these people. I have no pity. I have no mercy left in me. Having – as a 64-year-old at high risk of bad outcomes if infected – lived for a year under the shadow of this damn plague I am perfectly fine condemning them to death now that there is a light that lifts that shadow and these ignorant people refuse to step out into it.

    They want to respond to a plague like 15th Century peasants?


    They get 15th Century “medical treatment”, then.

    Put them on the death cart back to whatever shit-hovel they inhabit. Toss them inside. Nail the doors and windows shut and mark them with the red cross of infection. Post the guards to shoot them if they try to emerge or shoot anyone who tries to free them.

    And then let the disease take them.

    Whoever remains alive in the month after the infection has run its course?

    May be allowed to creep out into the daylight again to be reviled and cursed as the dangerous fools they are.

    Damn these people, and damn the political party that is fostering them.

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  18. alex said on January 24, 2022 at 7:11 pm

    Some people may think the rules of polite society no longer apply in the post-Trump era, but Godwin’s Law still stands as far as I’m concerned and RFK Jr.’s inapt holocaust hyperbole negates anything he has to say in any book or from any podium. What a disgrace.

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  19. Jeff Borden said on January 24, 2022 at 7:13 pm

    John Kass was the voice of the ethnic, old, white, suburban man and that was about it. He’d been a pretty decent City Hall reporter years ago –not as good as the Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman, who’s still at it– but the column revealed him to be a reactionary goofball. He described himself as a “libertarian leaning conservative.” Anyone who uses the “L” word to describe themselves is not a serious person.

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  20. Icarus said on January 24, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    “Mike Ditka is the avatar of white reactionary Chicago politics, a wet Italian beef sandwich wrapped in a Kass column wearing a “Back to Back World War Champs” t-shirt in Mount Greenwood, double-dipping on City and Cook County pensions, constantly bitching about Trubisky but happy the Bears took him instead of Deshaun Watson.”

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  21. Jeff Borden said on January 24, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    Just saw the RFK Jr. quotes. Repugnant shit.

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  22. different Connie said on January 24, 2022 at 10:09 pm

    The detail about seven kids is a clue to where the couple falls on the ideological spectrum.

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  23. Dexter Friend said on January 24, 2022 at 11:55 pm

    I became friends with a guy a few years younger than me when I returned from the army. He lived nearly off the grid in a shack by the railroad tracks . He smoked weed, he drank beer, he was opinionated and interesting, smart, mechanical ability too, always fixing his VW Bug and his VW Microvbus, even took the van to Alaska with a spare engine for luggage. After I quit drinking in 1992, I only saw him once, then he popped up on Facebook, now crackpot of nature and expression. A sports hater, he responded to my sports oriented comment by typing ” …how can fans gather during a flu epidemic?”. He was being cynical, baiting me as I typed that I suppose most had sense enough to get a flu shot last October. Then it started; he boasted he never got a flu shot, never had the flu. Then, of course, he wrote of how the government never should have gotten into the vaccine business, etc. I would assume he is not vaccinated. As a young man he listened to my left wing rants willingly, differing from my viewpoints as most did, but generally he was progressive. Now, he’s sunk off into the ice barriers at the edge of the flat earth, I suppose. I don’t understand how a man who can wire a house, fix any machine, understand nutrition, science in general, can be caught up in such nonsense. For years he quoted Matt Drudge. Maybe that’s it. He calls MSNBC a clown show. I silenced him for a while on Facebook. Shit.

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  24. Connie said on January 25, 2022 at 6:36 am

    Young couple next door has a six month old baby. Mom is an antivaxxer. Her mom must be as well, because, well, her funeral is today. 65.

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  25. Mssr. Coffee said on January 25, 2022 at 7:01 am

    I take it that’s a “no,” then.

    We now return you to your regularly-scheduled Five Minutes’ Hate. Damn Goldstein, I bet he wasn’t vaxxed.

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  26. Mark P said on January 25, 2022 at 9:02 am

    When I went to work in Huntsville, Al, back in the 1980’s, my boss’s boss had cystic fibrosis. He was an outlier, a middle-aged man with CF. When he had occasional hospital stays, he was in a ward for CF patients, all children. His disease progressed, as it does, and he had to quit work. He became so depressed that he made a half-hearted suicide attempt. And then when the only way for him to survive was a lung transplant, he was ineligible because of his suicide attempt.

    I think it’s perfectly acceptable to refuse treatment for Covid to someone who could have take the vaccine but chose not to. In fact, with an overloaded healthcare system, it is the only rational, ethical path.

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  27. alex said on January 25, 2022 at 10:36 am

    What’s most alarming is that these people remain steadfast in their stupidity while their loved ones drop dead all around them. They’d rather believe garbage agitprop than their own eyes.

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  28. Suzanne said on January 25, 2022 at 11:54 am

    I will never understand it, Alex. My cousin’s wife died of COVID pre-vaccine. My cousin’s brother still refuses to be vaccinated. A local businessman, rabid Trumpster and anti-vaccine person, died of COVID but locals claim that isn’t true, rather say he died of pneumonia.

    I am 63 and have never in my life seen such mass insanity.

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  29. Ann said on January 25, 2022 at 12:37 pm

    I read the Herman Cain award subreddit regularly. It really opened my eyes to the depth of misinformation out there. The moderators do a good job of making sure there’s no way to i.d. the subjects, unless, like Cain himself, they’re public figures. They do have a special flair for people who get immunized so they won’t get the award and a redemption award for people who have second thoughts. Not a lot of those, but enough that it’s not all bleak and nasty. A local guy here called up his buddies from the ambulance on the way to the hospital and told them to get vaccinated. Unfortunately he didn’t make it, but now at least his buddies have a chance.

    The Marquette Mining Journal still has a “vessels” report, telling us what boats will be in when.

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  30. LAMary said on January 25, 2022 at 2:16 pm

    My post omicron sinus infection ain’t going away so I decided to use my telehealth benefit of my medicare advantage plan. Got a nice doctor who is requesting a scrip for augmentin for me. Enough of the headache and gunky cough. I’m going on drugs.

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  31. Julie Robinson said on January 25, 2022 at 2:44 pm

    Apparently there is a new Omicron variant, possibly not as virulent, but with the ability to evade testing. That would explain the friend who was miserably sick for eight days but kept testing negative.

    And yet, at the vet’s a woman came in without a mask, and when asked to put one on, growled that you get sicker from wearing the mask than the virus. So that one’s still making the rounds. After she went outside, Mom thanked the women behind the desk for making her put one on. They said they wanted to stay healthy so they didn’t have any problem reminding people to put them on.

    That was a positive about the practice but everything else was a negative. The worst two, of maybe ten: being upsold on unnecessary tests to the tune of $750, which Mom declined, and using a sedative to give kitty her shots. Her old vet managed just fine with a towel and a couple of vet techs.

    So we start over on finding a vet. The one the kids use isn’t taking new patients even from the same household, and this one came highly recommended by a friend. Hmpf.

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  32. Bruce Fields said on January 25, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    I haven’t heard that there’s a new Omicron variant that’s less likely to be spotted by tests.

    You may be thinking of stories like this?:


    Note, they say: “The variant is still detected as coronavirus by all the usual tests”.

    The trouble is just with distinguishing variants. So a PCR test would still give you a positive result, it just might not identify it as Omicron specifically, which is a problem for people trying to track the spread of specific variants.

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  33. Julie Robinson said on January 25, 2022 at 4:08 pm

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2022/01/24/covid-omicron-ba2. (It’s not behind a paywall.) Here’s the relevant sentence: Some scientists have dubbed BA.2 the “stealth omicron” because it has genetic traits that make it more difficult to identify the omicron form of the virus on PCR tests. As I read it again, Bruce may be correct.

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  34. LAMary said on January 25, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    My son who is the likely source of my omicron tested negative twice. He did a PCR test but never got the result. There’s been a problem with bogus test sites popping up here. Of all of us I had the ugliest bout with omicron. Not scary or enough to make me want to go to the ER. Just like a really bad cold. The rest of the group had coughs and some snottiness or in the case of the carrier, no symptoms at all. I was the queen of snot for a week or so.

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  35. Dexter Friend said on January 25, 2022 at 6:07 pm

    LA Mary, you are not alone, the queen of snot : https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailystar.co.uk%2Fnews%2Flatest-news%2Fqueen-captured-picking-nose-royal-18728724&psig=AOvVaw17fy1rCc47TJBYhq7POIBg&ust=1643238375737000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAsQjRxqFwoTCOCgnJiCzvUCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

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  36. Deborah said on January 25, 2022 at 8:29 pm

    I know people with Omicron who have reported excessive snot too.

    Julie, I need to thank you for suggesting curtains on a closet door. LB had actually suggested that a while ago instead of our crappy bifolds but at that time it didn’t register with me as something that could look OK. After you mentioned it in a comment I looked it up online and found some instances where it looked great. So I got some heavyish weight natural (off white)cotton curtains with a sort of linen weave and it took me about 4 hours to get one of the former double bifolds done today. It looks great. I will do the other double bifold next to it tomorrow. It will be a wall of curtains instead of a bunch of stupid bifolds. It makes a lot of sense, so much easier and quieter to open and close and doesn’t take up space in the room when open, the bedrooms are small so that’s a huge plus. The hardest part was ironing and hemming. The curtains match the wall and trim color and brings softness and warmth into the room. They’re washable of course, and inexpensive compared to good doors and getting someone to install them. When LB gets back from California we’re going to do her room too, but will probably pick a color instead of the off white, her room is pretty colorful. We still have to repair the laundry room bifolds because curtains would not block the noise of the washer and dryer. Anyway, Julie thanks again for mentioning that. If and when we ever get nice doors this will certainly be a perfectly fine solution in the meantime.

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  37. Julie Robinson said on January 25, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    You’re welcome, Deborah, happy it worked well for you. Just don’t choose fabric that’s too thick or it will bunch up and hide the sides of the closet. Suzy Homemaker signing off.

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  38. beb said on January 26, 2022 at 2:09 am

    Alex – My wife was a nurse for 30 years working in nursing homes. She has said that some patients just before they pass show increased vitality. I suppose it something like the body has shut down some organs to deliver more energy to the brain. Enjoy her while she’s here.

    I expressed my feeling about anti-vaxxer in the previous thread while talking about the death of Meatloaf. Another Right wing Grievance (RWG) is a man in need of a heart transplant but the hospital has refused to operate because he’s unvaccinated. As the doctors point out a transplant patient has one of th most immune-compromised system in the world. Why give him a scarce heart transplant when he won’t take care of it?

    I wonder if Congress were to institute a $500 COVID tax on all Americans 5 years and older, but with a waiver for anyone vaccinated if that would get the hold-out to get the shots? Would it survive the extra-legal judgement pf the Supreme Court?

    By the way I read why there is no Flu Mandate. It’s because the effectiveness of vaccines for measles or diphtheria is 95% or better, just as the COVID is 99% effective. The Flu vaccinate we get is only about 30% effective. Not good enough to make a federal case out of it.

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  39. David C said on January 26, 2022 at 6:55 am

    -17°F this morning. This is what working from home was made for.

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  40. JodiP said on January 26, 2022 at 11:58 am

    I also had a bifold door situation on tiny closets–48″ tall aby 24″ wide. I found a handyman who bought regular doors and cut them to size and paited them. They have panels on them and cute crystal knobs. They are so charming! I considered cloth but want to keep the cats out of the closets.

    The WC here is -27 but I still walked for a half hour this morning. Beautiful, subtle sunrise and a fun talk with my sis who is interviewing for another job today. She’s basically been recruited elsewhere in her county area. As someone with a wee bit of suerpvision and itnerviewing experience, it was great to help her prepare. It’s been rewarding to see her grow and thrive in a real work environment.

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  41. alex said on January 26, 2022 at 12:15 pm

    Just heard Stephen Breyer is retiring, so Biden will get to appoint a new justice. Just not one who will make any difference.

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  42. Sherri said on January 26, 2022 at 12:45 pm

    Still better than letting the QOP replace Breyer. Too bad the Dems are too chickenshit to put 4 more justices on the court, but given that they can’t even get rid of the filibuster to protect voting rights, that will never happen.

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  43. Jeff Borden said on January 26, 2022 at 2:17 pm

    The Dems better replace Breyer in a hurry. If Moscow Mitch takes control again, we’ll have an 8-person SCOTUS with six hard rightwing justices until a QOP candidate is elected.

    I’m not thrilled Nancy Pelosi is running again at 81. God, we need some new liberal blood. But there is no denying her effectiveness as a House speaker so there’s that, I guess.

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  44. Mark P said on January 26, 2022 at 3:46 pm

    Manchin’s only reason for living is to put the Democrats in charge of the Senate. Otherwise he’s a useless piece of s**t. Maybe not even that, because shit is the remnants of what was once useful.

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  45. Sherri said on January 26, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    Bill Kristol, who is a Very Serious Person who has a media platform and has used that platform to do things like promote Sarah Palin in the past but thinks Trump is beyond the pale, has a suggestion for Biden. He thinks it’s very clever.

    Here’s his plan. Biden nominates Kamala Harris to the Supreme Court, solving his supposed Kamala problem. Then, (and here’s the part that you can tell Kristol thinks is very, very clever), Biden names Romney as VP, because we need National Unity for our crises.

    The way you can tell that Kristol is a Very Clever Very Serious Person is that he thinks that naming Mitt Romney VP would create National Unity. I, a mere not clever, unserious person, without a media platform, think that the reason there is no national unity is because there is fundamental disagreement over values, and having two old white guys with different labels in charge wont change that.

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  46. Deborah said on January 26, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    Romney as VP would solve nothing, who are they kidding. The never-Trumpers are trying hard to get their foot in the door. Honestly. And Kamala Harris has way more going for her as the possible next president after Biden if he wins a second term.

    I loved RBG but she made a huge mistake staying at the fair too long, thank goodness Breyer is retiring so he can be replaced post haste. I wish the Dems would add more justices but I’m not holding my breath as others have said here. The Republicans would do it if they needed to, we all know that. They’ll also ditch the filibuster first chance they get if they win back the senate.

    I finished my closet doors replacement project today, I didn’t sleep well last night because I kept thinking about what I needed to do to get the job done. It looks better than the crappy bifold doors I will say.

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  47. beb said on January 26, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    Sherri @45 – Kristol’s suggestion had me laughing out loud. Why would Romney unite the country when the entirety of the Republican party needs to be locked up in mental hospitals.

    I came here to promote that Amanda Marcotte article, which kind ties i with Sherri’s post.


    Marcotte argues that Crypto, Anti-Vaxx, libertarian and MAGA are linked by a belief that these people are entitles to cheat to get ahead in the world.

    I’m happy to hear that Beyer plans to retire during this session of Congress. And I think Biden is right to propose a Black woman as his replacement.

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  48. alex said on January 26, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    So Amy Schneider finally lost tonight. I watched with my mother. I think Amy’s winning streak on Jeopardy was one of the things that’s been keeping her going.

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  49. Elizabeth said on January 26, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with the anger and frustration with the deniers that FDChief writes about.”Damn these people, and damn the political party that is fostering them.” I have been reading Nancy’s column for a long time and enjoy the comments from her readers. It helps me since currently I am surrounded by deniers in the county where I reside.

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  50. Sherri said on January 26, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    I know I curse too goddamn much for some people on here, but I curse for a reason. That reason is that some people, like the ten members of the McMinn County (TN) School Board who voted to ban the graphic novel Maus from their schools, are more concerned that their precious children be protected from inappropriate words like “goddamn” than they are that those children learn about atrocities like the Holocaust.

    I’m proud to say, I taught my daughter to curse like a fucking sailor.

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  51. Deborah said on January 26, 2022 at 9:58 pm

    I curse like a sailor too, and LB is even worse than me. My dad was a sailor and my mom was always after him about his language around me and my sister. After my mom died we were free to say what we wanted to some extent. I try not to curse around people I know who are offended by it. But on nn.c I find it liberating to speak my mind. I do think lately that “fuck” has become too easy and lazy to use and I’m trying to come up with more appropriate and creative ways to express myself unapologetically.

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  52. susan said on January 26, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    Some things just bring out the cursing where it didn’t previously exist. When we were kids (in the 1950s), my brothers and I were always severely reprimanded if we said anything like “shit” or “damn” within earshot of our parents. (In them days, “fuck” just did not exist in some circles, so that wasn’t an issue.) Back in the early 1980s, I was visiting my folks for a couple of weeks. I was in the kitchen with Mom, making dinner. NPR was on in the background. Ronald Reagan’s mellow lying voice broke through the ether. “That fucking Reagan,” blurted Mom. !¡!!? What th’?? I had never ever heard her say that word before. I was so proud of her! But it took Reagan to make that happen. Mercifully, both my parents died before Trump was the problem. I can’t imagine the blue language that would come out of the kitchen, now….

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  53. Dexter Friend said on January 27, 2022 at 2:13 am

    I spell it “goddam” because I am a JD Salinger fan. I picked up that spelling during my first reading of “Catcher in the Rye”. Books I read as a young boy and as a slightly older youth are fun to read as an adult and then again as a septuagenarian. Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer and Catcher… are good examples. As a schoolboy I read the new book by Steinbeck, “Travels With Charley”. At 35 I bought a copy at an outdoor book fair, and I just finished it yesterday for the third time. I got so much more out of it as I aged. Some books I keep handy to read a few pages regularly. “A Confederacy of Dunces”, by John Kennedy O’Toole, “Cannery Row” and “Sweet Thursday”, Steinbeck, “Maggie Cassidy”, Kerouac are some like that, along with my AA books which I read like devout religion-based folks read bibles.
    I wish some anti-vaxxers could have been listening to my V.A. doctor yesterday as she told of the impact Covid19 has had on her job at the Toledo clinic and the stunning loss of life she has witnessed. No one who was fully vaxxed and boosted has died from her patients flock. “Many” was her word on how many of her un-vaxxed patients and her fellow doctors’ unvaxxed patients have died, are suffering brain fog, and/or are now on oxygen because of the damage Covid19 caused to their lungs. She said she realizes it is a political thing, the conspiracy theories, the shame of it all leading to unnecessary deaths. She did surprise me when she said Moderna was more efficient that Pfizer. J&J was just not mentioned. I have seen many doctors as have many my age, and this V.A. doctor is by far the best one, so efficient, so helpful. Some other doctors…well, you know…meh.

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  54. jerry said on January 27, 2022 at 2:25 am

    Test post from PC. Got a server problem trying to p;ost a comment from my iPad

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  55. jerry said on January 27, 2022 at 2:46 am

    Just submitted a test post from my iPad and it worked so I deleted it.

    My previous comment is a little irrelevant by now so I shan’t bother to retype it. Saw the comment about it being -17F and shivered. It’s been 36F most mornings recently and quite cold enough, thank you very much.

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  56. ROGirl said on January 27, 2022 at 5:13 am

    Why is Bill Kristol still drawing a paycheck? And didn’t Tom Friedman recently propose Liz Cheney for VP? Same question applies to him.

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  57. Dexter said on January 27, 2022 at 6:38 am

    Jerry, “Partygate” is getting attention over here. Boris is facing a few letters of no confidence but as of now not near the 54 needed to proceed in getting him removed from 10 Downing. And it is minus 3 F. here right now. Colder than a well digger’s ass.

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  58. alex said on January 27, 2022 at 7:29 am

    Kristol has his head up his ass if he seriously thinks Romney as Biden’s VP would bring the country together. The right wing media sphere would be howling with laughter and derision as it’s doing already at the very idea. No, the rift won’t heal until Fox, OAN, etc. face some serious reckoning for the harm they’ve done and are forced to cease and desist from playing the rubes at the expense of the rest of us.

    Kristol hasn’t accepted the fact that he and his brand of conservatism have been shown up as completely irrelevant and hollow.

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  59. Jeff Borden said on January 27, 2022 at 10:44 am

    In his 1961 inaugural address, JFK warned non-aligned nations to beware of partnering with the USSR, saying that those who tried to ride the tiger often found themselves inside it. So it is with what’s left of the Republican Party.

    Party leaders found the MAGAts “useful idiots” as they rammed through the massive tax cuts benefitting the 0.01 percent and flooded the federal courts with rightwing judges manufactured by the Federalist Society. Ah, but now those MAGAts cannot be controlled and they are running roughshod over the old school, pro-business party members. The red hats are far more interested in fighting culture wars and “owning the libs” than rewriting tax codes to insulate the ultra-wealthy. It would be a laughable situation if the MAGAts were not so fucking dangerous.

    BTW, have any of you read about the embrace of Putin and Russia by Fox? Tucker McNear Swanson Carlson is leading the charge, declaring the U.S. has no stake in defending a fledgling democracy like Ukraine. Apparently, Russian state media is running Carlson’s show with subtitles to demonstrate that many Americans don’t care if Vlad sends 120,000 troops into a sovereign nation. Man, I remember when being pro-Russia would get your ass kicked. So many things are so very different in the wake of the orange cancer.

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  60. Jenine said on January 27, 2022 at 11:42 am

    If anyone wants to learn about what prepared the ground for cryptocurrency, why it is not a serious alternative to banking and is just basically gambling: Line Goes Up by Dan Olson.
    You may be put off by the video length (more than two hours!), but I would encourage watching the first 20 minutes. I learned a great deal just from that and am watching the rest in chunks.

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  61. Mark P said on January 27, 2022 at 12:15 pm

    Dexter — About 50% more people received the Pfizer vaccine than the Moderna vaccine, so if they were equally effective, you would expect to see more Pfizer cases. But one study of VA cases found that people who received the Pfizer vaccine were 27% more likely to be infected and 70% more likely to be hospitalized than those with the Moderna vaccine. That sounds terrible, but the overall numbers are so small for both that small differences make large percentages. For the alpha variant, the numbers for Pfizer were 5.75 per 1000, and 4.52 for Moderna.

    The bottom line is that both are highly effective, and you could see a difference only in large numbers, like thousands of cases. I got the Pfizer vaccine, and I’m not worried.

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  62. Jeff Borden said on January 27, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    This damned country…


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  63. Suzanne said on January 27, 2022 at 2:04 pm

    Indeed, Jeff Bordon, indeed.

    As Yair Rosenberg writes:
    “It is indeed a shame that the Jews of Europe did not have the foresight to die in a more family-friendly fashion. One hopes that the school board will find a more wholesome way to discuss the Nazi genocide.”


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  64. alex said on January 27, 2022 at 2:41 pm

    I got the Pfizer and I’m not worried. I’ve managed to survive being around positive COVID cases who didn’t admit they had COVID and while I’m frankly livid about their dishonesty it would appear that the vaccine is effective.

    One was here in my workplace. Guy was in my face carrying on a conversation weeks ago with a ginormous ball of swollen lymph nodes on one side of his face. Wanted to ask if he’d been stung there by tarantula or something. He disappeared for a couple of weeks, popping in randomly from time to time to hold meetings with clients, and just recently returned. Claimed he had a cold. Overheard him talking to someone else who was out with COVID recently and not only did he admit to having COVID but both talked about how both of their households have been sick wards since Christmas.

    Thanks asshole. I have to go home to elderly parents and don’t want them to suffer a breakthrough case because of your selfishness.

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  65. LAMary said on January 27, 2022 at 4:23 pm

    I found out last night that I’m allergic to Augmentin. Never was before, but now I have rash that sure looks like rash one of my kids had when it was determined he was allergic to augmentin. The sinus infection will just have to run its course.

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  66. Icarus said on January 27, 2022 at 4:24 pm

    Does anyone want to play the guess what this job description bullet point really means game?

    Detailed-oriented, self-starter with a “can-do” attitude, especially when information and/or support is lacking.

    Comfortable handling ambiguously defined problems, developing creative solutions, and delivering against aggressive timelines.

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  67. alex said on January 27, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    Icarus, whoever it is would fit in fine in my place of employment. Maybe they can take my place when I take early retirement in order to save my sanity.

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  68. Suzanne said on January 27, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    Icarus, that job description means “We have no idea what anyone here is doing or how they do it but we want results and will be sure to tell that you have not met expectations. Training will not be provided, not ever.”

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  69. Bob (not Greene) said on January 27, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    Icarus, the answer to that job description is “community journalist”

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  70. LAMary said on January 27, 2022 at 5:12 pm

    Icarus, those mean that the boss will give you a vague assignment, no direction or leadership, and then blame you when it your assignment fails to be what was needed. Trust me, I read those things every day. They’re especially good when lots of acronyms are involved. Medical/military/and government acronyms combined in one assignment gets extra points.

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  71. Colleen said on January 27, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    I think we have several winners for the job description question. Especially the “no training, we will be sure to tell you that you aren’t meeting expectations” part.

    I do not miss working in an atmosphere where things were ambiguous and subject to the whims of management. Cuz ya can’t ever win.

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  72. tajalli said on January 27, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Icarus@66 my guess would be harried housewife?

    From transactional analysis (Eric Berne, Games People Play), this is a game where the “housewife” will never be able to win because stuff just keeps being piled on top of them by numerous people and then criticized when all expectations are not met. Very toxic.

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