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Posted by: Helen Philpot | July 13, 2013

Tampons don’t kill people. Republicans do.

Margaret, last night there was a rally at the Texas State Capitol to let Rick Perry and the Republican controlled House and Senate know that Texas women have had enough of this backward ass war on women. And do you know what those crazy asshats did? They confiscated everyone’s feminine hygiene napkins at the door. Now there is some good bullshit if you ask me.

As God as my witness, you could legally carry a concealed weapon into the Texas Capitol but you had to surrender your tampons. I can only assume the Texas legislators… I guess Rick Perry decided… The State Troopers.. You know what, Margaret? For the first time in my life I’m speechless. What in God’s name has gotten into these yahoos?

If Rick Perry, a C minus college student, can be trusted with making his own healthcare decisions, why the hell can’t my A+ college graduate daughter do the same? Pro-life my ass. Perry is about as pro-life as any governor who has presided over hundreds of executions. Which is to say Perry is about 250 executions short of being pro-life. And for the record, pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion. Being pro-choice means you trust women to make the right decisions for themselves and their families when it comes to healthcare.

And Rick Perry might not be running for governor again, but those two morons Abbott and Costello… I mean Abbott and Dewhurst are and they make Perry look almost sane. So this fight isn’t over. I’m in this for the long run. Are you with me Wendy?

Texas women might have lost the battle but we sure as hell plan to win the war. And they can pry the tampon from my cold, dead hands. I mean it. Really.

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  14. Cynthia, Thanks for sharing this. I’ve gotten it before from a friend in Texas but hadn’t subscribed which I did today. I also enjoyed the comments about it. Jon Stewart had his own Dr. Seuss take on it with the “Bore-Ax” last night. I guess Cruz will think twice before he gives us such a wonderful way to pan his performance again. No, wait, that would imply that he can think! DUH!

  15. Cynthia–Thanks for sharing the poem. Funny.

  16. One more:

    By Edward Z…..

    Do you like the GOP?
    I do not like them. No siree!

    I do not like them in the House,
    where endlessly they whine and grouse.
    And in the Senate, maddening,
    they filibuster everything.

    Don’t like them on the internet,
    or lying on my TV set.
    I do not like them so far right,
    I do not like that they’re ALL white.

    I do not like them when they wink.
    It scares me when they try to think.
    I do not like their budget cuts.
    I do not like that they are nuts!

    If they’re the face of Uncle Sam,
    then Uncle Sam don’t give a damn!
    They like Tea, and green money,
    but why, oh why, don’t they like me?

    They will not help me keep my house.
    They do not like my same-sex spouse.
    They don’t like any news but FOX,
    or black folks at the ballot box.
    They don’t believe in warming air.
    They REALLY hate Obamacare!

    They sham and slam and send out spam.
    So sure I am, it’s all a scam.
    It’s all for them, but none for me.
    I do NOT like the GOP.


  17. http://www.juanitajean.com/2013/09/25/da-chipster-reads-aloud/#comments

    Great spoof on Ted Cruz. Read the comments there are several more!


  18. Terri(s) and all,

    If you were wondering where everyone went:

    Guns do not kill people.

    Shorter comment thread.

    Here’s ta hopin’ M&H get back in the game…soon! I can only imagine what Helen has to say about her junior Senator Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz (R – Calgary). ;)

    Peace ~ Δ

  19. The GOP may hate Obamacare (or maybe they are just afraid it will be successful). Here’s more good news:


  20. Thanks, Cynthia, for sharing this. It wore me out to listen to it but very informative.

  21. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Get your favorite beverage (but don’t spill it on your computer keyboard!), put your feet up and get set for another one of Auntie Jean’s lectures on the historical significance of social and cultural influences. This is from my perspective only.

    We have personally visited a number of primarily Muslim countries in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey, (which is also partly in Europe.) I have found that geography and climate are probably by far the strongest determinants of culture; from food, to architecture to fashion statements.

    Three of the major religions of the world have their origins in the Middle East; Judaism, (20th – 4th Centuries BCE), Christianity, (33 AD) and Islam, (565-626AD). I looked up those dates! You will note that the dating system is according to Christian calculations. Both Judaism and Islam have their own calendars and methods of dating. But we are accustomed to thinking is terms of the Christian frames of reference. Each one has its myriad of off-shoots from the ultra-orthodox to the “reformed”. I’m not taking into account Hinduism or Buddhism and any number of other beliefs.

    Incidentally, for the persnickety about spelling, both “Muslim” and “Moslem” are acceptable for describing people of the Islamic faith. “Muslim” more closely resembles the spoken pronunciation of the word though.

    The Middle East, the birthplace of all three religions, was really, really HOT! Still is. Especially the Saudi Arabian Peninsula where Islam originated. It is an extension of the Sahara Desert of North Africa and meanders all the way to the Gobi Desert of Asia. With a broiling sun and the blistering heat of the desert sand, no shade beyond a scattered oasis here and there; early on it could be a day’s journey by camel to find water and a few palm trees. Like some present day Bedouins, the indigenous people were semi-nomadic and lived in tents. They had to protect themselves from that brutal sun with their clothing only. No air-conditioning, no sun screen, no moisturizer creams to at least try to ward off the heat; from sun burns and the sun damage of aging such as wrinkles all the way to deadly melanoma. And so they wore long robes and head coverings: men, with their “kaffiyehs” covering their foreheads and necks, and long beards to cover their faces: women in their chadors or burkas from head to toe. Whether they did or what they stripped down to inside their tents, history doesn’t mention.

    But as they became socialized and founded their religions with rules to live by in tribes and later communities, their mode of dress continued. The geography and climate didn’t change that much.

    The Islamic religious traditions are running about 500-600 years behind Christianity in terms of trying to catch up to their older siblings in the brutality of dogma enforcement. It was their duty as guardians of immortal souls. For those destined to go to hell, it was necessary to hold appropriate send-off ceremonies – complete with a barbeque. The Inquisition. Stoning women in the public square when they were “taken in adultery”. But gee. For men, well a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do. Charlemagne had four wives, five or more mistresses and some 18 children. Henry VIII devised his own divorce procedures. On down to the hanky-panky of Bill Clinton, Elliot Spitzer, et al. Even today, when a woman does any of that she would be called a “Whore.” Serial polygamy is more or less sanctioned now but polyandry – NEVER!

    Separation of Church and State is still a very new concept in the development of civilizations and has quite a ways to go yet. But back to modes of dress. We see the Orthodox Jewish Rabbis with their long beards, black hats and black suits. Priests and nuns always wore “cassocks” and “habits” in public until very recently. Just about last remnant in some of the clergy now is the white collar.

    This is turning into a two-three or maybe four-parter. Next time, some of my other experiences as a cultural fashion critic.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  22. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/19/joey-prusak-dairy-queen-minnesota-good-deed_n_3957370.html

    A young man with no gun just a $20 bill. Joey Prusak should be recognized for his sense of right and wrong. And one who does not need a gun to prove he is a man.

    Way to go, Joey Prusak!!


  23. Excellent article. I posted it to my Facebook page urging people to read it even though it’s lengthy. The problem, however, is that the people who need to read it won’t!

  24. How the rights “FAKE HISTORY” of the 2nd amendment is killing us.


  25. Gato and Cynthia, What comes to mind is the admonition ‘if you point a gun at someone be prepared to pull the trigger since the other person with a gun will for sure when they see your gun’. This is the reason I don’t and won’t own a gun. Also the best recourse to someone harassing you while you’re driving is to head to the nearest police station.

  26. Hey, Cynthia – I am sure that, up until that moment, they were both “responsible gun owners.” Everybody always is, “until”…

    Now they both really ARE “responsible” – for killing each other. And that’s what a lot of people are apparently willing to accept as “reasonable” in this country.


  27. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/09/19/1239955/-Two-concealed-carry-permit-holders-shoot-and-kill-each-other-in-Michigan

    Two good guys with a gun. Two good guys dead. What happened to a good ole fist fight, screaming match or ramming each others cars? Was it really worth it????

  28. Good one, Cynthia! Thanks for the share…


  29. This is an interesting take on health care in the US! Worth watching.



  30. Good work, Terry. That’s a harsh graphic, and it’s really a shame to have to keep pointing the finger of shame at any one “group,” as a whole… But, despite that, sometimes a group, having allowed itself to be controlled by a small minority of its members, in the hopes of gaining some political edge, really DESERVES that accusation. The GOP, as a whole, has let its membership be bossed around by a mere forty or so rabid (and generally inexperienced) members of Congress, the NRA, and other lobbying gangs. Their refusal to support even the most modest “gun control” legislation, and their ENDLESS efforts to rescind the ACA – even though more than sixty percent of Americans want it, like it, and are benefitting from it already – just makes me wonder, again and again, if they are truly out of their minds…

    A shred of “good news” this morning, if I overheard my husband’s watching of the news correctly: Sounds like the US Chamber of Commerce (!!) is taking a position admonishing AGAINST using “shutting down the government” as a tool in the obsessive “battle” to defund the ACA. “Bad for the business community”…

    No s**t, Sherlock. Never mind that the accursed sequester, and all manner of other “defunding,” has already been “bad” for consumers, workers, kids, women, seniors, the poor, the sick, the economy, and the planet as a whole, for quite a while now… When the snarling watchdog of the “business community” turns and bares its slavering fangs at its own minions, that’s pretty interesting!


  31. This is for all who insist that the 2nd Amendment is a “right” or more to the point a requirement for everyone to own a gun. If I didn’t make my point earlier with the statement Ruth Bader Ginsburg made then here’s a bit more for you to digest. Check out Mario Piperni’s blog. http://mariopiperni.com/guns-n-stuff/when-is-it-a-good-time-to-talk-about-gun-control.php

  32. Well on this issue of gun control or any social issue we want to see a cultural or sea change ~ I dont disagree with your husband so much! lol That is what I kind of mean when I say that IS something we CAN do to bring about changes in our gun ” laws”. So on that aspect I dont disagree! lol

    You lost me on the ” most ” of the Middle East comparison to Hitler. The word MOST was my bug a boo.. That is not my preception of the middle eastern people.

  33. Me, too, Auntie Jean!


  34. No, Lori; You’re not misunderstanding… My reasoning, here, is somewhat superficial, I must say – more in support of an “argument,” rather than a serious discussion of this particular issue. (And, no, Poolman; I don’t consider the rest of my points to be “superficial,” as well!)

    Not all Americans are obscenely greedy, but some of us are – and not all Jews hate all Palestinians, or vice-versa… But some of them do. Hitler probably DID, at least publicly, hate all Jews. It’s allowing that kind of thing to fester and grow, and gain influence, through our “tolerance” of it, and/or our silence, that damns all the rest of us.

    “Peer pressure,” from those in our own societies, is a powerful tool. Conversely, silence from the rest of a society “speaks” equally eloquently. As Thomas More apparently said, when refusing to sign Henry’s annulment petition, or whatever it was, “Silence is generally construed, by the law, to indicate acquiescence.”

    (My husband has often spoken in favor of “public shaming” for members of our Community who regularly and persistently violate our rules – something about which I have mixed feelings. I think it’s ridiculous to dare not mention at least the street address of someone who absolutely refuses to have his septic tank pumped, as is required, but I’m not so sure about putting someone in “the stocks” for not cleaning up her dog’s poop!)


  35. Sure Auntie Jean, find a place and I will follow. :)

  36. Mornin’ Congenial Gang,

    It’s getting sluggish to load your great comments on this post. Until Helen puts up a new one, ya suppose we could find and move to an old one with not such a long list of comments?

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  37. Yeah I hear you Gato. I donno I guess my preception of most of the middle east is not one of intolerence. My preception is , yes , there is certainly some of that in certain circles just as in north america. but gwad I sure would hate to be lumped in with THAT group or worse yet be compared to hitler! as I am sure most middle easterners would not like being compared to their regions nutjobs. No ? am I misunderstanding your reasoning?

  38. Hey, Lori – I don’t know why I get into it, either… Maybe because hearing all these hackneyed old chestnuts YET AGAIN makes me… NUTS!

    Yes; Hitler and most of the Middle East in the same sentence… I’m thinkin’ the myth of Aryan supremacy and the casting of “the other” as the devil’s own spawn, and deserving of death – whether that “other” is a Jew, a Palestinian, a woman, or, in many cases, an American…


  39. Poolman:

    Your comment “pharmaceuticals (legally prescribed) kill 66,000 per year in America, whereas gun deaths in America are declining (even as gun purchases have continued to increase) and have been for quite a while, right now around 26,000, with the bulk (2/3) of those listed as suicides,” leads me to wonder how just how many deaths would result from non-treatments. Also, according to an article in Natural News http://www.naturalnews.com/041768_big_pharma_death_epidemic_deadly_medications.html by J. D. Heyes, quoting Sanjay Gupta quoting Gary Franklin of the State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries, Franklin also said Alcohol + pain medications = Accidental overdose. So, let’s be honest, because it turns out that misuse of medications by combining their use with alcohol is a relevant factor which could make the alcohol industry as culpable as the pharmaceutical industry.

    Also, I think you are mistaken to dismiss the arguments of Auntie Jean and Gato who make perfectly good sense about gun ownership, both historically and in the context of the present day.

  40. I refuse to responed, for the 100000000 time to silly ridic rightwingnut/nra campaign ads and talking points. Kudos for those of you that still do. Until we have publicly funded elections at all levels- we are stuck with the ” lack of gun laws” we have. Sorry, sad but true.

    What we CAN do is begin to change our shoot em my gun is bigger than your gun culture that is so unique to our country . With an attitude shift do will ” laws”.

    Wendy Davis is ” fixen” to make an announcement Oct 3 on her political future!!!! Her announcement originally scheduled for early Sept has been postponed due to the passing of her Dad.

    Maybe that will coax M&H out of hiding. :) I sure hope so.

    pssst Gato Hitler and most of the Middle East in the same sentence???? Really? :)

  41. Disagree away, Poolman; that’s absolutely your right. (I suppose it would be your “right” to shoot me, as well, were you a gun owner, and should you get your hands on me and really found me seriously threatening! Sorry… Couldn’t help myself; it’s that kind of a morning!)

    I, in turn, will disagree back that “…government(s) have always been the greatest threat to freedom.” In my reading of history, it’s the INFLUENCES on various governments that are the threats – in short, who owns a particular government, and what the goals of those owners are. Those influences can be anything from lust for power and ethnic/religious intolerance and fear (Hitler, most of the Middle East), control of dwindling natural resources (most of Central Africa and water), or just untrammeled greed (the US of A) – among any number of other things.

    As for “requiring” citizens to carry arms (and I honestly don’t know whether or not that was “required,” or just permitted, at the time), who was it that issued that “requirement”? It was the government, was it not? And who stipulated that such arms were to be used as part of a “well-regulated militia”? Again, the government. (Don’t know why I have to go over this again and again!)

    As for criminals never obeying the law, of course they don’t. The perpetrators of most of the mass killings in this country were NOT criminals – most of them had purchased those guns “legally,” including, most recently, Aaron Alexis. The Newtown shooter used guns that were easily available to him, since his mother (also no criminal) had obtained them legally. It’s THOSE laws that need to be changed. And don’t give me that old chestnut about driving being a “privilege,” and gun ownership a “right.” That’s been beaten into the ground forever. A good case could certainly be made for making driving a motor vehicle a “right,” as well, since our public transportation system is pretty pathetic and people have the “right” to get to work, don’t they?

    I have no way of knowing how many “deaths by pharmaceuticals” could be categorized as homicides, and how many as suicides. Do you? I would imagine that the bulk are the latter. The 2011 numbers for overall gun deaths in the US in 2011 was more like 36,000 – maybe it’s gone down since then. (Stats, again, from gunpolicy.org.) And you are correct about the percentages: Of that 36,000, gun homicides were just over 11,000, and gun suicides almost 20,000. But, frankly, those stats hardly constitute an argument for “less gun regulation,” IMHO! I remember reading a very moving article not long ago, written by a woman who had battled depression for years, and thanking god she did not own a gun…

    The other fact that is almost overlooked, again and again, is that the sole purpose of any firearm is to shoot things, and – often – to kill things with that shot. The sole purpose of motor vehicles and pharmaceuticals is certainly NOT that. For god’s sake, we seem perfectly willing and feel “justified” to ban any food additive, or any pharmaceutical (remember Thalidomide?), if it is found to ACCIDENTALLY, and inadvertently, cause death in one-quarter of one percent of users – no matter how much “good” it may have done for tens of thousands of others.

    So go ahead and explain to me why we do not treat firearms, AT AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM, in the same way… (And please remember, while you’re doing that, that owning slaves used to be a “right” in this country, too… Wasn’t there some sort of a conflict about that idea, a while ago…?)

    With all (argumentative) respect,


  42. Poolman, You are missing the point. The original intention was to arm a needed militia in the absence of an army. There was no money to fund an army and every able bodied man needed to have a musket in his home in case the need arose for a militia to be called up. We no longer are expected to be our own army. So, no, it’s not a right in our present day society. That said, no one wants everyone to give up their hunting rifles, their target pistols, etc. What should be given up are assault rifles, etc. that serve only to terrorize innocent people and should be confined to use by the military in the event of war.

  43. Gato,

    I disagree with much of your post. Though I am not a gun owner, the Constitution gives us the right to bear arms, whereas driving is only a privilege in America. Big difference.

    First of all, government(s) have always been the greatest threat to freedom. That is why citizens in America were required to bear arms. It wasn’t considered optional.

    In fact, most gun violence in America occurs in cities that have the strictest gun laws, Chicago the perfect example. You see, criminals don’t obey the laws, never have, never will. That is why we call them criminals. Therein lies the flaw in enacting legislation and more regulations. It always leaves the law-abiding disadvantaged.

    Second, pharmaceuticals (legally prescribed) kill 66,000 per year in America, whereas gun deaths in America are declining (even as gun purchases have continued to increase) and have been for quite a while, right now around 26,000, with the bulk (2/3) of those listed as suicides.

  44. AMEN, sister! Keep on preaching. I think we could use a good old fashioned revival to pound the facts into the heads and hearts of the congregation.

  45. Hi, Auntie Jean – My guess is that ninety-five percent of the porch sitters here are already saluting your suggestions. (And I’m counting Terri!)

    And I LOVE your comment about some people finding voting without a photo ID to be a hazardous, and potentially criminal, activity…

    Of course, making the requirements for gun ownership at least as stringent as those for operating a motor vehicle makes all the sense in the world. (Ask anyone from just about any other “civilized” nation if that’s the case.) Driver’s license if you’re legally blind? Probably not. (I have to wonder how many blind citizens have been saying, “So what if I’m blind; I want a gun, anyway!”) Put your six-year-old behind the wheel of your SUV and send her out on the Interstate? I don’t think so. DUI, or two? Usually not, at least not without some SERIOUS rehab and long-term limitations…

    Here are a few interesting facts from GunPolicy.org…

    Among the nations of the world who manufacture guns, the US is ranked “major” on a scale of “small, medium, and major.” (No mention of the rankings of other countries.)

    In 2010, there were 5,459,240 “small arms” manufactured in the US.

    Approximately 32% of US households own guns. (Hardly a “majority,” Mr. LaPierre…) Even so, the rate of private ownership per 100 people in this country is 101.5% – again, Number One in the WORLD.

    Currently, there are more than 114 million handguns in the possession of US civilians. And would you care to guess how many handguns are possessed by the US Military…? A mere 3,054,553. I had to look at those numbers several times to make sure I hadn’t lost my mind… Those are the numbers.

    So… If you align a huge, and wealthy, manufacturing industry with an irresponsibly unregulated “free market,” you can easily understand precisely why none of the common-sense suggestions you propose are EVER likely to be put in place, at least not without an ENORMOUS and unrelenting public outcry.

    One of the biggest problems, IMHO, with “capitalism” as a GOVERNING policy (as opposed to an economic one) is that to be successful, a capitalist system has to convince every individual to personally buy at least one – and the latest version, at that – of every single product put out for purchase. No sales; no profits; no capitalism. Six families sharing a five-year-old washing machine? ANATHEMA! Inexpensive upgrade for your nine-month-old cell phone, instead of tossing it and replacing it with a new one? INEXCUSABLE. Making dinner at home, from actual food, instead of buying pre-packaged frozen food-like substances, or patronizing your local chain restaurant? OLD-FASHIONED, and DEPRIVING YOUR FAMILY OF THE “TREAT” IT DESERVES. And, worst of all, restricting your “Second Amendment RIGHT” to own as many firearms as you want? COMMIE, UNPATRIOTIC, TRAITOROUS SUBVERSION!!!

    Why we ever bought into the idea of the wonderfulness of a totally unregulated “free market” is absolutely beyond me. Which serves society better – an unregulated “market” that lets manufacturers do whatever they feel like doing to maximize THEIR profits, whatever the effect on workers and consumers? Or a sensibly “regulated” market that offers a majority of consumers the possibility of accessing the benefits of any particular manufacturing process, and guarantees a majority of workers a decent living wage? (Sure; we’ve got some of the most effective medications in the world… And very few can afford them…)

    Also, let’s touch, for a moment, once again, on that much-touted Second Amendment – and let’s remind its ardent supporters of that Amendment in its entirety, and the very purpose of its existence. The “right to bear arms” was granted to citizens BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT HAVE AN ARMY. The assumption was that the people chose the government, and the government was obligated to respond to the will of the people, and to protect the citizenry as a whole. In order to do that, the government was willing to empower the people TO SERVE THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT, through a “well-regulated militia,” should circumstances demand it. The intent was certainly NOT to encourage any group of wing-nuts to “defend itself” against anything it found threatening, for whatever reason. If anyone was going to do any “regulating,” it was intended to be the government itself. I think the Founders, in all their optimism, were confident that the people understood this, and understood, as well, that the government would be kept to task by the votes of the people, and not by armed insurrection from within OR by the untrammeled influence of obscene wealth. They must be weeping and screaming from their graves these days…

    My apologies for preaching to this choir (except for the few who reject the songbook), and for the excessive use of all caps.


  46. Terri, You’re right about them not doing anything. You would have thought that when one of their own, Gabby Gifford, was shot they’d finally do something. Oh, but wait, they’re in the pockets of their NRA constituents and the NRA itself since it’s “people” as well. Maybe if killing with guns were a disease we could get an organization funded to find a cure.
    I posted the comments Ruth Bader Ginsburg made on an NPR interview yesterday about the 2nd Amendment. Her take on it makes so much sense it needs to be shared. The 2nd Amendment had a preamble about the need for a militia. That’s what it addresses as far as the right to own a gun goes. You can read the whole interview or scroll down to the bottom of page 2 to find this: ” JH: I have a 15-year-old daughter. . .”


    I think that’s the whole bit, the last part is cut off on the top of my print out :{

  47. Auntie Jean,
    Of course, your suggestion makes perfect sense. That is the reason the gun rights folks will not have any of it. They think they should have as many guns, of whatever kind, whenever they want. I think we have to reconcile ourselves to the fact that we will continue to have mass shootings at malls, and schools and movie theaters, and our elected officials will do NOTHING about it. This is reality in the U.S. Sad but true.

  48. Hi Congenial Gang,

    In the wake of yet another national gun massacre tragedy, our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out first to the families of the victims and join in mourning their lost loved ones.

    It is indeed cheap and tawdry to try to make a political statement out of such a horrific event. In the aftermath of this latest one however, that is just what I am hearing and seeing so much of on TV as well in the print media. There’s plenty of talk about “mental illnesses” and “background checks” as usual but no practical or explicit measures to implement solutions.

    As you know, I can be just as tacky as the best of them, so here goes with an idea I came up with today. I’ll run it up the flag pole and see if anyone salutes. Recently, I had to renew my driver’s license and I told you about it. To refresh your memories, I have cut-n-pasted portions of it here.

    “I just renewed my driver’s license. There is a regulation that has been around for a while. Anybody over a certain age, I think it is 70, has to renew every two years instead of the customary four. (You don’t expect a “Silly Old Woman” like me to remember exactly what age, do you?) Also they have a whole laundry list of new rules. You have to have a valid passport or a certified copy of your birth certificate for identification. Your expiring license won’t do. (My passport has expired and I’m too stingy to spring 50 bucks or more, as well as the hassle, to renew it just for a driver’s license.) You must have your original Social Security card. Now, 60 years ago when I was married, I changed my surname to my husband’s as was and is customary from long tradition. Therefore my current legal name doesn’t match my birth certificate or original Social Security card. So I had to round up a certified copy of our marriage license. The road test is waived if you have a prior valid driver’s license but an eye test is required. It just so happened I had a routine eye exam with our opthalmologist recently and he conveniently gave me a certificate, testifying that I can see well enough to drive. The county accepted it so I didn’t have to take the eye test. They did finger print my right thumb, right index finger and left index finger and took my picture. It is GHASTLY!!! Doesn’t look anything at all like the inner Jean. They do not require a blood test or DNA sample – yet. Nor did they ask for a vaginal ultra-sound probe. Could be they took a look at me and decided I probably wasn’t likely to be pregnant. After filling out a lengthy, fine print application form with a lot of stuff that is none of their business, I did get my new license!!”

    Now, a car can be just as lethal a weapon in the wrong hands as a gun e. g., children, drunks, (elderly?) and such. Some feel that voting rights are also deadly weapons in the hands of those without a picture ID. However, if people had to get a permit similar to a driver’s license to purchase or own a gun, it would take the “background checks” out of the hands of the NRA, gun manufacturers and gun shops with their vested interests.

    The facilities and trained personnel for processing a driver’s license are already in place. All that would be needed for a gun license would be the usual detailed “background” checks on an application, fairly easily verified in that vast “Computer-Data-File-in-the-Sky” on all of us.

    As for the “mental illnesses” aspects. The kinds of “mental illnesses” are as varied as “physical illnesses” and/or combinations of both thereof that can be controlled by treatment and medication. But I’m not talking about a permission slip like the one from my eye doctor from a licensed psychiatrist saying one is sane enough to own a gun.

    After all, you must have a license to practice medicine, pilot a plane, be a veterinarian or a pharmacist and get a fishing license and a dog license. Why not a gun license?

    Some “copycat killers” might be deterred from their impulses if they had to go through the hassles of getting a permit to have a gun in the first place. This applies to not only the mass murders we have just witnesses but the daily occurrences in domestic and street violence we see in our local news.

    Will this solve all the problems of guns as well as other kinds of violence in a “civilized “ society? Of course not. But it’s a start. Just an idea.

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  49. More good news about Obamacare:


  50. Hi Congenial Gang,

    A resounding amen, jsri. I’ll second every word of your outstanding summary of where education is in the here and now and where it’s going.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  51. Auntie Jean, I had a hat box as part of my Samsonite luggage set when I went off to college in 1957. It’s long gone, donated to some charity and if it’s still in use I doubt it’s holding some lady’s hats. Dad’s sister, my dear Aunt Dorothy, gave me the luggage and was my fashion and manners guru. She had a rough childhood but pulled herself up by her boot straps, so to speak, and had a very colorful and rewarding life. She was my surrogate grandma and she spoiled me rotten. I miss her.

  52. Auntie Jean

    Education right now is in turmoil. A few days ago I made the comment ”I’ve had experience at colleges at all levels, including community colleges, career-oriented colleges, and universities both public and private, and I’ve found that each school, for the right student can be as appropriate and as demanding as needed.” but I didn’t emphasize the word MOTIVATION as you have done in a recent post. Motivation is the major key and it doesn’t make any difference if you are going to McSchool to learn about flipping burgers at your job or doing advanced research in the field of nuclear physics for your PhD. Our oldest grandson gets it but his younger brother sometimes needs a little prodding. It must be some sort of internal drive because the two of them are pretty much intellectual equals and certainly had the same upbringing but their approachs to life and how they respond to it are quite different.

    There’s much current talk about reforming education but for the life of me I can’t figure out where they are going with it except trtending toward an emphasis on some form of online education. While there is much to be said about preparing all our children for college (and it would be a nice bonus if everyone could attend), but that’ll never happen. Plenty of jobs are still around that don’t require it and don’t even come close to demanding it but still require an educated worker. So, no matter which way we go, broadening public education for all should be the goal because in the past 20 years we’ve gone down a slippery slide, from number one to number twelve among developed countries of the world.

    But first, there is a crying need to control college costs for those heading toward a post high school education because current tuitions are unsustainable and indefensible. I know of several colleges that are in trouble and know of at least one that has been sold to a for-profit, on line school, sold not for it’s programs but for its accreditation. The quote from a Boston Globe editorial writer describes the small college peril. http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2013/09/14/educators-weigh-fate-small-colleges/e0phQC7AsEfuXc5QOJjrqM/story.html

    And there is much evidence among financiers that support is waning as banks like JPMorgan Chase drop out of the student loan business leaving the federal government as the principal backer. See http://www.rep-am.com/articles/2013/09/14/business/750284.txt

    While some readers believe that enormous endowments protect most top tier colleges and universities, that’s wishful thinking because most endowment funds are committed to specific projects as specified by the endowers and may not be free to offer tuition support. So, if you are sure that your children or grandchildren will do well in college, the colleges you are thinking of may not be there when it’s time for them to attend. Think Parson’s College.

    Jean, the one regret I have now is never having taken a typing course, -um- keyboarding nowadays. Colleges simply didn’t see any need for it for male students because once on the job they’d always have secretaries. And, as an aside, I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve seen grand poobahs rescued by a good secretary.

  53. Auntie Jean, I couldn’t access your site jeans-gathering.com. Maybe I didn’t do it right which considering my lack of tech savvy is understandable.
    I’ll be adding more poems to my blog. I also have the task of putting the good ones in notebooks for my kids on my great big to-do list.

  54. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Nope, Terry, don’t wear hat and gloves shopping at WalMart now. One of the times we moved we had a huge garage sale. I had several Lilli Dashe hat creations. Sold them all for a buck a piece. A woman came back and bought the big hat box I kept some of them in for five bucks. It had been my mother’s. It was very colorful with “Pour Les Chapeaux” printed on top. But the poor thing was held together with masking tape.

    I went to your blog. I LOVE your poetry!!! So serene. I’ll be back to read more of your thoughts again. The pictures of your garden are just beautiful. Out on our Dinky Deck I have a pot of parsley. It kills me to buy a bunch at the market and have it sit in the fridge and wilt before I can use it again.

    Gato, I have kept up with your blog too though I haven’t commented except once early on. Your art work is superb, very talented! But after all, you are a professional.

    Some of you Old Timers may remember my website. The poor thing has been up there for 15 years plus. It’s a WEBSITE not a BLOG. This was before blogs came along. I had a marvelous computer guru who set it up for me, mostly for family and friends, sort of like a continuing Christmas letter and about our travels. He came up with the idea of the chapters so I could add to it from time to time, which I did as the spirit moved me. For quite a while he had an e mail address set up for people to send comments. I got hits and comments from all over the world; in some cases from people we had met traveling. Also as you may know, search engines send out “spiders” to pick up key words so my website shows up on those too.

    Unfortunately, the trolls moved in too and demanded to be heard. I didn’t have the time or patience to bother with them so I had him cancel the e mail address and change the “server” (is that the right term, gurl?) Then, my guru died. Of stage four cancer when it was detected. A relatively young man. I lost not only my guru but by then he had become a dear friend to both me and my husband. I miss him.

    Gato, my art work is strictly amateur, mostly colored pencils and some pastels. But I had a lot of fun with it for several years. Any of you can check it out if you have nothing better to do. jeans-gatherings.com. (At the time, punctuation was not allowed in web addresses. Hence the dash rather than an apostrophe.)

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  55. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Nope, Terry, don’t wear hat and gloves shopping at WalMart now. One of the times we moved we had a huge garage sale. I had several Lilli Dashe hat creations. Sold them all for a buck a piece. A woman came back and bought the big hat box I kept some of them in for five bucks. It had been my mother’s. It was very colorful with “Pour Les Chapeaux” printed on top. But the poor thing was held together with masking tape.

    I went to your blog. I LOVE your poetry!!! So serene. I’ll be back to read more of your thoughts again. The pictures of your garden are just beautiful. Out on our Dinky Deck I have a pot of parsley. It kills me to buy a bunch at the market and have it sit in the fridge and wilt before I can use it again.

    Gato, I have kept up with your blog too though I haven’t commented except once early on. Your art work is superb, very talented! But after all, you are a professional.

    Some of you Old Timers may remember my website. The poor thing has been up there for 15 years plus. It’s a WEBSITE not a BLOG. This was before blogs came along. I had a marvelous computer guru who set it up for me, mostly for family and friends, sort of like a continuing Christmas letter and about our travels. He came up with the idea of the chapters so I could add to it from time to time, which I did as the spirit moved me. For quite a while he had an e mail address for people to send comments. I got hits and comments from all over the world; in some cases from people we had met traveling. Also as you may know, search engines send out “spiders” to pick up key words so my website shows up on those too.

    Unfortunately, the trolls moved in too and demanded to be heard. I didn’t have the time or patience to bother with them so I had him cancel the e mail address and change the “server” (is that the right term, gurl?) Then, my guru died. Of stage four cancer when it was detected. A relatively young man. I lost not only my guru but by then he had become a dear friend to both me and my husband. I miss him.

    Gato, my art work is strictly amateur, mostly colored pencils and some pastels. But I had a lot of fun with it for several years. Any of you can check it out if you have nothing better to do. jeans-gatherings.com. (At the time, punctuation was not allowed in web addresses. Hence the dash rather than an apostrophe.)

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  56. James and Lori, I think you can just click on “comments”. As for subscribing there is a link for that at the bottom. It says “Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)

  57. My eyes do not glaze over when you talk about your precious granddaughter. I am so impressed by how you, your wife and baby’s parents are focused on giving her the best environment for her growth and development. My son was born 8 weeks early, had various problems and was in St. Louis Children’s Hospital until he weighed over 5 lbs. We were told he’d be delayed in development and probably wouldn’t catch up til he was 2 yrs. old but he fooled everyone and was doing all the normal things by 6 mos. He did have a heart issue but that resolved itself. I didn’t know to do all the things you’re doing but he’s turned out fine and has a near genius IQ (smarter than his parents I imagine).

  58. That is a wonderful blog, Terry. Those are great pictures. Our garden is utilitarian and mostly fruit and vegetables, but we do have some flowers too.

    I was going to comment, but I think I might have to register with google etc, is that right? “I’ll be back.”

    I share your feeling about too many squirrels. Our dog has been trying to catch a squirrel all summer. I’m rooting for our dog. We are about to leave for Omaha again. I am mowing weeds and putting rabbit repellent on our beets before we go.

    Your eyes will gaze over now, but it doesn’t matter. Our grand daughter and her parents are my main concern today I keep looking for music to use with our grand daughter so her brain cells keep growing. I have read that music and speech are interrelated. Singing as a form of communication may have predated speech.

    We are playing Bach, and other classics, including bag pipe and blue grass music. Our grand daughter so enjoys the pop songs I play on our video camera that she bursts into a big smile when she sees the camera.

    We tell her she is pretty and that she has a pretty smile. Whenever we do, she smiles so broadly one could almost fall in. Three month old babies probably can’t understand what we are saying. Maybe it is the tone of our voices.

    I take her to the park when the weather is good and there is time. I carry her instead of using the stroller because we read that the swaying and contact of walking gives the baby more than wheeled transportation like cars and strollers.

    When the parents take their daughter places, I usually sit with her in the back seat and tell her what is happening. I have stopped her from crying at least twice.

    I have a “magic shoulder.” When she has gas or something else is wrong in her world. I put our grand daughter over my right shoulder. (it has to be my right shoulder for some reason) she stops crying and stares about the room as I give her the grand tour for the hundredth time.

    My wife is ” a baby whisperer” she can stop the crying in the middle of the night. Both parents are good with their child, and she beams with joy when she sees them.

    A baby who was nearly aborted and still puzzles the doctors is going to get the best chance we can give her.

    Anyway, a Lativian hip hop song (Rassell & Samanta Tina) surprised. me I may use it. The song is quiet, melodious, and has some repetition. Our culture is everywhere.

  59. I know, Auntie Jean… I guess I just lost my mind for a minute, there. What can I say…?

    As for all the “social graces” stuff, I’m really glad I learned most of them. Good to know the “rules,” so you can not give a s**t when you break them! Never went to the kind of school you did, but somehow picked up most of them – voracious reader of Emily Post when I was younger, and then “Miss Manners.” Amusingly enough, for a few years in my life I was doing a lot of sailing, and a fair amount of sailboat racing, including two or three day (and night) distance races. Everybody had a “boat nickname.” Mine was “Miss Manners,” evidently earned because I could be down below, in full foul weather gear, with wind blowing 35-40K, and the boat at a 20 degree angle of heel, packing a spinnaker, coiling a few lines, and, at the same time, calling up to the crew on deck, “Anybody need a beer or a snack…?”

    Obvioiusly, I’ve been “out of my mind” more than a few times in the past many decades!


  60. Gato, I don’t know how you sign on but I’ll ask my daughter who set me up in the first place.

  61. No, James, I don’t know about apple trees. We did have a peach tree before we moved from our previous house. I watched it and hoped we would get fruit to pick before our moving day. One day there were several almost ready to pick peaches, when I checked again they were all gone. I think squirrels probably picked them. I still have a feud with them since they have gnawed the tops of my cedar fence and the corners of my cedar house. One morning I was awakened by a strange racket on a bedroom window. When I peeked through the blinds I startled a squirrel who was spread eagle on the screen.

  62. Hey, Terry – Nice blog; and your garden looks like it is thriving! I tried to sign on to follow, but it said it can’t send an “RSS Feed,” whatever that is. Can you give me any ideas about how to sign on?


  63. Auntie Jean, I do declare your admission to committing the most grievous faux pas I can think of has given me a case of the vapors. Wearing white after Labor Day or before Memorial Day is a cardinal sin. Although I think we might cut you some slack seeing as how you are living in paradise where it’s always summer and you don’t realize a change of seasons the way we less fortunate mainland northerners do. I bet you don’t wear a hat and gloves when you go to a department store either. I don’t even want to know if you wear jeans or shorts to church! – Terry W

  64. Terry I love love love your blog! I have only had a peek of your offerings – it is football day after all :) but I plan on spending lots of time there.

    one of my dear aunts wrote poetry. yours reminds me of hers. thanks for that memory. xo

  65. Wow! I’ll have to up my game on the blog. I must warn you other gardeners that I’m not into vegetable gardening per say anymore. I love my herbs and flowers, however, and my “exterior” decorating with lots of fun stuff I’ve collected over the years. I did have a large raised bed until a couple of years ago in which I grew tomatoes, green peppers, green beans, and butternut squash. I learned that rabbits don’t like the scent of marigolds so I planted those around the perimeter and it seemed to keep them out. I have a pool so my yard is fenced. Otherwise I’d have to contend with deer as well. I also have trees and large bushes across the back and sides. The bushes would take over the entire yard if the grass wasn’t cut. I’ve given up on trying to get rid of the honeysuckle though. I refer to it as “Missouri kudzu”.
    The title of my blog is “Mulch Ado About Gardening” since I’m an English major and I love my mulch which cuts down on weeding and watering.
    To reach the blog: http://tomulchornottomulch.blogspot.com/

  66. Hey, Terri – Yes; all the photos and drawings are mine… So far! (Haven’t figured out how to “add a caption” yet on wordpress…) Glad you like them…



  67. Hey Gato!
    Quick question. I have subcribed to your blog, and I’m wondering if you do the illustrations? No matter who does them, I like them!

  68. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Gato, gato, gato. You are not a “newby” here anymore. You aren’t really expecting coherent comments now are you?

    Returning to meander down the memory lane of my college days. We had a very large room, the Recreation Room, outfitted with sofas, chairs, desks but no TV. No such thing as TV in those days. The rec room served all of the suites. Terry, it was the only place on the PLANET where girls were permitted to smoke. The main attraction though was a dozen or more bridge tables. When you walked in, hands flew up from tables to flag you down. Some tables always needed a 3rd or 4th for bridge since somebody had always left to go to class. I never learned to keep score because none of us could stay long enough to play a full rubber. Yep, you guessed it, had to leave to go to class. We weren’t in it for the competition though. Only for the fun and challenge of the game.

    About those monthy formal dinners. “State dinners”?) The dining room had round tables with ten gals to each. On a regular basis we had to rotate being the waitresses. We had to learn how to precisely lay the tables and serve CORRECLY. Knife and spoon(s) to the right of the dinner plate at each place. Knife with the sharp blade turned toward the plate. Dinner fork and salad fork on top of the carefully folded napkin to the left. Appropriate other utensils beside the silverware in their proper places. We wouldn’t want a diner to have to guess which one to use and in which order for each course, would we? All silverware lined up ONE INCH from the edge of the table, (with fresh tablecloth!) Small butter knife across the top of the butter plate directly in front of the dinner plate with the knife handle to the right and cutting blade toward the dinner plate. Finger bowl directly in front of the fork(s). Water goblet at the top of the dinner knife with assorted other glasses lined up to the right. All food courses served and removed from the left of the diner. All beverages served and removed and/or refilled from the right. See just how WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG you have seen it done or have been doing it all your life?

    Anyway, when I applied for my job as a waitress and was asked if I had any experience, I could honestly respond with a resounding, “YES!”

    I left the girls’ college with an excellent classic education but no marketable job skills. I doubt if any prospective employer was interested in hearing me conjugate irregular French verbs, analyze the Peloponnesian Wars or smoothly modulate from F-sharp Major into B-flat Minor in either vocal or instrumental music.

    I continued my education at a very large public state university in a different region with a totally dissimilar environment. The ratio of men to women was 7-1. Aha! That was more to my liking. I felt it was my responsibility to check out my quota.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namesta. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

    P. S. An update. I have committed a major social and cultural faux pas. I’m still wearing light colored shoes (sandals) and carrying a light colored purse. Both should be dark colored by now. The cut-off date traditionally is Labor Day for light, Memorial Day for dark. I’m deathly afraid I will be drummed out of the Social Register.

  69. Hey, Terry – Okay; what’s a mere four years these days? Yes; I’m with Lori. Send the link to your blog! Three days ago I just stuck in some lettuce, radish, salad turnips, and tatsoi seeds in my greenhouse, for what we around here like to call a “winter crop.” If we get a salad or two in a few weeks, we’re happy. No heat in the GH, but we usually get some “cool weather” stuff until mid-November – if I remember to plant. Usually the gardener is ready to quit before the garden is…


  70. Gato, I just read your comment about the darkness and I left a message which is in moderation. You aren’t just good you are dmd good! I book marked the blog so I can return when time permits. As you know, with our schedule we have long gaps between reliable computers and the time to use them.

    Terry Wrangle, would you please let us know the location of your blog? I’m into gardening, so I would leave a nice comment or two. I mowed our mature sweet corn last week, and now, we are picking tomatoes. I am also picking pears and an apple tree is loaded with apples.

    Do you know anything about heritage apple trees? Birds planted an apple tree near a fence line years ago, and when we “hoed beans” we ate lunch under the tree when the apples ripened in late July. They were our desert.

    The applies ripen in late July to early August, and they are up to four inches in diameter and solid green. They are crisp and a bit tart. They turn brown within minutes of being peeled. An extension agent told us he doesn’t know the variety. it may be unique.

    I’m tired of the Syria issue for now, and I have given you my documentation. However, I am in too good a mood not to let “diplomacy backed by force is better than invading and occupying countries that are no threat to us.” Thank you Vlad for showing our president the light. I wish you had done the same for George the Younger. I did support that war after it started because two family members and some other people we knew were fighting there.

    Why am I in such a good mood? A NASCAR scandal with bargaining and throwing positions had resulted in punishment of two racing companies and some drivers. It also means Jeff Gordon is back in the Chase.

  71. Terry!!! I didnt know you had a blog??? Link please !

  72. Silly Girl Gato, You mentioned when you were in high school and/or in college. I graduated high school in 57 and college in 61. Do the math.
    I will absolutely check out your blog which I saw in the lineup of my incoming emails. I too have a blog and no one has commented on it so I’m wondering if it’s worth my time. Mine, however, is about gardening and since that’s a big part of my life maybe others aren’t into it so much. We do need our 15 minutes or less of fame and this site seems to be the only one I’m getting any feedback on right now. I also enjoy the intelligent input from people who aren’t blinded by the greedy, power hungry nay-sayers.

  73. @PaulBegala: Turns out smart diplomacy backed by force is better than invading and occupying countries that are no threat to us.

    Most of you already saw the above tweet on my facebook page but Its too great not to share here. lol lol

    There have been some great ones on the twittershere today.

    Great post Gato! I have to say though I haven’t slept 6 hours consecutively in probably 20 years. Next time you’re up give me a buzz! lol

  74. Okay, James, here it is…

    http://www.partyandsoul.wordpress.com. And now the whole blogosphere knows!

    If you sign on to “follow,” I think you’ll be automatically notified when a new post is up. I owe this all to Margaret and Helen, wherever they are. Commenting here, and listening to other comments, has taught me a lot.

    For that, I thank you all.


  75. Thank you Gato. I do take it is a complement. No, I didn’t know you had a blog, I would love to read it. I like you too, and I like arguing with you..

    You and the others get the last word. I have to do more work outside.

    You’re welcome, Poolman. I’ll bet you are a good grandfather.

  76. Well, whatever, James – You can stick to what makes sense to you, and I’ll stick to what makes sense to me, and let’s just let it go at that. There are plenty of nits to pick, and, as I said, it hardly matters to me who gets the “credit.” What people say, and what they actually do, are often two different things. All that hemming and hawing, and “backtracking,” by the State Department could just as easily be part of the chess game, as not. Let’s just see how it goes, okay?


  77. Thanks James and Auntie Jean. We do live close, about a twenty minute drive. The older two grand kids live just up the street and stay here after school everyday during the week.

    Auntie Jean, I remember being at that wet spot on Kauai. I took off my flip flops and began to travel that muddy path along the top of that mountain when my wife abruptly talked me and a buddy out of it. She was convinced we would slide off and die. It did look quite treacherous, and of course, it was raining when we were there.

  78. Awwww… Thanks, Terry! I don’t know how these things come over me – there’s a LOT I don’t “know,” and I’m getting more and more fine with that. BTW, what makes you think you’re older than I am? If you are, it can’t be by much. (After sixty-five, who bothers counting any more…?)

    I hate to jump on James, because he generally seems to be such a sweet and earnest soul (James: Take that as a compliment, because that’s how I mean it), but this was, IMHO, a bit much.

    BTW, I just posted my latest on my blog. I seem to recall that you’re following it, yes? If not, let me know, and maybe I’ll screw my courage together and post the link here. I don’t know (yet again) why I’m sort of shy about doing this; lord knows I am perfectly happy to shoot off my mouth here all the time with not much timidity!

    Oh… And licensing blind people to carry firearms… WTF is THAT all about? I assume they all have their driver’s licenses, too, and their photo ID voting cards…

    Let’s all be extra careful when visiting Iowa.


  79. I am not a Tea Party member or “tea hater.” I am enjoying our day at home as well. I don’t like Putin, but in this case he did us an unwitting favor.

  80. Ha Ha! Anon. That is crazy talk isn’t it? If they can own and use guns, they could be race car drivers too. eh?

    Terri in NY Assad is running the family business. He is responsible for at least 100,000 deaths in the civil war and many others during earlier times. However, he is not aggressively fostering terrorist attacks against the US. Assad has largely left the Christians, Kurds, and other minorities alone.

    Many of the rebels are associated with Al Quieda which attacked us on 9/11. Others are part of the Muslim Brotherhood which threatened to turn Egypt into a theocracy. The rebels are killing and torturing Christians and burning their churches.

    Last April, Agence France Press and Israeli Haarezt reported that the rebels, may have used saran gas. Most of the press ignored the story, though the UN concluded that the government was not behind the attack.

    Assad is wining the revolution with Russian and Iranian help; For him to suddenly attack people with gas would be illogical. He would gain nothing and lose much.

    Rebels using gas and blaming Assad would be a ploy to get more international aid. Gas wasn’t involved, but Croations used similar faked operations to persuade allies to fight the Serbs.

    Another possibility is that someone in middle management attacked with gas without the knowledge of top officials- Sort of like how the Benghazi attacks happened because of decisions made below Hillary’s pay grade.

    Or maybe Assad gave the order.

    No one can say conclusively who did the dastardly deed. We should know for certain before we bomb a country and kill even more people.

    If Assad falls from power, Syria will go the way of Egypt and Libya where people worse than the deposed dictators are torturing and beheading their enemies and raping women. Some of those people will find a way to attack us also.

    We should get rid of them all, but we cannot be the world’s policeman. Assad is the lessor evil. As FDR once said “he is a SOB but he is our SOB.”That is why I am glad Assad will remain in power and that the Egyptian military staged its coup.

  81. Ahhhh the weather is beauuuuutiful, my teams are winning and I am having soooo much fun watching the Teahaters scrambling like cockroaches trying to decide if they going to be for Obama or Putin … A REALLLY good day to be a Liberal that loves MSU football. :)

  82. Gato, according to Reuters a London reporter asked Kerry if Assad’s government could do anything to stop a military strike. Kerry replied “Sure, he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week-turn it over, all of it without delay and allow the full and total accounting, (but he isn’t about to do it and it can’t be done.)”

    The Guardian September 9, 2013 “The US State Department stressed that Kerry was making a rhetorical argument about the one-week deadline and unlikelihood of Assad turning over Syria’s chemical weapons, other wise, he would have done so long ago. That’s why the world faces this moment.”

    Kerry also said that under the present circumstances a political solution was “currently impossible.”

    “He said it was for the US to decide whether to attack Syria without Congressional endorsement.”

    Slate asked “Did John Kerry Just Accidently Find a Workable Solution for Syria?” “Assad and his strongest ally, Russia, caught everyone off guard by suggesting that Kerry’s ad-libbed solution was actually workable.”

    Yes, Obama said the attack would be more than a pin prick. He also used the term “shot across the bow” As opposition continued, Kerry tried to deflect criticism by saying the attack would be incredibly tiny. So why bother?

    Another newspaper reported that Obama didn’t want to depose Assad. He wanted to degrade his government’s ability to defend itself against the revolution. Assad is bad, but some of the rebels are worse. An unknown number is affiliated with or belongs to Al Quiada. Why would we improve the odds of such a revolutionary victory? Obama’s rational made less sense than the Russians’ who wanted to keep Assad in power.

    The Washington Post reports that instead of military intervention “the draft calls for continuous review of Syria’s compliance…and if Syria does not comply fully to impose further measures that are unspecified.” The military option is virtually gone.

    Syria will give its arms to Russia who will be a major judge of their compliance. The process will take time. Do you remember the laborious inspections in Iraq when Hussein was trying to hide the fact that he had disposed of his weapons of mass destruction?

    If the agreement turns out to be Syrian subtrifuge, the UN with Russia’s blessing will give Assad a serious tongue lashing.

    Compare Russian and American statements a few months to weeks ago. Two years ago, Obama said Assad must go. We are now repeating the Russian line. Their ally, Assad retains power, and the Russians have even closer ties to Iran. They will soon be discussing Iran’s nuclear program.

    For the short term, Putin saved us a lot of trouble and heartache. A regional war involving Russia could have exploded, and the price of oil would have surged. I’m glad he did what he did. Obama was on the wrong side.

    Diplomacy is war without the weapons and “ownership” as well as implied economic or other retribution is an important feature of such negotiations. One has to have something the other wants or fears.

    Putin did us a short- term favor by pouncing on Kerry’s “rhetorical” statement. Obama is lucky Putin helped him save face.

    As you wrote, effective diplomacy gives the opponent a face saving exit. Putin, not Obama provided the life line. Remember Obama was the one on thin ice. Congress was not likely to approve an attack, and the American people opposed it too. I believe Estonia, Albania and another country were the main stated allies. Holland of France was leaning toward support, but the French were against intervention.

    Meanwhile, Putin was warning of war if we intervened. He also promised to repair any of the damage our attacks caused. Iran also promised terrorist attacks which might have affected our Middle East oil supply.

    Putin followed diplomatic protocol and gave Obama a life line.

    Joe Kline of Time and the other source are notable for their normal support of Obama. I have a list of others who said roughly the same thing. Other countries also think Obama was snookered. That could bode poorly for future diplomatic hassles, but for, now, Putin saved us a lot of trouble.

  83. James

    And the state of Iowa just decided that it was okay for legally blind people to own and use firearms. Must be farmers.

  84. James, please explain your assertion that “Assad is bad but not as bad as some of the rebels.” The man just gassed children asleep in their beds for Christ’s sake! You do realize there is an international ban on the use of chemical weapons. That is the “red line” Obama speaks of. I really don’t understand all the rightwing praise I have been seeing for Putin. He’s an ex-KGB thug who has plenty of human rights violations under his belt, not to mention his undermining Russian democracy, and including total disrespect for the U.S. President and Secretary of State. Yet here you are, praising him for what you perceive as “outfoxing” your own President. Yes, Russia has always been an ally of Syria, therefore Assad was more willing to listen to Putin. It’s that simple. Do you want Assad to remain in power? Isn’t that for the Syrian people to decide? Isn’t that why a civil war is raging there? Or is it just that anything Obama is for, you are against?

  85. Gato, You just made my day with your reply to James about Obama’s success in dealing with a couple of bullies. I want to be like you when I grow up even though I figured out I’m older than you are.
    Every time I see another bare-chested photo of Putin on Stewart’s or Colbert’s show I get the giggles. Who are his PR people anyway?

  86. James, James, James… You really need to give it up on this one. NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF OBAMA HAD NOT MADE THE FIRST MOVE. If you think Kerry’s statement was “offhand,” I have a bridge to sell you… And I trust you recall Obama’s saying, in his public speech on Syria, that “the US Military does not do ‘pin pricks’.” The world knows that; Putin knows that; Assad knows that. And the threat of that “pin prick” is still on the table, which is one of the main reasons this is coming to pass as it is.

    A basic tenet of skillful and successful negotiating, which someone already posted here, is “Give your enemy a graceful way out.” If Obama handed Putin an opportunity to look like Mr. Bigtime Peacemaker, so be it. I don’t think Obama cares one whit about Putin’s gloating in his recent editorial; I know I certainly don’t. (It seems pretty obvious to me that a world leader who likes to stage photographs of himself scuba diving with sharks, piloting planes, and all kinds of other bare-chested, macho activities would LEAP at the opportunity to make himself look good… And he did.)

    Who cares if Putin “owns” this agreement, if the results are what we want: The destruction of chemical weapons, without direct US military involvement. All this junk about gloating, and “owning,” are nothing but ego-puffing bulldoody – something which seems to interest Obama not one bit. Thank god. And I also don’t care what Joe Kline, or a “White House official” thinks about it – Obama wouldn’t get the credit from some people if he and Michelle themselves went to Syria with sniffing dogs and dustpans and personally unearthed, and safely destroyed, every single canister of Serin in the entire region. They’d say that those were the taxpayers’ dogs and dustpans, and, besides, Obama was born in Kenya…


  87. More breaking news.

    Colorado recalled two legislators who with help from Bloomberg and others had voted for stringent anti – gun laws. Conservatives won elections in Australia and Norway. Teachers in Kenoshia, Wisconsin’s third largest school district voted to de certify their labor union.

  88. Obama originally wanted to depose Assad and he was secretly aiding the rebels, many who are allied or are members of Al Queada. Russia and Iraq are allies of Assad and have been helping his regime. Russia opposes AQ.

    Obama drew a red line and foolishly ignored it last April when the first reports of gas use showed the rebels might have been the perps. After the second crossing, Obama denied he had drawn the line. The “world” did.

    At first, Obama threatened to attack Syria and said he didn’t need Congress’s permission. He back tracked when he realized most people opposed attacking Syria.

    Obama then proposed a pin prick which Kerry promised would be unbelievably small. There was no guarantee that anything except weakening Assad’s ability to fight the rebels would be accomplished, and the American people as well as our European allies opposed military action.

    Then, Kerry made an offhand comment about Assad’s relinquishing his weapons. The State Department denied he was serious, and he also told the Russians the same. Putin, who was playing three dimensional chess to Obama’s checkers jumped at the opportunity and forced Obama to aquiess.

    The new agreement gives Assad plenty of leeway and chances of hiding some of the weapons. it assures his continued rule which Russia wants, and the agreement guarantees the US will not use military power if Assad is found to be cheating.

    As I wrote earlier, Putin outfoxed Obama with a good result at least for the short term. Assad is bad but not as bad as some of the rebels, and we will not launch a destabilizing attack because Russia doesn’t want it. Putin also handed Obama a face-saving lifeline.

    Then, Putin gloated with a New York Times editorial.

    A White House official told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Putin owns the Syrian agreement. It will be his fault if it falls apart. Conversely, if the agreement succeeds, Putin can take the credit, since he not Obama is controlling this policy.

    Joe Kline of Time Magazine called it “one of the most stunning and inexplicable displays of presidential incompetence that I’ve ever witnessed.”

  89. Breaking news : United States & Russia agree on a deal for Syria to give up their chemical weapons . Thete us just one mire example if Obama’s failures. I am sooooo disappointed. :)

  90. Re Jean and working at the local level.

    Our church food pantry which operates in a thinly settled area now has customers from as far as sixty miles. The food comes from an Omaha company which buys surplus supplies from stores and other businesses at a discount and resells to charities at a slight mark up.

    Roughly speaking five dollars yields twenty dollars of food. A number of the customers also help at the food pantry, and they among others sometimes donate garden produce.

  91. We are home again until tomorrow. Congratulations on being a grand father Poolman. I hope you live close enough to see the kid as often as you want.

    Our grand daughter has now passed three months. Her nasal passages are still too small, and she makes a low snoring sound when she breathes. Some of her motor skills are slightly behind, but her apparent mental development is ahead of where the books say she should be. She has begun to babble and “talk.” She is also very determined and focused.

    Our daughter had an internship while she was in grad school The owner of the company offered her a job while we were still leaving the graduation ceremony which gave her her MA degree. She still works there.

    Our son’s boss in California and our cousin in Florida both said their bosses told them they give extra attention to Midwest farm kids. They usually have a good work ethic.

    My father was with a group of fellow freshman at ISU when some upper classmen charged at them My father stood his ground while the others ran. They had to do pushups, but my father escaped because the juniors and seniors assumed he was one of them because he stood his ground.

    My wife and I attended a conservative Christian college with no smoking, dancing drinking, or pants for women in class. One of our friends pulled up her skirt to show her form of rebellion underneath–Bermuda shorts.

  92. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Congrats Poolman on your brand new grandchild! Nothing quite like being a grandpa or grandma except being a dad or mom. You will have to get out your knee pads. It won’t be long before you will have to give some more gram-pop-pop horsey rides.

    We have been through trials and tribulations over water out here too although there is certainly no shortage. Our water comes right off Mount Wailaleale, the “Wettest Spot on Earth” with over 400” of rain per annum. It is ultra pure and needs very little “treatment” as opposed to water like you and Southern California have. By the time your water travels all the way from the Colorado River it has picked up minerals so it’s probably hard as a brick. In SoCal we had to have a water softener installed in our house at considerable expense. When we moved out here, the water was so soft I had a tough time adjusting the amount of soap in the washer to keep it from overflowing all over the place with suds. The biggest controversies arise on how to and who gets it to households, businesses and towns. Plenty of bickering over it.

    Water, food and shelter are about as basic needs as you can get. Somehow, we have to convince the “for profit only folks” it is in their best interest too as fellow human beings, and can even be relatively profitable, to see to it that those needs are met for everyone. I think we can do it if we put our heads together. And I don’t necessarily mean by continual bitchin’ and pointing the fingers of blame. I think we can out-fox ‘em with an engaged and well informed public especially at the local level.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  93. Yes, Gato, I do recall you mentioning your collective fight to maintain control of your community’s water supply. Good for you! That is another area where we must remain diligent. Privatization of resources is a battle we are mostly losing. Nestle, for one, has capitalized on water resources to the detriment of some communities. Of course, they package it in plastic and ship it globally. The plastic alone is ruining our health and components of it run high in all our water supplies.

    Out here in the desert, water is especially precious, though many treat it like it wasn’t. Industry contaminated ground sources here years ago. Most of our drinking water comes from the Colorado river through our CAP system, a series of open canals and channels running into the valley.

    My grandparents grew up during the depression and were very conservative with water. They lived in New Jersey all their lives and had a well long before the town provided water. There were a few community spots where we kids would go hand pumping water to drink during the day’s activities. There were even streams that ran through the neighborhood, but still all the water they washed with was saved for the plants. This grey water was collected throughout their day and my grandfather would carry it out of their basement (where they lived 90 percent of the time) to the tomatoes and fruit trees. They hardly flushed the commode, either, which was gross to us kids. lol. But then, they reused everything -napkins, paper plates, plastic silverware, tin foil, etc. Very little was thrown away.

    It was similar when I lived in Germany. We lived in a small farming town of about 800 people. There was community area with a hand pump for water and a bake house where the women gathered every few weeks to bake bread. Trash was collected weekly, but the trash can was so small, our five person family had to really minimize what we actually dumped in it. We shared it with the landlord, too.

    But back then, they went to the store and brought their own bag and many items were not packaged like we see in commercialized markets today.

    There have been vast advances in water sciences, but often they are not reported in the msm. Most ‘science’ today has been marginalized by private monies that support research only favorable to business.

    The following is a source I have referenced here in the past. It has some very exciting discoveries, and with your art appreciation, should pique your interest too.


    As for making art, I still enjoy my photography and other forms of art, but it has changed quite a bit. Much of my art is computer generated and I have taught myself CAD due to my work needs. My passion though, is acrylics on stretched canvas, the larger, the better. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do that for some time. I need to make a large investment in pigments and the other various painting supplies before I will take that up again.

    Right now is a different season for me.

  94. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Wow!!! jsri and Gato. Great thought provoking posts. I want to sandwich this in before it slips my mind. (That happens a lot.) I think the social network is wonderful because we get to gab with people from all over the country, sometimes the world, that we would have no chance to do so in person. Especially when we get to be my age. Travel is no longer an option. One of my favorite topics I keep harping on is the problems of “provincialism” and resulting “xenophobia.”

    Also the kids and their texting is a pretty good thing too if you think about it this way. It forces them to put their THOUGHTS in WRITING even if, according to our standards, the spelling and syntax are atrocious. But it is an evolving language just like any other language is and has been. There is always somebody (lori?) to translate.

    Here’s another thing. It takes from a few seconds to sometimes hours or days to text or compose a blog comment. That lag time is a good thing. Remember the old adage about, when in anger count to ten before you speak or act. A lot of conflicts could be resolved without violence if all of us did a little more of that instead of shooting off our mouths right away or in the case of nations, shooting from the hip with guns and missiles. And then later having to back-peddle and justify why we said or did what we did.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  95. Hey, Poolman – I inadvertently blended your and jsri’s posts; YOU were the one talking about apprenticeships. My apologies.

    Your last paragraph, about slowing down and healing ourselves, our families, and our land, was beautifully stated, and I couldn’t agree more. There’s a lot of inward-turning going on around here, too. It may be because I and my friends are getting older, and now feel that we have plenty to share, and not much to fear about sharing it! (Yep; I’m talking about you, Auntie Jean, among others.)

    Having spent the duly required amount of time getting “educated,” working, establishing a household (or two), I now have the time – and the resources – to read, and think, and do this kind of thing. I am incredibly grateful for all my parents gave me – and I’m talking about confidence, courage, a good dose of integrity, and life-expanding experiences, if not much cash – and I realize how fortunate I am.

    BTW, it’s never too late to pick up that brush or pencil, and get to it! For a couple of years, I did a drawing a day in a small sketchbook. It was a challenge, but I’m glad I did it. (If only I knew why I stopped…!) And, as for water, you may recall my occasional posts about our small community deciding overwhelmingly to hang on to our own water system, instead of selling it to a big “water management company.” It’s a real David and Goliath story: Ornery bunch of two-hundred-plus families saying, “No thanks” to the big guys… And then putting in the time, effort, and funding, to bring our system up to the incredibly stringent requirements of the State. I’m incredibly proud of us!


  96. Hey, jsri – MORE interesting stuff. Yes; seems like internships would be a good thing, ESPECIALLY if the mentoring included something more than just how to do the particular job – things like business morality (if there is such a thing), building character and responsibility, thinking of long-term consequences of business decisions, and so on. In short, a situation where the older, often wiser ones, passed on much to their acolytes.

    I lived at home while I attended college – couldn’t afford an “away” school. We art students tended to hang out together (thinking, of course, that we were much cooler than everyone else), but the cohesion didn’t last much after graduation. I still have one college GF that I still see pretty regularly, and that’s it. (The third died ten years or so ago, god bless her.)

    My husband, on the other hand, went to a small New England college – Dartmouth – and the ongoing involvement of his classmates, with each other and with the school, is quite wonderful to behold. They graduated more than fifty years ago, and they’re still at it! Every year they get together for homecoming, “tailgate” and all. Every five years they have an official reunion… And, every year that’s not an official reunion, they have a “mini-reunion.” Just this past July, they had a “birthday weekend” in Seattle, to celebrate the fact that most of the class members turned seventy-five this year – three days of touring, talks, cocktails, dinners, exploration, and so on. It was really terrific. (The spouses and significant others are now as much a part of the class as anyone else.) More than fifty classmates, and their partners, showed up from all over the country – which is pretty impressive, especially considering the demographic of the group! As you say, the on-campus experience is priceless. Maybe it was the fact that they lived through the frozen tundra winters of New Hampshire together that helped cement the bond, but, whatever it was, I know it is a significant part of what’s important in life to my husband.

    Much as I love emailing back and forth with all the porch sitters here – and I think this is an exceptional blog for that reason – I know it would be an extraordinary, and very different, experience if we somehow all showed up, in person, somewhere. As you say, the on-campus experience is the only time when we are away from our parents, thrown into a group of our peers, with the opportunity to figure out who we are and what we want out of life.

    Texting and “friending” are just not the same. (How the hell did the word “friending” ever get into our legitimate vocabulary in the first place?!?)


  97. Auntie Jean:
    I’m not sure I can give a quickie answer to your question but one way I’ve experienced that helps students prepare for future jobs that sometimes proves to be successful, is still only slightly better than reading tea leaves. Internships in progressive businesses are one way (if you can identify “progressive” businesses) and the other is to bring in instructors or business leaders from the same sort of progressive businesses. On the other hand, there is a downside that Gato already pointed out in her comments “ we seem to be “preparing” students for jobs that will inevitably be outsourced, since so many other students around the world are learning the same things, working harder at it (in many cases), and willing to work for much less money. So what’s the point?”
    The point is probably that it is still best to make sure students not only have technical skills but that they have the best possible, well- rounded education, including the Liberal Arts. And that also means, for those so inclined, a good on-campus college experience. As an aside, I’ve had experience at colleges at all levels, including community colleges, career-oriented colleges, and universities both public and private, and I’ve found that each school, for the right student can be as appropriate and as demanding as needed. But I can’t ignore the value of the on-campus experience, which means that I’m not enamored of the current trend toward online digital education for all as a panacea. I feel that movement will lead to an eventual takeover by moneyed interests that won’t favor students.
    Our grandsons have attended excellent schools that challenged them in subjects that took them outside their comfort zones in ways that are showing great promise because they now look for such challenges on their own at the univerities they now attend. But there is another facet of the on-campus experience that may be overlooked, – friendships.
    Our son attended a top tier university and fell in with a group of like minded students and has kept in contact with members of the group for the past 30 years. At different periods, different members of the group have worked together in high tech businesses that have come and gone in response to the needs and trends of the times. By the way, the group includes as many females as males. But none of the members of the group have ever been out of work for a prolonged period because they still look out for one another. It’s difficult to put a price tag on something that is not a given in life but this arrangement, while not impossible, would have been less likely without their mutual college experience.

  98. .
    Help Kickstart World War III.

    Because Obama. ;)

    ॐ ~ Peace ~ Δ

  99. Gato, I too was an art major. I focused on the advertising end, figuring it the only way to make a living doing art. I became disillusioned though, about half way into my degree plan. Seems I was being trained to compete in markets I had no interest in being a part of. Additionally, we were not being trained on computers in either graphics or CAD skills and that was late seventies – early eighties when everything was moving in that direction. Late in the game, I decided to focus on fine art, but ended up leaving school and entering the work force, returning to the pool industry. I actually do enjoy the pool industry and thankfully it is still a viable career field in certain zones of the world. Most folks take water for granted in this country. I find it a mysterious and most amazingly wonderful resource that still baffles science.

    I think the upcoming workforce should focus more on apprenticeships. Old school maybe, but tried and true. I think we need to redevelop some of the skills that we have lost or farmed out to other peoples and countries. I see a trend in that direction. I see a trend toward more sustainable communities that are getting back to strengthening local business. I quit the Walmart shopping. Many have done the same, as their national sales have been declining.

    We need to slow down and heal ourselves and our families and our land. That is a threat to tptb, so they constantly bombard us with shiny objects to keep us busy and entertained, wearing down our resolve. But I am hopeful. Folks are starting to turn off sports and turn their lives inward, at least in my neck of the woods. I am hopeful this up-and-coming generation sees through the imitation and grasps the real deal. Since I now have a brand new grandson, my third, I have hope and a renewed drive to see us toward brighter days.

  100. Hi, jsri – Lots of interesting stuff in your “jobs” post… I’ve often wondered, when I pass road crews putting down asphalt in 90+ weather, how on earth they can stand it…

    It remains my opinion that school, at least through high school, should not be focused on job preparation; it should be focused on overall “education.” I went to a large state university, where I was an art major. Plenty of courses in that (including endless hours of studio work), but also history, languages, geology, social sciences and so on. (Somehow I managed to avoid any math classes after my freshman year, for which I am often sorry! Did have some economics, though…)

    My brother was/is an artist, as well. He chose to go to a “fine arts college.” Ironically, his entire senior year was spent in one course – something called “preparing a portfolio.” All the seniors did was complete a set of projects designed to make them look more skilled than they actually were. Both of us thought it was pretty much a total waste of time.

    Also, we seem to be “preparing” students for jobs that will inevitably be outsourced, since so many other students around the world are learning the same things, working harder at it (in many cases), and willing to work for much less money. So what’s the point?

    Ironically, and interestingly, the areas that seem to me to have great potential are what I would call “social services.” Saw a wonderful program on PBS last night, about people using poetry and music with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. (They must get paid something for doing this work, although I have no idea what it must be.) We have an aging population; an enormous number of incarcerated individuals; fractured families; the poor, the undereducated, and on and on and on. They all need help. Of course, these are the very kinds of programs the current Congress is determined to slash, to the detriment of us all, in my opinion.

    The other area is “medical assistance”: physician’s assistants, skilled technicians, and so on. Not everyone needs to be a top of the line cardiac surgeon. I don’t know a single doctor’s office that does not now use non-MD professionals for eighty percent of their patient work. And they are inevitably terrific, at least in my experience.

    I won’t go into the kind of jobs I think we DON’T need more of, lest I inadvertently, and possibly unjustly, step on some toes. I’ll just say that we probably don’t need a whole lot more people whose sole function in life is to move other people’s money from one place to another, and rake in the big bucks for doing so… (Sorry!)


  101. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Gato, shocking!!! You, what you were wearing and doing. The high school principal? Not so much. He was about par for the course for the times. And yes. “Menial” is a cruel word when applied to work we all have to do in our daily lives at one time or another no matter what our level of education or economic status. I’m still doing menial work.

    Yep, Terry, we have come a long way but there are plenty of miles to go yet.

    Here is a question for ya, jsri. How does an educational administration and therefore the policy and the teachers adjust the CURRICULUM to accommodate the demands put on it by technology and business to say nothing of the social and cultural mores brought to the table by every individual involved? That’s not counting slashed budgets right and left.

    An illustration. When it came to homework, we rarely helped our sons with theirs beyond TRYING to provide a quite place for them to do it as well as TRYING to set aside time for it. But often certain topics came up at the dinner table. My husband and I had no problem with history, literature and current events. But when the boys came out with the “New Math” while they were in MIDDLE SCHOOL????? We were screwed. Holy smoke! That’s college level stuff. The THEORY of mathematics??? But at the same time, computers were coming into their own and everybody really needed to know about binary goodies. On of our sons even hounded us for a toy thingy that looked like a Chinese abacus but was in actually a gadget to play binary games.

    The hue and cry went up in the public forum of newspapers and TV. Why are they trying to teach our kids stuff like that? We and our parents and grandparents were never taught that. Stick to the “Three R’s” so they can go out and get a job!!! Little did they know that within one generation you couldn’t GET a job without some computer skills.

    When I got my driver’s license renewed recently at the county building, the sweet little gal who processed my driver’s license was efficient and courteous. She copied all my documentation on her printer and then loaded it into her computer. You know that working for the gov-mit, she sure isn’t making a ton of money. Her “cubicle” had a partition between her and the other work stations. She had various personal items stuck on it. Family pictures and such. There was a prominent cartoon depicting a toothbrush saying, “I’ve got the worst job in the world!” Next to the toothbrush was a drawing of a roll of toilet paper. It said, “Yeah. Right.”

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  102. Hi, Terry – Since we seem to be in reminiscence mode here, I’ll add one…

    I graduated from high school in 1960. (OMG – don’t tell anyone!) Not long after that, I learned that young women at my high school were frequently summoned to the principal’s office and required to kneel in front of his desk. If the hem of the young lady’s skirt did not touch the floor, she was sent home. Not kidding! Could a more humiliating and debasing “dress code” enforcement be imagined…?

    Not long after that, after college graduation, I myself was in NYC, working for a fashion magazine, wearing skin-tight leather miniskirts, Betsey Johnson cropped tops, and taking speed to “lose a few pounds.” So much for “enforcement”!

    Nyah, nyah to that HS principal!


  103. Auntie Jean, You brought back some memories of my own college experiences with your talk about not wearing pants, wearing a hat and gloves, etc. As a sorority girl in the late ’50′s, early ’60′s I recall that those of us who smoked were sternly admonished to not do so while walking in public. I also remember going to final exams in a blizzard wearing a skirt! Years later my oldest daughter was brought to task in Kindergarten for wearing a pair of plaid pants her grandma made for her. The teacher took her into the coat room and asked her where the skirt to wear over the pants was. I was furious but didn’t react. The next year even the teachers were allowed to wear pant suits to school. Talk about the dark ages. We’ve come a long way, Baby!
    I’ve also quit smoking which was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

  104. Auntie Jean:

    Your Education topics include a number of restrictions placed on females of a different era (ours) and, for me, recalled a few more. On the flip side, male freshman were required to wear beanies and upperclassmen had the right to stop anyone without one and demand pushups or some other form of punishment, As a sophomore, I was talking with a stunning new coed one day when I got stopped by a pair of supercilious upperclassmen who mistook me for a new student. At the time I was a Navy veteran and resented such silly child’s play and told them to pound sand and if they persisted, I’d pound them. Actually it was a case of “big talk little doer” but they didn’t challenge me and went on their way. I later married the young lady and it became the best decision I ever made in life, – a true gift of higher education.

    Dorm mothers 65 years ago ruled with an iron fist and often had right of disapproval over dates for both sexes but females had many more restrictions and requirements than males, included those you already described. But one of the most bizarre at our school involved gym. Every Friday afternoon, the required gym class became Fort Knox, isolated and restricted because freshman females had to exercise in gym class, – reputedly, in the buff. Needless to say, male students used all sorts of schemes to gain inside access. Most failed. Those who claimed success became temporary folk heroes, – most likely in their own minds and memories.

    And your reference to the “suite” concept hit home recently. This year, our #2 grandson, attends the same university that our son and daughter-in-law went to. When our DIL delivered a few items to him after he moved back for his second year, she discovered that, although the name of the building has been changed, it was the exact suite and room that she had been assigned to the year she met our son. Occasionally, our small world delivers unexpected but pleasant surprises.

  105. P

    Please excuse the double post – again. I don’t understand it. Why? Doesn’t happen with short ones.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  106. Hi Congenial Gang,

    jsri, you raise some interesting questions from the perspective of one who had a career in education. There is no easy way to reconcile the interests of all parties involved without ruffling some feathers. Then there are those whose eyebrows are raised by the very idea of THEIR kids being taught subjects they themselves know nothing about. But since they are paying for it…….(Sound like some politicians harping away at the use of taxpayer money all the time for anything from health care to education and……..on and on.) There is plenty to think about here and I’ll get back to it when I have had more time to absorb what you have laid out.

    In the meantime, I want to clarify what I hope is not a misconception from what I have said before. Having had a loving father, husband and three sons, I am hardly an avowed misandrist. I admire and respect lots of men. And I certainly recognize that we women have done our fair share in perpetuating myths and antiquated attitudes about the roles of men and women in society. We are all the products of our times.

    Case in point. I CHOSE myself to go to an all women’s college based solely on the high academic standing and outstanding music program. I was a music major. It was private and non-sectarian, dedicated to the education of women. In the late 1940’s and early ‘50’s, it was certainly not a convent nor in medieval times. A few of the innovations begun there have been commonly adopted since in colleges and universities elsewhere. One of them was the ‘suite’ concept instead of the classic dorms. We had suites of ten girls each consisting of a large living room surrounded by six single rooms and two doubles, a HUGE bathroom and a fully equipped kitchenette. The classes were quite small and intense, often 8-10 students only. (We had to participate in each session so we couldn’t get away with not studying.) The faculty was both men and women. I had male professors for History, Poly-Sci and French. Most of the science teachers were female. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? I think the males professors were married with families. All of the female professors were maiden ladies. That was the academic side of it.

    The president was a quite distinguished lady with a string of credentials behind her name who had testified before Congress on matters educational. (I have the dubious distinction of having been thoroughly chewed out by her on one occasion. I didn’t get a “demerit” for it though. But that’s another story.)

    The social and behavioral aspects were the flip side of the academic. A great deal of emphasis was put on ladylike behavior and the social graces. That’s OK too – up to a point. The rules were pretty stringent though. It was all clearly laid out during the initial orientation. Any infraction won a girl a “demerit”. Three “demerits” and she was immediately expelled and on her way home, no ifs ands or buts. She could be flunking a class. That could be made up. But get three “demerit” and OUT!

    We were REQUIRED to wear a hat and gloves whenever we left the campus. Pants of any kind, never!!! (To this day, I have never owned a pair of blue jeans. The guilt would overwhelm me.) The dorm counselor sat at a desk to check your appearance when you signed out and back in on your return. Dating was allowed – sort of. The young man had to fill out and sign a slip 24 hours before your date, including what time he would pick you up, where he would take you, and what time he would bring you back. There was a “black list” of guys the dorm counselor checked the slip against. If he was on it, you were not allowed to go out with him. Period. It was rumored that the son of the drama professor was on the black list. That had the effect of not very many guys braving the dating scene there.

    Lights out at 10:00PM. Bed check three times with the dorm counselor shining a flashlight in your room to make sure you were in bed. Like we were going to tie sheets together and shimmy out the window of a three story building or something a la Rapunzel? We freshmen gals did soon learn from the older ones to wait until after the last bed check to go sit cross legged in the floor of the closet with a flashlight to study and cram for exams. This often occurred after we had spent too much study time in the recreation room playing bridge.

    Socially, we had a formal tea every Sunday afternoon with the president, invited guests and other dignitaries in a receiving line. Then we students with hat and gloves filed in. Attendance mandatory with a sign in. Once a month a formal dinner with dais and guest speaker. Students all decked out in formal attire. You had to be in the infirmary to weasel out of any of those.

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  107. Hi Congenial Gang,

    jsri, you raise some interesting questions from the perspective of one who had a career in education. There is no easy way to reconcile the interests of all parties involved without ruffling some feathers. Then there are those whose eyebrows are raised by the very idea of THEIR kids being taught subjects they themselves know nothing about. But since they are paying for it…….(Sound like some politicians harping away at the use of taxpayer money all the time for anything from health care to education and……..on and on.) There is plenty to think about here and I’ll get back to it when I have had more time to absorb what you have laid out.

    In the meantime, I want to clarify what I hope is not a misconception from what I have said before. Having had a loving father, husband and three sons, I am hardly an avowed misandrist. I admire and respect lots of men. And I certainly recognize that we women have done our fair share in perpetuating myths and antiquated attitudes about the roles of men and women in society. We are all the products of our times.

    Case in point. I CHOSE myself to go to an all women’s college based solely on the high academic standing and outstanding music program. I was a music major. It was private and non-sectarian, dedicated to the education of women. In the late 1940’s and early ‘50’s, it was certainly not a convent nor in medieval times. A few of the innovations begun there have been commonly adopted since in colleges and universities elsewhere. One of them was the ‘suite’ concept instead of the classic dorms. We had suites of ten girls each consisting of a large living room surrounded by six single rooms and two doubles, a HUGE bathroom and a fully equipped kitchenette. The classes were quite small and intense, often 8-10 students only. (We had to participate in each session so we couldn’t get away with not studying.) The faculty was both men and women. I had male professors for History, Poly-Sci and French. Most of the science teachers were female. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? I think the males professors were married with families. All of the female professors were maiden ladies. That was the academic side of it.

    The president was a quite distinguished lady with a string of credentials behind her name who had testified before Congress on matters educational. (I have the dubious distinction of having been thoroughly chewed out by her on one occasion. I didn’t get a “demerit” for it though. But that’s another story.)

    The social and behavioral aspects were the flip side of the academic. A great deal of emphasis was put on ladylike behavior and the social graces. That’s OK too – up to a point. The rules were pretty stringent though. It was all clearly laid out during the initial orientation. Any infraction won a girl a “demerit”. Three “demerits” and she was immediately expelled and on her way home, no ifs ands or buts. She could be flunking a class. That could be made up. But get three “demerit” and OUT!

    We were REQUIRED to wear a hat and gloves whenever we left the campus. Pants of any kind, never!!! (To this day, I have never owned a pair of blue jeans. The guilt would overwhelm me.) The dorm counselor sat at a desk to check your appearance when you signed out and back in on your return. Dating was allowed – sort of. The young man had to fill out and sign a slip 24 hours before your date, including what time he would pick you up, where he would take you, and what time he would bring you back. There was a “black list” of guys the dorm counselor checked the slip against. If he was on it, you were not allowed to go out with him. Period. It was rumored that the son of the drama professor was on the black list. That had the effect of not very many guys braving the dating scene there.

    Lights out at 10:00PM. Bed check three times with the dorm counselor shining a flashlight in your room to make sure you were in bed. Like we were going to tie sheets together and shimmy out the window of a three story building or something a la Rapunzel? We freshmen gals did soon learn from the older ones to wait until after the last bed check to go sit cross legged on the floor of the closet with a flashlight to study and cram for exams. This often occurred after we had spent too much study time in the recreation room playing bridge.

    Socially, we had a formal tea every Sunday afternoon with the president, invited guests and other dignitaries in a receiving line. Then we students with hat and gloves filed in. Attendance mandatory with a sign in. Once a month a formal dinner with dais and guest speaker. Students all decked out in formal attire. You had to be in the infirmary to weasel out of any of those.

    Aloha! :-) :- ) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  108. I have also read Nickle and Dimed I enjoyed the job stories.

    One of my jobs off the farm was staking hay. I also worked on the river to help pay for college

    I am not defending Zimmerman. I am criticizing the press for so desperately pushing their agenda that they don’t wait to verify initial reports.

  109. No time to read or respond to anything now. Stomach trouble gave our grad daughter a bad day yesterday.

    Reuters and the LA Times wrote what I did about Kerry and his suggestions about Syria. Betsys Page also has more.

    The owners of our daughter.s company told the staff their health insurance is being canceled because of Obamacare.

  110. A quick word from Jon Stewart:

    “…and I get that Fox opposes a Syria peace plan because its modus operandi is to foment dissent in the form of a relentless and irrational contrarianism to Barack Obama and all things Democratic to advance its ultimate objective of creating a deliberately misinformed body politic whose fear, anger, mistrust and discontent is the manna upon which it sustains its parasitic succubus-like existence.” ;)

    Peace ~ Δ ~ I mean it. Really.

  111. Gato:

    I read “Nickel and Dimed,” by Barbara Ehrenreich about 8-10 years ago and your reference to it called to mind some nasty jobs I had in the far distant past. Two were among the very worst physically, – roofing and laying asphalt during 90+ degree days in the summer. Both were for fly-by-night contractors who had a thousand ways to hold back payments for broken or damaged equipment or for loss of materials on the job. Both went out of business and ended up in endless lawsuits by suppliers who never got paid.
    But the worst job I had was working as a sales rep for a company that sold advertising products to small retail businesses. After the initial training, I was assigned a territory that had been vacated by a newly retired sales rep. What they failed to tell me was that his retirement was involuntary, forced by his minor habit of shoplifting. One of his former clients chased me out of his establishment with a shotgun. So after a full month of zero commissions, I took a walk and decided to go back to college.
    Although I’ve been retired for almost 25 years I have two grandsons now in college who will soon be looking for work so I still have my eye on the job picture and for the life of me I can’t figure out where it’s going. Everyone is not suited for retail sales and most minimum wage grunt work jobs are currently held by aliens, legal or otherwise. Certainly, education/math/science/technology and medical research are destined to be job fields of the future and I hear an awful lot about how schools are failing to prepare our students. But in all the blather I don’t see any politicians or educators who can describe specific jobs we should be training for.
    But the field of education is my biggest concern and there are many who point to the host of lesson plans and courses online as the forerunner of the future. No need for classrooms. Just crank up your computer and go! But I also see a lot of rehashing of past plans dressed up in new duds. Fifty years ago just when mainframe computers were beginning to make inroads into higher education my wife, an elementary school teacher, was involved in a program supported by a computer manufacturer that was supposed to take all the guesswork out of teaching by storing grade by grade lesson plans online and matching the progress of individual students with defined goals after testing them for their progress. It sounded great but there were a few problems. Computers of those days were clunky and cumbersome and more time was spent in data entry and programming than was devoted to student learning and assessment.
    Now it appears that we have come full circle and are willing to give it another try in view of the new technology. In this age we have students, even at elementary grade level, who are more advanced in technology use than their teachers but one needs only to look around to realize that the all important socialization factor of the classroom has given way to the digital device. And, so far, technology is still in the dark ages with respect to mainstreaming children with abuse or mental health issues to say nothing of children who come from home environments where high tech devices are not found. And what happens in the many regions where high speed internet is absent?

  112. Fear has cost us all big bucks. Those producing it, and those spreading it. Fear as a motivator has been used throughout history, but never to this degree. On this anniversary, I hope people can see through to the motivation and drive that brought us here. Always follow the money.

  113. While many people are puzzled about how we got to the place we’re in right now on the world’s stage, I’m not surprised. Diplomacy takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work. And sometimes trying to get from A to B takes a lot of detours and creates intense heartburn. Online definitions for diplomacy (via Free Dictionary) are pretty straightforward: 1. the conduct by government officials of negotiations and other relations between nations., 2. the art or science of conducting such negotiations, and, 3. skill in managing negotiations, handling people, etc., so that there is little or no ill will; tact.

    An awful lot has been said about diplomacy lately but whether President Obama is considered to be a success or a failure very much depends on ones view of him when coming into the discussion. But for diplomacy to work best it often requires negotiations behind the scenes that may never be exposed. On occasion, these secret negotiations become public. At other times they remain hidden and, as a result, are subject to misinterpretation and become fodder for conspiracy theorists. As an example, I once worked for a college president who, a short time after I had settled into the the job told me point blank, “Your job is to make me look good.”

    I had a radically different view because I believed, as chief academic officer, it was my job to see that the students got the education they expected and then decided that it was up to me to figure out how to resolve these two conflicting interpretations. First I made the obvious point that the best way for the president to be seen as a success was through the success of the students which is nothing more than the ancient business principle of satisfying ones customers. After he accepted the idea, – reluctantly, the next set of steps was a series of negotiations with him in private that involved looking at college policies created by the governing board and deciding how to implement them in ways that favored the students and the faculty, and to give them sought after options which appeared to come from the hand of the president. It was not the most productive time of my life and took several years but finally most of the school’s policies (but not all) were adjusted and he was able to claim his success. In retrospect it was startling to realize how much time was wasted negotiating small items but much of the credit belongs to the faculty, even though some members were not especially happy because several of their demands were still unaddressed. I take neither credit nor blame because I was simply a negotiator and my major responsibility was to make sure the students got the education they or their parents were paying for. Some members of the faculty thought I caved in too much so it was not total joy in Mudville. When progress eventually waned, the rumor mill kicked into gear and the conspiracy theorists showed up so it was time to move on and let someone else give it a try.

  114. Hi Congenial Gang,

    lori, I can’t speak for jsri, but as for me, I feel it is my duty to bestow upon all you porch dwellers and pie eaters the benefits of my vast storehouse of knowledge, experience and thus wisdom. I’m quite modest too. To quote an eminent lady of my acquaintance, “That and five bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks anytime.”

    Aloha! ;-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  115. Hi Congenial Gang,

    lori, I can’t speak for jsri, but as for me, I feel it is my duty to bestow upon all you porch dwellers and pie eaters the benefits of my vast storehouse of knowledge, experience and thus wisdom. I’m quite modest too. To quote an eminent lady of my acquaintance, “That and five bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks anytime.”

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  116. Dear Auntie Jean, and Terry – I think probably lots of us here on the porch did various things (I hate myself for thinking of them as “menial” jobs) during school. I took music for music lessons, worked as a “soda jerk/short order cook,” and stacked books in the school library – among other things – my entire four years in college.

    But these jobs are absolutely not the same for us as they are for others who do them full time. I was working to pay for school books; they work to put food in their mouths. If you haven’t read “Nickel and Dimed,” by Barbara Ehrenreich, I highly recommended it. She is a successful journalist who took significant time off from her “day job” in order to see what it was like to try to scrape by on minimum wage. You won’t believe that what she had to do, and how she was treated, are happening in this country. It’s a great, and eye-opening read.

    Should be required reading for anyone who is even THINKING that “minimum wage” has any bearing on reality!


  117. Auntie Jean:

    In your discussion of casual meeting places and how they foster a sense of cameraderie is pretty true in business today and such socializsation is even built into many high tech businesses. And the use of bars and taverns or even parties was pretty well known in the 1950s and 60s. My thesis advisor in grad school had a party every week that usually turned into a mini-colloquium. But his was different. He also had a number of females under his supervision and unlike the system in many universities everyone participated, not just the males.
    In the case of Rosalind Franklin, indeed Watson did find Franklin “difficult” to work with.  But it was photos of her x-ray diffraction work he obtained without her knowledge that solidified the composition and shape of the model of DNA for Watson and Crick but in most of Watson’s writings she gets very slight mention. Whenever he deigned to mention her name he seemed to fix on negative comments about her, often in public, but gave her almost no recognition for her valuable scientific contribution. And your reference to bars as meeting and socializing places was a large factor in her exclusion.  All the males in the London’s King’s College group (Watson, Crick, Wilkins et al) in pursuit of the DNA model often gathered in such places but the few females involved were excluded from participating.

  118. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Terry, I can relate. We do have several connections with common interests. It was a toss up between Maui and here when we retired out here 23 years ago. Love it! Love it! Love it!

    My work history resume includes several menial jobs along side the ”professionals”. Two summers I worked in Colorado Springs as a waitress, split shifts for lunch and dinner, sometimes until 2:00AM. 35 cents an hour plus uniforms and tips. (And meals but no steak or lobster.) The year round workers looked askance at us college kids too. They were working there to feed and clothe their families. In summer, there were plenty of tourists so they needed more help only for that season. BTW, I never got to the top of Pikes Peak, the main attraction. Well, it wasn’t going anywhere. I’d get around to it sometime.

    Anyway you look at it, getting into the work force, especially at any entry level is tough!

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  119. Auntie Jean, I was thinking I should tell you one of my dear friends, BFF for sure, retired to Maui. I miss her since we go way back. I’ve only been to Maui once but I didn’t want to return home except I knew I’d miss my young kids.
    Now we have another connection I find. I worked at the switchboard of my local phone company a couple of summers before and during college. The Supervisor was a family friend and she finally had to let me go the 3rd summer because the “regulars” resented her hiring someone who didn’t need the job as much as some others would. My experience was similar to yours except the 2nd summer I was working “information and intercept” while the regular operators were being trained to work long distance. This all happened during the switch to dial phones.
    After graduating college and my husband was taking a summer course before starting grad school I wanted to have some kind of job. The only one I could get was as a maid at the hotel. I lasted one day. The other maids wouldn’t talk to me since they thought I was an uppity college grad. My husband was also happy to have me quit since he was embarrassed to tell his friends what I was doing.

  120. ohhhhh lord have mercy Jsri… being a bleed black & gold fan hasnt been good for my liver this season! lol lol youre right ~ lorlee had a LONGGGGGG season of football ahead. :) at least my fantasy and college team did well…. except UT and welllllll God Bless em

  121. Hi, Terri – Paul Krugman is an economist to love… Who wouldda thunk it… of an economist?

    I’m just not seeing very many of those “Keep Your Government Off My Medicare” rallies these days, are you?


  122. Lori:

    jsri here shaking a terrible towel in your direction. On a more important topic, -looks like it’s going to be a long season.

  123. James, what will it take for you to stop defending George Zimmerman?

  124. Terri and Gato … fanned and followed/favored…fill in the blank! lol lol I couldnt agree more!

  125. Terry, my parents said it to me every night. At some point I remember my Dad giving me an explanation of why and how the saying began. I guess I forgot to pass the explanation on to my kids . When this new outbreak of bedbugs began on college campuses several years back my oldest text me from college asking, in all capital letters, DID YOU KNOW THERE IS SUCH A THING AS BEDBUGS???? I just laughed and laughed. Apparently she just thought it was a silly Momma saying I made up just for my kids. :)

    Along the same lines is a song I sing /sang my kids when ever it was/is ( yes I still do it even though they are 20 and 25) at cuddle time,You Are My Sunshine . A year or so ago my youngest heard that song while watching some old timey movie and was crushed to learn I hadnt made up that song just for her and her sister! lol lol …. nice thoughts :)

    Auntie Jean, thanks to you and Jsri for taking the time to write the thought provoking posts. I admire yinzs patience, not to mention your collective wisdom. Luv yinzs all

    PS: have I mentioned lately how much I love having an intelligent, thoughtful, handsome President? Wellllll I do. :)

  126. Gato, You’re right, as usual. I have been amazed the past few days at all the commentary focusing on who looks “weak”, who “outfoxed” who, and all other manner of male posturing. Obama met privately with Putin last week and if the result is Syria turning over their chemical weapons, it’s all good. Of course there are those who cannot give Obama credit for anything, their hatred of him obscures all other considerations. And if I hear one more right-winger channeling Ronald Reagan I will scream. If I remember correctly, he did nothing when chemical weapons were used by Iraq against Iran during the 80s.

  127. Hi, Lori – Always nice to hear agreement; thanks! Even John McCain, this morning, indicated he thinks Obama ought to get a good chunk of credit for Putin’s doing this – much to my astonishment, I must say!

    Think if Saint Ronnie of the Righties were in the same position as Obama today, the reaction would be the same…? I DON’T THINK SO! No; it would be the usual paeans about “consummate statesmanship,” “diplomacy,” and “the Great Negotiator”… Nobody would ever be saying that Putin “outfoxed” HIM. As somebody did say, on a tweet reposted on TOD (to paraphrase), “It was Obama’s idea, but we’ll credit Putin, because, you know, Putin isn’t black.”


  128. Hi Congenial Gang,

    The creek rose.

    jsri, Rosalind Franklin was indeed a gifted and distinguished lady. I remember either Watson or Crick remarked about her at the time that she was “difficult to work with.” I’ll bet she was! She wasn’t the demure, sweet and submissive (and dumb) little miss they were accustomed to dealing with all their lives, especially when her curiosity and intellect surpassed theirs. But they didn’t mind taking the results of her work and running all the way to the Nobel Prizes. It’s nice that she that has received so much posthumous recognition. I don’t think she was in it for the renown and fortune from the git go though. Her body of work included much more than just describing the double helix of DNA. Hers was an accomplished life cut short way too soon.

    Returning to my discussion about the workplaces and workforces of the future. There is nothing new about people working in solitude from their homes. Philosophers, artists, writers, composers, mad scientists and monks in their cells have been doing it forever. How about musicians? They have to practice. The neighbors must to wonder, “Gawd, is he/she ever gonna get those notes right?” The one important aspect missing though is social contact. In Western societies at least, that problem was solved by English pubs, bars and coffee houses where men got together. Women had their sewing bees and koffee klatches. Look at the popularity of TV shows for women like “The View”. Remember ”Cheers”, the bar where working men especially got together to swap stories over their drinks. A long time ago there was a neighborhood bar near where I worked named “The Office”. If you went there after work, you could call home and honestly say, “Honey, I’m gonna be late. I’m at “The Office”.

    Whenever we go to the “Big Cities” for appointments, run errands and shopping, we wind up at Nawiliwili Harbor. It is a pretty little harbor with lots of pleasure craft and fishing boats. Quite often there is a cruise ship anchored. We sit there in the car and relax for a bit before we begin the hour’s ride home with dinner along the way somewhere. Miss the rush hour traffic. There is a nice little park nearby as well as the harbor parking lot. Both are always loaded with pickup trucks and guys with their six packs, unwinding after a hard day’s work.

    Now, I’m no Carrie Nation. I enjoy my glass of White Zin, one before dinner and one with. However, as we all know that kind of socializing can get out of hand with fights and drunk driving. Better to find another outlet.

    Right out of high school before I went to college, I got a job as a telephone operator with Ma Bell. There was long line of switchboards with blinking lights. A girl sat at each station with a headset on for eight hours, staring at that switchboard. No men. You could master all there was to know about it in a very short time. A supervisor marched up and down behind us to make sure none of us missed a light for “Number please”, “Thank you” as we made the connections. (Talking between ourselves forbidden!) There were some women who had been there for YEARS! Talk about the robots that you, jsri mentioned in one of your previous comments. I can’t possibly tell you how deadly boring and incredibly tedious the repetition was. We lived for our 15 minute breaks every two hours, (thanks to the Union!). The pay was paltry. If I hadn’t been living at home, I might have headed for the nearest bar after work!

    I have never worked at one, but I have seen pictures of people working on computers in long lines of cubicles. To me, shades of my days at the switchboard. Groan! That’s almost right up there with galley slaves and an “overseer” with a whip making sure the oars are in sync.

    It seems to me that working at home on the computer, with an occasional kitchen break for a snack, would accomplish more – without the commute. Self-motivated people don’t need a “supervisor”. As long as the work gets done, what does it matter where the physical locale is? It would also be nice for one or both parents to be there to greet the kids when they get home from school. Latch-key kids – lonely at best, possibly scary and dangerous at worst.

    Aloha!    Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  129. Lori, Me too! I did find out the story behind that one a few years ago. Sleep tight refers to tightening what were used as slats under a mattress/bedroll in Colonial times so it didn’t sag and putting the bed legs in something that would repel the bed bugs. I thought it was creepy even when I didn’t know quite what it meant. I’ve used it on my kids as well.

  130. Thanks or the good wishes, Gato. Our grand daughter gave her mother a big smile this morning. Our daughter said “I wish I didn’t have to go to work this morning”

    I like the story about the scoripions, Terry. I learned something about them from you too.

    Gato. Kerry was mentioning a hypothetcal which the state Departmet said was merely a rhetorical argument.They tried to walk back the comment soon after it was uttered. Business Insider and the Wall Street Journal say Putin capitalized on a “silly Kerry mistake.”

    If it stops another war, I don’t care who takes the credit.

  131. Absolutely right Gato. One of my best forever friends, who happens to be a semi retired British Queen’s Messenger, has always advised me: when dealing with difficult people in my life, always give your adversary a graceful way out. Obama must have been schooled in the same diplomacy.

  132. Hi, James – Nice to hear of your granddaughter’s progress. Let’s hope that each day continues to offer some new small “miracle”!

    As for George Zimmerman, my first thought was, “How must those jurors be feeling at this development (or non-development, as it may turn out to be)?” However, I quickly reminded myself that our system of laws, at least in principle, is designed to judge people not on their “character,” or presented character, but on the “facts” of a particular incident. Unfortunately, too many victims die because of who someone “thinks” they are…

    And, did Putin “outfox” Obama and Kerry? Hell, NO! Kerry publicly made this suggestion (that Syria turn over its weapons to the Soviet Union) a week ago, and evidently Obama and Putin discussed the possibility more than once in the past few months. Do you really think Putin would have done this if Obama had not made it very clear that we were ready to do something, if no one else did? This lets Putin look good, and (no small issue) gets China off his back. I think Obama cares not one whit whether or not the Soviet Union “looks good,” if the ultimate goal – getting a grip on Syria – is achieved. I think Obama made Putin an offer he (Putin) couldn’t refuse: the opportunity to gain points in the world community, without sacrificing his macho creds. Pretty smart, IMHO!

    Think about it…


  133. James, Your story about your aunt and uncle putting the legs of their bed in containers of kerosene reminded me of a story my dad told us when I was young. He got a job in a silver mine in Virginia City, Nevada, before he met our mom. He said they had to pull their beds into the middle of the room, set the legs in buckets of kerosene and when in bed tuck in all the bedding. The reason was that scorpions would climb into their beds or climb up the walls and drop on them. Scorpions can crawl a short distance on a ceiling which is why the middle of the room is the safest place for the bed.

  134. Our grand daughter was three months old yesterday. She held and shook a rattle for the first time

    The Zimmermam case is still in flux His wife may have been lying, and no charges including any from her were filed. (so far) My only interest in the couple is that some of the press reported things before they knew all of the facts.

    Of greater interest is Putin’s outfoxing Obama and Kerry. Putin may have saved us from a war.

    My great aunt was 95 and still living on her own. She got bed bugs from some place and my uncle and aunt tried an old folk remedy. They put the bed legs in kerosine.

    I like jsri’s and others’ life stories.

  135. lol lol Auntie Jean and Terry, not only heard them growing up, but still use them ! But the one I use every night either by text or phone ( to my children) or whispering in my sweetheart’s ear is. ” good night sleep tight dont let the bed bugs bite”. :)

  136. Auntie Jean, I’ve heard that one about the creek but one I heard even more from my ex was “Might as well, can’t dance and it’s too wet to plow” regarding a suggestion for any number of activities. – Terry W

  137. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Lori, Terri and Terry, looks like Zimmerman hasn’t learned a thing except that he can get away with murder in Florida.

    Also it appears that Obama’s approach to the Syrian Crisis by taking a cautious stance and getting everyone on board in the “debate” may be paying off. This despite Rand Paul’s statement that Obama, and thus the U.S. have “lost face”. With the anniversary of 9/11 looming you can bet the doom’s day soothsayers will be out in force, advocating for us going out with guns blazing in all directions.

    jsri, your comments about occupations and women in the workforce is intriguing to say the least. The Rosalind Franklin/Watson-Crick saga is another monument to the quest for glory on the part of some men, no matter who they trample to get there. I’ll get back to you on that this evening, as my husband says, “God willin’ and the creek don’t rise.”

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  138. love it terry & terri …. spot on!

  139. Exactly! Their mantra is “I’ve made up my mind, don’t confuse me with facts!”

  140. just saw on twitter toooo funny: @TheDailyEdge: Florida police: “We had to arrest George Zimmerman this time because we arrived before he had a chance to shoot all the witnesses”

  141. Auntie Jean: re your anon comments September 8, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    While I agree that we are often defined by our occupations or family expectations, I don’t believe that we are limited by them. If that were so, I might have ended up as a car mechanic or working in a factory somewhere because the idea that I had to “get a job” was pretty high on the extended family’s view of success. Instead, I went to college and eventually ended up teaching at that level but even that never defined me because I had many opportunities to get involved in other forms of work or pleasure that had little to do with my job. In fact, aviation was one of my earlier interests and I once had an invitation to join a regional airline pilot training class but turned it down because I had just signed my first university teaching contract. The fact that the airline was ultimately merged, re-merged and eventually sub-merged and disappeared make me believe that I made the correct decision.

    Part of my attraction to education was courtesy of my my oldest sister who was perhaps the best student and the smartest of my sibs but who had mostly menial jobs before and after she got married. I always felt that her intellectual talents and ambitions were thwarted by family expectations and by the attitudes of the times and I determined that they should not decide my fate. And, as you indicated, many of those gender attitudes still prevail. While many were discounted during WWII, many others still exist but, like many males, I was a bit slow to catch on.

    One of the first inklings that all was not well in paradise was during my first university teaching job where a female in another science department was denied tenure because her husband, who was also in the department, had been awarded tenure the year before and it was “inadviseable” for one member of a department to be in a position of voting on the tenure of a relative. However, I’m not 100% sure that the decision would have been the same if the sexes were reversed.

    But the classic case of the gender attitudes of the times was that of Rosalind Franklin, the English biophysicist whose work was a key element in the elucidation of the structure of DNA. The following link to her conflict on Wikipedia is as complete as any I’ve seen. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosalind_Franklin
    Unfortunately, since the Nobel Prize is not awarded posthumously, her early death means that Franklin’s place in history continues to be glossed over.

  142. yep peas! lol

  143. Hi All,

    Being Texas, I almost thought this was real:

    Dallas Cowboys Halftime Show
    Features Execution Of Texas Prisoner

    “My favorite part was when he finally went limp and all those fireworks shot up from the top of the stadium.” ;)
    Yo lori…Go White?

    Peace ~ Δ

  144. Hey Terry,
    Glad you read it and found it worth sharing. The right wing’s constant derision of the “mainstream media” and liberal bias is really just a way to try to get people to believe in their misinformation. Facts tend to get in their way.

  145. Thanks, Terri. I posted this to my Facebook page with the admonition to: “read it and weep or read it and laugh or read it and laugh till you cry.” -Terry W.

  146. An interesting column from Paul Krugman about health care costs and the GOP’s resistance to acknowledging the facts about health care and other issues.


  147. Oops! I don’t know why sometimes my comments come up as duplicates. Sorry! Same goes for typos. Sorry!

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  148. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Good one, lori. If dad is a tyrant and mom is a harridan, then as soon as the kids are old enough, they run as fast and as far as they can from that milieu. But if the parents are loving and nurturing, society winds up with a well adjusted citizenry. Most of us have a few traits of all of the above. With a little maturity under our belts though, we can recognize the differences without making all kinds of rationalizations (excuses.)

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  149. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Good one, lori! If dad is a tyrant and mom is a harridan, then as soon as the kids are old enough, they run as fast and as far as they can from that milieu. But if the parents are loving and nurturing, society winds up with a well adjusted citizenry. Most of us have a few traits of all of the above. With a little maturity under our belts though, we can recognize the differences without making all kinds of rationalizations (excuses.)

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  150. and if your mom had balls she would be your dad … whatevvvvvv

    and on we go ~ lori

  151. I suppose if some people had money, motivation, and decades of planning, they could position themselves and could pull off a huge farce that would fool most of the people. And yes, it would take many, many people working together to pull it off. And, of course, if there was a genuine cabal or a real satan with a following, like any religion, something like this would not be considered off the map. It would also show up as fruit. Who benefited and/or is still benefiting. Alas, but that is so far-fetched and not worthy of thought.

    Now, to me the difficulty is trying to make the official story work in the real world. Of course, I’m not a believer in coincidence, so that many surrounding this one incident really tweaks my bullshit meter – big time. That’s what caused me to start digging. And this is the mother lode. There are so many things out there and most are diversions.

    Unfortunately, money and motivation, connections and influence are not with the people most motivated to seeking truth and justice. This government has a loooonnngggg history of cover-ups. And, we generally kill or maim messengers of detrimental reports.

  152. Alaskpi, as penance for WhiteJustCantDance, you might like Sofia Jannok-Irene (Official Video) YouTube. She is a Sami singer joiking/singing about finding and processing her Aunt Irene’s reindeer herd. The video was recorded in and near the Ice Hotel. I’ve played it so often for our grand daughter she smiles when she hears it.

    Another is Beautiful Sami Folk Music (Ruossajievja)

  153. Alaskapi, I mostly agree with your comments about conspiracies, 9/11 etc, but your next one surprised me I didn’t think anyone would actually look at the YouTube video.

    I’m more interested than the music in the story of the girl who wanted people to look at her videos and suddenly dropped out of sight. It was almost as if she was running away from her mid- teens. Now, you know what she looked like. With her mannerisms, don’t you think she could be an actress?

  154. BTW- I did go find the young lady’s videos- not my kind of music . Shows I’m getting old I guess :-)
    Prefer almost anything else to that frenetic beat…

  155. Well, James, I am not re-hashing 9/11. I am striking out at the FALSE false flag notion that our government purposely detonated devices which killed so many Americans to create the climate to pursue war in Iraq.
    We have had a spike in militia joining/saber rattling here in Alaska which is most unsettling and a whole lot of it comes from similar false flag presumptions. I wish to hell that these goofs would go somewhere else to run around in the woods practicing their doomsday defense strategies and leave us alone to fish and hunt and make a living.The live and let live general attitude here is getting pretty strained with all this militia crap.
    The adherents of the 9/11 truther dealie closely resemble the adherents to other false flag theories :


    Sometimes I think it is all merely a reflection of peoples’ feelings of powerlessness against something they deem too big to change, other times I think folks sign on to have simple answers to complex situations. Sometimes, as with the doofus Schaeffer Cox here, I think mental illness plays a part and folks with other reasons for joining up ignore the underlying pathology because it doesn’t serve the “cause”.
    None of this is to say that our federal, state, or local governments don’t make a million mistakes either by purposeful action or thoughtless inaction- kinda like all other human activiites.
    And yes- poolman- I’m quite familiar with April Gallop. I think the poor woman needs mental health help- big time. To hold her up as the final arbiter , whilst ignoring testimony of multiple witnesses who saw the plane hit the building and testimony of first responders who generally do better at “witnessing” because of their training is ridiculous and unfair to her on top of it all.To continue to hold that woman up as “proof” so the larger argument for controlled detonation of the towers seems less shaky is an abominable misuse of a person’s misfortune for gain by others. The gain being filling-in-the-blanks of a purported false flag event .
    A false flag event purported to be the OBLY reason Americans were persuaded to go to war in Iraq.
    Well- horsepunky on that too.
    The festering anger that the first Gulf War ended well within its agreed upon boundaries of only pushing Iraq out of Kuwait and that we didn’t march on Bagdad and “get” Sadaam Hussein was waiting to ignite in all too large a piece of the US population.
    You gonna call all them conspirators too?
    This is getting way too big to be real in any way shape or form.
    We did this to ourselves, that war, right along with our government. Not pretty. Nauseating really, but a whole lot truer that the 9/11 truth garbage.

  156. Speaking of the obscurity Jean mentioned, I found an Estonian teenager on YouTube when I was looking for a story idea. She made four amateur videos in 2008-9 and stated her goal for the number of visits. She asked people to help achieve her wish for the site. Then, she disappeared from all of her social media accounts.

    I based a column on the permanence internet submissions. What you send there will remain “forever.” I surmised that as she approached twenty, the girl wanted to erase that part of her past.

    However, she was so cute, funny, and expressive that sixth grade boys developed crushes and girls wanted to be like her. Web sites were devoted to speculation about her fate, and some counted the number of visits to her site. It averages over 250 per month.

    The general consensus was that the girl had died, and her absence made her even more popular. Someone wrote it was ironic that an unknown girl in an obscure country could have become a world cult figure with a total of over twelve million visits.

    Someone promised to find the girl, but the trail stopped in Texas a few days after the girl went silent.

    Yesterday, I checked WhiteJustCantDance to see if people were still visiting. A young woman wrote “I remember how obsessed I used to be with her when I was younger…I sent her a really long e mail, literally fan girling. I remember sitting at my computer one random day and seeing that I had a new message from her. I was literally crying. I was so obsessed with her I printed out the e mail she sent me, and its still hanging on my wall. I miss her videos so much! I hope one day she surprises us and comes back.”

    After all of these years, WhiteJustCantDance came out of hiding with “Oh wow you wow And I had no idea I had so much so called “power”.. You’re a doll. Big big bigg hugs)).

    No one will check the YouTube site or care about the obscure Estonian girl, but to me the story is happier than rehashing the 9/11 argument. This is my reaction to that discussion.

  157. Our family didn’t have privilege of assets either. Some were Vikings and others killed Salem witches. One was in the California Gold Rush, and another participated in Sherman’s March to the Sea. The family would have faded into oblivion had not an ancestor with help researched the family tree and branches back over four hundred years. The five inch thick book has been passed down to the next generation for over a hundred years. I have met strangers who say they have the family book.

    Someone in Wisconsin ;put the book on line. No historians will record our family history so “we” did it ourselves.

    I have questions. My ancestors lived in Wales four hundred years ago, though they originally came form Denmark. The man who came to America in about 1640 was marred to a Dane, and so was his son. How did they meet? Did her family move to Britain or did my ancestor visit the home country?

  158. Morning, Poolman – Here’s the thing about your horse-and-water analogy: It doesn’t work too well if the horse has been beaten to death and you’re dragging its lifeless body to the ol’ watering hole…

    I checked out both April Gallop and Bob Pugh. Let me say first that the testimony of “eyewitnesses” is notoriously inaccurate. Retrospect and “memory” are often – and easily – distorted by current feelings and the need to “understand” something that happened in the past. When presented with a limited lineup of possible criminals, eyewitnesses have often “identified” the wrong person, simply because the real perpetrator wasn’t in the lineup – so they picked the closest match presented to them. When we’re desperate for resolution, we’ll often take “close” or “maybe” for “yes,” and later convince ourselves we were correct.

    So neither of them saw any “plane debris.” How do they know what they “should have” seen? Only by having heard reports of previous plane crashes where various specific items were found: luggage, seats, teddy bears, whatever. Is it “possible” that a plane could hit a building without hitting the ground near it first? Of course it is. Could the hole made on impact be smaller than they expected it to be? Of course it could. Just because they, personally, had never “heard of” either of those things happening doesn’t mean it couldn’t have happened that way, this time.

    BTW, Ms. Gallop’s recollection of every single detail of what kind of debris she saw, and where, and losing a shoe, and precisely almost every step she took, makes me kind of suspicious, in and of itself. How many of us would have that kind of crystal clear thinking going on when we’d just been bombed and our kid was missing? That’s not the part of the brain that’s working in these kinds of situations. People have been known to lift cars to free someone trapped beneath, and later can’t “remember” anything about what they were doing.

    There is no doubt that a plane was seen heading for the Pentagon, or the area near it. That plane hit somewhere, and was destroyed; those people were killed. If the plane didn’t hit its target, you have to believe that the nefarious conspirators anticipated that possibility and had a bomb ready to go, “just in case,” and were able to detonate it right at the moment they realized the plane had crashed elsewhere.

    I think, then, that you ALSO have to believe that this vast conspiracy, which had to take years to plan and prepare for, included also both planes that hit the World Trade Center, AND the flight that went down in Pennsylvania. And you have to believe that, through all that planning and preparation by hundreds of people, over a long period of time, not one single person ever said, “Hey, wait a minute. We can’t really kill this many of our own people, just to convince the country we ought to go back into Iraq.” I don’t think we, as a nation, need that much “motivation” to whip up a war frenzy.

    Of course, to catch myself on my own argument here, just because I can’t imagine that happening, does that mean it didn’t…? No guarantee there, either. I guess we each just have to decide what scenario makes the most “sense” to us, and go on from there… The one thing we humans can’t seem to tolerate is something we can’t understand…


  159. Jean made some good points.

    Our occupations do define us. I have more in common with Brazilian and European farmers than most of my own countrymen because farmers live in a similar milieu as other farmers. Most occupations are the same, I suppose.

    Our family valued education, and many earned college degrees as long as four or five generations ago. A majority were teachers or engineers. Most of those who farmed did so to pay bills or to keep the land as investments, but they weren’t true farmers.

    My father had four sisters and all expected to go to college. His parents asked him to wait for a while because they needed him at home on the farm. After his younger sister went, my father felt like George Baily must have felt in “Its a Wonderful Life.”. He saved his money and announced the next fall that he was going to university and he left on an early Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

    The family guilt forced my grand father to the farm after his brother, another engineer who contract plowed native prairie in summers died. My grand father died, and my father returned to put his younger sisters through college and to keep the land.

    I wanted to be as far from Iowa as airplanes could take me, and I did see a portion of the world. However, as with my ancestors, farming became a second choice after job counselors told me no one would hire me because I was a Vietnam era veteran.

    We encouraged our children not to farm. One became a computer analyst and the other a therapist. I guess, in a way, they repeated the engineer and teaching track our ancestors had taken.

    Sometimes the apple takes many bounces after it falls from the tree.

    My father and aunts told me I resembled their uncle in mannerisms and voice. He died around 1920. Our grand daughter couldn’t help having red hair, fair skin and blue eyes, because our daughter has blond hair with a reddish hue, and our son in law has bright red hair like his parents. Our daughter and son in law noticed their daughter has her mother’s mouth. My wife told her I had the mouth first, and my mother before that.

    Assad is an opothomologist who became a dictator because his father took that road. Its funny how families follow general scripts even when they try not to.

  160. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Some of you guys can duke it out all you want about who said what, when and why. Not my cuppa tea.

    I think we can agree that often all of us are defined by our occupations. Just read the obit columns in the newspaper. After the name, birth and death dates comes a brief job description and then lastly, family members. So how do we come by our “chosen” life’s work? It starts out as a sort of apprenticeship from birth although we are hardly aware of it at the time. We do get our impressions of what men’s and women’s roles are, right from the start by imitation and go from there; language, religion and all. What we turn out to be are often self full-filling prophesies. You know, a chip/chippess off the old block. Following in dad’s/mom’s footsteps. Like father (mother), like son (daughter.) The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree and so on. Then our extended family and friends reinforce those expectations so that we come to regard them as our own. Until – - – comes the turbulent teens of adolescence and peer pressure. Then other factors enter in; hormones and romance, aptitudes, finances, a host of other determining circumstances. Even physical attributes. You seldom see a “97 pound weakling” linebacker. But many people take the path of least resistance.

    I for one still haven’t figured out what I want to do when I grow up.

    Time was though when people had little choice. Social structure was so rigid that, for example in Western and many other regional cultures, the oldest son always inherited the property, assets, etc. and continued the family traditions. The second son went to the Church as a priest or monk. The third to the permanent military. Daughters? Auctioned off to the highest bidder. A hefty dowry helped her prospects. But the offspring gave little thought as to whether they had any options or not. How about the newborn, Bonnie Prince Georgie in England. Poor little kid. Every waking moment of his entire life is laid out for him just as his valet will lay out the clothes he is supposed to wear each day. Or Assad, the dictator in Syria. His daddy was a dictator so what do you expect? History doesn’t have much to say about the myriad of people without prestige or assets. They just sorted faded into oblivion.

    To make matters worse, deviation from the “norm” was and is construed as DISLOYALTY to one’s heritage and calls for instant condemnation in the strongest terms. Disowned? Fired from a job? Burned at the stake? (Jeanne D’Arc.) Hanged witches in Salem, Massachusetts? A dead “black” kid, wearing a “hoodie” with a 7-11 package of Skittles in his pocket, as he suspiciously takes a shortcut through a “white” neighborhood? Well, shit happens. Even in a “civilized society”.

    Despite constitutional efforts to change the LAWS, i. e.: the abolition of slavery and women’s suffrage, social and cultural ATTITUDES pretty much continue to prevail. One of the turning points in the workplace however, believe it or not, occurred during WWII. With so many men off to war, there was an acute shortage of labor at home to turn out the instruments of war. So women were recruited to work in the “war plants.” Son-of-a-gun! It was discovered that women were actually capable of doing precision work in factories besides having and caring for babies and minding the hearth and home. “Rosie the Riveter” became the symbol of the “Working Woman.”

    Aloha! J J J Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  161. Lori, it seems all the videos I am digging up are either ‘private’ or ‘removed’. I guess that is what all that staff is for – tweaking history’s record. I can still find a few that are on red sites, but that never satisfies the blues, as you well know. It was a big issue with Hillary during the debates in 08.


  162. Horsepunky? Is that like horsepucky? I’m guessing you did not watch either video AND you are not at all familiar with April Gallop. Oh well, speaking of horses, there’s an old saying regarding them and water…

  163. As you know, Alaskapi, it could end for us all tomorrow the way it nearly did when the train hit my wife and me. However, I think my wife and I have a shot at seventeen to twenty years for our grand daughter’s high school graduation. I’m still rooting for you too.

    Maybe some day when we can travel again and get to Alaska, we could treat you to lunch My wife and I have dined with four on line people .

    I still like the Finnish medical system and a few others.

  164. lol lol you do that poolman. keep digging for that smoking gun to prove Obama lied about wanting single payer healthcare but once elected insisted congress come up with what we have. you will probably find it right next to the proof he is a leyan born muslim. happy digging!

  165. Well, James – My family is pretty evenly split in the short-lived, long-lived categories. Chances are I’ll be long gone when my grands graduate university. I’m more likely to see them graduate high school but they are older than your new lil one.
    The ACA ? I don’t know. Seems like a start to somewhere better than what we have had for too long. What we have had sucks. Too much money, too many resources tied up in what should should be a lot easier to manage than what it has become.
    Course, I’m not a free-market-solves-all-ills type.Get awfully tired of free-market stuff- especially in the last decade.

  166. Alaskpi, I plan to be around in twenty years, maybe thirty because our family is long- lived, and i want to watch our grand daughter graduate from high school. I hope you are still here too.

    Obamacare could crash and burn. if it does, we will face a new situation with all bets about single payer off.

    Nixon: “would you buy a used car from this man?”

  167. Well, I’ll be dead in 20 or 30 years, James so I wish folks would pick up the pace and get single payer going NOW!
    Given what we have now is essentially what Nixon (one of the biggest liars of my lifetime) proposed in 1971 I’ll not be holding my breath .


  168. We have been violent since before the ice age. We are still the same people who painted the cave pictures and helped exterminate Neanderthals.

    We are like wolves. Probably wolves recognized the similarity and formed an alliance with us as soon as we began to feed them.

    Dark humor and psychological numbness work pretty well and are more fair than blaming the victim. The old saying “better you than I applies.”

    Yes, people lied to us before Iraq. Kerry and the Clintons are notable examples from the Democratic side. Only, they like most Republicans and intelligence services also lied to themselves.

    They are lying to us now. The jury is still out on whether or not they think they are telling the truth.

    Yes, we are a long distance from single payer, but wait twenty or thirty years. Denying that goal is another lie.

  169. horsepunky, poolman.
    Wikipedia has its faults but your “sources ” are full of far worse problems .
    Me- I’m going with the eye witness testimony of my friend and the thousands of others who saw the damn plane which backs up the government tale.


    Or are we to believe whatever happened included a mass hallucination along with a massive government coverup?
    The reality was bad enough. We have to keep making shit up to make it worse?

  170. That was 2003. Problem is, I wasn’t listening to Obama then and I know he dangled that carrot plenty of times in 08. I found some town hall mentions, but no video. I’ll keep digging. But really, we are far away from anything resembling single-payer.
    I checked your Wiki link, pi. Using Wiki for anything pertaining to 9/11 is like going to 7/11 to buy groceries. Sure, they’ll take your money and you can probably find something to fill the void. Popular Mechanics and anything mainstream media, the same. Those are government approved.

    Here’s a short video giving 5 points why there should be an investigation. The first point mentioned is the Pentagon.

    This one by James Corbett is an hour long and uses evidence gathered over the past decade,providing reason to question certain persons involvement.

  171. gato- Is ok.:-)
    We were lied to so many, many times in the run up to the Iraq war I lost count .

    I’m not sure about whether we really are accustomed to
    whatever the disgusting display of killing people for the day happens to be.
    But I’m equally unsure we are dealing with violent or anti-social behavior at all sensibly.
    People cope with horror by creating distance from the center of it all.
    Sometimes that takes the form of the dark humor and depersonalized responses you see with some police and fire personnel.
    Sometimes it takes the form of blaming the victim.
    THAT one is a tried and true human response clear from Christians asserting the plague was God’s judgment on the sins of those who died to the &^%$#$$heads who shrug their shoulders and blame victims of rape, murder, genocide, and the like for being born female, black, brown, poor… you name it.
    (My current favorite is the let-em-die routine from tea-ist types should someone find themselves without insurance and ill all duded up in the trappings of taking-personal-responsibility crap. Pfffttt!)
    As a society we are some better than a hundred years ago. As a nation we are still playing games with our notions of American exceptionalism in too many arenas to see our own faults.

  172. Thank you, Pi, for sending that link; I should have looked it up myself.

    As we found out, bit by bit, of the many lies we WERE told, as the drums of war and revenge were beating ceaselessly in those months following that day of horror, it was sometimes difficult to believe just about anything…

    Now, sadly, we seem to have become accustomed to the most heinous atrocities that human beings inflict on each other. Genocide? Sure; happens all the time. Raping and disemboweling women in front of their children? No biggie. Car bombs? Must be Tuesday, 3:00 pm in Fallujah; what else is new? IEDs going off at a sporting event? Why not, just because this time it was in Boston? Locking people up for no known reason, and torturing them? Sure; been going on forever…

    A very, very sorry state of affairs – and may be the understatement of the millennium.


  173. Agreed, It depends on individual; definitions.

    Regarding Syria, it is also irrelevant. Is Obama competent for the job? At this point, he is failing.

  174. exactly Pi

  175. A centrist is not necessarily a moderate and vice versa though the 2 may overlap.

  176. Governments are by nature incompetent. If such an elaborate plan to crash airplanes into our buildings was planned and by accident implemented flawlessly we would have known about it by now. There were too many witnesses and co- conspiratists for the government to have killed or otherwise silenced them all.

  177. Is Obama a moderate? You might make a good case in foreign affairs. He basically used Bush’s war plan in Afghanistan and Iraq, and he meddled in the Middle East. Some of Bush’s neocon allies would have supported that.

    On economics, he is not as far out as the radical left, but he is far from the middle.

    A greater issue is competence. Obamacare has serious problems, and the operational structure to implement is behind schedule. We see too many unintended consequences with power groups like labor unions and Congressional workers asking for waivers.

    Syria is another blunder. Obama drew a red line without considering the consequences if it was crossed. He painted us all into a corner.

    Samatha Power, UN Ambassador told the Center for American Progress “we thought, perhaps a shared evidentiary base could convince Russia or Iran-itself a victim of Saddam Hussein’s monsterous chemical weapons attacks in 1987-1988 to cast loose a regime that was gassing its people.”

    A news reporter explained Obama’s policy. We don’t want to depose Assad. We want to weaken him for allegedly using gas. Some of the rebels are worse than he is. Why would we want to increase the rebels chances of taking over the country and turning it into another Jihadist state? Besides, Russia said they would repair any of the damage.

    Russia says rebels used gas last March. Why should we believe our government without more proof than we have now? One report is that the gas attack came from a middle level official. We say that still makes Assad responsible because he is in charge. How does that line of reasoning differ from Hillary and Barrack during Benghazi? Remember Vietnam and Iraq. The facts were not as presented.

    Compared to Putin, Obama came off as petulant and childish. Putin even called Kerry a liar. Diplomants are usually less blunt, Obama supposedly gave Putin a death stare which reminded me of Sheldon on Big Bang Theory,

    Ossama bin Ladin said if given a choice between a strong horse and a weak horse, people choose the strong horse.

    The question should be “is Obama competent?”

  178. I’m home for the first time in nearly two weeks and will soon be gone again. My wife’s staples were removed, and our aches should be gone in another month. Our grand daughter is unexpectedly thriving.

    I appreciate Jean’s and jsri’s earlier good wishes. Jean wrote something about my trusting people here. I do. I rant on line so I don’t subject people in the real world to things best left unsaid. Politics and religion are toxic. I don’t think anyone here, including people I don’t like is malicious enough to try to hurt me other than fling a few insults. I trust you all,

    Obama said before the election that the health insurance system would eventually be single payer. I heard Iowa Senator Tom Harken say the affordable insurance plan was merely like building a house. It was the first step toward creating a single payment plan. It might take twenty years, but it was the final goal. He was defending the bill against people who wanted an immediate conversion to a British style plan and said we were moving too slowly..

    Harry Reid appeared on Nevada Today in August. Panelist Steve Sebelius asked Harry if he thought the US would ultimately have to abandon insurance as a means of providing money for health care. “yes, yes, Absolutely, yes.” said Reid.

    He said the public option was unworkable because of public opinion, and they gave us compromise to get a majority of the votes.

    You may support single payer insurance, and it is your right. But if you think Obamacare will remain tied to private insurance, you will be surprised twenty or thirty years from now, or maybe sooner.

  179. lori- ;-)
    Yup, pretty much, yup on the various issues with confirmation bias.

    poolman- All that aside, it sure has been sad to watch you start and run with the you’re-all-sheep routine, especially combined with shaky conspiracy theory stuff.
    If being “right” about stuff means it is ok to be dismissive of the experience and thoughts of anyone who doesn’t agree with you, then let me be “left” behind. Jeez.

  180. gato-
    here’s Flight 77


    While much was made about external evidence not corresponding to folks’ notions of what they should see, it has been debunked over and over.
    I have a friend who saw the plane coming in low and fast, as did thousands of other people.
    I have never understood the problem with this one. I mean- ignoring the poor souls who perished in the Pentagon itself, there were 64 people aboard that plane. Sixty four people from whom we have never heard another peep, at least 2 of whom were in communication via cellphone after their plane was hijacked.
    I don’t buy the idea that the Fed could and did falsify identification of remains of those poor folks to cover up some dingbat other scenario.

  181. sorry for all the typos- lol my thumbs are still warming up… thats my story and I am sticking to it!

    Delurker~ Go Green!

  182. Gato, I think there ate many of us that want that to hsppen. I believe we ate on our way! If we keep control of the WH and Sen I think it might even happen sooner rather than later. But as it standa now I am THRILLED we have gotten rid of life time caps, being a woman is no longer a preecisting condition and healthcare is available to all. Imagine , there ate those in Congress that still oppose that!

    I will never undetstand people that make perfect the enemy of the good.

    IMO they are either ignorant of the political process or just plain malcontents that dont really want anything, except b itch.

  183. opps sorry that was me ~ lor

  184. Poolman that was 2003. He moved to multilevel healthcare while the run up to the campaign.

  185. Here’s Obama stumping for single-payer during the campaign.

  186. gato …. agree 100 percent..

  187. Hey, Lori – I stand corrected. (Guess I was just throwing in what I would like to have seen happening with what actually was happening. A bad habit. I should get over it!)

    As for the “cluster**k,” I was just referencing Poolman’s use of the word.

    And I agree that Obama is a centrist, politically and policy-wise. The problem he keeps facing is a bunch of Republicans in Congress whose idea of a “center” seems to be somewhere halfway between their own uber-right-wing lunatics and their own more traditional hard core “conservatives”… Like a “center” between, say, John McCain and Louie Gohmert… Scary!


  188. Gato, I agree with almost everything you just said… except agreeing with the assertion Obama was for single payer health care.

    We can go back and forth about when who said what when about the subject of healthcare. Obama RAN on the concept of people keeping their employee paid health insurace . He has remained steadfast on that ” promise”. That is NOT single payer insurance. HILLARY campaigned ( and i think still believes) that should be our goal. A cluster F? Wellllll that is democracy isnt it? A Cluster F to one is anothers freedom.

    Obama is, always has been, continues to be a centrist. No one should be surprised.

  189. Whoa there, Big Guy… That WAS quite a long post. (And I think I’M verbose…!) I agree that we’re not told half of what goes on in government, if that. But, first of all, I take considerable umbrage at your labeling me as among those who don’t “…get past what the msm is giving us to chew on.” Au contraire, mon ami! I’m a firm believer in the wise advice from The Godfather: “Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer.” (Trust me; my belief in that wisdom is the ONLY thing that makes me grit my teeth and periodically check out FOX, the NRA website, Rush, and Glenn… Along with being on Jim Demint’s mailing list, among other things.) But, of course, you’d have no way of knowing where my internet sleuthing takes me…

    And do we know there is a “revolving door between industry and politics?” You’re joking, right? Do you read the posts here about big pharma, agribusiness, big oil, big banking, voter suppression, Monsanto, the insurance industries, Koch Industries, and so on? We KNOW who is doing their damnedest to prevent even the labeling of GMO food products. We KNOW why there’s HFCS in every conceivable product on the supermarket shelves: Because agribusiness makes tons of money from it – and they, like every other powerful mega-industry in this country and the world, have happily purchased all the members of Congress they’d like. (And, yes, we know all about Goldman Sachs and Obama. Elizabeth Warren was appointed, anyway, much to their annoyance.) We’re not brain dead around here, you know. And we certainly don’t feel “warm and fuzzy” when we’re talking about their activities.

    The primary reason that the President’s originally proposed, possibly single-payer, health plan turned into the “cluster***k” it did is because CONGRESS (those well-paid-for creatures mentioned above) threatened to shut down the country unless they got some “compromise.” (Oh, and they’re about to try that same thing again, don’t forget.)

    And that “movement” you say is “current” to prove that 9/11 didn’t happen the way we were told it did has been at it since September 12, 2001. And I’ve seen the videos. (I’m sure we DON’T know the whole “truth” around that; I still wonder happened to the wreckage of the plane that supposedly hit the Pentagon…) And there are still the “birthers” hard at work, and the government shot JFK, and Princess Diana was murdered, and President Obama has a muslim prayer inscribed inside his wedding band, and climate change is either a hoax, or the end days are right around the corner…

    And I’m going to hope that your “proof” that the rebels gassed themselves in Syria is nothing like the “proof” that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction – something more conclusive than, for example, a few photos of six or seven (empty) aluminum tubes retrieved from a shipping platform somewhere…

    If you “follow the [really big] money,” which is always good advice, it leads not exclusively to the Presidency, but primarily to the legislative branch, and to the “sponsors” of so many members of that august body. And now, thanks to Citizens United, we can expect that sort of thing to go on even more robustly, to what will surely be our ultimate deepest regret.


  190. JSRI, my nephew ( md) and SIL (phd in nursing) echo your opinions.

    From what I understand this technology in the pipes ? No? Isnt the beginning of this already beginning by the medical ” data base” that has been so widely criticized?

  191. On the question of future employment, one human enterprise that will be greatly impacted by technology is the practice of medicine. One of our grandsons is a premed student at a highly selective university and reminds me of Watson (Watson the computer, that is.). He led the freshman pack at college but we expected that because he’s always done well in school. His parents put a high value on education and I’m impressed by his ability to reel off biochemical processes and describe the activity of genes in terms that are only vaguely familiar to me. I know he loves to try to snow me but everything he’s turned loose on me checks out on further inspection. But I have to admit, it’s tough keeping up with a twenty year old who knows infinitely more than I do about current technical stuff. Though he favors lab work and may bypass med school and go into research he will have the advantage of light years of advances that have occurred since I started grad school almost sixty years ago. My grad school experience goes so far back that they were still arguing about whether the Watson-Crick model had any real significance (this Watson is James Dewey Watson, the Nobel Prize winning biologist, not the computer).

    Which circles me back to Watson, the MIT computer. Although the machine cost millions to develop, a similar machine used for medical diagnoses could revolutionize the practice of medicine because Watson (the computer) can learn from its mistakes, something that computers at present don’t generally do. Watson is not a machine that will lead us to the Singularity (the crossover point at which computers become equivalent to and even surpass human intuition, thought and decision making) but it could help lead humanity in that direction while at the same time improving the health of the population.

    A close relative, for years has suffered from a relatively obscure medical condition for which there is occasional relief but no cure. For several years, doctors tried a host of standard treatments that offered little comfort. Though, initially, they were 100% sure of their diagnoses, they were basically zero percent correct in their treatments. Finally, an annual physical exam by a new family physician suggested a different possibility and that prudence would dictate that my relative find a different oncologist. The new physician made the contact and relief was forthcoming almost overnight.

    And how would technology change or speed up the outcome of such cases? By offering alternative diagnoses from a known data bank of possibilities having ratings of the efficacy of each one. Part of the confusion in my relative’s case was due to the commonness of her symptoms. Similar symptoms are prominent in many unrelated conditions, hence the murkiness. Feeding results back to the machine for each definitive diagnosis would allow a Watson-like computer of the future, to offer an array of possibilities with a probability score for each one. While it can be assumed that this is the basis for most doctor’s analyses, using computers like Watson would be a step up in accuracy for the art of medical diagnosis as it is currently practiced.

    And our primary care physician is looking forward to the day when results of medical experimentation are readily available to patients as well as doctors in open forums specifically designed for each audience. Instead, we have the cumbersome process whereby Big Pharma is allowed to flood the airwaves with scary claims about their miraculous products, claims that are left for the MD’s to sort through when patients present them with demands to try a particular product based on commercials they’ve seen on TV. If you think this is just conjecture, at your next appointment, ask your doctor and be prepared for an earful of concerns.

  192. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Mornin’ Gato, Terry W. lori, et al. Hangin’ around M&H’s all this time, I’ve learned there is always somebody out there ready to lend a hand. If you want to know about the alphabet soup of texting, ask lori. How to or if about computerese, ask Whirled Peas. There is always somebody here ready, willing and able to pitch in and help.

    lori, foot is healing – ever so slowly. Still hobbling though.. Grrrrr.

    Gotta get busy.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  193. anon, I dont spend much time worrying about those people who get into conspiracy theories. Although I did find the description of them feeling like an old wise goat among a herd of sheep rather intetesting. We have certainly heard how VERY VERY wise they are and we are nothing but stupid sheeples. :). That line always made me smile considering those type of people were generally the ones drinking the poison kool aid – literally.

    However I am familar with the 2006 Nyhan and Reifler paper. In fact, I have had many a lively discussions right here about the that subject. Nyhan and Reifler think those of us who try to debunk the GOP / Teathings lies or ” argue their stupid points” it usually backfire on us. They end up just digging their heels and repeat their lies even more. In other words they really do believe and recommend Gramma Katies method of dealing with trolls .. Scroll baby Scroll! lol lol

    Ok , well the article is a little more sophisticated than that and the article isnt exactly about trolls- but its close! lol lol I tend to come down on their side. Mostly because I dont have the patience to repeat the same thing over and over again. I think my time can be better spent.

    If anyone has time, or inclination give it a goodle. Its called the backfire effect by Brendan Nyhan & Jason Reifler.

    Auntie Jean, how is your foot?

  194. Auntie Jean, I also have a funny mom learning to drive story of my own. My mom didn’t learn until I was in college. One night at dinner she was talking about driving and remarked that it was good that there were two levers on the steering column so that if the gear changer one didn’t work you could use the lever on the other side. We had to remind her that one was just for indicating a turn! – Terry W

  195. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/magazine/why-rational-people-buy-into-conspiracy-theories.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  196. Auntie Jean, I loved your post about renewing your driver’s license. I’m hoping I don’t have to jump through all those hoops when mine expires in 2015. I’ll be 74 next month so it sounds like I’ll be renewing more often as well. As for pumping my own gas, I went kicking and screaming when that was necessary since I’m divorced and can’t leave it up to what’s-his-name. It’s second nature now plus my 8 yr. old granddaughter loves to wash the car windows if she’s with me. – Terry W

  197. Okay, I apologize in advance for a long rant. Those who don’t care for my opinions or views can simply scroll on by…

    Well, Auntie Jean, if I were president, I would leave Syria alone. 70 percent of Syrians support Assad. Unfortunately, we have already been there by proxy instigating unrest, research shows for decades. But I really don’t think the president has any real power. If he tried to wield it, he’d get the Kennedy treatment. We are on the same path we were with Bush, and anyone who knows me knows I surely won’t defend anything he or his dad did.

    There is proof the rebels were the ones with the gas. There is proof it was supplied them by Saudi Arabia and through Turkey. Why is the president insisting Assad did it? Why were Navy ships deployed to render ‘humanitarian aid’ to the gulf days BEFORE the supposed event? Someone is lying to us. Who has a reputation for lying? Let’s examine who benefits. It is always wise to trace the money or the agenda when it comes to politics and government.

    Consider PNAC and it’s ‘Rebuilding America’s Defenses” agenda. Consider the Yinon plan. Actually it can be traced back much further that those two examples. Read the supposedly forged protocols of the elders of zion. They are totally prophetic, if not an actual proposed plan of action.

    Obama promised transparency in government, but it has since gotten much more secretive. I call that a lie. He said it, that makes him the liar. As a matter of fact our security and intelligence apparatus has more than doubled since he took over. Most of what is officially produced by government today is secretive. Black budgets have been revealed to be huge, thanks to the information from Snowden and others.

    Obama promised to protect whistleblowers, yet his administration has been the most aggressive at silencing and prosecuting whistleblowers. He said it and it has been proven a lie. That makes him one who lies. I will call him a liar.

    He promised to ramp down the war machine, but instead has increased our presence in the world and ramped UP our murderous drone program. He promised the opposite, that is therefore a lie. He said it, he lied.

    You see how that works? Say something and do the opposite, that is lying in my book. Has nothing to do with party or race. And it doesn’t stop there. They are too numerous to list. It may be easier to find something he actually said he would do and then did it. Everyone points to Obamacare, and yet it is a FAR cry from what he campaigned on.

    The health care he promised and campaigned on was to be single-payer and then morphed into this huge clusterf**k of regulation, a real boondoggle written by and for the insurance industry with the aid of big pharma. Remember, insurance companies are now GUARANTEED 20 percent profit. What other industries does government guarantee profit? Farming? Yeah, subsidies are what introduced all this high fructose corn syrup into our population. Did you know the annual deaths associated with big pharma alone EXCEED those from auto accidents AND guns? Is the media informing you of this? Did you know there is a revolving door between industry and politics? Industry and the military? Are you familiar with the global crimes of Monsanto and how they are in bed with this and the previous administrations?

    Now we can see information from FOIA requests that 50 years ago the government covered up their crimes and gave us the whitewashed Warren Commission report. Are you familiar with Operation Paperclip or Operation Northwoods or Operation Gladio? It’s the same with the Vietnam war and the other conflicts we got involved in. We were lied to in order to get us involved. If you take time to look back, you would see it has been a continual stream of lies and cover-ups. It isn’t any different today, if anything it has become much worse. We have not fixed the injustices of our past as we tromp down citizen rights and run headlong into crimes of the future. What gives us the right to punish any other country’s leader or people? We have used WMDs MORE than any other country. Research the ongoing damage and continual cleanup in Vietnam, for one example. We haven’t fought there in 40 years, but we are still killing and maiming citizens there. Agent Orange is a product of Monsanto.

    Take a look at Iraq (the newly liberated) and specifically Fallujah, where the uptick in birth defects is a result of our use of DU. There are pockets developing throughout Afghanistan with the same symptoms.

    But Americans have extremely poor memories and very short attention spans, and, well, as has been mentioned here, sports often takes precedent.

    Were you aware that in a 1999 court case, the US government was found guilty of the murder of Martin Luther King Jr? Were you also aware that our past president and much of his cabinet have been convicted of war crimes? Were you aware Obama has pardoned them and decided to move forward and not seek any investigation or prosecution for past crimes? Why?

    There is a national campaign right now to educate folks on the evidence proving 9/11 was not as the government has claimed it happened. It is basically a call for a real investigation, something that has not been done. Real evidence has proven the official narrative false and 2000 professional engineers and architects have gone on record, staking their livelihoods and reputations on the line. This is a true grassroots effort. Again, who benefited from this event? Have Muslims, or has the military industrial complex and the security industrial complex gained the most? What nation has been the greatest beneficiary? Look at the erosion of rights and global aggression by our empire that has occurred since. Look how terror has been used to increase gun sales and insurance rates. What Arab agenda has been advanced? Why was bin Laden’s family allowed a flight out of the country when all other planes were grounded after 9/11? Why were 160 Mossad agents rounded up right afterward captured and then released? Why hasn’t the FBI closed the case or charged any of the supposed perpetrators?

    Were you aware of LIBOR and the huge Ponzi scheme it has proven to be? Were you aware HBSC was just found guilty of over 10 years of laundering drug money in the hundreds of billions, and yet they get a fine and can continue doing business? Heck, we even bail them out and allow them access to cheap money through the fed. Were you aware every country we have invaded was not a part of the IMF and didn’t deal in petrodollars? Were you aware the president’s greatest campaign contributor was Goldman Sachs? Conflict of interest?

    I am sorry if my posts don’t give everyone a warm and fuzzy feeling. But the more I read America, the less hope I have for the future of this place. I think we have been sold out by our supposed representatives to the highest bidder. I think our foreign policy will have us fighting al Qaeda here in anytown, USA.

    I cannot foresee a political solution. Unless we are willing to seek justice and hold our leaders accountable, we will never get back on a righteous path. I think most democrats are unwilling to criticize their own, as I witness the bulk of the comments left here and elsewhere.

    Like Al B, it is easier to criticize the messenger or claim that the criticism is somehow not warranted. Like Gato, many aren’t getting past what the msm is giving us to chew on. I really welcome everyone to revisit critical thinking, skills that seem to have been bred out of us in this once land of opportunity. We should always question our representatives and require them to operate with complete transparency. It is our duty to keep them in line and hold them to high standard. If we don’t, we are enabling bad behavior and are just as culpable.

  198. Terri, thanks for sharing this. I posted it to my Facebook page.

  199. LoL Lol , Im sorry guys! I will try harder to remember where and who I am ” talking” to when I post.

    I discuss politics on so many sites ( & twitter) I sometimes dont take the time or give the proper attention to whom I am talking with. I will take more care in future. xo

  200. An interesting article on the Affordable Health Care Act:


  201. Hey Gato,
    GREAT post! Loved it!

    Al B – Good to see you! Please stick around.

  202. Gato, I had the same question about all the catch phrases people use today. I consider myself fairly well read but I often spend too much time trying to figure out what some of those actually stand for! LMAO at your similar quandary. – Terry W

  203. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Terry W, lori and especially jsri, your thoughtful comments on the jobs situation, past present and future, are certainly things to think about. BTW, in my future bits about the workplaces and workforces to come, there is plenty of blame to go round. A disclaimer. Whenever I refer to “Silly Ole Women” and “Old White Men”, present company excluded. In a perfect world……but we don’t have one……

    Al B, and Gato, good response to Poolman’s latest links. Does anybody read Gene Lyon’s columns? He recently referred to what he called the “Armageddon Caucus”. Poolman, just for the record, if you were the duly elected president sitting in the White Office with the grave responsibility of representing the views of ALL Americans instead of sitting on the sidelines taking pot shots, PRECISELY what would you do in this Syrian crisis? I would not presume to tell you how to design and construct a swimming pool. Not my specialty by training or experience. Or my job for that matter. I could certainly express my opinion on the aesthetics of it though. Is anybody else here old enough to remember Neville Chamberlain? Uh, never mind. Let’s don’t go there and open up that nasty, ugly, ugly can of worms again in Christian history.

    We visited AZ plenty of times. A beautiful, fascinating state with mostly super nice people. We seriously considered retiring to Sedona. It is really, really hot there in summertime though. If hell is any hotter, then I’m gonna change my ways.

    Meanwhile, I just renewed my driver’s license. There is a regulation that has been around for a while. Anybody over a certain age, I think it is 70, has to renew every two years instead of the customary four. (You don’t expect a “Silly Old Woman” like me to remember exactly what age, do you?) Also they have a whole laundry list of new rules. You have to have a valid passport or a certified copy of your birth certificate for identification. Your expiring license won’t do. (My passport has expired and I’m too stingy to spring 50 bucks or more, as well as the hassle, to renew it just for a driver’s license.) You must have your original Social Security card. Now, 60 years ago when I was married, I changed my surname to my husband’s as was and is customary from long tradition. Therefore my current legal name doesn’t match my birth certificate or Social Security card. So I had to round up a certified copy of our marriage license. The road test is waived if you have a prior valid driver’s license but an eye test is required. It just so happened I had a routine eye exam with our opthalmologist recently and he conveniently gave me a certificate, testifying that I can see well enough to drive. The county accepted it so I didn’t have to take the eye test. They did finger print my right thumb, right index finger and left index finger and took my picture. It is GHASTLY!!! Doesn’t look anything at all like the inner Jean. They do not require a blood test or DNA sample – yet. Nor did they ask for a vaginal ultra-sound probe. Could be they took a look at me and decided I probably wasn’t likely to be pregnant. After filling out a lengthy, fine print application form with a lot of stuff that is none of their business, I did get my new license!!!

    I t occurs to me that it would be a good idea to have all that documentation tattooed on my butt for future reference rather than have to spend an afternoon rummaging around in the safe for it. Or maybe have an identification chip implanted like they do for dogs and cats. I don’t know for sure but I doubt if I would need all that if I were buying an Uzi. After all, owning an Uzi is a constitutionally guaranteed RIGHT! Driving a car is only a PRIVILEGE.

    My mom never drove a car until after my dad died. She didn’t know how. She took a Driver’s Ed course and got her license but was never a comfortable driver. She felt like she was violating some unwritten code of ladylike conduct. (Good God!!!!!! Women Drivers!!!!!!!) Women are still not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. (This is not political hearsay. My husband was there in person for two months when he was still working. He notices such things.) Wealthy women have chauffeurs. But what do middle class (if there is one) and poor women do to get around? Or do they?

    For several generations now, we have never given a second thought to us gals driving. It is, though, a relatively new phenomenon in historical terms. Attitudes CAN change, if ever so s-l-o-w-l-y. I have been driving for a very long time with no problems. But I still refuse to gas up the car! It’s not ladylike. I come from the full-service era when an attendant checked the oil and cleaned the windshield as well as filling up the tank. If necessary, I can stand out there with the pump in my hand and look helpless until some kind soul comes along and volunteers to do it for me.

    Ok, I’ve shot my wad for a day or two. Nighty-night, everybody.

    Aloha!    Namaste. Shalom Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  204. Thanks, Lori – I was hoping it meant that you agreed, or some other pleasant thing… I don’t have kids, so I’ll check out the urban dictionary. All I found on the web, in the meantime, was some stuff about “fanned Friday,” or something like that. Had no clue what that was about.

    Not sure how into internet hieroglyphs I really want to delve… I actually like French a lot – full of nuance and ambiguity. But I seem to be a dinosaur in the making!

    Have a great what’s-left-of-the-evening. (This from the East Coast of the US of A, where it’s almost waaay past my bedtime!)


  205. sorry I got distracted by the Ravens blocked punt… lol

    * terms that are unfamiliar to you. :)

  206. lol lol Gato sorry… it means fanned and favored … in others words I agree a lot !

    yes you can try urban dictionary for terms you are unfamiliar to you. or if you have a kid hangin around ask them. lol That’s what I do!

  207. Oh, gosh, Lori – What does “F&F” mean? I think I’m always asking you things like this…!

    Is there some sort of “dictionary” somewhere, of internet abbreviations? I’ve got IMO, IMHO, LOL, LMFAO, TTYL,TTYT, and that’s about it!


  208. F&F Gato and Al… not to mention leading us out of the worst depression since the ” great one”.

    whatever, some people just like to bitch to hear themselves bitch. do they work to change anything? hell no… just bitch.. well as far as Im concerned they are no better than trolls.

  209. Hey, Poolman – I would agree that it’s pretty danged tough to find a politician with a shred of character on either side. But, being the Blue Lady I am, I tend to find more with a shred or two on the liberal/progressive team than on the retrograde/”conservative” side.

    That said, I am perplexed as to where you get some of your accusations – and you’re not the first to be tossing them around. They perplex me every time.

    “Liar”…? Really? About what, exactly? “…no power…?” Really? Isn’t bin Laden no longer on the planet? And isn’t the President the one who just called Congress’ bluff by giving them just what they asked for (a debate and a vote on the Syrian question), and thereby forcing them to put up or shut up? And didn’t they put up? And isn’t the Affordable Care Act now the law of the land, despite what I believe is now around forty-nine Congressional “attempts” to repeal it? (Lordy; the time they waste…) “…allowing others to lead us…?” Isn’t that same President the one who said, “This country is not going to tolerate the use of chemical weapons, and we’re going to do something about it, no matter what anybody else thinks about it.”?

    Jeez! What do you want from the guy? How the hell do you think you would do, as the head of a country as diverse and divided as this one, in a world overrun with unemployed, well-armed, and crazed religious fanatics (both here and abroad); entire countries starving and dying; beset by ever-increasing natural disasters, its natural resources being systematically and heedlessly ravaged; saddled with unprecedented corporate greed and avarice…? While being challenged at every turn by a legislative branch that is among the most churlish, whiney, and incompetent this country has ever seen, and a Supreme Court that seems bound and determined to take out fifty or sixty years of social progress at least half the time it issues a ruling.

    The guy can’t even blow his nose without someone whining about the number of “taxpayer tissues” he’s using!

    And DESPITE all that, he remains (according to some recent poll I saw) the most popular head of state in the world; visits countries that have never been visited by a sitting American president (Sweden, if you can believe it); the country’s economy has not gone completely down the toilet; the national debt IS slowly decreasing; “Obamacare” is working more than it isn’t working, already; and the stock market is still chugging along nicely, whatever that means… Among dozens and dozens of other things he’s managed to accomplish.

    Sure; I can find plenty of things to criticize. Why are chemical weapons any worse than drones, as far as killing people is concerned? Why hasn’t he told the XL pipeline people to take a hike? Why has “his” FDA approved chicken mcnugget parts being glued together in China, from dead chickens raised here, shipped over there, and then shipped back to the US? (Why would anyone “approve” chicken mcnuggets, in any form, in the first place? But that’s another rant…)

    But, hey… If you have some possibly workable proposals, bring ‘em on! And let your congresspersons know, as well.

    And, BTW, it’s nice to hear from you again, Al B. You been gone too long!


  210. Sorry to disappoint, Al B. Truly my goal is to point. I don’t have answers, merely suggestions for you to explore. I cannot change anyone’s views unless they are willing to discard their own for what they would deem better ones.

    I don’t hold high opinions of many politicians from either side of the aisle. Partisanship is a farce, anyway. The past administrations and policies certainly have their many faults and have greatly contributed to the shit we find ourselves in today. And I think it is shit. I cannot imagine a scarier world. Problem is, you can’t change the past. But we can affect the present and change the future. At present, we have a liar who has gone back on every promise and is either leading us, or has no power and is allowing others to lead us into conflicts that the vast majority of Americans oppose. I think we are at 90 percent against ‘kinectic’ action in Syria, yet he stands poised and ready to kill more civilians to supposedly ‘punish’ Assad.

    If you see a way to defend him that doesn’t merely call opponents racist, then I am all ears (eyes really). Bring it on.

  211. Poolman:

    I have to admit that I see no great strides forward in any of the cases you’ve put up here recently. That is something of a disappointment to me who used to look forward to your contributions because there was a sort of religious element to them that appeals to many readers even though the ideas are often a bit too fundamentalist for me to swallow.

    The one with the woman’s foul-mouthed rant against Obama is less about being lied to than it it is about a person who obviously hates the President for other reasons, – most likely his color. If she really wants to object to being lied to she should concentrate her attention on all past presidents, and focus on the one who was in office just before Obama instead of giving him a powder puff public rebuff. No one has caused more soul searching in this country than that one. And her attempt to tie all the ills of the world to our current president is more reminiscent of the sort rants that teabaggers customarily inflict on the public and I fear that you’ve been heavily influenced in your selections by your frequent appearances on the other weblog you’ve been found on lately.

    The one you offered about the Global Unity Project rambles through a million pie-in-the-sky platitudes but offers no workable solutions in today’s or tomorrow’s world. And the few that try, like reliance on holistic medicine and a water powered car, are bogus beyond belief and simply clutter the landscape.

  212. Our big ole Texas hearts are with Wendy Davis and her family today. Luv y’all

  213. I think we have developed better mousetraps. I don’t think the folks in charge want to employ any of them. Afraid of getting themselves whacked, I think.

  214. And I keep forgetting but I want to wish all my porch Friends of the Jewish faith a HAPPY HAPPY New Year!


  215. Youre right Terry It does seem terribly unfair doesnt it?

    I cant speak to all industries or all companies obviously but I know a bit about some manufacturing areanas. The main thing that keeps American companies doing business in our country is quality & An educated , pleantiful and talented workforce.

    The cost of training and then monitoring the quality of goods manufactured overseas is extremely expensive.

    Its true labor costs and shipping costs are also important but the most important thing we can do to keep jobs here is build a better mouse trap!


  216. Lori, then why can’t we make it more attractive for them to keep the jobs here? Surely there’s a way to level the playing field. I have to keep coming back to the enormous salaries the CEO’s make in contrast to the hourly wage they pay their employees. I’m sure fast food execs would love to have the advantage of paying pennies an hour to their employees if they could do so.

  217. * lack there OF

  218. mmmh, It has been my observation the incentive for ” outsourcing” has not been/lack there if tax incentives exclusively. the readon companies out source is costs of goods and services- doing business. its really very simple.

  219. JSRI, Your last paragraph struck a note with me. When are we going to penalize companies for outsourcing jobs instead of rewarding them with tax benefits for doing so? Seems like a no-brainer to me when corporations have so many loop holes they can jump through while their execs rake in the big bucks. – Terry W.

  220. Auntie Jean:

    Several issues here are up for discussion. There is no question that technology will continue to be the driving force in job creation and it is almost impossible to predict which direction it will go but I suspect that verbal communication ultimately will be involved. It’s easier talking about an issue than writing about it (think of mobile communication devices as an example) and I suspect that some future developments will be designed to make verbal commands the way to go.
    Aside from technology, most low paying jobs will be in the service sector while the middle class will have shrunken almost into oblivion even though human inference and instinct will be the most likely elements they carry them into the future. Otherwise, any jobs that are routine or rely on someone to do a lowly task over and over are ripe to be replaced by robots. Robots will not look like people but they will do the job without complaint and in the long run will be accurate and save employers money. So jobs that are routine will never be recaptured but jobs that require conscious humans will continue.
    In the attempt to rid the world of unions, turning schools over to private enterprises where the profit motive will quickly become the measure of success, is a disaster in the making. If this continues, future surviving humans will be nothing but a collection of unsocialized robots.
    As for women in the work force, in the past, I’ve worked for women and with women and have had women work for me. They pretty much cover the same spectrum of good, bad and indifferent seen in males but more often bring a sensitivity to human concerns that most males who relish Nascar, beer and competition seem to lack.]
    As far as flex time is concerned, our son did this in-home thing for seven years until the company he worked for offered him a bonus to train someone from India but he demurred. It was only a matter of time before his job got shipped overseas. Also, two previous jobs he had were in companies that sold out to competitors who wanted the technology but not the employees who created it. His most recent job involves some flex time and he is committed to making sure that his employer gets the requisite amount of time and attention that he would deliver on site.

  221. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Before I was so rudely interrupted by the Syrian Crisis and before that, Iraq and Afghanistan…… Then working backward in no particular order, there was the war in Vietnam, Grenada, Kosovo, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the ongoing Cold War, the Korean “Conflict” and World War II. Did I miss any? (We never much liked any of those troublemaking people anyway.) I lost my train of thought. A little too much demagoguery going around on all sides to know who or what to believe.

    This is something I have been mulling over for quite a while and I want to run it by some of you heavy thinkers here. It has to do with the future of the GLOBAL workplace and the workforce. I’m not talking about the unemployable like me now. Well, maybe I could get a high paying job as a Wal-Mart greeter. But here are two stories of people we know to illustrate what I mean. They are considerably younger than we are. (Isn’t just about everybody???) We met because of our mutual interest in music. She is an accomplished musician. He is a social scientist and works at home out of his computer between 2-3 week trips at a time all over the Pacific and Asia. They have two grown children. The other story is, she is a highly specialized physician and he is a physical scientist. He too works on tons of data on his computer at home. They have three preschool children.

    Only one of these four people is a native born American. They have made their homes wherever their chosen career opportunities have taken them. As you can see, there is a mix of different generations here.

    Where am I going with this? Well, let’s see. First there was the Hunter-Gatherer Age, then the Agricultural Age, then the Industrial Age and now the Technology Age. Each age brought sweeping cultural and social changes. But the ancient traditionalists always, always dragged their feet at any of those innovations and resulting changes, especially when it came to slavery (the need for a cheap work force) and sexism, (again, the need for a cheap work force; wives, secretaries and technicians doing the grunt work). The social strata was clearly defined with the layers of each spelled out, unchanging generation after generation.

    More and more I think people are going to be working out of their homes rather than at a 9-5 locale with the boss looking over their shoulders. That takes self-discipline!!! The coined word “flextime” has even entered into the common lexicon. A good thing for the environment too with less commuting; not eliminated entirely but certainly reduced. (People can work on their computers in their jammies or underwear too!) And wonderful for family life for BOTH parents to be around and more directly involved in the kids’ everyday lives rather than a second hand recap of the day’s events when old dad gets home from work. For him, this is often after up to a two hour a day commute, tired and only wanting to unwind, have a nice dinner prepared for him and settle down to relax and watch TV for the rest of the evening.

    I do believe that some radical changes are just around the corner for the next generation or two. And that’s a good thing! We are talking EQUALITY here rather than women or the equivalent of slaves being in a subordinate role to men (Old White Ones???) Genuinely equal partnerships. I’m not talking a role reversal with women taking over and dominating the lives of everybody. But as we all know, forever until very recently, the only real professions open to women except for a few rare exceptions (such as the oldest one – prostitution) were teaching and nursing.

    Just in my lifetime we have gone from a woman being “just a housewife” to working moms in every walk of life. “Just a househusband?” Unheard of! The nomenclature has changed a little to “stay at home moms” and “stay at home dads”. But for a very long time there was even a stigma attached. Implied laziness with no marketable skills.

    Wherever there is a necessity for face to face interaction or working with equipment, it is not likely that the home will ever entirely replace the workplace. After all we humans are also social critters. I will limit my discussion – for now – to only the social and cultural changes inherent with the Information Technology Age.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  222. Poolman – How about this theory:

    There is cheap oil and expensive oil to produce. Cheap oil is a newly drilled well, nature helps to release it – the gushers of old. The lower the level in the well the oil becomes the more money it will cost in energy to pump it out…expensive oil. These new oil fields in western Iraqi would be considered cheap oil…the ones -Cheney was so interested in drilling. If you look at a map the easiest way to get that oil to Europe is through Syria.

    I agree it isn’t about the use of chemicals or the people of Syria. Follow the money. Someone stands to benefit from this.


  223. What’s happening in Syria has nothing to do with the supposed use of chemical weapons, and everything to do with the imperial ambitions of the state of Israel, which is wielding its power through its infamous lobby, to use American might by proxy to carry out its objectives in the region.

  224. “If we do not say that the Constitution applies, if we do not say explicitly that we will abide by this vote, you’re making a joke of us,” Paul told Secretary of State John Kerry. “You’re making us into theater, and so we play constitutional theater for the president.”


    “you’re making a joke of us” – they have made a joke of themselves since January 2009 without any one’s help.


    You really have to work to make a comment these days!

  225. So Gato, you don’t have a youtube video showing up? I embedded it in my post. I don’t know if your browser is up-to-date. Google: youtube KafkaWinstonWorld Obama’s speech. I hope that helps.

  226. Auntie Jean:

    We were walking through Quincy Market in Boston one afternoon and had a similar experience, only it was a troupe of Peruvian musicians playing pan flutes.

    There are several types of flutes from South America, from single stems to pan flutes. The following article shows several that are native to SA and you may be able to figure out which one the player was using.


  227. Hey, Poolman – Your attachments show up on my screen as black rectangles, and I haven’t a clue how to open them. Any suggestions? I’d hate to miss something cool…


  228. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Believe it or not, I have not told this story on a blog before. Maybe this is a good time for something other than the grim political news.

    On our island the tranquil Wailua River flows down from the mountains into the ocean at a breathtakingly beautiful place. The environs were part of a Hawaiian Royalty’s compound. The largest palm grove in the islands is on the grounds. Nearby is a small sort of grotto that still has the “Birthing Stone” where the royal women went to deliver their babies. The idea was that the woman squatted, clutching the stone in the last stages of her labor with some attendants handy to catch the baby before it hit the ground. Ancient Hawaiian obstetrics left something to be desired! Still, the present day birthing process defies gravity. When the woman assumes the “missionary position” it is more for the convenience of the doctor to see what’s going on and take control of the proceedings.

    There is a modern bridge and highway with cars whizzing by where the river meets the ocean. Just beyond that juncture is an idyllic spot called “The City of Refuge”, (“Hauola.”) There are a few stone ruins but it is mostly palm and Lauhala trees. ANYONE, no matter what the person’s social status could find sanctuary if he/she could make it to “The City of Refuge.”

    I said the other day that when we retired out here I became interested in the ancient intricate art of Lauhala weaving and took an intensive course in it. For Christmas and birthdays, I gave everybody I knew, family and friends, some “object d’art” I had made. The city of Refuge was one of the best places to find and gather the leaves needed. The Lauhala tree, (Pandanus) is also called the “Walking Tree” because quite a few of its roots protrude above ground, making it look like it has legs. The leaves are used for weaving. Not the green ones on the tree but the dried ones that have dropped to the ground. Those leaves are 6-8 feet long, about 5-6 inches wide with nasty stickers on the edges.

    One time I was down at the City of Refuge gathering leaves in a big trash bag. I heard some hauntingly beautiful music. I looked around trying to figure out where it was coming from. Finally I spotted a young man playing what looked somewhat like a pan flute. I stood there in that serene place for the longest time just listening in awe. When he stopped and started to leave I approached him and told him how much I appreciated his music. He seemed rather shy but finally said in halting English that he came there for inspiration. We talked as much as we could for a few minutes. I gathered he was from somewhere in South America. My Spanish or Portuguese was pretty sketchy too. His flute was a native instrument of some kind I had never seen before – or since.

    It was one of those memorable experiences to remember and treasure for a lifetime.

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  229. This lady pretty much expresses my current sentiments…

  230. Either I totally missed it or they added the Alaska image to the top of the first link. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. ;)


    ……And away we go!!!!


  231. Hi all,

    I found this map / article interesting:

    Where Today’s America Came From

    You can find Alaska here – at Upworthy!

    Peace ~ Δ ~ I mean it. Really.

  232. Aloha, Auntie Jean! (I’m gettin’ in the mood…) I’m afraid that, around here, the closest we’re getting to the traditional pig in the hole is hot dogs and hamburgers with “pineapple relish,” which – I must say – both sound totally revolting to me! We’re bringing our own stuff (and a big pitcher of rum punch), so we’ll be fine. I don’t think the planners give much of a care about whether Polynesian culture is any different from Caribbean culture – as winter looms ahead, we in New England will gladly take thoughts of any old palm tree we can get!

    On the military/political front, I absolutely agree with you. These people demanding the right to debate and decide are the heirs to those very “leaders” who assured us, not all that long ago, that a good dose of “shock and awe” from our mighty arsenal would do the trick in Iraq, and that only a few days later, Iraq would be a functioning “democracy,” full of equal rights for all, nationwide voting, and purple fingers. (I’m sure you remember all that. Every time I think about Rumsfeld I want to scream…) Can they not see the hypocrisy in their current posturing??!! But if Obama proposes something similar… Oh, no! They can’t let him get away with that! The arrogance! The chutzpah! The disregard for the Constitution! And, besides, it’s going to “escalate”… Of course it is. (Although, now that I think about it, the quick, focused, and relatively “surgical” attack on the Bin Laden compound seemed to go pretty well as far as achieving its goal is concerned…)

    Anyway, enough of my preaching to the choir; I think I’ll start on that rum punch right about now! Hope everybody has a nice holiday!


  233. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Gato, I forgot to tell you. Our Hawaiian friends do luau get-togethers all the time in their homes. If you want to go for an authentic ancient luau, here’s how. Get hubby to dig a really deep hole in the back yard. He might want to get some guys to help him. Line it with twigs, branches and limbs with some good sized rocks on top. That’s gonna be your “imu”, (underground oven.) Then send them out tramping around in the mountains with a spear or bow and arrows to bring down a wild boar.

    Set fire to the wood in the “imu”. That will heat up the rocks! Wrap the pig; ears, eyes, curling tusks, snout, feet, tail hair and all in ”ti” leaves. No seasonings. Then wrap him in chicken wire and lower him into the “imu” with ropes woven from “Lauhala” leaves. Move the rocks around the pig with a couple of long sticks (a modern rake or two will work). Then, shovel the dirt back into the hole up to ground level. Leave the whole shootin’ match down there to cook in its’ own juices for 24 hours.

    In the meantime, make up some Lomi Lomi Salmon and Hawaiian Purple Sweet Potato Salad. You can find recipes for those on the internet. There is a whole array of other dishes too but you get the idea.

    When you are ready to serve, have the guys dig up the pig. So what if the meat is stringy and tasteless. You can get it down and keep it down if you wash it down with a couple of glasses of White Zin. And don’t forget the “poi”! Even if it tastes like library paste it is a very nutritious food. They make an expensive baby formula from it for babies who are allergic to cow’s milk.

    This is all very AUTHENTIC!!! For tourist consumption. Our friends and I like a barbeque grill and/or microwave oven better though.

    Aloha-ha-ha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

    P.S. Years ago I took a course in Lauhala weaving. I have made baskets, hats, mats, place mats, bracelets, all kinds of things. It is an intricate art form. Google it. Naturally, I have a lovely story about it. I’ll put it up sometime.

  234. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Gato, yeah, Obama’s got the hardliner right wingers behind the eight ball. If, after interminable “debate” they do get around to voting on the Syrian’s crises proposal, (some “procedural” discussions too), and they turn down Obama’s ideas, that will be in keeping with their stance of always, always, always opposing whatever he has in mind. But against their ideological stance on “American Exceptionalism”, “Manifest Destiny” and the usual “Freedom, Justice and the American Way” rhetoric we hear over and over again.

    Have fun at your barbeque! Next time, maybe you could try Huli Huli Chicken. Marinated in a sauce of brown sugar, ginger, soy sauce and then grilled. Or, there are always Korean ribs. Both are standard fare out here.

    Me, we are staying home while I nurse my wounded foot. After about 7 weeks it is s-l-o-w-l-y healing. But hangin’ around hobbling and healing is a pain in the – - – - foot!

    Have a great week-end everyone!

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  235. Well, Auntie Jean – Guess I’m with you in Cynicism World… Although I think Obama did the “smartest” thing he could, under the circumstances. Congress (and we know who they are) has been saying, “We demand a vote!” for some time now… And Obama has said, “Fine; I’ve made my decision, and you know I can do what I damned well please with it. And now it’s your turn.”

    It will be interesting to see which members of Congress are the first to respond – and please god, spare me John McCain on “Face the Nation” yet again – and what they have to say. I can almost imagine, and I’m not going to go there…

    MEANWHILE, our Community is having our annual Labor Day blast tomorrow – a “Tiki Beach party.” We were asked to bring some “luau food,” and I thought of you! I decided on Chicken Long Rice, which was mentioned on two or three websites. Hope that’s “luau enough”!

    Have a good rest of the weekend!


  236. this is the first time i have checked in about a weeki opposed the the invasion of Iraq and I oppose this operation against Syria until we know more about what it will accomplish and its ramificatons.

  237. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Pardon me for being cynical. As I understand it, the Arab League has condemned Syria’s atrocities. Saudia Arabia, the seat of political, religious and cultural influence in the Middle East continues to play a good game of: “Let’s you and him fight. The U.S. has the hardware weapons and manpower. We’ll SELL ‘em the oil to fuel the feud and keep it going.” “We”, meaning OPEC.

    And we sure wouldn’t want to interrupt the members of Congress during their “recess” (read Labor Day barbeques and fundraisers) to tend to their jobs.

    Humanitarian concerned be damned. It’s business as usual. Greed has no international borders.

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  238. oh and terry w…. great organization and cause. certainly worth our attentions kudos for bringing it to the porch!

  239. i agree sidney. i was just about to say that same thing. i was shocked when i heard it initially. in fact i said it out loud to my trusty Labrador. obama is usually much more disiplined than to answer those softball lobs. why in the hell didnt he just give every politicial advisors apostles creed? ~ thou shall not speculate on hypothetical questions????

    i hear ya gatto but remember 9 times out if 10 in the general ,we vote for wide agendas, not specifics .

  240. I believe what is weighing on Obamas shoulders (besides the 10 tons of right wingitry) is the words that he spoke when he said that chemical weapons use would be crossing a “red line”

  241. Hey, Terry – Sorry for “preaching”! Just had to get it off my chest…


  242. Gato, You are definitely preaching to the choir when you addressed this to me! And I’ll give you a loud and proud “Amen, Sister!” I was just pointing out the difference in how we react to problems in various areas of the world. “What’s in it for me?” is the flavor of the month with the people who are going to profit. I’ll be interested in Obama’s rationale for interfering.

  243. Hey, Terry and Terri – I’m afraid I’m more cynical than you are about our “willingness” to go to war. We are heavily invested – literally – in continuing to think of ourselves as “the world’s last great superpower” (and maybe we are), but I think it has less to do with standing for the oppressed than it does with keeping our GNP humming along. We rarely miss an opportunity to sell all those weapons we keep making, and that requires that we insert ourselves into endless “conflicts.” (We hardly gave a damn, and still don’t, about the hundreds of thousands killed and maimed in the Sudan, for example… Because Sudan doesn’t have anything we want, as far as resources or strategic position are concerned, and they evidently can’t afford to spend millions on military hardware.)

    Hell; too many of us don’t even care about the “oppressed and downtrodden” in our own back yard – cut social services, cut lunches for kids who may not have a meal other than what they get at school, gut public works jobs that could employ thousands of people (and cut their unemployment compensation, as well), fight like hell against providing medical care for all, cut back on support for public education, do everything they can to make sure that the right to vote is made as difficult as possible… Need I go on here? Around here, too many people have the attitude that you’re on your own when hard times hit… And then are suddenly full of indignant patriotic “sympathy” for the Iraqis, the Syrians, or whoever. Go figure…

    My guess is that our own weaponry, used by ourselves and by those to whom we supply it, have killed more civilians than all the chemical weapons ever deployed.

    And that’s this morning’s rant from here!


  244. Terri, You have a good point but it’s probably not in their best interest to get involved and/or it’s a case of “surely someone else will take care of it”. Think of how people walk by a crime being committed and thinking they didn’t want to get involved, etc. etc. Not everyone is willing to react to a situation in which the downtrodden, the marginalized, the “least of these”are being harmed.

  245. One of the things that bothers me about the Syria situation is that no other countries in the region seem to be willing to do anything (or in the world for that matter). Why isn the U.S. always on the hook?

  246. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Terry W, welcome to the wonderful world of “Anonymouses”! I think I recognized you anyway without your name. As you pointed out and you too, Gato, there are and have been brutal regimes all over the world we are not chasing down. The dead are still dead no matter how or who kills them. But others just suffer being maimed and impoverished. Let’s not forget Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe since 1980. Last I heard the average life expectance of a woman there was 34. There is no oil or much of anything anybody wants. Just desperate people. And then there is South Carolina, disenfranchising those who are not likely to vote Republican. Uh, how about the Gov of Maine, who, among plenty of other outrageous statements, thinks child labor is just peachy.

    The U.N. goes about doing its business without much fanfare or media coverage. They are doing some pretty outstanding work though despite some formidable hurdles. I do think the general public often thrives on sensationalism and controversy so we don’t pay much attention to what little progress is being made. A long held tradition is to just grab your saber, (musket, rifle, six-shooter, AK-47, Cruise Missile or Drone) and go get ‘em! Deal with death and destruction by more death and destruction.

    About the Syrian crisis. Obama is proceeding cautiously. As a constitutional scholar, he made a smart political move. He lobbed the ball into the court of Congress since a formal Declaration of War requires an Act of Congress. I don’t think that provision has been observed since Pearl Harbor though. Haven’t there just been Executive Orders issued and away we go? The specifics of any action are at the behest of the Commander-in- Chief.

    We’ll see……

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Salaam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  247. Gato, I don’t know why I came through as ‘anonymous’ – it’s Terry W here having just posted a reply to you and telling about Somaly Mam’s foundation.

  248. Gato, It does seem like deja vu all over again! There are so many atrocities inflicted on so many innocent people all over the world. I’m reading The Road of Lost Innocence the True Story of a Cambodian Heroine by Somaly Mam which tells of the sex trafficking of young girls. It will break your heart and give you hope at the same time that there are people who are working to make a difference. You can learn more about the Somaly Mam Foundation, get involved, or make a donation, at http://www.somaly.org

  249. Hey, Auntie Jean – Could we PLEASE just not do the Iraq thing again?? Doesn’t this all sound kind of familiar? “Limited strike”? “No long term involvement”? “Send a message”? Was that not the Viet Nam “message” also? Why is the use of chemical weapons any different from a gazillion people having their hands and feet cut off in Somalia, and the intestines of women torn from their bodies in front of their own children? (Sorry for so many quotation marks… And that’s the LEAST of the things for which I am sorry…)

    The effing crime is that we agree to going to war of any kind. Once you go to war, the goal is to win. Making rules for war is a joke. What’s the difference between one use of poisonous gas, and the use of uncountable machetes? A thousand people, more or less, were killed by this gas. How many have been killed in Somalia? How many children conscripted? Tens of thousands, on both counts.

    All I can think of is who is going to make the big bucks from sending our weapons over there. We know who they are. Who cares if all those swarthy people die? So long as the market is going up, and investors are doing okay.

    I do understand that Obama is in a “difficult” position, but I have to say I would have wished that he didn’t sound so much, these days, like W!

    HTG. Porch Ladies, I’m keepin’ the faith, and it’s getting more and more difficult to do so. (Although, every time I think of the Romneybot, I feel kind of creepy…)


  250. Hi Congenial Gang,

    While we are hanging out waiting for the next shoe to drop – or not – in the Syrian Crisis (read: on-going ancient family feud between Isaac vs. Ishmael / Christians vs. Muslims / East vs. West), maybe there are other important issues to consider too. I don’t have any pat answers for any of them. I wish I did!

    This Labor Day weekend when we aren’t shopping or barbequing, let’s mull over the implications of the work force and the work places of the future. I have some ideas along those lines and I’ll get back to you later.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  251. I’m looking forward to President Obama’s speech this afternoon.

  252. thanks guys. :)

  253. Thanks Whirled!
    There you go, lori :-)

  254. Here you go lori.


    Peace ~ Δ

  255. hi pi! would you please do me a favor and shoot me the link to that ” test” we always use to determine where politically we fall on the spectrum?

    I had it saved on my other computer and now of course I cant find it. Found many ” trsts” but not Pi’s . lol

    thanks kiss kiss

  256. Cynthia, Your urging us to remember to vote reminded me of something a friend of mine said, “Remember: vote early, vote often!” whenever an election is coming up.

  257. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Absolutely a great reminder, Cynthia. Women were “granted” the right to vote only 9 years before I was born. We’ve come a long way baby – constitutionally – but we’ve got a very long way to go – culturally. We’ll get there though!

    Psst, lori, nope, didn’t get your e mail. That’s not unusual around here for stuff to get lost in the shuffle. Traffic jams you know. Please try again.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  258. thanks jsri and Jean and anyone else for the good wishes. I will re -read your comments later when I feel up to it. Thanks for the encouragement. We are back in Omaha with our grand daughter. Our son in law got the day off because they didn’t know when we would be here or our condition.

    Our grand daughter smiled and cooed when she saw us.

    We both feel awful, but aside from my wjfe’s stapled scalp and my contusions and bruiesd lung, we are fine. After all, we are still alive.

    Gossip around the neighborhood held that we had died, possibly because someone had seen our car towed to salvage.

    yes, we have coped with many worries this past year, but it was great to wake up this morning.

  259. psssst Auntie Jean, did you get my e-mail?

  260. Perfect Cynthia!

    What great reminder of how far we have come and how far we still need to go for total equality!

  261. Happy Women’s Equality Day!

    The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York.


    Don’t forget to Vote!


  262. Hi Congenial Gang,

    James, you and your family have had life changing events going on in your lives of late. Looks like you had a close call with the train. It is easy to be distracted with so many other things on your mind to command your attention. I hope you and your wife will slow down, relax, take care of each other and take the time to look at things just a little more objectively.

    All of us who have already lived through various crises in our own lives and those of our kids and grandkids know this is just part of life and the state of being human. Some were quite serious; others, not at all. My mother had a saying, “Experiences like this can either BETTER us or BITTER us, which ever way we CHOOSE to use them.” And we do have a choice.

    Despite a few nay-sayer’s advice you may have been given, it just might be that your granddaughter, given a chance, will turn out to be a perfectly normal and happy little girl without too much fuss and worry about her. She could have a small anomaly here and there. Most of us do though and learn to live with them. Fuss and worry can only magnify them needlessly. Kids, even infants pick up on that. In the long run, that can create more problems than there were in the first place! It is the function of the medical profession to be on the lookout for complications and/or abnormalities and be prepared to deal with them effectively. That’s their job! Let them do it and don’t try to second guess them. It is YOUR job to take their advice and carry it out – effectively – or not. As an adult, it’s YOUR choice.

    You must have trust and confidence in the people here on this blog or you wouldn’t take the time to discuss your concerns with us. I wish you and your entire family only the very best.


    Auntie Jean

  263. Hi Congenial Gang,

    James, you and your family have had life changing events going on in your lives of late. Looks like you had a close call with the train. It is easy to be distracted with so many other things on your mind to command your attention. I hope you and your wife will slow down, relax, take care of each other and take the time to look at things just a little more objectively.

    All of us who have already lived through various crises in our own lives and those of our kids and grandkids know this is just part of life and the state of being human. Some were quite serious; others, not at all. My mother had a saying, “Experiences like this can either BETTER you or BITTER you, which ever way you CHOOSE to use them.” And we do have a choice.

    Despite a few nay-sayer’s advice you may have been given, it just might be that your granddaughter, given a chance, will turn out to be a perfectly normal and happy little girl without too much fuss and worry about her. She could have a small anomaly here and there. Most of us do though and learn to live with them. Fuss and worry can only magnify them needlessly. Kids, even infants pick up on that. In the long run, that can create more problems than there were in the first place! It is the function of the medical profession to be on the lookout for complications and/or abnormalities and be prepared to deal with them effectively. That’s their job! Let them do it and don’t try to second guess them. It is YOUR job to take their advice and carry it out – effectively– or not. As an adult, it’s YOUR choice.

    You must have trust and confidence in the people here on this blog or you wouldn’t take the time to discuss your concerns with us. I wish you and your entire family only the very best.


    Auntie Jean

  264. James:

    You’ve been dealt several bad hands recently so what I have to offer may or may not be helpful. But its possible that you have a grandchild who may have special needs that are destined to keep you busy and involved for the future and though we’ve never had a special needs child in our family we are not unfamiliar with the circumstances. When I was a child in the mid 1930′s a new family moved into the 2-story colonial house across the street from us. The three boys, the ages of my brothers and I were pretty good ball players so we spent a lot of time playing in the street. But hidden in a back bedroom of their house was an eight year old sister, a Down’s syndrome child, who would occasionally get out of the room where they kept her locked up, get into one of the front bedrooms and screech at us from the window. Immediately, the boys would run back into the house and the screaming would stop after they got her back to her room. The family was obviously embarassed so we were never invited into the house but we knew what was going on though no one ever spoke about it. Of course, almost nothing was known about the causes and a very ugly name was attached to the condition that continued to be used used almost a half century later. Little Alice only made it to about her fourteenth birthday

    Fast forward to the 1960′s when a senior teacher, in the school where my wife taught, had her husband bring their Down’s syndrome child Mae to school one day, the youngest of their eight children. The rest of her family eventually had professional careers or ran successful businesses. My wife was pregnant with our son at the time and was being attended by the same doctor who delivered all the children of her fellow teacher. He was neither a Doctor Whelby nor a Doctor House. Maybe Doctor Kildare was more his style. It was his contention that such children needed a lot of love and attention and deserved socialization, not incarceration. It was a fascinating dynamic to watch as every member of the family took turns looking after Mae and I never saw her in public without one of her siblings having a grip on her hand. They obviously loved their little sister and were not afraid to show it. In her teens she started working in a sheltered workshop every day, at first putting toys into boxes before she was able to handle more complicated assignments. Mae suffered very few of the ailments often associated with the condition and died at age fifty-seven long after her parents. For much of her life she rotated through the homes of her siblings who fed and clothed her but, above all, loved her dearly. It was a commitment that lasted a lifetime.

  265. Thanks for the good words, Gato. I have never asked anyone about those other subjects you mentioned, except maybe some questions of Pfessor when doctors were giving contradictory information.

    Susan is our first and probably only grand child. This was rough on our daughter and son in law, especially since our daughter’s life was potentially at risk.

    I don’t believe in devine providence, but maybe there is something to it. Everyone thought we were goners, but we are basically fine. One could almost think that God intended for us to help care for our grand daughter for the next five years. As I wrote our grand daughter has come a long way from a doctor suggesting no one would hold it against her parents if they aborted her. After all that has happened, she is here for a reason, and here we are. I am not especially religious.

    Around 6Pm we were on our way to Omaha, I looked at the crossing on the edge of our farm. There was nothing from the south. My wife moved her head to pick up something and I didn’t see the train. She yelled, and there it was.

    A girl was killed at that crossing less than a year ago, and a cross is near the track. As a result, the trains are mandated to cut their speed to 20 MPH. We didn’t hear a train whistle, and as it hit, I thought “This must be it.”

    Jaws of life extracated my wife, and I managed to climb out on an incline. Our car snapped off a large sign which probably saved us from falling into a stream.

    I called 911, and the rescue unit took us to the hospital. The train engineer or someone gave us some water. Everyone had feared the worst..

    My ribs are not behaving. They move when I take a deep; hreath, but x rays show no breaks. My neck and back are sore too, and I am putting ice on my ribs. My wife bled a lot from superficial wounds, and they stapled her. Now, she is wearing a bandage the size of a turban.

    The car is at a salvage yard 30 miles away, and our cell phone is inside.

    Tomorrow will be a busy day. The doctor told us we will feel llke heck tomorrow, but we are fine.

    Our daughter is freaking out. We called her from the rescue unit as it drove us home. The emergency worker let us use his phone. My wife has done so much grant work for them, they took us home when they wouldn’t in most cases. They also said they didn’t want to charge us out of gratitude for my wife’s looking for grants. We will pay because they need the money.

  266. James… I’m sure your daughter has a name, too. Again; don’t need to know what it is. Is this your first grandchild, or just the most interesting? A challenging prodigy can absorb all our interest. The “normal’ kids are often left out of our attention when we focus so intently on the special kid. And those hard-driving, “normal” kids will resent all the time we spent on the special one. They’ll never tell you, but they will.

    Have you ever asked anyone here whether or not they’ve ever had a child, or a grandchild, with Down’s syndrome, or Asperger’s, or autism, or gender confusion…? Or dwarfism, or blind, or deaf, or minus a limb or two…? I’m not aware that you have. If you had, you might not think your situation is so unusual. It’s just not.

    Yes; do read Solomon’s book. It’s an eye-opener.


  267. “Susan has what is called Morton’s syndrome. Her middle toes are longer than her big toe. It is a fairly common condition., I have it, our daughter has it and Susan also has my high arches.

    The condition can aid in tree climbing and in picking things off the floor or pinching someone. I can write with both of my feet The main draw back is more than normal pain when wearing stiletto heels, Maybe we can someday convince her not to wear them..

    My grandfather had a webbed foot, so at last that trait didn’t pass down to “Susan.”

    She has red hair like her father and deep blue eyes which is not a surprise considering both sides of her ancestry., Her father has brown eyes, but it looks as though she might eventually have hazel or green eyes. At least it appears that way when one shines a light across them. Her eye color is already starting to change near her pupils, Of course, we won’t know how her eye color settles for several years.

    Even her hair color may change, of course. Our son and I started with blond hair and evolved to light brown, Our daughter has blond hair with flecks of red. My wife also some stray red hair.

    Another endearing quality is Susan’s snore like breathing. At one point, before birth, doctors didn’t think she had a nose, or at least a nasal bone. She has a cute little nose, smaller than any of the rest of ours, but her nasal passages are small too, If her head is tipped a certain way the low sound stops, Otherwise, it is usually barely audible. Because of that, we know her breathing rate increases when she sees us for the first time or when something like her play mat amuses her,

    Someday, she may need surgery for that and her ears, but she is fine now.

    Its fun to speculate, but it doesn’t matter how her face turns out. She is beautiful and I don’t think it is based entirely on family bias,

  268. No Gato “Baby” is an easy way to identify our grand daughter without telling her name. She is known by her name when we talk about her, and when we speak to her, we say “Hi….” Its name this and name that. Shutting back and forth is hard, but one of the best things we have gotten to do in a while. Baby is ;pure joy when she smiles at us.

    My wife lifts her over her head and says “name, you are such a good baby.”

    Her personality is already emerging. She likes to be neat, she has a stubborn streak, and she is very determined. Baby’s cries are mostly to communicate something, usually hunger. When she is hungry, she gives a warning with her movements and if she is around, our daughter cries “DEFCON TWO!” and someone scurries fast to get a bottle, We are still trying to learn her language. She mostly cries when she is tired and doesn’t know it. We think she is also beginning to communicate boredom with a cry. She rarely sheds tears, because two to four adults hover over her,

    When I get a bottle and prepare it, as I hold Baby, I tell her what I am doing and to be patient. It will be ready in a moment. Our daughter who is doing office work on her computer hollers from the next room, “She doesn’t know the meaning of patience,”

    I have what they call a magic shoulder. No matter what, when I put her over my right shoulder, she quits crying and stares around. I take her for a walk around the house and when I take her upstairs, I count the steps and tell Baby there is something suspicious about always having twelve steps.

    One day, I felt dampness near my wrist. Our son-in law had just come home from work , “You need to change your shirt,” Baby had drooled down my arm to my wrist and down part of my shoulder. Even some of my hair was wet,

    Our daughter changed Baby’s diaper, and as she did a gaseous explosion sent fecal matter two feet into the wall,. No one else has had that experience., Once when I was waiting in our car for my wife, I changed our son’s diaper on my lap when our daughter threw up on my lap and her older brother, That is as close as I can come to our daughter’s experience,

    Thanks for the book suggestion. I will look for it. Right now, we need all the help we can get. If you don’t like “Baby” what name do you suggest? I am partial to Susan but it would be fun for you to suggest a name,

    I do rather write about this than the political stuff.,

  269. James!

    WTF is a “gay rapist’…?! (Oh, please, don’t spend one nanosecond explaining that…) IMHO, you might really want to let this go, and get on with the good stuff you’re doing. (Beans: Good. Weeding: Good. Corn: Excellent, and wish I had some. “Baby”: Very important, whatever you’re doing.)

    BTW, I find it interesting that you only ever refer to your granddaughter as “Baby.” I understand privacy issues, but is she simply “Baby” to you? Surely her parents have given her a name. Of all the things you might be doing, letting her know she has a NAME, and an identity with that name, would seem to me to be pretty important. She is not just “Baby,” with low-set ears, and a smallish head. She’s already a person. You don’t need to tell us her actual name… Just call her something other than “Baby”!

    Read “Far From The Tree,” by Andrew Solomon. It’s a great book about raising “different” children, and how parents, and sometimes grandparents, handle those situations.

    This is about all I’ve got for now…


  270. Terri, Trayvon, himself wrote that he used lean, You can read his own words in my post, or you can look on line. So you DO know that he used drugs other than Pot, though not on the night of the shooting,

    Some theorize that Martin might have been under the residual influence of lean because research shows effects can linger for a period after use, A symptom is paranoia. Who knows? Most likely, Travon felt threatened and decided to fight,

  271. Terri the fact is that Trayvon used drugs. I documented it. That whites use drugs is irrelevant. I don’t have to visit a college campus to see people who use drugs. His drug use tells us he was not the alter boy the press created. It doesn’t mean he was a bad person. He was making bad choices.,

    I am not disparaging Travyvon. I am telling the truth which the press tried to hide. They created a racial problem which should not have been exascerbated by a simple self- defense case.

    The Washington Times “This is For Trayvon Martin: 3 black men beat, rob white. Police are investigating it as a hate crime.,

    The Washington Post “Ugly attacks in the name of Trayvoln Martin April 26, 2012

    WWW Underground “Black Obama supporters attack elderly white
    “for Trayvon,.”

    List of Trayvon Martin Supporters making retaliatory attacks grows Sott.net Society’s Child July 16, 2013 They listed about fifteen black on white attacks and described a mob of black teens chasing an Hispanic man as they yelled “this is for Trayvon.,”

    Maybe they would have done it anyway, but that they used Trayvon’s name tells us it made a good excuse.

    Again, I am not defaming Martin’s name. I am defaming the press and others who made this a racial issue when it wasn’t They lied that Trayvon was a gentle soul just buying Skittles and tea who was murdered by a trigger happy neighborhood watchman,

    That fed into the black anger. Blacks already face unfair police action at times, and it is easy for them to believe what the press and leaders like Al Sharpton tell them. Those people injected race into the case.

    Trayvon and his girl friend didn’t consider race. She thought Zimmerman was a gay rapist and told him to “run run, Trayvon should have followed her advice,

  272. Hi Gato,
    As usual, you say it way better than I can.
    James, you continue to spout the usual BS about Trayvon and race. The only drug I know of Trayvon using is pot. Shall we count how any young white males indulge? Have you been on a college campus recently? I work at one, so let me save you the effort, it’s extremely prevalent. Out of respect for Trayvon’s parents, please stop disparaging their dead son.

  273. Gato, just so you know how I manage my time.

    I burned the trash after my last comment and I used the garden hose to put out a fire that spread to some dry grass. I picked some more beans and a dozen ears of sweet corn, I also picked up five windfall apples from the ground. Now, I am eating a ;piece of apple pie someone made with the apples we gave her,

    Next, I need to get ready to go to Omaha after my wife returns home.

  274. I may be wrong, but I don’t think the stand your ground law was an issue in the trial, Self defense was.

  275. In case anyone is interested I have just come in from picking and weeding green beans,.

    Au contraire Terry. I have not attempted to slander a “murdered teenager” The press attempted to slander Zimmerman, and created a false image of Martin as innocent young boy, Do you remember the first pictures we saw of a thirteen or fourteen year old Travyon?

    In reality, Martin was a young man roughly the size of Zimmerman. Young Travyon was into fighting and in his words considered himself to be a “gansta.” He took drugs and had been suspended from school, Martin also had jewelry at school which wasn’t his, but no one charged him with theft. As far as I know, Martin had no police record.

    I have already mentioned Zimmerman’s arrest record and that he and a girl friend, filed protection orders against each other, He was accused of domestic violence and fighting with a police officer, Charges were reduced and the last one dropped when he entered an alcohol addiction program, I mentioned some of these things here during the trial.

    Zimmerman was charged with speeding a year or so later, but the arresting officer didn’t show up in court, so charges were dropped,.

    Whatever the charges, they weren’t serious enough to deny Zimmerman the right to carry a weapon,

    The press slandered Zimmerman before the trial. He is now suing NBC, I think. Do you remember when Zimmerman was a white man? It had to change to white Hispanic after his Peruvian heritage was revealed. The press tried to make Martin look like a helpless, innocent teenager victimized by a trigger-happy white man.

    I am not slandering a black teenager. I am telling the truth the press tried to hide. Thanks to them, this has become a racial issue with young blacks allegedly beating or killing whites “for Trayvon”

    Neither protagonist was an angel, and a tragedy occurred because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, Drugs and domestic violence were irrelevant to the case, but they reveal a little about both of them.. Besides “what at this point does it matter?”

  276. Hi, Terri – Yeah, and the recent speeding arrest (complete with weapon in the car) and Zimmerman’s “celebrity gun shopping” are absolutely reprehensible. Anyone with a SHRED of character, if he really didn’t “intend” to kill anyone, would be displaying at least a small amount of decency and humility… Maybe even some acknowledgement of remorse. But not this dude.

    Before this abomination, Zimmerman was – apparently – pretty much just a delusional, self-important wannabe cop. Now he’s a FAMOUS delusional, self-important, shameless, self-righteous wannabe cop. And probably even more dangerous.

    I’m waiting for him to be given the NRA “Stand Your Ground For Freedom and America” Award, or whatever it is they give out for this kind of thing.

    Thank you, lovely Florida lawmakers, for all you do…


  277. James,
    I’m sure no one wants its to re-argue the TM case, but I have to say your attempts to slander a murdered teenager with innuendo is disgraceful and reprehensible. Let me remind you George Zimmerman was the party who had an arrest record and he and his wife lied about their finances shortly before the trial. Perhaps you should give GZ’s character a closer look and stop focusing on TM.
    Not need to respond.

  278. Gato, I am not farming any more. We rented the land as I wrote a long time ago. I have a column, and I am active in four historical organizations. One of them manages an historic building and small museum. We have a large garden and a number of fruit trees as well as a big raspberry patch. We have more freedom to move about than we did, All of these activities allow for some free time.

    I am a speed reader and I type fast, I put something down and then leave, Most of my news comes from the internet., I take time to check developments there, and. sometimes, , I look here. I don’t have the time or desire for a blog. If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were accusing me of lying.

    I don’t really care if anyone agrees with my ethnic theories. I just put them out there. The theories are documented. If I thought anyone would reread the sources, I would list some,

    I have not made racist comments about the Martin Zimmerman case. Others have, including the press who created the story of a trigger happy neighborhood watcher who killed an innocent young boy because he was black. They even used misleading pictures and altered evidence to make their case. They are the true racists.

    Moreover, his girlfriend, Rachel Jeantel didn’t discuss race. She was afraid Zimmerman was a homosexual rapist and told Martin to run, run from him,

    Zimmerman ” profiled Martin because of the time of day, and the weather and Trayvon’s behavior, not his race.”

    Released toxicology reports showed traces of marijuana in Martin’s blood stream but nothing else, though no one has said If they tested for cough syrup..

    Free Republic Trayvon Martin, Skittles and the PCP link

    “DXM” in Trayvon’s Facebook history:

    Trayvon Slimm Martin

    unopw a connect for codine?

    Mackenzie DumbRyte Bakish



    To make some more


    u tawkin about the pill codine


    no the liquid its meds I had it b4


    hell naw u could just use botitussin nd soda to make some fire ass lean


    I feel u, but un need a prescription to get it


    dats y I asked if u know someone da has but ima sto burnin

    Ohh I doubt it nd why?


    is to roped and u can get the same vibe off lean,

    “Ok so we know Trayvon is seeking a source for a powerful cough syrup, commonly used the drug culture as to make an intoxicating drink called “lean.” Purple lean is known by names such as lean, sizzurp and liquid codine It is a mixture of promethazine/codeine and cough syrup and sprite or other beverages such as Arizona Watermelon,

    Skittles and iced tea? Or purple drank–Occupy HLN July 19 2013

    It wasn’t just Skittles Travyon was carrying..World Net Daily July 15, 2013

    KSFO AM Skittles and Iced Tea or Purple lean July 2013

    American Renaissance May 24, 2013 “Gun, Drug Texts feature in new Trayvon Martin Shooting Evidence. “Much of the new evidence disclosed on Thursday in filings by Zimmerman’s attourneys comes from Martin’s cell phone, including photos showing a semi automatic pistol and ammunition and small marijuana plants growing in pots.” He said he took marijuana every Friday Traces were found in his blood. There were pictures of Martin smoking.

    Do you want more documentation? I can provide it, I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you, but after the trial it didn’t seem very important.

    Drugs had nothing to do with Martin’s being killed. His attacking Zimmerman and beating his head against concrete did, The case was decoded on whether or not Zimmerman felt his life was threatened and defended himself appropriately, The jury decided Zimmerman was defending himself,

    The drug issue only represents a symbol of a press and others who tried to turn Martin into the innocent boy he wasn’t Skittles and pop symbolized the innocence of Martin’s journey that night. Maybe the purchases were innocent, but to say that with certainy is misleading since Martin had used lean in the past.

    Check the archives and find an incident where I initiated a personal attack without provocation,. I will attack your ideas, but not you personally unless you attack me. Once I unfairly dumped on Cynthia because I misunderstood what she had written, but I applogized and gave her pointers on how to slam me since I had one coming.,

    It is no secret that Jean and I don’t like each other, but I am polite if she is.

    We will be returning to Omaha later this afternoon, so you will be rid of me for awhile, Maybe not for the rest of the afternoon, though.

  279. Hi, Auntie Jean – Thanks for the great post, with its “ouch” moments at the start…! I did go right to Youtube to check out Forte and Sean Pannikar. Wow! You are absolutely right; they are formidable. Just loved them…

    I was thinking, “Hmmm… These guys may have just gotten together as a group, but they certainly have a lot of stage presence and obvious voice training…” Not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but it didn’t seem that they’d each just been singing alone in the shower prior to finding each other and preparing for the audition. I did see, on his web site, that Pannikar has been performing for over ten years, and I’d love to know a bit more about the others, too. I’m sure I’ll be able to find out! Ive never watched “America’s Got Talent” in my life, but I’ll be glued to the TV for Tuesday’s show to see them again. Thanks for the tip!

    And here’s one for you: Last December I heard a really wonderful baritone, who was a last-minute substitute soloist in a performance of the “Messiah” given by our local chorale group, in which my husband was singing. His name is Dashon Burton, and he’s one of those performers who grab you totally from the moment he opens his mouth – not only with his voice, but by his very presence. He sang for a while with a group called “Cantus,” and another called “Roomful of Teeth” (not kidding). You have to poke around a bit on the web to find actual videos of him singing, but, if you have the time, you might want to check it out… I think he’s terrific.

    And to that exchange of cultural expansions, I will add that I hope you have a great day!


  280. Sorry, James, but I don’t think Jean needs any defense. She is a beloved poster to many here, including me.
    Yes, you have been exceptionally polite lately. However, the past does matter and I recall many harsh, racist posts from you. When the “Liberace of Learning” was slinging his insults around, you were quite happy to back him up and join in. Things like that are not easily forgotten. As for me, I’m still waiting for your post to enlighten us on Trayvon Martin’s nefarious drig-related use for the Skittles he purchased. You’re entitled to your opinions, but some of us just don’t read them. Carry on however you’d like.

  281. Hi, James – I really can’t imagine how you find the time to write as copiously and regularly as you do… With all the farming, and community events, and “Baby” caretaking, why spend so much of your time defending your family history, analyzing other people’s possible psychological makeup, justifying your current behavior, and trading “attacks” with anyone?

    BTW, just because others do not take one side or another, don’t think that indicates that they necessarily agree with you OR your “opponent” in any of these jousts. It may mean that they’re just not interested in taking part in attempts at character assassination, period.

    As some here have already suggested, you might really want to consider starting your own blog, where you could chronicle “Baby”‘s progress in as much detail as you like, and continue to share your ethnic theories and conclusions, with a more universally sympathetic group of dedicated followers.

    Just a thought…


  282. Jean, you fail to realize the desperation we have felt toward our grand daughter’s prospects. Almost from the beginning, doctors told us she faced a future of mental retardation or maybe an early death. Her head is now barely within normal range, but her ears are small and set low.

    Doctors can’t understand why she is progressing so well, and they still haven’t ruled out an MRI scan and genetic test. She is doing fine now, but there are no guarantees., Progress could stall.

    They said what we are doing is the best care Baby could get,

    Under the theory that infants’ brains are plastic and can create new connections which compensate for damage or abnormalities my wife and I have worked our tails off to let our grand daughter know she is loved and to stimulate her mind. Her parents didn’t talk to her the way we do, but they are beginning to.

    The sticking out of tongues was an accident which let Baby make a connection, She smiles broadly because she knows she is communicating and we are sending a message back,.

    we must be doing something right. Last Wednesday evening I called my wife to tell her I was spending the night at home and I would return on Thursday. She was alone with baby and feeding her. Baby heard my voice on the cell phone and my wife said she smiled broadly and began saying “hi”. I said “hi” and we repeated the process about six times. I don’t know if she understands the meaning, but she associates “hi” with another mental connection,

    We play symphony music and also music videos. Music, especially lullabies sung personally provide repetition which causes the brain to anticipate and eventually speak. Baby loves looking at herself in mirrors, though she probably doesn’t recognize the baby as herself,

    When I play Vanilla Ninja’s Tough Enough, Baby stops looking at herself and smiles as she watches the video Her mouth moves along with the singing. The last time, she said “hello” after the singing The band is Estonian, and though the song was in English, banter after the singing was in Estonian, We also speak French around her at times. We talk about the news, I count steps as we go up stairs, and lift her up and down When my wife does that Baby smiles broadly Oddly sometimes, when she asks if Baby wants to do it again, she smiles broadly again, I doubt if she understands. Maybe it is the tone of her voice, She also likes Al Stewart’s “Year of the Cat.”

    Something must be working, because so far Baby has exceeded doctors’ expectations, I could provide daily reports, but people would get bored.

    My wife helped at the town celebration yesterday. Someone showed off her six month old baby. My wife said that minus the grasping, our ten week old grand daughter is even more responsive than that baby and she reacts as well as the older baby does, We watch other babies intently to compare progress and maybe catch something we might help develope,

    As far as gender roles, I was primary caregiver of our children during the winter slow season before they went to school, I fed and played with them. I took them for medical exams, and I was the first to watch them walk When they were in grade school their teachers had programs during the day, and I only missed one of them during their grade school years,. I video taped them all so my wife could see when she came home from school, My wife jokes that I got the better deal because she had them as her high school students, My parents took care if them during fall and spring, though most of that job fell to my mother because my father was still farming,

    Don’t jump to conclusions about something of which you are ignorant.,

    You, Jean, are like one of the Henry and David pears my wife gives me on each wedding anniversary. The last ones are still as sweet and delicious as the first, but inside, the core is brown and rotten.

    Your day is fading as evidenced by the shortage of people who have joined in your attacks. Here is a song, just for you. “I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones. I’m breaking in, shaping up, then checking out on the prison bus.
    This is it, the apocalypse. Welcome to the new age,”

    Imagine Dragons “Radioactive.”

  283. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Most of the time I just skim on by his posts of the same ole stuff; at best, puerile and self-centered contrariness. But this one caught my eye and I made a note of it for future reference. Read it for yourself. james on August 3, 2013 at 8:09 AM.

    Re: parents and grandparents teaching their offspring values. The only thing OOfO has reported teaching his infant granddaughter so far is to stick out her tongue at him and then giggle about it. That is generally and universally recognized as a rude gesture of defiant contempt that should serve her well throughout her life, don’tcha think? Ya gotta catch ‘em early if you hope to turn ‘em into life-long right wingers before they learn to think for themselves – if ever. A dandy way for a grandfather to be involved and bond by example with a chiild. Nothing at all about loving and caring. Of course, the care, feeding and changing of her is no doubt left up to his daughter and wife. Nurturing, after all, is traditionally a woman’s job, isn’t it?

    Also I’m sure everybody is impressed with his discourse on crime among black youth. That naturally, was Fox News’ Reaganesque Bill O’Reilly’s line about the black family structure, single mother homes, absence of strong father figures, blah, blah, blah. A couple of days ago while I was working on my drape I saw that clip of O’Reilly on Laurence O’Donnell’s show on CNBC. Almost word for word. Nothing original there. O’Donnell tore O’Reilly a new one in his rewrite rebuttal. As to the “government checks” to black and indigenous American Indian people, uh, have Santa and his Reindeer been bringing farm subsidy checks ever since the times of Washington, Jefferson and Adams? They were farmers too. And where do the military disability checks come from? The Easter bunny maybe?

    BTW, it is a gross breach of professional integrity as well as ethical considerations for “therapists” to discuss, let alone gossip with relatives about cases, unless and except when they are subpoenaed to do so in a court of law. This applies to social workers in detention centers too. But a few people like to indulge in and spout off psychobabble to lend a modicum of credibility their point of view.

    Well, as the only capon in the hen house right now, as far as I am concerned he can crow on to his heart’s content.

    Enough about that. As most of you know I am an opera buff. I recently read a rave review of a production of Mozart’s “Die Zauberflote”, (The Magic Flute) performed by the New Orleans Opera Company. One of the leading roles was taken by an up-and-coming gifted young tenor, Sean Panikker. I had never heard of him. So I looked him up on YouTube. Wow!!! In addition to being quite handsome, he is a most talented performer.

    As often happens when I look up anything on the net, I get distracted by other attractions. One was the appearance on “America’s Got Talent” of a newly formed trio of tenors who call themselves “Forte”. (A spinoff of “The Three Tenors” of Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras”.) The “Forte” guys met online only a couple of weeks before their audition for “America’s Got Talent”. Their initial appearance was their first time together on a stage, singing ”Pie Jesu”. Breathtaking! Another one is “The Prayer” made famous by Andreas Bocelli (Italian) and Celine Dion, (Canadian).

    One of the “Forte” trio had to drop out because of visa issues. He is Korean. So Sean Panikker joined them. You can catch them, again on YouTube, singing “Somewhere”. Goose bump time! Check them out.

    To my way of thinking, these are the faces of a changing America in the here and now. Ever so slowly but surely, are making PROGRESS!

    Aloha!    Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  284. I agree with you Alaskapi. I don’t know anything about the Alaskan indigenous people, but I know what is happening on the reservations across the river from us. Half of the residents live on “government” checks.

    As far as I know, Indian agents stole from the Indians at the beginning. The Pine Ridge reservation has protested liquor sales across the border in Nebraska, because the area has a serious alcoholism problem. People had been traveling across the border to purchase booze in Nebraska for years. Now, the tribe has decided to permit liquor sales to earn some money from it.

    Human nature being what it is, they would have done the same to us, but we don’t have to follow our baser instincts.. It is a crime. “desires to maintain cultural integrity in this stupid melting pot crap we spew across America.” That’s good. I like it because its true. The same thing is happening in Europe and probably all of the other continents,

    You’re welcome, Terry. I think it is a very important crusade. Next week, I will call my representatives and see what happens.

    Thanks for the good wishes, Terry. Baby is really gaining ground, Her ears are still low set, and small, I showed a video of her to friends at a high school reunion party, and they thought she looked very alert. She is a happy baby, and that makes us happy–a big contrast with the past eight or nine months.

    Judging the parade was fun, and now that I have finished some work, I will watch a band play at our town celebration and see my wife who is helping with a food stand.

  285. James, Thanks for your signing on to my crusade and I am also happy to hear of improvement in your granddaughter’s progress.

  286. James-
    Pfft! on the Native subsidies, dependent on government checks routine.
    Assimilation was the plan clear up until the Self Determination Act of 1975 with multi-pronged methods for breaking up communally owned lands, forced boarding school educations away from families, suppression of language and traditions, amongst them being the order of the day.
    All this while maintaining that Native peoples were incapable of managing their own lands and the Fed managing them IN TRUST ( legal use of trust there) , permitting mining and the like, collecting royalties IN TRUST for the tribes and yet if you read the history of the Cobell suit, the Fed couldn’t account for the monies it was supposed to oversee. Couldn’t manage to begin to account for the monies. Monies the Fed finally settled for 3.4 billion dollars in 2009.

    Tribes are Domestic Dependent Nations under US law. As such they have a limited nation to nation relationship with the Fed as ordered by Congress. That that has been problematic for 200+ years is an understatement. Native peoples cannot start a power, water, any kind of project without permitting by the Fed. Fine- oversight is good. Oversight which is poorly funded, takes years to move off zero, and gets big-brothered to bits is a PIA and next to useless .
    Even with some of the good changes which have come with the Self Determination Act, there are years and years of damage to undo and still many, many hurdles for most tribes to overcome to break the cycle of despair and poverty – a cycle all too many other Americans see as just desserts for indigenous desires to maintain cultural integrity in this stoopid melting pot crap we spew across America.

  287. I agree Terry.

  288. Gato, I forgot to write that I agree with you about economic deprivation and that it also contributes to the problem.

  289. I feel as if I’ve been preaching to the choir and the “congregation” hasn’t gotten it when I point out that it costs us less, as taxpayers, to educate a child for a year than it costs us to keep a person in prison for a year. Likewise money spent on seeing to the needs of those kids from the time they’re born and up till they enter our school system is the best investment we can make in their future and ours as well. Real change comes with giving a “hand up” although sometimes a “hand out” is needed as well.

  290. Yes, Gato, I know we put them there. I live next to two Indian reservations. We destroyed their culture and tried to turn them into dependent white people. The leader of a Lakota Sioux band called Brule was taken from his parents’ home as a young child and adopted out to a white family. He didn’t know he was Sioux until his parents died when he was in his thirties.

    We made them dependent on government checks, and there they are. The Indians have two casinos, and I am openly grateful that at least they have the chance to steal from whites who virtually destroyed their sense of identity.

    Blacks face a related problem. Patrick Moynihan wrote in 1965 “Indices of dollars of income, standards of living, and years of education deceive. The gap between Negro and most other groups in American society is widening.”

    “The fundamental problem in which this is most clearly the case, is that of family structure. The evidence–not final, but powerfully persuasive–is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling. A middle class group has managed to save itself, but for vast numbers of unskilled, poorly educated city working class the fabric of conventional social relationships has all but disintegrated…”Monahan wrote that the government needed to direct a new national goal, a stable black family structure.”

    The Moynihan Report 1965.

    I have witnessed the deterioration of family life and culture in North Omaha which has a high murder and violence rate. Most of the grieving family members are women, and so many have said of their beloved dead miscreant “he was beginning to turn his life around.”

    We know fathers are important to the development of girls and especially boys. That part is nature. The thuggish culture in some areas is nurture. I think a gang is arguably part father or mother. It provides stability, respect, and identity. People chose to live that way because its all they know, and it has its rewards.

    Our daughter sees it too, because she is a therapist to troubled youth. Four of her teenaged clients have been murdered, and one of her clients killed two of them. Some of her clients are from the richer part of west Omaha. An increasingly large number of them come from “broken families.” This is as much a white problem as it is black. Blacks are just further down the road than whites.

    Sami people still attach a strong identity to reindeer husbandry, even if they don’t own any, and the joik, a type of singing/chanting in which the singer becomes the song and becomes the community fosters a strong identity with the group,.

    We can’t turn blacks, Native Americans, or whites into Sami, but the basic features of family and social break down are common to the American populations.

    Moynihan described the problem, but so far no one has been able to solve it..

  291. James: Native Americans live in the conditions they do because “we” put them there. Surely you know this. And the “thuggish and racist” black culture (?!), and the increasing white inclination toward that kind of behavior, is a direct result of lack of education, poverty, and unemployment. (Oh, yeah; and the NRA…)

    Nobody chooses to live this way if they have real alternatives. More and more, this country is making those alternatives unattainable. Hotels are opening “suites” that cost upwards of $10,000.00 a night… And we begrudge an elementary student a free lunch. What on earth are we thinking?

    You focus too heavily on “nature,” and totally ignore “nurture.” After our births, we are heavily influenced by our environments and our cultures. All of us. Please keep that in mind.


  292. Jean cast aspersions on my interest in the Sami people and blue eyes. She also sarcastically suggests I know a lot about everything. I did earn a social science divisional and history major during my under graduate years, so I did have a varied background of knowledge.,

    I still have a curious mind. When I don’t understand something I emerce myself in the subject until I find answers.

    For example, humans, partly because of their numbers have an unusually high mutation rate, Most mutations are noxious while others like sickle cell anemia are compromises which help a body fight malaria.

    Europe has a large number of obvious mutations, including blue eyes. Blue eyes may make one more susceptible to cataracts and macular degeneration. So why are they so popular when they can be detrimental to survival? Of what benefit are other eye and hair mutations, and why did they develop around the same time between ten and twenty thousand years ago? Why do some districts in Estonia have 100 % blue eyes?

    Boy babies out number girls at birth and before because boys are suseptable to more fatal conditions. The larger ratio becomes more even at the age of reproduction,

    However, a new study shows that the ratio changes during harsh conditions to cause more girls than boys to be born. Genetic studies show that the Finns and Sami were genetically bottle necked twice between several thousand and twenty thousand years ago. Something disasterous happened,

    The result is that Fins are more genetically homogenous than Native Americans. Only a few males are ancestors of the modern Finnic population.

    There was an apparent shortage of men in parts of Europe, and completion for mates was more fierce than normal. Blond hair and other mutations apparently gave their owners an advantage because such women were different and attracted attention,

    Thus, many of these mutations became an effective sexual attractant the way birds’ gaudy plumage is. Traits which may have disappeared under more normal conditions flourished,.

    Blue eyes are an effective way to trace migrations because they came from a single mutation. We know that after the Black Sea flooded, people moved away in all directions, Blue eyes are a good marker to show where they went.

    Several thousand years ago, Europeans settled in West China. They interacted with the Chinese. This called into question the hypotheses that the Chinese and Western civilizations developed independently of each other. Those people may have helped found the Silk Road.

    The movement of people has implications for the prevalence of certain genetic diseases within individual populations,.

    We can also learn from the Sami and other indigenious people,. The Sami have a culture similar to the Plains Indians and Inuit people. They were mistreated and even enslaved as American Blacks were. Central governments tried to destroy their culture as the United States and other European origin governments did to the Indians. They are still discriminated against. Not long ago, some Nordic governments dictated the size of their houses.

    After a slump; the Sami have a vibrant culture, and young people choose to live in the old way after time in big cities. They have adapted modern technology to their traditional lives and some have made themselves rich,.

    Contrast this with the Native Americans who live in some of the poorest sections of the United States though the government gives them subsidies etc. Consider the stereotypical black urban thuggish and increasingly racist black sub culture and a similar growing population of whites. We could learn why the Sami are doing so much better and apply it to our own people.

    These things may bore you, but I am interested in them.,


  293. Jsri, did you notice some people here don’t like our quarrel? You should give it up. You don’t even have to apologize. Stop the personal attacks, and I will

    I don’t collect every grievance. I have a good memory. For example, I can tell you when it first stared snowing during our blizzard on December 19, 2012, and that we had thunder about 2.40 PM as I was doing some shingling before the snow began which was about 4:15pm.

    We finished our harvest on November 18, 1995. Blues Traveler was playing on the combine radio as I dumped the last load. I remember during the flood, you wrote I should leave here and run our sump pump. I replied that we planned to stock our basement with gold fish. You replied that that was funny,

    My memory was much better before the auto accident that caused my brain to swell, but I do alright. I believe it was in July of my first time here, someone, Jean, I think, called it snarky Friday, because people seemed to be in a bad mood. When I cite past events here, I may not always be 100% accurate because I dredge them from my present memory, not by laboriously searching the archives. Any one who does that is obsessing,,

    Yes, insulting your parents was mean, and I intended it to be. If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out. Still, my conjecture was legitimate, I do try to be polite while you display a degree of social and intellectual bigotry. Have I dumped on Gato or Cynthia, for example? Sidney asked me not to cite conservative sites and she wrote “thanks” I replied I would work on it. Was I mean to them?
    you deserve what you get.

    Remember, I was a guest on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Science Friday. I was the token veteran, in a discussion about deprograming Afghan and Iranian war veterans in danger of suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome..A panelist called me a “perfect storm.” I warned you that in the old days, this site triggered a post traumatic stress reaction, if you ignore that warning, and I hurt your feelings, it is your problem.

  294. Hoping for a new post from M&H soon. I admit, it is fun to read comments from all the different people who respond to the new posts. We could use the variety!

  295. well said Gato
    and i agree
    pls quarrel somewhere else

  296. HTG, when you two get over jousting with each other, maybe some of the rest of us will get back on here.

    In the meantime, maybe the two of you should just get your own joint website, or blog, or whatever you need, to work out this stuff you evidently have going on between the two of you.

    Lordy, M & H, remind us how to behave around here. PLEASE. I mean it. Really. This is getting ridiculous…


  297. To: James:

    I hardly know where to begin because you always have a ready response from your bible of grievances that you must carry around with you at all times. Most people I know don’t collect every thing they write, or everything someone else writes that they disagree with. But you must be blessed with a computer library with enormous storage capacity for your grievance collection because I’ve noticed that whenever anyone disagrees with you, you collect their questions or comments and stow them away for future use whenever those folks come back on site again. By most definitions that makes you a petty grievance collector.

    Also, I can’t accept the way you tried to get at me by heaping your overt hatred of me on my parents. That was really nasty. For you to boast that you respond to others in ways your parents taught you I can’t believe that’s what they had in mind. To quote your words “I am naturally polite and I tell people when I agree with them.” James on August 21, 2013 at 2:44 PM on H&M, and James on August 23, 2013 at 8:11 AM “They taught me not to be mean unless there was no other choice.” I don’t think you know what the word “polite” means because insulting one’s parents is about as mean and impolite as one can get (and while it’s attention getting and annoying, it’s ineffective as well and serves only to prolong the discussion). But such a sleazy tactic is not a complete surprise.

    One thing you’re correct about is that I don’t always pay attention. When I came onto this site a few days ago after being away for a while it was to try to see if any of the early posters (from 4-7 years ago) were still on. But first, I had to wade through screen after screen of mind-numbing gibberish with your name attached. Usually, I scroll past anything with your name on it on this site because rarely is there anything new or interesting that you haven’t already offered in endless and repetitive detail. In the middle of the scrolling, my scroll wheel gave up and I was faced by stuff I couldn’t move off the screen quickly enough so I actually read some of it. Big mistake! It’s been all downhill since then.

    But I’m still curious about why you think you have permission to overwhelm this particular site with your offerings, essentially controlling the site. If it is so important how come you don’t have your own site, then you could regulate who can post there. You might even attract a reader.

    I can recall many dozens of people offering comments years ago when H&M’s site first appeared and it was a treat hearing from people around the country (and the world) about events taking place in their personal lives. It was a widespread community but as soon as you and your cohorts started assaulting other posters, most of the early ones disappeared and it will only be a matter of time before new people who haven’t yet borne the brunt of such criticisms will learn and disappear too. I realize that there are always other blog sites, Facebook, Twitter, and e mail for people to communicate, and they’ll do so, even using those relics of a bygone age, telephones and snail mail, – as long as they are still around.

  298. Terri, DUH! You can’t fix stupid or racist it seems. When will we fix this situation by making sure our background checks are adhered to and assault weapons and ammo for them is not something anyone can buy? Maybe if crimes committed with stolen weapons that weren’t reported as such would carry stiff penalties we’d gain some foothold in this war on violence. If my car is stolen and I don’t report it and then it’s used in a crime I believe I have some culpability, don’t I? AND how many children have to die from guns that aren’t secured before we do something about this horrible situation?

  299. George Zimmerman was recently spotted gun shopping. Apparently he hasn’t learned anything. Disgusting, just disgusting.

  300. . 7:52 AM August 18, 2013, Jean. I already explained the difference between a welfare state and a socialistic nation with documentation.

    My parents taught me to stand up for myself and for others who needed it. They taught me not to be mean unless there was no other choice. They also taught me to help others.You will notice I usually don’t initiate personal attacks unless someone dumps on me first. I attack opinions, usually politely.

    You, jsri, and a few trolls are a declining species here, relics of a time when this site could have been called The House of Political Bigotry.I suspect you are not entirely to blame. You likely didn’t have the benefit of parents with good values. They must have let you down in ways my parents and family did not.

    My wife and I are juggling two jobs, helping care for our grand daughter and maintaining our lives at home. We are leaving for home in a few minutes to work at catch up and to help with a town celebration.

    Past accomplishments don’t mean squat. How you treat your fellow humans does. I should feel sorry for what your parents failed to teach you or what you didn’t learn. But I don’t.

    I jump to conclusions about you because you do the same to me. I think you have a sickness of the spirit. No time for anything else Bye for now,

  301. Hi Congenial Gang,

    jsri, it is always good to see when you put in your infrequent appearances here. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the rejoinder(s) from the “Other Oracle from Omaha” (OOfO!) How many times over the course of this blog have we heard, “If people are nice to me, I’ll be nice to them.” Then come the usual qualifiers along the lines of ….but if they aren’t……WATCH OUT! SCHADENFREUDE!!!

    I am not a clinician and not qualified to diagnose mental illnesses. However, it appears to me that when it comes to “personally disorders”, it takes one to know one. OOfO has consistently exhibited some classic symptoms over the years on this site, often on the hour, every hour.

    Most of us here know that in addition to being a devoted husband, dad and granddad, you jsri, along with your exemplary military experience, had a distinguished career as an academic in the biological sciences and later as a university administrator. Those are only a few of your considerable accomplishments. You are too modest in specifics. Also that you and your equally gifted academician wife have traveled widely with fascinating experiences.

    Still, if OOfO could set aside his vast formal training in economics, history and psychotherapy for the moment, he could, (after consultation with his extensive array of expert advisors in the field of political science) perhaps enlighten you and the rest of us on the fine points in the differences between the “welfare state” of Finland and “Socialism” as a political ideology, especially from his staunch conservative point of view. This is for the edification of the general public, not just to score Brownie Points. Brownie Points only count if you are a Girl Scout Brownie. But hey, whose keepin’ score?

    I’m sure he would prefer to inform and instruct you, jsri, rather than a gaggle of silly old women. You know, man to man, or possibly “mano a mano”. With the formidable fierce Viking and Salem Witch burning genes in his DNA, he might even challenge you to a duel at dawn with NRA approved pistols. I’m sure his intellectually equal sidekick here would stand as his second. After all, this has nothing to do with the Twenty First Century as long as his ancestral heritage is firmly embedded in his persona. He could trade on that of the Neanderthals of Northern Europe, which, by the way, went extinct with the advent of Cro-Magnon and then modern Homo Sapiens. A few strands of Neanderthal recessive markers still show up occasionally in some DNA samples though. Or in a pinch, he could claim lineage from the Basques of the Pyrenees. Maybe not. Few of them have the blue eyes he so treasures.

    BTW, if anyone concludes that this has anything to do with scathing, caustic, sardonic sarcasm, you are RIGHT! (CORRECT, as opposed to being inclined to the political right.)

    Aloha! ;-0 ;-0 ;-0   Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  302. Hi Congenial Gang,

    jsri, it is always good to see when you put in your infrequent appearances here. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the rejoinder(s) from the “Other Oracle from Omaha” (OOfO!) How many times over the course of this blog have we heard, “If people are nice to me, I’ll be nice to them.” Then come the usual qualifiers along the lines of ….but if they aren’t……WATCH OUT! SCHADENFREUDE!!!

    I am not a clinician and not qualified to diagnose mental illnesses. However, it appears to me that when it comes to “personally disorders”, it takes one to know one. OOfO has consistently exhibited some classic symptoms over the years on this site, often on the hour, every hour.

    Most of us here know that in addition to being a devoted husband, dad and granddad, you jsri, along with your exemplary military experience, had a distinguished career as an academic in the biological sciences and later as a university administrator. Those are only a few of your considerable accomplishments. You are too modest in specifics. Also that you and your equally gifted academician wife have traveled widely with fascinating experiences.

    Still, if OOfO could set aside his vast formal training in economics, history and psychotherapy for the moment, he could, (after consultation with his extensive array of expert advisors in the field of political science) perhaps enlighten you and the rest of us on the fine points in the differences between the “welfare state” of Finland and “Socialism” as a political ideology, especially from his staunch conservative point of view. This is for the edification of the general public, not just to score Brownie Points. Brownie Points only count if you are a Girl Scout Brownie. But hey, whose keepin’ score?

    I’m sure he would prefer to inform and instruct you, jsri, rather than a gaggle of silly old women. You know, man to man, or possibly “mano a mano”. With the formidable fierce Viking and Salem Witch burning genes in his DNA, he might even challenge you to a duel at dawn with NRA approved pistols. I’m sure his intellectually equal sidekick here would stand as his second. After all, this has nothing to do with the Twenty First Century as long as his ancestral heritage is firmly embedded in his persona. He could trade on that of the Neanderthals of Northern Europe, which, by the way, went extinct with the advent of Cro-Magnon and then modern Homo Sapiens. A few strands of Neanderthal recessive markers still show up occasionally in some DNA samples though. Or in a pinch, he could claim lineage from the Basques of the Pyrenees. Maybe not. Few of them have the blue eyes he so treasures.

    BTW, if anyone concludes that this has anything to do with scathing, caustic, sardonic sarcasm, you are RIGHT! (CORRECT, as opposed to being inclined to the political right.)

    Aloha! :- :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  303. The rules are simple,jsri.and you know it—one up manship You once wrote that I was better at throwing insults than you as you withdrew from the field. I was sending your words back at you in a different form. You should try to remember what you wrote in the past because you might see it again.

    I d0n’t have time to re- read your original comment, but it seemed to me that when you wrote about defining oneself by ancestors’ accomplishments you were accusing me of that deed. So, I countered. My ancestors are dead. They have little bearing on my accomplishments and failures, The same is true of yours.

    i didn’t try to maneuver you. Herding Swedes is an uncommon opportunity.

    I don’t know you, and thank God that you will never pollute my world in a face to face meeting, but you clearly have a problem. I don’t attack you. If you write, I read and don’t comment. What is wrong with you?

    You, on the other hand behave like a cyber bully when it suits your fancy. You either have an anger problem in your obsession over me, or you are an elitist, authoritarian jerk.

    Your volunteer work was a nice touch. I am working hard so I can return to Omaha this evening. I will be helping judge a parade on Saturday.

  304. James:

    Thanks for your thoughtful analysyis of my many weaknesses. It appears that your psycho-analytical skills match your vast experience as a hydrologist. But you have to be careful because your vast skill set appears to be susceptible to half-vast ideas. Which reminds me. You totally missed the point of my exercise and I’m puzzled why, in your attempt to establish bona fides, you would want to throw yourself in with distant relatives who were involved in the Salem Witch Trial killings.

    Oh, I know you’ll turn this exchange into some sort of contest that only you know the rules for and, based on your vast debating skills left over from junior high school, you’ll claim I was cleverly tricked by you into my response and you’ll declare yourself the winner. If that’s all that’ll make you happy, so be it.

    Meanwhile, I have some volunteer activities to attend to that consume large blocks of my time and I hate wasting it on trivia.

  305. oh and ps there are paid opportunities available with #battlegroundtx as well… just click the bix on the right hand side of the site that corresponds to your intetest.

    see you sooooon I hope!

  306. Good morning friends!

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    We have much work to do . Just last week Attorney General Greg Abbott thanked a supporter for saying that Abbott would beat Senator Wendy Davis in a gubernatorial race and that he would teach “Retard Barbie to learn a life lesson” .

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  307. Gato, and anyone else who might care, I have been working at home today. My wife is in Omaha with Grand daughter, and the parents are still at work. I told my wife I will spend the night here at home. Baby heard my voice and began smiling and giggling,.. Then, she said “hi” I repeated “hi” and she repeated again. This went on for about six times.She then laughed. It is the first time I have had a telephone conversation with a ten week old infant,

    On Saturday, I will be judging a town parade. That could be risky.

  308. gato, I was answering jsri in the same tone he wrote to me. You have as much a lock on “truth” as I do, but I was right about the Nordic nations’ being welfare states. I was rubbing his nose in it because of his attitude. It seems to irritate him,

    He belittled me, and I responded. His alleged mental health problems were my way of belitting him. He once wrote I was a nut case, so it is only fair. I’m not really claiming someone I don’t know has a mental disorder. I’m lobbing the tennis ball back to him,.

    He started his personal attacks years ago, and they led to my response. If he or any of the others here who want me gone are polite to me, I am polite to them.

    I can’t be mad at some words on a computer screen. it is more like a game of checkers.

    So, as I wrote, none of my comments applied to anyone but jsri,,

  309. Hey, James – I think I’ll let you and jsri snipe at each other over this stuff…

    But nobody has the lock on any absolute “truth” here, and throwing out unsolicited psychiatric evaluations is not particularly helpful to anyone, either. Personal attacks usually lead to nothing more than more personal attacks, period. (That should be obvious!)

    Just my opinion…


  310. One more thing, jsri. The paternal side of my family killed witches during the Salem Witchcraft trials, and my maternal ancestors were Viking enforcers in islands off the British coast. Not much glory there.

  311. No offense to anyone but jsri.

    sri, people like you need people like me to provide the truth. For example, the Nordic countries are welfare states, not socialist nations as Jean wrote. Your continued ignorance of “obscure reindeer herders” illustrates why I need to be here to educate you. . Are you some sort of jingoistic bigot who cares only about people who match your standard of consequence? Or, has age so ossified your brain that you have lost the ability to understand new concepts? Your inability to correctly interpret what I have written about myself and my family suggests the latter. Again this is directed only toward you jsri.

    I am not desperately trying to make a connection with anyone. I am naturally polite and I tell people when I agree with them. I have even admitted to being wrong a time or two. Have you? It’s nice to read other people’s stories and opinions. If you had paid attention, you would know I am very busy right now.

    Jean makes rambling comments too, and I read them. Mine was a reaction to her digs at me. We both have a right to write what we want, in spite of your presuming to usurp the authority of this blog manager to impose your standards on a blog you don’t own. I come and go as I please, and you are powerless to stop me.

    Your apparent obsession and hostility toward someone you will never personally meet leads me to believe you may suffer from a borderline personality disorder. You seem to be obsessed and angered by my presence, and you feel compelled to to exclude me through attempts at insult. Obsessive-compulsive disorder. That’s the ticket.

    Your apparent need to find companionship on a computer screen while projecting the same impulses to me, also supports my belief that you should seek therapy.

    I don’t rely on a computer for companionship. I get my kicks from real life faces. You need to do the same.

    Maybe sometime, I will write another rambling discourse about Basques or Baltic people, just for you. I know far more than I have told you.

  312. James:

    For God’s sake, give it up for a while. I came on the site a couple days ago to see what’s up in the lives of the sane commenters and I was overwhelmed by screen after screen of your maundering discourse about a bunch of ancient reindeer herders that most people couldn’t care less about. I realize that you are desperately trying to establish your connection to some group that is supposed to have some relevance but all you managed to do is croak the scroll feature of my computer mouse. Time to get a job or find something to occupy your time, try volunteer work of some sort.

    You see James, I come from a time when people were often defined by the accomplishments of other members of their family, often from much earlier generations. But I soon learned that ancestry is not a determinant of capability. It’s one of the reasons I have no interest in genealogy because many people use it with the hope of finding a connection to someone who was famous from an earlier generation as if that connection gives the seeker some sort of special cachet in the present day.

    I’m more impressed by what individuals accomplish in the present day and whether they try to leave the world a better place than it was when they entered. I’m impressed by my grandsons and their friends (and the children of posters on this site) who have taken it upon themselves to help others, regardless of their names, places of origin or skin color, to take advantqage of the many opportunities that this country has to offer, the same opportunities that grandsons and friends already have simply by being born here.

    By the way, why are you still here? I thought you’d be on your way to (Eden) oops, I mean Finland by now.

  313. In 2007 several Democratic candidates threatened to boycott Fox News.

    Now, the Washington Post says it may be smart move for the Republicans to boycott, and so does Chuck Todd.

    IN both cases they are strategies to enhance advantage. Half of the country probably won’t even notice.

  314. ha ha again we agree terri ! it is a waste of time for anyone who is looking for a candidate that will be strong and intellegent enough to solve some of our nations problems and mive the country forward! but then again if a person really WANTS that they wont be voting in the gop primary. ;)

    i just read an article talking about immigration reform and how necessary it is for us to pass some good laws addressing our broken out if date immigration policies. 40 percent of dallas county doesnt speak english in their home. 66 percent, yes 66 percent non military families in san antonio do not speak english in their home with the gop wielding all the power to get this crucial work done but its looking more and more that isnt going to happen. the party as a whole is impotent.

    but politically- yes good ole prince struck gold with the hillary debate kerfluffle. remember in the primaries you are preaching to your choir. and what channel dies their choir watch?

    jari shamed me into filling in my details soooo no more anon. at least for today!

  315. Hi again Lori,
    It may be smart politics from Reince’s viewpoint, but it’s a colossal waste of everyone else’s time. Kind of funny/pathetic how they are so afraid of being asked tough questions during the primaries. And apparently Hillary scares them sh&@less! Looking forward to Rand Paul and Ted Cruz debating each other–talk about cra cra!

  316. lol lol i know right terri????

    but god love ole prince ( the chairman of the rnc) he knows he has a whole lotta work to do with his party before the next national election! lol

    their post election autopsy showed just how damaged the republican brand was coming out of the clown show aka republican primary last time around. so first order of business for the chairman was making sure he kept the cra cra looney tune candidates underwraps as much as possible. its actually a stroke of genuis to use the hillary documentary as a strawman arguement. by limiting his candidates to only fox news views while pretending to champion a noble cause is pretty damn smart when you think about it. fox news viewers are use to cra cra loons and probably won’t vote for the democratic nominee anyway so won win for Prince!

    but it is telling that the rnc has already begun 2016 prep using time-money-energy when the midterms are only a few months away. right? lori

  317. Lori,
    I agree with your post. It’s been very revealing to watch the latest GOP concern: a possible Hilllary Clinton mini-series. This country needs a lot of solutions to some very serious problems, yet the GOP is expending amazing amounts of attention and energy to stopping a possible tv show, while simultaneously trying make sure that their candidates won’t face any hard questions from unsympathetic journalists during the debates three years from now! WTF? They are a joke, and I hope they will be punished at the polls for obstructing all efforts by Obama to improve the economy more quickly.

  318. A band of extremists has captured the editorial office of the Chicago Tribune. The editorial against Obamacare makes interesting reading.

    Maybe the true extremists are the people who created a proven unworkable system with out seriously researching what works and fails in other systems, like Finland’s for example.

    I mentioned Finland because Jean trapped me into writing about it, and it is hard to free oneself from one of her traps.

    Polls also show Obamacare is still unpopular.

    I agree, the Tea Party helped lose the Senate for the Republicans.

    I also agree republicans should not focus only on Obamacare. The economy and foreign policy are good targets also.

  319. btw…. that was anon was me, ~ lori

  320. that is the question of this election cycle isnt ut sidney?

    conventional wisdom and even some pretty big leaders in the gop have warned of the perils that lay ahead for the party and its candidates if the insist on making the 14 election about OBAMACARE.

    the only reasons i can think of for the usual well disiplined party players to go against leadership advice issss there really IS no leadership. the many rumors of interior power struggles snd upheaval within the party must be true.

    there has been much speculation among political scientists that the base of the gop Are the extremists. the base are soooo consumed with hatred – fear of Obama and THEIR AMERICAZ ( read racists) they literally can not see a path forward.

    its not unusual for a party to have an extreme wing, it IS unusual for that wing to become the base.

    i think the party’s internal power struggles coupled with the well funded albeit unorganized extremists have the party in a real pickle in terms if messaging for the 2014 cycle, consequently they have reverted back to a losing, tired theme. JUST SAY NO TO ANY and EVERYTHING snd while we are at it vaginal probe everyone for good measure.

    its obamas 6 th year. typically the opposing party gains in this year. i dont see it happening this year. we will hold the senate and remain steady in the house. the gops message might fly in these small gerrymandered district races but they wont fly state wide. the tea things agenda allowed us to hold the senate in 11 in a VERY unfavorable ” obamacare” climate. there is no way in hell it will work now.

    the senior vote is what drove the massive takeover in 11. mostly because they believed the fearmongering hype of dems messing with their medicare and ss. the latest polls are showing a dramatic shift in perception among seniors now with a clear majority now worry about the republucans taking their benifits away, or drastically reducing them.

    sooooo i guess that is a very long winded way of sayin the gop, as it exists today, is on a big heap of trouble. when your party base is being controlled by your hardcore extreme wing it is a major FAIL!

    they are running out of time to wrestle back the power to the ” middle”. many are whispering it is already to late to correct the course… time will tell :)

  321. First, we are not trolls. Secondly, Jean you so cleverly set your trap that I won the discussion on points. Thanks for the present. We are in Omaha now, and Baby had a good night.

  322. Sydney opined:

    “Does anyone else find it ODD that the GOP are pulling out every trick in the book to stop healthcare?”

    Get your terms right. They are not “stopping healthcare.” They are trying to derail what will eventually become a multi-trillion dollar boondoggle. Everybody knows health care is essential; that is not, and never has been, the issue. What is being debated is how it is paid for. (Remember, everything has to eventually be paid for.)

    “They did the EXACT SAME THING with SS and Medicare years ago with their predictions of impending doom.”

    No, “they” did not. And, by the way, there IS impending doom if we don’t straighten these programs out. We should be trying to put them on sound financial footing, and it can’t be done by perpetual borrowing, any more than your family can prosper by spending every dollar it gets its hands on, and then borrowing more. Frankly, the ReBiblicans are even more fiscally irresponsible than the Democrats; they just have a better reputation.

    “If obamacare would be the disaster that they believe it to be, why not just leave it alone and allow the American people see for themselves, then they could slide into power and do away with it?”

    Because the last thing someone who is in debt up to their eyeballs needs is MORE DEBT. I’d like to have a Riviera estate, but I can’t afford it. Debt has brought nation after nation to ruin, and it looks like it will likely do the same to this one.

    “Could it be that they are scared shitless that people are going to LIKE the program when they see that their loved ones won’t die for lack of health care?”

    Nonsense. See paragraph #1.

  323. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Sidney, you called it in your post of August 18, 2013 at 6:33PM. Well said! Yep! The GOP is just plain against it no matter what the Dems propose. I think you are right about the fear factor. Their stock in trade is to try to scare people shitless over anything and everything probably because that’s how they feel about anything and everything themselves.

    Once again I set a trap or two for the trolls here and predictably both of them fell right into ‘em, hook, line and sinker. Even down to some of their usual words and phrases over and over again for the umpteenth time. (I really should be ashamed of myself for setting them up.) The repetition is sometimes astounding when it isn’t so tediously boring. Same dead end ole talking points with nothing of concrete substance to offer. Oh well, fortunately, just like Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly, Hannity and Fox News, it is so easy to just tune out and switch off.

    OK, I’m done – for now. Have a great rest-of-the-summer everyone. There’s work to be done in the fall!

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

    Does anyone else find it ODD that the GOP are pulling out every trick in the book to stop healthcare? They did the EXACT SAME THING with SS and Medicare years ago with their predictions of impending doom. If obamacare would be the disaster that they believe it to be, why not just leave it alone and allow the American people see for themselves, then they could slide into power and do away with it?
    Could it be that they are scared shitless that people are going to LIKE the program when they see that their loved ones won’t die for lack of health care?

  325. By the general definition and also Richard’s ( the manager here. I’m not sure of the name) definition a troll is someone who disrupts a conversation, often to stir up trouble. By dumping on me, that other person was the disruption since everyone else was being polite. Making personal attacks on another or wrongfully calling him/her a troll is also the mark of a troll. “By his works, he shall be known.”

  326. Thanks for the kind words, Gato. We will be back in Omaha later today, so you won’t hear from me for awhile. i’ll be back home for few hours a couple of times this week to pick beans, apples, and pears. Old family saying “Don’t the bastards grind you down.:”

  327. Joanie Mitchel and Renee Zellweger have a Sami heritage.

    The Sami are Northern Europe’s indigineous people. They, like the Finns, their relatives, are genetically unlike any other Europeans. A genetic bottle neck shows that twice in the past 10 to 20,000 years disaster practically wiped them out. Sami may be the parent population of the Finns. When Europeans retreated before the last ice age Sami were isolated in the North.

    Since they carry up to a quarter or a third Asian genes, they have been declared non- Europeans and unworthy of the rights and privileges of true Europeans. Sweden controlled Finland for a couple of hundred years, and they justified their discrimination against the Finns by declaring that established science showed they were half breed mongols. Even today, outsiders in Scandinavia sometimes declare them to be mongoloid mongrels. A blond with subtle Asian features can be unsettling.

    Finns, like Mormons and Jews were industrious and intelligent. They also tended to stick together, and as they out competed other immigrants in the US, they suffered discrimination as the other groups did. They became involved in the early twentieth century labor movement and resorted to violence. A wave of antipathy toward Finns developed. Someone even sued to have a Finn deported under the Asian Exclusion act around 1906. My aunt’s side of the family solved the problem by declaring themselves to be Swedes. I never would have known had not my father asked “Do you know why your aunt has slanted eyes? She is a Sami Finn.”

    Three waves of agricultural invaders spread across Europe, but the Sami remained hunter-gatherers because they were too far north for farming. They did trade with their neighbors and probably helped design and build Viking long boats. They also probably participated in some of the raids.

    Sami have a combination of Native American and Inuit Culture. In fact, their Samanistic religion must be quite old to share similarities with Indians and central Asians.

    After Scandinavians converted to Christianity, they forceabley tried to destroy the Sami Culture. They destroyed ceremonial drums, declared them illegal, and burned shamen at the stake. People who refused to renounce their religion and culture suffered a similar fate. Sami often accepted Christian baptism and then went home to create unbaptism ceremonies. They lived their religion, including joiking in secret.

    Swedes kidnapped and took Sami people to their New Sweden colony as slaves. Later, they made a similar deal with the British.

    Sami children were sometimes adopted out to educate their culture from them as was done with Native Americans.. Mari Boine,( about the ban of joik YouTube video) a singer described how it was in Norwegian schools where educators made them feel they were inferior with no mention of their history, language and culture.. Sami singing, especially the joik, one of the oldest music forms in Europe which may date back to the Ice Age was banned. Central governments took their land just as our ancestors took the Indians’ land. Even in the twentieth century some governments dictated the location and size of Sami houses.

    LIke Indians, they were prone to alcoholism. A Sami Lutheran evangelist converted many to Lutheranism and abstinence during the 1850′s,

    The Sami are intelligent, tough people who want to maintain their culture. When the Norweignian government took reindeer herding land for a power plant, Sami chained themselves to the gates of Parliament, and they sued. They also waged such a massive protest that at one point, the Norwegian police force devoted over a tenth of its people to the protests. Had a compromise not been reached, they would have deployed the military.

    Since that time, the Scandianavian countries have given Sami their own parliaments to run their local affairs and Norway now recognizes Paganism as a legitimate religion.

    No one knows how many Sami remain because many have declared themselves to be Scandinavians to avoid discrimination. Until the afore mentioned demonstration, the Sami culture was in decline, but a resurgence developed with more young people preferring the Sami life after living in the other world.

    About 80.000 known Sami live from Norway to the Kerelian peninsula of Russia. About 8% still herd reindeer, but the old nomadic way has died. Now, they use global positioning and helicopters to find the herds, and they drive them with all terrain vehicles. Sami do still live in tipi style tents when they are managing their herds. Their system of reindeer husbandry is not unlike American cattle ranchers.

    Though most Sami live like other Europeans, reindeer and other features still are important. Their traditional costumes are stitched so that another Sami will know from which clan and village they come from,.

    The spirits assign each Sami an individual joik. The strange type of singing is intended to communicate with the spirits and the ancestors, for story telling and for fun. The Sami have traditionally sung joiks in private or in small groups. That was especially true when joiks and shamanistic drums were banned because they were of the devil.

    Even now, Sami practice many of their rituals secretly away from outsiders, but some are posted on YouTube. Traditional Mari Wedding shows a pagan wedding.

    The singer of a joik doesn’t sing about something, He/she becomes the song. It behooves the singer to behave well because as the singer, he/she is representing the entire community because the singer IS the community.

    I believe the joik can also be used as a weapon to bewitch someone from what I have read..

    In recent years, Sami and others have learned that they can become rich by commercializing joiks into popular music. One singer, Sofia Jannok. is now rich enough to start a foundation to help the world’s indigineous people. One of her songs,” Irene” describes finding and processing her Aunt Irenes’ reindeer herd. Her latest ” Thunder of the Three Heavens” on YouTube video. She interrupts her singing by saying “enough of this,. Lets talk politics.” I don’t know if she channels Rush, but she refers to the Swedish government as the “Regime.”

    Since music is such an important feature of their culture and religion

    Nothing against the Amish, but the Sami and related people are not inconsequential. They are genetically and physically nearly identical to Ice Age “Cro- Magnon” people. A Russian Vep band who says they are white American Indians with some justification, made a video claiming they are directly descended from the Ice Age cave painters.

    They are a reminant of an ancient European culture, A traveling display in Decorah, Iowa, a hot bed of Scandinavian life, is now at Decorah. It honors the Sami who moved to Alaska to help teach Native Americans to herd reindeer. Some later became rich in the Yukon Gold Rush. Alaskapi can tell you about them.

    Another little-known fact is that Finish-Sami Siomo Hayha, a sniper in the 1939 Winter War single handedly killed at least 700 Soviet troops in less than 100 days. Soviets called him the White Death and deployed units devoted to killing Hayha. The Finns and Sami through brutal guerilla warfare on skis in temperatures as cold as -40 drove the Soviet Army from Finland.

    As I wrote before, Finnish related people are loaded with sisu.

    If you aren’t careful, I will spew what I know about the Basques and Baltic peoples, who are also indigenous Europeans.

    “Baby only the strong will survive over mysteries of life. Only fantasy keeps you away in lonely fields of these broken shields. So keep on kicking. The bomb is ticking. Don’t stop. Don’t be a runaway. Just go on living and don’t start giving the devil good reasons to get you in the seasons of heart break. Go for the fire. Baby are you tough enough?” Vanilla Ninja, an Estonian band.

    You know some of my heritage, Jean. What about yours? I’m sure it is interesting.


  328. we have established that Finland and Scandinavia are welfare not socialist states. Now, on to Finland’s health care system. Jean is right again that we cannot totally compare Finland with the United States for the same reasons I stated about the Scandinavian and US economies.

    By the way, Finland also has one of the best education systems in the world, and authorities have written that we could improve ours by adopting some of theirs. The same applies to health care and insurance.

    Senators Harken and Reid have said that Obamacare is a stepping stone on the way to single payer government funded health care and insurance. Obama said the same thing when he ran for office before 2008. Before making such plans our leaders should compare outcomes with similar programs and those with a difference such as Finland.

    Think Progress “Cheap Finnish Health Care is Built on the Back of Low-Paid Doctors” Oct 26, 2010. As I wrote, the Finnish system provides a level of medical care for everyone, even legal immigrants. They combine private doctors with government employees, and richer people can pay for better care than the norm.

    Patients cannot readily choose their health care providers in some districts as will be the case with Obamacare., In other places, they are able to select the doctors they want. The system is decentralized unlike the future single payer system Obamacare will evolve into. There are also a few private hospitals.

    Finland is divided into about 200 municipalities which are responsible for providing health care for their citizens. They may buy services from other municipalities or private servers. Most municipalities arrange primary care through the family doctor system so a patent can contract a doctor and be seen within three working days. Establishing a long-term patient doctor relationship reduces the number of hospital stays. Private people also provide the service.

    Employers arrange occupational health care for their workers.

    The government contribution to the cost of health care has declined in recent years to save money, and patients are paying more than they did for treatment. Doctors are paid less than in the US, and prices of some drugs are fixed. The Finnish system is in a way, a collection of localized facilities instead of what we see in the UK or parts of Canada which long waiting lines, many Canadians visit cities like Omaha for treatment.

    Obamacare as it is created will not save money for the government. Some people will pay less for health care, but many more will pay higher rates. Unlike the Finish system, businesses are economically encouraged to cut hours to part time.

    There is no free lunch. Someone has to pay. In Finland, the doctors pay through lower incomes and patients pay through higher rates. The system works, and it will work better than Obamacare once it is implemented. So borrowing from Finland is not ridiculous. It is good management,. Other countries which deserve a look are Switzerland and Taiwan,

    So far, we have established that the Nordic countries are capitalist welfare states which sacrifice some income to provide a safety net. Now, we have seen that the Finnish system works better than Obamacare will and some of its features could be adopted, maybe with modifications in the US. Looking at Finland is not ridiculous. On to Sampi. .

  329. No double standards here, nosireeeee……


  330. I like the other “Oracle of Omaha” moniker. Its not true, but it has a nice ring.

    Finland and the Scandinavian countries are not socialist countries. They are welfare states which use elements of socialism.

    Scandinavian countries have certain socialist characteristics such as high taxes and welfare systems, but their markets are relatively capitalistic. Businesses are relatively free from regulation and protectionism.

    Finland, for example “ranks higher than the US in business freedom, monetary freedom, investment freedom, fiscal freedom, property freedom and freedom from corruption.”

    Government spending as a percentage of GDP is equal to roughly 40% of the US GDP In apparently socialist Norway, it is 46%.

    A study by the Swedish group Timbro compared the DDP of various European Union Nations to those of individual states here. If Denmark were a state, it would be the tenth poorest state per capita GDP. Finland would be fifth. The US ranks higher in economic output per person than every European Union nation except Switzerland.

    Scandinavians make less money before and after taxes than people of the comparable wage class in the US. Scandinavian countries have some of the highest costs of living in Europe. It may explain in part what a British newspaper described as a “new Norse invasion” as Scandinavians buy cheaper land in the UK to take advantage of lower taxes.

    Scandinavian nations are using their welfare programs as a trade off to lesson poverty while maintaining enough capitalism to pay the bills. Norway, a big oil producer uses energy income to help pay for its welfare state.

    Jean is right. We cannot directly compare other countries with the US. Scandinavian countries are relatively homogeneus, and they don’t have the immigrant problem that we do. it takes time to assimilate a large number of new people, including Norwegians, and Swedes when they moved to the US, My wife’s grand mother and her family were among those Swedes.

    Sweden does have a foreign-born population comparable to the US, and the Swedes are coping with similar problems the US is. The welfare state is struggling with the new foreign poverty and unrest. The Scandinavian systems work as well as they do because the natives are homogenious and industrious. Immigrants to the US brought some of those values here.

    Many new immigrants, not so much. Nativist movements are active in Scandinavia as a reaction to immigration problems. Moreover, Scandinavians and Finns dislike each other almost as much as they disdain immigrants.

    One can compare Finland and Estonia like rats in a lab. They are genetically and culturally similar, and they historically have been intertwined.In 1939, their living standards were virtually identical. Finland is one of the richest countries in Europe. Estonia is one of the poorest. The difference is that Finland developed as a capitalist welfare state while Estionia suffered under Soviet socialism.

    Now that Estonia is adopting a form of capitalism and low spending, it is growing faster than most countries in the EU. and the US They are turning themselves into a European Silicon Valley, and as with the Scandinavian nations many features of our cell phones like texting came form there. SKYP is an Estonian product.

    Socialism, as long as it is not pure and is used as a safety net while still allowing economic freedom is not anathema to me. After all I lived most of my working life as a farmer as did many of my ancestors. US grain agriculture operates with many socialistic features.

    So in conclusion Scandinavian nations are not socialist..

    Libs Debunked “The Scandinavian Socialism Argument debunked” “The Myth of Scandinavian Socialism” Jan 4 2009, “The Myth of Scandinavian Socialism” The UK Libertaarian” Is Sweden a Socialist country” Wiki answers.com “No. Since about 1935, Sweden has had a capitalist economy governed by social democratic policies including high redistributive income taxes…”

  331. Morning Friends!

    pi my anonymous postings are just laziness on my part. SURPRISE! lol when i post from my phone i cant be bothered to fill in all the boxes. one of these days ill get around to doing the auto fill in thingie.

    no problem auntie jean. anyone who has known you a minute and a half knows you dont do drive bys. if u have something to say you say it with your name attached. in fact all of us lifers are like that. its just how we roll. :) soooo #sorrynotsorry friends! lol

    i bet we will be hearing from M&H in a couple of weeks. wendy davis is expected to announce her run for the Govonership after Labor Day . ;)

    soooo ill be back then. im off to help my daughter begin her sophmore year ! life is sweet! xoxo all ~ lori

  332. god, will you anonomyi please hang a sign around your necks so we can tell who you are?

    I offered to fix Jean’s gravatar a couple of times, but she said no. Hawaii’s not a hotbed of technical ability, but I’m sure there is somebody there in some corner computer-fixit that can get her back on track.

    As for Jean’s slap at James, she should be reminded that nobody has ever said a cross word to her until she has first leveled some catty remark at them. Since she’s been relatively calm and on her meds recently, things have been rather peaceful. I, for one, certainly like it that way.

  333. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Me again. Oops! I shudda done a better job of editing before I posted. I meant to thank you lori, for your vote of confidence. Gee! I have class????? Also Sibelius’ music is on YouTube rather than Google. Please excuse all the mistakes with typos and forgotten paragraphs.

    Pi and Poolman, I have been round and round with WordPress so I gave up. There’s a story there too long to go into. It could be my lack of technical skills too. Anybody who cares or who cares about me knows when I post as “Anonymous”, it’s me. I don’t do drive by shooting from the hip.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  334. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Nope, gato the “Anonymouses (?)” aren’t me. I only get around to commenting in the evening after dinner, which, because of the time zone differences, makes me look like I’m hammering away on the computer in the wee hours of the night. Besides, I always, always sign on and off with my usual same signature salutations.

    Thanks lori, for the dubious distinction of having more experience with trolls than we ever wanted or expected to have so our confidence level in them is just a tag below rock bottom. Each of us deals with them as we see fit. However, sometimes it does become necessary to point out the error of their ways.

    The self-styled “Other Oracle of Omaha” likes to hang out here and tell everyone how right he is and always has been. He has been touting the virtues of his Sammi ancestral heritage for some time. I’m sure he knows much more about it than I do from personal experience or just reading about it. However, to hold up the Finnish healthcare system as a model for a replacement of Obamacare is patently ludicrous. For one thing when it comes to geographic size and population between the U.S. and Finland, instead of, as he likes to compare apples and oranges, it’s more like a watermelon and a grape.

    Back in the mid ‘90’s though we did visit Finland along with the other Scandinavian countries. Most people are aware that they are generally regarded as having various versions of SOCIALIST systems of government. Gasp! Socialism is anathema to conservative thinking. We found all of the Scandinavian countries to be modern, spotlessly clean with gardens and flowers everywhere in summertime. I especially fondly
    remember window boxes. The people we met were invariably charming and well mannered with a delicious sense of humor. The one drawback was the mosquitoes the size of F-16’s! They came at you in swarms like dive bombers in formation.

    We heard and read a little about the Sammi people while we were there. Apparently, they are relatively small groups who are semi-nomadic. Most of them live up near the Arctic Circle in keeping with their ancient traditions and follow the reindeer herds in migration. They never quite made it out of the Hunter-Gatherer stage into the Agricultural let alone the Industrial or Technological Ages.

    Seemingly, the Sammi are somewhat similar to the Amish sect out in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania near where our youngest son lives, in that they are decent, hardworking people who mostly keep to themselves and retain their long established lifestyles as they opt not to become main stream. From a genetic standpoint, it doesn’t do much for the gene pool. But that’s their business and fine with me if th
    ey so choose. But I personally can’t imagine life without modern conveniences such as electricity, indoor plumbing, dishwashers, Ziploc bags and Clorox wipes!

    The “Temppeliaukio” Church in a square near the center of Helsinki is a marvel of creative architecture. It was quarried right out of the stone of a rock formation. “Man puts his hand to the flinty rock, and overturns mountains by the roots. He cuts out channels in the rocks and his eye sees every precious thing.” (A quote from the book of Job in the Bible.) To paraphrase the New Testament, the Finnish people literally built their church on a rock. The church will seat 750 people. In front of the altar is space for a full orchestra. A massive organ has over 3000 pipes. The quarried surfaces of the walls have been left rough with drill marks to show how the work was done. Different colored formations of stone enhance the beauty of the rocks. Water runs from cracks in the face of the walls into covered drains in the rock floor. The roof is a dome of copper. There are no bells. The altar can be seen through glass doors at street level. The reverent atmosphere of the church is one of warmth and serenity. (Google it!)
    The monument to Jan Sibelius, Finland’s most celebrated composer, stands in a treasured little park in Helsinki. It was cast in metal by the sculptress Eila Hiltunen in 1967; a distinctive work of contemporary art. The monument appears to be an abstract mass of organ pipes made of gleaming aluminum or stainless steel. A fitting tribute to the genius of Sibelius. (For openers, Google his symphonic tribute to his country, “Finlandia”. The “Finlandia Hymn” from it is hauntingly beautiful.)
    Shopping in Helsinki exhibited all manner of skiwear and wool sweaters with intricate geometric designs. Winters there must be brutal. My favorite purchase though was a refrigerator magnet of a large mosquito that says, “Send more tourists! Any blood type will do!”
    The tour bus had the black and white letters “FinnBus” painted on the sides. The unisex rest room inside had a sign dear to the hearts of all women. It portrays a red stylized pig standing in front of a blue and white toilet fixture. He is splashing all over the place! A big black X crosses out that scene. Next to the pig is a black penguin in his tuxedo sitting primly on a similar fixture with a top hat on his head.
    I think the Finns have stumbled onto a brilliant idea!
    Aloha!    Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.
    Auntie Jean

  335. You’re right, pi. Maybe just democrats. :grin:

  336. pretty silly remark Poolman- on all counts.
    especially since I’m more liberal than most who stop by here and don’t have any trouble signing in.
    any of you having trouble gone directly to the wordpress.com page and signed in?
    dear Helen and Margaret-
    sure miss hearing from you.
    autumn is in the air here, days are shortening by 5 mins/day now, termination dust is less than a month away now.

  337. Hmmm… maybe wordpress is discriminating against liberals the way the IRS is discriminating toward conservatives.

  338. one more time, it is lori . k? and short fuse about accussing a friend if mine posting anotmously? especially about a troll? u betcha tilly.

    auntie jean has MUCH better things to do with her life than write about him.

    now go play with your trolls… there ate a lot of places our there that welcome that sort of shit.

  339. Well, you’ve certainly got a short fuse about this, whoever you are. And that’s not an “assumtion” or an accusation – it’s an opinion… And, last time I checked, opinions were permitted around here, whether you happen to like them or not. Who made you the Boss of Everything?

    Be as pissed off as you want; it’s not my problem.


  340. of course that was me… ~ lori

  341. really Gato? auntie jean???? you need to stfu. you like playin with people like him? invite them to your own site. in the meantime leave your assumtions snd accusations to yourself. auntie jean has wayyyyyy to much class to play with trolls. k?

  342. HEY! Anonymous Person (and it’s not you, Auntie Jean, is it…?)…

    I think you’re being a little harsh here, frankly. I’m not much interested in hearing from Breitbart, or Newsbusters, or Rush, or the Beck thing, either, but, on the overall “annoyance scale,” I’d have to say I think James scores pretty minimally. He’s rarely a bully, and is generally pretty tolerant of criticism and smacks (such as yours).

    I have no problem with your telling anyone you think his or her “sources” are ridiculous, but I think telling anyone how much time he should be spending taking care of his family, and what he should do with his spare time, is a tad over the top. Hey – we ALL like to sit down at our keyboards, after a long hard day, and “communicate” with people we don’t even know!

    If James writes truthfully (and I haven’t seen anything to make me think otherwise), then I think he’s doing a hell of a job with his life and family, overall… Even if I only agree with his political positions about half the time!

    Gato (aka “Miss Manners”…)

  343. James, here is a thought. Take care of your family and stay off the Internets instead of trolling Liberal sites. You might not be nearly as exhausted or annoying.

  344. Terri, I’ll do what I can.

    My wife and I just got home after working on an historic building, and we are so tired we can hardly function.

  345. James
    Please don’t use Newsbusters, The Blaze, Breitbart et al as references. It undermines your arguments. Thanks.

  346. Peggy Noonan on what we give up when we give up privacy:


  347. Newsbusters has a link to “IBD’s Jed Graham Flags Four Sectors of Economy Where ObamaCare is Particularly Hurting Workers.” Retail Bakeries, Services for elderly and disabled. Home centers General merchandise stores.

  348. I agree Pfessor. When our government and its friends escape the implications of their laws, we are on the road to totalitarianism. The IRS which by some accounts, is still targeting conservatives for different treatment and which will collect the taxes to fund Obamacare wants a waiver. Now, Congressional workers will get special dispensation.

    Senator Bachus, one of the creators, called the present law a train wreck. If Obama care is so good, why are the IRS and others not clammering aboard?

    NBC’s Lisa Meyers finally reported what most of us already knew. The prospect of Obama care is forcing companies to cut staffs to half time,.

    I for one presented an alternative right here on this board–The Finnish system. Millions of people will not be insured ( it will be cheaper for them to pay the penalty) under Obamacare. The Finnish system includes everyone.

    Newsbusters wrote on August 10 based on a study by Libre Initiative, “many people in this country will be spending more on health insurance than they ever have, all against their will, so that roughly 16 million additional Americans can either get it for free or far more cheaply than the rest of us.”

    ObamaCareFacts.com “For many low to middle income Americans, insurance will be more affordable, however those making above 400% of the federal poverty line may find themselves paying more.”

    A commemtor wrote “According to CBO analysis (2013-2023) Obamacare has No Less than 30 million uncovered.”

    The Finnish system would be better than that.

    Cato the Elder ended speeches with “Carthage must be Destroyed.” People got tired of him too.

  349. Hi Congenial Gang,

    It’s good to have you back again, jsri. It’s been a while. I hope your WW’s health situation stays stabilized. Please give her a hug from me and I’m sure from all your old friends here. The story of your grandparents is tragic and heartbreaking. Sad to say, it was not all that unusual for those times. More the rule than the exception. Further, there is always, always an “Uncle Gimme” in every family, isn’t there.

    Like many of us, I am really, really weary of the right wing’s tiresome old talking points for, what, the past four years about “Obamacare.” They keep saying, word for word,
    “Repeal it and replace it with something better!” Like what? Speak up! By all means, tell everyone what you have in mind. Spell it out in detail. And don’t forget to say how long something better would take to implement in a country the geographic size and as diverse in population as the U.S. What would the majority of the people now covered by Obamacare do in the interim? Forestall any illnesses or accidents until such time as the GOP plan is in place?

    Is “Obamacare”perfect? Not by a long shot. It does and will need to be tweaked from time to time as problems arise. One size doesn’t often fit all.

    That reminds me of one my husband’s favorite stories of when he was growing up in Northern New England. You know how we Old Timers love to tell the same ole stories over and over again, especially “Old War Stories”. For some people, they are the only experiences of any consequence that ever happened in their lives anyway. I have told this story before but in a different context. Perhaps it bears repeating about now.

    My husband and a group of his grammar school pals spent much of their summers playing in the “woods” abutting the mountains near their small town. Cowboys and Indians and such. One summer they took it into their heads to build a “camp” out in the woods, a sort of “Boys Only Clubhouse.” Each one showed up with an assortment of tools “borrowed” from their dads. They worked together like beavers all summer, chopping down small trees and saplings, clearing the “site”, making and assembling logs into ultimately building their “camp”. None of them had any training or particular skills necessary for building any structure of any kind. They did have a great time though working on it together day after day.

    The father of one of the boys had a reputation in the town as being quite the martinet. When he found out about it he was incensed! First of all, none of the boys consulted him about the “camp” in the first place and to make matters worse, his own son “borrowed” his nails without permission as part of his contribution to the task. The father demanded that the nails be returned!!! Naturally, a dispute broke out. Ultimately, the boys had to dismantle the “camp”. The I-Want-My-Nails-Kid took his nails and went home.

    Out of that close knit group of boys, all of them went on into successful professions and careers all over the country except for, you guessed it, “I-Want-My Nails”! That became his soubriquet. He followed in his daddy’s footsteps and became the town’s well known martinet AKA, the biggest duck in the itty-itty-bitsy home town puddle. Fast forward to this summer. The High School Class of 1947 held yet another reunion. (My husband was president of the Senior Class.) We were cordially invited of course but declined on the grounds of age and distance (and lack of interest.) C’mon. It has been SIXTY-SIX YEARS!

    Out of the hand full of alumni who are still alive and did attend, one of them sent us a group picture. My husband couldn’t recognize any of them except for a few close friends he has always stayed in contact with. But guess who is proudly front and center in the picture with a big grin on his wrinkled, sagging face? Ole-Mr.-I-Want-My-Nails. Who knows. He probably still has his treasured nails stashed away somewhere safe and sound for future generations. An outstanding legacy, don’tcha think?

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  350. James – you and I both know exactly what needs to be done to the Congressional royalty:

    Proposed 28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

    “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.”

  351. Auntie Jean

    You and I are among the few on this blog who remember what it was like when no safety nets existed. My mother’s parents are a prime example of what one might expect if all such supports are removed.

    They came to the USA from the south coast of England at the very beginning of the 20th century. Gramp was a millwright and became responsible for the maintenance of the machinery in a major textile mill in Lawrence MA a couple years after the Bread and Roses strike in 1912 where my own father got his ribs broken by the police when he joined a group of other fifteen year old mill workers sympathizing with the strikers. My grandmother was one of seven children. Gramp was also a farmer and just before the 1929 Stock Market Crash had bought a local farm that had a long US colonial history. A low ceiling ell had been added where grandma did all her cooking and I recall little of the house except the delicious kitchen.

    In the early 1930′s, at the peak of the Depression, shortly after Gramp’s job and the mill’s machinery were shipped south to the Carolinas, Grandma went into a deep depression and became confined to bed. Because of the lack of activity, her muscles soon atrophied and after a brief period she couldn’t move without assistance. Doctors had no means of dealing with her so she was shipped off to a “rest home” which soon became her permanent home, all expenses paid by Gramp who sold vegetables, originally raised for family consumption, to local markets. When he fell behind in property taxes, the property was scoffed up by a local lawyer at a tax sale. The property is still in that family’s hands and was converted to a prime example of a colonial working farm. The kitchen that I so vividly remember was demolished during renovations taking the house back to its colonial roots.

    The bills for Grandma’s keep quickly became onerous and her sisters and brothers began contributing to her costs even though most had little to contribute. Gramps meanwhile went to live with my mother’s oldest sister who was married to James, an accountant who seemed to do a lot of work for lawyers. He was the only relative schooled enough to pay the bills and was trusted to bill the brothers and sisters proportionally. Though he was referred to as Uncle Jimmie, he quickly became better known within the family as Uncle Gimmie. As far as I know, there was a small return on the sale of the farm that ended up in the control of Uncle Gimmie but how it was spent is still questionable. Uncle Gimmie also sold off all the farm equipment and furniture which I was led to believe brought in more than the property sale. Gramps finally died some years after Grandma. At the time of his death he was broke financially and thoroughly broken psychologically and spiritually.

    I can’t tell you the effect it had on me as a child every time I heard Grandma say she wished she was dead in her barely audible, raspy voice. But that message still resonates with me and as a result, we have been pretty scrupulous about things like powers of attorney and health care proxies, etc. Our doctors, lawyers and family members are fully aware of our wishes, yet at the same time every time I see how my extraordinary wife of more than sixty years is suffering I want to stop the world and get off until relief is found or a cure is derived for her condition. But seeing that major cutbacks are scheduled for medical and scientific research as a result of sequestration, I see little prospect for that happening in our remaining lifetime.

  352. Under an amendment to the Affordable Care Act current health care subsidies given to Congressional staffers were in doubt, because the amendment said they must enter exchanges or be covered by insurance “created” by law.

    The workers were in danger of losing their current subsidies under the law, and Congressional employers were afraid many would quit their jobs because of the extra money they would have to spend. The law would also cost them their present coverage.

    Thanks to the exemption employees will not pay more than they now do to the Federal Employee Health Program.

    Reutors “Update 1 US Congress wins relief on Obamacare health subsidies. Aug 7, 2013. As I have been writing “…. But it soon became apparent the provision contained no language that allowed federal contributions toward their health plans that cover about 75% of the premium costs.

    This caused fears that staff would suddenly face sharply higher health care costs and leave federal service, causing a brain drain on Capital Hill.”

    The proposed change means that “Congress will escape the most onerous impact of the law as it was written.”

    The issue isn’t about current subsidies. It concerns the future, and before the waiver, the future would have been more expensive for government workers than it is now.

  353. Right, Sidney. Congress gets their healthcare heavily subsidized by their employer, just like I do. Just like a lot of people do.

  354. My parents’ final expenses were high, and their share of the money came from their estates. My aunt’s last expenditures were paid by the sale of her house.

  355. No, Sidney, we haven’t sucked up any more tax- paid health care than most other folks. We paid for health insurance though my wife’s teaching job. We buy dental care with our own money. We now have reached the age of medicare, but our health is good, and no one spends much money on us. We are saving money for any future medical emergency.

    Our children have private health insurance which like my wife’s policy is financed half by them and half by their employers. In spite of the insurance, our grand daughter has secured a hefty bill which the parents pay monthly. If they can’t in the future we will help them.

    This Congressional deal is different. Congressional employees would be forced to pay more of their own money for different policies in the exchanges as I wrote. (Yes, its true their salaries come from our taxes.) As noted in my sources, we will be providing Congressional workers the added expense they would have had to pay themselves if they weren’t government workers. Congress people were afraid their employees would look for other jobs without the aid.

    We will be protecting Congressional employees from the added charge of Obamacare, but Lisa Meyers of NBC Nightly News on Tuesday reported on the impact it will have on workers who are not subsidized as are Congressional employees.

    I could ask how much tax money you have used for health care, but it is none of my business, and if you did take some you probably needed it..

  356. James”……..who do you think has been paying the health care benefits for congress all along? YOU James. Me. And all the taxpayers. And…..after reading some of your posts it appears that your family has sucked up plenty of free taxpayer healthcare

  357. WHAT THE GOP DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW………the deficit has shrunk by 40% in 2013.


  358. PJ Media Aug 15, 2013 “Will Republicans Blow Their Senate Chances One More Time?”

  359. I just showed that the “Tea things” are not technically lies. The Congressional employees will enter the exchanges, but tax payers will pay a subsidy. They will not pay as most of the common people will.

    Democratic failures and scandals, though partly hidden by the press are becoming evident. if Republicans had a coherent alternative and effective spokespeople, they would clear the board. Right now, its like watching a clown car. A pox on both their houses.

  360. good morning friends!

    yes delurker and terry doesnt it just get soooooo exhausting calling out these tea thing’s lies year after year? gwaaaad … if they arent trying to find ways to vaginal wand us, denouncing civil rights for all or trying to get aliens to self deport, they are fussing yet again about making health care available for all of us!

    the good news is its looking more and more like the electorates are just as frustrated HEARING the same ole same ole from the grumpy old man party that they are rejecting the party of no in droves. poll after poll is showing a steady decline in favorables for their party. races that were not even on our radar for 14 are now a possibility.

    time will tell. we are still to far out to say for sure how ’14 will shape up, but as I always advise you to do … watch the trend lines. so far i LOVE LOVE LOVE the direction they have been headed!!!

    keep fighting! see you after labor day! ~ lori

  361. According to comments on Marketwatch.com, Congress and their staffs did get dumped into the exchanges. but they won’t have to pay the legally mandated rates. The tax payers will subsidize them thanks to personal intervention by Obama. So, yes, they have been exempted from a provision of Obamacare.

    Forbes “Congressmen Rejoice! Govt. To Subsidize Their Health Insurance Through Obamacare’s Exchanges.” They quoted a Politico Reporter who said it is unusual for a president to involve himself with a disagreement over health care premiums.

    “But Bresnahan and Sherman now report that OPM has decided to allow the government to subsidize coverage for its employees on the exchanges. ‘ A White House official confirmed the deal’, they report.”

    Once again, yes, Congress has been effectively, though not officially, exempted because though while still in the program, we tax payers pay their extra bills as their staff members search for coverage on the exchanges..

    One concern is that members of government staffs would not be able to afford the increases and would look for jobs elsewhere. They don’t make a lot of money, but they earn too much to qualify for low income subsidies.

  362. You go, Gurl! Crazy Cruz does it again. Thanks for sharing this. It sounds like the clown car is all gassed up and ready to go whenever a new strategy comes down the pike. Since some folks believe anything that fits into their agenda we’re just lucky they can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

  363. I like that story, Pfessor. It sounds like something you could tell Coast to Coast. Chilling.

    My great uncle died in a bicycle accident in 1909. For years, people reported seeing his ghost on the isolated hill road. My mother and some class mates spent part of the night on the road to see the ghost when she was in high school during the 1920′s. Even now, some of my wife’s former high school students have heard the ghost story.

    Yesterday a reporter interviewed me for nearly three hours about our century farm award. A piece of our land has been in the same family for 150 years. Actually, my great great grand father and his cousins bought it for $1.50 per acre in 1853 when the area was practically empty as an investment. He was a medical doctor and left after a few years. The land changed hands for a couple of years, hence the wait until this year to get the award.

    Ours is the oldest continuously held land in the area. My wife and I bought most of it from relatives.

  364. No, Congress hasn’t been exempted from the affordable care act. This is exhausting!


  365. James – good combine story. Let me give you one:

    When I was sixteen, my bud and I were putting along, doing about 50 on our 90cc motorcycles, along Rt. 3, west of Beckley, WV. I saw a flash in my mirror and reacted in time to see a Norton 750 pass me, going at least 90-100mph on this two-lane road. (At that time the Norton was the fastest production motorcycle on the planet.)

    The guy topped a small hill and disappeared from view on the other side. When we got over the hill, there sat a Greyhound bus, with blood all over the front of it, stalled in the road. They pulled the fellow (pieces, anyway) and his bike out from under the REAR wheels; he had hit it head-on. It was the first time I ever saw human brain tissue. I learned from his buddy that his name was Johnny Burleson, a name I never forgot.

    Fast-forward fifteen years. I am now working as a local doc and driving the same road on a regular basis to visit my mother, who still lives in the old homeplace.

    It is the proverbial dark and stormy night, and as I drive along I see a figure standing in the rain beside the road, thumbing for a ride. Normally folks won’t pick up somebody in the rain, but having hitched in the rain during my lean years, that’s when you NEED to pick them up; hell, don’t worry about your car seat; it will dry.

    So I picked him up and started a casual conversation: What’s your name?

    “Johnny Burleson.”

    Every hair on my body stood at attention. Jesus Christ; is this something out of the Twilight Zone? I looked over at him, but in the absolute darkness I couldn’t even be sure he was there.

    Finally I swallowed my heart and said, “That’s funny; I saw a guy with that name get killed on a motorcycle just about where I picked you up.”

    “That was my dad.”

    I’ve had some strange things happen to me, but that is probably the VERY top. Turns out this guy sold tires in town, and whenever I needed tires, I always bought them from him.

  366. My father died in July. I was harvesting crops in September. My wife and children were still at school as I changed combine heads. It was dusk. As I tried to maneuver the combine against the bean head, a man stepped from the brush. He waved his arms to signal which direction I should aim the combine, until the two machines were locked in place.

    I thought one of the neighbors had stopped by, so I climbed from the combine to thank him and to visit. No one was there. I was alone. My mind was playing tricks on me.

  367. Good news about baby. Her head size is now scraping the bottom of normal. She weights ten pounds and is no longer considered at risk. One side of her head is still flat. For much of her life, she has seen doctors every two days and then two weeks. Her next appointment is in two months, and the doctor decided she doesn’t immediately need an MRI scan. Her problems may be more physical than genetic.

    Good video, Poolman. I don’t consider Snowden to be a traitor.

    We cared for my parents and my oldest aunt during the last two years of their lives. My father’s mind was sharp, but he sometimes required 24 hour care at our home. I farmed at night and on weekends when my wife and children were home from school.

    Finally, he was in the hospital. I was hauling corn and looking for a chain which had fallen from the auger into a gravity flow wagon I was filling. My wife came out with the cell phone and said my father was essentially dead. I had medical power of attorney, so I had to decide what to do. My father had said he wanted to be revived, but the doctor said he was so far gone, he would be a vegetable at best. I called my brother at work and asked his opinion. My wife gave hers. My brother would accept anything I decided.

    I didn’t want to betray my father’s trust, so I told them to revive him. He was in an ambulance on the way to Sioux City when unknown to us, a tire blew out. We passed an ambulance in the median and I joked that maybe it was my Dad’s. It was.

    I was with him when he woke up, and in spite of all of the tubes, I knew he was still there when we locked eyes. Doctors said my father had an unusual constitution.

    I later asked him if he had any near death experiences. My father was a rational man trained as a mechanical engineer, and he said he had seen and felt nothing during his near death experience.

    My mother’s death was hard and complicated because as I sat by her bed, a nurse asked me to go to my aunt’s house. No one had seen her for a couple of days and wanted permission to break into her house. I drove there and watched as she was carried into an ambulance and taken to the same hospital my mother was.

    After I got her checked in, I told my 96 year old aunt that my mother was dying. “Oh, no” my aunt exclaimed. “She is so young.” My mother was 83.

    My mother’s cousin and my aunt often said “being old is not for sissies.”

    If you take on the responsibility for another’s medical welfare, you must be ready for unexpected developments and in the words of Vanilla Ninga, an Estonian band, you must be “Tough Enough.”

  368. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Yeah, Terry, those side-by side bathtubs mystify me too. C’mon. Whatever turns you on though I guess.

    But moving right along, there is a wide continuum of viewpoints on dying and death. On one end there are those who eschew medical intervention of any kind such as the couple in the news recently who allowed their two little boys to die as they depended only on prayer and God’s Will. At the other end are the cryogenics folks who have their bodies frozen and kept (at great expense), hoping at some future time for technology to advance to the state when they can be revived. I think most of us fall somewhere along the middle of the bell curve.

    Elizabeth Kubler-Ross was a Swiss-American psychiatrist who devoted her life to the study of dying and death; not out of morbid curiosity but in the attempt to better understand the processes, both physical and psychological, and to help the people she saw through the aftermath for both the patients and their loved ones. She was a pioneer in the foundation of Hospice Care; those Angels of Mercy, many of whom are volunteers.

    Any time in my life I have ever been sick, I didn’t have much of an appetite. So being deprived of food never seemed like a big deal. I have never been terribly ill for any length of time though. But I always thought that slowly dying of thirst would be by far one of the most agonizing ways to go. One of the surprising things I learned years ago from reading Kubler-Ross’ book, “On Death and Dying” had to do with the biological changes that the body, in its wisdom, makes in preparation for death. It releases some natural hormones, endorphins, into the brain that act like opiates in relieving pain and emotional stress. So withholding food and/or hydration in preparation for death is not necessarily the worst possible treatment.

    My husband and I both have some health issues but not immediately life-threatening. But hey! we are octogenarians! Let’s have a reality check here. We are and have been under medical supervision on a fairly regular basis for some time. Since “Obamacare” went into effect we have noticed some dramatic changes. EVERYTHING is digitized. Rather than lugging in hand written notes about us in his thick manila files under his arm for his secretary to transcribe (if she can read his scribbles!), when the doctor walks in he gets on the computer. (I think he probably had to learn how to type and is now quite proficient at it!) Our file is connected to the local hospital, the labs, its testing facilities as well as other specialists we see, e.g., ophthalmologist . Even dentist. It is all there at his finger tips in medicalese. It saves a lot of time and repetition all around. He has had our old Advanced Medical Directive right along as well as it being on file at the hospital.

    My husband had had one of his routine procedures at the hospital recently and they passed out a copy (free) of the “Physician’s Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment, ” POLST. (You can Google it for more information.) It is more detailed than our old Advanced Medical Directive. It advised that we go over it together with our doctor, which we did. Each of us chose the options we wanted and those we didn’t. We filled out the form to our satisfaction with no coercion whatsoever from anyone. Entirely voluntary on our part. We signed it, he signed it, then had his nurse make a copy of it for their files, scanned it and sent it to the hospital.

    Now, here is the thing. If for any reason either of us finds ourselves in a life threatening situation, the doctor and all medical personnel, including paramedics and EMTS, are committed to administer whatever life-saving techniques are at their disposal. In some respects, you can say their hands are tied whether the patient wants them or if they will ultimately be effective or not. To put it another way, POLST takes the medical people off the hook! Our doctor has known us personally for a number of years but most of the other medical personnel do not and could have no possible way of knowing what our ORAL wished might be.

    And of course, we can rescind it at any time if we change our minds. Makes sense to me!

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

    P. S. We had a dear friend years ago who was a very special lady. She belonged to an organization, I don’t remember which, that had this motto:

    “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first!”

  369. Auntie Jean, Thanks for laying it out this way. I’m thinking I need to make some end of life decisions myself. As for those tv ads about various drugs I’ve always cringed when the statement about possibly resulting in death and wondered who would want to risk that.
    I mute the tv when the ED commercials come on and I’m glad I’m not watching with one of my grandkids. Plus what’s up with those side by side bath tubs?

  370. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Hmmm. This is turning into a 3 or 4 parter. I don’t mind if you don’t.

    Those who define themselves by no other criteria than the financial bottom line need read no further. However, there are those of us who consider other factors of equal if not far more relevance than just economic considerations. Some of those are emotional attachments to our loved ones and by extension, all of humanity.

    Not to put the fear of God in anyone, but sooner or later we have to face the reality that each one of us will have to deal with end of life issues. Medical Science and technology have advanced at astonishing paces even in my lifetime with regard to life-saving techniques. Still, there remain plenty of the “What Ifs……”

    Eventualities such as these can happen to people of any age or walk of life, such as the myriad of diseases, automobile accidents in the young, kids in backyard swimming pools or oldsters stubbing their toes and falling getting out of the shower. For openers, what if your breathing or heart stop? Can they be restarted? Yep! CPR, electric shock and drugs can jump start your heart. CPR involves someone with specialized training, breathing into your mouth and pressing – hard – on your chest. A tube inserted through your mouth can help you breathe. But, there is always a BUT, isn’t there? Like everything else in life there is an up side and a down side. CPR works very well if you are healthy and if it is administered within a few minutes after the heart or lungs stop working. The same can be said of electric shock and different drugs to kick start the heart back into action.

    The down side is that CPR doesn’t work very well if you have chronic serious health problems or an illness that can no longer be treated with any degree of success. For example, if you are in a hospital and get CPR, the chances are 17% that it will work and that you will leave the hospital alive. If you are older and weak, the odds are only 3%.

    Let’s say you do opt for CPR. It will help get the heart and lungs going again, but….by then your lungs may be weakened and you might have to be put on a ventilator, (breathing machine), for how long……who knows? The ventilator pushes air into your lungs. It is hooked up to a tube through your mouth into your throat and windpipe. You cannot speak or swallow with the tube in. You may have bruised or even broken ribs. You may have brain damage and need to be looked after in ICU (Intensive Care Unit) for an indefinite period of time.

    There is also another option besides a ventilator, bi-level positive air pressure (BiPAP). It is a tight-fitting mask over your nose and mouth, making it hard to talk. The tight- fitting mask might be quite uncomfortable on your skin.

    Then there is the matter of hydration and tube feeding. In some instances the patient may not be able to swallow normally or take in enough food and water to sustain life. A tube can be inserted through the nose or through the skin into the stomach to deliver liquefied nutrition. And of course there are IVs for fluids. More on this later.

    There are various other options available depending on the circumstances but by now, I think your get the picture. As we know, birth and death are the natural processes in the cycle of life for everyone. Any way you look at it though, both are pretty messy.

    We have all sat through endless cumulative hours of pharmaceutical commercials on TV with their incessant disclaimers (to cover their legal asses?) on why we should take their medication and/or why not. I have yet to hear a single one sign off with, “Ask your politician or clergyman if “Viagra” is right for you!”

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  371. Second degree mrduer shooting an unarmed kid in cold callous blood no reason at all is as bogus and artificial as angela corey already is with no backbone in complimenting this dangerous killer, already too much evidence contaiminated this is America not adolfs germany people do not appreciate how this went down, but gratitude indeed FINALLY ARRESTING THIS DANGEROUS TO OUR SOCEITY MURDERER. Now that he is in custody is the next step his 5 cent bail to stay free angela? It is my opinion you are not for the people you are sworn to execute due process of law, when Murderer’s go out and Murder, Tulsa Oklahoma now they are to be commended how they Police Force Powers did not sleep , covering sealing that town EVERY BASE until BOTH those racists hit men were Subdued & Apprehended and Charged with FIRST DEGREE Murder as LAW ANGELA DICTATE. You don’t fool no one with your insincere sympathy but certainly it is about time you get some Sincere Sympathy and do what your position calls for not what your friends in powerful places WANT angela!!!!My Lord Be Glorified this long awaited day .IT’S A START BUT NOT A FINISH

  372. Hi Congenial Gang,

    OK. Get yourself a snack, a refreshing drink and put your feet up. Here goes.

    As responsible adults, I’m sure all of us are well aware of the importance of taking care of our affairs and staying up to date on our personal finances. For the most part it is pretty impersonal. After all, it’s just a lot of enumerating and tallying up numbers either in the red or the black columns. Over the years it gets to be an exercise in tedium – but necessary.

    Quite a few years back we thought it was time to update our last “Wills and Testaments”. On the advice of an excellent attorney, we decided to create a REVOCABLE Trust, put all our assets in it and consolidate our affairs. We can change any or all of it at any time if we want. But we are satisfied with it – so far.

    As to our wills, with the exception of a few special bequeaths, we left everything to each other. Once we are both gone, everything left would be divided equally between our three sons. Now, some would take exception to that since one is single with no children, the second is married with one son and the third is married with two children. To be fair and not play favorites, why not divide it up into fifths and/or eighths to include spouses and grandchildren? Further, we chose as the administer of the estate to be, not the traditional eldest, but the son whose profession and work situation is best suited to take the time off to handle what could turn out to be complex and time consuming stuff.

    All three of our sons are well established in their lives and families and able to take care of their own financial affairs as far as we know. We have had confidence in their abilities to handle them along those lines for a long time without our meddling. None of our business. We sent copies of the wills and the trust to each of them and discussed them over the phone. None of our sons raised any objections. We don’t think any of them are or have ever been looking forward to a grand inheritance.

    Over the past few years along with other more timely gifts, for birthdays and Christmas we have been giving all of them rather carefully chosen “family heirlooms” that might hold cherished memories of growing up. (Actually, we are unloading a lot of junk that has accumulated for the past 60 years and before that with our own parents. By now, we are glad to get rid of most of it! It was just taking up storage space.)

    OK. All this has to do with inanimate material things. Nice and impersonal even when you put a dollar value on these objects and assets. When you come right down to it, it is so much easier to reduce emotional and personal aspects to a numerical worth than face up to the more gut wrenching experiences of life we would rather avoid dealing with.

    That brought us to making decisions about end of life issues and designating a surrogate to make them for us in the event, for any reason, we are incapable of making them for ourselves. The so-called “Advanced Medical Directive”. We discussed this at length with each other and the lawyer; taking into account our individual cultural backgrounds and spiritual beliefs. It is all spelled out in detail IN LEGALIZE WRITING exactly what we want and do not want in our final days. It puts the responsibility on no one else’s shoulders but our own. Our sons have copies of these directives too. They are comfortable with them.

    All nice and tidy, huh.

    Now to the nitty-gritty where, what else? it turns political. Especially in view of the continual yelling and screaming on the right side of the aisle on the evils of “Obamacare” along with echoes of Sarah Palin’s screeching hysterical tirades on the “Death Panels”.

    Recently during a routine medical appointment, a quite interesting proposal was presented to us in even greater detail, going into life saving (or not) measures. Next time, I’ll spell it out for you and you can see what you think. No strings attached. Just practical information. Plenty of what ifs…….

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  373. Gato, Well DUH! It’s funny but my kids’ friends thought I was pretty cool as well much to my kids’ chagrin at times. I’ve been blessed to be able to help my single dad son raise his daughter and he has told me how much he appreciates all I do.

  374. Hey, Terry – Yes; he did… He’s now 26, and still sorting himself out, but realizes what a cool mother he has… It’s all good. (He also thinks some of his mother’s friends are pretty neat too!)


  375. Gato, I have to know, did the angry young man ever realize exactly how much his mother had done for him? If not, it’s his loss and I would bet if and when he has teenagers of his own he will realize.

  376. Here’s a good one for ya gato…

    From Glen Greenwald:

    Email service used by Snowden shuts itself down, warns against using US-based companies

    One of the most remarkable, and I think enduring, aspects of the NSA stories is how much open defiance there has been of the US government. Numerous countries around the world have waved away threats, from Hong Kong and Russia to multiple Latin American nations. Populations around the world are expressing serious indignation at the NSA and at their own government to the extent they have collaborated. And now Lavabit has shut itself down rather than participate in what it calls “crimes against the American people”, and in doing so, has gone to the legal limits in order to tell us all what has happened. There will undoubtedly be more acts inspired by Snowden’s initial choice to unravel his own life to make the world aware of what the US government has been doing in the dark.

    Good links too.

    Peace ~ Δ

  377. i love you too Auntie Jean! we will chat soon about all the work ahead of us for 2014. but for the month of august … we rest. :)

  378. I wasn’t taking exception to anything. I was amusing myself.

    A storm sent a large limb eight inches in diameter and about ten feet long into our garage roof. I used a hand saw to cut the limb off at roof level and then climbed on the garage rafters below to pry the base of the limb from where it was wedged against a rafter.

    My wife helped me patch the hole in the roof.

    I have also been weeding our garden and will soon begin watering it. We then pruned a tree and a bush which had begun to grow onto the garage roof.

    Later, i watched a NASCAR race. Brad Kaslowski (sp) won for the fourth straight time.

    Yesterday, we consulted with an historic architect about what needs to be done in sequence for an historic building our organization manages. My wife applied and got a $10,000 grant to do the work. We need another grant later because the building is bowing out about an inch.

    The job took six hours and we enjoyed a home made lunch.We spent another three hours washing tables and dusting. We will be doing more work next Friday ahead of a town celebration.

    Pretty good for old people. I do need to rest, so I come in and sometimes look for new comments here as I play music. I also like to get the last word, and it helps kill a few minutes. Thanks for giving me an excuse for boring you all with my activities.

    Gato, I conduct meetings the same way. We had an impromptu meeting yesterday, and we followed Roberts Rules of Order as we sat outside.

    I like the liberating paragraph. Very funny.

    Now, back to work until I “pounce” next time..

  379. HI, Auntie Jean – Ooooh! I can’t wait! I’ve been doing a fair amount of “pouncing” here in our small Community since we got back from the Seattle area… Even been called an “obstructionist” by some members of our Board of Directors. (Evidently, anyone who says, “Hey – don’t we have some rules and by-laws around here, and shouldn’t we be sticking to them?” is given that appellation.)

    A few years ago, my BGFF’s son (age 19 at the time) said to her, consumed by adolescent angst, “You’ve never done anything right!” It didn’t take her long to conclude that, if that were so, she didn’t have to worry much about ANYTHING she did. Very liberating…


  380. Hi Congenial Gang,

    I knew there would be a knee-jerk rapid response as usual from one sitting by the computer with nothing better to do than pounce on something – anything – to take exception to. As it is, I have some free time today to snark back.

    I’m working on a piece to put up in a day or two when I have plenty of time to research and compose it. Delicate subject matter and not just mouthing the opinions of favorite chosen “experts”. It will require that I choose my language very, very carefully. I can guarantee it to stir things up! Hopefully though, it might get some people to thinking rather than just instinctively reflexing.

    Have a great rest of the weekend everyone.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  381. I like “iconodule.” It is different from iconoclast but still a good word which can also apply to some people who write here. Like “iconoclast” it requires minimal talent.

    If I were mean spirited I could turn “make complete and utter fools of themselves” against someone, but since I’m not, I won’t.

    An early Norse word for “troll” is jotunn or jotun. I guess it never caught on.

  382. Hi Congenial Gang,

    lori, it’s always good to “see” you and read your intriguing insights.

    And a merry good Saturday morning to all! About apples and oranges, dialectic vs. debate, rights vs. privileges, self-centeredness vs. altruism and any other tired old cliché we can think of, it is true that the Koch brothers have the RIGHT to spend their money anyway they wish just as trolls have the RIGHT to come here to a liberal blog and make complete and utter fools of themselves on a regular basis.

    Right up there with Hold-Your-Nose-Mitch O’Connell. (Yes! I’m definitely prejudiced against him!) Of course, his type NEVER, NEVER, NEVER tells anything but his own version of events. That’s rational judgment dialectics for you!

    It takes no talent at all to be an iconoclast with nothing at all better to offer for the future but tried and not so true axioms of the past.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  383. George Soros and the Koch brothers have a right to spend their money as they see fit. My only quarrel was the comparison of the Koch brothers with the Gates’ which was comparing apples to oranges. Koch-Soros is apples to apples.

    Our opinions about Obama are different, but that makes life more interesting.

  384. James,
    I totally disagree with you about Obama. He is a very accomplished, intelligent man. And as for George Soros being a progressive, yes he is, and some of us like that. He has spent billions to help spread democracy and human rights.

  385. btw in case you couldnt tell by typos that was me commenting on bill lynch. lol lol ~ lori

  386. sad to hear about the passing of bill lynch. he was a brilliant stratigist & a lovely hunan being. he taught me much. he will be missed. rest well my friend.

  387. The Koch brothers are better compared to George Soros because both spend money for political reasons. Soros is a progressive. The brothers are libertarian,

    Bill and Melinda Gates are spending money for other reasons much as Bush the younger spent our tax money to counter the African AIDs epidemic.

    Winston Churchill said this about another man, but it applies to Obama. “He has much to be modest about.”

  388. i interrupt my self induced political free holiday to say … dontcha just <3 our president?lol real leaders dont worry about the potential political fall out of pulling back the curtains and inviting the world to take a peek inside . real leaders arent afraid to say i think i can do better. real leaders are confident enough to say they are willing to listen to dessent from their critics! we have a real leader in president obama. proud of you.

    i too agree auntie jean. it is very telling.

    welcome home gato! sounds like you had a lovely holiday. :)

    waving to all my buddies ttus… carry on! xoxo ~ lori

  389. Well said, Jean. I agree about the difference between Koch brothers and Gates. We judge people by their actions, and the difference is stark!

  390. “Koch brothers who spend gazillions of their dollars for the sole purpose of buying political influence in order to accumulate more and more power and money. This is only one of the examples in the differences of thinking and motivation between progressives and conservatives.”


    That’s one way of looking at it.

    Another might be that it’s an example in the differences of thinking and motivation between good people and bad people, but of course that would fly in the face of prejudice, so it can’t be right, can it?

  391. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Gato, good to see you back. You were sorely missed! So glad you had a great time in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. We have visited friends there on our way home from Banff and Lake Louise up in the Canadian Rockies. Lovely, lovely warm and friendly people wherever we went. One time were having a leisurely dinner atop the Space Needle in Seattle with our friends on, what they said, was a rare crystal clear day. We lingered there from early evening into the night. Not a cloud in the sky! You could see forever the skylines of the city and beyond, from Puget Sound to the majestic mountains and even the peak of distant Mont Rainier. I was ribbing them about, “What’s this I hear about all the rain, drizzle and overcast climate you have here? I sure haven’t seen any!”

    As to your wondering about what people are focused on right now. Hmmm. Me. As an elderly Old Broad, every day I concentrate on getting up in the morning, putting one foot in front of the other and wingin’ it every step of the way for the rest of the day. That’s my job!

    I did take note though when I was having breakfast this morning that CNN reported at long last a vaccine has been developed against the ancient scourge of malaria. WHOOPEE! I think that is BIG NEWS! I seem to recall that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has devoted from their considerable wealth, a great deal of time and effort into ongoing worldwide treatment and research into malaria.

    Compare the Gateses to the Koch brothers who spend gazillions of their dollars for the sole purpose of buying political influence in order to accumulate more and more power and money. This is only one of the examples in the differences of thinking and motivation between progressives and conservatives.

    I like us progressives best!

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  392. I like Seattle, but not so much in winter if it snows. You should visit Vancouver sometime, Gato.

    I’m focused on Baby and conducting some business at home this afternoon before returning to Omaha.

  393. Thanks, Jean for the good wishes and the suggestion of music. We have been playing Mozart, Debusey Sami music , Passion Pit, and everything between. She seems to recognized some songs.

    There has been much less crying and sobbing the past six days, and Baby has been quiet too. She has slept five to seven hours for the past five days. Before, she slept only about two hours at a time.

    Our daughter’s friend who has a baby born at 23 weeks posted a picture of her baby appearing to smile in spite of tubes in his mouth. He is three months old and weighs over two pounds.

    Sidney, you misunderstand me. I don’t dream of the day Republicans dismantle our health care system. I dream of the day Obamacare is gutted and changed or replaced. As Sen Backus one of the creators said, it is a train wreck. Not even the IRS who will collect our taxes wants to be included in the program.

    Some have mocked me for harping on the Scandinavian/Finnish roots of my family tree, but the fact remains those are some of the best countries in the world to live. If I could run the US, we would have something akin to Finland’s system. It is a combination of private and public insurance and treatment. Everyone, even permanent legal foreigners get health care of some kind. That is more than will happen under Obamacare.

    The system has used electronic patient records since 2007, but they are largely uncoordinated at the national level, because unlike Obamacare promises, the Finnish system is decentralized.

  394. Hi, Terri – Nice to BE back! Really liked Seattle and environs… We were spoiled by absolutely perfect weather, and not the usual grey and drizzly norm there. (Although we humans may not be crazy about “grey and drizzly,” the plants certainly love it: hibiscus blooms as big as salad plates, and palm trees cheek by jowl with towering evergreens…)

    So what’s everybody focused on around here, these days? I stayed pretty much out of the news loop while I was away – made for a more pleasant holiday. Am I the only one who gets the impression that one damned thing after another is whipped up into a “crisis,” with the sole intent of keeping us all so distracted that we can’t concentrate on any one issue for more than half an hour…?

    I’d be interested in who’s prioritizing what, as of 8/8/13…


  395. Lots of spammers here lately. :(

    Have a great day everyone! Good to see you back, Gato.

  396. Welcome back Gato! Hope you had a great vacation.

  397. Hi, Lurker, and all …

    I’ve been away for a couple of weeks, poking around the great Pacific NW with husband and BGFF… Now I’ve got lots of catching up to do!

    (Very nice to be “asked about,” I must say…)


  398. We could’ve done with that insight early on.

  399. Thanks for posting this. I was so touched by the stories of these two young men and the relationship they have with their mothers. Single mothers can raise good strong sons and we need to be sure they have the support and opportunities to do so. This includes programs from birth on. These are two young men who will make a difference in their communities and possibly be an inspiration to others who are growing up the way they did without all the assets most of us had.

  400. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Thanks Poolman. Yep, that’s the one!

    I can’t seem to get ‘Donnell’s first name straight. It is LAWRENCE O’Donnell.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  401. HI Congenial Gang,

    Thanks Poolman. That’s the one!

    I can’t seem to get O’Donnell’s first name straight. Yep! it is LAWRENCE O’Donnell.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam.

    Auntie Jean

  402. Auntie Jean, I think you mean Lawrence O’Donnell:


  403. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Peas, somebody out there in cyberspace, could you please track down and put up a link for me? It was on CNBC’s “Last Word“, with Chris O’Donnell entitled, “From Mississippi to the Ivy League: Two students reflect on their unique journeys.” We were so touched by it we watched and heard it – twice – for about a half hour. (That’s CHRIS O’Donnell, NOT Mitch for heaven’s sake.)

    It was a rather lengthy segment interrupted several times by commercials. (Sigh.) It started out with clips of Bill O’Reilly doing his usual tirade, this time on black hoodlums from single parent homes, blah, blah, blah; you know the tired old Reagan theme of the “Welfare Queen”, blah, blah, blah. Then O’Reilly was shown declaring that “—– it has nothing to do with slavery.” Anybody who has ever spent any time living or traveling in different parts of this great country, especially in the Deep South, and/or read Marguerite Steens’ trilogy, “The Sun is My Undoing”, “Twilight on the Floods” and “Phoenix Rising” knows that the specter of the evils of slavery still haunt us.

    Anyway, O’Donnell interviewed two charming and articulate young men, one a sophomore at Harvard and the other at Yale. Both grew up in Mississippi with single mothers. There was no whining at all. Just lots and lots of love. In the “Rewrite” portion, one of them read a lengthy poem he wrote about his mother, who bore him at age 15.

    If anyone can watch, listen to or read those interviews and especially the poem without choking up, well then you have no pulse.

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  404. Sidney – I worked in medicine for thirty years. There is no question that it is broken, but I remember quite well when it was NOT broken, and had the misfortune to live in that system as it was slowly being destroyed by government meddling.

    So is the answer more government meddling? Kind of the hair of the dog that bit you, huh?

  405. http://www.alternet.org/hard-times-usa/why-elites-want-mask-suffering-poor-whites?paging=off


    Whites living in poverty. The numbers are staggering. A GOP secret never discussed because it would expose the defects of capitalism.

  406. James……..have you thought what might happen if your dreams come true and the GOP undo our healthcare system? I assume that she is getting coverage under a parents job. What if that job is lost and with it HER healthcare benefits. She could possibly be uninsurable. Then you would see the real “death panels” operated, as always by the insurance companies.
    I know you love that little girl. And worry about her future. Every American feels that same love for their family members with medical issues, but with over 50% without any access to treatment, they watch them suffer. You could one day join their ranks. Would you feel the same way? Everybody on their own. No healthcare, too bad?

  407. Jean – Does that work for Emerson, Lake and Palmer too? If so, every kid in my neighborhood will be geniuses.

  408. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Not much going on to catch up on during these “dog days of summer”.

    James, as I have been saying right along ever since our grandkids were born, “if we had known grandchildren were so much fun, we would have had them first!”

    When you look into the bright and shining eyes of a newborn and see the future: man-made labels – political, religious, gender, ethnic or traditional backgrounds – don’t mean much do they. The parents job, and to the extent they are able, the grandparents jobs are to provide a warm, loving and supportive home for the child. That helpless, dependant little creature is relying on us grownups for food, shelter, and a decent education until he/she is capable of leaving the nest and flying solo to realize his or her potential, whatever it turns out to be. It’s a tall order.

    Here’s something you might find interesting. There are numerous studies that demonstrate that infants listening to the music of Mozart develop cognitive and motor neural synapses that are useful later in life; such as eye hand coordination and such. There is a mathematical precision to Mozart’s large body of work. The same applies to other Baroque composers who emulated him. Even babies in the womb have been known to respond to hearing Mozart by kicking and moving around.

    You can find any number of Mozart compositions by various artists on YouTube. Who knows, before long your granddaughter may be waving her arms around and tapping her fingers in time to the rhythm of the music.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  409. Thanks Terry G.We know how it feels to lose a child, but what you endured seems almost too hard to bear.

    You are very tough.

    Our daughter’s college friend had a 23 week old baby two months ago. He had a 2% chance of survival, and now is up to 50/50. We see videos of him once in a while. He is now up to two pounds, and seems like a happy little kid though he has tubes sticking from him and has already had many surgeries.

    His mother was very happy when she was able to dress him in his first sleeper. He seemed to know what was happening. There was a spark in his eyes. Now, he has a fungal infection near a kidney. We worry about that baby too.

    Thanks again for sharing your story and for the encouragement. I am about to return to Omaha after doing some mowing.

  410. James, Your account of your granddaughter made me smile as well. Many of us have experienced difficulties, scares and sorrow with babies but I think your story is going to have a good outcome. I had two preemies who didn’t live much longer than a day. Then we had a third preemie son after we moved here and the doctor wisely sent him to St. Louis Children’s Hospital for treatment of his breathing problems. He spent the first month of his life there. When we would notice a baby was gone from an incubator without having spent 24 hours in a regular crib we knew some parents were mourning. I’ll keep your precious baby in prayer. – Terry W.

  411. Ha Ha Pfessor. Thanks. Yes, we are preoccupied with Baby with a sense of urgency that we must fill her head with cell inducing growth while there is still time. She is seven weeks old, now.

    At birth, our grand daughter had a slightly pointed little head similar to pictures of microencephelic babies, and one side of her head was flat.Doctors were already worried about her small head which didn’t even make the charts. One said our grand daughter might have seizures and motor difficulties. We learned similar facts through our internet searches and began to wonder if Downs Syndrome might have been better than this reality we faced.

    Doctors did a brain scan which showed nothing extraordinary. They saw her every two days because our grand daughter was losing, not gaining weight. Now, they are more optimistic and lengthened the exam intervals. Two weeks ago, they optimistically said our grand daughter was on the verge of smiling, which she was. They also noted that she was much more alert than expected.

    One possibility is that nothing is wrong with Baby. The misplaced placenta may have prevented her head from getting proper nourishment and that what looked like a genetic condition was a function of too little pre- natal food.

    At the last exam, Baby’s head had grown enough to reach the seventh percentile, and she had gained weight..We didn’t let her sleep on her right, flat side, and we poured all of the stimulation into her we could.For example, our daughter discussed Benghazi and the royal birth with her. We have also used a little French. Doctors said our arrangement was better than day care.

    She is intently watching her environment, and she has started saying what sounds like “hi”. She has begun to smile and grin. I started a game of sticking out my tongue when she was still making random movements.Now, it has become a ritual. The first thing she does when she sees me is to stick out her tongue.. When she does one of these things she doesn’t just grin. Her face nearly cracks with a huge smile. because she knows she has made a connection.

    Her arms and legs work, but so far, she has not grasped anything in a meaningful way. She enjoys pushing herself forward when we put pressure against her feet, but she does it more like a fish than someone trying to push with her arms. Our daughter says “she doesn’t even know she has arms.”

    The doctors have told the parents they have never seen a baby like this, and they don’t have enough information to predict an outcome. When a specialist admitted he doesn’t know what is happening, I think some of the proposed testing is to understand, not treat.

    People used to compare our daughter’s looks to Jillian Anderson’s when she graduated from high school. Her hair is dishwater blond with flecks of red. .Baby’s father and grand parents have bright red hair, and her hair, though darker has a reddish hue.She has my wife’s birth mark under her scalp. Baby is already cute, and she resembles her mother and me with some of her father’s traits. So far, no one has run screaming from the room after meeting Baby. Ha!

  412. James – Mageen is right. What exactly is it that has these medicos’ knickers in a twist, anyway? She looks funny?

    Sounds to me like they got it in their heads that something is wrong with this kid and they just have to find out what it is.

    Maybe the problem is that she got her grandpa’s looks.

    LOL – just kidding…all best to you and yours.

  413. Thanks Pfessor and Mageen. I am home again to for business today. Baby slept for five hours last night. That is the first time she has slept longer than two hours at a time. Her next exam is on Monday. Doctors still want to do an MRI scan . The brain scan showed nothing out of the ordinary Doctors were seeing her every other day until a couple of weeks ago. Now, the intervals are longer , and they should see a big change. For one thing,the shape of her head is more normal and when she smiles, it is not a grin, it looks like pure joy..

  414. James, news about your grand-daughter! I have seen so many babies and even older kids get the short straw on their “capabilities” because the focus was entirely on whatever someone could find wrong with them rather than even taking slight notice of what is right or even ahead of schedule. Personally know a preemie who is now 7 and is embarrassing the experts with her proficiency. Mom and dad are starting a college fund for her. James, just keep on keeping on!

  415. George Zimmerman = criminal. Can’t stay out of trouble with the law.

  416. George Zimmerman armed when stopped for speeding in Texas:


    I guess when Holder gave orders to steal George’s sidearm, he thought the manufacturer only made one. LOL.

  417. “Ha Ha Oops! Grand daughter is smiling now too. She has come a long way.”

    James – This kid seems to be doing just fine. I wonder if the problem is the baby, or her doctors.

  418. Anon, someday if you study really hard you will approach the level of moron. Maybe if you try hard, you will reach imbecile. You probably believed Obamacare had no death panels right? That makes you dumber than Sarah Palin. And you call me moronic? Just keep studying. You need it more than you know.

  419. Terry W., you’re right. My comment was about the Catholic church, but the issues are pervasive like you said.

    Where’s Gato these days?

  420. Anonymous=moronic troll

  421. So the GOP has death panels…didn’t know that Katherine Sebelius was a Republican

  422. What OOPS actually meant for James

    ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ……….”…\………. _.·´

  423. I couldn’t agree more with you, Delurkergurl! It galls me as well that the Catholic church hasn’t addressed the problem of pedophiles in their ranks. I have to add, however, that other denominations are not guiltless. I even worked at a public school back in the 60′s when a principal was moved from an elementary school without flagging his record for his next job or alerting the public to his misdeed. We all have to be on guard against any kind of abuse of our young people. Human sex trafficking is happening in this country at an alarming rate.

  424. James < moronic troll

  425. Ha Ha Oops! Grand daughter is smiling now too. She has come a long way.

  426. Mageen and Cynthia, I agree with you.

    Terri and Terry, it really is nice to hear humanity and compassion spoken from the Pope! I hate to see Christianity twisted or maligned by people who don’t understand it – from both non-Christians and Christians alike. People forget that it’s CHRISTianity, not CHURCHianity. “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

    That said, the Pope did not say he’s OK with homosexuality. He said it’s not his place to judge homosexuals. He’s right. The Bible says love the sinner, hate the sin. One sin isn’t worse than another, and we are all sinners. No room for judging from humans in that regard, even from a Pope. He is really saying he loves ALL people and the church welcomes them (Yay!), but they are expected to turn away from sin. The Catholic church has not changed their position on homosexual acts being a sin.

    I’m a Christian but not a Catholic. I am troubled by the Catholic church establishment in many ways. It’s especially hard to see them meddle in things like birth control but shelter pedophiles and other criminals. It kind of limits my optimism that anything will truly change yet – especially the GOB characteristics.

  427. […] a fan of the Margaret and Helen blog, I have to post this link to their site. It’s pithy as […]

  428. Hi Kitchen Crew,

    gurl, you gonna let me in the Bin without WordPress’s blessing?

    Update. Tropical storm “Flossie” fizzled as far as we are concerned. We dodged another bullet. We sweat it out – sorta – every hurricane season. But as you know, we personally have elevation so don’t have to worry about high surf or tsunamis. For people in low lying areas, that’s a different story. High winds usually do the most damage but “Flossie” just kinda moseyed along dumping torrential rain. That makes for flooding.

    The Big Island got hit first. It is about 500 miles southeast of our island. (Actually, most people don’t realize that the Hawaiian chain stretches out all the way to Midway Island. Although most of the little islands are uninhabited except for wildlife preserves with plenty of worldwide universities research going on.) The storms always lose punch as soon as they hit landfall. So by the time “Flossie” gets to the West Side of our island, it will be mostly lots of rain.

    We were rousted out at 6:30AM yesterday with a robo-call from Civil Defense. The National Weather Service, Civil Defense and all the media always keep us very well informed. We would have to be living under a rock somewhere not to be. We are grateful for that! We stay pretty well prepared as far as food, water, batteries, etc. are concerned. We hunkered down to ride it out.

    I’m hoping the people we know on the West Side will make out as well as we are.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  429. Hi Kitchen Crew,

    gurl, you gonna let me in the Bin without WordPress’s blessing?

    Update. Tropical storm “Flossie” fizzled as far as we are concerned. We dodged another bullet. We sweat it out – sorta – every hurricane season. But as you know, we personally have elevation so don’t have to worry about high surf or tsunamis. For people in low lying areas, that’s a different story. High winds usually do the most damage but “Flossie” just kinda moseyed along dumping torrential rain. That makes for flooding.

    The Big Island got hit first. It is about 500 miles southeast of our island. (Actually, most people don’t realize that the Hawaiian chain stretches out all the way to Midway Island. Although most of the little islands are uninhabited except for wildlife preserves with plenty of worldwide universities research going on.) The storms always lose punch as soon as they hit landfall. So by the time “Flossie” gets to the West Side of our island, it will be mostly lots of rain.

    We were rousted out at 6:30AM yesterday with a robo-call from Civil Defense. The National Weather Service, Civil Defense and all the media always keep us very well informed. We would have to be living under a rock somewhere not to be. We are grateful for that! We stay pretty well prepared as far as food, water, batteries, etc. are concerned. We hunkered down to ride it out.

    I’m hoping the people we know on the West Side will make out as well as we are..

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  430. Translation
    What James really means when he says
    “Told you so!”

    ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ……….”…\………. _.·´

  431. No arguement with any of you. Insurance companies have had them for years. So do the British and Canadian systemns.For one thing,I am in Omaha and don’t have time to write.

    My point is that Palin and others rightly charged that Obamacare had a so called death panel. Supporters and others said she was crazy.The administration denied it too.They were wrong, and she was right. If you are old, sick, or infirm, you have as much of a problem as with an insurance company. That is my only point.

  432. Terri, I have had the same reaction to the new Pope. I’m not Catholic but I’ve been very impressed with his humbleness and how he’s reaching out to the marginalized. I don’t think he’d scold the Nuns of the Bus for ministering to the poor instead of going after the pro-choice people.

  433. Is Bobby Jindal ill? He looks worse every time I see him.

  434. I’m really interested in the new Pope and his recent remarks about gays. His heart seems to be in the right place.

  435. Ed Schultz is going to Detroit to do a story on the city on his weekend tv show. Last week on his radio show a number of Detroit people called in with the game that is being played. They have 100 million Fed dollars to spend on demolition so Governor has given his friends the contract to demolish perfectly decent housing to use the money.rather than the areas that should be done. There is so much more to this story that is not being reported.


  436. Not only the insurance companies have “death panels” but the GOP as well. If you can not afford to buy insurance well you just need to go home and die quickly. 40? times they have tried to overturn Obamacare. Why should poor people have health care! I consider that a real DEATH PANEL.


  437. Mageen in Old Virginy, Excellent point and one I had forgotten about. I was puzzled at the outcry over having the govt. determine our health care when insurance companies have been doing it all along. Insurance companies are in it for the money period!

  438. James, the most brazen “death panels” I have ever seen were the insurance companies that refused, usually at the last minute in a really miserable circumstance, not to pay for the life saving treatment of a child on the grounds that such treatment was actually “experimental.” Experimental is code for hey! that would really cut into our profits and life style.

  439. We are still helping wih our grand daughter in Omaha, so there is no time for much except this. I had read the Obamacare bill and knew Sarah Palin was right when she said it included a death panel. Her statement was a trifle overwrought, but someone called me a troll when I said it was basically true.

    I later quoted Paul Krugman who used death panel in January. Now Howard Dean in an article for the Wall street Jouranal essentially said Palen was right.

    Three words “told you so.”

  440. Best wishes to Auntie Jean and Honolulu Sally during the storm. :)

  441. .
    Vatican Quickly Performs Damage Control On Pope’s Tolerant Remarks
    . ;)

    Peace ~ Δ

  442. Moving jobs out of our country is always a “cost cutter”. The people who live in third world countries need the jobs but even they aren’t paid or treated fairly for the most part. So, what’s it all about? MONEY and more MONEY for the insanely rich who don’t have to worry where their next meal is coming from or whether they can clothe their families. And raising the minimum wage isn’t going to solve everyone’s problem if they have to work two jobs and don’t have affordable child care.

  443. Mageen – we’re seeing the same experiment played out here, now, as has already been run in the USSR, Cuba, Albania, to some extent Britain, East Germany. We watched all those experiments, watched them fail, and now we are doing the same thing. Puzzling, really.

    The ultimate twin experiment, of course, is Germany. A united, homogeneous people, magnificently hard-working, organized … you name it. Then they were divided after WWII and one put under a capitalist system, the other under communism. My brother was a Sergeant with the US Army in Berlin during the ’60s, and occasionally they would get passes and go into East Berlin. He said it was just like you turned the color off on the world.

    And we want to repeat that? Why?

    It is very instructive to pull out a copy of “Atlas Shrugged” and read Rand’s description of a fictional city of the time and compare it to the Detroit of today. If you switched out the descriptions at random, you couldn’t tell which was which.

    We don’t need to speculate. Here’s a decent description of what happened to Detroit by a man who actually had a business there. Emphasis on “had.”


  444. Lots of ways Detroit got into this pickle. They did all the eggs in one basket way too long. Some high tech companies were coming on the scene in the Detroit area but the powers that be, who were totally not tech knowledgeable, disregarded them as anything worthwhile. Well, it was actually worse than that. Anything with smoke stacks was considered masculine (macho). High tech didn’t have that. Smoke stack industry employed a lot of people. High tech employed way, way less. High tech was also just a fad, a kid’s toy, and it would all die out quicker than it appeared. The execs who ran the smoke stack companies left the emailing and such to their secretaries — and I am not kidding! You should have heard these guys when they got together, laughing about how dumb they were when it came to computers and email, and they were proud of it! Everyone I know back in Detroit dumps a lot of the responsibility for the present condition right in their laps. Not that they learned anything. They are not hurting and never will hurt from their stupidity. Its Joe Lunchpail who will. As for Detroit’s pension plan for the teachers, first responders and so on: years ago private industry had pension specialists under contract who kept an eye on what was coming down the road. Again, there was that preference to keep the inhouse bureaucracies where no one had a clue about pension management.. As for the unions, I have to cut them some slack. Their health plans for retirees saved the lives of both of my parents. But there was little the unions could do when NAFTA came along and the car companies decided to build their products in markets beyond our shores. It was actually considered a cost cutting move.

  445. It appears that the unions are asking for a federal bailout of Detroit. That’s like the fellow who axe-murdered his parents asking for leniency on the grounds that he’s an orphan. How do they think Detroit GOT to be bankrupt? LOL.

    This is where the govt, once again, screwed the pooch by bailing out the Wall Street banks and trading houses. They should have let them go under; failure, death, decay and clean-up are a necessary part of finance, just like they are of nature. Interfering in that process just delays recovery.

    Now the precedent is set, and Hussein, in his neverending search for Democrat votes, will almost certainly try the hair-of-the-dog-that-bit-you in order to kick the can down the road beyond the next election. The problem with that approach is that, the longer you delay, the worse it hurts.

    But they don’t care – just like the ReBiblicans. Just win the next election; that’s all that matters…

  446. Delurkergurl, I’m so glad you shared this. I’ve posted it to my Facebook page but it’s probably preaching to the choir with my peeps.

  447. Thank you Margaret and Helen. Hopefully Texas useless government will be turned upside down and blue come election time. The gop has officially gone completely crazy.

  448. I just had to stop in and give props and due respect to pee-fessor and UAW!
    It is amazing that they are able to read the interwebs and post such valuable information and opinions with their heads are jammed so deeply up their own asses that they can hardly breath! Props fellows…..jam on. Jam on!

  449. PFesser,

    Was it a BLACK man your father went to prison for killing?

  450. PFesser,

    Wasn’t it a BLACK man your father went to prison for killing?

  451. PFesser: You’re still an asshole I see. Why don’t you take your racist comments and stick them where the sun don’t shine, moron.

  452. “but still make everyone feel better about the fact that he got shot.”

    I feel badly that he got himself shot, and that the aggressive little shit-thug ruined George Zimmerman’s life – and his family’s – in the process.

    On sort of the same topic, if Hussein had a city, would it look like Detroit?

    Wait, wait – I guess he does have a city – Chicago.

    Best estimate is that Chicago will be the next big city to go down the drainpipe. As the Obam-u-nists like to say, “Yes we can!” To which I would add, “Yes you did!”

  453. What about the drugs Zimmerman was actually on when he shot Trayvon Martin?


    They matter less than the drugs Travyvon Martin might have made with his skittles and fruit punch. You know – the drugs he was not in possession of and were not in his system, but still make everyone feel better about the fact that he got shot.



  454. Hi ladies,

    Meet your newly elected “gynotician” with a Bachelor of Art degree from the Todd Akin non-Technical College of Biological Studies and Rhetoric.

    Just scooch back and relax. ;)

    Peace ~ Δ

  455. Mageen, I don’t know much about land values in Louisiana though I have been there. I should do some research. Thanks for telling me. Land advertised for sale near us last year was sold in less than a year. Another popular way of selling land here is by public auction. Attending such an auction is like watching paint dry compared to machinery or livestock auctions.

    I returned home to do some work and to attend a meeting. I will be gone soon.

    Keep the faith UAW Tradesman. That fourth trimester survey is a classic. Our daughter played the video last night.



  457. IRS employee union: We don’t want Obamacare


  458. http://youngcons.com/liberals-sign-petition-to-legalize-4th-trimester-abortions-sources-say-4th-trimester-is-after-the-baby-is-born/

  459. James, the land I personally know is located way south in Louisiana. The soil is excellent. There is a For Sale sign on the property.

  460. UAW, the hospital is actually closer.

  461. got a question Mageen
    What’s closer to you? A hospital or a Walmart.

  462. Obamacare at work: just received a refund check from my health insurance company!

  463. Where is the unused farm property which is in weeds, Mageen? Is it non-productive, or is it owned by someone who doesn’t live near the land?

    Its true that farmers irrigated ranch land in the Nebraska Sand Hills during the seventies, and the land was later abandoned and reverted back to grass during the farm crisis.

    I’m not being snarky. I really want to know about that land. Midwest and Brazilian farmers sometimes purchase each other’s land. The farmers I have met are like Iowa farmers. If the land is productive and cheap, I might be able to find a buyer.

  464. Women’s health and reproductive health are two different issues in my opinion. Women’s health, like men’s health involves heart, lung infectious diseases or other conditions.

    Reproductive health while just as important, is different. Abortion clinics are the place to go for aspects of birth control or fertility, not for chest pains.

    During the debate in the news, I have noticed syntax creep as abortion is equated with women’s health. Reproductive health is only one health feature. Its just my opinion, but I believe the term is changing because the US has become more pro-life, especially near the end of pregnancy.

    West Texas is not the only thinly settled area with poor medical services. Cherry County, Nebraska, for example has so few people and towns that ranch high school students board in town during the school week.

    One reason the bill included higher standards for abortion clinics is there was a Gosslan type of clinic (though not as bad) in Texas, and clinics in other states are not as regulated as they should be. Another reason may have been to get rid of them for the pro-life cause.

    As I wrote before, the main issue should not have been late term abortion. It should have been aid and a time line which let the subpar clinics meet the standards present elsewhere. The New York Times writer I quoted wrote basically the same .

    We tell people in rural areas to pound sand because we cannot afford to give them what the cities have. I live in a rural place and the nearest real hospitals are fifty miles north and south. When my wife and son were in trouble with a 50/50 chance of living, and ambulance took them to Sioux City at 90MPH. The nearest abortion clinic that I knew of because I knew the doctor from the service was fifty miles away from home.

    Perry’s wife’s profiting from legislation would fry my chops too. Its how the system works. Warren Buffet has an economic advantage if the Keystone Pipeline fails, for example.

  465. UAW, urban areas are not the only sites of decay. That was my point about the abandoned farm buildings. My own extended family has unused farm land for sale elsewhere in the country and it has gone to weeds as there is no interest in it.

    James, womens health and reproductive health are one and the same thing. As I mentioned in earlier posts, the situation with the clinics in the far west part of Texas is something I see as part of a general health problem. There aren’t enough medical facilities located there for anyone to use. They have to go too far and travel too long to see a practitioner for any reason, something I don’t think is good under any circumstances. Why do we tell people who live in those areas to pound sand when it comes to available medical facilities? It also fries my socks that Perry’s sister is getting a great advantage out of this legislation in Texas for the clinics she is involved with.

  466. LMAO

  467. I agree with UAW tradesman. Farm land is too valuable to lay idle. We still have abandoned farmsteads around here. They are left over from the farm recession, but the land itself is a different matter. With property values up to $12,000 per acre here the land is being farmed either as grass or with other crops.

    Some farmers are irritated right now, because at least eight new center pivots are currently expensive bird roosts. They cost about $100,000 to erect, but they have no wells because well diggers can’t keep up with the demand. That is another reason why farm land is not abandoned as buildings in Detroit are. It earns money.

    Our food pantry had 41 costumers last night–close to a record. It shows our economy is still sick. Obama didn’t pivot as he promised several times..

  468. New York Times Sunday Review “The Texas Abortion Experiment” July 20, 2013

    “One possible answer is that Texas will make a forced march into squalor, misery, and patriarchal oppression. Women’s lives will be endangered, their health threatened, their economic opportunities substantially foreclosed.

    To the extent that this case rests on facts rather than fear, its based on cross-country comparisons. …But there is a problem with these comparisons.

    To prove a case, you need to look at how abortion restrictions play out in wealthy, liberal and egalitarian society.”

    Many European countries already have versions of Texas’s late term abortion ban on the books. France, Germany, and Italy all ban abortions after the first trimester and impose waiting periods as well.

    These countries have lower abortion rates than in the US and they have not sunken to the level of Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaiden’s tale.”

    There is a better argument for liberalism than abortion. “It implies that the quest to “turn Texas blue” should make economic policy rather than late-term abortion its defining issue.”

    Some of the pro – abortion people must realize this. Like warmists who replaced Global Warming with Climate Change or people who misuse “troll” some are trying to replace abortion rights with women’s health.

  469. now only 65 farms…are you actually saying that those other farms in PA are not being farmed??????just got back from Ohio where ground is appx $18,000 an acre….I’ve heard of $10,000 an acre in the Saginaw Valley in MI….
    Close to me the volunteer fire dept practiced on an old building….

  470. I cited this link from Betsy’s page earlier, but no one probably read it. July 18, Detroit’s Demise: David Freddoso Documents the Doom.”

    Black riots beginning in the 1960′s drove many from Detroit as a black reporter which I quoted wrote.

    “In the face of declining population, Detroit jacked up every available tax to the state statuary limit. It costs Detroit $62. in administration costs for every pay check it cuts. That is 3.5 times the average fro government and 4 times for the average employer.

    The average cost to demolish a residential structure in Detroit is $8,500. Approximately 78,000 vacant structures stand in the city and about 38.000 are considered dangerous. It would cost over $350 million to get rid of decrepit buildings.

    Walter Russel Mead wrote that Detroit represents the “blue model” of liberalism. “Progressive….can only blame big corporations and other liberal bogeymen for only so long…The truth is that corrupt machine politics in a one-party system devoted to the blue model wrecked an entire city and thousands of lives beyond repair.”

    I had noted that the Baltic countries, especially Estonia though poor are economically enriching themselves through a “red model” similar to what conservatives advocate for this country.

    The fact is that Detroit was ruled by Democrats for about fifty years. its residents bear some of the blame for voting such people into office for generations.,

  471. UAW, my posse in Michigan says the state owes Detroit money. Thats their story and they are sticking with it. They live there and I think they have a better feel for the situation than I would at this distance. From the article you linked, the city may have a stronger case than the state. I am noticing that a lot of the photos we see on TV about Detroit that whoever is doing this media is doing some cheating to be sure. The slab on grade houses are in a suburb of Detroit. The city never had the room for such developments. Photos of the derelict two story houses are older than you or I and have been used in the media for years. The decaying brick buildings which were once manufacuries are also old. Some of my friends feel that these old factory photos are supposed to make us feel sorry for Detroit. I really don’t feel that way at all. Those old brick hulks should have been bulldozed decades ago when the owners moved the business to the suburbs but the owners refused to pay for the demolition so they just stood there and rotted even when the city went after the owners with court orders. The owners, being among the 1%, had armies of lawyers to fight off such efforts. What I do know is that some of the old brick factories along the river have been turned into up-scale condos that have been successful. Before Detroit gets panned by the rest of the world for all of the deserted, decaying buildings take a look out in the countryside at the farms that didn’t sell and note all the decaying farmhouses, barns and so forth. In one section of Pennsylvania that once had 650 farms, there are now 65. There are plenty of old deserted farm buildings in that area. Origination, maturation and demise are all part of anything to do with life. And was time to start over again in Detroit some time ago. The downtown area got fancy high rises like the Ponchatrain but that was about it. Don’t know why they didn’t get there energy up a long time ago. As my posse in Detroit says, “it’s complicated.”

  472. Greetings dear friends! i hope everyone is busy registering voters ( or whatever fits your lifestyle) in between spending lazy days on a beautiful beach somewhere. :) As entertaining as arguring with trolls can be, it does little good on election day!

    Delurker, I am not a DR. Dont even play one on the internet. But it sure sounds to me like Weiner is struggling with some complusion issues. im with you. i think he ( the city of NY) wouldbe better served if he took some time to work on his mental health before jumping back into the crazy world of politics.

    Stay kool friends! xoxo

  473. PJ Media: “Texas Busts Planned Parenthood for Medicaid Fraud”

    Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast improperly billed the Texas Medicaid program. Under the settlement Planned Parenthood will pay Texas $1.4 million. Some will go to the Federal government.,

  474. No Mageen….the MI.does not owe Detroit any money….and it was Jennifer(D) that cut the revenue sharing


  475. Hi Congenial Gang,

    So, Anon ( Δ ), you’re on WP’s shit list too, huh. Thanks for putting up the Scientific American link for me. That’s the one. I appreciate it.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  476. i agree, Mageen, the earth has too many people and if we continue we risk a food shortage.

    I hope that even with COPD you breathe for a long time.

    I don’t know who needs therapy the most. Anthony Weiner or the people who want to vote for him.

  477. The anthropogenic global warmists cried wolf and didn’t account for our ten to fifteen year interruption of warming in spite of tons of new green house gases spewed into the atmosphere each year. Even some scientists who pushed human blame admit the warming trend has halted.

    Environmental, not human factors have driven climate change. Much, such as current droughts is wrongly portrayed as global warming when it is part of natural cycles. If I am wrong, please explain why our average temperature has stabilized.

    Humans do contribute to temperature changes, but they are not the primary influence, at least, not yet. Global warming is not a major issue because people don’t believe it is an immediate threat. They care more about being able to pay their bills and to care for their families.

    The tar sands are out of our hands. Canada, not we are exploiting them, and though we may refuse to let Keystone or other pipelines exist, China and other countries will buy the oil. Even if we are able to reduce our green house emissions, additional fuel burned elsewhere will more than cancel out our efforts.

    We need the equivalent of a privately and or governmental funded Manhattem project to develop infrastructure to transport energy from renewable sources, and we need incentives to create new production or improve the efficiency of what we have. Or we can learn better ways to sequester green house gases. For example,no till farming captures tons of CO2.The world is still dependent on oil, and citizens of poorer nations want to drive cars as we do..

    The part of the article I read didn’t address an even bigger issue–methane. As permafrost melts methane from frozen vegetation is released. Meanwhile, a form of crystalized methane rests near the bottoms of our oceans where pressurized water at temperatures near freezing keeps the methane from evaporating into gas.

    No one knows, but it is possible the ocean is absorbing enough extra heat to help stabilize our temperature in combination with the sun or other external force. Imagine what would happen if the deep water grew warm enough to free the methane. It happened once and the resultant runaway greenhouse effect killed much of Earth’s life.

    Killing Keystone won’t do a thing. A much bigger time bomb could kill us all.

  478. Really, Weiner? Really? MUST you live up to your fricken’ name? Gah!

  479. Auntie Jean,

    WP givin’ me fits too.

    Is this what you seek?

    This article was originally published with the title Greenhouse Goo.

    Oil Sands May Irrevocably Tar the Climate

    The fate of the Alberta’s tar sands mines—and the climate—may come down to the Keystone XL pipeline.

    Did I get it? ;)

    Peace ~ Δ

  480. Tampons don’t kill people.
    Politicians do.

  481. Climate change? Yes. I remember regular seasons showing up when they should and right on time. Not like that now. One thing I think folks should use in the equation is the growth in population. Every human on this planet “impacts” climate. World population has increased amazingly fast since the use of vaccines and such. People are starting to live longer. By 2050 there is expected to be a real food shortage. Two things: if there is anyone out there who is interested in plant and soil science, now would be a good time to do something about the upcoming shortage. Also, there used to be a segment of the population that did not have children. Good chance that such a segment is needed now more than ever. Especially us COPD folks might get a chance to breathe better.

  482. re: “global warming.” I didn’t think anybody still talked about that political construct.

    Daniel P. Schrag, an adviser to President Obama, noted: “Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal,” he tells the New York Times. “On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.”

    “To avoid speaking plainly of the anti-coal agenda, the left consulted the Thesaurus again and came up with a new label to describe what ails us. Since the world, cantankerous and unpredictable old thing it is, isn’t warming after all, so “global warming” was retired. The climate isn’t changing, either, so “climate change” was sent to slogan paradise. Mr. Obama introduced the latest poll-tested phrase, “carbon pollution,” in a speech the other day at Georgetown University.”

    Nitrous oxide and methane dwarf carbon dioxide as potential “greenhouse gases” and the total greenhouse effect from cow and sheep farts dwarfs human transportation-produced CO2, but it’s hard to get the Left organized behind cow-farts; getting them to attack those evil energy-producers who keep them warm is much easier.

    Funny Scientific American is mentioned. I used to collect them, and had over 20 years’ worth of issues. Then they got into the proselytizing business and started mixing left-wing politics and editorials with SCIENCE, which seemed to be a bad thing. (GET it? SCIENTIFIC American?) After multiple letters asking them to stay on topic, (SCIENCE), I dropped the subs. Too bad; they’ve been around since 1845. Hope they survive their current left-wing editorial staff and its political (NOT SCIENCE) agenda.

    re: “voting (someone) off M&H. Folks can vote all they want. There’s only vote that counts – that of the blog owner. All the rest is background noise.

  483. I remember how it was, and didn’t have to waste time reviewing archives. It was no woe for me. in fact the whole event was entertaining. Hononlulu Sal told me the site needed people like me to give a different view point, though she usually disagreed with me. She warned me what would happen. I am nice to people if they are nice to me. If they attack me I bite back. I did try to make myself irritating to the people who were personally attacking me.

    Jean and several others made a symbolic effort to vote me off the site in part because of my shadenfreude and because I was winning arguments such as whether or not we should have used the bomb against Japan during WW11 and whether human racism is in born. They just didn’t like me. Some people, including a few still here voted to abstain. .

    They seemed to have expected Pfessor, another, and me to leave on their moral authority, judging from the anger of several after I told them to pound sand. There was no reason for me to step down graciously since those people in their arrogance were in effect attempting to usurp the authority of the site owner. They had no legal or moral standing to restrict a site designed to operate like a wild west town with few rules.

    They, not I initiated the name calling, and other attempts to get rid of me. As a former moderator, I was careful not to make aggressive attacks, and as I wrote, the site manager reminded people that based on accepted rules, my attackers, not I were the trolls.

    I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself I was reminding newcomers of what a den of vipers this site once was for people with the wrong political ideology. Anon’s little tirade was part of the norm.

    For such a smart woman, Jean made another stupid move when she admitted she had smuggled “contraband” (her words) into the US. Months later I asked an official I met at a wedding, without giving away any identities. They didn’t want to prosecute a little old lady, and prosecution was not my intent.

    They made minor changes in procedures based on the event, so in the end, it did some good. Smuggling alien plants or animals into a region where few if any natural enemies exist is potentially dangerous, and Jean should have realized it. Either that or she was too selfish to care.

    For such a smart woman, Jean was stupid on another level. The internet is forever.

    Over time, several people and I who feel mutual disdain have tacitly agreed to ignore each other most of the time. It works pretty well.

    I am loaded with sisu and shadenfreude because the administration is having some of the problems I predicted.

    I haven’t read the Scientific American article yet because we are working hard to maintain our lives at home before we begin our next shift of helping with grand daughter and daughter after she has her surgery on Friday.

    Judging from the Canadians’ comments, they are not going to abandon the tar sands if we stop the Keystone project. Like any economy, Canada needs the money and they will sell the oil to China or another high bidder. I believe them when they say they will sell the oil to China.

    Pipelines while having environmental dangers are not worse than railroads or ships. Railroads which carry a lot of oil through the US are also potentially dangerous as the train wreck north of our border illustrates. Ships, like trains burn green house fuel, and they can sink or spill too.

    Oil products are cheaper than the alternatives, and the low energy prices have contributed to a larger world middle class than we would otherwise have. Countries like Indian and China want our living standards, and they are doing all they can to achieve our lives. That is the reality whether we like it or not.


  484. Crystal Wright, who bills herself as, “Conservative Black Chick” offers her perspective on Obama’s latest race-baiting speech:

    “Obama implies that somehow evil white people are inflicting this violence on blacks, when it’s blacks who have turned neighborhoods into war zones and ghettos all on their own. They have done it without the help of white people.

    “Young black men are killing more than young white men. That’s why they are profiled by police and feared by everyone.

    “A black security guard in Washington recently told me when he leaves work at night, he doesn’t worry about the white men walking around, but the black men give him pause “because they are the ones committing most of the crimes.”’

    Why is this happening? It is because black babies are born without a father with 73 percent of black babies born out of wedlock. In Richmond, Virginia 86 percent of black families are headed by single parents, mostly women.

    “In 1965, then Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote in his report “The Negro Family, the Case for National Action,” that the illegitimate birthrate for blacks was 23 percent, which was causing a rise in dependency on welfare among blacks.”

    “Moynihan warned President Johnson that the nation should develop policies “to strengthen the Negro family so as to enable it to raise and support its members as do other families.”

    “When children don’t grow up in an intact home with loving married parents, they drop out of school, turn to drugs, crime and other risky behavior at a higher rate.”


    The first procedure when you want to get dried out is to admit you’re a drunk – that it’s not your wife’s fault, your boss’s fault, your neighbor’s fault – it’s YOUR fault. And when your own people kill 500 of your own people – in your own home town (as happened in Chicago last year – the toll is up to 200 so far this year), you don’t blithely ignore that and try to focus the world’s attention to the fact that someone else killed one.

  485. Hi Congenial Gang,

    WordPress still doesn’t love me.

    I have been busy, busy, busy, with monumental trivia. I do think the Zimmerman bone has been chewed right down to the marrow so I’ll leave that topic for now. I came across something I want to share with you way, way beyond my area of expertise.

    So now, Peas, ole pal, ole buddy, gonna need ya hep again if you would be so kind to put up another link for me. It is an article in the July issue of Scientific American Magazine entitled “Greenhouse Goo”, “The fate of the Alberta’s tar sands mines-and climate-may come down to the Keystone XL pipeline,” by David Biello.

    We all know what an uber-left wing lib’ral rag Scientific American has always been. I do hope though we can suspend that judgment for the moment and for the purpose of this discussion. A large number of scientists quoted have been studying this topic, some of them for years, and for sure have far more intelligent information than I have. Naturally, they don’t appear to have the economic and therefore politically vested interests that Big Oil (especially Texas Big Oil) have as well as the politicians they have in their pockets.

    The article covers the question of “Global Warming” and some of the consequences of continuing to burn fossil fuels. I was not quite aware of the distinction for energy purposes between coal for electricity and oil for fuel (gasoline, diesel, etc.) But they both contribute heavily to CO2 dumped into the atmosphere. Then the article goes into the nitty-gritty of the Canadian tar sand mines’ production. The huge amounts of energy expended to extract the crude over the long run seems to me to preclude what benefits there may be from the finished yields, to say nothing of the inherent waste products. Then the article goes on to discuss the pros and cons of the Keystone XL as well other pipelines. I feel it is a most comprehensive overview.

    My conclusion is that we should proceed with caution as we continue to pursue other and safer methods of alternate energy. I think the continuation of fossil fuel consumption is just more man-made disasters looking for places to happen.

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom .Saalam. Peace.

    P.S. Oh for heaven’s sake! If anyone wants to waste time ruminating all over the place about James’ complaints that I instigated to have him voted off this site, I would refer you to M&H’s archives, recorded for all posterity. I confess. I did. Read the whole controversy from all sides in its entirety if you have hours and hours with nothing better to do. In summary, it was done in a completely UPFRONT and democratic process as most elections are, or should be. The outcome was unanimous with the exception of two abstentions. Most nominees step down graciously when the results are announced.

    And while you are at it, back up and read before it about the “Great Greek Olive Seedpod Caper” that most of the Old Timers here are all too aware of. In his litany of woes, James is, of course, careful never to mention his part in the “Caper”. Unfortunately, as the accused, I have quite an extensive file on the subject beginning Oct. 07, 2009. It turned out to be a big waste of federal manpower and resources. (I was absolved of any wrong doing!) It began surreptitiously, apparently in order to satisfy a “Schadenfreude” (James’ word, not mine), difference in political and personal views.

  486. Re Delurkergurl’s link. Those programs or something like them helped us during the farm crisis. I might send them a message as they asked, though our experience is pretty old now.

  487. Thanks Pfessor, and once again, you too Gato..

    That is a nice video Poolman. I agree with some, not all of it. Thanks for sharing.

    One thing I won’t let go of is my old home in the UK. I am waiting for the royal birth.

    ABC News reports that George Zimmerman was one of two men who helped rescue a family of four after their car rolled over in an accident. He was not a witness to the accident. This is the first known sighting of Zimmerman who is in hiding.

  488. What would the world be like IF…?

  489. MomsRisisng: Tell Congress to Protect Tax Credits for Working Families!


  490. “miss your,” not “your miss.” My bad.

  491. Anon – re: James.

    We appreciate your critical appraisal of someone for whom you are not worthy to hold the light as he takes a dump in the woods.

    As self-proclaimed arbiter of who is – and is not – worthy to post his life experiences, perhaps you would regale us with YOUR life’s accomplishments. We wouldn’t want to your miss stories about both of them, I’m sure.

  492. Mageen, I enjoyed your recollections. I hope you record them for the next generation.

    Gato , thanks for the defense. Yes, I go on sometimes. Anonymous is not able to defend ideas, so he/she makes personal attacks. It is an old trick of people who cannot defend their views. My presence here seems to be an insult to some close-minded people.

    Anon can’t even regurgitate personal attacks well. He/she couldn’t grasp the point I was making about the Estonian economic model compared to the US’s. I never set up a site. I was one of four moderators for a Jeanene Garafalo message board. I was administrator for a while when the creator was too busy.

    Anon is too obtuse to know that I have not only visited other countries, I have lived in them.

    We all have been getting along, so Anon, you are like a belch at a dinner party. A moderator would have suspended you for that.

    A long time ago, some who are still here and some who are not called me a troll so often that Richard (?) the nephew posted that under accepted rules they, not the I were the trolls when they launched personal attacks.

    They, including Jean decided to vote me off the site. They later decided to include Pfessor and someone else. It was an especially stupid thing to do because they had no way to support their attack.

    I have never said anyone shouldn’t write here, but if I did, I would have earned the right, given the names they called me. Someone even created a fake James who had been abused and didn’t care about veterans.

    I will be gone again because it will be our turn to help with our grand daughter. Our daughter is schedualed for minor surgery next Friday.

    You had better hurry Anon. Hatred is twisting your mind, and you know my record against people like you.

  493. Well, whoever you are… THAT was pretty nasty, and pretty much undeserved, IMO. Sure, sometimes James goes on a bit, but at least he’s not totally hostile all the time, as you certainly are in this post.

    And, HEY, Auntie Jean! Where are YOU!!!???


  494. James,

    I haven’t been here for a while for reasons that will become obvious but I’m curious, when did you becoime the principal arbiter of who should be posting on this site? Yoiu’re recent shot at Auntie Jean, is a case in point. I know that your Asian eyed Sami relatives are so inportant that they are now determining the financial progress of Europe and the world (giant yawn) and that you were a Medal of honor winner for ratting out your fellow soldiers for reasons that still escape most of us here (or was it for your stellar duty as a medic) duing the Vietnam fiasco.

    James you are a blithering bore and are far beyond the time for you to establish your own site rather than pirating that of Helen and Margaret. Oh I forgot! You once set up your own site chasing rainbows (or was it tornadoes?) that made it more readable, and had so many avid followers that you had to shut it down. When you reopen your new site it might help to make it about positive things that you have accomplished in life rather than trying to bask in the reflected glory of your Sami culture that is so important as to be invisible to most of the wortld.

    At least Auntie Jean has seen other countries and cultures close up and had been willing to share her experiences, good, bad or indifferent. Your blithering about your ancestory is tiresome and adds almost nothing to our knowledge. Perhaps it might be of interest to cite some of your earth moving personal accomplishments instead of trying to capitalize on the limited offerings of your obscure relatives.

    James. GET A LIFE.

  495. Man, if there were ever a time that we need to get control of this federal government:


    Holder has committed every gun crime known to man and he’s walking around. Now he confiscates (steals) the firearm of a man who has been convicted of no crimes at all.

    These guys and their personal, political agendas…

  496. James, back in the Sixties while I was an undergraduate Detroit was going through a massive expressway building experience. Entire neighborhoods were totally destroyed in order to do this. There was great resistance to the Big Dig. The expressway went through some of the oldest ethnic neighborhoods in the city. Besides private homes, schools, churches, businesses and even little city parks were destroyed. That first expressway kicked off several more. Yes, you can drive to downtown Detroit from wherever in a very short time without ever seeing a traffic light, but when downtown Detroit was destroyed for the expressways, why would you want to go there? Frankly, my relatives who live in the suburbs (they moved there when it was obvious that the city was eating itself alive with expressways) use those thoroughfares only to get to the Ambassador Bridge and over to Canada.

  497. Newsbusters “Former WashPost Reporter blames racial bitterness, political corruption for Detroit’s Decline and fall”

    Keith Richburg, a black man, wrote an article for the Washington Post web site about the demise of his home town. He wrote the decline began in the 1960′s and 70′s when riots drove many whites and affluent blacks to the suburbs.

    “The white population’s abandonment of the city left Detroit with a shrinking tax base and deteriorating segregated public schools…but blacks in Detroit still had one thing left–political power.”

    “Thus, the city’s black political class sees conspiracy theories everywhere…The governor’s appointment of an emergency financial manager, once it became clear that Detroit cannot manage its own fiscal affairs, is again seen as a hostile, racist takeover by the state over the city’s elected black leadership.”

    Comparing Estonia, a small country with Detroit is comparing apples to oranges. But Detroit’s economic model fails by comparison.

    Suppose you are walking down a lonely street at midnight. Four large black men walk rapidly toward you. Or four white men, or four Hasidic Jews are quickly gaining on you. Or maybe the four are women. Who makes you most nervous? Why?

  498. Mageen, that sounds about right for Estonia though the economy is improving That country is still recovering from Soviet enslavement as blacks recover from their slave heritage. Finns and Estonians share a similar language and culture. They are also genetically similar. Before the Soviets the two countries had similar living standards.

    Estonians are turning themselves into a Silicon Valley of the Baltic. Many people, especially in rural areas still had out door plumbing a few years ago,, and I think over half of Lithuanians do now. Most are still very poor by our standards.

    Index mundi Estonia Economy Profile 2013 says Estonia is the newest member of the European Union and has a market based economy.It has one of the higher per capita incomes in Central Europe and the Baltic region,

    “Estonia’s successive governments have pursued a free market, pro-business economic agenda, and have wavered little in their commitment to pro market reforms. The current government has followed sound fiscal policies that have resulted in balanced budgets and low public debt.” That is a red state model. Detroit has used a blue state model combined with corruption.

    Estonia’s economy grew at an average rate of 8% until the recession when the economy contracted to negative 14% in 2009. “Estonia rebounded to nearly 8% growth in 2011, and the economy now has one of the higher GDP growth rates in Europe.

    Estonia GDP says their growth rate decreased substantially in the first quarter of this year. The growth rate should be 3% this year and 4% in 2014.The United States, basically operating under a red state model grew at an annual rate of 1.8% so far this year. NBC News Business says that rate was like Estonia’s, significantly lower than first thought. One reason in the US is higher taxes. The US economy grew at .4% in the October to December, 2012 quarter.

    The average Estonian income is $12,800 disposable US dollars per year. Most people are well-educated but women hold the edge. Women are strong organizers and consider Estonia to have a shortage of eligible native men. Many Finish men visit Estonia because of its brothals. A blogger wrote that Estonians are some of the most beautiful people in the world, but as their standard of living improves junk fast food is quickly making them as fat as Fins and Americans.

    A Finnish writer blogged that Norway looks down on Sweden. Swedes look down on Fins The Fins look down on Estonians, Estonians look down on Lativia. Poles probably look down on Lituanians, Lituanians look down on Lativians too. However, Lativians looking across the border to Belarus enhance their self esteem.

    Anonymous, you are my Belarus. You have no standing until you criticize people like Jean who describe trips and personal lives in great detail. I enjoy those posts. Belarus.

  499. Gato, You are so right. What I was thinking was that the “haves” in any ethnic group should do their best to work with and for the “have-nots” in that group. That might be a trickle down solution that would actually work.

  500. Morning, Terry W –

    You’re a bit more supportive of “Saleh” than I might have been. Something about the post didn’t seem quite straight-up to me… A bit too much “It’s all our fault; we could all be Booker T. Washington if we just got our act together…” Maybe I’m wrong; be glad to be shown so!

    The problem, IMO, is that taking all the “personal responsibility” in the world won’t do much to alter the systemic biases that infect this society – something you’ve referenced by pointing out the need to provide a “hands up” to those against whom the deck is stacked. It certainly IS stacked, although the composition of the “deck,” itself, is gradually being modified by sheer demographics.

    We can’t expect others, whose societal “position” is far more circumscribed than that of, say, white males, to accomplish more than we do, given the same obstacles.

    Self-determination is always a good thing, but altering the culture itself is equally necessary. And we can start with getting rid of trash like the “stand your ground laws” and eliminating women’s health care, for just a couple of things!


  501. Saleh, You just wrote something that we can all claim, no matter what our ethnicity or station in this society. When anyone refuses to take ownership of his or her own situation it’s hard to make positive changes. On the other hand when the deck is stacked against one, others must step in and help. I’m not talking about “hand outs”; I’m talking about “hands up” programs that benefit all of us in the long run. I also see change from within in your rhetoric and I applaud that. Keep on talking!

  502. James,

    Only you can provide this vital informaion all Americans want to know. What did you have for breakfast this morning? Did you brush your teeth and change your underwear before you got on your computer? We are waiting with baited breath for your reply.

  503. Glad to see it is not just me. As an African American I find it even more heinous that there is a beeilf that I should simply be on board with all of this demagoguery because I happen to be black. It is as if other African Americans feel I should be in unison with their cacophony, as opposed to having my own opinion, or worse, holding back my opinion until the facts come in.Interesting that this unity-despite-intellect ideology seems to be prevelant in all xenophobic cultures, in which it is more important that we all agree on who to hate and who to blame than what to do to make it better.We are 13% of the population, have less than 9% of the wealth, yet seem to be keeping up more than our fair share of the discord that plagues our nation. We weep over the unfairness that we endure in the name of racism, then practice advanced bigotry on everyone who is not black. We lament over the lack of equal opportunity, yet when presented with it, excuse our inability to take advantage of it as disenfranchisement . We demand jobs, and then never call on a single want ad, having predisposed ourselves of the idea that all employers are prejudiced against us, and therefore, jobs are pointless to pursue.When do WE start taking responsibility for the circumstances of our own lives? When to WE begin to take ownership of our current circumstances. Freedom is a condition, not a state of being. Freedom never arrives alone, if comes with it’s twin siblings accountability and responsibility. Without accountability, it is socialism. Without responsibility, it is communism. Without either, you have anarchy, not freedom. Less opinions, my fine Nubian Princes and Princesses more facts.Here’s an idea, why don’t WE take ownership of our OWN communities and make the changes within ourselves that would assist us in avoiding these obvious conflicts. Instead of treating every other race as an obstacle in our equality, why not view them as companions on the same journey?Or would that make too much sense, forcing us to accept responsibility for our own failures as parents, citizens and Americans? Once we can take ownership for that which we have done poorly, we can take full credit for everything we have done well.

  504. Just heard from friends in Michigan. It seems the state owes Detroit enough money to buy its way out of bankruptcy but will not pay up. The Governor has given the wealthy people in the state yet another tax cut. The betting money says that the wealthy would never funnel any of that $$ into Detroit to create jobs and such. They really have no allegiance of any sort with the state. It is essentially where they have summer homes and they have winter homes in Florida.

  505. Thanks, Lurker – I’m enlightened!

    And I was thinking it was some generic web language thing, like “My Interest Over Validity,” or something like that…


  506. My sister, a retired R.N., was in Estonia about 10 years ago with a friend who was born there. There may have been a mean depression but I wonder if anyone really felt it. She tells me that alcohol was ever present as in sold on sidewalks and by vendors on public transit. Wonder if it was this way before the USSR took over Estonia? I’m a teatotaler but I would probably end up drinking myself unconcious if I had to live under the Reds. She also noted that the most energetic and forward thinking people in that country were the women who started co-ops that made various things such as beaufiful handbags for the tourist trade and for export. The men were usually either dead drunk or just plain dead.

  507. Mageen, I think the writer was referring to deficit spending and over taxing. However, in Detroit’s case political graft and mismanagement was also endemic for years .That knew no political party. Democrats just happened to be in control. Republicans could as easily stolen from the tax payers. I believe the blue model referred to code words blue and red states.

    Estonia and Lativa chose austerity instead of borrowing their way out of debt. They suffered though a terrible depression, that made a tenth; of Lativia’s population move away, but now, their economies are growing faster than almost every other European country and the US. They are still some of Europe’s poorest people though Estonians living standard has risen more in the past few years than in any time of their recent history. That would be considered the red model, I think. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and others have exchanged harsh words with the Baltic countries over the issue.

    Hi Gato,

    I am a mixture. I carry a few Asian genes from the Sami side of the family. Some of my relatives have slightly Asian eyes as well as light eyes and hair. The Sami in Scandinavia still are called the equivalent of the N word–mongrel mongols. . In college, some friends thought my slight Asian features meant I was part Indian in spite of my blue eyes and blonde to red beard. Being a Native American had cache..

    I am straight, Conan O’Brien white and wear a baseball cap. When the children were still in high school a security guard approached and said “sir I have to ask you not to cock your hat.” Apparently my cap was a bit off center and it was a gang signal. Our children still tease me about that.

    I had black friends in the service. On one base, I was the only white in our little clique. They told me stories about driving while black etc. If I suffered discrimination, as I did because I was a Vietnam era veteran, I could do the equivalent to what the Finnish side of the family did when they .declared themselves Swedes. My friends couldn’t do that, and it is wrong to be judged by what you look like. They were good people coping with a situation they neither chose or could change.

  508. Gato, you asked what MIOV is. It’s Mageen in Old Virginy. (Hi Mageen – hope you’re doing well!)

  509. Interesting statistics – Four Charts That Prove Obama’s Right About Being Black In America


  510. Hi, James – Of course you are correct; that’s how dealing with a “suspected terrorist” should be handled in a civilized society. In Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan – and now Florida, and nineteen or so other states – they evidently see things a little differently…

    Backed by “stand your ground,” you can shoot first, and then it’s a prosecutor’s job to “prove” you could not possibly have been scared enough to justify it, beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s quite a task… And you don’t even have to say a word. It’s the job of others to conjecture, about your state of mind at the time, ’til the cows come home. (If the person you shot happened to belong to a particular group that is endlessly painted, by the media, as generally “scary,” that’s a big help to your case.)

    I’m glad you got through your interrogation with nothing more than a good laugh. (Can I assume that you are not black, brown, tan, Latino, a teenager, or gay, and were not wearing a hoodie…? If I’m wrong about this, please let me know… No specifics requested!)


  511. James, OK. What is a blue social model? Never heard of that color coding before in any of my classes.

  512. Gato, as I wrote, the reaction to a precieved threat has to be proportional to the the threat. Therefore it is still illegal in self defense to create a larger threat than the one precieved. I know you were being sarcastic but your terrorist threat comment brings another story.

    Shortly after 911, I was storm chasing. I taped nasty looking clouds when I stopped at a mall to buy more video tape. I returned from a store to see three police cars surrounding my parked car. A police officer asked if I owned the car and another asked why I was taking videos at the mall. I said I was storm chasing, out of tape, and pointed to the clouds.

    They apologically said a woman had seen me taping and reported me as a possible terrorist. They took my ID and one said “you don’t fit the profile” We all had a good laugh.

    That is how you deal with suspected terrorists. You report them. If you are on a plane and they threaten to take the plane down, that is another matter.

  513. Terri the jury determined that Trayvon Martin was the aggressor, and their decision is the only one which counts. I may have missed it, but I didn’t read anything about Zimmerman’s attacking Martin first.I believe Zimmerman was on his way back to his car.

    Witnesses saw Martin beating Zimmerman.

    Local laws which are not stand your own ground laws say one has a right to defend him/herself but it has to be proportional to the threat. That is where Trayvon apparently crossed the line.

    I don’t know why there was no DNA residue on Zimmerman.Its an interesting point. The jury decided witnesses were more important to the case, I suppose. The jury decided guilt or innocence according to reasonable doubt, and the prosecution’s case left reasonable doubt.

    One neglected piece of information is that the neighborhood watch began because of a recent wave of burglaries.

    In Omaha last night, I think someone watched young men breaking into cars. He pulled a gun on them and kept them still until police arrived.

    Years ago Eddie Station organized a group called Mad Dads in north Omaha to lesson gang and other crime. The police sanctioned them, and unlike Zimmerman, they patrolled in groups. They and the mostly young men they were watching were black.

    If the races were reversed, the verdict should have been the same.

  514. mageen, , i hope you are writing this for future generations. i liked your story and think it should be preserved.

    An Omaha talk show host said that as late as the fifties, Detroit was the best city in the nation.

    Betsy’s Page Cruising the Web linked to David Freddoso with “statistics behind Detroit’s path to bankruptcy. “The truth is that corrupt machine politics in a one party system devoted to the blue social model wrecked an entire city and thousands of lives beyond repair.”

    Those who think the scandals are gone should check Newsbusters “ABC, CBS and NBC to viewers: IRS Sandal? Please, that’s old news”. Yesterday, the office of the IRS’s Chief Counsel headed by William Wilkens who at the time was the only Obama political appointee in the IRS ordered Tea Party tax exemption applications sent to his office..

    As I wrote Thursday the tax records of candidate Christine O’Donnell and some donors were improperly read by government officials.

    If Bush were president, this would be a huge scandal.

  515. Good one, Rick! Following along that line of thinking, one could argue that anyone who’s gay could shoot any member of the Westboro Baptist Church, holding one of their signs; anyone could shoot a driver behaving recklessly in the vicinity; any anti-gun activist could shoot any member of the NRA; any of us could shoot anyone we “suspected” might be a terrorist, even if he or she was our babysitter; any Teabagger could shoot an IRS examiner; and on and on and on… (Disclaimer, like yours: This paragraph is satire!)

    Of course, there are plenty of people who seem to think this kind of a society would be just fine and dandy. (The basis for sentencing the Florida woman to TWENTY YEARS in prison for shooting INTO THE AIR, because she was afraid her husband was going to attack her, is absolutely incomprehensible.)

    Laws that allow the determination of “innocence” or “guilt” to be based on what someone could have been thinking are the absolute antithesis of the founding premise of all criminal law throughout Western history.

    At least we can hope that some people are starting to think about that…


  516. I do prefer this comment format to what was. Thank you Matthew, if it was your doing and you actually read these.

    OT, but always pertinent… but I don’t want to bog this thread down with too many video embeds, a tendency of mine, so I’ll just provide a link this time. This is a good video from MrPeakCrackers. His latest. I recommend it and think the visuals and message is worth the 22 minutes of your time. A must see for any AIM or Leonard Peltier supporters.

  517. […] few days.  Between trials in Florida and tampons in Texas (don’t ask – or just read Margaret and Helen‘s column about it), there is a tanker truck of blogging material.  Yet every time I try to […]

  518. If George can shoot Trayvon, a teen he was stalking, under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, then it stands to reason the sight of a Republican’t by a woman would make that woman feel threatened, and rightly so. Because of the fundamentalist morality they are trying to impose and the institutionalized misogyny they practice and she would be within the law if she shot one. Seems to me that it’s open season on Republican’ts by women in the “Stand Your Ground” states. I am in no way implying someone should shoot any Republican’ts, just illustrating the absurdity of these laws in a satirical manner.

  519. James, you continue to say Trayvon Martin was the aggressor. We don’t know that. Trayvon Martin is dead. He never told his side of the story. GZ never testified. He gave contradictory statements to the police. If TM was so aggressive, why was there no DNA, no blood, from Zimmerman found on TM?

  520. This, in a state where a black woman is facing 20 years because she shot INTO THE CEILING to scare away her abusive husband/boyfriend – Florida is working on being more ludicrous than Texas.

  521. Gato, well said! Never could figure out why GZ would be afraid of anything or anyone. He was not only armed, he had studied martial arts. Taking down somebody with a well placed kick would have been something he could do even in his sleep. Trayvon was simply doing his best to protect himself from someone who could be just what his girlfriend told him over the phone. And run or even walk away? And get shot in the back? GZ placed both himself and Trayvon in a no-win situation.

    James,I lived in Detroit for 26 years before moving east. Dad worked in the auto industry. Even then some of the different segments of the auto industry were NOT located in the city. River Rouge is a down-river suburb of Detroit located on the Rouge River. Henry Ford built one of his very first plants there. You may remember that some years ago that main building simply gave up out of old age and exploded, killing some and injury many, many more. The president of Ford at the time immediately had all the injured transported to the best possible hospitals. Another one of the older Ford plants was built in Highland Park, Michigan, which became an enclave surrounded by Detroit. In the past two decades at least, all of the auto industry expanded out into the suburbs such as Warren, Michigan because the way they built vehicles changed which meant the style of venue changed as well. The suburban locations feature buildings that are exceptionally horizontal and go on forever. The last one my dad worked in was located in Plymouth, Michigan which is closer to Ann Arbor than Detroit and the buildings covered miles. Consequently, Detroit started losing $$ due to these relocations caused by the need for immensely open country which was not available in the city. The jobs went with the plants. If you lived in Detroit and worked in one of these plants and had a car you were in luck inasmuch as public transportation (bus) was pitiful.

  522. I agree with Poolman. True journalists are a dying breed. They are the source of many racial tensions associated with the recent court case.

    And Gato, I have thought about it. I might have done what Trayvon did, and I would have been dead as he is.

  523. Milasmom, I wasn’t there, and neither were you. I do read and I know as much about events as anyone else. There was a reason no charges were filed at first. It was a weak case based more on politics than real facts. Allen Durshuwitz (SP) is a noted legal expert who said the prosecutor should be disbarred. The jury had to deal with laws as written and the actions of the two men.

    I agree, Gato. As you know, I had my own problems in the service. I was terrified, especially after being mildly tortured and later waking with a knife at my throat. They were playing with me to frighten me into not testifying.

    I got my own knife instead of a hand gun because I decided that whatever happened, they had to start it. Otherwise ironically, I might be charged with murder.

    Ultimately, I used my hands, and it was self defense. Even so I nearly faced charges.

    Trayvon should have followed Jantelle’s advice and “run run.” I would have run if I could, but I was stuck with as many as twenty men surrounding me as I slept night after night. So, yes, I can understand how afraid he could have been. Good or bad, the jury had to consider the law as written and who was the ultimate first attacker.

  524. “Any hope of a federal bailout to avert bankruptcy fizzled last week after Mr. Orr spoke with the White House, including Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett, according to city and White House officials.”

    Guess they didn’t contribute to Hussein’s election as much as Goldman Sachs or AIG. They’re too big to fail, you know, but one of the country’s largest cities is not.

    Of course, that’s all tongue-in-cheek – nobody should ever be bailed out. Financial failures are nature’s way of cleaning up bad investments. Think of them as the turkey vultures of finance.

  525. Those SYG laws were written and pushed by ALEC, no friend of the common folk. Money drives the agenda and we, the people, generally suffer the consequences. The thing about a collective is we all are affected by any action with any other part. The positive side providing ‘strength in numbers’ also swings the other way as ‘one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch’ and ‘a chain is only as strong as its weakest link’. The bell curve syndrome. There is always a compromise. Now with relationships, compromise is essential. But with rules, compromise is a no-no. A two-tiered system of justice in a society never brings about order and peace.

    If only we would hold officials accountable.
    If only we would revisit the pursuit of happiness.
    If only we would demand a transparent government.
    If only we would simplify and practice the golden rule.
    If only we would take the profit incentive out of politics.
    If only we would admit our mistakes and act with humility.
    If only we would quit MANipulating™ what is all ready working. Which goes along with don’t fix it if it isn’t broke, the KISS rule, and no matter how many times we try, we cannot improve on nature.

    As long as we are bickering among ourselves, we are easy to corral and subdue. Thus the mass media serves tptb well and they were wise to obtain control over what once WAS once considered the fourth estate and a check on tyranny. Not anymore. True journalists are a dying breed – figuratively AND literally. It has become a dangerous profession. I’m not talking your bobble-headed bleach blonde types. They are a dime a dozen.

    Now that’s about all the clichés I can pack in a post. :grin:

  526. Hi Congenial Gang,

    TxGranny, thank you so very much for your link to “I Am Not Treyvon Martin.” The testamonials are indeed profound. I feel our country is changing if ever soooooo slowly into being the nation we can be instead of the nation we have been.

    Aloha! Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  527. http://wearenottrayvonmartin.com/


  528. Hey, James – If you think you’re being stalked, and you “stand your ground” by confronting the stalker, isn’t that exactly the same argument Zimmerman used? He was scared!

    That’s the trouble with the damned SYG laws… They make culpability dependent on what somebody was thinking. We’ve NEVER used this argument, in this country, as justification for behavior.

    Has anybody ever asked whether or not they thought Martin was frightened? Christ almighty, he was walking back from a convenience store… I’d be freaking out if someone even seemed to be following me when I left my local Seven-Eleven.

    But, of course, in that situation, I would get in my car, which I have around here, and do my best to get away ASAP.

    Martin didn’t do that. He took a stand, in his own adolescent way. He was violent, apparently. But Zimmerman was more successfully violent, because he had a gun.

    The kid is dead. Zimmerman has been found “innocent.” May it please the gods that he knows he is not. For the rest of his life. I mean it. Really.


  529. James – were you there? Z was certainly the aggressor. A cop wannabe, full of testosterone about a chance to do cop stuff – I hope he spends the rest of his life looking over his shoulder, worried about every black person he encounters. And “Stand you ground laws” SUCK!

  530. gurl – my understanding – 911/Police tell you not to follow or get involved is because the state would then be liable for you.


  531. The 911 operator’s saying “you don’t need to do that” to Zimmerman may have been important, but Martin hit Zimmerman first and slammed his head into the concrete. That trumped the suggestion because all that was relevant was Zimmerman’s fear for his life. Trayvon’s attack won Zimmerman’s case.

    Trayvon didn’t have to attack. Had he not, anything which happened afterword would have been charged to George.

    I think Zimmerman should pull a Snowden and ask for political asylum. We know the Justice Department will get him for something, even if it is jay walking.

    Everything considered, I agree with “we are in such deep trouble.”

  532. Detroit filed for bankruptcy after 51 years of Democratic rule. Everyone should read UAW Tradesman’s link to the article. Detroit’s financial woes are connected as are other nearly broke liberal controlled cities.

    Stevie Wonder is a fine entertainer, but he is just an entertainer. I counter with Charles Barkley who said “I agree with the verdict. A lot of black people are racists too.” Bill Cosbey said roughly the same thing. Their opinions don’t mean any more than Wonder’s

    The scandals live on.The press isn’t reporting, but the investigations continue. The Bengazi survivors had to sign confidentially statements.

    Christine O’Donnel the Tea Party candidate for Joe Biden’s former seat got a call from a Treasury Department criminal investigator warning that her tax records may have been breached. For example the day she announced her plan to run for the Senate a tax lien was placed on her house and publicized. Actually, she no longer owned the house.

    Chris Inglis testified yesterday that the government is investigating and collecting many more of our communication records than it had previously admitted to doing.

    Just because the press says the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean it is dark outside.

  533. Hey, Lurker – I know, I know, I know… It’s the Land of the Red Queen in this country, these days…

    What would Lori say? “Don’t get mad; get organized.” And I think poolman, and others here, are correct when they suggest that all of this is just distraction, and smoke and mirrors, to keep us all jousting against some inconsequential “dragon” that they throw up in our faces, so we don’t have a chance to look at the real S*** that’s going down… And I’m talking redistricting here, and voter disenfranchisement, and unempowering (is that a word?) women, and all the rest. (Including, of course, the “stand your ground” legislation, which totally reverses the basic premise of our legal system, which is “innocent until proven guilty,” and turns it into “You’re dead because I thought you were scary.”)

    I think we can take some heart in the fact that “Benghazigate,” and “NSAgate,” and “IRSgate” didn’t last more than three news cycles. (And for the fact that Darrell Issa is now nothing more than a voice crying in the wilderness, and who really cares any more about how long Edward Snowden enjoys the transit lounge in a Russian airport?)

    One nice thing happened today, and maybe it’s just one famous person doing something that may or may not mean anything, but I thought he used what he had to make a statement. Evidently Stevie Wonder, at a concert in Canada, said he would never perform, ever, in any State, or anywhere in the world, where some “stand your ground” law was in effect. Sorry, Miami; you lose out!

    Anyway, hang tough, Sistah… The times they are a’changin’…


  534. so you don’t have to scroll back Terry W


  535. No Gato….It’s not just Obama’s fault….I’ll throw in Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Reverend Wright,Eric Holder,etc,etc,etc. Anybody that doesn’t give-a-shit that blacks kill blacks but need to play the race card for their gain…..

  536. Hey, Poolman – Good for you; that’s awesome! Thirty-eight years, huh?

    And thanks for answering my somewhat personal question.


    PS: Maybe some day I’ll tell you the origin of “Gato”…!

  537. Hey Gato, Swimming pools. I’ve been in the pool industry some 38 years. I love designing and building them and live in Phoenix. We’re staying afloat, thank God!

  538. So in many places in this country, oral sex is illegal but an armed man can follow an unarmed minor despite being advised not to by authorities and then shoot that minor because the minor stood his ground against an unidentified man who appeared to be stalking him. And somehow the potential that his skittles and tea could be used to make a drug that was not in his symptom makes everyone feel better about it. Mmmmkay.

    And in this country we give up all manner of personal liberties in the name of protection, and call ourselves free. Small government applies only to the hoo ha, huh?

    Long, deep sigh.We are in so much trouble.

    By the way, WHY did the 911 operator recommend that Z not follow the kid? Hmmmm…. Perhaps because nothing good would come of it? Why wasn’t that a factor in judging the decisions Z made?

    Does anyone know if the 911 operator know he was armed?

  539. Hey, Poolman – Many good points, and I absolutely agree with your last paragraph about distraction, diversion and control…

    BTW, is that “pool” as in the swimming place, or “pool” as in the green table for eight-ball…?


  540. Virginia will have to change their slogan from – Virginia is for Lovers – to – Virginia is for Prudes! He must be a really good time. Just who is going to do the bed check if he were to get his way?


  541. I think most sex laws are ignored if between consenting adults. Oral sex is already illegal in Virginia. So is having sex with the lights on and practiced in any other position besides missionary…

    While “doing the nasty” is usually considered to be a personal affair (unless it involves money and/or a president), some states take it upon themselves to make sure all is well in the world of sexual intercourse.

    For instance, oral sex is illegal in 18 states. Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia and Washington D.C. consider people who give or receive oral sex to be criminals. In Georgia, those convicted of oral sex can be charged with no less than one year and no more than 20 years imprisonment. Yikes.

    Oral stimulation is not the only form of sex that is highly regulated, however. The State of Virginia dictates that it is illegal to have sex with the lights on. In Florida, Massachussetts, Montana and Virginia, it is illegal to have sex in any position other than missionary. In Oklahoma, pre-marital sex is against the law. Nevada considers sex without the use of a condom to be illegal. In Texas, the use or ownership of more than six dildos may qualify you for a felony. In Georgia, sex toys are banned altogether. [emphasis mine]

    - See more at: http://cornellsun.com/node/18235#sthash.nNgHcJ2P.dpuf

    I remember the blue laws in Texas. They were restrictive laws based on religious or moral reasoning. Stupid when passed and stupid while enforced. I believe they were mostly repealed. Times and priorities change. I think there are hundreds of stupid laws that are never enforced in many states.

    If a politician is bringing up such craziness, it is strictly to garner attention and cause strife. They know our hot buttons issues and continually use them to control and divert us.

  542. Hi, Sidney – Nice to be hearing from you again!

    My, my… That Ken Cuccinelli is a good lookin’ dude, too, isn’t he?

    “Methinks he doth protest too much”…


  543. “It did occur to me at the time when we went to war with Iraq that we were providing the terrorist organizations the best recruiting tool they come dream of.”

    Terry W – The day the Towers went down, I told my wife: here is a golden opportunity for Bush-the-Lesser. He needs to get on TV and tell the American people, “It’s time we really get off foreign oil. We are going to add $1/gal tax to all fuels and every penny will go into research on developing alternatives to oil or developing our own reserves.

    That would begin the shift from foreign oil to electricity. When everything runs on electricity, then we have no need to be in the Middle East and can pull our troops out. That will please the Islamists to no end (and me, too). But of course we also won’t be pouring literally trillions of dollars over time into an uncivilized area, and supplying money for the Islamists to build more madrasas, where young boys can learn to hate and kill westerners. And, as you say, by leaving, we remove their incentive. They give a war and we don’t come.

    The best way to kill the beast is starve it for money.

    But Bush didn’t do that. He, like every inexperienced military leader in history, let somebody smarter than he sucker him into a war, where we squandered our treasury and our kids’ precious lives. We are in a world of doo-doo, and the only thing holding up our stock market is the printing of bogus money. That, too, will stop.

  544. Break our the vodka ladies and pour a slash in your lemonade, because just when you THINK you’ve seen all the stupidity that the repubs can pull out of their arses, I present a GOP running for governor in VA who wants to ban oral sex for married couples. Can you say Taliban?


  545. Not only that, but dig a little deeper and one finds most of their leaders are trained and supplied with weapons by us, directly or by proxy. We fund both sides of this bogus war, like we do the other bogus wars we wage. It is a sickness of this modern society that nobody wants to address as to the cause, yet everyone argues strongly over their opinion regarding best cure.

    Who benefits from all this turmoil? It certainly isn’t the average citizen. It damn sure isn’t humanity as a whole. But look at the banking and arms industries. Look at the oil and security industries. Look at Halliburton. Some folks are loving this conflict and state of perpetual fear.

    Does one lose perspective and one’s critical thinking when evil is clothed in red, white, and blue or brandishes a crucifix? I say yes, it does seem to be the case. Putting a bandage over rotting flesh won’t cause it to heal. That is all the politicos ever propose, and when elected NEVER FOLLOW THROUGH with many, or sometimes ANY of their promises. Does that make them liars? Yes, yes it does.

    I’m reminded of that definition of insanity.

  546. I know Gato was being sarcastic but Poolman is close to the truth Obama is not the cause. He is a symptom and his ideology promotes the problem. He owns the problem for a time because he has done nothing to fix it.The rot was here before Obama, and it will be with us after he is gone. Everyone should read the article.

    Excluding the mostly Democratic large cities from the statics lowers the gun violence rate for the rest of the country.

    Speaking of HIV. Central Africans are still grateful for Bush the Younger for his program to stop the spread of Aids in Africa. His interest has saved many lives. Sting also praised Bush a while back.

    We did provide a good recruiting tool in Iraq and for a while it was the center of Jihadist activity. I opposed the war until we were in it and family members were there. We also killed many of the new recruits there.

  547. It did occur to me at the time when we went to war with Iraq that we were providing the terrorist organizations the best recruiting tool they come dream of.

  548. I read UAW’s article. It seems to be accurate except in that it blames Obama for the condition, whereas Obama to me is more a symptom rather than cause of our broken system. The fact remains that most gun violence occurs in inner cities that have the strictest of gun laws. These occurrences have nothing to do with the legality of guns, but everything to do with criminals taking advantage of the lack of the citizens ability to protect themselves and their property. You can’t weasel around that truth. These metro areas have the strictest laws and most expensive and extensively equipped police forces.

    Laws don’t protect the innocent, but do often help enable the criminal.

    Like the juror who claimed the law was at fault for acquitting Zimmerman. We prefer to point to a person and assign blame. In all our endeavors we prefer a scapegoat or boogeyman. Most of the time it is our own doing or enabling.

    It is a fault of our society. Much like blaming Bin Laden for 9/11 and the whole war on terror. OBL is long dead and gone, yet our efforts to combat the threat have only exacerbated the problem and have created many more enemies that otherwise would care less..

  549. Gato, Now I’m really glad I didn’t bother to read that link!

  550. Right, UAW – Absolutely everything that is wrong with this country, and even all over the world, is the fault of just one single person. Before HE weasled his Kenyan Commie butt into office, everything was just hunky-dory. We all know there were no gangs or murders during Reagan’s and Bush II’s administrations; nobody got HIV; there were no drug wars or millionaire rappers… And NOW LOOK!

    Glad you straightened this out for all of us with this lovely article…


  551. http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/gun-violence-is-not-a-republican-problem-its-a-democratic-problem/

  552. Thank you for sharing this, Pfesser. It was an eye opener and well put. I think a lot of our problems could be solved by better parenting and programs that work with our children and their parents from birth up. It will cost the taxpayers less than it does to incarcerate the offenders.

  553. That is a very important question NOP. What is wrong with us? I’ll bite so people can shoot me down. Jean and I argued about it eons ago, and my facts were better than hers.

    The truth is we are all racists because it is how we evolved. The trait has survival value because in a time of scarce resources and environmental uncertainty people are rightly suspicious of strangers.

    We have called ourselves a melting pot, but we are more like a fruit salad. Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics tend to live in in enclaves because they share a culture. So do whites. In our area, Dutch and Bohemians live in their own communities because their ancestors settled where friends and family came before. Living near people who share attitudes and values make it easier to adjust to a strange new country.

    My wife’s grandmother, for example came from Sweden at age 16. Years later, she enjoyed visiting a northwest Iowa town because people there still spoke Swedish. My wife’s paternal grandmother and great aunt spoke German at home. Within these groups are smaller sub populations with their own group identities.

    Most of these people exchange their national identities for the national identity of Americans. However, people need time to assimilate. Sometimes the culture becomes unbalanced as it did when Germans and Scandinabians turned regions into virtual copies of the old country. Other populations brought old animosities to America as when rioters tried to destroy Omaha’s Greek community because they allegedly mistreated some Irish folks.

    We now have an influx of legal and illegal immigrants with the same adjustment problems as previous generations of newcomers and “natives.” Electronic media helps fragment us all. In the old days everyone watched the same television stations and heard the same radio entertainment formats.
    Those days are gone, our culture is becoming specialized and fragmented.

    Combine that with politicians who exploit racial differences for political gain, and we have people suspicious of each other. This trial is a perfect example. Jurors who have talked said race didn’t enter into the debate. They focused on a young man who aroused a community guard’s suspicions because of his actions, not his race. The suspicion may have been misplaced, but that, not race was the issue.

    The press, and politicians turned the trial into a race issue, and it contributed to racial attacks of blacks on Hispanics and whites. One man also advised Asians to get fire extinguishers because his people would burn down their businesses as they tried to do during the LA riots. Asians got off easier then most because many guarded their businesses with guns.

    Teenagers and others are shot every day, but no one nationally cares. This trial was created into a racial issue for political and economic gain.

    Thus, our normal emotions come to the surface and we become suspicious of each other. We also owe some of our current troubles to the White House and its allies. Obama should never have said “if I had a son, he would have looked like Trayvon.” That, in my opinion is why we are profiling.

  554. Thanks so much for this. I watched the one on climate change and on guns and then decided to subscribe.

  555. Hi, Lori – Meant to ask you this a while ago…

    What does “MIOV” stand for?


  556. USA HOMICIDE GUN DEATHS…….we are number 1.




  558. HEY Gato….
    I like that….”Scared people are easily manipulated, whether they have legitimate “reasons” for their fears, or not. It’s a lousy way to run a society.”

    YES….how about statements like….”Tampons don’t kill people. Republicans do.

    How about all the BS about teabaggers,gun owners,christians,conservatives Fox News watchers…Talk about being manipulated….you sure are!!!!!

  559. Fesser – I’d call that an “okay” piece, but not a particularly enlightening one. The argument that any ethnic or racial group is responsible for the way their members are perceived by others is not a new idea, nor is it entirely true. It’s only part of the story. As with so many things, the best answer is probably “all of the above.” Yes; black citizens should probably take more “responsibility” for their own, as we all keep wishing “moderate” Muslims would do, but that does not negate the influence of white racism.

    Citing the fact that crime rates and murders among blacks are vastly greater than among whites as a justification for assuming that all blacks must be thugs and ne’er-do-wells is about as accurate as concluding that, since more women give birth to babies than any other sex, all women are pregnant. (Most of them could be, at some time, of course, but that’s not the point; any black teenager “could” be a thug, but many of them are not.)

    I somewhat accept the idea that, in cases of self-defense, it doesn’t matter who started the altercation… Just as in a playground tussle, the “She started it,” “No, SHE started it,” debate is sometimes not relevant – not always, but sometimes.

    You have pointed out that we cannot know what Zimmerman was thinking, nor what Martin was thinking, as they faced each other. But, ironically, that’s exactly what the jury had to consider, and on which they were tasked to base their decision: Whether or not Zimmerman “thought” he was in imminent danger. They decided he did, and the fact that he sustained injury gave credence to that. (Has anyone ever indicated whether or not Martin had any “injuries,” other than a hole through his heart…?)

    The more traditional definition of “self defense” implies, at least to me, that the victim was threatened through no fault of his or her own. Hardly the case here. Zimmerman was going for it. Maybe Martin surprised him, and snuck up on him, but it never would have happened if Zimmerman hadn’t gotten out of his car and followed Martin, despite being told by the police that he “didn’t need to do that.”

    I also understand that neighborhood watches are often helpful in keeping down minor crimes, and that the police generally approve of them. We’ve used them in my own Community, to good effect. (Law enforcement is generally NOT in favor, however, of unregulated vigilantism.) But I doubt that the police were too happy in this case that Zimmerman “reported” to them, and then didn’t follow their recommendations. (Initially, after it happened, they didn’t even want to touch the situation. They were willing to accept the self-defense argument, and let it go at that.)

    The “stand your ground” laws put an entirely different – and dangerous – spin on the definition of “self defense.” Unfortunately, I believe they make it far too easy for someone to overreact to something they can later claim they found “scary.” (Let’s say I find big, white, pony-tailed Harley riders “scary.” Am I therefore justified in using lethal force if one of them pulls up beside me in a parking lot, and looks over at me? How about if he makes a lewd remark? Is that enough? How about if he puts his hand on my shoulder? Is THAT enough justification for me to pull a gun out of my bra – assuming I had one – and blow him away?)

    I don’t want to live in a society where being frightened, in and of itself, is accepted as adequate justification for harming someone else. That is the opposite of “innocent until proven guilty; it’s “dead even if you didn’t actually DO anything, because you might have.”

    And it’s especially alarming when so many lies, rumors, and suggestions are perpetrated specifically designed to MAKE people frightened – frightened of homosexuals, frightened of Muslims, frightened of women, frightened of blacks, frightened of liberal Commies (or greedy plutocrats, for that matter), frightened of “illegal aliens,” frightened of fundamentalists, and on and on and on. Scared people are easily manipulated, whether they have legitimate “reasons” for their fears, or not. It’s a lousy way to run a society.


  560. Gato – Jason Riley is on the editorial board for the WSJ. He’s a brilliant writer, IMHO, and has written a good piece on the Martin/Zimmerman affair.


    I would be interested in your take on his POV. He’s black, by the way.

  561. What a sick situation it is in this country, when you cannot walk down the street in this country without being racially profiled. We really do need a conversation in this country. What the hell is wrong with us?

  562. “If Zimmerman really wanted to “play copper,” he could have shown his pistol and asked (or demanded) that Martin stop and answer a few questions – that’s what real police officers do in that kind of situation.”

    I can think of at least two or three laws he would break doing that, not the least of which is “brandishing.” Sorry, no dice.

    I have a concealed carry permit, and I can tell you that you better damned well know the circumstances when you can make use of your firearm, or you will be in jail a long, long time.

  563. A grandmother rushing her daughter to the hospital was surrounded by Trayvon Martin supporters — who refused to let her pass by.

    Grandmother is now considering getting a gun.


  564. gato -

    “You know, Fesser, GZ got his damned SELF into this situation – why is that so rarely mentioned? No one was stalking him; he wasn’t in any danger whatsoever, until he decided to put himself there. If he’d done what the cops told him to do – “Stay in your car. Don’t follow anyone.” – He wouldn’t have been “aggressed upon,” period. The kid wasn’t DOING ANYTHING, as far as we know… Zimmerman just didn’t like his looks.

    Sure – point well-taken. The cops encourage “neighborhood watches,” though, and point to them as an example of people taking responsibility for their own neighborhoods, blah, blah, etc. I don’t know how I feel about that. A man without a uniform, or even a badge, patrolling a neighborhood seems risky to me. But OTOH, at least by Z’s account, he did NOT approach Martin; on the contrary, it was the other way ’round.

    “So you’re walking down the street, and someone starts following you… That somehow makes YOU the “aggressor”…?”

    Nobody said that. Striking the first blow, knocking someone to the ground and then beating their head against the concrete makes you the aggressor.

    ” If anyone was “standing his ground” (and I know that was not an issue in the trial, so don’t bother pointing that out), it was Trayvon Martin.”

    Circling behind someone and confronting them is not “standing your ground.” It is being the aggressor. Standing your ground would be if Z approached HIM and began a confrontation, which nobody has been able to provide any evidence for.

    “Zimmerman had no authority whatsoever – none, zilch, nada – to pursue this kid,”

    He doesn’t need authority. He has the right to go where he pleases, just like everybody else. And that includes following someone he thinks is suspicious. Does it piss people off? Sure. But it is not illegal.

    “nor any reason other than his own stereotypes.”

    You don’t know his reasons any more than anybody else.

    “If he hadn’t had a gun, he probably would have put up a reasonable struggle, and probably would have “won.” with his weight advantage and martial arts training.”

    I studied Isshyn-Ryu karate for two years. Unless you are really good, really dedicated and really coordinated, it’s worthless until you get into the upper belts – at least brown. Martin was a football player and a fighter – by definition in top physical shape. My money is on Martin, especially if he gets in the first lick.

    “But, no, he didn’t have to bother with any of that; using the gun was just so much easier”

    Nonsense. When you have somebody astraddle of you, all you can think of is how to get him off. There are no thoughts of “what is easiest.”

    “And knowing he had that gun most likely made him behave more aggressively – and stupidly – than he probably would have had the balls to do, otherwise.”

    Nice theory, except he wasn’t the aggressor. He got out of his car to read a street sign and when he turned around to get back in his car, he was attacked. That’s what he said happened, and there are no witnesses to the contrary.

    “That’s one of the wonderful things about guns…”

    There are many wonderful things, but the ability to fight off a grown man, a football player in top physical shape, a known fighter and aggressor, who has the element of surprise on his side, is one of the best.

  565. PFesser -SYG was in play . The language which judges must use in jury instructions uses the SYG definition of self defense. It is part and parcel of the process now.
    It doesn’t have to be explicitly used by the defense , it is there anyway.
    It defines what is self defense now and is quite different than old common law notions of self defense.

  566. No offense taken Gato. These things are relevant to the view that elements of the press tried to hijack the trial with false information and impressions. The height issue for example relates to whether or not Zimmerman could rightly argue he shot Trayvon because Martin was in danger of killing him.

    His defense would be less believable if Zimmerman was much larger than Trayvon. I read that while not preferred, Skittles can be used for Lean. The press glossed over Martin’s ;problems in school and his use of drugs to make him an innocent boy matching pictures of him at age 13 or 14.

    The first scenario was that Martin stalked and shot a boy. That puts a different complexion on the crime than what really happened, and it helps explain the jury’s decision. I believe many people bought the innocent boy account which if true would be a horrible miscarriage of justice. A white man stalking and killing a young boy beat the rap. No wonder people rioted.

    If you have been on jury duty, you know these stupid details can make you want to pull your hair out though they decide verdicts. Ancillary details like these make one story or the other more believable.

    I’m getting tired of it too. I’d rather talk about our grand daughter.

  567. I see that there seems to be problems with the SYG laws according to some, and think it should be a “back off” law.???????Why didn’t Trayvon back off?????

  568. Hey, James, and other posters – This endless debate about who was taller, and who weighed more, is, IMHO, pretty bloody irrelevant!

    Zimmerman PURSUED Martin, which makes it pretty clear to me that he wanted a confrontation… And he knew he had a gun, and was ready to use it – maybe even more than ready. One of the whole points of carrying a weapon is that you hardly give a damn what size or weight the other person is. (They don’t call some of them “equalizers” for nothing.)

    If Zimmerman really wanted to “play copper,” he could have shown his pistol and asked (or demanded) that Martin stop and answer a few questions – that’s what real police officers do in that kind of situation.

    And as far as the whole “lean” thing is concerned, that’s absolutely irrelevant – what someone “might” have been planning to do with a bag of candy and a soda. Martin HAD NOT DONE ANYTHING other than walk down the street!
    (BTW, the “traditional” candy used is evidently Jolly Ranchers, not Skittles, as far as I’ve read…)

    That’s like someone justifying blowing away Zimmerman because he had a gun and “might” be planning to use it… Think that argument would fly as a justifiable defense…?

    This is not directed specifically at you, James – the whole “debate” about these details just seems totally absurd, and your post happened to be the most recent!


  569. I like you had never heard of lean. Our daughter the therapist told me yesterday. Wizbang is one of several sites discussing Lean. Yahoo News had a poster who wrote Trayvon expressed interest in the components in his FaceBook conversations.

    I mentioned it because crafters of the original fiction used Skittles and tea as a symbol of an innocent boy when it might not have been so innocent. Nothing but Mary Jane was in Trayvon’s blood when Zimmerman shot him.

    As we know, it was irrelevant to the jury who debated on the basis of the law and proof it was broken.

  570. I already gave their weight range which agrees with what you wrote. . Gateway Pundit wrote on April 12, 2012 That George Zimmerman weighed170 pounds at the time of the attack.

    Witnesses described to the 911 dispatcher what resulted: The neighborhood watch coordinator, five foot nine and 170 pounds and the visitor six foot one and 150 , wrestling on the ground.

    Whatever version you use, Martin had a height advantage and Zimmerman weighed more. Trayvon was not smaller than George. They were theoretically evenly matched. I wrestled in high school. Height was an advantage but not conclusive. What mattered was who was fitter. Trayvon also had the advantage of surprise.

  571. Trayvon Martin weighed 158 lbs at his time of death at age17, George Zimmerman, age 28, weighed 200 lbs according to his arrest report.

  572. Terri, the computer ate my rant, so here is a shorter version. I knew a seventeen year old who sneaked into the Air Force, and others have told me they knew some seventeen year olds in Iraq. Thus Travylon cold have served in the military had he lied about his age etc.

    Trayvon was LARGER than Zimmerman at six to six feet two vs five feet ten or five feet seven as noted by the Miami Herald.

    Yes, an unarmed man can kill another without any other weapon Trayvon was using a concrete sidewalk as an auxillariy weapon.

    I learned something about Lean and Trayvon’s possible use of it, but it will have to wait.

    Cynthia hit the nail on the head It is the law. I am not trying to tear Trayvon down or build up Zimmerman. The ;press and others portrayed them both in ways that were untrue. I am describing the realtiy vs the image.

    I didn’t mean to include you or me in IowaHawks seal tweets. I was referring to celebraties and rioters who say and do stupid things based on what they think they know when it is untrue.

    Cynthia’s words deserve repeating “Its the law that is the problem.” The outcome in this trial was virtually inevitable because the prosecution couldn’t prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Zimmerman broke the law. So called “trained seals” didn’t know this because they believed what the press told them.

  573. Gato, you’re right on all points. There is a mindset by some people that does not acknowledge Trayvon Martin’s right to “self defense.” GZ instigated the entire incident. No matter what some say Trayvon was unarmed. He had recently turned 17, he was not old enough to serve in the military. He was smaller than GZ. (James, this an established fact, not up for debate.) GZ had been accused of domestic violence and resisting an officer (not the model of decorum as some try to portray him.) Facts are stubborn things. As for being trained to bark like a seal, I suggest you examine your own motives for condemning the young black kid at the expense of the armed person who shot him in the heart. And James, regarding your ridiculous, unfounded suspicion about why Trayvon bought Skittles–shame on you.

  574. It is the law that is the problem. No longer need to “back off” as in the past. The new version allows you to go hunting…as long as there are no witnesses and you rehearse your version of the encounter. The law seems to ping-pong between the initiator and the victim. One starts it the fight but when he starts to lose he pulls the gun out and shoots the guy. Why did the change from the old self-defense law become necessary? What caused it to change? Have we become such a violent people we need to be afraid and armed?

    I worked for a TB farm in VA. The stallion handler, who handled some nasty breeding stallions, came in and said he had just shot a snake. I asked what kind. A black snake he said. But those are good snakes to have around. They keep the bad snakes away. Why did you shoot a black snake? It scared me…was his answer. It scared him so he killed it. If something/someone scares you have the right to kill? Wow!


  575. And this would be great for our nation too, doncha think? Let’s get rid of compulsory public education.


  576. David Burge (Iowahawk) tweeted “18 different 17 y/o black males shot dead in Chicago since 2/16/12. You don’t know their names because they don’t serve a political end.” July 16.

    “Of all the young black shooting victims in this country, you can name one. Because you’ve been trained like a circus seal to bark on command.” July 17.

  577. You know, Fesser, GZ got his damned SELF into this situation – why is that so rarely mentioned? No one was stalking him; he wasn’t in any danger whatsoever, until he decided to put himself there. If he’d done what the cops told him to do – “Stay in your car. Don’t follow anyone.” – He wouldn’t have been “aggressed upon,” period. The kid wasn’t DOING ANYTHING, as far as we know… Zimmerman just didn’t like his looks.

    So you’re walking down the street, and someone starts following you… That somehow makes YOU the “aggressor”…? If anyone was “standing his ground” (and I know that was not an issue in the trial, so don’t bother pointing that out), it was Trayvon Martin.

    Zimmerman had no authority whatsoever – none, zilch, nada – to pursue this kid, nor any reason other than his own stereotypes. If he hadn’t had a gun, he probably would have put up a reasonable struggle, and probably would have “won.” with his weight advantage and martial arts training.

    But, no, he didn’t have to bother with any of that; using the gun was just so much easier… And knowing he had that gun most likely made him behave more aggressively – and stupidly – than he probably would have had the balls to do, otherwise. That’s one of the wonderful things about guns…


  578. I should have written “you have more time” to look up the FBI.

  579. The fact is Rachel Jantell told Piers Morgan on his CNN show that she told Martin during their last phone call that he should run away from Zimmerman because he might be a possible rapist.. She said roughly that every boy or man who isn’t that way would be creeped out seeing a grown man following them. Free Republic wrote ” “When Jeantel said the same thing IN COURT it didn’t make much news–people were focused on her ‘creepy ass cracker’ description of Zimmerman than the rape angle.”

    So, it WAS part of her testimony. I agree it had little or nothing to do with the verdict, but it might be important in a civil law suit of the plaintiff tried to use the racial angle. Anti -gay feelings might be more successful.

    You nave more to too look up the FBI findings than I do at this point. What I read was that the FBI searched and found no evidence of racist attitudes in Zimmerman.

    CBS News Crimesider wrote that Martin was six feet tall and weighted 160 pounds. His parents said he was six feet two and weighed 140 to 150 pounds. Zimmerman was reported to be five feet ten though his girl friend said he was five feet seven. The Miami Herald said Zimmerman weighed 200 pounds but I read elsewhere that Zimmerman had gained a lot of weight after the shooting.Martin was no longer a boy. He was a young man as old as some combat Marines.

    Scot Vorhees is the randem Omaha KFAB talk show host, and i agree with him Trayvon had problems and no one seems to have done much to help him. According to the Miami Herald Trayvon was investigated after a police officer found women’s jewelry in his back pack. It didn’t match anything that had been reported stolen. At the time of the killing, Martin was under school suspension because traces of marijuana was in his back pack.

    He had mentioned “lean” in Facebook I think. Our daughter the therapist told us that one can mix Skittles and Tea with cough medicine to produce a high inducing substance. Sometimes it is called “lean.” That doesn’t mean Martin was doing anything more than buying skittles, but the coincidence is there.

    If our kid had been suspended from school for three or whatever number it was, times, my wife and I would have been worried enough to talk to our son and to people so we could try to stop our son from going astray. He also had marajuana in his blood stream during the attack. An expert testified that it might have affected Trayvon’s judgement. Martins’ uncle said the boy had never been arrested.

    I’m not blaming the victim. I’m blaming the press who presented Martin as a cute cherub who was smaller than Zimmerman when he wasn’t.
    i know from personal; experience that no pain matches the loss of a child, no matter the age. Maybe the parents tried to help Trayvon but he wouldn’t listen We don’t know.

    Meanwhile, the same article says Zimmerman was arrested in 2005 for felony resisting arrest with violence toward an officer. The charges were reduced and dropped. A month later Zimmerman’s ex fiance filed a temporary protection order against him. He counter filed. During the protection order Zimmerman was forbidden to own a gun or ammunition. The order was lifted in 2006.

    Neither man was an angel but all that mattered was the evidence presented in court. The prosecution had a weak case, so the jury found Zimmerman not guilty. That’s all. .

  580. “There seems to be growing acceptance of the idea that if you’re a “neighborhood watch” person, you can do any damned thing you want.”

    I’ve never heard that said by anybody – at least anybody except you.

    ” Not so… (I suspect GZ had a pretty inflated idea of what his “responsibilities” and “rights” were as such an individual.)”

    You haven’t any more idea about what George Zimmerman thought than I do. He was doing a “neighborhood watch” – something the authorities encourage – in an area where there had been multiple burglaries. (Legal) He observed someone acting suspiciously and followed them (legal). The person knew he was being followed and circled around behind Zimmerman, who lost contact with him. Zimmerman got out of his car to read the street sign, he says, and there is no disputation of that even by the prosecutor. (legal) When he turned to get in his car, the individual he was following approached and confronted him. (acted aggressively) Then attacked him. (illegal). Zimmerman, who said he was in fear for his life (not refuted by anybody) then shot Martin in self defense (legal, and confirmed so by a jury trial)

    It’s not that complicated. When you jump somebody, you never know if he is armed or not. That is the whole purpose of concealed-carry laws. In this case it worked perfectly. To my eye, case closed.

  581. “Trayvon Martin. Many of them are not even factual. The poor kid was unarmed and now he’s dead.”

    He was armed well-enough to get another man down and pound his head against the pavement. Think you can’t kill a man with your bare hands? Happens all the time. In this case the firearm did exactly what it was supposed to do: it stopped an aggressor.

  582. “Trayvon was right-handed but it was the left side of GZ’s nose that got the damage.”

    That’s how it works – your right hand contacts your opponent’s left side, not his right.

    The cuts on GZ’s head were so linear and like the doctor said, minor. Almost like the cuts were made with something like a razor blade or Xacto knife.”

    Ever get hit in the head with a fist? Makes bruises and linear cuts. That’s why they talk about boxers getting “cut down.”

    “I think the civil trial is going bring out a lot more and the six jurors are going to be embarassed.”

    Doubt there will be a civil suit. There would have to be new evidence, and even the Feds, who obviously have an axe to grind, say this was a good investigation and that there is no new evidence.

    “If the question in the jury room was, did GZ violate the Stand Your Ground law only and forget about the evidence, no wonder this “thing” turned out the way it did.”

    SYG was never in play. It was a question of the justifiable use of deadly force in self defense. The jury unanimously said it was justifed.

    It is a very tricky game, Monday-morning quarterbacking, where someone not in the courtroom or in the jury room second-guesses six people who heard it all and made a unanimous decision.

  583. Here’s the most reasonable analysis I’ve read so far:


    But I still believe that but for the gun, GZ would’ve never gotten out of his vehicle. The GZ’s of this world should never have access to guns.

  584. Hi, Terri – Agree about the potential risk of getting a vigilante. Fortunately, our Community is small enough so that everyone pretty much knows everybody else. We would never have brought in someone from “outside.”


  585. Hi Gato and Terry W,
    The “blame the victim” stuff is always wrong. I have really been appalled by some of the assertions and comments made about Trayvon Martin. Many of them are not even factual. The poor kid was unarmed and now he’s dead. I wish people would give him a modicum of respect and consider the feelings of his parents before they start calling him a thug, etc.
    Gato, the neighborhood watch thing is often a good idea, but unfortunately you often get over-zealous folks like GZ who overstep the boundaries.

  586. http://www.husseinandwebber.com/stand_your_ground.html

    Explication of “Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law: History and Present Scope”

  587. The prosecution had to develop a strong enough case that Mr Zimmerman was attempting to commit or was committing a forcible felony under law to be exempt from the SYG redefinition of self defense.

    Chapter 776

    776.012 Use of force in defense of person.—

    A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

    (1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or

    776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—

    (1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force,..

    776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—
    The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

    (1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or

    2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:

    (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or

    (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.



    Also note:
    776.08 Forcible felony.—“Forcible felony” means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.

    I think there was ample evidence that Mr Zimmerman was guilty of at least manslaughter which would remove his protection under SYG .
    As SYG does not have to be invoked explicitly , it is embedded in the process via jury instructions , and the like, it is not obvious at first glance that it operated the way some, including me, feared it would.
    I think we need to start calling it the Last (hu)Man Standing law because the bar for society in the form of prosecuting crimes got raised too high.
    As a strong proponent of civil liberties in general this pains me to say and think more than many could know…

  588. Hey, Terri – The more I think about this whole “neighborhood watch” thing, the more distressed I become. There seems to be growing acceptance of the idea that if you’re a “neighborhood watch” person, you can do any damned thing you want. Not so… (I suspect GZ had a pretty inflated idea of what his “responsibilities” and “rights” were as such an individual.)

    I live in a small (260 families) private Community. A few years ago, we had a series of break ins, which was quite unusual for us. So we put together a neighborhood “patrol” of volunteers, who took turns going around the Community, on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary. Every volunteer was given a red cap by which they could be identified, and the entire Community was alerted that this would be going on. A few carried sticks; all had their cellphones.

    And what were they instructed to do if they saw anything “suspicious”? They were to call 911, and do whatever the police told them to do. That’s all – and that was enough. They were NOT authorized to attack anyone, and certainly not to shoot anyone! (We are not a gun-toting bunch, BTW.) Had anyone gone any further than that, they would have immediately been taken off patrol. People in our Community would have been APPALLED had anyone taken it upon himself or herself to behave as Zimmerman did.

    As it turned out, the break ins were being committed by friends of some of our own teenagers, pretty much just for the hell of it. Nobody died. The break ins stopped.

    It’s called “neighborhood WATCH,” dammit, not “neighborhood judge, jury, and executioner.” People need to remember that.


  589. Terri, good points. Often the victim is blamed – why did she dress that way? why was he or she in that area? How convenient to absolve the criminal from taking any blame for his or her actions.
    Now I’m just picking up on the six jurors being the only jurors. What’s with that? I guess it’s the FloriDUH way. Remind me to stay out of that State of Disbelief.

  590. James, accuracy please. Trayvon’s friend made the remarks about GZ being a possible stalker AFTER the trial, so, no, it didn’t affect the outcome of the trial, nor was it part of her testimony. And what kid wouldn’t be worried when an adult starts following them? Again, GZ is the person who had run – ins with the law, not Trayvon. Being suspended from school happens to countless students, it is essentially meaningless. Another witness testified GZ was on top during the fight. Trayvon did NOT outweigh GZ. The FBI suspended their investigation while the state legal process proceeded, they did NOT say there was no evidence of racial bias. And really, who cares what some ramdom talk show host in Omaha says? Blaming the victim is not the answer. You have no idea of what kind of person Trayon would grow up to be or if he was headed for trouble. His parents seem like dignified, loving people. That’s the best barometer of what his future would be.

  591. Thank you, thank you for sharing this blog! It’s something that should be on the front page of every newspaper and read on all the talk shows on tv, plus preached from every pulpit of our various faiths. I had no idea what it would be like to be a black person. How sad that I thought we had advanced beyond what this young man is talking about.

  592. Can we please try to remember that it was George Zimmerman who had previous run-ins with the law and not Trayvon Martin? It was George Zimmerman, the wannabe cop, who trained in martial arts. It was George Zimmerman who had a gun, and a car, and who decided to follow an innocent 17-year old. Any remarks about Trayvon’s character are irrelevant. He did nothing that justified his death. In addition, many people spoke highly of him, including some of his teachers.

  593. A witness testified he saw Trayvon beating Zimmerman. Martin had been suspended from school for fighting, and he brought suspected stolen property to school. Zimmerman’s wounds were photographed, and they were consistent with his account of what had happened. Trayvon was on top and slamming George Zimmermans’ head into concrete.

    Prosecution witnesses like Jantelle (SP) inadvertently became helpful to the defense. She said her conversation with Martin had nothing to do with race. They worried that Zimmerman was a gay stalker and rapist. She told him to run lest Zimmerman follow him to his father’s house where his younger brother was.

    From the beginning, the press and race baiters told us a grown white man stalked and killed a young teenager with a cherubic face. Networks altered evidence to change our perception of what happened. They didn’t tell us Martin outweighed Zimmerman. When it turned out his mother was Peruvian, he became a white Hispanic.

    The FBI investigated for evidence of a possible hate crime, and they found none.

    An Omaha talk show host asked why did the school, social welfare system, and his family fail Trayvon. He was clearly headed for trouble but no one really did much to help change the projected course of his life.

    Zimmerman is suing one network and probably will sue others. Martin’s family may sue Zimmerman in civil court. This should stay in court where it belongs.

    Race baiters and others with an agenda don’t care about Travyon any more than they worried about the false Duke La Cross victim. Such people are valuable when they help prove a point or enflame emotions. They are discarded like yesterday’s trash when they are no longer useful. Ask Cindy Sheehan.

  594. Found on Rage against the Minivan blog….post by Wesley Hall.

    Man, I’m just glad I had a mom who gave me the realness from a young age. I can remember thinking she was so stuck in the past for telling me that I couldn’t do or say or wear certain things, that I could not stay out as late as my white friends could, that I could not “experiment” with any of the things my white friends did. I struggled so much with her for trying to impress upon me the fact that I was different. Because I’m supposed to be. I lived in a nice house, spoke more than one language, was well educated and well socialized and I did not understand why I needed to constantly act in a manner designed to disarm another person’s suspicions about me.

    But wow, I get it now. Every black kid has that moment where he has to decide to accept the armor that his parents present to him to get through life as an American black male, or walk around naked. And the crazy part is, it’s probably something most people outside of the black community never see. I can remember my mom talking to me over and over and over again about what to do and who to call if I was ever picked up by a police officer. She made sure I knew that I needed to declare that I was exercising my Miranda rights rather simply evoke them without notice. If you were in JNJ your mom probably made you take a WHOLE FREAKING CLASS on how to deal with police officers and other people who were perceived to be threatening.

    And I say that to say that as scary as people think black males are, black males are conditioned to be ten times more afraid of everyone else. We’re conditioned to be afraid of goin to certain parts of the country, afraid of people with certain political view, afraid of police officers, and sometimes even afraid of other black and latino males. The most sickening thing about this whole trial has been the deliberate campaign to rob Trayvon of his right to be afraid. I know I would have been.

    And I owe her the deepest of apologies for all of the times that I accused her of overacting or impressing a vision of a society long since passed on the one that exists today.

    It doesn’t matter how well traveled you are or how many languages you speak or who where you went to school. It doesn’t matter how many friends you have or how much good you’ve done in the world. From afar we are all the same.

    It used to hurt when my mother would tell me I couldn’t put my hood up or that I couldn’t stay out as late as my white friends. She told me I was a young black male and I couldn’t afford these things and I figured she never knew how much it hurt for be to know that she did not have faith that I could transcend the many stereotypes that swirl around me and be seen as an individual.

    But when I think about my own mother having to come down the police station, and Identify my naked body and come home and go in my room that would feel strangely empty. She would have to walk past my favorite custom built aquarium and the framed boards my class in japan made for me on my last day of study abroad, she would have to open my closet and go through all of the clothes I would never wear again and find my favorite suit and then walk out of a room where every object holds a memory.

    She would have to go on interviews and meet with lawyers and try to be strong in the face of unimaginable tragedy. While people picked apart my character and found every facebook status where I cursed or every stupid picture I was ever captured in. She would have to sit in court and dignify people who sought to put me in the ground with not a shred of justice with her presence and her silence. And then on top of that, after a year of pain, to hear from 6 other mothers that my life meant nothing……..

    And the thought that after 24 hours of labor, thousands of dollars on tuition and extra curriculars and trips and summer activties, and millions of tiny sacrifices that she could be left with the dust of my memory and the guilt of having not prepared me for this thing called America.

    I joke about it, but I know how much I mean to her. Before I go parasailing I think about her, and before I jump in the ocean I think about her, and when I had tigers crawling all over me and licking my face I was thinking about her. But I did those things because I knew that even if I got poisoned by a cobra or mauled by a tiger, I know it would have been hard…….but she would have derived comfort from knowing that I died pursuing happiness, adventure, and experiences that are worth their risks.

    But I know that she would never ever be able to recover from knowing that I died the way that Trayvon died. And so I understand so well why she taught me to think about the world in the way that I do. To remember how to love life, be open to others, but to always remember who I am and to be so secure in who I am, that I accept that I must constantly think and behave with consideration for that one person who might think they already know.

    I have fought with my mom, dad, and stepdad about what it means to be a young black man in 2013. And I have at times been annoyed at all of them for presenting me with my constraints. But I am so lucky to have been armed with the truth at such and early age. The world can be so confusing for us. So much kindness, and so much cruelty. We’ve all accused our parents of over estimating the dangers out there. But they managed to teach us not to allow this country to fill us with fear, while simultaneously not allowing it to rob us of our vigilance. Shout-out to all of the parents out there, giving that extra course on how to keep your children from being victimized in a society that does not believe that they can be victims. — with Tiara Asada and 3 others.

  595. For years we have believed that its the evidence that determines a verdict. You know, evidence like DNA – who it belongs to, where it was found and when. Absolutely cannot believe there was no Zimmerman DNA on Trayvon. Zimmerman swears Trayvon laid hands on him. There was also no GSR on Trayvon’s clothing. There would be if Trayvon was eyeball to eyeball with GZ. Trayvon allegedly broke GZ’s nose. Trayvon was right-handed but it was the left side of GZ’s nose that got the damage. The cuts on GZ’s head were so linear and like the doctor said, minor. Almost like the cuts were made with something like a razor blade or Xacto knife. Always wondered why GZ did not know where he was when the encounter happened. This guy is the neighborhood watch and he doesn’t know how to look at the front of the townhouse behind him and find an address? He had to know the name of the street. He lived in the neighborhood. I think the civil trial is going bring out a lot more and the six jurors are going to be embarassed. If the question in the jury room was, did GZ violate the Stand Your Ground law only and forget about the evidence, no wonder this “thing” turned out the way it did.

  596. “So maybe Trayvon was a bit of a punk – what seventeen-year-old guy isn’t? Still a kid; not yet a man. But Zimmerman is theoretically an adult. And pretty much of a slimeball if he posted this stuff. And now he’s going to get back his gun…”

    A seventeen-year-old football player, 6’2″ tall, fit and trim. A fighter with a history and reputation for fighting. Someone known to be aggressive. Think a seventeen year-old can’t – or won’t – kill you? How naive.

    Yes, Zimmerman gets back his gun. He’s been found not guilty; he has been restored in the State’s eyes to perfect citizenship and no, the State may not steal his property.

  597. “I’m also sickened by what happened in the same state of FloriDUH to the young black woman who fired shots into the air to ward off her abusive boyfriend (or was it her ex-husband?). I guess if you’re black you have the deck stacked against you even if you’re blatantly innocent.”

    That’s one way of looking at it. Another might be that it is legal to defend yourself with a firearm if you believe your life is in danger, and illegal to discharge a firearm if you want to “fire a warning shot” or impress someone that you “mean business.”

  598. re: Zimmerman – every time I get exposed to the mob rule of the Internet, I think about how smart the Founding Fathers were to make this a Republic. Now the vultures, not happy with Z’s acquittal, are trucking out (what they say are) old Facebook pages alleging “racism” on Z’s part.

    The trial is over. The facts didn’t support conviction, and the defendant gets the benefit of any doubt. Move on. Remember, someday that could be you sitting at the defendant’s table, already pre-tried and convicted by the media.

    If anything, this show-trial proves that we need a law like Britain’s, severely limiting any media reporting on cases that are in adjudication.

  599. Hi Congenial Gang,

    Comin’ up for air from my other activities, I have a few thousand things to say that are buggin’ me about the Zimmerman trial. For openers, I am not a lawyer and for sure don’t know much about the fine points of the law. I have only been on one jury in my life and that was a cut and dried civil case. Ergo, I have always been under the impression that juries were comprised of twelve people with the possible exception of military tribunals. Apparently not so. It seems to vary from state to state jurisdiction.

    A little background from my experience. After our retirement out here from the East Coast, for sixteen years we lived it up in the home and guest house we built on acreage, (notwithstanding a level five hurricane and various health and other family crises that are all part of the life cycle of most of us.) We had a Homeowner’s Association there for our little private water system because we were up too high for the county’s system.

    One day we looked in the mirror and decided we were getting old. Maintaining two houses and all that property was getting to be a bit much. So we sold out and moved into this townhouse complex where we have lived now for the past 7-8 years. There are 41 units. We also have a Homeowner’s Association that takes care of ALL outside maintenance, water and trash pick-up, etc. The square footage is almost the same as our previous home so we are quite comfy. As it has turned out to be, it is a nice alternative for us Old Timers as opposed to “Assisted Living.” We still have our independence without so much work.

    So there is something to be said for Homeowner’s Associations depending on the whys and for what purposes they are set up – for the convenience and benefits of everyone involved.

    When we bought it, this was the first and only townhouse complex on the island. It is a gated community. Now anybody who is fairly fit could get a toe hold in and scramble over the gate easily. Besides that there is a foot path from the road into the complex. Most of the units back onto the road with no barriers except for trees and bushes. I asked the Real Estate lady, “Why the gate? It’s a joke. It provides no security at all”. She said, “It keeps the tourists out. “ That kind of riff-raff. (Read snob appeal). We residents have a “clicker” like a garage door opener to open the gate. All our friends know the gate code. So does just about everyone else on the island; the mailman, UPS and other delivery guys, the landscapers, electricians, plumbers, you name it. In the 23 years we have lived out here, we do not now, nor have ever had, need for any Homeowner Association gun totin’ Rambo type protection.

    I think it all boils down to ATTITUDE! (I’m not sure of the LEGAL definition of the word. (Are you?) There are the “haves” and the “have-nots”. I guess I could say we “have” a little more that the “have-nots” but some less than the “haves”. But that doesn’t mean we have to go around making sure that nobody invades our “turf”. We all do what we can to be kind and friendly no matter what. It works for us out here!

    Aloha! :-) :-) :-) Namaste. Shalom. Saalam. Peace.

    Auntie Jean

  600. Good ones UAW Tradesman.

    Allen Durshiwitz Sp believes the trial was a travesty of justice against Zimmerman. He thinks the prosecutor should be disbarred.

  601. It may be odd that twenty week old fetuses can feel pain but they do. Our daughter’s friend had a baby at 23 weeks which is pretty close. He had 2% chance of survival, and now has 50/50 odds. I have seen photos and videos of the little tyke who’s weight is now approaching 2 pounds. He most assuredly could feel pain when he was born.

    Our grand daughter had such low prospects a doctor suggested she might be aborted at 15 weeks. The baby had so many pictures taken from then on, we got a pretty good concept of a baby not a fetus at that age.

    Meanwhile, our grand daughter who was first diagnosed as 98% chance of Downs Syndrome with no nasal cartlage and the start of pre eclampsia for our daughter was born with a nose but a head so small and a bit pointed it didn’t make the size chart.

    After intensive stimulation with stories,music and baby fun at every waking moment along with strict records of what the baby consumes and when, her head now reaches the seventh percentile. Doctors are checking her once a week instead of twice a week.

    Her head now is shaped more like Zimmerman’s bald lawyer’s head. Doctors who previously said our grand daughter would take months if ever to smile is on the verge now. They told us to keep; doing what we are doing, and they still don’t understand what is happening. They want to do an MRI scan

    That combined with worry after our daughter’s infection and fall down stairs gives me short shrift for abortions after twenty weeks.

    I just got home and my wife will soon be here with the new car we bought for the next five years of commuting to care for our grand daughter. Our son-in law’s mother just arrived to take over for a few days.

    Her doctor thinks our daughter will be physically fit to return to work at least part time by August. We will be there while the parents are gone. Day care is not an option according to the doctors. Baby needs all of the stimulation we can give her, and she doesn’t need an attack of strange viruses now. They have no clue why baby is thriving so well.

    I don’t have time for citations, but anyone can find them. Some Democrats believe that while the Davis enthusiasm is nice the 24 week ban on abortion is problematic. A majority supports the ban, and Hispanics also support banning late term abortions.

    Democrats need to take advantage of the excitement by down playing the ban and maybe hoping the press ignores the issue. What I wrote earlier.

    There would have been no trial without political pressure. The police thought it was a case of self defense. The press and activists pressured the authorities to give them a trial. Zimmerman was found not guilty because the prosecution’s case was weak. Its a tragedy which should not have happened, but we live under a rule of laws, or we did.

    Nothing people feel outside of the court room means squat. The jury weighed the evidence and agreed upon a verdict. It is as simple as that.

    Gato, the flood of Canadians coming for US medical care is greater than a few. An Omaha television station did a story about Canadians coming to the United States for medical treatment. During the last election in Alberta politicians debated privitizing more of the medical system than it is because the current system is badly flawed.

    I don’t know when I will write again. I am tired.

  602. LMFAO….
    Rachel Jeantel told Trayvon Martin that GZ was a gay rapist….Was Martin a gay basher…and commiting a hate crime….WTF


    and funnier

    Zimmerman Prosecutor Excused Potential Black Juror for Being a Fox News Watcher

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/07/16/cnn-zimmerman-prosecutor-excused-potential-black-juror-being-fox-news#ixzz2ZGIYp2sl

  603. There are so many travesties and injustices taking place in our nation, I hardly know which one to tackle first or what to do. Oh, yes. VOTING.

  604. You hit the nail on the head! I’ve always been amazed that pro-lifers think their responsibility ends with making sure that baby’s born. Then it’s back to whatever they do with their own lives and let the chips/babies fall where they may. Show me a pro-lifer who’s willing to work with parents who can’t or won’t love and nurture a child and I’ll be on that bandwagon with them. Too many of those unwanted babies end up on the streets or in jail.

  605. I couldn’t stomach reading the whole thing but I’m not surprised. What I think is ironic is how Latino he looks. I would take him for one of the Mexicans he evidently resents. How do you think the whole fiasco would have unfolded if the kid he killed had been a white boy? Oh, wait, he wouldn’t have hunted him down like a rabid dog!
    I’m also sickened by what happened in the same state of FloriDUH to the young black woman who fired shots into the air to ward off her abusive boyfriend (or was it her ex-husband?). I guess if you’re black you have the deck stacked against you even if you’re blatantly innocent.
    I guess we, as a nation, needed a wake-up call. As women and mothers/grandmothers we need to speak out and get out the votes to end this gross injustice to all who can’t change anything without our help.

  606. The trial was about the law and not morality, as it should be. That doesn’t mean our laws don’t suck. Stand Your Ground wasn’t what the trial was about. Just a neighborhood do-gooder against an “always get away with it” punk thug, right?

    Unfortunately, there isn’t a law against Zimmerman following Martin even though he was advised not to and even though if he hadn’t this young boy would still be alive. Apparently in Florida you can’t defend yourself against an unidentified stranger with an agenda and a weapon following you. If you do, you’re open game.

    Actually, was Trayvon really defending himself? It seems strange that he could tackle the fairly athletic MMA student Zimmerman and repeatedly bash his head on the concrete and bust his nose and not have a single bit of DNA on him. Odd, that.

    It’s also odd that the “20 week old fetuses can feel pain (and I don’t care what else is in the bill)” folks aren’t concerned with the pain this unarmed kid felt when he was shot in the street. Sort of confirms what we know – pro-life means pro-birth and that’s where the concern ends.

  607. Hey, Lurker – This is pretty upsetting… Again, stuff comes out “after the fact.” Does morality EVER have a place in “law”?

    So maybe Trayvon was a bit of a punk – what seventeen-year-old guy isn’t? Still a kid; not yet a man. But Zimmerman is theoretically an adult. And pretty much of a slimeball if he posted this stuff. And now he’s going to get back his gun…

    Be afraid, Sanford; be very afraid…

    I wouldn’t want this guy (Z) walking in MY neighborhood!


  608. And in other news….


  609. http://www.texastribune.org/2013/07/16/after-texas-abortion-bill-passes-focus-turns-/

    Now comes implementation, after Perry signs

  610. yes delurker, I have seen it. sad sad sad sad…. its all just sad….

  611. Delurker–he sounds like a real jerk. The whole trial strikes me as a travesty of justice; and the juror who appeared on CNN last night seemed completely clueless. I am so disappointed in the outcome.

  612. Off-topic, but have you guys seen what’s been found on George Zimmerman’s MySpace page?


  613. http://www.texastribune.org/2013/07/16/lt-governor-david-dewhurst-re-election-video/

  614. speaking of republicans and education …look at how good the Detroit schoolboard has done….and getting better now that Jennifer is gone…..


  615. Occasionally


  616. REpublicans want an uneducated populace – easier to manipulate.

  617. Yes, there are MANY areas of Texas where public services are far distant. Not only health care facilities, but public schools. Children have long bus or car rides to get to perhaps the only school in a county. Republicans are taking money from public schools as well and funding private enterprise schools. There will be no entrepreneurs who establish for-profit schools in remote areas of Texas, so these students will suffer from reduced funding. Same group of high minded “Christians” doing this across our state.

  618. Gato….
    are you doing a little”erroneous reporting ” yourself?


  619. Hey, UAW – You know what? The US of A is the ONLY (ostensibly) “developed” country on the planet that does NOT have universal, and often free, health care available to all its citizens. Why do you think that is? And when was the last time you heard the populace of any such country rise up and say, “This is a terrible system, and I’m not going to take it any more! I really want to pay for my own health care, myself, dammit! It’s my right!”

    Occasionally, a Canadian of some independent means will grumble that he or she had to wait for six or eight months to get a hip transplant, but even then the phrase, “But, overall, I wouldn’t change our system for anything” is almost always tacked on at the end of the gripe.

    And, if you think anyone who can work should give you two or three hours a week, fine. Invite a few of them over to your place; have them work in your yard for three hours, and then either pay them a fair wage, or give them dinner and something to take home for breakfast the next day. What do you think…?


  620. Geez Mageen…
    now you got me wondering?????
    If hospitals are that far apart in Texas do people go to a vet there for an abortion??????
    and yes there are some fine hospitals here in MI. don’t know about Texas but here the rural hospitals are allowed to charge more for the same services so they stay open.My last bloodtest(for a yearly physical)locally was $104 to blue cross and $185 to me;30 miles away the charge was $54 to bluecross and $21 to me.Did you notice where I actually got a bill and paid it.
    and I’m not going to apologize for using the word “deserve”..because it is the same as owe.( Kinda like you owe me because)..How about if we can agree that anyone who is able to work “owes us” a few hours of work every week.
    And most of the time when “affordable” comes up in a sentence you usually mean FREE

  621. Loved the article about rebranding, Lori. I now have a mental picture of the GOP hopefuls lined up on a large track, assuming the starter position. The starter pistol goes off and so do they, running their little (and I do mean ‘little’) hearts out. They’re all gussied up in their best debating outfits, men in dark suits and ties, ladies in demure dresses and spike heels. The heels might cause them to stumble but they have to keep up appearances. It’s almost as good as the circus show they put on last time although I will miss the clowns
    and the song “Send in the Clowns”. I guess the Kentucky state song will have to do.

  622. Hey, Pi, and Lurker – Thought so. But that post can certainly be “thought to
    contain feces”…!

    You can’t get on an airplane with a jar of much of anything, let alone a
    handgun, but – at least so far – “feminine hygiene products” are still

    Unfortunately, this kind of “correction” of erroneous reporting after the fact,
    is exactly what is going to happen now that part of the VRA has been struck
    down: voters will have the “opportunity” to question the fact that their vote
    was denied AFTER the ballots have been counted. The damage will have
    been done, so the supposed “recourse” will be absolutely meaningless.

    Nice work, huh…?


  623. Gato, tampons and other objects were confiscated for safety reasons since objects could get thrown. However, they didn’t confiscate hand guns.

    What would you rather get hit by, a thrown hand gun or a tampon?

  624. http://www.texastribune.org/2013/07/15/protesters-question-dps-report-confiscations/

    gato- the crap Jean W brought to the party here is just that. Crap.
    She can keep her jar of feces,eh?
    We don’t confiscate here, ;-)

  625. Good post. I find out something more difficult on different blogs everyday. It’s always stimulating to see content business writers and exercise a little something from their store. I’d prefer to apply certain with the content material on my weblog whether a person don’t mind. Natually I’ll offer you a link on your own web blog. Many thanks for sharing.

  626. Hello, Jean W – Fine; so confiscate the bricks, urine, and feces. What does that have to do with tampons and sanitary napkins?

    That makes about as much sense as saying knives are not permitted, therefore we must confiscate all the lipsticks, as well…

    And, frankly, I am inclined to believe this (along with someone allegedly having a loaded handgun in her vagina – must be some vagina!) about as much as I believe that the protestors were chanting “Hail, Satan”…

    Were they checking vaginas, as well…? Probably found some with teeth, too.


  627. Mageen, Right you are about the Good Samaritan. We had a sermon on acting on our faith this past Sunday. The pastor pointed out that story because it is the quintessential example of who our neighbors are – everyone.
    On the other part of this ongoing dialogue about Texas I would urge everyone to check out Bad Girl Chats. I just read today’s post and it’s really good.

  628. Good morning, Mageen –

    “…’deserve’ is not a dirty word.” Great insight; of course it’s not. (Neither are “liberal,” “progressive,” or “giving,” now that I think about it…)

    Interestingly, the “poor,’ as a demographic, give a greater percentage of what they do have to charity, than do the “well to do.” But, in general, it occurs to me that the more people are kept struggling and hungry, the easier it is to convince them that someone else doesn’t “deserve” anything – thus serving the plutocracy’s goals very well.

    Not only do the “haves” care less and less about the “have nots,” they find them damned useful!


  629. UAW, “deserve” is not a dirty word. For instance, our vets deserve a helluva lot better than they get. And I do not spare a single moment piling up a list of who just might be undeserving. Thats a real waste of time. As for my tax dollars going to pay for any kind of maybe medical help for somebody I don’t know, I am reminded of the story of the Good Samaritan and can sleep at night.

  630. UAW, I used to live in Michigan. Its a big two part state. There are some good hospitals there like in Detroit but I know of some areas of Michigan where the local farmers go to the vet to get a wound debrided before managing to get to a full scale hospital. Unfortunately, in too many places in this country its like that. Stitching up a finger? Grandma used to get out her sewing kit for that. I still say that way too many places in this country don’t have any kind of human medical care and suffer as a result and it ain’t right. This country can put men on the moon but if you end up living on the edge of nowhere you are just plain out of luck when it comes to medical care. And you can go anywhere you like to get whatever medical care YOU need. I know my UAW dad did and it gave him 11 more years to live.

  631. Helen, you forgot a few things, the state troopers also confiscated “bricks, feces, and jars of urine protestors they planned to throw at pro-life lawmakers before a final vote on legislation banning abortions past five months. The pain a baby feels being aborted after five months is well documented. That is the real outrage!


  632. .
    Not Guilty, Technically, But C’mon
    . ;)

    Peace ~ Δ

  633. while I’m at it…..

  634. geez Mageen…went back thru your post…
    are there actually places (in Texas) where you can get an abortion but can’t get a cut finger stitched…what did those people do before that….GO TO A REAL HOSPITAL???????
    Damn…I’m glad I live in Michigan because I wouldn’t want to go to an abortion facility if I had a heart attack……

  635. sorry Mageen but my problem isn’t with people working their ass off trying to off their bills….it’s the one’s that think they “deserve” it”because”

  636. K Gato

  637. Already pre-cranked, UAW; thank you very much.


  638. UAW, the Rickster’s sister stands to gain, yes! As for the clinics that have been forced to close, they had already passed state licensing requirements. Then more icing was added on to the cake and the cake went from a triple decker to a flapjack. If you take a longer look at the entire health situation in the way back of nothing in parts of Texas, there aren’t any hospitals nearby. They can be very few and far between. That leaves a lot of people without ANY kind of healthcare for any reason and dang! that ain’t right and you get to know it real quick in the middle of the night when something critical happens and there isn’t even a trained EMT squad around. Next question: just what is a state that is terrified of the word “tax” and won’t even crack down on fertilizer companies disrespecting the law gonna do about it. My bet – a whole lot of nothing and tons of bad mouthing the folks who ask why they can’t even have a circuit riding doctor.

  639. LMAO

  640. how’s that rebranding thing going gop? ;-)


  641. OH SHIT!!!!!!


  642. WOW GATO
    Did i crank you up or not????????
    You actually know why I put in the peewee part!!!!!!!!
    Granted I’m not entirely happy with the “job creators” but we need people making money to pay for this shit and not people saying you owe me this shit because……we need to get the actual unemployment rate down to 2-3%(or less)….there is a big difference between getting something for nothing and not having enough to pay for something….I’ll help the ones kicking and scratching to make it but F$CK the others in the ass

  643. Excellent article; I posted it on my Facebook page.

  644. http://www.texastribune.org/2013/07/15/abbott-sets-himself-apart-perry/

    And the beat goes on …

  645. Jud: “One more thing, A woman need a man like a fish needs a bicycle…..”

    Your frustration is understandable, but don’t pick a fight with half the population; you need men’s help, and a lot of us agree with you and will help. (And have – where do you think you got the right to legal, safe abortion? From those of us in the ‘sixties and ‘seventies who fought for it. And, frankly, we ain’t too happy with the younger generation of women who let it slip away. Now we have to fight the same battle again.)

    The ReBiblicans have already picked a fight with the OTHER half; it’s going to turn out badly for them; let’s don’t do the same thing.

  646. Hi, UAW – I will overlook your “colorful” language, and offer a thought or two, anyway. (And, yes, BTW, if the Texas state troopers in Austin had decided to confiscate condoms or male underwear, I would certainly hope you’d be angry enough to consider handing them your “used” material. I’ll bet you would!)

    I’m glad you are fortunate enough to have enough money to pay for your physicals, and for pills for your “peewee.”

    Do you have medical insurance? (If you can get a complete physical for under $200, it’s likely you do, unless you live in Canada…) If so, and you should happen to have a procedure that is billed for $13,000, and your co-pay is $90.00, who do you think is taking up the slack? That would be me and everybody else who pays into the insurance “system.” And do you drive (or bike or walk) only on roads that you have personally constructed? Cross bridges that you erected yourself? Perhaps visit a Public Library to which you, and you alone, have contributed every single volume? Know you can call your local fire department in an emergency? I trust you get my drift here…

    Where on EARTH have you gotten the notion that the only people who want “handouts” are those who can no longer afford their T-bones, their lobster, or their Nikes… Most of the people who apply for food stamps have already been eating Ramen noodles and week-old bread for some time – and can no longer afford even that. You think these people are so different from you? That they don’t WANT to take “personal responsibility,” and would, if they could?

    Of course, you don’t “have” to do anything (other than pay taxes). And, if someone finds you lying in the street, incapacitated from a heart attack, or trapped in your car after hitting a tree, they don’t “have” to do anything, either. And you will probably die.

    But most people would do something, even – possibly – you, given the right circumstances. We live in what is called a S-O-C-I-E-T-Y, among each other, and, IMHO, with a certain responsibility toward each other. (Speaking of taking “personal responsibility”…)

    Remember: The lone wolf travels alone, but he’s always hungry.


  647. UAW–this is the umpteenth time you have equated birth control with viagara. One thing has nothing to do with the other. Do some research and do some thinking. You can figure it out. And try to be accurate and use facts. “What’s her name” was never talking about her own contraception, nor did she claim contraception costs $3,000 a year. Women who use contraception are being “responsible.” The rest of your post is just crude.

  648. geez Gato….
    why do I have to do that….
    I spend $189+ for a physical and then $23.90/pill for my peewee and you want me to also pay for someone else’s free shit…HELL NO…..
    that’s the problem….if you can’t afford Nikes don’t make someone else pay for them….eat cod instead of lobster…..hamburger instead of T-bones……what’s her name testified to congress that she needed free birth control because it cost $3000/year…I don’t eat that much meat (hell groceries)in a year….
    WTF…some people should learn to be just a little responsible about their actions….
    so Jud wants to hand in used tampons…can I mail my cum/shit stained undies in(to Harry Reid)…makes just as much sense…..
    and I’m wondering if Jud’s husband has one of those Ronco Pocket Pussies to use when he gets boycotted

  649. Off topic, but this Paul Krugman column pretty much sums up how I feel about the GOP:


  650. Hi Pi,, all, I don’t want to take a lot of M&H’s space to state the obvious and debate wonky political science ~ so I won’t go too far into the weeds.

    You’re right of course. Getting people registered, energized, and then actually getting to the polls to cast a VOTE has been a challenge here for the last couple of decades. This recent “abortion” issue will help in those efforts no doubt. Bigger numbers of people going to the polls = more votes for our side right? We do have numbers-demographics on our side. It goes without saying translating that energy into votes is ….. HARD! I do know if anyone has the resources and talent to do that it is Battlegroundtx. IF, and I repeat IF, the funding comes they WILLLLLL flip this state. But because of the SEVERE right leaning congressional districts and the early stages of our registration efforts I’m not sure how much of a difference we will see in 2014 midterms. We have lotssa work to do. This energy will help, but it’s going to be a tough slog.

    I will be disappointed if I don’t see our numbers go up in targeted areas. I believe we will see a “lean forward” trend across the state in 2014. I can state that unequivocally.

    Sparks are GREAT and it was a bit of a gift by our opponents no doubt, but we need to do the HARD work it takes to go from a spark to a vote. This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. ;-) As is (has always been) your fight.

    Keep fighting sister friend/s! I’m always there in spirit with ya!

  651. One more thing, A woman need a man like a fish needs a bicycle…..

  652. My husband and I were discussing this here in Maine. We agreed that woman should bring USED feminine hygiene supplies to handover to the capitol guards and wear none themselves so the state will have to clean up after their menstruating visit. Also check out Lysistrata on Wikipedia. Women can always order e-boyfriends on Amazon and “boy”cott heterosexual sex so they will not have to worry about pregnancy – they may have their first REAL pleasures with their toys and never return!!

  653. PFesser- commenting on a blog is therapeutic but yes, getting out the vote is the biggie.
    Texas has very low voter turnout for national and state elections.
    Article isn’t very good but echoes a number of others.


    State elections mean just as much as nationals. In Texas most of the state officials are elected not appointed. Here most are appointed by Gov.
    Knowing who a passle of people are IS work but certainly do-able
    I’m hoping the folks at those large gatherings at recent rallies stay engaged and get networks firmly established to get more people out to vote in the mid terms.
    We just turned a referendum petition in for certification here. If certified ( and should be) it will be on the primary ballot next year. We will have to bust our buns to get folks out to vote- esp. in light of the mongo dollars big oil will be throwing at a negative campaign.
    Democracy is work.

    Amen.The characterization of women as lazy fornicators who use abortions as a whoopsie! form of birth control is a load of horsepunky but has been very effective. Too effective. The Madonna and the Whore mindset is alive and well in the good ole USA. Pffftttt!

  654. Hello, UAW – I take it you do notice that the primary reasons that women frequented this chamber of horrors were (1) Because it would take them under almost any circumstances; (2) Because they could afford it; and (3) Because the only other place they could afford was Planned Parenthood, where abortion was not allowed because they receive Federal funding.

    You want to get all goody-good about “protecting women’s health”…? Then MAKE ACCESS TO ABORTION SERVICES AVAILABLE TO ALL WOMEN, INEXPENSIVELY AND SAFELY!

    This “clinic” was able to operate solely because of the kind of “thinking” that drives the “pro-life” movement. Period.


  655. Mageen….interesting twist it is…..are you saying that Rick’s sister will actually get an increase in her weekly take-home pay
    not much different than our last gov here(Jennifer Granholm(D)) going to work for Dow Chemical as a “consultant”(must attend 6 meeting a year)(and now on CURNT TV)

    so why not improve the facilities

    Learning the Right Lessons From the Philadelphia Abortion Clinic Disaster


    Another House of Horrors: Gosnell’s Abortion Counterpart in Texas


  656. Blogging about it and a buck will get you a cup of coffee. Women make up potentially 50% of Texas voters; go DO something about it!

    I have a friend in NC – the legislators there are just as loony as they are in Texas. Ditto Virginia. These guys think that, because they got elected, that gives them the right to force any agenda they wish down everybody’s throats. Prove them wrong.

    We fought this battle once – and by WE, I mean people MY age. Younger women who then grew up with the right to legal abortion have failed to safeguard what we worked so hard to get for them. Time for being asleep at the switch is over; do what you know how to do best: vote! Get these goobers out of office, and then we can – once again – begin the horribly tough task of repealing existing law.

  657. Mornin’, Mageen – Yes; that is a tasty little tidbit of information, isn’t it? No “conflict of interest” there! The unmitigated CHUTZPAH (and total lack of moral or social conscience) on the part of some of these bozos – some of them “bozettes,” I’m sorry to say – is hard to fathom. Maybe our being in a constant state of astonishment over this kind of thing is one of the ways it works…

    And it’s not just TEXAS, although it certainly is a shining “star” in this cosmos of arrogance; it’s that whole corporatocracy attitude of “I run everything, and I can do whatever the hell I want, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

    I imagine Louis the XIV felt pretty much the same way, for a while…


  658. Exactly right MIOV, Gato & PI!

    To me it’ very simple. Choice… Individuals deserve the right to choose what is best for THEIR life.

  659. UAW, you do know that Rick Perry’s sister is on some kind of board that represents medical clinics in TX and is also part owner of such a clinic? The clinics that this “law” closed were independently owned and run and seen as competition to the other clinics. Ten to one that aspect has not hit the public fan yet but it will. Perry’s sister’s clinic and the others in the association meet the requirement for a doctor to have privileges at the nearest hospital etc. This was more about competition than anything else so lay off the women bashing!

  660. HI, Pi – Thanks for fussing around until you got the link right. It’s a great collection of information – some of which really struck me, knowledgeable as I think I am about the whole issue.

    It is impressive how many women who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant go ahead and have the child. (So much for the “anti-life/baby killer” accusation.) Secondly, the relatively small number of abortions performed after the first trimester, and the reasons for those abortions, was eye-opening – and those occurred primarily because of the cost and inability to find a facility where it could be done.

    There is just NO basis whatsoever to argue that women who choose to have abortions are thoughtless, careless, self-centered, indulgent libertines who care about no one but themselves.

    The IRONY of all this is that continuing down the road to making abortions difficult, expensive, and hard to obtain, is that it will lead us to a society with even MORE unwanted children, a majority of them poor and non-white, all of whom will have to be cared for the State – fed, educated, housed, and so on – along with, in many cases, their mothers. And, of course, most of the pro-lifers resent for paying for any of this… and blame the women for getting themselves into this situation. Bull doody!

    And then we can look forward to more unemployment, more poverty, more crime – and, consequently, more “need” for minimal restrictions on firearm ownership and use, of course – and a society where, once again, the rich white ladies are able to quietly get “treatment,” and the poor, non-white women aren’t.

    I have long thought that the surest recipe for the collapse of a society is to have a small group of very wealthy people, barricaded in walled compounds, surrounded by a great mass of hungry, uneducated, unemployed religious nuts with guns, with women and minorities oppressed, loathed, and feared… It is just countries that have found themselves in such a position that we are always saying we have to “save for democracy”…

    Yeah; right… Great thought, so long as it’s “them”…


  661. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html

    Crap. Messed up the link to abortion info. Stinkin TX Legs really have torched my shorts…

  662. ftp://ftp.legis.state.tx.us/bills/832/billtext/html/house_bills/HB00001_HB00099/HB00002S.htm

    Only 1.5% of abortions in 2006 were over 20 weeks. that is consistent with other years.
    It is a load of horsepunky for these yahoos to pretend that is what this law is about especially since it exempts abortions for the health of the mother , ectopic pregnancies, etc- the main reasons for late term abortions already anyway.
    Read the damn thing.

  663. UAW- this is not an abortion-after-20-weeks issue. This is multiple issues.
    Whilst explicitly saying 20 weeks is enough time for a woman to get an abortion it creates multiple barriers against doing so, not the least of which is requiring doctors to have hospital privileges within 30 miles of a clinic, requiring facilities to have WAAAYYYYY more than a minimum of cleanliness ( remember they all already have to be certified which includes that minimum and more ), multiple visits , and the like.
    The upgrades necessary to clinics under this law will close most in the state at this point.

    Read it.
    Read how it is all about NOT prosecuting women who have abortions contrary to the law, just doctors.
    Read about how there are multiple provisions to try to save whatever bits of the POS legislation might be deemed unconstitutionally vague by the Feds if it gets in court.
    Read about how these idiots have chosen to SAY this is about post 20 week abortions but have created ever more barriers for women trying to get them early.

  664. Just wondering why the women on this blog think that some murdering son-of-a-bitch(on death row) should be pardoned after a few years and not shot after 30 days??????Do they really think that he/she/they can be an important part of society and a 20+ week fetus is a piece of shit to be flushed down a toilet??????From what I’ve picked up this is not an abortion issue but an abortion after 20 weeks issue….also they want to require these abortion facilities to have at least a minimum amount of cleanliness….OH…..THAT’S RIGHT…..they still use coat hangers!!!!!!!!!

  665. God bless you! Rock on, mama!

  666. Well, this is the state where it’s OK for cops to do a roadside pelvic exam on suspicion of somebody smelling like marijuana…there’s an article about it on Addictinginfo.com written by Lorraine Devon Wilke. Not hard to find…

  667. Love you Helen!

    Sent from my iPad

  668. Thank you for your view on Pro-Choice, I have never looked at in that view. Enlightening.

  669. Irreverent and funny _____________

  670. Obvious solution: NO MORE SEX for men, until they get rid
    of these laws.

    Second, no votes for cretins.

    I expect there’d be some fancy footwork pretty quickly!!!

  671. Well they do plug up a basic “lady party”!

  672. Maybe they think that tampons are some sort of contraceptive device.

  673. Great post, Gato. Garbage is exactly what this is. I mean, seriously, do these repugnant men really think women are stupid enough to believe their ridiculous rhetoric (euphemism for bullshit) about doing this for our own good? I don’t live in Texas any more, but my niece and other strong, brave women like her have vowed to continue to fight this nonsense. Right now, until the courts can strike down this inane law, we need to establish non-profits to provide aid to women unable to get the services they need in Texas.

    This is so totally dystopian it’s unbelievable! The horrors of futuristic science fiction are a reality in Texas today.

  674. Hi, Terry – This kind of lawmaking is beyond just “stupid,” IMO. It is part of a real and ongoing attempt to keep women (erroneously considered a “minority”), along with blacks, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans, relatively powerless in the governing of this country. The kind of laws passed in Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, and so on – including severe limits on access to abortion and general reproductive health, transvaginal probes, mandatory “waiting periods,” and the rest – have NOTHING to do with “protecting women’s health,” and EVERYTHING to do with trying to get women “out of the way.”

    If we heard that pregnant women in some other country were being forced to have a metal tube stuck up their vaginas against their wills, and forced to bear children conceived in rape, we would consider it barbaric – AND IT IS!

    And perhaps the most infuriating thing about so much of it is the fact that it is so often ensconced in rhetoric about how “we’re just doing this for your own good” – absolutely no different than locking a child in a closet, or beating her with a belt, for some transgression. They are both “punishment,” pure and simple.

    If you want to “protect someone’s health” you make medical services MORE available, not less. Nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants are assuming more and more of the duties long-performed by MDs – because they can, and because it makes basic health care more accessible to more people. That’s all fine… But now a woman in Texas will have to go to an “ambulatory surgical center” four times in order to take some pills…?

    That’s all very nice for Milla Perry Jones (Governor Goodhair’s sister), who “happens” to be an executive of, and lobbyist for, a company that runs… ambulatory surgical centers. Just a coincidence, I’m sure…

    This garbage isn’t even SUBTLE!


  675. TXGranny, Thank you for posting the article by a doctor who states the facts about what we have to look forward to if Roe v Wade is struck down. I guess I should have said what we’d look backward to since it would be a giant leap in that direction. But, as I’ve said before, you can’t fix stupid.

  676. I thoutht the tampon thing was a joke. There is a reason they call it Flori-DUH, and TexASS.

  677. Sorry, Sarah. 7th grade sex education has been outlawed in Texas.

  678. I really feel for the women in Texas. Here in NC we are hurting too under INSANE decisions made by Repuliscans (SP on purpose). They say they are prolife but – cut education, don’t want Obamacare, and have cut unemployment totally. SOOOO they don’t want to educate the kids, don’t want to provide health care for them and don’t want them to eat and have a roof over their heads if their parents loose their jobs. HMMMMM I think they are just probirth???? I also think ALL Rep office holders should be required to take 7th grade sex education!!

  679. And the lunacy has spread to NC, too. We’re on Week 11 of “Moral Monday” demonstrations here, but that didn’t stop our legislature from inserting abortion restrictions into a motorcycle-safety bill (after getting caught putting them into an anti-Sharia law bill first), and our governor going back on his campaign promise to veto any antiabortion laws. VOTE, people. Please vote.

  680. “And for the record, pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion. Being pro-choice means you trust women to make the right decisions for themselves and their families when it comes to healthcare.”

    This right here is the reason why I am pro-choice! Thank you, Margaret and Helen, for being the voices of reason in this country!

    And for the record, you couldn’t pay me enough to live in Texas. Not with those idiots running the show over there.

  681. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/03/health/views/03essa.html?_r=2

    By Waldo Fielding, MD

  682. https://www.facebook.com/BluebonnetBrigade

    Yes, this is a long post, but good!
    Good Morning BB Peeps.
    We knew this was going to be the outcome. We knew going into this fight that we wouldn’t win (This time). But something amazing happened in this state over the last month. Something I thought I would never see in my lifetime. Texans from every corner in the state came together on a moment’s notice to organize and mobilize. Women, men, Anglo, African-American, Latino, Asian, Native American, young, middle-aged, elderly, poor, middle class, well-to-do, high school dropouts to college graduates, unemployed to minimum wage earners to professionals, and everyone in between. THIS is what Texas looks like. We are NOT made up of only old white men living on a farm or in a time warp.
    For far too long have we been disenfranchised? For far too long have we been isolated from each other. For the first time in a generation, we have something tangible. We have HOPE! Can you feel it? The energy is such a strong and powerful force, that even the Tom Delay gerrymandering won’t be able to stop this. Us Blue Dots here have been so cut off from our government and each other that we simply gave up. But through innovation and modern technology, social media was formed. And through that, we discovered that we are not alone here in Texas. We have been steadily finding each other, getting to know each other, and building relationships. We have been able to utilize social media to energize, organize and mobilize around certain issues. We have assembled together hand-in-hand to say in one collective voice, WE WILL NOT YIELD!!!
    The arrogance of the Republicans have “given birth” to the strongest movement we’ve seen in Texas in my lifetime. The response to the Calls to Action have been nothing short of amazing. When this first began, the estimated number of participants was expected to be around 100. One hundred. (No typo or dropped zero.) This is significant. It’s not only Democrats who have come together to fight this. Independents, Libertarians, and yes even Republicans who have seen just how tyrannical this GOP Caucus has become. They have been conducting state business this way for years. But for the first time, the national spotlight is upon them. And so are the EYES OF TEXAS!!!
    So my friends, old and new, we may be down. But we’re not out for the count! This is only the beginning. We have learned so much through this process. But if you have only learned ONE lesson, I hope it is that ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES! Remember that. Let it energize you when you are tired. Remember the first House Committee Hearings that lasted until 3:45 am, and everyone who had waited for so long to testify and were turned away. Remember how Rep Laubenburg couldn’t coherently answer ONE question about her own bill, when asked by Rep. Farrar. Remember how the pattern of GOP making up their own Special Session protocol rules was now being broadcast from sea to shining sea, thanks to Rachel Maddow and her starting the “Bat Signal” theme. When you are feeling hopeless again, REMEMBER Rep. Senfronia Thompson on the House floor, delivering her statement during the debate and her pulling out a wire hanger from a brown paper bag. Remember how Rep Laubenberg said that rape kits clean a woman out, therefore prevent unwanted rape pregnancy. When you are feeling like it’s a lost cause, REMEMBER Senator Van de Putte. Remember how she not once, but twice had to leave her family’s side during their tragic family crisis- the death and burial of her father. When you are exhausted from calling, e-mailing, block walking, and standing all day, REMEMBER Senator Davis! Remember how she stood for 11 hours, with no pee breaks, no water, no food, nowhere to lean, just her and her own resolve. When you feel like you want to forget about this and are inclined to move on, REMEMBER how the GOP once again, playing fast and loose with the Senate rules, tried to call for a vote after stopping the filibuster, and Sen. Van de Putte uttered those most powerful words: “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?” Remember how THE PEOPLE carried the filibuster over the deadline. Remember the State Police arresting the old lady from the Gallery. When you are feeling like it doesn’t matter and you have no power, REMEMBER the time stamp change! Remember how the Republicans made a public mockery of our state Constitution. When you are feeling like you are sick of it all and are ready to give up, REMEMBER that THE PEOPLE still showed up for the 2nd Special Session. The first group came back and brought friends. Remember how many women “came out”, found the inner strength and courage to publically talk about their personal private experiences for the very first time. Remember Natalie and Lloyd Maines moving performance at the kick-off rally in front of the capital. Remember the Stand With texas Women bus tours that are rolling right now. Remember the time, money, and effort put into this. And most importantly, REMEMBER that somewhere in Texas, there is a woman right this minute, who is going to lose her life because of this bill that was passed last night.
    Elections Have Consequences.
    So keep fighting. Keep moving forward. Take some time off this weekend to rest, and center yourself once again. Get a mani/pedi, massage, or facial. Go to the pool and soak up some rays (have sunblock). Take a trip to Margaritaville (have a DD). See a movie, or go on a date with your squeeze or just hang out with your buddies. But clear your mind. Because next week, planning begins for the next phase. That’s right. The movement continues. So be mentally focused and fresh for the next round.
    This movement was a collaborative effort by so many people, organizations, and groups. We all worked together as a team to make a difference. And yes, make no mistake about it. We made a difference. Thank you so much Lize B, Heather B, and Brittany Y for your wisdom and leadership. Thank you Planned Parenthood Action-Texas, NARAL Pro-Choice TX, and Blue Ribbon Lobby Day for spearheading this movement. Thank you to supporting organizations for disseminating information across the state and helping mobilize the people: StandWithTexasWomen.org, Capital Area Democratic Women, National Abortion Federation, The Lilith Fund, Faith Action for Women in Need, Bluebonnet Brigade, What Happens in Texas, Texas Women’s Coalition, UniteWomen.org, NOW-Austin Chapter, One Million Pissed Off Women, Fight Laws Against Women (FLAW), Catholics for Choice, Turning Texas Back2Blue, Occupy Austin, and GetEqualTX. Thank you to my friends/admins of the large national liberal pages who helped spread the word across the country: The Witty Liberal, I love it when I wake up and Barack Obama is President, Meme GOP, Politics with Jarred and Dave, Gorilla Pig, Liberals on Parade, Liberal-licious, Upstairs@Derek’s, Setting women free from outdated societal standards, and Vagina Riots. Thank you to the Texas Democratic Party, Texas Democratic Women, and the County Parties, local Dem clubs, and txlege Ride Shares & Accommodations for helping provide transportation to those who wanted to come and have their voices be heard. Thank you to Battleground Texas for the sign-in and voter registration drives. Thank you to David Thomas Photography-Austin for documenting these important events. Thank you to everyone who helped at home by calling, e-mailing officials, participating in local rallies and protests, sponsoring someone else’s trip by providing gas, lodging, food money, and for the donations of food, coffee. Thank you to the local restaurants who donated cupcakes, cookies, coffee, and carbs to keep the protesters energized throughout he many long nights. Thank you to those who were able to take time out of their busy lives to go to Austin and engage their government. Thank you for your sacrifices. Thank you to our FANTASTIC Democratic Caucus. Senator Wendy Davis, Senator Leticia Van de Putte, Senator Sylvia Garcia, Senator Judith Zaffirini, Senator Kirk Watson, Senator Royce West, Senator John Whitmire, Senator Rodney Ellis, Senator Carlos Uresti, Senator Jose Rodriguez, and Senator Juan Hinojosa. Representative Lon Burnham, Rep. Philip Cortez, Rep. Dawwna Dukes, Rep. Harold Dutton, Rep. Joe Deshotel, Rep. Jessica Farrar, Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, Rep. Helen Giddings, Rep. Donna Howard, Rep. Jose Menendez, Rep. Elliott Naishtat, Rep. Senfronia Thompson, Rep. Gene Wu, and Rep. Sylvester Turner. We have a dynamite team, and they gave a valiant effort to fight for the women in Texas. Thank you to the volunteers who worked so hard to answer questions, direct traffic, pass out information, take head counts, and try to make everyone as comfortable as possible in a very uncomfortable situation. Thank you to my team on Bluebonnet Brigade: Mandy, Kimberly, and Teresa who kept the group going when Amanda and I were in the field. Thank you to my “Travelling Willbury’s”, Erica, Kim, Linda, Terri, and Amy. I’m so glad I had the chance to go through this experience with y’all!!! Thank you to the families who stayed home and kept the house running while we went down to fight the good fight. Thank you to my husband and family. The love and support from all our families kept us strong. Thank you BB Peeps for everything you did to help support this effort. Your positive encouragement helped to keep up our morale and spirits. And thank you to anyone I may have unintentionally neglected to mention. Teamwork made this happen. Teamwork is what will keep it going.
    So everyone, take some personal time for some well-deserved R&R. We will regroup next week. Much love and BIG HUGS!!!!! ~Stacey

  683. Well done.

  684. I stand with Wendy.
    I sure miss Ann Richards and Molly Ivins.


  685. Hi, Joan – Thanks for your very moving post. I think you’re right; they will never understand. You wonder if any of those creaky old guys have ever even TALKED to a woman about anything serious…

    No woman approaches the idea of having an abortion without a lot of soul-searching. It’s never an easy decision, either way. Anyone who ever talked with a woman would know that.


  686. Fort Worth Star-Telegram


  687. The younger generation doesn’t know of a time when reproduction rights were quite limited for women. We must make them aware.

  688. Margaret, dear, it should read: “…my cold RED hands.”

  689. I’m with you Margaret. I’m 75 years old and a pretty good talker, but I’m speechless and flabergasted. I don’t even know what to think of this. Every time I think we’ve hit the “most stupid thing I’ve ever heard of”, they outdo themselves. Why aren’t women marching in the streets like we did in the 70s? I could still be there with them but many of the young ‘uns still don’t believe this is or can happen. My granddaughters say “oh, they can’t do that”, even as they’re doing it. I’m so frustrated. Thanks for your posts – a sane voice that I can relate and agree with.

  690. I want to say again….I am an old white headed woman now, but 46 years ago, I was a 20 year old newly wed, pregnant with my first child. He has meant the world to me for all these years, but back in the late 60′s I did not have a choice. My friends who found themselves in the same situation either got married, like I did, got sent to some Aunt’s out in the country in Kansas or somewhere, had the baby and adopted it out or got a back-alley abortion. One friend hemorrhaged at the back-alley abortion and almost died. There was no such thing as a single teen mom, society totally rejected that notion. My mom who was pregnant with me at 19 back in the 40′s did not have an option either. She married my dad and had three more babies. But later as I fought for women to have a choice, she told me that women had always had abortions, some just died trying to use coat hangers, taking some poisonous concoction or going to back-alley practitioners. I can’t believe these better-than-thou old white haired white guys are taking away the right for women to choose. Abortion is not forced upon anyone and I do not believe taken as a form of birth control but only after long hard introspective thought when a woman has no other plan to raise a kid.

    Back 44 years ago after my son was born, we were so poor that my only option for an annual well woman exam and a prescription for birth control pills was to go to Planned Parenthood, get my exam, and buy my pills for $2.00 a month – remember 44 years ago.

    It is so sad that those old self-anointed as God today creaky and cranky old men have taken that away from the young generation. They will never ever ever understand. Ever.

  691. They’ll have to do a cavity search on me, to take my tampon away!!!

  692. The following quote that Pamela Beckford posted is the best one I’ve seen explaining the differences “And for the record, pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion. Being pro-choice means you trust women to make the right decisions for themselves and their families when it comes to healthcare.” And this is why I believe women are quite capable of making the necessary choices!!

  693. All of these states who are passing these ridiculous anti-abortion, ultra-sound laws will get their comeuppance when their states hopefully oust out these ultra-right politicians at the next election!!! Why don’t women start to pass laws against the men’s indiscriminate use of their sperm?!

  694. I nearly fell off my chair when I read “. . . debate nears climax”. Can you even say that in such an instance or are all those old white men having wet dreams thinking about lady parts? Sometimes we have to laugh to keep from crying or laugh till we do cry. That’s what this granny believes.

  695. Reblogged this on Rescuing Little L and commented:
    Margaret and Helen impart so many smiles, laughs and wisdom that I felt it necessary to reblog their most recent post. Thank you ladies!

  696. http://www.texastribune.org/2013/07/13/texas-abortion-regulations-debate-nears-climax/

  697. Honest to god, TxGranny – THIS IS DISGUSTING! (And I burst into tears, too…) If this happened to one single American woman in Kabul, our government would be all over it, screaming about civil rights violations…

    If I’d been there, with a tampon in place, doing the job it is designed to do, I would have reached down, extracted it, and flopped it into the trooper’s hand. I swear…!

    “You want tampons? Here’s one for you…”

    Ya think they could have arrested me for complying with their orders? Probably.

    And, as for those jars that “appeared to contain feces”… Couldn’t they tell by looking at them, whether or not they did? Good god; what a bunch of vicious idiots!


  698. Why should every be sperm be sacred? Nobody seems to care about how many guys irresponsibly spill their seed wherever they feel like. Of course, there is always some dopey woman who thinks she needs a man and will do anything to get one and that includes marrying one of these idiots.

  699. https://www.facebook.com/TurnTexasBlue

    We have much work to do. We cannot forget. We must not miss any election, any primary, any chance to make our voice, our vote heard! We cannot vote just in presidential elections. It’s EVERY ELECTION FROM NOW ON! Let us remember this is NOT just Texas. It’s national.