Thursday Afternoon Open Thread

I'm off to court for the afternoon.

Shahid Azmi, the defense attorney for Fahim Ansari, one of the three men accused in the Mumbai attacks was shot dead in his Mumbai office today.

The Judge in Haiti today ordered the release of the American missionaries.

Has anyone besides me turned off Buzz in Gmail? If you want to, log into your gmail account and scroll all the way to the bottom where there is a link for "basic html" The "Turn off Buzz" link is right next to it. And check your privacy settings, your pictures and a lot more may be being shared on Buzz until you deactivate them. Buzz also allows people to follow you.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    designer Alexander McQueen (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 12:57:59 PM EST
    committed suicide.

    I am not the person who can never understand suicide under any circumstances. I can imagine doing it at the right time.
    a final act of control.
    but him? at 40? with everything and a big show today?
    hard to understand.

    Whats the name of that poem? (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:02:49 PM EST
    Not waving, but drowning? Stevie Smith

    People are often like the proverbial iceberg: the part people see often has very little to do with what's really going on.


    I guess I just (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:13:38 PM EST
    cant imagine giving up so easily.  the man had so many options.  so many possibilities.
    I understand the impulse.  but I am an optimist so his is very hard for me to understand.  I am not criticizing or condemning him.  its just an observation.

    I hear you, Captain (none / 0) (#10)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:17:28 PM EST
    Suggesting that McQueen gave up (none / 0) (#13)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:38:43 PM EST
    "easily" sounds terribly un-empathetic. Consider this: his mother died last week; one of his closest friends committed suicide a couple of years ago. That's just what we know coming out of the gate.

    So it looked like he had a life-time of opportunities ahead of him; perhaps he found it meaningless, or monumentally overwhelming - whatever. I do know this: depending on the circumstances, success can be more hollow and depressing than failure.

    The bottom line is this: we can know NOTHING of another person's inner life.


    Im sorry if you find it "un-empathetic" (none / 0) (#15)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:44:24 PM EST
    but parents die. thats how it works.  friends die.
    by suicide by accident or by aids, like most of mine did.
    I think I was pretty clear about my opinion of his act.

    OK, but it would be nice (none / 0) (#18)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:57:07 PM EST
    if you could see why I am now asking you to put some thought into being a little more sensitive toward those of us who feel very, shall we say, fragile about the subject of suicide.

    Either way, I'm already finding this too disturbing to continue.


    some months ago (none / 0) (#19)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 02:07:24 PM EST
    my favorite uncle shot himself in the head. I grew up across the street from him and he was like second father to me.  he was not the first person close to me, of even close to me in my family, who had taken their own life.  
    he did it because his wife, my favorite aunt, had died almost a year before.  they had lived together for 58 years since she was 15 and he was 16 and had eleven children.
    his was an unemotional act. he had lived a full and rich life not without some pretty unbelievable hardships.  he tried living alone and discovered he really didnt like it.   I understand what he did.
    I have a hard time understanding what McQueen did but I am not condemning him or judging him.
    Im sorry if you find that insensitive.

    I'm sincerely sorry for your loss CH... (none / 0) (#31)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:22:16 PM EST
    Like you, I understand why your uncle made the decision that he did.

    The unifying factor among people who kill themselves is that they can longer stand to be in the world. Your uncle and Alexander McQueen have that overriding thing in common - they just had different paths that led them both to the same destination.


    I can appreciate (none / 0) (#33)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:25:06 PM EST
    that.  and I was not fishing for sympathy.  really.
    I can totally see myself doing the same thing.

    like George Saunders I will leave when I am bored.


    I hope you have an extremely (none / 0) (#34)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:34:15 PM EST
    high threshold for boredom.

    I have (none / 0) (#43)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:51:10 PM EST
    ADHD actually.
    no kidding.  
    the thing is I dont always think its a tragic thing.
    my uncle, to me, was terrible and sad and I miss him very much but I dont find what he did necessarily tragic in the sense of being wrong or bad.  
    the case below of the child committing suicide is very different for obvious reasons I think.
    the hardest thing for any parent is to lose a child.
    for any reason.  but by their own hand I would think would be particularly hard.
    but parents die.  my uncle just chose the time.  which people, romans, greeks, once did all the time.

    I really cant tell you (none / 0) (#50)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 04:03:11 PM EST
    how much I despise the reaction of some of my uncles self righteous bible thumping children to what he did.
    one of them tore down they house the lived in all those years because of it.  I will hate him till the day he dies or I die for that.

    There are a few people (none / 0) (#55)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 04:24:14 PM EST
    I'd like to thump with a Bible. Or a similar sized
    object with a little more mass.

    mine too (none / 0) (#52)
    by CST on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 04:08:53 PM EST
    His daughter (my grandmother) also really hated him, but not for that.  Let's just say, he was a German businessman (in Germany), and he killed himself at the end of World War 2.  That's all I "officially" know - but we kind of all assume it means he was a Nazi.  

    His daughter skipped town and married an athiest "Jew".  No one ever wanted to pray for him, or put flowers on his grave.  But I don't think it was because of the suicide.


    Also (none / 0) (#17)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:55:50 PM EST
    we cant deny the fact that there's often residual resentment when someone we have affection for dies like that.

    A kind of "you hurt me" reaction. Which obviously has to be balanced with empathy.


    the worst (none / 0) (#25)
    by CST on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:07:37 PM EST
    is the residual guilt.  Especially the parental "where did I go wrong?" reaction.

    Friends tend to know or see when someone is unhappy, or know why they are unhappy.  Parents aren't always around enough or "in the know" enough to understand the root causes.  But there are a lot of associated guilt feelings - as if we all failed the person in need, from friends, but especially parents.  It's heartbreaking.


    after the event I described above (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:19:17 PM EST
    some of his children had a very hard time.  some because they were religious and thought he was damned.  I didnt bother with them.  but others, like his daughter who found him, were distraught because she thought she, could have/should have etc.

    she is one of my favorite people and we talked about it a lot.  I tried to make her understand that it had nothing to do with her.  he was sane and calm and he came to a sane and calm decision to do what he did.  not to be graphic but being a hunter he knew exactly how to do it so the person finding him was not scarred for life by what they saw.  he was a considerate man.  even in death he is the role model for me my father never was.
    I respect what he did.


    yea (none / 0) (#38)
    by CST on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:44:39 PM EST
    a friend of mine commited suicide a little over a year ago.  She was 25 years old and an only child.  Her parents are wrecks.  As friends we have been trying to keep them company through out the year, or at least see them on holidays.  But it's hard, they don't have much to look forward to anymore.  Sometimes it's hard to see and deal with them .  At some point you get tired of feeling sad, but you don't want to abandon them either.

    I don't know if you can call it (none / 0) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 10:41:10 PM EST
    giving up.  I don't know if I can understand the depth of another's black dog, and some people only get black chihuahuas.  When it comes to the depths of depression though I was told that if a person is deeply depressed that even winning the lottery has no positive feeling or emotional joy to it.  It is sad that someone so talented would in a moments time no longer have a feeling or desire to stay with us, but it is fact that such moments plague the human condition and not equally among us all, and we do not understand the rhyme or reason yet.

    Sometimes I think that I can (none / 0) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 10:49:20 PM EST
    understand how a person gets to that point, my husband is like you though and he cannot fathom it in any fashion.  I have low cholesterol though and cholesterol makes neurotransmitters....so in the winter without sunlight I get blue.  My husband has high cholesterol, will probably be on drugs to lower it soon.  There is some evidence that there is a correlation, high cholesterol may kill you but at least you die happy.  My family doesn't die juicy.  We stick around forever, eventually pining away and over time dry out like mummies before we crater :)

    I am sceptical (none / 0) (#66)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 03:39:10 AM EST
    Seasonal affect disorder is cholesteral related. If it were, wouldn't people be pumping up their cholesteral to try and beat it?

    If your body burns cholesterol (none / 0) (#68)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 07:12:13 AM EST
    like mine does it is a losing battle. Having low cholesterol is as genetic unfortunately as having high cholesterol and just as hard to affect by diet. As my doctor said, nobody develops drugs to raise cholesterol, only lower it.  I use whipping cream in my coffee and real butter now for about 15 years.  I don't deny myself any cholesterol I can find.  My cholesterol in my early twenties when I had the worst symptoms was only about 110.  I think living here has helped a lot as far as exposure to sunshine goes but age seems to be helping with the cholesterol because it is now coming up into the normal ranges.  My other family members with SAD all have the same problem with low cholesterol too so I think it is a factor for us...at least the strain that runs in my family.

    I wish butter could improve asthma (none / 0) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 07:32:17 AM EST
    the same way Colorado does.  It has begun again.

    And here's the 2007 (none / 0) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 07:38:44 AM EST
    Study on it, but my doctor suspected this well over ten years ago so I've been dumping cholesterol into my system since then.

    Theoretically I stopped (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 08:44:02 AM EST
    practicing medicine w/o a license about 25 yrs. Ago after I misdiagnosed "heat rash" over the phone. It was actually adult chickenpox. Big difference.

    No segue MT but (none / 0) (#67)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 04:23:46 AM EST
    did you catch Digby re Patreaus as Obama VP and Biden God forbid as SOS?

    Interesting (none / 0) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 07:29:10 AM EST
    I am with Digby as far as Petraeus becoming a Democrat upon shedding the uniform.  I just flat out do not see it.  Loyalty is such a strong theme for career military.....come whatever may, certainly it must be with him because he took on Iraq at the height of the worst deepest doo doo.  He would rather save the Republican party.  And they will fall in line too.  I bet he could get almost all the teabaggers to go home with one speech.  If Bush would have attempted to reform healthcare and the had the same bills sitting in the House and the Senate the Republican base would probably be bragging about it....the kindness of their President.

    Well, I've had 2 friends (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by observed on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:06:01 PM EST
    kill themselves and two more attempt suicide.
    Life is tough, even at the best of times---that's  what I think. If you can forget that, good for you.

    Follow your bliss (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:10:37 PM EST
    somehow, someway.

    "Cuz this just might be a one shot deal" (Zappa)


    a mash up (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:14:36 PM EST
    of Joseph Campbell and Frank Zappa.  after my own heart you are.

    Yes, life is tough, even at the best of times. (5.00 / 0) (#45)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:54:35 PM EST
    For some highly vulnerable people, even the 'normal' pain of everyday life is felt so acutely that it becomes too much to bear. And then there are those who have a life-long struggle with depression, anxiety and a host of other ills.  

    Here's another story (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:16:42 PM EST
    about Alexander McQueen and his suicide. I am so sorry he was in that much despair. I have two of his skull scarves and I'll treasure them now more than ever. RIP Alexander.

    The Early Daze, pt. 1 (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Dadler on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 02:09:46 PM EST
    We want Part 2!!! (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 02:37:52 PM EST
    Good stuff yet again Dadler...another fine portrait you've painted.

    Kinda reminded me of my Pompano Beach FLA days...cheap rent, sh*t work, good times.  My half of the rent on a killer duplex just over the drawbridge from the beach with a nice pool and strange neighbors...$312.50. Among the sh*t work was working phones for this slimey mortgage scammer guy...my conscience only lasted two days at that gig.  Which was twice as long as the political action commitee door-to-door fundraising gig...that was the worst, asking people with no money for money, half for me and half for some shady organization.  Never been happier to not make a single buck:)



    Wow (none / 0) (#35)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:40:06 PM EST
    excellent, Dadler!

    The talent scouts sound like they were suddenly transported from Satyricon Rome to the suntanned hangover of San Diego.

    Good job.


    Ohh... nice work, Dadler... thanks. (none / 0) (#40)
    by desertswine on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:49:43 PM EST
    Great stuff, keep 'em coming! (none / 0) (#46)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:54:57 PM EST
    Thanks y'all (none / 0) (#56)
    by Dadler on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 04:41:46 PM EST
    Glad you're enjoying it.

    OMG, Dadler (none / 0) (#61)
    by Zorba on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 06:56:52 PM EST
    This is great stuff!

    Bill Clinton hospitalized (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:44:55 PM EST
    per CNN, which notes possible effects, exhaustion, from his nonstop work in the last month for Haiti.

    Chest pains, a worrisome sign (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:50:57 PM EST
    after the (near?) heart attack and major quadruple bypass surgery six years ago.  The SOS is in Washington; was at the White House an hour ago.

    Had 2 stents inserted (none / 0) (#49)
    by nycstray on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 04:01:23 PM EST
    not life threatening according to ABC right now.

    "Likely a stent procedure," per ABC (none / 0) (#53)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 04:09:17 PM EST
    (thanks for the tip to turn to it) but not confirmed.

    First thing I did, turn off Buzz (none / 0) (#1)
    by Coral on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 12:57:16 PM EST
    I hate it. If I want social networking, I will seek it out on my own.

    I said the other day (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 12:59:11 PM EST
    that now that Google has announced they are working with the Homeland Insanity Agency and others its just great that they have created yet another intrusive annoying thing like "Buzz"

    I'm actually sort of enjoying Buzz (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:30:40 PM EST
    Having never signed up for Twitter (and disliking Facebook), it seems more connected to how I actually communicate.

    I have yet to figure out (none / 0) (#23)
    by CST on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:02:20 PM EST
    what it actually does.  But apparently I am "following" some people and some people are "following me" - automatically.

    It hasn't actually told me anything about any of them.


    those people (none / 0) (#24)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:04:12 PM EST
    are probably NSA

    heh (none / 0) (#26)
    by CST on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:08:19 PM EST
    one of the people is me - at my other e-mail address.  I never knew about my second job :P

    seriously (none / 0) (#27)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:13:23 PM EST
    I like most of what Google does.  I think Chrome is awsum.  but I rue the day I ever got involved with facebook.  eek.  and I dont tweet.
    at least not in public.
    Buzz just seems like the last thing the world needed.

    I use fb (none / 0) (#32)
    by CST on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:23:32 PM EST
    I was in college when it started and was just for college kids.  It was fun back then, now it's widespread so everything has to be p.c.  It's mostly (in my mind) for sharing pictures and news, and knowing what people you haven't seen in a while are doing with their lives.  Not bad, but I don't use it much except for photo sharing.

    I have yet to go on twitter.  I don't even know what Chrome is.  And I haven't figured out what Buzz does, and I doubt I'll use it when I do.

    But I am a late technology adopter.  I like it to be cheap, usefull and widespread for about 2-3 years before I ever use it.  Mostly I feel it's an additional intrusion that I don't need.

    I'm good at adapting to new technology, it just takes a while to convince me it's in my best interest.

    I will probably never use buzz.


    I used FB for the Mafia Wars (none / 0) (#37)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:42:36 PM EST
    for a while, but even I got tired of whacking people.

    I'm a Facebook snob (none / 0) (#58)
    by andgarden on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 05:52:09 PM EST
    Everyone I cared to connect to using it was eligible for an account by 2005.

    Started twitter and FB in the spring (none / 0) (#51)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 04:03:35 PM EST
    jsut to see what they were all about. Gave up on twitter for posting any of my own stuff. If you don't have or want lots of followers, I can't see the point. Might as well IM the people that need to know.  But I do use it to follow a few bloggers, like greenwald and atrios and sirota. They mostly post links to articles. Just easier to get there via twitter from my phone that going to their blogs.

    Then I got my dog a twitter account. That was fun for a while. He had more good short things to say than I did.

    Stuck with the FB though. Turns out I had a lot of friends and family already on it, and it has been fun to keep in touch that way, especially with my nieces and nephews I don't see much in person.


    I think perhaps its finally time (none / 0) (#12)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:34:17 PM EST
    to find a nice quite place for Broder. where he can be changed and rolled and cared for properly and people can make sure he puts his socks on BEFORE his shoes.

    Sarah Palin displays her pitch-perfect populism

    Her lengthy Saturday night keynote address to the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville and her debut on the Sunday morning talk show circuit with Fox News' Chris Wallace showed off a public figure at the top of her game -- a politician who knows who she is and how to sell herself, even with notes on her palm.

    We'll see how YOU feel (none / 0) (#14)
    by jondee on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:43:15 PM EST
    after you've just gotten a lap dance from a former beauty queen when you're seventy.

    A joke! A joke! Not meant to demean anyone. Really.


    seriously (none / 0) (#16)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:48:15 PM EST
    you would think "the dean" would read his own newpapers polls that say her "pitch perfect populism" (good god) is causing her number to drop like LIEbermans facial folds before posting something like this.

    cool! (none / 0) (#22)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 02:54:45 PM EST
    Drug Thy Enemy
    Jon Proctor

    In 2005, researchers in Switzerland gave 29 test subjects a sniff of the neuropeptide oxytocin, a.k.a. the "love drug," known to play a role in developing trust and social attachment in mammals, before having them play a financial investment game. The result? Almost half of the trust-primed oxy sniffers handed all their francs to an anonymous partner. Now insiders say the military may be in the process of weaponizing oxytocin and similar compounds.

    maybe this is the plan for our china debt.

    Can we dose... (none / 0) (#28)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:15:28 PM EST
    the fatcat bankers?  Would solve the bonus bre-ha-ha if they just went and gave it away...preferably to a non-government entity, otherwise it'll just makes its way right back to 'em:)

    I suspect (none / 0) (#30)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:20:25 PM EST
    it has already been going in dems drinking water.

    Fallout from American missionaries (none / 0) (#36)
    by caseyOR on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:42:26 PM EST
    I was watching World Focus on public television last night. In their report from Haiti, they talked about the dire repercussions from the American missionaries attempt to take those children out of Haiti. Aid groups, like Doctors Without Borders, are now finding nearly impossible to get children who need immediate advanced medical care out of the the country.

    These are children who have serious head injuries or require orthopedic care, children who come closer to death everyday they wait for government clearance to be airlifted out of Haiti.

    The Haitian government will not let any child out of the country now unless there is clear and convincing proof that the child is an orphan, that there are no living relatives to care for the child. Emergency medical airlifts have been effectively halted due to this policy change. The government official, the minister of public health, told the reporter that this clampdown was indeed a response to the actions of the American missionaries.

    More than one aid worker with more than one organization has been interviewed on various TV programs talking about how they told the Americans that what they were doing violated Haiti law and could make it harder for other groups to serve the children. The Americans went ahead with their plans anyway. Sure, they are in jail, what I am sure is a nasty jail, as jails go, but the real losers are Haitian children.

    Talk about a no-win situation... (none / 0) (#44)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:52:38 PM EST
    on one hand you want the best for the kids, and that means medical care outside of Haiti.  And on the other hand ya just can't take kids outta the country without their family's consent.  An awful no-win situation.

    And this is why (none / 0) (#65)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 11:36:23 PM EST
    I have absolutely no sympathy for what they did- its not just act itself- which, while horrible is possibly just misguieded zeal- it the reprecussions- the missionaries actions will indirectly lead to hundreds of deaths.

    All the snow is getting people testy... (none / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:50:05 PM EST
    of course, the authorities ain't helping.  Assault charges?  Gimme a break...its just snow.

    It is supposed to snow a skiff here (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 10:30:05 PM EST
    tomorrow.  School is closed tomorrow and also Monday because of it.  Freaky crazy man, freaky crazy that it's going to snow here and freaky crazy that everyone is going freaky crazy for four days over it.  I wonder what would happen if we got some DC snow or New York snow or California snow?  The kids are rejoicing though.

    Damn... (none / 0) (#47)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 03:59:02 PM EST
    its been 25 years since St. John's last Final Four team...and what a team it was.  I was just a wee lad back then, but those Redmen owned this town.  Those epic battles with Georgetown...great memories.

    Indeed Lou did... (none / 0) (#73)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 08:23:31 AM EST
    one of the greatest of all time...and those sweaters!  

    The program has never been the same.


    Rachel vs Zenyatta (none / 0) (#57)
    by nycstray on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 05:23:47 PM EST
    And I'll be back in time... (none / 0) (#72)
    by kdog on Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 08:21:37 AM EST
    to wager and watch!...I woulda missed it if it was run on the 3rd.

    This is great for racing, so glad the connections worked it out and Oaklawn came up with the big purse.  My heart is with Zenyatta...always had a thing for older gals:)