View from my window.

Well, I was going to include a photo of the view out my current window, but the internet up here in North Woods, Michigan, doesn’t appear to be up to the task of uploading a 2 MB photo. EDIT: Success!

So take my word for it: It’s lovely. That’s the Au Sable River flowing by.

Watching bluejays dart about right now. There were half a dozen deer in the yard last evening. And it’s so dark, and so quiet, here at night that truth be told, I’m a little nervous. In the woods, no one can hear you scream.

But we’re away for a few days. I wanted to start a fresh thread to discuss the various ongoing global calamities. Which are…calamitous.

Think I’ll take Wendy for an off-leash walk. That’s what we’re paying for, after all.

Posted at 10:48 am in Same ol' same ol' |

93 responses to “View from my window.”

  1. Jeff Gill said on October 9, 2023 at 11:07 am

    Praying for peace, working locally for justice. It’s the best I can do.

    Oh, and prayers for Mark P’s eye! May it recover fully.

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  2. Mark P said on October 9, 2023 at 11:47 am

    Thanks Jeff.

    One good thing that has come from my eye problems is learning that despite all the bad things going on in the world, there are still people who want to help. A friend of my cousin drove me an hour and a half up and back for my surgery and then did it again the next day for my post-op appointment. Then some neighbors whose dogs I had let out for bathroom breaks a few times while they were out of town picked up and paid for a couple of prescriptions I couldn’t get because of driving restrictions. As to my recovery, I think the surgery worked, because the former blind spot has reported for duty. In fact, although all distant objects are very blurry, if I bring something up very close to my eye, I can focus on that. It’s like having a magnifying glass in my eye. I assume that super power will go away as my eye goes back closer to normal.

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  3. alex said on October 9, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    And on this date in NN.C history eight years ago: Kevin McCarthy and GOP House dysfunction, mass shootings galore and Pilot Joe posts an inane Krauthammer column in its entirety. I could swear not a damned thing has changed in eight years except that our hair is grayer and our lives are shorter.

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  4. Jeff Borden said on October 9, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    Where to start? Hideous slaughter in Israel and Gaza? Deadly earthquakes in poor Afghanistan? The migratory hordes entering a hostile nation of immigrants unwilling to address the issue?

    BTW, did you know America has no ambassador to Israel because the libertarian twerp from Kentucky, Rand Paul, has a hold on it? Or that even as a carrier group is steaming toward Israel we have no Secretary of the Navy because the brain dead former football coach from Alablammy has a hold on it?

    These fucking people…

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  5. Sherri said on October 9, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    And the House can’t take any action because it has no Speaker.

    Two groups of people deeply believe that they have a blood right to a piece of land going back centuries. Both have legitimate arguments, and backers to fight a proxy war. All for a piece of land that may not even be habitable in another generation or two.

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  6. ROGirl said on October 9, 2023 at 2:14 pm

    Add rfk Jr to the mishegas, he’s running as an independent. It sure feels like it’s getting worse every day. Although if the apocalypse starts, the rapture can go forward now that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

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  7. basset said on October 9, 2023 at 2:22 pm

    John Lennon’s birthday today, he woulda been 83. Also Mama Basset’s birthday and death day, she woulda been 94.

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  8. Suzanne said on October 9, 2023 at 3:17 pm

    Several thoughts on the situation in Israel/Palestine

    ~ Apocalyptic seeking evangelical Christians are undoubtedly ecstatic at what is playing out. This is the beginning of the end of the world, when Jesus will return and restore the world to perfection, open only to those who believe the correct way. They’ve been waiting and hoping for this for years.

    ~ This has Putin’s influence all over it, likely with the help of Netanyahu. Remember Trump shared Israeli intel to the Russian ambassador early in his presidency. Egypt has claimed that they picked up signs that something bad was in the works, told Israeli officials, and found them uninterested.

    Netanyahu may see this as his Reichstag fire moment which he can use to consolidate his power.

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  9. robert said on October 9, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    Suzanne: “Netanyahu may see this as his Reichstag fire moment which he can use to consolidate his power.“

    … or how Shrub/Cheney/Rumsfeld used 9/11 to justify invading Iraq (that worked out well, didn’t it?)

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  10. Julie Robinson said on October 9, 2023 at 3:43 pm

    Somehow I feel like there aren’t really any good guys, just hurting people. And I would like to be on their side.

    But what do I know; I’ve been in a bubble of the wedding and visitors. It’s been very good and now that they’re all gone that is also very good.

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  11. Dave said on October 9, 2023 at 3:46 pm

    That was one of the first things I thought of, Suzanne, how there were surely evangelicals celebrating, much as I suspect the lower grades of Repugnants are also happily blaming Biden.

    One can only speculate what John Lennon would have been at 83, most assuredly he would have continued on a different path than Paul.

    Mother Basset passed away on her birthday, that’s as sad as my father passing away on their 65th wedding anniversary. I guess one day is as good as any other.

    Goodness, a quick scan back through the archives and I see John’s birthday has been a topic before. Biggest Beatle fan I know of, Basset! Some neighbors just came back from Liverpool and a Beatle tour, they hit all the landmarks.

    May your eye troubles be successfully cured, Mark P.

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  12. Mark P; said on October 9, 2023 at 3:57 pm

    My wife’s hairdresser, who often posts religiously-oriented stuff on Facebook, has been posting stuff about “He’s a comin’!!” for the last week or so. Today she posted “I stand with Israel.” It’s enough to make a person wonder: Is there some evangelical grapevine that has been active lately? I also wonder if the Israelis understand that evangelical end-timers support Israel for their own reasons, and that they fully expect all those Israeli Jews to burn in hell forever.

    Oh, I heard on the news today that Netanyahu has been calling for the formation of a unity government.

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  13. Julie Robinson said on October 9, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Mark P, a few years back Nancy also had a vitrectomy, so you might want to search that out for pointers. At the time it looked like I was headed that way too so I was following it closely. Fortunately my macular hole stabilized, knock wood.

    How about a happy anniversary to change the mood? Matt and Heather were married on the same day as my maternal grandparents, who tied the knot Oct. 6, 1928. They had 48 blissful years together until her too-early death in 1976. It seems very auspicious to me.

    On edit: Happy Birthday, Deborah!

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  14. JodiP said on October 9, 2023 at 4:52 pm

    I have Jewish friends who are sharing first-hand accounts. One of my co-workers has family there, visiting adult sons who are going to school there. They don’t know when they are coming home.

    So much suffering inflicted.

    I hope Jeff B’s eye heals quickly!

    And I am off to Florence, Italy tomorrow. We’re there 2 weeks and will also take in a few other places. Just looking forward to all the art, food, etc.

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  15. alex said on October 9, 2023 at 6:24 pm

    I have a colleague stuck in Israel with his wife and trying to get out. He got a free trip through his Catholic church, although I’m uncertain of the purpose of it. He’s one of those overt God-botherers whom I won’t have to deal with anymore when I retire in three weeks, yippee-yay! (Probably a believer in the end times too. He seems to get his intellectual nourishment from OAN and Newsmax.)

    Tried to get a walk-in flu and COVID vaccination today at CVS and they don’t take my insurance. Walgreens takes it, but their 24-hour location doesn’t have any vaccines and the other locations don’t keep pharmacy hours on evenings or weekends. Effing exasperating.

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  16. Sherri said on October 9, 2023 at 7:03 pm

    Trump did have one positive impact on my life. As a direct result of his election, I began powerlifting, and yesterday at a meet, I set a personal best for squat, at 125 kg/275.5 lbs!

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  17. FDChief said on October 9, 2023 at 7:20 pm

    In a move that should surprise exactly no one, Kevin McCarthy is attempting to use the Hamas invasion to revive his speakership. Between these assholes and Netanyahu there’s not a sliver of daylight. Not worth the cost of cheap rope to string them up.

    Speaking of Bibi…the intel failure in ‘73 cost then-premier Meir her job. This is arguably worse, given the supposed density of Israeli penetration into Gaza. Bets on whether this even so much as slows Netanyahu down?

    As I said in the thread on the last post; what seems pretty clear is that this, like 9/11, is intended to provoke a brutal military response. It will, and it’ll be grimly amusing watching the Israeli partisans whatabout the IDF doing in Gaza in 2023 what the SS division Nordwind did in Warsaw in 1944. Urban war butchers women and kiddies, no matter whose grenades go down the cellar stairs.

    Bill Sherman was too softspoken.

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  18. alex said on October 9, 2023 at 7:39 pm

    Yay Meijer! Got in and out with my shots in no time flat. Might just take all my business there.

    Pharmacist was telling me that both Walgreens and CVS have pharmacists going on strike in other cities. Walgreens here simply can’t find enough staff. I asked how there could be such a shortage when Manchester U opened a big pharmacy school here. She said the students come mostly from Michigan and go back there once they get their degrees. Also they want corporate jobs and not retail.

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  19. FDChief said on October 9, 2023 at 7:49 pm

    And in case anyone thinks I’m being hard on other people’s troops…I’ve read that Patron’s Third Army infantry got so frustrated with digging the defenders out of buildings in Metz that they began packing entire trolley cars with HE and rolling them down into German-occupied streets…and blasting everything and everyone to bloody scraps.

    Fighting in towns and cities isn’t surgery; it’s brutally crude butchery. I can get why the IDF doesn’t care at this point. But it’s going to make monsters.

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  20. Sherri said on October 9, 2023 at 10:44 pm

    Monster-making has been going on there for a long time. There’s no question that what Hamas did was terrible. There’s also no question that what Israel has done to Palestinians is terrible. Israel believes, with justification, that Hamas, among others, wants them to no longer exist. Palestinians live in an apartheid state, and hear the Israeli defense minister respond to the Hamas attacks by calling the people of Gaza “human animals.” The median age in Gaza is 18.

    There’s no shortage of blame to go around, going back at least a century to when the US, Great Britain, and France basically drew up the borders of the Middle East in the Treaty of Versailles. The British Navy needed control of the oil just found there, and Woodrow Wilson was a racist shit who didn’t think his principle of self-governance was relevant to brown people.

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  21. Deborah said on October 10, 2023 at 1:55 am

    We got our Covid shots a week ago at Walgreens. We always got Pfizer previously but this time the only available in all the places I checked was Moderna and they said it didn’t matter which. I felt fine after but the next day my husband had a sore arm, a headache and slight nausea. He never had that before. We still need to get our flu shots.

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  22. ROGirl said on October 10, 2023 at 4:52 am

    I’m not out to defend brutal troops and the deaths of innocent civilians, but comparing Israeli soldiers to Nazis is a cheap shot. The situation in Gaza is terrible, it will no doubt get worse before it ends.

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  23. Jim said on October 10, 2023 at 5:03 am

    *off leash walk* – make sure there is no one around, just in case . 🙂

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  24. alex said on October 10, 2023 at 7:23 am

    *off leash walk* – make sure there is no one around, just in case .

    Like a bear?

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  25. Dave said on October 10, 2023 at 8:24 am

    We got both flu shots and the Pfizer covid booster last Saturday at a CVS. We both had sore arms but nothing drastic, only noticeable when we raised our arms.

    The Gaza Strip is only 25 miles long and 7 1/2 miles wide at its widest point and crammed with 2 million people. I dread to think how ugly this is and will be.

    We learned yesterday that our son’s lifelong friend’s mother was in Israel with a tour group on Saturday. They were able to leave and, at last word, were in Cairo, Egypt.

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  26. LAMary said on October 10, 2023 at 8:32 am

    I hired more than a few pharmacists while working for a hospital chain. We didn’t want pharmacists who had only retail experience. I don’t understand why, but that was what I was told. I can see why a graduating pharmacy student wouldn’t want to work retail. You can’t move from a CVS salary to the considerably higher pay at a pharmaceutical company or hospital.

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  27. LAMary said on October 10, 2023 at 8:46 am

    I think it’s been a while since I mentioned an LAMary brush with fame. I saw your wedding posting on FB, Julie and I saw the books on the tables. There was A Wrinkle in Time. Madeleine L’Engle was my neighbor in NYC. Her son Bion went to school with my ex. When I mentioned I had run into Madeleine to my ex mother in law she asked, “is Bion still wetting the bed?”

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  28. Julie Robinson said on October 10, 2023 at 9:09 am

    Whoa, there’s a burn.

    Heather & Matt used their favorite books to decorate the tables at the reception, two or three each with a vase of flowers on top. As I was visiting other tables, a guest picked up a book and Matt said that was one they talked about on their first date. It was by Tamora Pierce, and I need to track down the librarian who recommended it to middle-school Matt all those years ago. She helped start a good thing!

    Sherri, you put into words how I feel about Israel/Palestine/Hamas. There are no winners and will be no winners. Just deaths, injuries, and hardening of positions.

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  29. Mark P said on October 10, 2023 at 9:42 am

    I tracked down Nancy’s vitrectomy experience. It was 10 years ago, when she was a mere child. Yesterday I made a depressing discovery in my eye. Prior to the surgery I had a blind spot with distortion around it right in the center of my macula. At my post-op I found that the gas bubble in my eye acted like a magnifying glass that allowed me to focus very closely to my eye so that I could read fine print. I thought it meant that the surgery had been 100 percent successful. Yesterday I made a more depressing discovery. I do have a small blind spot with distortion. I don’t know whether I just didn’t notice it earlier or it has developed since. If it stays very small I suppose I can live with it. But it’s depressing.

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  30. Mark P said on October 10, 2023 at 9:53 am

    Oh, I forgot to mention that I also have a cataract in my “good” eye that’s causing a ghost image. So I’ll have to have that removed. And it turns out that a vitrectomy often causes cataracts to develop in the affected eye. So just shoot me now.

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  31. FDChief said on October 10, 2023 at 10:05 am

    ROgirl: When you swing a butcher’s cleaver, you should not be surprised when people call you a butcher.

    When Israel made the political choice to treat their Arab subjects like the apartheid regime treated its black citizens, it chose the mantle of apartheid.

    When Israel goes into Gaza it will have to use the exact same methods the Germans used in Warsaw in 1944 and the Soviets in Berlin in 1945. It makes them neither Nazis nor Communists, but it will make them monsters in the way the SS in Warsaw and the Red Army in Berlin were monsters.

    That’s not a cheap shot. That’s war, which, as Bill Sherman reminded us, is all Hell. And urban war, as I remind you, is a specially awful Hell that earns the maker the kind of bloodyhanded mantle that stains for generations.

    That, I think, is Hamas’ entire intention. They want to generate a photo as iconic as the infamous one of the German soldiers herding the little kid with his hands up down the Warsaw street. They want the Arab world to associate that with Israel.

    Feel free to call it what you like. But if Israel goes ahead with what I’m sure they will, that’s what they risk; becoming not just apartheid Afrikaaners but the legacy of history’s great butchers.

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  32. Jeff Borden said on October 10, 2023 at 10:37 am

    History is full of little time bombs, isn’t it?

    A bunch of white guys from Europe and the U.S. divvy up the borders of the Middle East after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in World War I. These guys had little to no knowledge of the people, the institutions or the societies of that part of the world, but so what? They’d won The Great War and were now reordering the world as they saw fit. There’s been precious little peace ever since in that part of the world.

    Hamas is funded by Iran, a terrorist state and global pariah. In the mid-1950s, Iranians democratically elected a leader, but one who planned to nationalize the oil fields. Well, British and American oil companies were not gonna put up with that, so we installed a nasty little prick of a dictator, who ran the nation as ruthlessly as any other corrupt dictator. Twenty five years after his installation, the shah was overthrown by a powerful Islamic revolution. Wonder what the story would’ve been if Iran had continued to embrace democracy?

    And then there’s the lovely gift W. and his warmongers gave us by invading Iraq, removing the counterbalance to Iran and unleashing hell that persists to this day. Iraq is now a failed state and utterly worthless as a foil to Iran.

    The catalog of catastrophic errors in the Middle East is long and bloody. This is simply the latest chapter. No one is going to come out of this looking good and, as usual, it will be the poor civilians caught in the middle who will bear the brunt of the death and suffering.

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  33. FDChief said on October 10, 2023 at 11:11 am

    Well, I tried to link to this piece over at Graphic Firing Table and the fucking thing ate it (it seems to hate all links), so I’ll just cut and paste. Here’s what I wrote in 2012:

    “Now I’m more than willing to own my own country’s atrocities and vileness in genociding the pre-1492 residents of the place I live. If a native American “terrorist” organization started rocketing North Portland and blowing up Tri-MET buses I’d shake my head in grim sympathy – before arming up to exterminate them like vermin. In that fight I’d completely understand WHY my enemies were fighting, and at the same time understand that there was no middle ground there; we both wanted exactly the same thing, and for them to win I and mine would HAVE to lose. And I’d choose for their women and kids to die rather than mine.

    But at the same time, I’d also understand that that would make me a monster. I wouldn’t make excuses for myself. I would be doing wrong, and willingly, because that’s the nature of colonialism.

    The very nature of Israel and its situation in the Middle East makes for monstrous choices. (my one friend) has made hers, (the others) have made theirs. And so it goes.

    But here’s the thing; as a citizen of the U.S. I don’t HAVE to make a choice. I can blithely wish a curse on both the houses in this colonial mess. I can wish that everyone involved in the business had made better choices. I can wish that Truman had offered Utah to the Zionists. I can wish that David Balfour had choked on a kipper at the age of 16. I can wish a lot of things, and none of them will made a half-damn’s worth of difference.

    But one thing I cannot do is change the utterly-fucked condition of the eastern Levant, and the only thing I mourn is that it sets my friends at each other’s throats.”

    And I see no reason to alter so much as a syllable of that today.

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  34. Deborah said on October 10, 2023 at 11:24 am

    Why is religion often the catalyst for global unrest? What is it with humans?

    “A Wrinkle in Time” was one of my absolute favorite books as a kid, we used to play this game inspired by it where you had to bounce a rubber ball about a thousand times without missing then perform some ducking under it and catching it contortion and then you’d be in the 5th dimension and could have all kinds of imaginary adventures. And we used to do this in the middle of the street and our parents didn’t think a thing of it, we’d just move to the side when a car would pass, or back out of a driveway.

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  35. Deborah said on October 10, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    Off topic, there’s an interesting opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune by Anand Kumar, the head of the Psychiatry Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago he sent it to my husband, they’ve been talking about the dementia center that Uncle Jake’s foundation is working on. The piece is about how age alone shouldn’t determine who runs for political office. As an old person myself it was good to hear how because you’re old doesn’t necessarily mean you’re becoming incompetent. I’d provide a link but we don’t have, nor do I want a subscription to the Tribune and of course there’s a paywall. The article was sent to my husband via email directly and he was able to read it and pass it along to me and others somehow. If any of you have a subscription you might check it out.

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  36. Sherri said on October 10, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    The Seattle Times writes today about a topic near and dear to my heart: urban planning in Redmond, and how Redmond is transforming from suburban to a more urban form. This is what I’ve been involved with for almost 8 years on the Planning Commission, working with both Jeff Churchill and Caroline Chapman, mentioned in this article, among many others!

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  37. Suzanne said on October 10, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Here is the link to the article Deborah mentions. I don’t have a Tribune subscription and was able to read it. They must give a couple of free articles per month or something.

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  38. Jeff Gill said on October 10, 2023 at 4:58 pm

    Arthur Balfour, actually; I listened to Theodor Gaster talk about the declaration being written on his family’s kitchen table when he was 11.

    The lunacy of anti-Semitism is a toxin that still rattles around our neck of the woods. I don’t understand the strength of it, but it’s far worse than a religious hostility. And I have heard from family and neighbors unexpected eruptions of “why can’t the Jews just stop meddling with us” in reference to all manner of grievances. It’s the original conspiracy theory that explains everything and offers a final solution to what ails us.

    Having said that, I do not understand the Netanyahu government or tenure at all. History is not likely to be kind to Bibi, nor should it be. I can already see him trying to Giuliani his way through this crisis, without realizing the crash coming at the end of that particular road.

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  39. Jeff Borden said on October 10, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    I’ve also never understood the ancient biases against Jews. There are Christians who blame them for crucifying Jesus, though that was done under a Roman, Pontius Pilot, yet Jews were targets long before the appearance of christianity. Apparently, humanity always needs someone to hate, to blame, to punish.

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  40. Sherri said on October 10, 2023 at 8:21 pm

    This is the best piece I’ve read on the situation in Israel and Gaza, in that it actually takes into account all the complexities of what has happened over the last few decades and how that has impacted the Palestinians and the other Arab states (not in the same ways!)

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  41. Mark P said on October 10, 2023 at 10:09 pm

    Judaism and Christianity have a complicated history from the very beginning. Early Christians were Jews, but I suspect that they found it hard to convince many Jews to accept Jesus as the messiah, since he died. The early church began accepting non-Jews, and became so influenced by Greco-Roman religion that I suspect many Jews found their beliefs abhorrent. Jews are not big on polytheism. I also believe that Christians thought Jewish roots would legitimize their religion, but, at the same time, their beliefs were rejected by Jews. So, I think, that’s where some of the earliest Christian antagonism towards Jews started.

    These days I suspect that some antisemitism is a knee-jerk reaction by people brought up in an antisemitic culture. Look at Marjorie Taylor Greene and her accusation that Jewish space lasers started wild fires in California. Any rational person would laugh at the idea, but it apparently seemed reasonable to her.

    Of course, none of that helps with the current situation. My one big question is what Hamas thought they would accomplish by their attack. I have heard some say that they carried out their attack because they had the equipment to do it, but I think that begs the question. Did they not consider the consequences, or are they playing three-dimensional chess? Are they so callous that they consider it acceptable to have an Israeli response that kills multitudes of their own people? Or are they being manipulated by outside forces, like the Iranians, who probably don’t really give a rat’s ass about Palestinians, as long as Israel is damaged?

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  42. Sherri said on October 10, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    I would guess that the Hamas attack is motivated by the talks between Saudi Arabia and Israel. The Saudis have always been a supporter of a Palestinian state, and have not recognized Israel. Now, Mohammed bin Salman* is no longer conditioning recognition of Israel on Palestinian statehood, but just on “good conditions” for Palestinians. That’s not acceptable for Hamas or for most Palestinians. Iran won’t be happy with closer relations between the Saudis and Israel. The article I posted at 39 talks about a lot of this.

    So, it’s not necessarily that Hamas thinks they can win, as it is that they can’t stand by and do nothing. But as FDChief has noted, urban warfare isn’t easy, so it’s not a foregone conclusion that Hamas will lose. Lots of people will die, though.

    *Yes, this is the same guy responsible for murdering and dismembering Jamaal Khashoggi. He’s the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

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  43. Mark P said on October 11, 2023 at 12:26 am

    I don’t know, and I mean that literally. The calculus just doesn’t work for me. I can’t see how they benefit, unless it’s just them saying that they may die, but they will take as many Israelis with them as they can. I also can’t see the IDF engaging in long, drawn-out, house-to-house combat with an entrenched enemy. If I were in charge of the operation, I would say, give them a chance to surrender, then just level it and bomb whoever digs his way out. Really bad for PR, but I wouldn’t spend my soldiers’ lives in that kind of urban warfare.

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  44. ROGirl said on October 11, 2023 at 4:54 am

    The Roman emperors converted to Christianity and aggressively spread it throughout the Empire, but the Jews still wouldn’t convert. Jews were forbidden from marrying Christians, holding government positions, appearing as witnesses in court. Eventually allegations that Jews had horns and tails (see Michelangelo’s sculputure of Moses in Rome), and of ritual murders of Christian children (using their blood to bake into Passover matzo) arose.

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  45. Dexter Friend said on October 11, 2023 at 8:12 am

    I can’t afford the ladder to climb over pay walls but Morning Joe on MSNBC had Tom Friedman on for a full half hour discussing The Region; his appearance was spurred by his NYT column today. I know most of you take that paper or pay the troll to get over the pay wall, so please read his column. I learned a lot…”Netanyahu and Trump are brothers from a different mother, sharing the same DNA…”

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  46. LAMary said on October 11, 2023 at 8:48 am

    The guy who murdered and cut up Khashoggi also handed Jared Kushner two billion dollars right after he left his “job” at the Trump White House.

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  47. Suzanne said on October 11, 2023 at 9:42 am

    I don’t need to read a book to know what seems obvious to me: that Netanyahu & Trump are cut from the same cloth. Mobsters, grifters, criminals, whatever you want to call them. What I don’t really get is why so many are drawn to them, especially the people who are easily expendable by the likes of these wannabe dictators. Would Netanyahu or Trump spend 10 minutes hanging out with their worshipping fans on a personal basis? Not on their miserable lives.

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  48. FDChief said on October 11, 2023 at 12:08 pm

    Again…my guess is that this is a murder-suicide by Hamas. Seeing their notional Arab allies losing interest in bashing Israel and staring at slow death by apartheid, the notion of 1) killing lots of Israelis and 2) provoking the Likud into the inevitable butchery a counterinvasion of Gaza will produce probably seemed a worthwhile throw of the dice.

    Is that horrible? Ohhellyes.

    Is that inexplicable? Ohhellno. If I was rotting in some Gaza slum would I be willing to die if it meant stabbing my enemies? I’m a vindictive sort of sonofabitch. Sure I would!

    There’s just no genuinely “good” way out of this nightmare. Both the Israelis and the Arabs want a sectarian state in the same real estate. For that to happen the “other” has to bend the knee forever, or flee, or die.

    This and everything else was baked in to the region in the 19th Century when the early Zionists decided that only the Ottoman province that enclosed ancient Israel and Judah was where a modern Jewish state needed to be. The whole nutroll – Balfour, Sykes/Picot, 1947 – just kept that shit rolling downhill.

    And here they are.

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  49. alex said on October 11, 2023 at 12:15 pm

    Malignant narcissists, Suzanne. The classic psychological profile of the cult leader. Highly attractive to people who are unsure of themselves and crave certainty from an authoritarian figure.

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  50. Jeff Borden said on October 11, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    There’s a column in the Washington Post today by an Israeli, who calls out Netanyahu and his populism as one of the contributing factors leading to the massacres by Hamas.

    If this isn’t available because of a paywall, the gist of the column is that Israelis became complacent that the Palestinians were nothing much to worry about, but he really hammers Bibi for building his career through dividing factions of Israelis, always doing what is in HIS best interests rather than the nation’s, placing loyal but incompetent leaders in key positions including firing the Defense Minister for challenging him on the status of Israel’s readiness, taking credit for every success and hiding from every failure. All of this led to the catastrophic failure of the intelligence and military last weekend.

    So, yeah, Netanyahu is every inch a tRumpanzee. . .right down to the ridiculously bad combover.

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  51. FDChief said on October 11, 2023 at 1:33 pm

    Sherri: Hamas WILL “lose” in the military sense. The IDF will kill hundreds – probably already have – to thousands, will gain the ground they currently control in Gaza. If Hamas were a conventional force they’d be considered destroyed.

    But that’s not their game. They want to provoke Israel into atrocity with atrocity, and if they do, they “win”.

    (And let me pause a moment to flip off the usual ghouls on the Right who are already cheerleading for those atrocities; if your immediate response to war crime is genocide? You can fuck right off. You’re just another war criminal)

    No, Hamas isn’t in it to win it in the conventional military sense, at least not the leaders with half a brain. They want what Hezbollah got in southern Lebanon; press, martyrs, dead Israelis. Money in the bank for a guerrilla group.

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  52. Sherri said on October 11, 2023 at 3:22 pm

    I woke up this morning with these Dave Mason lyrics running through my mind:

    There ain’t no good guy,
    There ain’t no bad guy,
    There’s only you and me and we just disagree.

    We can blame Balfour and all the Western powers who have treated the Middle East as their little fiefdom to assign at will. We can blame Netanyahu for putting his personal power ahead of Israeli security. We can blame Hamas for being a terrorist group. At the end of the day, though, we still have a few million people who all feel like this piece of land should be theirs, and so far, have regarded sharing it as akin to death, for understandable reasons.

    I don’t see a good path forward. I fear that we will keep repeating this cycle over and over.

    Maybe we should give one side or the other one of our states. Wyoming doesn’t have many people, we could relocate all of them to South Dakota, say, and let either the Israelis or the Palestinians have their own country in the middle of ours. Or Montana, if we want to make it a border state. Alabama or Mississippi, if access to an ocean is necessary. Sound good?

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  53. Jeff Borden said on October 11, 2023 at 4:45 pm

    That’s a logical argument for logical people, Sherri, but both Arabs and Jews believe to their core that they deserve that particular part of the world, a belief that is woven into their religious faith. Would Israel be Israel if a Jewish state had been created somewhere else? What might’ve happened if Jordan, Syria or another Arab nation offered land to the Palestinians? Would they have accepted it? We’ll never know. Instead, we’ll witness one cycle of violence after another.

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  54. FDChief said on October 11, 2023 at 5:12 pm

    Sherri: in the 2012 post I tried to link to (that contains the long section I quoted above) I think I suggested only half-snarkily that if Truman wanted to recognized a state for the Jewish diaspora he should have offered up Utah and let the Zionists and Mormons fight it out. Wasatch Thunderdome; two sectarian groups enter, one sectarian group leaves.

    Kidding aside…the rise of political Islam coupled with the ascent of the ultraorthodox in Israel has helped make this toxic brew more lethal. Nothing adds hate to a political dispute like religion, and it’s worth noting that there’s no equivalent of the whole “love thy enemies” thing in the two faiths involved here. Old desert patriarch Gods are like mafia dons – you’re only their business if you’re a made guy. If you’re not…ask the Amalekites how that works. Oh, wait…

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  55. Deborah said on October 11, 2023 at 5:29 pm

    “Nothing adds hate to a political dispute like religion”. Wow, well said and so so so true. We’re certainly seeing that here in this country.

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  56. LAMARY said on October 11, 2023 at 6:46 pm

    Gym Jordan lost.

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  57. FDChief said on October 11, 2023 at 7:41 pm

    Because a political foe is just another schmoe, someone who holds a different opinion on how the joint should be run.

    But if you’re God’s personal BFF? Then that schmoe is God’s enemy, a tool of the Devil, probably a pedophile, too, as well as a wearer of mixed fabrics and an eater of bats and shellfish.

    It’s not enough to just disagree with someone like that; they must be destroyed!

    Which is one of the reasons the Enlightenment guys wanted religion out of politics. If you let the cleric in the reason gets turned out…

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  58. Suzanne said on October 11, 2023 at 8:02 pm

    “Which is one of the reasons the Enlightenment guys wanted religion out of politics. If you let the cleric in the reason gets turned out…”

    Exactly FDChief. And the religious zealots are relentless, they will not stop because they are doing god’s will. But it’s always their god and everyone else is wrong. Can’t stop, won’t stop, even when it all burns down and everything and everyone with it.

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  59. Dexter Friend said on October 12, 2023 at 1:52 am

    Bitterly divided Israeli factions have united now to form a new temporary war Cabinet. This seems like progress…if you think a genocidal leveling of Gaza is the right thing. The attack against Israel will go as a massacre of Israelis and Americans, which it was.
    Perhaps if Netanyahu had concentrated on security and not so much as his Trumpian saving his political ass , these attacks could have been squelched at the fences. Forming a temporary war Cabinet means what? It means a ground invasion and “cleansing” of Gaza.
    Hamas is welcoming a fight in Gaza. Gaza has many tunnels there and the fighters are ready. The upcoming death totals are already written in The Book.

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  60. Dexter Friend said on October 12, 2023 at 7:31 am

    A. Blinken just promised permanent unconditional unlimited US support to Netanyahu. And we’re knee deep in full scale war. Much more than we are in Ukraine . Death toll is over 2600 now

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  61. Sherri said on October 12, 2023 at 11:40 am

    If I were Taiwan, I’d be very nervous right now.

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  62. Heather said on October 12, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    BLM Chicago posted a tasteless image on Twitter or X or whatever–a silhouette of a hang glider with the Palestinian flag. They deleted it and apologized, but the damage is done. Great job playing into conservative claims that BLM is a terrorist organization and that the general idea that supporting the Palestinian people–or at least being against keeping them in what amounts to an open-air prison in Gaza–equals supporting Hamas and being anti-Semitic.

    There’s so much misinformation about this whole horror show that I’m keeping my mouth shut except with very close friends.

    Sherri, there was a comedian years ago who had a bit about various religions’ claims to holy land in the Middle East. He suggested just moving all the sand somewhere else.

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  63. Sherri said on October 12, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    What Hamas did was terrible and a war crime. And the US providing unconditional support to Israel is a problem, part of an ongoing problem that has perpetuated the cycle of violence in the region. That we’ve never required Israel to adhere to any human rights standards in exchange for our ongoing military support, that neither party has ever been willing to ask for this, that we support them despite their own war crimes, helps nothing.

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  64. FDChief said on October 12, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    The political posturing of the campus Left is fun for the newsies because they can bothsides it against people like EmptyG and Trump calling for genocide on Muslims.

    I leave it to the readership to spot the difference.

    Jim Wright over at Stonekettle Station has perhaps the most thoughtful (and grievous) post about this abyss of hatred. His main point should be printed out, attatched to an eightpenny nail, and hammered into the forehead of every rage-shouter here in the Land of the Big PX; the U.S. cannot solve this nightmare. But it CAN make it worse.

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  65. Jeff Borden said on October 12, 2023 at 5:11 pm

    Well, now the orange fuckface is calling Hezbollah “very smart.” Anyone who votes for a degenerate fuck like tRump is as bad as he is.

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  66. Deborah said on October 12, 2023 at 6:42 pm

    The Stonekettle link was quite good.

    The ring of fire eclipse will be visible Saturday in Santa Fe and LB says everyone there is talking about it. They are selling glasses to view it for a few bucks. In Chicago we’re in the 50% zone but it’s supposed to rain that day anyway.

    I just realized that tomorrow is Friday the 13th.

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  67. Deborah said on October 12, 2023 at 6:44 pm

    OK there wasn’t a Stonekettle link, was there (?) I must have looked it up.

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  68. Suzanne said on October 13, 2023 at 9:23 am

    Here is the link to Stonekettle piece

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  69. Mark P said on October 13, 2023 at 9:50 am

    I read an Israeli propaganda piece that said the IDF has destroyed all Hamas centers in Gaza and is attacking other Hamas locations in Egypt and Lebanon. It said IDF ground forces are inside Gaza. It also said that the US has deployed special forces in the north, apparently to deter attacks from that direction. The US has acknowledged having special forces in Israel to help provide intelligence and other non-combat support. I don’t know how much credibility the report has because it’s clearly propaganda in many respects.

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  70. FDChief said on October 13, 2023 at 10:53 am

    Sorry on the not-link; for some reason when I insert links in comments they get tossed into the comment-“approval” sin-bin where they disappear. So I’ve stopped trying.

    What frustrates me most about this Gaza mess is the obvious fact that it IS an Israel problem, or at least it was. If the new country was going to be a “Jewish state” (and my memory of the first sabras was that there were many pretty secular Israelis in the early days, but the goal was still “Jewish”) then anyone who was not-Jewish was gonna be by definition not-100%-Israeli. So the danger of what the Occupation made a fact – Israel as an anti-Arab apartheid state – was always kinda baked in.

    If the Arab states had been less shirty about the issue, if Israel had been less threatened, if the Great Powers had been more concerned…well, they weren’t. So here we are.

    And here we’re gonna be. All the killing, all the hate, all the vengeance…there’s no undoing any of that. There’s no getting around it. Too many people now see hating on the “others” as giving their own lives meaning…and Israel is caught inside their own history. They fear giving up the Territories (I had a friend tell me flat-out “Israel cannot survive without the Golan” and that’s a widespread belief about the West Bank, too – they’re strategic depth) but to keep at least the West Bank means continuing apartheid at best, and flat-out ethnic cleansing at worst.

    And for the Arab subjects? How galling it must be to look at how the world reacted to South Africa, how Mandela is revered and the armed wing of the ANC is overlooked no matter how many white farmer families they murdered (“one Afrikaaner, one bullet”), compared to how their own Bantustans are viewed.

    Nope. It’s just grimdark no matter where you look…

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  71. Julie Robinson said on October 13, 2023 at 11:33 am

    We traveled out to Phoenix yesterday and finally hit the hay at 5:30 eastern time. Mom fell in the shower right before we left and her stupid Apple watch didn’t alert us. We had to marshal help from afar.

    But we could be in the mideast right now. Isn’t perspective marvelous?

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  72. Sherri said on October 13, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    My husband has been in India since late last week for work. His flight out was on Emirates Airlines with a stop in Dubai. I feel better that his return flight starting today is on Singapore Airlines with a stop in Singapore.

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  73. Jeff Borden said on October 13, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    The Washington Post is reporting Israel is using white phosphorous in Gaza. That’s a very, very bad sign. It burns at 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

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  74. FDChief said on October 13, 2023 at 3:06 pm

    Here’s the thing about white phosphorus (“willie Pete” to an artilleryman); it also produces thick clouds of dense white smoke. It’s an obscurant as much as it is an incendiary round.

    And in a dense urban battle concealment is crucial. So there is a legit use for WP smoke.

    We really have no idea of tactical details; both sides have reasons for lying and demonizing their enemies.

    But the simple reality is that in fighting in a densely populated area lots – LOTS – of helpless civilians will die. Hamas counted on that, and Israel knows it. They both would rather innocents die than their enemies live.

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  75. Brandon said on October 13, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    In other news, Madonna’s long-awaited Celebration Tour starts tomorrow in London.

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  76. Sherri said on October 13, 2023 at 7:00 pm

    Lost in the din of news this week was the death of Kevin Phillips. He was the architect of Nixon’s Southern Strategy; the secret of politics, he said, was knowing who hates who. The GOP has followed the politics of hate ever since.

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  77. FDChief said on October 13, 2023 at 10:44 pm

    Israel President Herzog today: “It’s not true this rhetoric about (Palestinian) civilians not aware, not involved.” His statement implies that because the women, grandpas, and kids in Gaza didn’t rise against Hamas that they are “involved”.

    He didn’t actually say “guilty”…but…that logic is what “justified” the fire raids on Tokyo.

    What’s coming is going to be very, very, very, VERY ugly.

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  78. Deborah said on October 14, 2023 at 11:16 am

    It’s 9:15am in Santa Fe and the eclipse is supposed to be beginning, it will take 2 hours for the whole thing. LB wasn’t able to get glasses but she has plenty of things to use to watch it on the ground. It will also get very dark there. Wish I was there to experience it, in Chicago it’s a dreary, windy, rainy day, we’re in the 50% zone, so assuming it will get darker at it’s peak.

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  79. Julie Robinson said on October 14, 2023 at 12:08 pm

    The eclipse will be happening in the middle of the wedding reception. We don’t have glasses but hoping a few colanders will be there.

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  80. brian stouder said on October 14, 2023 at 12:30 pm

    What Sherri said! I think the politics-of-hate is a corollary of my metaphor-of-choice, ‘political surfing’; riding and exploiting the unending tides and turbulence of human societies….and making the most out of stormy times

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  81. Deborah said on October 14, 2023 at 1:03 pm

    The peak of the eclipse is over, LB said it didn’t get as dark as she was expecting, she said the general quality of light was golden and a bit like sunset. The shadows of the trees were wild she sent me photos as it was happening. I remember that from eclipses I’ve experienced. Her friend sent a cool photo of the ring of fire that she took through the lens of glasses she had.

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  82. tajalli said on October 14, 2023 at 2:31 pm

    The marine layer didn’t clear until about 11am so only a sliver was still obscured. The downside of a coastal climate.

    I’ve been reading Remarkably Bright Creatures – about an octopus and associated humans – and up pops this, which I totally want for a living room chair.

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  83. Sherri said on October 14, 2023 at 3:33 pm

    The clouds held off long enough here to get a good view of the eclipse, which was about 80% here. I had already obtained eclipse glasses in anticipation of our trip to Texas next year for the total eclipse, and my husband made it back from India in time to see it.

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  84. Jeff Borden said on October 14, 2023 at 3:54 pm

    Damn. I thought Tricky Dick Nixon was the prick behind the hateful “Southern strategy.” Or, maybe he was the first to embrace it.

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  85. alex said on October 14, 2023 at 4:55 pm

    No eclipse here. Just stormy rainy skies all afternoon. My neighbors are hosting a big bonfire party tonight and still planning to go through with it, so I made a King Ranch casserole with the season’s last peppers from the garden and I’m getting ready to pop it into the oven.

    I thought Roger Ailes was the one who deserved credit for the “southern strategy.” I remember reading Joe McGinniss’ The Selling of the President back in the ’70s or ’80s as part of some college course work and what I remember about it was that Nixon learned to speak fluent segregationese out of one side of his ass and whatever the other side wanted to hear out of the other.

    I don’t remember Kevin Phillips but I just looked at a Wikipedia entry about the “southern strategy” and apparently it was already a thing when Goldwater ran for president in 1964. I suspect Phillips was just one of the first to commit to writing what was going on in smoke-filled rooms. His book came out in 1969, the same year as McGinniss’. McGinnis gatecrashed the 1968 Nixon campaign fully intending to write about it as a journalist.

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  86. Julie Robinson said on October 14, 2023 at 6:18 pm

    We forgot about the eclipse! We were getting dressed for the reception and Dennis couldn’t find his dress socks. Frantic searching didn’t turn them up so it was off to Target, where he also picked up a belt to replace the one left at TSA. Just everyday life in ADD land.

    The reception was fun and now we’re on our way to Tucson.

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  87. Sherri said on October 14, 2023 at 6:20 pm

    Phillips worked on the Nixon campaign. He was the wonk supplying the numbers. He grasped that Wallace’s run in 68 would lead to a Nixon landslide in 72.

    Ailes taught Nixon how to handle TV, which he famously struggled with in the 1960 campaign.

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  88. Deborah said on October 15, 2023 at 1:14 am

    I’ve finally started reading Heather Cox Richardson’s “Democracy Awakening”, I preordered it and got it right away when it came out a few weeks ago but was finishing up some other stuff first. It’s good, typical HCR. I love her.

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  89. LAMary said on October 15, 2023 at 10:00 am

    Didn’t Roger Ailes go from being a producer on the Mike Douglas Show to coaching Nixon how to deal with media and from there to running Fox News? He left Fox when enough women got vocal about him being a disgusting pussy grabber. So Ailes didn’t develop the southern strategy. He just taught the GOP how to sell it without looking like a bunch of KKKers.

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  90. LAMary said on October 15, 2023 at 11:04 am

    Watching Ron De Santis on Face the Nation. What a prick.

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  91. Julie Robinson said on October 15, 2023 at 7:21 pm

    Well we knew that already, didn’t we?

    Cutting our trip short. Worried about Mom’s fall and one of us tested positive this morning. Masking up and going home to recuperate at home.

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  92. David C said on October 15, 2023 at 7:36 pm

    There’s a lot of testing positive going on. Two of Mary’s brothers and her sister-in-law all tested positive. One of her brothers in in the end stages of progressive supranuclear palsy which they say is like Parkinson’s on steroids. Patients usually succumb to pneumonia. I don’t see how he avoids it with Covid.

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  93. LAMary said on October 15, 2023 at 10:32 pm

    Yeah, we knew it but I try to avoid exposure. There he was when I turned on the tube. He was doing a lot of “they” stuff. Lots of “others.”

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