Happy Independence Day. On this day, the first in nearly a half-century in which women no longer have bodily autonomy, six people are dead and 16 24 (as of now) are hospitalized after yet another mass shooting. I’m sure you’ve heard of it by now; it was in Highland Park, Ill., at the most American event possible, a July 4 parade. Children are separated from their parents. The shooter is still at large.

God bless America.

Maybe you’ve seen one of the video clips, of people running as a klezmer band plays on a flatbed. Highland Park is a very Jewish suburb, so that adds another angle to consider. I predict that within a week, once again nothing will be done except some lip-flapping about mental health, and soon we’ll see the grateful tweets about being able to “defend your family” with all the weaponry money can buy.

This isn’t freedom. It’s the opposite of freedom.

Exact moments as shots are heard as a mass shooting unfolds in Highland Park during a 4th of July parade celebration. #highlandpark #masshooting

— CHICAGO CRITTER (@ChicagoCritter) July 4, 2022

Not celebrating anything today. It’s another 90-degree scorcher. I got my morning swim out of the way when it was still bearable, bought groceries, and am now finishing a Mick Herron novel in my air-conditioned house, which I nearly killed myself cleaning yesterday. Our bathroom(s) project is done, but as usual, the silt-like dust that went through the house lives on. Not feeling particularly celebratory right now, anyway. But that’s the thing about the Fourth of July — no one demands that you show up for a parade, wave a flag, or whatever. You’re free to shelter from extreme heat with a technology that will further degrade the environment, whoopee. Beats sheltering from mass shooters, I guess.

I did have a good time at my reunion. The MAGA who ended my last one on a sour note wasn’t there, and I found some fun people to hang with, including the class president, who I barely exchanged a word with when we were in school together. The downside of a class of 750, I guess. There were more than 100 people there, and it was beastly hot in the courtyard of the restaurant we had reserved, even in the shade. Fortunately, the bar was air-conditioned, and open. A few more names have been added to the In Memoriam page. I looked it over while I was there (it was projected on a wall). Tried to remember who went when – car crashes first, then AIDS, then the early-reaping cancers, heart disease, etc. I mentioned this to one classmate I had zero memory of back then, and couldn’t even remember his name written somewhere on a class list. He said if you make it to 65, you’re probably good for another 15-20 years, then introduced himself as a public-health specialist. Figure he’d know.

Drove home Saturday afternoon, and listened to radio shows and podcasts about the Dobbs decision. On “This American Life,” an enthusiastic anti-abortion activist answered a question about what you’d say to a woman who absolutely, positively does not want in any way to be pregnant something like this: Tough shit, life is difficult, deal. Wow, what a gal.

OK, then. This photo is making the rounds, and seems like a good one to close with. See you later this week. America the beautiful:

A Lake County police officer walks through chairs and bikes left behind on the Central Avenue parade route sidewalk near the scene of the Highland Park mass shooting.

‘It was chaotic,’ reports of 6 dead, 2 dozen others shot during Fourth of July parade

— Brian Cassella (@briancassella)July 4, 2022

Posted at 4:30 pm in Current events |

84 responses to “Bloodshed.”

  1. David C said on July 4, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    My dad’s brother Don (he hated being called “Uncle Don” because when he was in elementary school a greasy evangelist called Uncle Don came to his class to tell bible stories and squicked Don out causing various girlfriends to wonder what I was up to when I’d introduce “Uncle John, Aunt Kathryn, Aunt Mary and dad’s brother Don) told me to wait until by 50th class reunion because anyone of quality would still be alive. He was gay (not out), lived in New York City and worked as a copywriter at an ad agency and it was a rural school district in Michigan. So that’s what he did. When I asked him how it went all he said “About how you’d imagine”. I think Don thought of it as an anthropology study.

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  2. LAMary said on July 4, 2022 at 6:07 pm

    They’ve identified someone as the likely shooter. Robert Crimo. He’s got a facebook page, IMDB (self styled rapper) and he’s driving a 12 year old Honda fit.

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  3. Deborah said on July 4, 2022 at 6:38 pm

    Why does this guy have access to a gun? I know his name is pronounced cream-o, but it should be crime-o.

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  4. Little Bird said on July 4, 2022 at 6:53 pm

    With two or three facial tattoos and the tattoos on his neck he should be relatively easy to find at least. I tried to do a Google search of images, thinking I’d find a picture of just the basic area. Google tells me there are no images that match my search words. None. Highland Park parade shooting. And zip. Nothing. Something smells here. You can Google the news about it, but not images.

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  5. Deborah said on July 4, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    The guy’s father ran for mayor of Highland Park in 2019. The plot thickens.

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  6. Julie Robinson said on July 4, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    Over 250 mass shootings this year alone. No place is safe.

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  7. alex said on July 4, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    Plenty about Crimo on this guy’s Facebook page including a youtube video:

    Dunno if you can link to that or not. Usually Facebook links don’t work when posted here.

    Anyway, the youtube video seems to be about what he planned to do today. And he’s a Trumper.

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  8. Peter said on July 4, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    That’s an interesting item, Deborah, because a Tribune photo showed cops outside of the parent’s home that was placed in Highwood, which is NW of Highland Park…maybe he moved there after he lost in 2019…

    And how did the GOP candidate for governor respond to the shooting? After the parade he was going to be in was cancelled, he put out a video asking for prayers for the victims and the police, saying that crime needs to be addressed, and then saying that once the killer is caught we should go back to celebrating America’s freedom.

    Kind of gets you right here, don’t it….

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  9. bebb said on July 4, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    I heard a doctor who was at the scene,did some preliminary first aid. He said the ones who were dead died instantly because the bullet more or less blew them apart. That’s a military grade weapon. It’s no good for hunting. There’s no reason for it to be in the hands of civilians.

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  10. Sherri said on July 4, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.

    Anybody still want to make the argument that the 60’s were more turbulent and violent?

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  11. Ann said on July 4, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    Guy’s been caught, just a few miles away. But now he gets to revel in how successful he was and there are surely a thousand young white men watching all of this and thinking what fun it would be to do the same thing.

    This is how you find out what suburbs your Chicago friends live in. Probably a dozen people who certainly give the impression they live in the city are now marking themselves safe in Highland Park.

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  12. basset said on July 4, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    Good to hear that from your public health expert, since I’ll turn 67 in a few weeks. My 50th is coming up next year, I might attend or I might just stay home and continue to stew over issues and problems from that long ago. We had about 100 fewer kids in the whole school than Nancy had in her graduating class, and there are only about half that many there now. Not sure we had a class president, I don’t remember one.

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  13. A. Riley said on July 4, 2022 at 11:38 pm

    From what I’ve gleaned in a day of doomscrolling — the parents weren’t together, the kid had an apartment in the back of the uncle’s house, and the dad lived at the uncle’s place off & on too. Uncle has given a couple of interviews and he seems completely oblivious, to the point where you wonder if he’s all there.

    The kid was flagged in middle school & was offered resources (and the Highland Park school system would have *resources*) but the family turned it down and took the kid out of school for “homeschooling.”
    He didn’t fall through the cracks — his family pulled him down through the cracks.

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  14. Mark P said on July 4, 2022 at 11:42 pm

    Whom the gods would destroy …

    You’re not home safe at 65. I’m 72. A few weeks ago I went to the ER with shortness of breath. Blood clots in the lungs. I felt that bony hand on my shoulder. I’m OK now, probably, assuming they determine that the nodule in my lung is not malignant.

    “But the great leveler, Death: not even the gods can defend a man, not even one they love, that day when fate takes hold and lays him out at last.”

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  15. Dexter Friend said on July 5, 2022 at 2:25 am

    In my case, history and the health expert coincide: Dad gone at 86, Mom at 83, both grandpas at 85. But then there’s one grandma , dead at 37 and the other at 72. Roll them bones and hope for double 8s.
    I thought Highland Park was an exurb of Chicago, but various sites call the place a suburb. My friend Joe lives in Libertyville and my brother used to live in Wauconda and they both refer to those places as exurbs, but all sites say they are suburbs. So I guess “exurb” has been flushed away down the drain as a noun.
    Crimo really tore up his victims; Lynn Sweet was on TV saying she just couldn’t describe what she saw because it was too horrible to relate to a TV audience…she is a grizzled Sun-Times reporter.
    Akron. Jayland Walker ran from a traffic stop in his car and fired one shot back at the cops. There is video showing a flash from Walker’s gun. When Walker stopped and ran on foot with his weapon on the front seat of his car,90 rounds minimum were zeroed in on his body, and 2/3 of those 90 hit their target. Fuck, man, I never saw that many hits on a body even as a medic in the war in Indochina. No excuses for that much ordnance used on one unarmed young man. Is the lesson this?: just stop and surrender to the cops’ flashing lights. Remember that the cops are more than willing to gun you down dead if you so much as make what used to be called “a false move”?

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  16. FDChief said on July 5, 2022 at 7:56 am

    I wrote this on Veterans Day six years ago and it seems more true than ever:

    “I am in an odd sort of place.

    Once a friend of mine talked about how he had been in a place where he was utterly certain that he would die. Convinced that there was no escape, no redemption, not the tiniest sliver of a hope.

    He described his sensation as a sort of a floating, bitter lassitude. A calm of despair, beyond fear AND hope.

    That’s how I feel.

    I am completely convinced that the next four years will be worse for this nation than any of us dread. We will become smaller, and meaner, poorer, and more vicious. And that’s those of us who are white, and male, and “not-poor”.

    For those who aren’t, well…

    A Facebook friend talked about how the next four years would be okay “because we survived eight years under Obama” and my reply was “And that was so difficult because we had to press 2 for English and watch the homos throw their wedding reception at the Eagles aerie?”

    Now we will have blood.”

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  17. Mark P said on July 5, 2022 at 9:06 am

    What do you suppose was on the other side of man that cops fired 90 rounds at? A tall berm I’m sure.

    We need to define mass shootings as two types. A Type 1 mass shooting is one where one person fires lots of bullets at a lot of people. A Type 2 is where lots of people fire lots of shots at one person.

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  18. JodiP said on July 5, 2022 at 9:44 am

    Dexter @15, many, many black people and other POC are shot or killed when compliant. George Floyd died with a knee on his neck, handcuffed wnd with 2 other cops holding him down. I know you know this, but saying compliance will save you is simply not true.

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  19. Robert said on July 5, 2022 at 10:04 am

    J.B. Pritzker (D – Governor of Illinois): “It is devastating that a celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague”.

    Darren Bailey (R running for Governor of Illinois): “Let’s pray for justice to prevail, and then let’s move on and let’s celebrate the independence of this nation.”

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  20. Jeff Gill said on July 5, 2022 at 10:23 am

    A. Riley: your line “He didn’t fall through the cracks — his family pulled him down through the cracks.” That’s one I will be absconding with. Was sitting talking to a senior teacher in one of the districts I serve, while we were waiting to take down the tents and tables and trailers from our community Fourth events (it’s a four day street fair here). Those are the kids we’re struggling to serve, the ones where the family is able to use all the new options for “choice” and “autonomy” to keep help away, up to and including homeschooling that is as unmonitored and unsupervised as concealed carry permits are now.

    There are at least half a dozen surface appearances Crimos in every high school I work with. You can’t lock them all up. All you can do is keep high powered munitions out of their hands, and that has to mean letting fewer of them out into circulation in general. If he’d had a .22 and not a .223/5.56 with the added powder in the cartridges that push them out with such velocity, you would have had a tragedy but on a very different scale. And I’ve become convinced that even at that, there’s something built up around the mystique of the AR series that draws this kind of intention . . . if he’d only had a Mossberg .22, I doubt he and his spiritual kin would even bother to climb the ladder and start firing. This all began in 1966 with a .30 caliber M-1 in Texas, and it’s not that you can’t shoot strangers with general purpose rifles, it’s that there’s not the same evil allure to non-combat heritage weapons. Few if any of these sorts of mass shooters do I see as motivated by range and accuracy and impact per se. It’s the power & control implied by certain weapons classes that helps pull them in. IMHO.

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  21. Jeff Borden said on July 5, 2022 at 10:37 am

    Movie buffs know Highland Park, Illinois well. Several of its gracious homes are featured in hit movies: “Risky Business,” “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off,” “Ordinary People,” “Home Alone.” It’s also where Michael Jordan built his mansion. It is one of the wealthiest burgs in the country.

    Here in the city, we had 52 shootings and nine gun fatalities over the three-day weekend. We’ll have more gun deaths soon because that’s the way things go these days.

    My FB feeds included the usual blather about increasing mental health care but not punishing “law abiding” citizens. One guy suggested calling in the Illinois National Guard to patrol our streets because that’s worked so well in the past.

    This is what impotent rage feels like when you see surveys indicating majorities of Americans favor a wide variety of gun safety measures–universal background checks, red flag laws– but we’re unable to act because of spineless politicians and six religious fanatics on SCOTUS.

    This fucking country…

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  22. alex said on July 5, 2022 at 10:51 am

    On a lighter note, very much enjoyed revisiting this date in 2007, when we chuckled over the pomposity of Tim Goeglein’s pilfered prose, as of yet unaware that it wasn’t his:

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  23. Heather said on July 5, 2022 at 10:59 am

    Highland Park is definitely a suburb, not an exurb. It’s very wealthy, yes, but at least when I grew up there, there was some affordable housing. My family lived in an apartment and I shared a room with my brother. Highwood, where I believe the shooter’s father had a restaurant or some sort of food business for a while, is a small town right next to it that is more middle- and working-class. When I grew up there, the high school offered some classes in Spanish because of a fairly sizable Latino community. And yes, there would have been a lot of resources for that kid.

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  24. Julie Robinson said on July 5, 2022 at 11:11 am

    An uncle lived in Highland Park during the 90’s, in a home originally owned by the chair of Montgomery Ward’s (remember them?). They loved it because it was a three minute walk to the train station, as well as walking distance to the quaint downtown. We took a walk one day to see the Home Alone house. It was a very nice house.

    Here in Orlando, 18 people were injured while waiting for the city fireworks when pre-show booms were interpreted as gunshots. We were at home, watching the show on our little lake, which was spectacular, but brought no joy.

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  25. Mark P said on July 5, 2022 at 11:16 am

    Most of you are probably aware of the way the AR15 was advertised, back in the day before mass shooters became influencers. The ads said (paraphrasing), “This gun will turn your weak, sorry, worthless ass into a *real* man!”

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  26. Deborah said on July 5, 2022 at 12:09 pm

    We’re pretty sure LB has returned from California reinfected with Covid, she has taken 2 tests, both negative. She will take another one when she wakes up, the fact that she’s still sleeping is not a good sign. She woke up very early when she walked past my bedroom I asked her if she was OK, she said her throat was hurting quite a bit. She will take another test of course, but when she had it before she had 3 tests that never showed positive. Which means I will probably get it again too. My husband has been at the cabin so hopefully he won’t get it again.

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  27. Deborah said on July 5, 2022 at 1:02 pm

    Yep she tested positive. Reinfected after having it in April. My husband and I had it in May. Now my husband wants me to stay in the cabin with him and I am torn because I feel like I’ve been around LB a lot since she returned Sunday and he is better off without me being there. He says if I don’t go to the cabin he wants me to go to a motel.

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  28. ROGirl said on July 5, 2022 at 1:17 pm

    Deborah, that’s awful. Some people must be more prone to it or have less immunity than others.

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  29. Little Bird said on July 5, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    I definitely have a compromised immune system. But even if I didn’t, I would have gotten it this time. My friends husband was exposed to it and I was in the car with him before he was symptomatic. I think Deborah should go to a hotel.

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  30. Julie Robinson said on July 5, 2022 at 1:51 pm

    LB, I’m so sorry you’ve got it again and hope your case will be mild. But Deborah’s been exposed and it’s probably too late.

    The second we had a family member test positive we all wore masks, opened the windows, and isolated in different rooms. It didn’t matter because we had spent three days together before that.

    Omicron is a bitch.

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  31. Suzanne said on July 5, 2022 at 2:09 pm

    “He didn’t fall through the cracks — his family pulled him down through the cracks.“ So well said.
    When our kids were growing up, I was constantly intrigued by the number of parents who had no clue what their kids were doing much of the time. Kids were out with friends that the parents didn’t know, kids spending huge amounts of time playing video games that mom & dad didn’t understand but never asked, kids that weren’t doing well in school & parents had no idea. The oft heard refrain of “My kid won’t tell me anything!” from parents who showed no interest in anything their kids did (except maybe sports).

    Also, where are guys like the July 4 murderer getting the money to buy these expensive guns? I don’t think he had a job but I could be wrong on that. But it was bought legally! So once again, we have sacrificed children to the god of guns, led in worship by those who tell us that all life is precious.

    Mark P, sorry to hear about your clots. That’s how my cancer was discovered. Shortness of led to an ER visit which led to bloodwork that was a hot mess. Best of luck to you as you wait for test results.

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  32. Deborah said on July 5, 2022 at 3:23 pm

    I’ve made reservations at a hotel near our condo for 3 nights, I can’t go there until check-in time. Meanwhile we’re waiting for a call back from the pharmacy that LB’s prescription from her Dr for the new Covid med will be ready for pickup. After I get that and drop it off to LB I will walk over to the hotel. It’s next to the Whole Foods so I’m set for food for the next few days. I gave myself a Covid test, it came up negative but that means nothing. I’m sitting outside on the patio until Walgreens calls.

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  33. Mark P said on July 5, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    Suzanne, the doctors couldn’t identify a cause for my blood clots. I didn’t have any of the normal risk factors. They did mention that cancer can sometimes cause clots in the lungs, but didn’t seem worried about that possibility. I guess I had enough imaging to *almost* rule that out.

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  34. Deborah said on July 5, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    I think my goose is already cooked but my husband is panicking and wants me to check into the hotel. It was super hard to find a place that wasn’t already booked and it’s not cheap. I’ve packed a lot of books.

    Now I’m off to Walgreens to get LB her Paxlovid.

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  35. LAMary said on July 5, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    The Covid BA variant is the one our local health department is warning against right now. Several counties around Los Angeles have mask mandates again.

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  36. Deborah said on July 5, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    I’m at the hotel and wifi is sketchy. Bookings dot com gave me a price online and then when I got to the hotel they’re saying it’s $40 more than the price quoted on line and the final price they quoted was supposed to be total including all taxes and fees. The hotel says there’s nothing they can do about it, I have to complain to bookings. I had to wade through 3″ of water across an intersection to get here, I walked because my husband has the jeep in Abiquiu. I have no idea what that was about. It turns out this weekend is the International Folk Arts Festival which is a BIG deal in Santa Fe. No wonder I had a hard time getting a room. There are artists from all over the world here now, and I don’t want to sound a-holish but a lot of them don’t have the same cultural norms we do about standing in line and waiting your turn. Plus in my room there are no lights in the bed area, no bedside table lamps or anything, not even an overhead light, so I can’t read in bed. Tomorrow I’m going to walk back to the condo and get my book light. The AC is freezing, no kleenex which when I’m cold my nose runs, The room is clean, so I should be happy about that. I lost my sunglasses at check-in but found them later. Sunglasses are a must have in NM. I hadn’t eaten all day and by 4pm when I got to the hotel I was ready to faint. I’ve eaten now and am under the covers trying to warm up and relax. This has been quite a day.

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  37. Scout said on July 6, 2022 at 12:35 pm

    What an ordeal, Deborah. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you that it was all worth it and you managed to evade Covid.

    We’re flying to LA this weekend to visit the sons. Of course we will mask in the airport and on the plane. If we dine out it will be al fresco and we won’t do anything involving crowds. Living what used to be a normal life is such a crapshoot now.

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  38. Julie Robinson said on July 6, 2022 at 1:12 pm

    Deborah, I hope the artists have the cultural norm of not partying all night, so you got some rest. No lamps in bed area? March yourself down to the desk and simply say yours is missing, along with your kleenex.

    We’ve learned that hotels don’t like sharing their profits with booking sites so are less nice to reservations made that way. But we’ve had a 100% success rate at getting them to match the price–if you can get to the front desk of the hotel itself, not just their reservation system. One time the hotel in my hometown didn’t show a day being available, but when I called them and mentioned I wanted to reserve for six days because it was my favorite place, they found me one.

    Is anyone else incandescent that the Highland Park shooter was able to legally buy several weapons even after the police had been called out to his house at least twice? He was threatening to kill everyone, and they confiscated 16 knives, but the family refused to press charges, which meant nothing showed on his record.

    Next, Dad cosigned his application for him. Why in the world he thought it was a good idea for his son to have multiple firearms completely escapes me. The app includes a line that understands he can be held responsible. Please, someone enforce that.

    The image in my head of that two year old looking for his dead parents is haunting my dreams.

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  39. Deborah said on July 6, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    Nancy, there seems to be an issue with my iPhone being able to access your site. I can get to it on my laptop but not my iPhone. I thought it was the crappy wifi at the hotel, but I’m sitting outside at the condo now, LB is inside and she says the same thing is happening on her iPhone.

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  40. susan said on July 6, 2022 at 1:39 pm

    Deborah, the same on my laptop, especially when using Safari browser.

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  41. Sherri said on July 6, 2022 at 1:45 pm

    The whole ‘cops OD on fentanyl’ thing just drives me nuts. Most cops seem to believe it, media reports it credulously, and it’s not physically possible.

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  42. A. Riley said on July 6, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    Side note re: Chicago suburb v. exurb — the communications committee at church had a detailed discussion of these two terms when a newcomer called our close-in old streetcar suburb an exurb (it’s a miracle he came away with all limbs intact). The definition we came up with is more or less like this.

    If the CTA, the light rail commuter system, has a stop in your town and your town abuts Chicago’s city limits (Skokie, Evanston, Oak Park), you’re an inner-ring suburb or urban suburb, depending on what the marketing department is trying to do 🙂

    If the Metra line, the heavy rail commuter system, has a stop in your town and your town doesn’t abut Chicago, you’re a suburb (Highland Park is one of these). The Metra line that serves Highland Park goes as far as Kenosha WI, I think.

    If your town is past the last stop on the Metra lines, you’re an exurb.

    They used to call the 6-county region around Chicago (Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, DeKalb, Lake in Indiana) Chicagoland, but I don’t know if that still applies.

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  43. Dorothy said on July 6, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    It must have been a website issue cuz for about 24 hours I haven’t been able to get to this page. It’s kind of sad that I felt like I was missing a lot of conversations when I could not load the website! I’m glad it’s back.

    I’m a Kleenex addict and usually travel with a box in my car. Hotel and hospital tissues are crap. Even if there are some in the room (and there usually are) I use my own that get packed in a suitcase. In Pittsburgh over Memorial Day weekend I left the box behind, which was brand new, and I feel sure they threw it out when they cleaned the room. Which made Dorothy-who-hates-wasting-anything pissed.

    I still have not have had a confirmed case of the virus. At Easter I was sick for the first time in about three years. I took two tests – both negative. My husband never had any symptoms even though we did not isolate from each other. I haven’t worn a mask unless it’s required, like in a doctor’s office, in forever. There are fewer and fewer of us, I think, who haven’t had it.

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  44. Icarus said on July 6, 2022 at 2:24 pm

    Good Definition A. Riley. I’d amend it to include the end of the line stop of a Metra, though maybe that would bother some people. I don’t think of Joliet as an Exurb of Chicago, but I do think of Elburn, Naperville and Aurora as remote suburbs/exurbs.

    I was digging through some old links this morning and came across this. To think in 2012 we couldn’t imagine it getting any worse.

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  45. Mark P said on July 6, 2022 at 2:37 pm

    I was having problems getting the entire site to load on my iPhone using Safari, but it’s OK now. At least now I know the problem was not on my end.

    I often use “whom the gods would destroy …”, but our madness problem is compounded by pure evil, almost entirely among Republicans. As others have pointed out, where you fall on the gun issue is not a difference in political philosophy, it’s a difference in personal morality.

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  46. Jeff Gill said on July 6, 2022 at 4:18 pm

    Porter County IN has long been on the fence, but we watched Chicago news & were on Central time, so…

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  47. LAMary said on July 6, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    I had some crud in early May that knocked me out. Tested negative repeatedly. The actual omicron I had in January was nothing by comparison. It just felt like a bad head cold. The one that’s going around here in LA is not very bad, I hear, but is very contagious.

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  48. Heather said on July 6, 2022 at 5:13 pm

    I’ve read that the BA5 variant can have more meningitis-like symptoms than respiratory-infection symptoms, which is terrifying.

    I think I mentioned it here already but I was sick for 10 days with something that didn’t knock me out but I felt pretty bad with a headache, fatigue, etc. Did several home tests and a rapid PCR, all negative. My boyfriend and a friend had it too. Maybe our immune systems just aren’t used to regular colds and viruses anymore?

    Just got back from a 40-45 minute trip each way to the suburbs to buy some prescription cat food that seems to be scarce everywhere. Not sure if it is related to supply chain issues or what. I used to use a different brand but they stopped offering it several years ago; said they had lost their venison supplier. It was really stressing me out as my cat is undergoing cancer treatment and I didn’t want to switch out her food or give her something that would make her sick. Ah, the things we do for our pets!

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  49. Deborah said on July 6, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    Aaaand, nobody cleaned my hotel room today. Of course not. I’m going to take my tiny trash can down to the dumpster so I can throw things away tonight. Grrrrrrrr.

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  50. alex said on July 6, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    No COVID in this household yet, and I’m not sure how we managed to escape it when the wackos in my office were filling the air with their cooties until they couldn’t deny they were sick anymore because they were too sick to come to work.

    Had some difficulty accessing this site earlier but it seems to be working fine now.

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  51. Colleen said on July 6, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    Deborah, I have noticed during recent hotel stays that they are cutting back on housekeeping services. I hate to be all princessy, but one of the things I like about staying in a hotel is fresh towels and a tidied up room…

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  52. Julie Robinson said on July 6, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    There was probably a line on the check-in sheet, or a tiny sign in the room that says due to Covid, they don’t clean your room during multiple night stays. Also, for the environment they don’t bring you new towels. Hotels have found Covid a very convenient way of cutting back services.

    Again, polite application at the front desk will often help. At the very least they should have a stash of clean towels back behind the desk.

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  53. Dexter Friend said on July 6, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    Thanks for the explanations about exurbs. When I was a kid the southern acreage of Chicago was called “The Calumet Region.” Now I don’t know exactly what that area comprised.
    And oh , how the V.A. has changed , pre-covid and especially in this sorta-post-covid era. It’s nearly impossible to see a doctor in person now, or talk to one on the phone. It’s all virtual appointments, and this is my story: the appointments I had for general check-ups were every 3 months. Now, supposedly 6 months . My prescriptions expired, I called, was told they would refer this to my doctor. They did, the doctor did nothing. I kept calling and finally got someone who got through to the nurse to tell them they had a man out of several of his medicines and she should look into this. Then I was told to drive to Toledo and they would give me a few pills and things I was out of and the regular shipment would be mailed. So I checked on my next virtual appointment, scheduled for 7-27, cancelled, re-scheduled for 7-29, and was finally told that too had been cancelled. Well, they gave me yet another date for an appointment, which will likely be cancelled, if things keep heading this way. For my first 7 years in that system, everything worked like a fine Swiss watch. Now I have become one of those old soldiers that complain about shabby business practices at the old V.A.
    I guess we blame Covid19? The Toledo place used to be packed with patients…today, and no kidding, I was the only patient in the building, and I was just at the pharmacy desk…no waiting.

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  54. Deborah said on July 6, 2022 at 10:18 pm

    The main reason I wanted them to clean the hotel room is because tomorrow morning my husband is coming from Abiquiu to shower and shave so he can take a zoom call at my hotel for business because he can’t take them in Abiquiu. He’s been at the cabin for days without a shower so yuck. I’m going to clear out of the hotel room when he’s here for his zoom call. I’m going back to sitting outside at the condo then. This is a weird choreography of trying to be away from each other, it’s crazy. I almost wish I would just find out I have it again so I can go back to the condo and suffer the consequences. Hopefully get the anti-viral from my Chicago Dr, to be filled here in NM. On the other hand I’ve been reading so many articles about how bad Covid can be over the long haul if you’ve had it more than once, especially if you’re an oldster like me.

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  55. Mark P said on July 7, 2022 at 2:09 am

    My cousin, who is around 76, and her husband went with a church group for a week-long trip to Denver. They traveled to Denver by plane and toured on a bus. About half of them came back with Covid. My cousin and her husband were quadruple vaccinated, but both tested positive a couple of days after they returned. My cousin was sick for two weeks. She lost her voice, which was a new symptom for me. She’s been negative for more than a week but is still fatigued. Her husband didn’t have any symptoms.

    We haven’t had our fourth shot yet. They say there may be a new booster this fall that’s supposed to be more effective on the most recent variant. I wish we could wait, but I think we’ll go ahead with the current one.

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  56. basset said on July 7, 2022 at 9:15 am

    And I will repeat, totally off context, what I say on this day most years… it’s Ringo Starr’s birthday, 82 this time. Went by one of the places he grew up in Liverpool a few years ago, a rough neighborhood then and getting gentrified now.

    About to head for one of our local medical schools for my third straight afternoon of pretending to have gallstones. Hurts right here, up under my ribs…

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  57. jcburns said on July 7, 2022 at 10:14 am

    With all due respect Mark P, WHY do you “wish you could wait” on a second booster/fourth vaccine? I think this is where a lot of problems come from…from just plain folks trying to regulate how much vaccine is in our system for some reason.
    Go get your booster, and get one in the fall when they release one that is targeted more directly on the most recent variant. I’m pretty sure the number of patients who have suffered ill effects from too many boosters is, well, zero.

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  58. Julie Robinson said on July 7, 2022 at 10:50 am

    Happy Birthday to Ringo, and to Paul, who turned 80 last month.

    We got every single Covid immunization just as soon as we could. If Dr. Fauci says to get #5, we’ll do it. I hope this next round will be more effective but I’ll get a shot every month if needed.

    Dexter, I’m so sorry that your VA care has deteriorated. Seems like it’s time to start contacting your reps in Congress and make some noise.

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  59. Jeff Borden said on July 7, 2022 at 11:13 am

    The women in the NN.C community are being blamed for the mass shooting in Highland Park, Ill. and other locales. Also, psychotropic drugs and reefer. This is according to Tucker McNear Swanson Carlson, the perpetually pouting punk with the highest ratings on Fucks News.

    “The authorities in their lives — mostly women — never stop lecturing them about their so-called privilege. ‘You’re male! You’re privileged.’”
    “They’re numbed by the endless psychotropic drugs that are handed out at every school in the country by crackpots posing as counselors.”
    “They are high on government-endorsed weed.”

    This is what passes for discourse in ‘Murica, folks.

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  60. Suzanne said on July 7, 2022 at 11:44 am

    My brother and his wife are very involved with the local Honor Flight organization. My brother went on a recent flight and both he and his wife helped out with the pre-flight activities for another. They both got COVID from it. My brother got Remdesivir treatments but says he is still tired several weeks out from getting infected. This new variant is apparently very contagious.

    So Boris Johnson finally had his own party tell him they’d had enough. Think that’ll happen with the GOP? LOL!! Not a chance.

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  61. LAMary said on July 7, 2022 at 12:12 pm

    The crud I had..first symptom was losing my voice. Neve tested positive although I stopped trying after a few days. I just crawled into bed and stayed there.

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  62. Heather said on July 7, 2022 at 12:17 pm

    Basset, I had gallstones and had gallbladder removal surgery a few years ago. The pain from the stones was all over my abdomen and even my back, and I would break into a sweat. It would last about 30-40 minutes. I remember being worried I was having a heart attack. Just in case that informs your performance!

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  63. Mark P said on July 7, 2022 at 12:20 pm

    jcburns, with all due respect, what makes you jump to the conclusion that we’re worried about side effects and lump us in with antivaxxers? I didn’t say anything about that, and I wonder why you think it’s appropriate to lecture me about something I didn’t say. My concern is that the current fourth booster won’t protect against the latest variant, but might delay our ability to get a new booster that would. So far, there have been requirements for waiting a certain period of time before getting another shot. If we get a booster now, we can’t just go down and get a new booster anytime we happen to want to. That seems clear enough.

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  64. jcburns said on July 7, 2022 at 12:32 pm

    Mark, I didn’t lump you in with anyone. Sorry it felt that way. I just said get the damn shot.
    “If we get a booster now, we can’t just go down and get a new booster anytime we happen to want to.”
    Um, you’ll be able to get a new booster the minute they’re available. That sort of thinking—which you articulated here again—isn’t a great way to look at it, in my opinion.

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  65. Mark P said on July 7, 2022 at 12:37 pm

    There is a recommended waiting period between vaccinations and boosters There was a four-month waiting period between the first and second booster. That’s not my way of looking at it. As I understand, it’s the drug makers’ and CDC’s way of looking at it.

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  66. jcburns said on July 7, 2022 at 12:44 pm

    They recommended four months not because it wouldn’t be safe to do a second booster so quickly after the first, but that it would just be ineffective because not that much time has passed.


    NONE of this has a thing to do with timing on a third booster that would be reformulated to attack the current variants more directly.

    They’re not asking you to time these things. Go get your second booster.

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  67. Colleen said on July 7, 2022 at 12:54 pm

    I will be traveling back to the Fort this weekend for the funeral of a dear friend’s mother. I will mask, and hope my vaccinated self stays well, because I’m set to have my gallbladder out on the 18th.

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  68. Mark P said on July 7, 2022 at 1:11 pm

    I wasn’t aware that there would be no recommended waiting period between a second booster and the new booster, and I can’t find anything to that effect. Where did you get that information?

    You seem to keep referring to the safety of the vaccines. I repeat: I have never worried or mentioned anything about fears of the safety of vaccinations.

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  69. jcburns said on July 7, 2022 at 1:13 pm

    Didn’t say that either, Mark. I said that it was going to be chemically different—and they probably will work out when to make it available based on that.

    Who knows when it’ll be available, but when it is, I’m in line. You?

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  70. Mark P said on July 7, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    I guess I didn’t understand what you meant when you said, “They’re not asking you to time these things.”

    Yes, we will get the new booster if and when it becomes available.

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  71. jcburns said on July 7, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    And the current one too?

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  72. Icarus said on July 7, 2022 at 1:44 pm

    Question for jcburns:

    is there any way you could code the page so it saves our Name/Mail/Website so I don’t have to enter it like a caveman every time I want to comment?

    You may now go back to your faux feud with Mark P

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  73. basset said on July 7, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    Heather, on this one the attacks last 2-4 hours and sometimes wrap around to my back. The pain never completely goes away.

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  74. Julie Robinson said on July 7, 2022 at 2:10 pm

    Colleen brings us full circle!

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  75. Mark P said on July 7, 2022 at 2:19 pm

    We tried to get our second booster last week at the grocery/pharmacy but they had already locked their vaccine up for the day. And yes, teacher, we will get our second booster as soon as I can get both of us to the pharmacy. It’s not as easy as it might sound.

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  76. Peter said on July 7, 2022 at 2:46 pm

    Attention: Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Mitch McConnell, et. al.
    Check out the BBC’s coverage of the Boris Johnson resignation and TAKE NOTES – this is how you get rid of someone in your party who’s daft and a dead weight.

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  77. Deborah said on July 7, 2022 at 5:21 pm

    So I’m sitting in one patio at the condo and my husband is having his zoom meeting in the other. He showered and shaved in my hotel room but the wifi was squicky so he came over here where our wifi works on the closer patios. When he got here I used the jeep to get us food for a distanced picnic, me in one patio, him in another and LB inside. This is crazy. Meanwhile my throat hurts a bit and my nose is runny, I’m assuming I will test positive tomorrow. I keep wearing my mask hopefully that will keep people from getting it from me. And hopefully I’ll be able to get anti-virals. Of course my symptoms may totally be psychosomatic.

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  78. Little Bird said on July 7, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    For the record, I’m not just inside, I’m in my room with the door closed. I wear a mask when I need to go to the restroom or get something from the kitchen and I spray whatever I’ve touched with disinfectant. I’ll be happy when we’re done with this round.

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  79. brian stouder said on July 7, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    Little Bird and Debra, Im sure all of us here wish you and yours a speedy and complete recovery. These are definitely strange days

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  80. Dexter said on July 7, 2022 at 11:08 pm

    Here’ the Catch22: you have a complaint, call a patient advocate. I called, voice says person is out of the office, call this number I call, voice says same thing, so I call… same exact thing. I call again.
    Yeah, you guessed it. I reached the voicemail of patient advocate number 1.

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  81. A. Riley said on July 8, 2022 at 12:23 am

    Yeah, the guidelines for who gets how many shots and when are confusing. All I know for sure is if they say I should get a shot every Monday morning before coffee, I’ll do it, that’s how serious I am about this.

    I’m immunocompromised (and old), so I’ve gratefully received four shots of Pfizer, yay me. But! Do we call that a primary series of two plus two boosters, or a primary series of three plus one booster — or can we just keep it simple and say I’ve had four shots, yay me, and then tell me when I should get another?

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  82. Dexter Friend said on July 8, 2022 at 1:03 am

    I learned that the vaccines are not like a shingles “one and done”, but they only offer a few months protection. We are to look for a third booster this Fall, so we are to keep up with the bulletins. One of those government physicians who contracts to NBC reported that likely we will be getting a yearly vaccination , same scheduling as flu shots are administered now. Pfizer for me also, and it’s kept me negative so far, but I also have only been to one nearly-empty restaurant since the virus arrived, have not traveled except a few times to my daughters’ homes, and drive-through only at fast food joints. If around people at all, I double mask, still. I have also avoided all public modes of transportation, no planes, no trains, no buses.
    I have also told here about my step-grandson who was living with me the past year. He has deep-seated problems, heroin and fentanyl addiction, and lately addicted to Kratum, a drug that head shoppes sell, and that shit makes a person absolutely crazy. I had to kick him out. He’s living in a motel now. An active addict with no desire what-so-fucking ever to try to recover and a 29-year sober drunk make a sorry ass household. He found a girlfriend to live with him in the motel, he found a few jobs he works at a few weeks and gets fired from after that time. He somehow passed the drug test and starts a new high paying factory job on Monday. At age 31 he still has time to get a life, but if he stays on these horrible drugs, I’ll outlive him and I by-gawd won’t go to his funeral. I kept him from a homeless shelter for a full year; I can’t do any more. I bought him 2 used vehicles, one is in the junkyard and one is all smashed up. He lost his driving privileges with 2 OVIs (DUIs). I gave him a bicycle to get to work. I am done.

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  83. alex said on July 8, 2022 at 7:05 am

    Dex, I’m sorry to hear about your grandson. I’ve seen a horrible rift in another family when relatives decided to cut their losses and walk away from a heroin addict who can’t stay clean. Mother of the addict is now estranged from her siblings who won’t throw any more good money after bad.


    I must confess that I resisted reading this piece when it first appeared a day or two ago, as I’m averse to the conservative national pastime of Chicago-bashing over gun laws and their toothlessness, especially when it’s used as a guise for frank racism, but if you lived in the Englewood neighborhood you might look at Highland Park and say what’s the bfd?

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  84. Jeff Gill said on July 8, 2022 at 7:38 am

    The problem with “getting rid of” a person in the party is that the British system isn’t the American system; the reality for us is that the parties, both of them, are symbolic tropes more than official institutions. Even the every-four-years party platform is more a performative dance than a set of mandatory standards. Fundraising goes directly in most cases; the House & Senate party re-election committees have more formal existence than the RNC or DNC. So it’s an incredibly loose label, not an organization, hence no one or even cluster of ones can “read someone out of the party.”

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