All unhappy families.

In my observation, great families tend to fall apart after three generations. The old man makes the pile, the kids grow up in extreme privilege and try to do right by dad, but they don’t know what it’s like to make their own beds, much less their own fortune. (See “Succession” for more of this.) By the time the old man’s grandchildren are grown, it’s all divorce, drug addiction and dumbassery. The money may last a while, but the spark and verve is gone.

Which is how we end up with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. From a Wall Street Journal story about his presidential campaign today:

He has aired claims—debunked by public-health experts—linking childhood vaccinations to autism. He has cast doubt on the safety of Covid-19 vaccines. He has questioned whether prescription drugs have caused a rise in school shootings and whether Wi-Fi exposure leads to cancer. He has said that the Central Intelligence Agency assassinated his uncle and could have killed his father, Robert F. Kennedy, despite no concrete evidence. And he has said the U.S. is perpetuating the Ukraine war to fuel the defense industry.

…He said he is avoiding some types of campaign events including parades because his security team has determined that they aren’t safe given the risk of an assassination attempt by the CIA.

The hundreds of supporters who came to hear Kennedy’s foreign-policy speech—some who drove hours and came with copies of his books—spanned the ideological spectrum.

“All the things that he’s saying about bringing the country together, he really believes he really can do this, and he’s unlike anybody out there,” said independent voter Rebecca Giles, 54, a retired physician from Bedford, N.H., and a Kennedy campaign volunteer. Giles supported Donald Trump in the 2016 and 2020 New Hampshire primaries and general elections, but soured on him over his pandemic response, which she saw as heavy-handed.

He’s speaking to a Moms for Liberty convention next week in Philadelphia. Steve Bannon thinks he’s swell. I think I know all I need about this guy. (And may I just say? Having heard him speak, he has a serious case of spasmodic dysphonia. No crime there, of course, but in an age where any woman who raises her voice is dismissed as “shrill,” we’ll see whether the same standards apply to men.)

In other news at this hour, Marjorie Taylor Greene called Lauren Boebert a “little bitch” on the floor of the House yesterday and I, for one, am highly amused.

I was going to post a sensitively written story from the Columbus Dispatch about the descent of its former legendary zoo director, Jack Hanna, into Alzheimer’s, but now I’m not. I’ve read a bunch of these in my lifetime, and they all boil down to the same thing: Once this person was formidable, now they are not. It’s never not sad and it’s also barely news. We’re all gonna die someday, and the lucky ones will have all their faculties intact when they do.

With that, I beg you adieu and watch out for the CIA.

Posted at 12:53 pm in Current events |

60 responses to “All unhappy families.”

  1. FDChief said on June 22, 2023 at 1:06 pm

    Of all the loathsome things the wingnut Right has empowered over the past forty years this bizarre Bircher vaccine denial is both the weirdest and most loathsome.

    Racism? Sure! If my race can be boss of yours, I win! Sexism/homophobia/plutocracy/theocracy? Terrific…so long as my gender/sexuality/tax bracket/religion is on top…what’s the prob, Bob?

    But…who the fuck is stanning for infectious disease? How does that actually help even me if my rich, white, straight, Christian ass gets polio and ends up in an iron lung?

    I mean…I get the division of opinion on wingnuts – evil? Stupid? But this checks BOTH the boxes! It’s the MAGAt version of a land war in Asia; it’s a classic blunder!

    And yet…millions of these chucklefucks are down with it.

    Utterly insane.

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  2. LAMary said on June 22, 2023 at 1:30 pm

    I guess we won’t be seeing MTG and Mom of the Year Boebert sitting next to each other to heckle Biden at the next SOTU. Darn. Maybe instead they’ll have a catfight on the floor of congress? Yessss. That sounds like a trumpian wet dream.

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  3. David C said on June 22, 2023 at 1:32 pm

    Trump’s Covid response heavy handed? How could he be heavy handed with his thumb up his ass?

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  4. Andrea said on June 22, 2023 at 1:33 pm

    A regret-filled look back from the editor who helped publicize RFK Jr.’s nutbaggery on vaccines.

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  5. Jeff Gill said on June 22, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    I will say what I appreciated about the Jack Hanna story were the quirky asides which are spot-on the stuff I’m dealing with. It truly was reassuring on multiple levels, even as it was saddening to know others (so many others) are dealing with this. Suzy had a work-around on dental care that didn’t work for me; the dentist heard me out when I came alone, gave me a big hug, and then had me take some pictures and send them to her with then advice by email on what to do.

    There’s more, but I would say if you are or might be doing caregiving with someone who is experiencing cognitive impairment, whether frontotemporal lobe or Loewy body or classic Alzheimers, let alone the many frequent small TIA sufferers, which is what both my father-in-law and mother seem to be impacted by, it’s worth your time. No big insights or breakthroughs, as Nancy says, just a familiar sense of “okay, that’s right, sure.” Which I realized I needed yesterday.

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  6. Julie Robinson said on June 22, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    The Jack Hanna story was heartbreaking to me because I’ve experienced it several times now and am beginning the walk down that road again.

    The submersible searchers have found a debris field and will be releasing more information in about an hour. Did anyone ever think it wasn’t ending this way? One of the tidbits I read is how there’s no benefit to people dying off, as decaying bodies actually use more oxygen than those living. Yikes.

    A local couple was going on one of the early trips. After a series of delays over years, they decided not to go, and when applying for a refund were told since it was their choice to cancel, there would be no money returned. So, they’re suing, but I’m thinking that’s going to be a long line. The owner/pilot is on board, presumably not having found anyone else to run the tin bucket.

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  7. ROGirl said on June 22, 2023 at 2:20 pm

    RE: MTG and Bobo, I thought of scorpions in a bottle.

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  8. Mark P said on June 22, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    When I saw that an “independent” was supporting Kennedy, I though yeah, no, there are no independents, only Democrats, Republicans, and Republicans too embarrassed to admit that they are Republicans. No surprise she was a Trump supporter. Based on Kennedy’s positions, it looks to me like he will appeal more to Republican voters, and won’t draw many Democratic votes.

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  9. Icarus said on June 22, 2023 at 3:46 pm

    But…who the fuck is stanning for infectious disease?

    Doesn’t the infectious disease disproportionally affect POC?

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  10. Icarus said on June 22, 2023 at 3:51 pm

    So about that submersible …

    I too indulged my Dark Humor side and made jokes…

    I didn’t know there was a 19-year-old aboard…

    It’s possible they spent money on this trip AND gave money to charities and other philanthropic endeavors…

    We went to the moon with less technology than the submersible had…

    finally, let’s not forget the most important news this month…Pat Robinson is still DEAD. (see first point)

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  11. FDChief said on June 22, 2023 at 4:37 pm

    The mere idea of submersion creeps me out, so even if I had a spare quarter million lying around I wouldn’t have been tempted, but…

    Diving to abyssal depths in some sort of homemade diving bell full of parts bought from Dollar Tree? Who would even think that’s a good idea? That’s not even “risky”. That’s “here, try this parachute I made from a bedsheet and some zipties!”

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  12. Deborah said on June 22, 2023 at 4:43 pm

    I read an article recently either NYT or WaPo (I think) about R Kennedy Jr that he had been a heroin addict at some point as a young adult. I don’t doubt that he had a lot to work through after the assassinations he dealt with of his uncle and his dad, I get that. But the right wing doesn’t want to give Hunter Biden any breaks after the horrific accident he and his brother survived that killed his mother and baby sister. Of course they have no empathy for that. Kennedy Jr also had his second wife (the architect) kill herself after he left her. Who knows what the backstory on that is, but it’s not a good look for him, if you ask me. But the biggest problem with him IMO is his penchant for wild conspiracy theories about all sorts of things. How much damage he will do remains to be seen, but it has the potential of being catastrophic.

    Jeff G, statistics say that for every person suffering from dementia, typically 3 people associated with their care suffer from depression. Even professional caregivers suffer because they too are watching the deterioration which can be debilitating. I can’t imagine being an oncologist or neurologist caring for people on a daily basis going through the end stages. I went through it with my mother when I was 14, not dementia, but the last few weeks of her life diminished her cognition and that was devastating.

    I will eventually be sharing about a project we’ve been working on about care resources for people with dementia and their care partners. It’s been slowly evolving towards reality and it’s getting closer.

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  13. Sherri said on June 22, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    To say we went to the moon with less tech is sort of true, but also misleading. Yes, the computers were smaller and less powerful, but extensive testing was done on everything, and the astronauts were trained endlessly on simulations, and thousands of people supported each mission. And billions of dollars.

    And with all that, NASA still lost three astronauts before we made it to the moon, and could have easily lost the crew of Apollo 13.

    Extreme environments are unforgiving, and the ability to pay large sums of money does not mean you’re prepared for them, nor does it mean that the company you’re paying the money to is prepared for them.

    I’m with FDChief, I wouldn’t even be interested in a ride on a USN submarine because I’m claustrophobic and the idea of being submersed makes me uncomfortable, but to pay money to ride with a company whose CEO thinks safety is just an annoying waste, no way.

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  14. Julie Robinson said on June 22, 2023 at 5:23 pm

    That’s Robertson, Icarus. Please don’t besmirch the good name of Robinson!

    It’s never a good sign when you fire your safety expert.

    I’m claustrophobic too, though I can’t trace it to any event. When I was a kid I did caves and the submarine at Chicago’s Science and Industry Museum. These days even talking about a sub gets me shuddering.

    RFK Jr. is marriage to the actress Cheryl Hines, who has been involved with many liberal causes. She’s tap dancing around their disagreements and censoring earlier statements.

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  15. ROGirl said on June 22, 2023 at 5:44 pm

    Julie R, I was going to mention the Chicago Museum of Sci and Ind sub. I also went on the Disneyland submarine ride in its original version.

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  16. Icarus said on June 22, 2023 at 6:47 pm

    Sherri @ 13: yes we definitely did more QA back in the day. Today we trust the software/hardware/whatever more so we shrink the QA budget.

    Julia, sorry for the typo.

    So of the pages I follow on the Book of Faces, most were doggin this event. Two showed some grace and another treated it like we might have treated the Apollo 13 mission.

    in 2018 some Thai soccer kids were trapped in a cave — and Fing Elon Musk accused one of the rescuers of being a pedo because they wouldn’t use his stupid rescue submarine.

    in 2010 33 miners in northern Chile were rescued after spending more than two months underground.

    just food for thought

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  17. FDChief said on June 22, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    I’m indifferent as to the “moral” aspect of the effort put into trying to rescue these poor doomed devils (re: how “graceful” people are reacting…) other than to note that for an operation that considered safety and caution unnecessary the dildo of consequences arrived, as you’d expect…unlubed.

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  18. Jeff Borden said on June 22, 2023 at 10:06 pm

    RE: Boebert vs. MTG
    Rick Wilson of the Lincoln Project suggests they’re one step away from pudding wrestling. Ugh.

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  19. Sherri said on June 22, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    How much of your soul do you have to sell to get those great Federalist Society travel deals? I mean, it’s clear that Alito and Thomas have completely sold their souls, but it looks like Barret and Kavanaugh are still negotiating. Or maybe Leonard Leo is still trying to match them up with the billionaire of their dreams.

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  20. Dexter Friend said on June 23, 2023 at 2:38 am

    I was in high school when: “Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee, died on Jan. 27, 1967, during a flash fire inside the Apollo 1 crew capsule during a launch test rehearsal.” (Google quote)
    Grissom was a Hoosier so the Fort Wayne papers really blew up the story for days. I’ve been claustrophobic all my life and have panicked in freeway mountain tunnels and elevators, being stuck in elevators twice in my life for way too long.
    One diver who has descended to the Titanic reported the pressure at 13K feet is the same as if a pure lead (Pb) weight the size of The Empire State Building was set upon the diving submersible. No wonder the thing imploded.
    And all stand for the new Republican Party, the party of George Santos and Donald John Trump, who went on his social network begging the US Congress to help him by somehow squelching all these investigations and upcoming trials. Here’s all Trump has left to keep him out of prison: he must succeed in his always-granted trial delays. The delays must go on until after he might become President again, then he can just make all this go away. He has always, always, been able to delay and delay all actions against him. Also, there are many Democrats that do not want a former POTUS incarcerated. Many Democrats years ago cheered Gerald Ford as he pardoned Nixon, who, if he had stayed in office, would definitely have spent prison time. If Trump stays belligerent, he’ll go to prison…but will the forces that be really put him there?

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  21. Jim said on June 23, 2023 at 5:50 am

    Bought the first series of Succession (dvd) watched three episodes, then gave up – too boring .

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  22. Dorothy said on June 23, 2023 at 6:31 am

    My thought after reading the Jack Hanna article is I wish his wife Suzi would get assistance NOW. I know she said he has his routine and anything that messes it up gets him upset. But now is when she needs to develop a relationship with caregivers who can help when he gets so bad that he can’t really walk anymore or converse anymore. I have no experience with this, but she’s 74 (or 76?) and not going to be able to handle him all by herself in the near future.

    Jim @21 – I’m with you. I heard that those characters’ unlike-ability is what makes the show so great, but I could not see myself becoming fascinated enough to see where the stories would go. Rich people being cruel and insufferable, particularly with each other – no thanks.

    Have any of you ever seen the musical “Young Frankenstein”? I saw it last night at the local community theater. What fun! The songs were pretty great and the talent of the performers is what really blew me away. But I have one quibble that I won’t mention to anyone around here – the lead who played Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder’s part in the movie of course) was so obviously gay, and it oozed from his follicles, and he was a FABULOUS singer and an okay dancer, just could not sell the idea of falling for either his fiancé or Inga. All I could think was “he’s an actor, why can’t he act the part?” I kept those thoughts to myself – well, I told my husband. If I shared my thoughts with any of my fellow actors I would not know how to put it without offending anyone. Maybe other people felt that way, too.

    They found a really tall (but skinny) guy to play the monster and he was a hoot. Maybe all the other actors weren’t terribly tall, which contributed to making him look like he was 6’8”. Or maybe he WAS 6’8”. I could not tell from the audience. His long arms and legs, and pants that were purposely too short on him, made for a very entertaining appearance.

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  23. Dorothy said on June 23, 2023 at 8:23 am

    I forgot to add – the WaPo had a chilling, scrolling, informative graphic on Instagram about how deep the Titanic submersible could be. It made my stomach lurch.

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  24. Jeff Gill said on June 23, 2023 at 8:28 am

    Dorothy, I was having the same thought for her. And I get the hope that you can hang on until they are so confused & disoriented that new faces aren’t the same issue they would be right now, but it’s a tough calculation of two declining graph lines and predicting where they will intersect. I’m actually going to meet with a social worker for intake at a care facility nearby today, as much for my own mental health (thank you, Deborah) as for actual plans. But if my father-in-law continues to lose mobility at the rate he is, but have just enough cognition to be able to accurately a) state his name and DOB, and b) say no, with emphasis, what are my options? [Trigger warning for some ahead] We’re dealing with accidents occasionally which haven’t soiled the chair itself yet, which he lives & sleeps in. He’s adamantly refused to even consider Depends type protection, and I’m just cleaning up “accidents” on him and clothing until he either says “let’s try that” or . . . I don’t know what “or” means. He is still just barely mobile enough that if I just present him with Depends, he will try to go back upstairs (hasn’t for six weeks now, likely not possible without help, and the risk of me just standing at the bottom of the steps daring him to go through with it is just not an option) and get a new pair of shorts. I’m lucky to get him to change clothes every month. But once he literally can’t, with assistance from me and his cane, GET to the downstairs bathroom where I’ve installed grab bars and special seating, I just don’t know what my options are. He can still refuse assisted living, he can still fire aides: and it’s all made so sad because he thinks he’s going to die any day now . . . which is not entirely unreasonable! . . . but can’t accept any intermediate solution in the meantime. Meanwhile, I’m out of a job if this continues past Labor Day, and given the essential toughness of this fellow, it likely will.

    Meanwhile, my mother gets meaner, and more hostile towards my sister, and is starting to completely forget my brother, who is weirdly enough the one who comes over most days so my sister can hold onto her job. But she’s “losing” him, as she’s getting angrier (or as sister says, she’s losing the ability to mask the deep anger that’s always been there). So I’ll go spend Saturday with them as a break from here, though not sure how much mess in the bathroom and hallway I’ll have to clean up in return for six hours away . . .

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  25. Mark P said on June 23, 2023 at 9:23 am

    I saw a clip of the Titan submersible guy bragging about ignoring all the experts who had doubts about his construction materials and techniques. Too late to say, “Told you so.”

    My wife is angry pretty much all the time. Unfortunately, that is apparently not uncommon for people who have suffered serious head injuries. We get into such emotionally stressful arguments that I have seriously considered divorce. Now, with her early dementia, she would be unable to take care of herself. She fell three times yesterday and needed my help getting up. She scraped her arm so badly we considered going to the ER. She also can’t keep her medications straight. Our situation is not nearly as bad as some of you all’s, but I can sure understand the stress of taking care of someone with dementia. It takes a toll. And we have absolutely no one else to depend on, no relatives or close friends within a thousand miles.

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  26. Dorothy said on June 23, 2023 at 9:54 am

    Oh Jeff and Mark – my heart goes out to you. The Great Unknown is so hard, and each day it gets harder.

    Jeff have you considered putting a heavy beach towel on the seat cushion of his chair? Maybe a washable item like an oversized pillow case that you can line with those pads that have blue material on one side, and white on the other that hospitals use? You can get them on Amazon. I bought them as puppy pads years ago when we had a new dog. They work in many ways, for both pup and human. We know each other well enough that I’d offer to sew some for you (the pillow case things) if you give me the dimensions of the cushion. Heck, I just made four flannel pillow cases when my daughter asked for them. I mailed them Tuesday and she got them yesterday. The ones I made them years ago have worn thin and tore a week or two ago. They’re the only ones her partner likes to sleep on.

    Mark is there a social service available to help you? Are you on Medicare? I’m not familiar with all the options but I’d like to think your health insurance might have some kind of help for you. Can you take over the medications for her? Chart them somehow, and give them to her so she doesn’t have to do it herself anymore. I did a simple Excel spread sheet when my husband needed multiple kinds of eye drops at all different times of the day after his cataract surgeries. It helped a lot. Checking off a box after doing something means you no longer have to think about it – it’s all there on paper. Maybe that might help with a small number of her anger issues. Gosh I wish I could help more. Thinking about the stresses that you are both having is just so sad….!

    Oh – if she’s having falling issues, can you get her a four pronged cane? I got mine on Amazon when I had my knee replacement 10 years ago.

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  27. JodiP said on June 23, 2023 at 10:00 am

    I heard an obersavation by Kimberly Adams of Marketplace that there is a massive amount of coverage for the billionaires in the submersable, but basically nothing about the ship with about 350 Pakistani refugees that floundered off the Greek coast in last week. Listen, I read the headlines every day of WaPo and NYT, and had not seen a single word about this awful tragedy.

    MarkP, my heart is with you. It’s one thing to go through with that with your parents, but it would be incredibly difficult to be treated like that by someone you’ve chosen as a life partner.

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  28. FDChief said on June 23, 2023 at 10:58 am

    And to add to the “WTF?” factor, the latest reportage of this sub story is that implosion noise was heard essentially simultaneously with the loss of commo. So the whole “rescue” was a sham.

    Orcas were probably involved.

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  29. Deborah said on June 23, 2023 at 11:15 am

    Getting back to Nancy’s original post about the Kennedy’s family generations deteriorating wealth and competence: there is a notion that uncle J was quite familiar with called shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves (or the asian version is called rice bowl to rice bowl). It basically says that it takes 3 generations to lose the wealth of the successful originator. Of course it isn’t always true, some families hold on to it longer, but 3 generations is common. The originator is the one working like crazy in his shirtsleeves, becoming successful then passing it on to the next generation etc. In no time, it’s gone and the recipients are back to living in their shirtsleeves. So what uncle J did was to put the bulk of his accumulated wealth in a foundation that will be having an impact (hopefully) in ways that help way more people than just his family. His immediate family got some of it but not the lion’s share for sure, and they initially weren’t happy about that, but they got over it, mainly because they didn’t have any choice.

    It’s hard to watch someone lose their capabilities and become a different person. Literally personalities can change as Jeff G and Mark P have noted, that’s disconcerting. Here’s a link to an org called “I’m Still Here” that we’ve found most interesting in our research on dementia care John Zeisel, the founder was coincidentally my husband’s advisor at Harvard in the 70s. He founded a residence for people with dementia that operates on the principals he describes. Also his mother was Eva Zeisel, a pottery designer who worked well into her 90s, I kept her photo on my cubicle at work before I retired.

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  30. Mark P said on June 23, 2023 at 11:41 am

    I have been trying to monitor and control my wife’s meds for quite some time. She has chronic pain and is on oxycodone, so it’s important. We keep her daily doses in a pill minder and write down the time she takes a pill and the number remaining … until she decides to take her pill without telling me. Or she writes down when she plans to take her next pill. We have agreed many times that *I* will give her a pill when it’s time, but she forgets and takes a pill without telling me. She has taken pills with me standing right beside her saying, “No no no, you just took one!” Her pain doctor fired her about a month ago for requesting refills early. That guy is another whole story. He prescribed oxycodone and valium together, which her PCP said some doctors have lost their license for doing.

    Anyway, I had arranged with a woman who sat with my wife’s father years ago to sit with her for two weeks while I visited my friends in Denver. I got to a town about 30 miles from home when I got a call. The lady didn’t know she was allergic to cats, and we have one, so I had to turn around and come back home.

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  31. basset said on June 23, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Don’t know if I’d quite call it a “sham,” FDChief… looks like they heard something, didn’t know exactly what it was, and kept the search going till they could be sure. At least it appears that the five on board probably never felt it.

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  32. Dorothy said on June 23, 2023 at 11:58 am

    I still am not quite sure what he was getting at, FD Chief, but last night my husband said something about the Navy not wanting to reveal the fact that they have the technology to listen to stuff from that great distance. We were talking after I got home from ushering at the theater, and he was semi-asleep. And he was gone to the office when I woke up today. So maybe tonight when he’s more awake I’ll ask him exactly what he meant by this.

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  33. FDChief said on June 23, 2023 at 12:31 pm

    Part of the Cold War naval war tech involved placing a pretty huge array of listening and other detection devices to find and follow Soviet boomers – the ballistic missile subs – in the North Atlantic (and Pacific)

    Since stealth is key to nuke subs those devices have to be extremely sensitive, so the USN “heard” this contraption sink in real time.

    The sham wasn’t the search per se, but the kayfabe about the air “remaining” or that there was ever a “rescue”. It was a recovery operation from the get-go, there was no urgency needed…but that would have taken all the fun out of the cable news coverage, so…

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  34. Deborah said on June 23, 2023 at 12:51 pm

    Here’s a beautiful story related to this thread about people with dementia I’ve sent it to a lot of people lately so if I’ve already posted it in comments previously, sorry about that. Ironically I can’t remember who I’ve already sent it to.

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  35. David C said on June 23, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    As soon as I herd the thing was made of carbon fiber, I was about 95% sure they were already dead. It’s damn near impossible to not have a flaw in the layup and cycling that much pressure was always going to find that flaw. I don’t know whoever did the layup had any idea what he intended to do with it but if they did, they should have put a stop to it.

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  36. Jeff Gill said on June 23, 2023 at 2:01 pm

    Dorothy, yep, got a pad system in place.

    On carbon fiber durability, all I can say is they kept running that thing at nearly 100% of rated depth capacity. I hope someone thoughtful has entered some new data points on a lifespan chart somewhere, but David C. put it well: all those cycles were going to find that flaw in the fabrication pattern sooner or later. It might be fine for repeated dives in the hundreds of feet, but the flexing at thousands . . . I’m just glad it was fast for them, especially for the father who brought his son down with them. To have even a couple of seconds of realization, I can’t . . . and yes, the refugees at sea had Gordon Lightfoot’s minutes to hours to consider their fate. All who go down to the sea in ships: Kyrie eleison.

    Edit: David C., had you seen this? Six week turnaround –

    “Pressure safety factor 2.25” I don’t have the technical knowledge to understand if that’s risky or standard.

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  37. LindaG said on June 23, 2023 at 3:41 pm

    Posted previously about husband with dementia who died New Year’s Day. It was happening before I realized what was going on (withdrew from social activities, suspicious, poor hygiene and more). I found a support group less than three miles from me. They were very helpful. Several continued to come even though their spouses had died. They felt they could still contribute. The biggie was get an elder law attorney (expensive, but worth it, they said). You get assets in your name only; in case you need a Medicare waiver. My situation did not linger as many experience.

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  38. basset said on June 23, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    Say more about that Medicare waiver… how does it work?

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  39. Sherri said on June 23, 2023 at 4:20 pm

    My stepfather-in-law had Lewy body dementia, and went from being the main caregiver for my mother-in-law who had ALS to not being able to remember where he was almost overnight. He fell, had to be hospitalized, and was not lucid, and meanwhile my MIL needed someone 24/7 because she couldn’t get up if she fell and couldn’t speak or eat without help. And yet, she still didn’t want us to call any of her friends to come help until we could get care in place (and they had resisted our earlier attempts to get care in the house at least part time.) It’s hard to walk the line between respecting their dignity and autonomy and doing something when their wishes just aren’t practical.

    We called one of her friends who was happy to come and stay until we could get care, and we were fortunate to get care in relatively quickly. My husband traveled out as often as he could, and his stepsister quit her job and moved into the house. Fortunately, with ALS, it was time-limited; my MIL only lived for about 18 months after diagnosis. Her husband lived for another year later.

    A friend of mine had to put her mother in care when she was developed dementia, but was otherwise healthy. Within a few years, her mother didn’t know any of her children, but lived for at least 10 years in that state. They think she was already fairly advanced by the time she was diagnosed, because she was very good at covering.

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  40. Deborah said on June 23, 2023 at 4:40 pm

    Families undergoing life with someone with dementia can be torn apart. Denial and different opinions about care options can be catastrophic. It’s not just the person suffering with dementia who needs help, it’s much broader, including whole communities. This is a huge issue that needs addressing, it’s complicated, not a lot of resources out there and no cures.

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  41. Sherri said on June 23, 2023 at 4:54 pm

    The CEO of OceanGate didn’t think that the rules applied to him. Unfortunately, the laws of physics apply to everyone, no matter how innovative you think you are.

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  42. David C said on June 23, 2023 at 5:55 pm

    Thanks for that article link Jeff. Industry magazines like Composites World are mostly rah-rah stuff. A writer would probably be fired if they wrote a skeptical article. When I’m designing truck cabs that drive around on the surface, I use a Factor of Safety of 2 for most things. Out of curiosity, I looked up the safety factor for pressure vessels. It’s 4.0 to 6.0 and that’s for things like an air tank for a compressor. SoF means the part is designed to fail at however many times the yield strength which is the point where a material permanently loses its shape under pressure. So the guy’s specification of 2.25 was nuts.

    What did they do for Igor in “Young Frankenstein”, Dorothy? I can see people getting upset about him being a humpback. Without Marty Feldman’s eyes I don’t know how anyone would pull it off.

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  43. Dorothy said on June 23, 2023 at 8:06 pm

    The Igor actor tried to do a British accent but it petered out about 5 minutes into his first bit of dialogue. The hump was hidden underneath his cape coverup. And off stage they moved it around, of course, to do the gag about it being on different sides of his back. No one can compare to the original cast, of course. Watching it made me want to go online and find the ‘behind the scenes’ special I saw a number of years ago. It had outtakes and the cast telling hilarious stories about each other. I think Gene Hackman approached Mel Brooks and practically begged for a small part in the movie, and he ad libbed the line about “I was going to make espresso!”

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  44. Suzanne said on June 24, 2023 at 8:17 am

    It appears they are on the verge of civil war in Russia. No doubt, many in the conservative world are concerned about their own paychecks not being delivered on time.

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  45. Deborah said on June 24, 2023 at 10:39 am

    A bunch of thugs in Russia fighting each other seems like a good thing for Ukraine but of course a million things can go wrong. I don’t pretend to have any idea what is really happening and neither does anyone else it seems. Waiting and watching from afar.

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  46. David C said on June 24, 2023 at 12:01 pm

    Everyone who was a submersible vessel expert last week is a Russian internal politics expert today. Days like these, I wish Twitter was still what it was. You could follow people like Anne Applebaum and Michael McFaul and get a pretty good idea of what was really going on. I guess I could sign on again but I’ll be damned if I will.

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  47. Sherri said on June 24, 2023 at 3:33 pm

    I’m certainly not a Russia expert, but Putin is terrible, the Wagner guy is terrible, and civil war in a nuclear power is pretty frightening.

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  48. Sherri said on June 24, 2023 at 7:36 pm

    My last word on submersibles. Real billionaires don’t spend $250K to ride on some cute rate sub, when they can buy their own, complete with integration with their yacht.

    (Elsewhere I found a price range of $2.5 million for the entry-level sub, up to >$30 million for the submersible rated for the deepest part of the ocean.)

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  49. jcburns said on June 24, 2023 at 8:03 pm

    Anne Applebaum is not only available on Twitter.

    There’s her very own website…!

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  50. Deborah said on June 24, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    The Prig guy is a complete thug, did a decade in prison for fraud, theft, strangled a woman and murdered a deserter with a sledgehammer. Not someone you’d want turned into a hero.

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  51. LindaG said on June 24, 2023 at 8:50 pm

    Oops–Medicaid waiver (not Medicare). Protect your assets if spouse needs long-term care which can be covered by Medicaid. Get as many assets in your name as possible. I did not get to that point, but got house and joint bank account in my name. (He still had a bank account in his name, which, as power-of-attorney, I could use.) I think a patient has to go from a hospital to a nursing home facility to be covered by Medicare initially for a certain number of days. It’s all so confusing. Also, I think there’s a “look-back” period, so you can’t just change things when you realize you should do it. (That’s why you need an elder-care lawyer!$$$)

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  52. FDChief said on June 24, 2023 at 10:15 pm

    The Wagner force is supposed to be about 25,000; that’s not enough if the Army will fight for Putin. They can cause a lot of trouble but I don’t see how that ends well for the mercs. IF the Army will fight…

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  53. Deborah said on June 24, 2023 at 11:11 pm

    We had a bull snake (no rattle) on the landing of the stairs up to the sleeping loft at the cabin this evening, the stairs are outside. I was already in the loft, didn’t see anything when I went up. My husband saw it when he went up. I got a bad photo of it. Bull snakes are good, non-venomous and eat mice. We named him Bill because when I was typing a text to LB about it autocorrect kept turning bull into Bill. It’s still doing it. This is only the 4th snake I’ve ever seen on our land in the 23 years we’ve had it. They’re very shy.

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  54. Dave said on June 25, 2023 at 2:16 am

    I’ve read all the comments about dementia and I feel for all of you folks who are dealing with it. Jeff Gill, the fact that you’re coming over here to take care of your father-in-law and you’d rather be almost anywhere else is very admirable. We lost our mother to dementia and all of these stories have reminded me of how hard it is. After our father died, we saw we had no choice but to put her in a memory care facility, the day we did that was worse than my father’s death about a month before. Mom fought us that day, just an awful day. Still, she was there until she passed away a long four years later, not knowing her family in all of that time. Dementia was more difficult than death.

    Reading the story about Jack Hanna brought it all back and Mrs. Hanna needs help, regardless of Jack Hanna’s wishes. It’s too much. Sad, too, all that fame and fortune and all one can say is that he leaves his family comfortably and he has a nice home in Montana.

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  55. Dexter Friend said on June 25, 2023 at 2:23 am

    My older brother in his pre-dementia days took his wife on an organized adventure following part of the Lewis and Clark Trail, and in Montana they camped in a river canyon and Bull snakes were everywhere, said the campers/explorers. What a week of remembrances brought up, claustrophobia, snakes everywhere, and also I wrote a check for a new air conditioning system install in my new/old Ford truck…it blew cold air for exactly 3 minutes before blasting furnace breath on me. Oh well…it’s warranty covered.

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  56. Julie Robinson said on June 25, 2023 at 12:02 pm

    Variation on the theme of eldster parents: we had a pancake breakfast at church this morning and Mom surprised us by showing up, despite telling us ten times that she wasn’t coming. She got on her scooter and buzzed down. hAfterwards she left ahead of me but was crossing the street and on the homestretch, so I drove home, went in to pee, and came back out to help her in with the scooter. No Mom. I stood there and waited. No Mom. She was only a block from home when I saw her. No Mom.

    I ran back down to church, figuring she’d forgotten her sweater, but she wasn’t there. Panic. D and I drove back home looking again, prepared to scour the neighbrhood, when we remembered we could call her on her watch. But there she was at home. She had buzzed right past the house, gone another two blocks, then finally figured out she was too far. She had tried to call us on the watch but couldn’t remember how. We review that with her frequently.

    My heart rate has just about returned to normal.

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  57. LindaG said on June 25, 2023 at 12:44 pm

    When husband was in memory care, they wanted him to have his own wheelchair. They called someone in to measure him. He was prescribed a $3,500 wheelchair, covered partly by insurance, and my share was $750. No way! Have no idea what kind of chair it was. The people at the support group where I was going said, “Go to Turnstone. They’ll give you one for free!” So I did. Just signed my name, and they said, “Just bring it back when you no longer need it.” No deposit required even. This was all about two months before he died. (Turnstone is a Fort Wayne facility that does a lot for people with disabilities. I gave them a donation in the end.)

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  58. LindaG said on June 25, 2023 at 12:55 pm

    The bull snake story reminds me of my teaching days (30 or 40 years ago). One of the teachers told us about a farmer he knew. There was a snake (probably a bull) that hung around the corncrib. The farmer liked that because it took care of the rats and mice. He encouraged it to stay. One day someone was visiting and told the farmer that he had seen a snake but bragged that he had killed it! That wasn’t what the farmer wanted to hear.

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  59. LAMary said on June 25, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    While wandering around Chaco Canyon about 33 years ago I nearly stepped on a large bull snake. I took a picture of it next to my foot. When I got back home I was showing my next door neighbor the pictures from my trip and when she saw the bull snake photo she screamed. She was so phobic about snakes that a picture of one next my boot seriously freaked her out.

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  60. Sherri said on June 25, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    Lots of people who have never shown the slightest bit of concern about women’s sports in any way are, of course, suddenly deeply concerned about Fairness in Sports because of the possibility that a trans athlete might sully our precious essence. The latest person to express this concern, solely because of, let me emphasize, FAIRNESS IN SPORTS, is …. Lance Armstrong.

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