Wednesday Morning OpenThread

I travel again this evening, so I will be leaving you in J's capable hands until tomorrow.

This is an Open Thread.

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    Wish I were traveling. Must wait another (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 12:21:08 PM EST

    I got a couple more pashminas (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 05:48:31 PM EST
    and a really cool incense burner that is made of brass and a mystery metal.  The base is an elephant with a bud growing out of it and when you twist the bud it turns into a lotus blossom and you burn incense in the middle.  I thought I had really hit the motherlode until I read about your next week.  All I have to say is SPOILED MUCH?

    Going to Little Tokyo and Little India (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 07:35:15 PM EST
    tomorrow, but that's L.A. area.  Must not acquire anymore pashminas though.

    Ha. Not business. No one ever heard (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:06:51 PM EST
    me say--can't wait to go to Sacramento again.  Did enjoy several business trips to Manhattan--a colleague's case but he didn't want to go!  Yeah.

    Sacramento's airport (none / 0) (#8)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:10:29 PM EST
    ought to be called the airport between everything, or the UC Davis airport, or something.

    did you notice how long and large the runways are? Sacramento and Des Moines, among others, I'm sure, are former SAC bases.


    Check out the runway at Easter Island, which (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:13:46 PM EST
    was apparently built as an alternative landing strip for space shuttle in case of impossibility to land at Edwards AFB or FL.  

    Sincerely thought it was a SAC base, (none / 0) (#30)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 02:50:06 PM EST
    and that was the reason for those huge runways.  

    Isn't Beale AFB near by too? (none / 0) (#32)
    by ZtoA on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 03:22:08 PM EST
    I remember having to drive to Sac from Nevada City area weekly for work 30 years ago, and had no air conditioning. Ah, those were the days. Not. We used to see stealth jets from Beale doing hill hugging maneuvers that were very impressive. In some quiet semi-rural valley nestled in the foothills it would be all peaceful with the golden grasses waving and suddenly out of nowhere a rather quiet black jet would skim over a hill, thru the valley and out again.

    Had that happen to me a couple times (none / 0) (#34)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 03:30:34 PM EST
    in the "badlands" of Scotland and Wales, jets from a NATO base practicing very low-altitude maneuvers.  You barely have time for your jaw to drop before they're gone and you wonder whether you just saw what you saw.

    Beale AFB (none / 0) (#54)
    by cpresley on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 06:11:52 PM EST
    is about 30 minutes north of Sac. We have a place overlooking Lake Oroville and the North Fork of the Feather River. We have had Jets from Beale buzz the canyon a few times, which can be quite shocking.We are only at 2500 feet and they fly below us. You are so right, they fly so fast you really can't believe they just did what they did.

    travelling tommorow (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by CST on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 12:41:52 PM EST
    taking friday off to visit the alma-mater for spring carnival aka alumni weekend.  It'll be the second time back for me since I graduated, 1st time since a wedding a few years ago.

    Looking forward to catching up with old friends, $1 beer, seeing live music, and probably some shenanigans (there's $1 beer!).  The local music scene in Pitt is pretty solid.

    Dollar brews... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:26:01 PM EST
    can solve, or at least mask, alotta problems...have a blast CST, if you need bail money you know where to ask:)

    it's got (none / 0) (#9)
    by CST on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:12:25 PM EST
    a bit of a rep from the 70s and I certainly heard the stories while I was there about the 2 sets of clothes needed for work, one to walk there, and one to change into since the other one would be black by the time you got in.

    A lot of the buildings are still stained.  But the air is clean and the steel industry is gone.  The local economy has had it pretty rough since then, but they are doing their best to turn into a tech-health-education center.  It's kind of like Boston that way, only we had a significant head start.

    But it is a beautiful city, and I had a lot of fun going to school there.  Also gave me a something greater appreciation for the midwestern part of the country - and in 4 years it pretty much killed my use of the word "wicked" to describe something good.


    Wonder if residents of Pittsburgh (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:14:44 PM EST
    consider themselves to be Midwesterners?  I don't.

    I asked (none / 0) (#13)
    by CST on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:20:24 PM EST
    they did :)

    my roommate from California called it the east coast.  But let me tell you there's nothing coastal about it, as I learned when I spent the summer there.

    Mostly it's a cultural thing though.  it's about 30-45 min from Ohio and West Virginia and it's an old industrial city.  Demographically it looks more like the midwest than the east coast as well.

    Deciding factors for me - use of words like "pop" "hoagie" and "tennis shoes" instead of "soda" "sub" and "sneaker".


    Funny (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 02:00:29 PM EST
    Not one of my many relatives who were born and raised there (including my parents) would ever claim to be Midwesterners - they say they are from the Mid Atlantic.

    When I was a kid and visiting my grandparents,  the other kids would make fun of my midwestern "accent" (even though THEY were the ones with the accent).


    just for fun (none / 0) (#27)
    by CST on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 02:16:54 PM EST
    google and wiki generally agrees with you, as most image searches for "midwest" end at Ohio.  But those are all defined by State lines, and obviously no one would include the whole state of PA.  The only one I found that blurred state lines a bit includes Pittsburgh by a nose.

    And the wiki description could certainly apply on a cultural level, although the image does not.


    Oh I believe you (none / 0) (#35)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 03:31:50 PM EST
    In 41 years, I personally have never heard it referred to that way.

    Kinda reminds me of when I went to grad school in Texas. Some of my classmates would tease me by complimenting me that I "didn't talk like a Yankee"  and "didn't talk like a northeasterner". When I told them that, being from Michigan, I was a midwesterner and not from the northeast, they argued with me.  Their idea of the Midwest was Nebraska and Kansas.  I had to point out that I was from the Upper Midwest and that, no, I didn't have a northeastern accent (U pronounce my "r's" for example). :)


    Kansas and Nebraska (none / 0) (#38)
    by ZtoA on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 03:45:46 PM EST
    have no where to go to escape being Midwest. Missouri too.... or should I say Missoura? My relatives in Missoura definitely do their warsh.

    I was born and raised (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 05:24:22 PM EST
    in St. Louis, MO, and neither I nor any of my Missouri friends and relatives say "Missoura" or "warsh."  But then, I think that the rest of Missouri considers St. Louisans to be "'librul' big-city folks."  So, there you are.  ;-)

    I'm originaly from Chicago (none / 0) (#50)
    by ZtoA on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 05:33:19 PM EST
    and I never said warsh. I did, however, say 'chaacolate'. And, yes, you guessed it. My relatives are from Keokuk.

    Oh, that Chicago (none / 0) (#57)
    by Zorba on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 06:52:01 PM EST
    broad (very broad) "a" sound.  I know it well.  We had relatives in Chicago, and used to visit often.

    Pitssburgh has a language (none / 0) (#53)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 06:11:27 PM EST
    all its own. It's distantly related to English.

    For example, it's dinnertime, jeet yet? No, joo? Aunt Lucy's coming by; I have to red up the room.


    Pittsburgh, two "T"s, (none / 0) (#55)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 06:15:54 PM EST
    not two "S"s.

    Test is: how do the natives pronounce (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:23:23 PM EST
    "wash" and "downtown"?

    Dahntahn (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 04:07:09 PM EST
    Is how they pronounce it.

    They root for the Stillers, grocery shop at the Gian Iggle, and say "y'uns" for you.

    Go to YouTube and enter Mark Eddie and Dahntahn for a great and funny perspective


    My mother is from W VA (none / 0) (#20)
    by observed on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:33:18 PM EST
    I grew up in Seattle. She's lost a lot of the accent, but when I was a child, she most definitely "Worshed" the clothes, and we lived in "Worshington"

    Ha!! (none / 0) (#29)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 02:24:01 PM EST
    Not always an accent that causes that. I have one aunt out of 9, all raised in northern Minnesota, who says warsh. My mother had no idea where her sister got that, but she said it that way her entire life.

    As someone (none / 0) (#16)
    by lilburro on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:26:08 PM EST
    from the other side of the state, I consider them to be Ohioans, unless they have the good sense to cheer for the Eagles.

    heh (none / 0) (#19)
    by CST on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:30:42 PM EST
    you do realize that removing Pitt from PA only stands to give greater stature to... Harrisburg.

    You sure you want to claim that as the second biggest city?

    Cheer for the Eagles, hah!  Only when the Eagles played the Pats in the Superbowl.  Although I think that's like a Sox fan rooting for the Mets vs. the Yankees.  You're secretely hoping both teams find a way to lose.


    wait (none / 0) (#22)
    by lilburro on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:36:48 PM EST
    I thought you were from Mass...you wanted the Pats to lose the Super Bowl?

    And Harrisburg ain't that big.  The biggest cities in Pennsyltucky are:  Allentown, Erie, Reading, Scranton, Bethlehem and Lancaster.


    no no no (none / 0) (#24)
    by CST on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:52:22 PM EST
    I didn't.  But I would never claim to be a Pittsburgher.  I sat there laughing at all the Steelers fans who were heartbroken over the AFC game.  I just meant, I never met anyone local who would ever root for the Eagles (or anyone other than the "Stillers") - except against the eeeevil Patriots.

    Go figure, shows how much I know about the rest of the state.  I've never even really been to Philly outside of the plane, train, and bus depots.


    oh, now I get it (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by lilburro on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 02:01:25 PM EST
    yeah that's why I'm fine with Pittsburgh seceding from the state.  They don't cheer for us, we don't cheer for them.  And sadly I think I've been to all the cities on that list with the exception of Scranton.  I am originally from outside Reading actually.

    The unfortunate thing IMO is that in many places esp. in western Pennsylvania you can feel the human and environmental poverty that comes from the end of mining and industry.  I find it has a different feel from the east side of the state.


    Good...I like Harrisburg (none / 0) (#52)
    by christinep on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 05:54:20 PM EST
    As someone from the Coal Country north of Harrisburg--namely, Shamokin--I have a fondness for Harrisburg. Philly and Harrisburg.  Pittsburgh? Well, we always considered it almost in Ohio.

    And (none / 0) (#48)
    by jbindc on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 05:19:17 PM EST
    Pittsburghers equate Philly and the suburbs as Jersey wannabees!

    But CST - the real test is this? Did you eat your fries on your sandwiches / hamburgers?


    me personally? (none / 0) (#58)
    by CST on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 07:22:01 PM EST
    ummm... no.  I have, I did not particularly enjoy it.  But I am definitely not a native.  The first time I ordered a soda, and they asked me what kind of pop I wanted, I got really confused as to why they were asking about my dad.

    Nothing compared to my confusion (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 11:20:56 PM EST
    moving to Boston from NYC and being asked if I wanted a "tonic."  Huh?  "Tonic" is what goes with gin in gin and tonic.

    I (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 15, 2010 at 07:38:21 AM EST
    Got that look in Texas when I asked for a pop - they call everything "coke".  Confused me since I prefer Pepsi products!

    And soda confused me because that's club soda and not pop!


    Really? (none / 0) (#72)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Apr 15, 2010 at 12:44:45 PM EST
    I don't know anyone who doesn't know what pop is. Must be a west coast word, too. Not used often, but used.

    Supper is one I only hear from midwesterners, though.


    well (none / 0) (#73)
    by CST on Thu Apr 15, 2010 at 01:43:41 PM EST
    there's knowing and then there's knowing, you know?

    I knew what pop was, technically.  But the first time you actually hear it used it can throw you off a bit.  Plus, I had just used up all the rest of my brain cells trying to figure out what a hoagie was.


    Pittsburgh, Ohio (none / 0) (#17)
    by lilburro on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:26:53 PM EST
    does have a lot of cool neighborhoods.  And some yummy food in Oakland, the college part of town.

    BTD's choice (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by lilburro on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:18:13 PM EST
    for the Supreme Court?

    (god I love Attaturk...)

    Dianne Wood (none / 0) (#36)
    by KeysDan on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 03:35:55 PM EST
    was born on July 4, 1950.  That would make her older than "49"

    Calculate again... (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 04:32:58 PM EST
    her birthdate is exactly one year after mine, and I'm 60, so she's not 49.

    Its April 14 (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by ZtoA on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 03:48:38 PM EST
    and I have not even started my taxes yet. Never have done this before. And I'm sitting here reading TL. I think I may have an avoidance issue.

    You must owe... (none / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 03:57:16 PM EST
    instead of being due a refund...my returns are well spent by April 15th every year....long freakin' gone.

    Frankly, I don't know this year (none / 0) (#42)
    by ZtoA on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 04:05:16 PM EST
    Self employed with somewhat complicated returns. I'm waiting for my bookeeper and then its off to my accountant who is being very patient with me. I have no idea this year. Very bad year for people in my profession. Money is not my "strong suit".

    Elaborating on what Obama (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 05:12:02 PM EST
    changed in a war zone in a very short time.  The rules of engagement almost immediately shifted to a focus on the collateral damage taking place.  Game changes addressing collateral damage began immediately and accountability for all air strikes is now in place and a lot of evidence must exist before one is performed now.  Nobody who isn't in the military and tightly supervised....literally answerable directly to the President is doing any of our dirty work missions either, you can't kill people from drones as a contractor anymore.  Forensic evidence in the war zone is constantly collected and a member of the FBI doing this is a member of all tasked groups. Morale may be low among exhausted troops, but morale about the mission has dramatically increased because the mission is a mission now and not some lied about attack on a nation attempting to take its oil riches from it.  The mission may be difficult but it is clearly defined and takes into account we are dealing with human beings in all corners of both war theaters.  All contractors go through military train up now too and you wear U.S. colors when you are in the zone.  There is no doubt that you are operating under and will be held accountable to and reprimanded under the same UCMJ that our troops are.  These are changes that I'm aware of.  I would imagine that troops who were on the ground for both Presidents probably have much longer lists if their life was calm enough to clearly discern the time in the zones when one President stood down and the other took command.  For some soldiers that whole occurance during this time of war and four tours of duty can be a little bit blurry.  None of these changes will be warmly welcomes by any flaming liberal because they are all about how a war is waged, but for those of us with skin on the line the changes are profound and extremely meaningful when you are attempting to survive the war situations at hand.  If Obama were Bush, as I said before Marja would have been Fallujah II.

    That's very, very good to hear (none / 0) (#66)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 11:24:35 PM EST
    MT.  Thanks.  I've been reading/hearing something like this, but I don't trust most of the sources.  You (and your hubby) I trust.

    Thanks very much for posting.


    Israel's policy of "nuclear ambiguity (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by bridget on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 07:22:13 PM EST
    "refusing to neither confirm nor deny possessing atomic weapons - but has not signed the treaty and is believed by analysts to possess between 200 and 300 nuclear warheads."

    "Defense Minister Ehud Barak said
    Wednesday that Israel would not be pressured into signing the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, stressing that unlike other countries, Israel had never threatened to destroy another nation.

    There is no room to pressure Israel to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Israel has never threatened to annihilate other nations and peoples, while today Iran, and also Syria, Libya and Iraq in the past, all of whom signed this treaty, have systematically violated its stipulations while explicitly threatening Israel's existence," Barak said ...."  read on


    As expected, Obama is perfectly fine with that explanation.

    btw. Iran, Syria, Libya and Iraq - all  signed this treaty and have done so in the past.

    Oh, btw.
    Remember the first question our favorite White House reporter 80-year old fabulous Helen asked Obama during his very first WH press conference and what he said in response? How He only dared to speculate? And Hasn't Helen been ignored by BO ever since for her audacity? Still, She is still waiting to get another chance while her fellow WH reporters, sorry, stenographers, prefer to keep mum.

    Israel won't be pressured into signing nuclear (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by bridget on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 07:28:39 PM EST
    Non-Proliferation Treaty

    by Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent


    Helen Thomas On Her one Question for Obama (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by bridget on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 07:45:15 PM EST

    Obama dodges the question on Israeli nukes because he is a pol? Or does he really not have a clue?" Or......"


    I should think it was obvious (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 11:28:45 PM EST
    that Obama, or any other U.S. president, would as a matter of course dodge that question, which Israel considers a core one of national security and its very existence, if he wasn't prepared to totally blow up every bridge between the U.S. and Israel.

    You think a U.S. president getting butch in public and formally outing Israel's nukes would be more or less likely to persuade them to cooperate?


    That is complete nonsense! (1.00 / 1) (#68)
    by bridget on Thu Apr 15, 2010 at 12:20:56 AM EST
    Great argument! (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Apr 15, 2010 at 08:17:11 AM EST
    Love the finely developed logic!

    Huh? (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 07:34:06 PM EST
    As expected, Obama is perfectly fine with that explanation.

    Not according to anything I have read.

    and certainly not the Haaretz article you chose not to link to..


    Thank God (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 11:21:25 PM EST

    hmmmmm... (none / 0) (#4)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 12:51:40 PM EST
    I wouldn't be surprised if the different sites occured fairly early in the 20th Century, before air travel between the islands was common or inexpensive, and remain as some sort of historical artifact now. Lots of oddly-placed government offices, especially USDA ones. A lot were closed or consolidated, too, but perhaps with HAwai'i's unique geography they weren't consolidated there.

    In other words, I can guess, but I have no clue. Interesting question, though.

    Will you have a spare bedroom? (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 01:36:44 PM EST
    I won'tbe there ALL the time, during College Football, I need to be in Alabama.

    Language (none / 0) (#31)
    by jondee on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 03:05:43 PM EST
    Antonin Scalia's worst nightmare..the ultimate living document. And it dont mean a thing if it aint got that swing.

    Try " standing athwart history (reality, language) yelling stop.." Mr Buckley. Knock yourself out. Just dont expect to stand in the same river twice.

    I think (none / 0) (#33)
    by CST on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 03:22:34 PM EST
    it's even smaller than an east coast thing.  Pretty sure it's exclusively an eastern MA thing.  Even NYers look at you funny when you say it.

    And it's more of an amplifyer than an adjective - good was the wrong definition.

    Some examples of use: "it's wicked hot outside", or "that band is wicked cool".  But you wouldn't normally just say something is "wicked".  I think the closest west-coast equivalent would be "hella".

    Throwing Gasoline on the Fire (none / 0) (#47)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 05:12:27 PM EST
    Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone -- the Vatican number two and Pope Benedict XVI's right-hand man -- said Monday that "many" psychologists and psychiatrists had demonstrated a link between homosexuality and paedophilia.


    Largest US Military Budget Ever (none / 0) (#56)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 14, 2010 at 06:45:51 PM EST
    For the average American, what all this means is that of every dollar you send to the IRS, 53 cents will be going to pay for blowing stuff up, fattening the wallets of colonels admirals and generals, bloating the portfolios of investors in military industries, and of course funding the bonuses paid to executives of those companies, and the campaign chests and private expense accounts of the members of Congress who vote for these outlandish budgets. Your money will also be going to pay for the salaries and the bullets of those brave heroes over in Afghanistan who are executing kids, killing pregnant women (and then digging out the bullets and claiming they were stabbed by their families), and for the anti-personnel weapons that are creating legions of legless Afghani kids.

    .....think about that 53% of your tax payment that is going to finance the most enormous war machine the world has ever known.
    David Lindorff

    Military spending is out of control...  The Democrats are completely in line with the GOP on this issue, despite the GOP talkingpoint that Dems are weak on defense...  it is way too lucrative to stop the spiral, and even though we have become a nation of bedwetters, polls indicate that most want to either reduce or keep at military spending the same level rather. Only 40% are for increasing spending. The US has increased military spending 9% each year for the last decade.

    What would Sigmund (none / 0) (#74)
    by jondee on Thu Apr 15, 2010 at 04:16:38 PM EST
    say about the perennial appeal of MF in some circles?

    I remember Vonnegut talking about hearing that expression for the first time in WWII and remarking on how it immediately caught on amongst infantry men like wildfire..

    New England Idiom (none / 0) (#75)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 15, 2010 at 04:41:03 PM EST