Our nativist tongue.

Before I get to whatever pops into my head today, a quick note about comments: Ever since I got my new laptop in October, the day’s comments are not ending up in my inbox. Rather, sometimes they do, but only a few. Sometimes four or five will download, then disappear before my eyes. I’m trying to remember to check the site a few times a day to see if anyone is hung up in moderation, but don’t always. Which is the long way around to saying sorry, I just released one from the mod pen, and it might have been there a while.

Meanwhile, in today’s news, I find myself agreeing with Nicholas Kristof on so-called inclusive language:

Before the millions of views, the subsequent ridicule and finally the earnest apology, The Associated Press Stylebook practically oozed good intentions in its tweet last week:

“We recommend avoiding general and often dehumanizing ‘the’ labels such as the poor, the mentally ill, the French, the disabled, the college educated.”

“The French”?

Zut alors! The result was a wave of mocking conjecture of how to refer sensitively to, er, people of French persuasion. The French Embassy in the United States proposed changing its name to “the Embassy of Frenchness.”

The A.P. Stylebook deleted its tweet, citing “an inappropriate reference to French people.” But it doubled down in recommending that people avoid general terms with “the,” such as “the poor, the mentally ill, the wealthy, the disabled, the college-educated.”

I believe the crime of putting a definite article before a group of people is known as “othering,” one of the many, many terms I see on Twitter these days. And this practice, of allegedly making people feel more included by changing small things in the language we use, is something I have very mixed feelings about. When I wrote about fat kids a while back, I noted the change I heard in a reporter’s use of the term “obesity.” You can scroll back if you like. I’ve also noted that we no longer say “slave” but “enslaved people,” etc.

Personally, I don’t think these small changes make much of a difference in perception – if you didn’t know slaves were human beings, I can’t help you – but that’s just one old person’s opinion. A young person’s opinion, which I saw on Twitter a while back, is that it’s a terrible, terrible crime of othering to ask someone with an accent or unusual-for-the-U.S. name anything at all about their family, immigration origin, etc. I was taken aback, as I’d just done just that with Mohsen, my Uber driver home from the airport the other week. He enthusiastically told me about his journey from Lebanon to Dearborn, his family, and gave me some excellent cooking tips for making the cuisine of his native land.

All this time, I thought I was being friendly. It’s a conversation-starter, and I think most of us are sensitive enough to word and express our questions in such a way that we express curiosity and genuine interest, not go-home-Johnny-Foreigner attitudes.

(May I say that after five seasons of “The Crown,” I’m mostly indebted to it for that term – Johnny Foreigner – used in an early season by Matt Smith, playing Prince Phillip? It’s a great term.)

I approve of replacing “bums and winos” with “the homeless,” but I really don’t see how “unhoused” is better, or even more accurate. I supposed it’s driven by the fact so many of these individuals consider their tent or lean-to or even a van down by the river as a home, but holy shitballs, this strikes me as a fine hair to split. It may also reflect the belief held by many advocates for this population that is is perfectly OK for people to live in a tent pitched under an overpass permanently, if they so desire, and this is not something I agree with, so.

Kristof goes on to cover the Latinx thing, pointing out that most people of Latino/a origin don’t like or use the gender-neutral thing – no surprise, as it bends a gendered language, Spanish, to English-language ends, which strikes me as a form of, what’s the word, supremacy. And my age and personal gender will never allow me to use terms like “chest feeding” or “pregnant people” without a wince, either internal or external.

Ultimately, I come down with Kristof on his contention that:

…while this new terminology is meant to be inclusive, it bewilders and alienates millions of Americans. It creates an in-group of educated elites fluent in terms like BIPOC and A.A.P.I. and a larger out-group of baffled and offended voters, expanding the gulf between well-educated liberals and the 62 percent majority of Americans who lack a bachelor’s degree — which is why Republicans like Ron DeSantis have seized upon all things woke.

DeSantis, who boasts that he will oust the “woke mob,” strikes me as a prime beneficiary when, say, the Cleveland Clinic explains anatomy like this: “Who has a vagina? People who are assigned female at birth (AFAB) have vaginas.”

Call people what they ask to be called: That’s fine. But there’s something creepy about white, educated people correcting everyone else’s.

You may disagree! And if you get stuck in moderation, I’ll try to free you a.s.a.p.

Posted at 12:26 pm in Current events |

52 responses to “Our nativist tongue.”

  1. alex said on February 2, 2023 at 1:14 pm

    The American Medical Association put out a 54-page guide on language as a way to address social problems — oops, it suggests instead using the “equity-focused” term “social injustice.” The A.M.A. objects to referring to “vulnerable” groups and “underrepresented minority” and instead advises alternatives such as “oppressed” and “historically minoritized.”

    Hmm. If the A.M.A. actually cared about “equity-focused” outcomes in the United States, it could simply end its opposition to single-payer health care.

    My favorite line in the whole piece.

    He wasn’t clear, though, about whether apartment dwellers qualify as “houseless.”

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  2. Sherri said on February 2, 2023 at 1:36 pm

    I don’t totally avoid homeless and exclusively use unhoused, but I do make a point of using the latter, because it’s impossible to have a conversation about solving the problems of homelessness because when people hear homeless, they only think of the mentally-ill addict in the street, and don’t want to solve the housing problem unless the mental illness and addiction are solved first.

    I honk the same sort of impulse underlies all of this: think of us differently. Yes, we may be that, but we are also this. Yes, where we’re from may be a harmless conversation starter to you, but when that’s the only way anybody sees us, it can be a bit tiresome even when it’s handled deftly. (And our born in American children really get tired of it, because they’re from here!)

    Sure, as a middle aged white person, I stumble over it and make mistakes and am sometimes made uncomfortable, but so what? So much of the world is designed for my comfort at the expense of others, I can tolerate a little discomfort graciously.

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  3. LAMary said on February 2, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    For ten months I worked for Heluna Health, a company that hires people to fill positions with city, county, state and federal positions related to public health and homelessness. I loved that job. It was supposed to be a ninety day contract but they kept me longer. The people I loved to screen for interviews were applying for positions with the SFHOT. San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team. At least half were people who were previously homeless themselves. They had no problem with telling me about it or using the word homeless. Hearing their stories of how they became homeless and how they got out of that life was eye opening and moving. Changing the word we use to describe them is not helping them or preventing others from falling into that same situation.

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  4. Icarus said on February 2, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    I understand the need for better descriptions of problematic labels. But I can’t help but feel this has whiffs of someone learning a new means of criticizing something and then can’t wait to show off their new trick by applying it to literally everything.

    Deborah sent you an email to what seems like your address and also what Nancy provided a few years ago. check your spam folder.

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  5. Jeff Borden said on February 2, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    The whole situation strikes me as similar to the old Bible verse about noticing a speck in the eye of a stranger, but not the beam in your own.

    Words are fascinating things. When I was pursuing my M.Ed., we learned about the politicalization of language. One example: villain. It’s derived from and old English word for impoverished. Another example: noble. It’s a positive word traced to, yessiree, the upper class.

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  6. Heather said on February 2, 2023 at 2:54 pm

    I feel like it’s a cycle with certain terms: they get baggage attached to them, like “homeless,” and then we say “unhoused,” until that word is stigmatized, and then it’s a new one. And so on.

    I do try to be sensitive with my language, but I had to roll my eyes at something I just saw today on LinkedIn: how to avoid “violent” language like “this really bombed” or “I’ll take a stab at it.” I mean, come on.

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  7. Deborah said on February 2, 2023 at 3:11 pm

    Someone linked to this about violent language, but it’s on Twitter so don’t know if this link will work here https://twitter.com/BriannaWu/status/1621110879357128704 I agree that it seems overboard, even laughable to call many of those examples violent language.

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  8. Sherri said on February 2, 2023 at 3:58 pm

    As an aside, I have now fully migrated to Mastodon. The thing that drove me off Twitter was when Elon broke Tweetbot, the app I used to access Twitter. I knew it was coming, but Tweetbot was a requirement for me because it let me control my timeline.

    If you are interested in moving to Mastodon, now is a good time, because there are a number of tools for helping you find the people you follow on Twitter on Mastodon that will break soon, because Elon has announced that he will start charging for use of the Twitter API.

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  9. jcburns said on February 2, 2023 at 4:29 pm

    “The search crews have quite literally found the needle in the haystack.”

    Well, quite literally, that’s not true. But they did find a tiny pea-sized radioactive capsule 2 meters off the side of the road in a very very rural part of Western Australia.

    Which to me is more impressive than hay-searching.

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  10. Bruce Fields said on February 2, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    “It may also reflect the belief held by many advocates for this population that is is perfectly OK for people to live in a tent pitched under an overpass permanently, if they so desire, and this is not something I agree with, so.”

    My fear is that when you frame the problem as living in a tent, that suggests prohibiting living in tents as a simple and obvious solution. Which likely means forcing people into whatever horror their next-best alternative to sleeping in a tent under an overpass was.

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  11. LAMary said on February 2, 2023 at 6:11 pm

    My roadie son spent spent a few weeks reorganizing the inventory in a warehouse full of t-shirts and other swag. Some of the shirts were from bands who were no longer working with his employer so he was putting all those t-shirts into boxes to be donated. He kept one t-shirt: Mastodon’s t-shirt. It was stunningly ugly. Really hideous artwork. He wore it one day to go to Costco with me. A guy walked up to him and in a voice that you imagine the stereotypical old metal band fan would use said, “Dooode! Mastodon!” Imagine this with a bit of growl in the voice and you’ve got it. So that new social media site you’re migrating to? Dude. Mastodon.

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  12. David C said on February 2, 2023 at 6:26 pm

    I think of my grandfather, who for a Republican farmer born in 1893 was pretty enlightened, calling baseball players “little colored boys”. His reaction if I, or anyone else had said anything about it would have probably been a bewildered “what?” and wondered what he had done wrong. When we reach a certain age, the language isn’t ours anymore. But I never would have thought of saying anything to grandpa. He was of a different era.

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  13. nancy said on February 2, 2023 at 7:06 pm

    Nope, Bruce. I want solid walls and a roof for everybody. There was a guy in Columbus — and there are guys everywhere like this — who think a tent encampment on public land is a valid way to live permanently, and should be tolerated. Not me. I think people should have real toilets.

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  14. Deborah said on February 2, 2023 at 7:10 pm

    A young woman we know was compelled to live in her car for a while when it became impossible for her to live with a room mate, and she couldn’t afford or find an alternative. When we found out about the young woman’s predicament LB let her stay in the second bedroom of our condo for a few months while we were back in Chicago. As many people in those situations living in a tent, or a vehicle, shelters or couch surfing is often not long term, but any amount of time having to do that is a travesty. Actually that happened a couple of times, another friend of LB’s broke up with her live in boyfriend and moved out because it was an unstable situation and she also stayed in our bedroom a different time while we were in Chicago until she could find an affordable apartment. We of course charged neither of these young women a penny. On their own they pitched in cleaning and such even though they were under no obligation to do so. There are so many reasons people become homeless or unhoused. They’re not all mentally ill addicts by any means. Imagine finding yourself in a situation where you had no other alternative other than having to live out of your car while trying to be safe and keep your job on top of it. It is unfathomable to me.

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  15. LAMary said on February 2, 2023 at 8:24 pm

    One of the guys on the homeless outreach team in San Francisco told me that when there’s one of those clean ups of a homeless encampment people lose most if their belongings unless they’ve got a way move it out. They get a warning that the clean up is coming but if you don’t have a car or even a good sized shopping cart you’re screwed and the most precious thing they lose is any form of ID. No drivers license, SS card, nothing. This is a big handicap to getting a job or a home.

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  16. FDChief said on February 2, 2023 at 10:07 pm

    My understanding is that the term “retarded” was devised in the Fifties or thereabouts because the term previously used to describe someone who had trouble learning or some intellectual issues – “moron” – had become an insult and the new term was a kinder way to describe the conditions.

    Of course by the time I entered grade school our insult-of-choice was “retard”. So it goes.

    I learned not long ago that “gypsy” is considered insulting by some (many) of the people it’s used to label. Apparently a term used within that community is “roma”, and that’s considered more polite.

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  17. Dexter Friend said on February 3, 2023 at 2:24 am

    A starter before my comment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maa1xTKu7aQ
    I love this as I am a big fan of the artists and the topic’s star. Jeff Beck, Johnny Depp, Hedy Lamarr.

    The local party store, called convenience stores below the Toledo War line, changed hands recently, sold to people who speak English to me but talk in their native tongue amongst themselves. They watch foreign stuff on their phones, they burn incense in the store. They are in cahoots with the Short Stop store in Defiance, who are Mexicans or Mexican-Americans but these dudes ain’t no way Mexican anything. I see them every day at the window and I am curious, but I won’t ask them their heritage. To me they appear to be from Syria or someplace near there. To be totally non-woke, they remind me of the vanquished Apu from The Simpsons. But damned if I will ever ask them, just won’t do it, although my curiosity abounds.
    Really? 38% of Americans have a bachelor’s or higher degree? “62 percent majority of Americans who lack a bachelor’s degree”
    I got de-railed by illness when I started university classes post-military time, and was forced into the workplace. Everybody has a story, so congratulations to the 38% who sailed through to toss the mortarboards into the sky and (today) pay the freight for decades to come.

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  18. Dexter Friend said on February 3, 2023 at 2:43 am

    I’ll never forget the feeling that day, the day I was at my nadir. Recovered enough from my illness to begin moving about, my pockets were empty. Broke. The rent was due, and there was no food in the apartment. Not a crumb. I took the phone book and began calling every business from A to Z asking for employment. Nothing. I didn’t know about any food kitchens ; I ate nothing for 3 days. Somehow I found some coins and went to Maloley’s store and bought a head of lettuce and some bleu cheese dressing, my first meal after that necessary fast. I then found a job, borrowed a few bucks from my best friend who I called, to get started with the job, and my adult life was kick-started. That’s how fucking close I came to who-knows-what kind of bum, wino, houseless, homeless statistic I could have been, but for one place I contacted needed one worker, and they hired me. I was just 22.
    I have great empathy for anyone who finds themselves on the precipice.

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  19. David C said on February 3, 2023 at 5:53 am

    Rod Dreher, not very bright.


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  20. alex said on February 3, 2023 at 6:40 am

    I didn’t know Dreher had gone to work as a mercenary in the Hungarian Ministry of Propaganda. Imagine having to master that language while trying not to say the quiet parts out loud. It would be a fool’s errand for any American, and they couldn’t have picked a bigger one than Dreher.

    Maybe they’ll summarily cut out his tongue, ship him back here and demand that Tucker Carlson send them back their Sebastian Gorka.

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  21. dexter friend said on February 3, 2023 at 7:21 am

    DeSantis now insisting high school girl athletes log their menstrual cycles to make sure no trans kids try to play. How will this play in any state but Florida?

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  22. Alan Stamm said on February 3, 2023 at 7:33 am

    In my practice, we try to avoid any language that’s heavily gendered. That means not using phrases like ‘women’s health’ when what we mean is ‘the health of people who have uteruses,’ and so on.”
    — Kinsey Kolega, certified nurse practitioner at Lakewood Family Health Center/Cleveland Clinic
    [ source: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/afab-and-amab-meaning/ ]

    And so on . . . into the wonderland of language denuded of potential triggering, microaggressions, clarity.

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  23. alex said on February 3, 2023 at 7:41 am

    No wonder there’s all this seething resentment about wokeness. The average Republican voter who self-diagnoses on the internet has no idea whether he might have fibroids.

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  24. Mark P said on February 3, 2023 at 9:42 am

    A Modest Proposal: Every girl who reaches the age of puberty, when her period occurs, must appear naked on a raised platform in the public square and be examined in detail by a group of respected male members of the state legislature and Baptist churches to determine that she is having a period, and who shall submit a report with photographs to be published in the newspaper of record in the county.

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  25. 4dbirds said on February 3, 2023 at 10:11 am

    Dexter wrote “DeSantis now insisting high school girl athletes log their menstrual cycles to make sure no trans kids try to play. How will this play in any state but Florida?”

    Times sure have changed. I remember being so embarrassed when with a mixed group of friends in Jr. High, that I couldn’t mention to my close friend I had a snag in my stocking. My gosh, the boy might hear me. lol.

    Now I tend to overshare and don’t give a rat’s rear about talking about anything. However, I would never allow my daughter to log anything even if she was adamant about participating in sports. We would find another group to play with or create our own.

    Also, not every girl menstruates. A friend of mine in the army was born without a uterus.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on February 3, 2023 at 10:51 am

    DeathSantis is clearly going to run on culture wars in 2024, so it benefits him to stir the shit in Floriduh. The more he acts like a prick, the more the MAGAts will embrace him. I’m hugely disappointed the college board bent to the little bastard’s demands regarding the AP African-American History classes, since it allows the jackass to claim victory over the woke left. Next year is going to be hellish watching the QOP primates pounding their chests.

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  27. Heather said on February 3, 2023 at 12:00 pm

    Those athletes in Florida should just fake the info and/or send their used pads and tampons to the powers that be.

    In the U.S., most of us are just one or two major health crises away from poverty and/or homelessness.

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  28. Sherri said on February 3, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    What DeSantis is doing in Florida is not just culture wars red meat to the base, it’s the implementation of an authoritarian plan to ensure that we don’t have a pluralistic multiracial democracy in this country. It’s not about riling up the rubes, it’s about keeping people in their place, reminding black people and women and everyone else who isn’t a straight white Christian man that you are not on top, you do not belong on top, and you only get to have any rights at the sufferance of straight white Christian men so you’d better behave like it.

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  29. Sherri said on February 3, 2023 at 1:12 pm

    Heather, I think that it’s because most of us are just a major health crisis away from poverty or homelessness that causes so many to demonize the poor and homeless. If we faced up to the structural nature of the problem, we’d be scared shitless. Instead, it’s easier to blame the poor and homeless for their bad choices, and reassure ourselves that we’d never make such bad choices.

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  30. Charlie (she/her) said on February 3, 2023 at 4:00 pm

    Speaking as an edge case, I gotta admit I do appreciate when the doctor asks me simple easy questions like “do you have a prostate gland?” and not hard complicated questions like “are you a man who has sex with men?”*

    More seriously though, there have been a few stories of the sort “trans man dies of ovarian cancer, which was missed because his doctor didn’t realize he had ovaries” – so some of these language changes in clinical settings are just the sort of extra care that also gets you constantly asked if you have any allergies.

    But meanwhile don’t miss the political game being played here – let’s spill a bunch of column ink and TV minutes complaining, then maybe next time you’re seeing a new doctor and they ask “do you have a cervix?” you don’t think sure-cant-be-too-careful, you think those-transes-wrecking-our-language! and maybe you think about voting Republican this time….

    * Not so much these days, but historically for various reasons “trans women who don’t have sex with anyone” used to get included sometimes in “men who have sex with men” so I still have to double-check if it’s about something important.

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  31. Sherri said on February 3, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    Charlie, I like the way you put it. Maybe because I was a software engineer, I always think about edge cases, because if you don’t, your software breaks. And the “do you have a cervix” is a very good question, because it doesn’t determine whether you are a woman or not, but it does determine whether you need a Pap smear or not. I no longer have a cervix, but I’m pretty sure that everyone would consider me a woman. I don’t need a Pap smear, because I can’t get cervical cancer.

    I laugh at the right wingers who think it’s obvious ho to define a woman. I guarantee for any definition they propose, I can come up with a edge case that wouldn’t fit their definition and that they would still consider obviously a woman.

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  32. Peter said on February 3, 2023 at 5:46 pm

    Dexter at 21 – I’m sure Roy Moore will volunteer to check out the youngin’s in Alabama.

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  33. alex said on February 3, 2023 at 6:06 pm

    Under Title IX, wouldn’t boys in Florida be compelled to jack off and hand their jizz rags to DeSantis? Turnabout is fair play and all that?

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  34. Charlie (she/her) said on February 3, 2023 at 6:27 pm

    I guess it’s also easy to lump different cases together when it comes to language – sometimes precision is especially important, sometimes people are mainly hoping you won’t use a word that’s been shouted at them in anger, sometimes people are on Twitter looking for something to get angry at.

    Sometimes humans are just doing that thing where they come up with new words and use them to show they’re part of the group.

    Online, text makes it harder to tell if someone’s being malicious, and feed algorithms are constantly stirring the pot, so the categories get even more muddled.

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  35. Charlie (she/her) said on February 3, 2023 at 7:28 pm

    alex – as much fun as the exploding heads would be to watch, I’m not sure it’s a good idea for the Sunshine State Crotch Inspection Brigade to find out about the variety of development rates among male anatomy….

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  36. Brandon said on February 3, 2023 at 7:42 pm

    There’s also Latine.


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  37. Sherri said on February 3, 2023 at 10:38 pm

    Remember when Republicans would declare their outrage if a Dem didn’t wear a flag lapel?


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  38. Dexter Friend said on February 4, 2023 at 3:33 am

    I have been at times enough of a rabble-rouser to even have gotten on page 1 of the New York Times for my screaming at a certain VP candidate, which I have detailed here before. (Funny, I had had no idea for 50 years that my protest had made The Times until I researched archives)
    Anyway, I can pinpoint when the Right Wing confiscated Old Glory for their side. It was 1970 when those New York City construction workers staged a demonstration supporting Nixon’s efforts to obliterate Viet Nam by bombing the hell out of the place, and effort culminating years later with the infamous “Christmas bombing” of Hanoi.
    I grew up as a kid loving being indoctrinated towards patriotism, loving the old history tales, respecting the USA flag. I was 15 when I realized a lot of nefarious shit was done and was being done under the Stars and Stripes and I became leery and inquisitive of US foreign policy. Even as I protested the Vietnam war as a veteran against that war, I never burned or defaced Old Glory. I just wanted to claim it for our side. It just didn’t work out like that. I also hate how these nutcase wackos have claimed the word “patriot”. Most of us with questions to what we observe are the real patriots. Fuck those assholes with AR-15 lapel buttons.

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  39. David Edelstein said on February 4, 2023 at 6:06 am

    Many of us are homeless, though we own houses, and nameless, though pieces of paper bear our so-called names, and formless, though the mirror claims we do maintain a shape, often with bulges in the tummy area from drinking too much beer and refusing to do fucking sit-ups.

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  40. Dorothy said on February 4, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    I’m not a beer drinker but I sure have a bulging tummy. If only it were as easy as not drinking beer anymore to get rid of my bulges!

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  41. LAMary said on February 4, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    Some of the stories I heard from previously homeless people applying for homeless outreach jobs were heartbreaking. I heard about abusive husbands, fathers who kicked out daughters who got pregnant, wives whose husbands kicked them out when the opiod addiction that started after back surgery by a doctor who prescribed a lot of painkillers became unbearable at home, young men who left home when they couldn’t take anymore of the sexual abuse from mom’s boyfriend…

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  42. Sherri said on February 4, 2023 at 2:07 pm

    The media will be too busy following the horse race between Trump and DeSantis to notice the Fascist arms race going on.


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  43. Sherri said on February 4, 2023 at 4:35 pm

    There may be some people who want to live in a tent permanently, but not many. Most of the time, people who resist going into housing resist because of rules like no pets or no substance use or because the housing offered is far away from their community. Poor people are supposed to be grateful for crumbs and follow whatever restrictions we want to put on them.

    When we were holding hearings on converting a hotel into housing for homeless people, you should have heard all the restrictions people wanted to place on them. My favorite ridiculous proposal: no visitors. There were actually serious proposals that the people living in the converted hotel not be allowed to have visitors. Even prisons allow visitors.

    The biggest barrier to solving homelessness is not mental illness, addiction, or people who choose to be homeless. It’s homeowners, across the political spectrum, who don’t want to allow the building necessary to house everybody.

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  44. Deborah said on February 4, 2023 at 9:49 pm

    I watched an excellent movie on Netflix this evening,”Girl” about a teenager transitioning to be a girl. It was heartbreaking, very well made, A Swedish film with English subtitles. I highly recommend it.

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  45. Deborah said on February 5, 2023 at 4:04 am

    Actually the movie is Belgian not Swedish.

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  46. basset said on February 5, 2023 at 9:00 am

    I mentioned here awhile back that we were starting to work our way through all seven seasons of “Parks and Recreation” on DVD. Just about made it, two episodes to go, and it looks like they said all they had to say in maybe the first five seasons, it just seemed forced toward the end. Anyone else have thoughts on it?

    And, while I’m asking the group, is anyone aside from me reading “Spare,” or have you all moved on?

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  47. David C said on February 5, 2023 at 10:18 am

    I had a hard time getting through the first 5-10 episodes of Parks and Recreation. Once it got into its groove, I liked it. I was told to wait it out so I didn’t give up on it. I agree the last two seasons weren’t their best. It’s hard to think of many programs that didn’t stagger to the finish line though.

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  48. Julie Robinson said on February 5, 2023 at 10:31 am

    basett, I listened to Spare and was saddened by the whole thing. According to Harry (important to remember we only have one side of the story), after Diana died no one save a nanny hugged the boys. Read that again: A 12 and 15 year old have lost their mother and no one thinks enough about their needs to even wrap their arms around them.

    The boys didn’t see Diana and for years Harry believed she had faked her death in order to get out of being chased all the time.

    Again, the boys didn’t receive any kind of mental health care but were shipped back to boarding school.

    Is he trying to get back at Charles, Camilla and William? Undoubtedly. Do they deserve it, or are they just trapped in the horrible system of palace politics? I’m not sure.

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  49. Deborah said on February 5, 2023 at 11:17 am

    A while back we in the comments discussed tipping, I have always been pro-tipping but then today I was directed to this https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/05/opinion/minimum-wage-racism.html I had no idea tipping was a remnant of slavery. I’m not going to stop tipping but it does seem to be something that needs to end, especially in restaurants, everyone should get a living wage. Restaurant owners shouldn’t get to pay less because their workers get tips. But it’s an ingrained system now, if I stop tipping I’m not helping the people who need it most.

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  50. Suzanne said on February 5, 2023 at 11:35 am

    I have not read Spare and only watched a clip or two of Harry’s many interviews. I think the royals are all caught up in a system that makes them utterly clueless about how the rest of the world works and they have no clue they are that way. I feel for Harry who maybe has a glimmer but I am not sure even he seems to totally grasp that people all over the world are born into crappy families but don’t have the resources he has to strike out on their own. He boldly announced that he was stepping down from royal duties and moving to the US but it isn’t like that meant he’d have to work at an Amazon warehouse house and his wife at Target, trying to cobble together enough money to live.
    Charles and Andrew seem particularly clueless and, I suspect, will remain so.

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  51. LAMary said on February 5, 2023 at 5:01 pm

    I found the interview with Stephen Colbert and Prince Harry to be pretty moving. Colbert lost his father and all his siblings in a plane crash when he was very young and sharing that with Harry opened an emotional connection.

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  52. alex said on February 5, 2023 at 6:07 pm

    Carolyn Hax had a funny thought experiment today. What if she were advising the royals, putting aside their titles and celebrity, and simply addressing their behavior and their grievances as if they were ordinary people?

    She came down pretty hard on the public airing of dirty laundry, as you might imagine, but didn’t spare those whose behavior allowed such tensions to escalate to that level in the first place.


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