The big questions.

I’m not Catholic anymore, but that’s how I was raised, and even though I’ve :::hand to forehead::: fallen away, there are parts of the One True that just stay with you. Which is the long way around to saying that when a Jesuit speaks about morality, I tend to listen with an open mind.

And hey, one did, Fr. James Martin, S.J., asking the question in the headline: How Do You Respond When an Anti-Vaxxer Dies of Covid?

Great question! I struggle with this one. There have been a few high-profile Covid deaths around here, and a few more on the national stage. I’m absolutely out of fucks, as the kids say, but I can’t go so far as touchdown dancing all over the internet, either. Death is the undiscovered country, and the dead know something we don’t. So give them that.

Martin has a few things to say on this topic:

At this point I could run through a list of philosophers, theologians and wise voices from religions and traditions around the world to prove my point. Instead I will reclaim a word that has been largely lost from our discourse: mean. Crowing over someone’s suffering or demise is as far from a moral act as one can imagine. It’s cruel.

Indulged in regularly, schadenfreude ends up warping the soul. It robs us of empathy for those with whom we disagree. It lessens our compassion. To use some language from both the Old and New Testaments, it “hardens” our hearts. No matter how much I disagree with anti-vaxxers, I know that schadenfreude over their deaths is a dead end.

“Come on!” some might say. “It’s a natural emotion.” That’s true — and emotions are usually beyond our control. If someone coughs intentionally (or thoughtlessly) in your face on the subway, it’s natural to get angry. At least for a few seconds.

But what you do with those emotions — give in to them, prolong them or intensify them — is a moral decision. After your fellow subway rider coughs in your face, you don’t need to express your anger by punching him. Simply letting your emotions take you wherever they please is what a baby does, not an adult.

I think that’s right. Higher in the column, he talks about Laura Ingraham, “a commentator who often expresses her belief in ‘Christian values,’ applauded the news that Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had tested positive for the coronavirus despite being vaccinated and boosted.” I want nothing to do with Laura Ingraham. So I’ll try it Fr. Martin’s way.

Speaking of morality, one of the zillion Republicans vying for the gubernatorial nomination here in Michigan stepped in it this week, making the case for women pregnant as a result of rape to be “heroic” and choose to carry their fetuses to term.

I’ve long found this position repugnant, but at least morally consistent; after all, if you believe all zygotes, embryos and fetuses to be fully formed humans with civil and constitutional rights, then you might as well go all the way. The people who say sorry, gotta have that kid are fully living their beliefs. The ones who make rape/incest exceptions are saying those embryos are expendable, but not the ones that came because you were a slutty slut. That’s directly punitive of women for their sexual choices, and even worse.

He’s not going to be the nominee, although I don’t know who will be, either. I do know that in just the last few days — and it’s only Tuesday! — one candidate has advocated for election interference and another for forced childbearing.

So now we’re all hunkered down, waiting for the big storm. Eight inches, no 12 inches, no FIFTEEN INCHES of snow, headed our way. We’ll be stuck indoors for two days, at least. So now, I’m going out to snag a cheeseburger made by someone else while I still can. Stay safe if you’re in the path.

Posted at 6:05 pm in Current events |

60 responses to “The big questions.”

  1. David Edelstein said on February 1, 2022 at 7:06 pm

    Someone who screams “Sheep!” at people standing in a vaccination line are a danger to society and feeling some satisfaction when she or he dies from Covid is, from an evolutionary perspective, adaptive. I’m with the posters at the Reddit sub called the Herman Cain Awards. The award is bestowed on those who die after haranguing others on social media and actively spreading disinformation. However, the site redacts names and photos. The goal is not to shame individuals (especially when there are grieving families) but to draw attention to the lethality of a worldview. (Laura Ingraham needless to say is feeding the frequent anti-vax talking point–“Ha ha. They’re vaxxed and boosted and they STILL get it,” pointedly omitting the fact that very very very very few people who get it under such circumstances die from the virus.)

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  2. alex said on February 1, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    Morally consistent or not, trying to make one’s religion the law of the land outside of one’s own religious domain is inviting schadenfreude. Honestly, I find myself cheering whenever leaders of the faith in question get busted with their pants down because their organization campaigns tirelessly against my right to take my pants down. You don’t own me or my zygotes, beeyotch, and apparently you don’t have much control over your priests’ zygotes either.

    As for the prominent anti-vaxxers, I should hope that their deaths serve as an example. Alas, just as with the Catholic Church, there will be those who remain steadfast in their devotion when others see no sense in it whatsoever. I guess that’s what constitutes a cult.

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  3. David C said on February 1, 2022 at 7:15 pm

    I feel bad for those who cared about the now dead but previously loudly anti-vax and tried to get them to do the right thing. For the dearly departed, it depends. How many people do they infect and take with them to the other side? How exhausted did they leave the doctors and nurses who tried to save their lives? Did they feel bad about either? Some sure do and say so. I don’t put them down. They were duped. The rest I don’t celebrate but I don’t mourn either.

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  4. Dexter said on February 1, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    5 to 8 both Wednesday and Thursday the Weather Channel reported… now it’s up to 21 inches expected.
    Jill Wine-Banks of the Watergate prosecution team says it’s time for a special grand jury to listen to all this confirmed evidence that Trump is a criminal for attempting to steal the election by seizing voting machines and a litany of related charges. Here in Ohio we continue to see constant ads by Mike Gibbons who wants to be Senator. His schtick is he is a solid Trumper, as the law closes in on Trump. The new ad has Rand Paul praising Gibbons.
    And very small kids can be vaxxed now. Moderna looking good.

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  5. Sherri said on February 1, 2022 at 9:09 pm

    I don’t want anti-vaxxers to die. I can feel sorry for their families when they die.

    I also feel anger because through their actions, they are making things worse for everybody else.

    I feel resentment, because I spent my childhood going to church three times a week, and I actually paid attention, only to learn that nobody really believed what they were saying about Jesus.

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  6. Ann said on February 1, 2022 at 9:36 pm

    Sherri, I really relate to your comment about being a childhood churchgoer. I often try to defend Christianity–look at the Civil Rights Movement, look at Bach–but it gets harder and harder.

    This is the best thing I’ve read about the loudly unvaccinated. Ultimately it’s a tragedy.

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  7. Mssr. Coffee said on February 1, 2022 at 10:18 pm

    Age 67, unjabbed, unmasked. Out and about every day … the gym, the coffee place, the volunteer job, grocery shopping, whatever. Haven’t had so much as a sniffle in well over two years.

    Here’s my gift to you folks: you have my full and sincere permission to laugh, celebrate, and generally dunk on me when I die of the Black Death.

    (Don’t hold your breath.)

    I’ll check in every now and then, so you’ll know I’m still north of the sod.

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  8. ROGirl said on February 2, 2022 at 5:36 am

    Smug assholes have just as much right to live as anyone else.

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  9. Snarkworth said on February 2, 2022 at 7:04 am

    May I share with you a bit of Marvell-inspired doggerel?

    Had we but Wordle enough and time,
    This idleness would be no crime.
    We’d search for clues, and once we’d seen,
    Our squares, my love, would all turn green.

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  10. Maria said on February 2, 2022 at 9:12 am

    Several years ago Jim Martin rewrote a series of Gospel stories from the perspective of conservative Christians. I can’t seem to link to it, but just google The Not So Social Gospels. They are are hilarious and spot on.

    My favorite is the story he titled “Jesus and The Lazy Paralytic.”

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  11. Mark P said on February 2, 2022 at 9:23 am

    I call bullshit on the Jesuit. It’s a form of both-siderism. It’s saying it’s OK to rejoice in your evil, but not to rejoice in the end of evil. I don’t wish anybody to die, except for people who try to get others to die. For those I make an exception.

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  12. basset said on February 2, 2022 at 9:42 am

    Second ROGirl’s comment. And that’s all the response our newest troll is getting from me.

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  13. Jeff Borden said on February 2, 2022 at 10:19 am

    We could all probably use a little more empathy, but it’s hard to maintain in the face of arrogant, willful stupidity. The good Jesuit is just invoking Nietzsche’s quote about how when we battle monsters, we run the risk of becoming monsters ourselves.

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  14. Mark P said on February 2, 2022 at 10:52 am

    But the corollary is that if you don’t battle monsters, the monsters win.

    We’ve tried the turning-the-other-cheek thing, and it doesn’t work. These people are beyond the normal social boundaries and need to be stepped on like roaches. The sad fact is that if all the Covid anti-vaxxers died, it would be a net gain for society as a whole. Some would suffer, but most would benefit. I feel some sympathy for those who loved the anti-vaxxers who died, but maybe they can take a lesson from their loss. But the anti-vaxxers themselves? No. Not even the slightest sympathy. No more than for some dumbass that decides to shoot up a gay bar and gets gunned down by the police. They endanger everyone else by their actions, and if they die by their own beliefs, then I take that as an argument for the existence of a just god.

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  15. Deborah said on February 2, 2022 at 11:38 am

    ROGirl for the thread win of the day. And Mark’s analogy of the dumbass who shoots up a gay bar and gets killed by the police is a good one. You get vaxxed, wear a mask and social distance to protect other people as well as yourself. My empathy wears thin when it comes to selfish smug assholes.

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  16. Scout said on February 2, 2022 at 12:05 pm

    Selfish smug assholes are the very reason we are two years into this mess and STILL can’t resume normal life. I don’t literally rejoice in anyone’s death, but when a loud antivaxx asshat bites it, I do reflect that at least they are no longer a super spreader of propaganda and germs. Who knew so many Americans are dumb enough to NOT ‘avoid it like the plague’? Seriously. After the last 5 years I should no longer be surprised at how many willfully mean and stupid so many people are, but I find I still have the capability for incredulity.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on February 2, 2022 at 12:19 pm

    The Jesuits are some tough hombres. We’re getting about a foot of snow today, tonight and tomorrow. It’s falling so fast the plow crews are having a tough time keeping the major arteries clear while the president of Cook County has urged all to remain inside wherever possible. But my chairman just informed me that, yes, we will be meeting in the classroom tomorrow and my request to teach via Zoom is denied. It’s how Loyola rolls, darn it.

    My comments on empathy notwithstanding, I’m as aggravated as anyone that a virus has been allowed to run rampant in the name of “freedom” and “owning the libs.” Mark may well be correct when he suggests the loss of these boneheads might be a net gain for society. It’s not just that they won’t get vaccinated, but that they are so loud and proud of their embrace of stupidity. Yet when I read about the Washington State trooper leaving behind a wife and four kids, I did feel badly. For them. They now pay the price for the patriarch’s foolish behavior. How much will his anti-vaxxer stance comfort them when there is an empty chair at the dinner table, when every birthday, anniversary and holiday is a reminder that dad is no longer with us, when all that is left is the ephemera of old photos, videos, etc.? I don’t think they’ll be celebrating his jackassery.

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  18. LAMary said on February 2, 2022 at 3:47 pm

    Refusal to be vaccinated is hardly a noble cause. I can’t imagine the family members proudly sharing that dad died because he wouldn’t get vaccinated. No matter that we’re all vaccinated several times by the time we’re 12 years old. This vaccination? Nah. I have my principles. Measles, polio, small pox, rubella, whooping cough, tetanus etc. Yes. A deadly highly contagious virus? Nah.

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  19. Bitter Scribe said on February 2, 2022 at 3:49 pm

    Eh, I feel as sorry for anti-vaxxers dying of COVID as they and their co-believers probably feel for women who die of illegal abortions.

    Which we’re going to be seeing a lot more of.

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  20. Jeff Borden said on February 2, 2022 at 4:07 pm

    You’re right about that, Bitter Scribe. When the six hard rightwing justices. . .five of them elevated by presidents who lost their elections but for the Electoral College. . .eventually throttle Roe v. Wade it will be hell on women who can’t afford a trip to a more enlightened state. There are stories of thousands of women from Texass journeying elsewhere to end their pregnancies. Poorer women will be forced to look for shady operators in their own cities. . .unless they can find a friend or acquaintance to help with the costs.

    Then again, how long will it be until some zealot arises to threaten legal abortions in Illinois, New York, California, Connecticut, etc.? Dog knows there’s plenty of rightwing money sloshing around these days to finance challenges.

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  21. Joe Kobiela said on February 2, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    About 6-7” of snow here in Auburn, sidewalks and driveway cleared and a 30 minute outside soak @ 103 degree water temperature with the Mrs, and now Blackhawks hockey.
    Life be good.
    Pilot Joe

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  22. beb said on February 2, 2022 at 11:41 pm

    I rescheduled a doctor’s appointment because the weathermen were talking 12-16 inches in Detroit. By dusk tonight we had maybe three inches. Our Snowpocalypsis became a snowfart.

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  23. Connie said on February 3, 2022 at 6:46 am

    11 inches here.

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  24. Deborah said on February 3, 2022 at 9:08 am

    It was 0° this morning in Santa Fe but only about 3 or 4” of snow. High today will be 19°. Tomorrow morning I have to take LB in for her hip ablation when the forecast says it will be 3°.

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  25. ROGirl said on February 3, 2022 at 10:22 am

    I shovelled when I got home last night and it was heavy and slushy, about 4 to 5 inches. Working from home today, just shovelled again. A few more inches, dry and powdery, it’s also about 15 degrees colder and windy.

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  26. Julie Robinson said on February 3, 2022 at 10:29 am

    Don’t hate me, but it’s a glorious 75° and sunny in Orlando. Not only that, but a neighbor put out a ginormous pile of key limes for anyone to take, and I’ve a feeling a key lime pie is in the works. Our son paid it forward by offering to juice them for neighbors and there is a line of mason jars on the counter.

    This distracts me from all the horrible Florida news; of self-proclaimed Nazis demonstrating and our governor saying we don’t know they were Nazis, of another CPAC conference here, of Neil Gorsuch speaking at a closed door session of the Federalist Society, no media allowed. Or maybe the Orange County Health Commissioner being suspended by his wacko counterpart in Tallahassee, all for the crime of sending an email to his staff encouraging them to get vaccinated.
    Rinse and repeat.

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  27. susan said on February 3, 2022 at 11:39 am

    All the sunshine, humidity, and copacetic temperatures in the world could not convince me to live in Florida. Nothing could. Sorry. Not sorry.

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  28. Deborah said on February 3, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    Key lime pie is my absolute favorite, especially with fresh key limes. My dad used to make limeade from our key lime tree in Miami, hearing the ice cubes clanking around in the glass pitcher while my dad was stirring, we’d come running. LB brought back a couple of freshly picked grapefruits from California that a patient gave LB’s friend. We are making a yogurt grapefruit cake today from an Ina Garten recipe. Baking inside while it’s bitter cold outside makes sense to me.

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  29. Deborah said on February 3, 2022 at 12:27 pm

    This is an interesting article about Vindman’s case against Don Jr, Guilliani etc I haven’t yet read what the outcome would be if Vindman’s case would be successful, which this article claims it could be. In other words, could people end up in Jail over this? Or just fined? Curious.

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  30. David C said on February 3, 2022 at 2:36 pm

    Well in WI we have snow and Nazis, Julie. So you win this season. In the Summer when it’s hotter and more humid than hell (or is hell dry heat, I don’t know) and you have Nazis we’ll win. So we’d both better get rid of the Nazis, I reckon.

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  31. Julie Robinson said on February 3, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    Ooh, limeade, that sounds lovely. We also have grenadine that he made from pomegranates so that might have to be included.

    David C this will be my third Florida summer and I didn’t find it that different from the midwest. You go out early in the day, then take a swim and stay in the AC until late at night. We are lucky to have a screened in lanai and pool so we can avoid the skeeters.

    Now the Nazis, that will be more difficult.

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  32. Deborah said on February 3, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    Believe me dry heat is much better than humid heat. Summers in Northern New Mexico are fantastic even when it can be in the 90s. Nights are always in the upper 50s and 60s. Lovely. Chicago in the summer, way too hot and humid. After growing up in Miami I had enough of humidity.

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  33. Deborah said on February 3, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    Oh great, just found out that the wind chill tomorrow morning will be -25 until 8am. We have to be at the place where LB is getting her hip ablation at 7am. many roads will be still be snowy and icy. Of course this would happen on that day. I don’t think it’s ever been that cold in Santa Fe for the last 10 years since we’ve had a presence here.

    Our grapefruit cake smells fantastic, it’s in the oven now.

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  34. alex said on February 3, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    They expect us back in the office first thing tomorrow. I’m planning to stay home and I’m sure I’m not the only one. It’s supposed to be 0 degrees and my truck, which is the only vehicle I’d drive in these conditions, is buried and I’m not about to go shovel it out.

    In other exciting Fort Wayne news, Prosecutor Karen Richards doesn’t plan to run for reelection after serving for the last 20 years. I’d like to think it’s because she can’t stomach pretending to be a Republican anymore, which is a prerequisite for holding virtually any office around here. Dave Kurtz of the Auburn Star wrote a good column last week in which he said many public officials over the years confided to him that they ran as Republicans because there was no other way to get elected but they never agreed with the party’s politics.

    La Richards got divorced a while back and has a hot piece of arm candy who looks to be about two decades her junior, so maybe she’s decided to get out of public life and go have some fun.

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  35. Dexter Friend said on February 4, 2022 at 12:44 am

    The Bridge got time on Rachel Maddow’s show tonight. Sheriff Dar Leaf of Barry County was interviewed about seizing voting machines as evidence. Trump pulled out all the stops in trying to seize voting machines, Homeland Security, DoD, everybody…then tried to get state police on the job in several states to impound voting machines where Trump was figuring he was behind. It’s a crazy story. After seizing Barry County machines, they urged Kalamazoo officials to do the same…details after that tailed off. Amazing corruption…what the fuck is DOJ waiting for? There’s enough documented evidence all over the place to get Trump into various courts of justice.
    I see it’s an old story actually.

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  36. Jeff Borden said on February 4, 2022 at 12:03 pm

    I’m really just amazed at the low-key the coverage of this very real attempt to subvert the will of American voters by tRump and his very real and very evil cronies. While the players in this kooky coup are some of the lowest class idiots ever produced, they nonetheless came exceedingly close to overthrowing our democracy and many of them remain active including members of Congress. Is our slow-moving legal system capable of bring them to justice and restoring faith in our government? I fear not. All those expensive lawyers funded by all those billionaire rightwing shitheels are playing rope-a-dope with the process as the mid-terms are mere months away.

    Perhaps it is time to start those Spanish lessons. There are lots of pleasant hideaways in Spanish-speaking countries if the pitchfork-wielding mob takes over here.

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  37. Icarus said on February 4, 2022 at 12:23 pm

    Jeff Borden @ 36: the more time that passes since 1/6 insurrection, the more I feel anything that is done will be disproportionately inadequate in the name of take your pick:

    * “healing”
    * lack of political will
    * path of least resistance
    * entropy

    and that is assuming anything is done at all.

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  38. Mark P said on February 4, 2022 at 12:51 pm

    Jeff Borden – One of my friends has a brother who is actively investigating the Azores. In fact, he’s there now for a while to get a better idea of what it would be like. It’s Portuguese, but apparently English is widely spoken.

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  39. Jeff Borden said on February 4, 2022 at 1:06 pm

    Portugal is a wonderful nation. I think I’d feel quite at home in Porto. Most professionals speak English, but that leaves out a lot of the other people you might want to meet. And Portuguese is a tough language to master. The wife of my buddy from Charlotte visits the country two or three times per year and has become quite fluent. Maybe I can con them into accompanying my wife and me to a new life, eh?

    I think Icarus is probably correct. Maybe the DOJ should have gone Hulk on tRump and his thugs from the get-go. Then again, I’m reminded that Merrick Garland oversaw the investigation and prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombers, which was notable for a complete lack of leaks while it was ongoing. I sure wish things were happening faster.

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  40. Deborah said on February 4, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    Porto is a beautiful place, I was there in the mid 90s on a business trip, it has one of the most beautiful gardens I’ve ever seen, and I was there in January. I stayed a few extra days to roam around a bit. I’m embarrassed to say I was there because I was designing architectural signage for a shopping mall, sadly an ugly shopping mall, the architecture firm I worked for had designed the building. Isn’t that a shame, a shopping mall in a place like Porto, where there are lovely ancient shops where you can buy wonderful things. The shopping mall’s main anchor was the European equivalent of Walmart. Like malls everywhere it’s probably a big dead hulk now.

    I’ve been listening to a good podcast called Deep State Radio and they recently had a good discussion about what seems to be the mysterious lack of activity by the DOJ regarding the prosecution of Trump. One of the guests said that Merrick Garland is probably (definitely) involved in an investigation but wants to get it absolutely right, because if they can’t convict then basically Democracy and the rule of law is done for in the US.

    We are back after LB’s hip ablation, it went well but she won’t know for weeks just how much pain relief she will have. She was sedated for the procedure so she’s sleeping now and isn’t supposed to do anything the rest of the day. After today she can do whatever she can tolerate.

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  41. Deborah said on February 4, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    I will add that I was so worried last night about driving early this morning on icy roads to get to the clinic, the wind chill was only -11, not the -25 they had predicted. The main roads were fine, the car started, the side roads were bad but I could go very slow at 6:30am.

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  42. Deborah said on February 4, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    Oh my God, I just googled the shopping mall in Porto, it opened in 96, so I was there probably before 95. It was completely renovated in 2006 with new owners and it’s even uglier now, I didn’t think that was possible. All of the architectural signage I designed is gone which is fine with me, not my favorite project except that I got to travel to Portugal. It looks like it could be in Peoria, or Toledo.

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  43. Suzanne said on February 4, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    Today, Mike Pence said: “President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election. The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone. And frankly, there is no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.”

    Am I the only one who doesn’t trust him at all and doesn’t believe he has a spine? He isn’t capable of the courage needed to say this on his own.

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  44. Jeff Borden said on February 4, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    The RNC has declared the Jan. 6 riot as “legitimate” political activity. This is no longer a political party. It’s a white nationalist movement.

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  45. alex said on February 4, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    I take it as a sign that Pence knows Trump’s not going to be a threat to his aspirations much longer. He’s nuts, though, if he thinks he won’t get his clock cleaned by DeSantis, Cruz, Hawley or any number of other Republican dirty tricksters who’ll be duking it out in ’24. But a fool can dream, can’t he? And he can test the waters at a Federalist Society event, a safe space where assuredly no one believes that the election was stolen, even if they might have wished for a coup anyway.

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  46. LAMary said on February 4, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    That was my take on it too, Alex. He sees Trump is losing his appeal. Cruz is too disgusting to win, I think. But then I thought Trump was too disgusting to win.

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  47. jcburns said on February 4, 2022 at 10:10 pm

    This is the thing. I’ve read way way back through a bunch of comments here and way back a decade or more, our contempt for even the idea of Trump as president was, well, uniform, well-founded….and naïve.

    Too disgusting? For Republicans?

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  48. Deborah said on February 4, 2022 at 10:47 pm

    I was reading a Twitter thread the other day about cults, it was mostly about evangelical cults, one was the Dominionists who believe that basically god intended that they have dominion over the earth, that includes economical, ecological etc, another was a Catholic group called Opus Dei (Catholic), one of the weird things they believe is that it’s ok to do things that compromise your scruples as long as it promotes success for the mission, in other words “the ends justify the means”. Billy Barr was on the board of that organization, so some think his interference of the Mueller investigation was him deciding that it was more important to God’s will that the Republicans retain power than admitting that Mueller had it right about obstruction of justice by Trump. There were lots more examples of evangelical cults, I will try to retrace my Twitter history to find a link.

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  49. Dexter Friend said on February 5, 2022 at 12:45 am

    What do you suppose the autopsy will reveal regarding the defrocked priest in a Pennsylvania prison, serving life for blackmailing young boys to send him nude photos and videos? 41 years of age, found dead in his cell.

    Most people are seeing through Pence, the Trumper sycophant until yesterday, as a weak potential 2024 ticket bearer. That said, this was his clarion call to repuggs to let them know he’s going to be fighting DeSantis for the nod if Trump is in chains and orange. There certainly is enough hard evidence right now against Trump, but I am preaching to the choir here. Along with what I perceive is what J.C. Burns is writing here, they can’t come up with a dirtier dangerous candidate than anti-mask, anti-vax-for-all DeSantis. They have several more just as rotten, sure, but DeSantis is their candidate if Trump can’t fake it again. DeSantis is woke, yeah, right…he has a doctor in his camp who is Black and an anti-masker and a real nut case. Just another sycophant of Trump and DeSantis.

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  50. ROGirl said on February 5, 2022 at 8:56 am

    I have no doubts candidates will get dirtier and some will win.

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  51. Jeff Borden said on February 5, 2022 at 10:03 am

    The cast of “Freaks” can’t hold a candle to Republicans these days.

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  52. Suzanne said on February 5, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    Pence is no hero.
    This from Twitter sums it up best:
    “Mike Pence was surrounded by a conspiracy to end democracy in America. He didn’t call the FBI. He didn’t alert the public. He waited to see if it would succeed. When it was clear it would fail, at the last minute he threw in with the winning side.”

    Then he waited another year to announce that Trump was wrong.

    I take his recent statement as a challenge to his fellow Republicans to make sure they get re-elected so they can change the laws in order to allow him to legally do exactly what Trump wanted.
    He is no hero.

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  53. jcburns said on February 5, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    Agreed, no hero. I really wish all these people were in custody (even awaiting trial) so we don’t have to have these waves of “oh, Trump said this” and “Bannon announced that” and so on.

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  54. Jeff Gill said on February 5, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    Hard to know what to think of the Ohio senate seat polling at this point, but with Moreno dropping out, behind a fig leaf of “I went to Mar-a-lago to speak with President Trump and we agreed it could be a problem having too many pro-Trump candidates running against each other” there’s a certain grim calculus shaping up. He spent almost $4M of his own money to move from 2 to at best 6%; Mike Gibbons has spent at least $11M and moved his numbers from around 8 to 17%, and now has unleashed his secret weapon — Rand Paul’s endorsement!

    Meanwhile, Josh “I Have No Shame At All” Mandel continues to lead the pack at around 20%, with J.D. Vance sticking close behind him in the neighborhood of 15%; Jane Timken, former state party head, has a poll out of her campaign that has her closer to Mandel than Vance, but otherwise she runs not only behind Mr. Elegy but south of Gibbons and his macho footballist ads. Matt Dolan, whom I’ve met and who has coherent policy ideas and minimal obeisance to Trump, of course trails the pack at 5%.

    Weirdly, there’s a common thread for some of these outlier candidates and I suspect Pence, who has to be road kill as things stand now . . . it’s staying in the race and positioning if, God forbid*, DJT suddenly pitches forward into his well done ketchup doused steak. I’ve been consistently amazed at how many marginal candidates and seemingly reasonable donors stick with an unlikely horse based simply on the belief that they’d feel even worse if they dropped out and the leader of the pack dropped dead.

    Honestly, on the GOP national scene, it’s hard to see who ends up with any kind of place to stand if the Maven of Mar-a-lago suddenly sank from view. An interesting thought exercise.

    *a figure of speech in this case; however, as my beloved keeps saying, “I don’t want him dead, just a disabling stroke would do, if not an orange jumpsuit.”

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  55. beb said on February 5, 2022 at 10:31 pm

    A single mother friendly addition to a library:
    It’s a computer carrel with an attached playpen so mothers can set their children down to play while they do mom stuff on the computer. It’s one of those things where a contractor doing renovation at a library asked the people working there if there was anything they felt was needed. Asking users their opinion … what a concept. Sarcasm aside, you look at this and wonder why it took so long for someone to have this idea.

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  56. Dexter Friend said on February 6, 2022 at 3:42 am

    JeffG. My network TV comes from Toledo and I am so sick of Gibbons and his ads, always hailing Trump. Oh he is a Trumper alright and Trump plays big around here.
    Mandel is a vampire, right? He looks like a character from “True Blood”.

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  57. Jeff Gill said on February 6, 2022 at 8:27 am

    Vampire . . . hmmm. This would explain a great deal!

    He’d be one of those Copperhead Vampires that A. Lincoln didn’t get with his silver axehead.

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  58. Deborah said on February 6, 2022 at 10:33 am

    Another nice thing about that library computer carrol that Beb linked to is that the company that designed it is not making it proprietary so that any company can copy it making it more prolific and used in lots of libraries. But it’s not just for moms, dads taking care of babies can use it too of course.

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  59. alex said on February 6, 2022 at 1:08 pm

    I note that three years ago on this date Nancy posted about a bitter feud between Alex Jones and Joe Rogan that had erupted because the former had become banned from social media while the latter had the ear of Twitter’s CEO.

    I had forgotten all about Rogan until last week, when musicians started defecting from Spotify in a protest over Rogan spreading COVID misinformation in his podcasts.

    Now it comes out that Rogan has been dropping N-bombs on his podcasts for years and Spotify is scrambling to identify and remove all of the offending episodes.

    Too bad Spotify didn’t cut its losses and dump Joe Rogan at the first opportunity, but after a PR disaster like this one I don’t see how they cannot.

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  60. basset said on February 6, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    Found a link that I posted here in 2015, it’s still worth watching:

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