Friday Open Thread

A Wisconsin judge has blocked the state's new union law.

For those of you not following March Madness, here's an open thread for all other topics.

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    Helen Thomas in the news again (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by lilburro on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 02:37:04 PM EST
    some quotes from the interview with Playboy (link to the Sacramento Bee, so SFW)...its sad that she doesn't see why what she's saying is offensive.  She has the platform to be an advocate for her causes, but not if she's going to be anti-Semitic in her statements.

    Helen Thomas (5.00 / 2) (#170)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 04:14:16 PM EST
    a great woman with a tragic blind spot - sad finish to a fine career

    She says she is anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic (none / 0) (#51)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 03:45:36 PM EST
    I like to think that is a tenable position. Certainly at this point the state of Israel is an established fact however. Not much point in railing against it now.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#61)
    by lilburro on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 04:55:32 PM EST
    I think it is a tenable position but the way she couches that position could be seen as anti-Semitic.  I believe she has good intentions, but, as a non-Jew I don't have a lot of standing IMO to argue that people shouldn't be offended.  I think she is a great woman, I'm glad she is soldiering on and I hope her obituary isn't written in the way she fears.  She could help that process along a little more though.  It's like she shoots herself in the foot everytime she tries to say something, which is a shame not just for her but for the Israel-Palestine conversation in the US.

    And actually (none / 0) (#62)
    by lilburro on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 04:56:53 PM EST
    if anyone has any book recommendations re: the Israel-Palestine conflict, I would love to hear them.  I feel woefully ignorant on the history of the matter.

    Here are three (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 07:26:47 AM EST
    My younger sister is getting her Master's in Conflict Resolution and spent last summer in Jerusalem (Palestine).  I asked her your question and she recommended:

    Orientalism by Edward Said

    From Beirut to Jersualem by Thomas Freidman

    Peace and Its Discontents by Edward Said


    Orientalism (none / 0) (#100)
    by Raskolnikov on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 10:39:24 AM EST
    is an amazing read, but if you're not looking for a very academic read, it might put you off a bit.  The introduction, which I suppose is just the abstract, is one of those pieces that is almost inevitably read in the course of attaining a liberal arts degree, and for good reason.  

    Thank you very much (none / 0) (#171)
    by lilburro on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 04:28:00 PM EST
    I appreciate your asking your sister about it.  Will definitely have to check them out.

    The trial of the DADT protesters (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 03:20:30 PM EST
    The DADT protesters who chained themselves to the White House fence and were arrested last November, are being arraigned.  The government wants to prosecute them for violating the orders of a federal law enforcement officer, which is a more serious criminal charge than protesters engaged in civil disobedience are usually charge with.  The judge is Federal Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola.  
    What happened next was surprising to those in the Courtroom. Judge Facciola got up out of his chair, while pacing, gave a speech about the history of the civil rights movement in the United States. He intimated that there were trumped up charges back in the 50s and 60s, too. And, he evoked the Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham case, Martin Luther King's "letters from the Birmingham jail" and how civil rights protesters were often brought to court to face stricter charges. The judge clearly linked the protest over Don't Ask, Don't Tell to those earlier civil rights protests.

    The Judge asked the government prosecutor a lot of questions, including why the government didn't charge the protesters under the lesser crime of disorderly conduct. Apparently, and I had to ask Paul to repeat this a couple times, the prosecutor said the protesters were talking politely and weren't being that loud. So, they weren't being disorderly.  

    Correct me if I'm wrong. but isn't this rather unusual behavior for a federal judge?  I think I like this judge.

    And another judge (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 03:36:13 PM EST
    (this time a state judge) that I'm cheering for:  Judge Maryann Sumi of Dane County, Wisconsin.  She has temporarily blocked the Wisconsin anti-collective bargaining law.  Link.

    And appointed by a Republican gov there (none / 0) (#86)
    by Towanda on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 09:49:17 PM EST
    -- not that the righties aren't going nutso in labeling her yet another "21st century entitled welfare queen," which translates to "public employee."

    I like this judge too (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 03:42:01 PM EST
    Definitely seems like the charge they throw at you when you aren't really doing anything wrong.

    The administration does not take (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 03:55:45 PM EST
    kindly to being embarrassed on something that it claims to be an advocate for--at least these defendants still have their drawers.

    Good thing they weren't reading aloud from (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 04:18:48 PM EST

    Ouch! (none / 0) (#54)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 04:11:02 PM EST
    But too true, KeysDan.

    Lifetime tenure (none / 0) (#49)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 03:43:23 PM EST
    My Evidence professor was a federal judge.  I had a day off from work one day, so I went to watch a motion hearing in his courtroom one day.  After the hearing, a criminal verdict came in, so I stuck around.  The defendant was charged with some kind of drug charge (I don't remember what - but he took his teenage son to a crack house while he dealt).  When the verdict came back "Not Guilty" - he applauded.  The judge lectured him that this was a court of law and not a movie theater.

    After the jury was dismissed, the judge got up and paced back and forth on his bench and lectured the defendant about how dumb he was for 1)taking his son to a crack house, 2) making his wife get up and testify for something like this, and 3) the fact that, just the day before, the defendant had wanted to fire his very good defense attorney (and that he'd be heading down for a strip search with the US Marshal if the judge had let him fire the attorney).  The judge also then told him he better never see him again.

    Lifetime tenure is a wonderful thing.


    It certainly can be (none / 0) (#57)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 04:22:12 PM EST
    But it can be, let us say, not quite so good, as well.  I would wish that Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, among others, did not have lifetime tenure.   ;-)

    That's funny. (none / 0) (#64)
    by lilburro on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 04:59:38 PM EST
    Lifetime tenure is a wonderful thing indeed.

    Federal Magistrate Judge: not lifetime (none / 0) (#69)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 05:34:50 PM EST
    tenure.  Appointed for a certain term, may be re-appointed.

    Ah - need to read closer. Thanks (none / 0) (#71)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 05:54:23 PM EST
    Update: Federal prosecutors (none / 0) (#67)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 05:32:53 PM EST
    will not reduce charges to less serious ones. Judge Facciola has asked that prosecutors continue to consider lesser charges as requested by defendants' attorneys, more reflective of usual civil disobedience arrests--DC disorderly conduct or traffic violations, not federal crimes.  Case is postponed until fall.

    Russian Roulette with Nuclear Power (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by lentinel on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 07:29:55 PM EST
    This is a great link to "Democracy Now!".

    It features a sobering talk about nuclear power in the United States and the danger it represents.

    I highly recommend it.

    Nuclear Power discussion on Democracy Now!

    Ah...the grand bargain on (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 07:45:51 PM EST
    taxes and entitlements:

    President Obama came under new pressure Friday to broaden talks about government spending to include tax and entitlement reform.

    Sixty-four senators -- 32 Democrats and 32 Republicans -- called for the expanded talks in a letter to Obama.


    "Specifically, we hope that the discussion will include discretionary spending cuts, entitlement changes and tax reform," the letter states.

    Here's the letter:

    Dear President Obama:

    As the Administration continues to work with Congressional leadership regarding our current budget situation, we write to inform you that we believe comprehensive deficit reduction measures are imperative and to ask you to support a broad approach to solving the problem.

    As you know, a bipartisan group of Senators has been working to craft a comprehensive deficit reduction package based upon the recommendations of the Fiscal Commission.  While we may not agree with every aspect of the Commission's recommendations, we believe that its work represents an important foundation to achieve meaningful progress on our debt.  The Commission's work also underscored the scope and breadth of our nation's long-term fiscal challenges.  

    Beyond FY2011 funding decisions, we urge you to engage in a broader discussion about a comprehensive deficit reduction package.  Specifically, we hope that the discussion will include discretionary spending cuts, entitlement changes and tax reform.

    By approaching these negotiations comprehensively, with a strong signal of support from you, we believe that we can achieve consensus on these important fiscal issues.  This would send a powerful message to Americans that Washington can work together to tackle this critical issue.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    Republicans signing the letter:

    Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.),  Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), John Barrasso (Wy.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Scott Brown (Mass.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Dan Coats (Ind.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), John Cornyn (Tex.) Mike Crapo (Idaho), Mike Enzi (Wy.), Lindsay Graham (S.C.) John Hoeven (N.D.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Tex.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Mike Lee (Utah), Jerry Moran (Kansas), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio),  James Risch (Idaho), Pat Roberts (Kansas), Richard Shelby (Ala.), John Thune (S.D.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.).

    Democrats signing the letter:

    John Kerry (Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Joseph Lieberman (Conn.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Mark Begich (Ark.),  Thomas Carper (Del.), Mark Udall (Colo.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Dianne Feinstein (Caif.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Christopher Coons (Del.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Benjamin Cardin (Md.), Al Franken (Minn.), Mary Landrieu (La.) , Kent Conrad (N.D.) , Mark Warner (Va.), Richard Durbin (Ill.), Tom Harkin (Iowa), Herb Kohl (Wis.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Jeff Bingaman (N.M.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Tom Udall (N.M.) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio).

    Ben Cardin's going to be hearing from me...

    Surprising that Patty Murray is one (none / 0) (#84)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 09:21:57 PM EST
    of the signatories, considering that she voted against keeping the tax cits for the rich. No point in calling her office to complain, however -- she is as inaccessible as it gets. Hope you have more luck with Cardin!

    And, um... WTF is with Al Franken???


    Seriously...I have no idea... (5.00 / 5) (#88)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 10:01:18 PM EST
    it makes no sense to me - at all.

    It takes about five minutes to do enough research to understand that this is just a completely insane strategy.

    So, why?  Why would Democrats who, by most measures would be considered more liberal than not, be buying into this manufactured deficit "crisis?"

    And why would they be even bringing entitlements into the conversation?  We couldn't put single-payer on the table, but we can put Social Security there?  What?

    I feel exactly as I did in the run up to the Iraq war; like no matter what people said, no matter what evidence or argument people had or made, there was nothing that was going to srop it - the fix was in.

    We're screaming into a vacuum, I guess - we think we're making sounds, but the people who need to hear us aren't listening.

    I wish I knew what to do, but I don't.


    Is rape deductible, ask the righties? (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Towanda on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 09:53:19 PM EST
    This one just, just tops 'em all:

    The "No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act" keeps getting more awesome -- now it appears that the bill could force IRS agents to interrogate women about whether their abortions were the result of rape.  The bill . . . would essentially "turn IRS agents into abortion cops -- that is, during an audit, they'd have to determine, from evidence provided by the taxpayer, whether any tax benefit had been inappropriately used to pay for an abortion."

    Read the rest here.  Then go hit something -- something inanimate.

    You know, if we ever could form what I'm (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 10:09:32 PM EST
    coming to think of as the Kick Ass Party, I imagine an ad where the camera captures an ordinary street scene - people coming and going, to work or to shop or wherever, and gradually, one begins to notice that some people have a sort of red welt in the middle of their foreheads.  And as some of them pass each other on the street, they exchange a knowing look, but it isn't clear exactly what it's all about.

    Then the camera captures someone reading a newspaper, or watching a news report, and the headline or the story is along the lines of one of these just incomprehensible, makes-no-sense stories featuring one of our illustrious leaders, and we see the person reading the paper or watching the news just start banging his or her head on the table...and all of a sudden we realize why all those other people we saw earlier have those red welts in the middle of their foreheads.

    And then the voice-over says, "tired of banging your head on the table out of frustration with political leaders who aren't listening to you?  Maybe it's time to kick some ass...call 1-800-KICKASS for more information on how you can do something to change that."

    Hey, a girl can dream...


    Yes, I think I'm in a red welter (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by Towanda on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 10:16:26 PM EST
    of despair, when I read such stuff perpetrated upon us by the leaders of this country.  And I can hardly wait to see how this bill will be mediated by the community-organizing leader of our country.  The one who couldn't find Boehner's bony a** to kick if Boehner mooned him.

    Something inanimate? (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Zorba on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:54:51 PM EST
    Oh please, please Towanda- just one little jab at Rep. Chris Smith?  If not a jab, how about a searing look of contempt?

    Warren Christopher, RIP (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 07:28:23 AM EST
    All these years I have "bought" the (none / 0) (#138)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:50:16 PM EST
    GOP line Reagan's administration got the Iranian hostages released.  Which isn't true.  Good job, GOP propagandists.  Apparently what Reagan's operatives pushed for was release of hostages after Carter left office, but the negotiating concluded during Carter's presidency.

    Bullying incident captured on video (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 11:30:35 AM EST
    That kid (none / 0) (#4)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 11:44:20 AM EST
    looked a little like some of the folks I saw leaving the bar at closing time last night. Hopefully he doesn't have a concussion (although he got what he had coming)

    The article said (none / 0) (#10)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:27:50 PM EST
    that Casey was suspended and there may be criminal charges, but as far as they knew, no consequences for the tormentor, who, let's face it, started it, and hit Casey first (several times).  While I cannot condone Casey's "body slam" (I think you defend yourself without actually injuring the other kid severely, if at all possible), I have to say- what about he bully?  If Casey is suspended, certainly the bully should be suspended, or even expelled, and face charges himself.  I would think a good case could be made (especially given the video) that Casey was defending himself against an attack.  (I don't know how the Australian laws and court system are set up, though.)  Would they rather have the bullied kids not react, defend themselves and fight back?  Or would they rather have those bullied kids stew over the bullying until they snap, bring a weapon to school, and start shooting people?  I'm certainly not suggesting that Casey would have done this, but it has happened here in the US.  More than once.  

    defending yourself (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:40:12 PM EST
    I agree in principle, but this is a kid, barely in puberty, getting tormented.  With a crowd watching, and FILMING him for heaven's sake, and egging the madness on, I just cannot blame or even use words like condone in this situation.  Whomever is raising these dipsh*t tormenters, and whomever is running this school, should be shamed and held accountable however rationally possible.  

    Try to put yourself in that tormented kid's head right now.  I literally weep for that boy.  No child can possibly be expected to deal with that kind of crap on their own.  I only hope he has the support and love he needs. Sadly, I know the kids who assaulted him DON'T have that.


    When we immigrated (5.00 / 5) (#53)
    by NYShooter on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 04:07:40 PM EST
    to the U.S from russia back in the 50's I was that typicle skinny, big eared runt, raggy gabardines hanging from my skeletal physique, a poster boy for all those newsreels about Ellis island. So, here I was, basically raising myself (we were dirt poor) trying to survive on the mean streets of NYC. It wasn't bad enough being a foreigner, but a Russian at that, in the midst of good ole 50's Commie fever. I wasn't Jewish, but looking like one was good enough for the bullies.

    For a while the bullying consisted mostly of taunting, no one had gotten physically "in my face" yet, until............

    One day I was walking home from school (ps188 in Brooklyn) when 3 or 4 kids, 2 or 3 years older than me, and at least double my size decided to have a "pick-up" game of soccer.......with me as the ball. They pulled me into an alley between two buildings and all I remember was that the ground was loaded with thousands of chards of broken glass. They started knocking me around and I remember thinking, "punch me all you want, but don't let me fall on the ground. (I had seen what a kid looks like after having been dragged through broken glass.)

    Just then, I looked up, and saw my mother watching from the third floor fire escape where our apartment was. Now, my mother wasn't just a crusty old Russian, she was a Cossack. and, if you don't know the history of the Cossacks, suffice to say they considered Jack-the Ripper as one step beneath Pee Wee Herman.
    Anyway, by the look on her face, today was going to be the day that I either became a Man, or forfeit my self-respect, in front of my mother, forever. She signalled that she was coming down, and punctuated it by slamming her right fist into her left palm.

    By the time she got downstairs a small crowd had gathered, not one rooting for me. As it so happened, the ringleader, twice my size, had his mother there, egging him on. My mother said, in her broken English, "just one minute," and went over to confront the Ringleader's (his name was Robert) mother. She said, making sure I heard it loud and clear, "Mrs. xvcvxc, your boy is twice my boy's size, and will probably kick the crap out of him, maybe even kill him, but I suggest you go home and get your camera and take a picture of your son cause after Pavlic's done with him you'll never recognize him again.

    The boy's mother got one of those smirks on her face, not of derision, but of fear. Then my mother turned to me and said, "you leave him a bloody pulp on the ground, or you don't come home." With that she pounded her fist again, and pointed to her nose; Robert, and his mother knew what was coming.

    To make a long story a little shorter, Robert's mother grabbed her son and said, "let's go home, these people are crazy."

    I didn't fight that day, but Robert got his chance a few weeks later.....without the mothers. Sometimes, magic really does happen. Believing I was invinceable, I was. Robert had a hard time breathing for a long, long time.

    Now, what's the point of all this? it's not that fighting is a way to settle disputes. But, like my mom told me, "Pavlic, broken bones will heal in time, but self-respect, once its gone, it never comes back.

    And that's what bullies do; they steal your self-respect. And that's just horrible, and stays with the victim a lifetime.

    I hate bullies, I really, really hate bullies.


    And even AFTER the body slam... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:45:00 PM EST
    ...a slightly taller, but equally skinny dipsh*t acts like he wants to get revenge for his quarter-pint moron friend, but is kept away by what looks like a nice sized girl.  That taunted kid, at his age, in that situation, IMO, had every right and instinct to feel very threatened and afraid.  

    I cannot STAND that, in America, in 2011, this kind of crap takes place in our schools.  Makes me so mad I can barely contain it.


    This child (none / 0) (#20)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:31:12 PM EST
    was an Australian student, Dadler.  But it certainly goes on in America.  All the time.  I blame the parents, but I also blame the schools, for not being way more pro-active in stopping bullying.  The schools have "zero tolerance" when it comes to a kid bringing a Midol tablet to school and (God forbid!) giving it to a classmate with menstrual cramps, but most school districts seem to have no "zero tolerance" policy for bullying. And I do agree with your comment above that this was a young kid getting tormented.  I cannot really blame him for his reaction.  I just wish that it hadn't been quite so violent-  I know, I know, he's just a kid at the end of his rope.  I also think that the kids who were egging the bully on, and filming it, bear a goodly portion of the game.  The bully was obviously "playing to the crowd,"

    Heard an update (none / 0) (#27)
    by nycstray on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:52:56 PM EST
    bully was also suspended and bully's mom wants her son to apologize to Casey.

    Well, that's a (none / 0) (#38)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 02:28:53 PM EST
    small start.  I would hope that the court system there drops legal charges against Casey, as well.  The bully himself needs some heavy-duty counseling and some kind of way to make reparations.  Both victim and victimizer are young and their brains are not fully mature (which is the reason that there is a separate legal juvenile system, which I realize doesn't always work the way it should).  The bully needs to be subjected to some appropriate punishment, as well as a way to be brought to the realization that what he did was wrong, and why it was wrong.  I would imagine that poor Casey needs some counseling, too- he must feel bad about himself due to the bullying and will probably need help to cope with the whole thing.        

    A correction was issued (none / 0) (#175)
    by ding7777 on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 06:29:27 PM EST
    the bully's Mom wants the bully to apologize, saying the bully got what he deserved

    Bullying (none / 0) (#15)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:50:45 PM EST
    I happen to be the proud owner of a a very smart mouth, which as one might imagine lead to a lot of trouble.

    In junior high, two kids would wait nearly every day in the drafting hallway to inflict pain on me, they were two years older and generally accomplished their mission.  Yet my mouth never bowed.

    Then in senior high, my neighbor and his sadistic friend who were football stars tormented me ruthlessly on the sports bus, both seniors, me a sophomore.  Being one to never back down, I once hocked a huge lugi (and I chew) and spit right in my neighbors face.  That cost me at least 10 serious beatings.

    Another neighbor, much older hit me in the face on the school bus and broke out my two front teeth, they only stayed in because because I had braces.  My parents basically did nothing because I called him a F Ahole.  He was about 5 years older.

    Another time, two guys who graduated, came to school and cornered me in a deserted hallway and commenced to bring down the pain.  Granted I had shot one of them will a pellet gun when he walked past my house, but these were grown men.  Believe it or not, he never walked past my place again, had he, redux I'm sure.

    I do have a point, I was bullied beyond any of this non-sense I see on TV, and it's not that I can't sympathize, but no one has ever broken my pride, ever.  I'm not bitter and for the most part, a happy go lucky person, and I don't believe I have been in a fight as an adult.  Even know thinking about it makes me laugh.

    Maybe it's because physically, there's not much to tease me about, or maybe because I choose the pain by running my mouth, or maybe it's because my mom was a holly terror and their feeble attempts were amateurish, who knows.  I don know, my pain threshold is low, I hate pain.

    It just seems to me, a farm boy form Wisconsin, that kids are just so thinned skinned. My god, so some clowns make fun of you, it happens to everyone, even adults, and it sucks, but it's certainly not the end of the world.  Now kids are committing suicide, refusing to go to school, shooting up schools, slipping into depression, and just general overkill of what is basically normal behavior.

    I'm not suggesting we do nothing, just noting that I simply don't understand why kids today are so effected by what has been probably happening in all of human existence.  It's nothing new, but the way it effects kids is new.

    As far as the video, that kid was hurt, and the fact that he punched the other guy first and didn't get punished is a real eye opener to the school administration's policies.  I love that video.


    I'd suggest... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:57:59 PM EST
    ...that what has been happening for millenia should be, as much as possible, mitigated in the public schools of suppsedly free and enlightened America in the year 2011.

    I hear you and see you and maybe raise you on some of it --  I did have a shotgun on my back when I was twelve -- but I am the guy who went through what you did and doesn't always laugh about it.

    Sometimes I do, because of the absurdity of it, because of those times you talked about, when we somehow prevailed in little ways (and our laughter is mocking those a-holes), but a lot of the time I feel for that kid I was and for the kids out there today precisely because not all of them, hardly any of them, had what you and I probably had that allowed us to "survive" and be the middle-class blogging slackers we are (no offense intended, merely rhetorical effect).

    Those kids who have less than I did, who have nothing, and are in these situations, deserve much better, galaxies better, from the communities of adults supposedly acting acting as their guardians and teachers.

    I think we were lucky, my friend.  


    Agreed (none / 0) (#58)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 04:27:42 PM EST
    And reading back I wasn't suggesting it was OK, no way, it's really effecting kids and needs to be stopped.

    My question really was why is effecting kids so differently today ?  Is it technology, with a phone you can text everyone in under a minute with photos, vs calling each person on your parents land line in my day.  Is social media linking bullies and making bullying an around the clock event.  It can't be that the bullies are worse, no way, but maybe the threats are more severe, mainly weapons.

    With me, it was confined into certain times at school, and occasionally a run in around the neighborhood.  I was getting spurts, not an all the time grind every day.  And I never feared for my life, I knew no one was going to do anything but some old fashion punching.  And anyone with siblings knows, punching is part of the territory.

    And as the have nothing, just the opposite I would say.  Poor kids are tough as nails, and even though we weren't poor, my parents were cheap, so I always felt poor.  Now, when I see it on TV it's middle class kids who are soft, not weak or meant in a negative way, but kids who aren't wanting for anything, comfortable might be a better term.  Typical suburban kids.

    It never bothered me, laughter wasn't my defense mechanism, it was the joy I had inside from knowing the admiration I was going to get from my peers for doing whatever it was I did to get beat.  Not to brag, but I will.  Getting your A handed to you by probably the toughest senior in school, repeatedly, was secondary to a 6'3" 150lb string bean sophomore spitting in the face of a top dog football player in on a bus full of athletes.  He beat up people often, but I bet he only had a tobacco encrusted lugi spit in his face once.

    It never bothered me, not in the least.  My mother was ruthless with the verbal abuse, and to this day, she is the only person that has ever effected me.  And as stupid as it sounds, I knew 1000 of those guys could never inflict the pain she could with one sentence.  But she was mostly an absentee parent, and I was fortunate enough to have a dad that spot on.

    It's why I am a liberal, because most people don't have that one thing in their lives that overrides all the madness.  As you mentioned, I am lucky, extremely, and I understand that I feel like that luck should be shared with others in hopes that it will lead them to bigger and better things.  And unlike my republican counterparts, I am not so foolish to think I am a self made man.  Sure I have done the time, but there are lot of puzzle pieces that lined up just right that allowed me to became the grand slacking blogger I am.


    Donald, good for you (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 03:42:16 PM EST
    for doing all you could to change her behavior.  As I said before, these kids have immature brains.  It is incumbent upon the parents, the schools, and the communities to work together to change this behavior, to support the bullied and to counsel and impose consequences on the bullies, and to realize that these are kids.  Yes, behaviors have consequences,and kids do stupid things.  We need to guide, correct, channel, and whenever necessary punish the behaviors.

    Donald (none / 0) (#59)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 04:43:28 PM EST
    Email me at 071470@gmail.com

    It's pouring in the Bay Area and I... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 11:42:24 AM EST
    ...am supposed to be rewriting my book.  But I just want to listen to music and bounce off the walls.

    Okay, IMO, here's the three best performances at Woodstock, son of a flowerchild that I am:

    Richie Havens opening the show acoustically.


    Sly & The Family Stone.

    Interesting to note about Santana's performance (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:11:15 PM EST
    The drum solo by Michael Shrieve is always talked about, as it should be, but equal mention is given to the fact he was only 20 at the time.  Lesser known is the fact that the incredible bass work is being done by the late David Brown, who was only 19 at the time.  

    Your "Sly" Link... (none / 0) (#18)
    by StephenAG on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:08:42 PM EST
    ...reminds me of how back in the day Larry Graham and GCS (you DO understand the link between Larry Graham and Sly Stone, right?) would do free concerts at Richmond High, Berkeley High and other high schools in the Bay Area! Wow...

    Yes, it is pouring out here. Gimme shelter!!


    bass player (none / 0) (#19)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:17:25 PM EST
    i mean i know the basics but not the inside dope.

    Cousins. (none / 0) (#28)
    by StephenAG on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:53:53 PM EST
    Sly and Larry are cousins. Larry and Cynthia Robinson (trumpet) are cousins, too. Another set of cousins include sax player Jerry Martini and drummer Gregg Errico. Combine them with Sly's brother and sister and you really have a "Family Stone".

    Larry is also credited as the inventor of the modern slap bass technique - "Thumpin' and Pluckin'" as he calls it.

    Aw geez... I'll think I'll skip work and go out and play a set... Later!


    OK, you bring it back now (none / 0) (#79)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 07:12:19 PM EST
    Saw a documentary on the group some time back.  Musta got lost in all the other cobwebs in my skull.  Have a good jam session, slappy.

    I'm out of coffee (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 11:42:38 AM EST
    And unable to go to the store with Josh sick.  Slow waking up today.  

    Do a hundred jumping jacks (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:09:42 PM EST
    Get that blood pumping.  Always worked for me.  I know, I know, shut my dumb ace up.  Sending you good vibes and a caffeine fairy.

    And if you have any chocolate in the house... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:13:35 PM EST
    ...have at it.  Has a decent amount of natural caffeine in it.  

    Speaking as someone who (none / 0) (#9)
    by sj on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:21:46 PM EST
    starts getting a headache around 3:00PM on coffee-less days, I submit that, caffeine content notwithstanding, soda and chocolate are inadequate substitutes.

    I suspect those who rely on soda for their caffeine jolt would be unsatisfied with coffee.  But that's just conjecture.  It's a world I can't imagine.

    Also, somehow I never noticed before that "caffeine" violates the "i before e" rull.


    Withdrawals are a pain (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:43:25 PM EST
    (no pun intended).  My brother-in-law is a caffeine addict - he gets serious migraines without it (of course, he lives on Mountain Dew and other regular pop, so no surprise there). I feel bad for him, but his doctor said if he cut down on the caffeine, he wouldn't have such severe migraines.  Such a dilemma - be tired (for a few days until you adjust) or have a headache!

    His doctor's probably right, (none / 0) (#31)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:57:31 PM EST
    which I found out for myself years ago - the hard way, of course.

    Ever since, I try to stay away from caffeine as much as possible, and really only use it for what I would call "medicinal" purposes - such as for a migraine or other vascular-type headache (and even then, I'm careful - a half an Excedrin, a half a Coke - because sometimes caffeine can make it worse, not better; if it doesn't start working within a half hour, I know there's no point in taking more).  Water, water, water - sometimes the headache means I need to hydrate - and caffeine is dehydrating.

    But using/ingesting caffeine regularly gets you caught in the rebound effect - the headaches most people who drink a fair amount of regular coffee or caffeinated soda get are rebound headaches, caused by withdrawal from caffeine.  Really, the only way to break that cycle is just to go cold turkey - you may have the worst headache of your life, and you may have it for more than a day, but once you get past that point, you should be okay.

    Once that cycle is broken, you know that whatever headache or migraine you're having isn't from the caffeine.

    And really, I have enough stress without cranking up my heart and jangling my nerves; plus, the soda comes with a lot of sodium that isn't good for you, either.

    [But, I still don't get people who say they've never had a headache - I just don't comprehend how that's possible.]


    I feel very lucky (none / 0) (#33)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 02:04:02 PM EST
    I've never liked coffee and I haven't been a pop drinker since college.  Even then, the caffeine in the Pepsi wouldn't help me stay awake to study (I'm naturally an early morning person anyways).

    Actually for me cold turkey (none / 0) (#34)
    by sj on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 02:17:55 PM EST
    isn't necessary.  I've gotten off coffee a few times.  

    If I pay attention and have only a half cup of coffee at the first signs of a headache, I found that (for me) the headache comes later and later in the day until it stops showing up at all.  The first signs of my 3:00 sucker punch really start about 1:30 but I'm able to ignore it until about 3:00.

    The trouble is, getting over the caffeine addiction doesn't help the psychological part of holding that warm cup... taking that first sniff...

    That's why I haven't stayed off coffee.  That smell turns me into a little cartoon character floating away... following the aroma.


    Impressed you make it to 3 (none / 0) (#16)
    by lilburro on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:53:25 PM EST
    if I don't have coffee within two hours of waking up my head hurts and I become filled with rage.  But give me a cup of coffee, and I am calm... :)

    LOL Sometimes just sniffing (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:52:52 PM EST
    a fresh cup of coffee before the first sip has amazing powers.

    Yes it do (none / 0) (#37)
    by sj on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 02:28:49 PM EST
    Cannot drink coffee but acknowledge it really (none / 0) (#66)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 05:30:40 PM EST
    smells good.

    Teach us oculus... (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by lilburro on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:19:28 AM EST
    ...or just give us coffee...

    I just finished The Pat Tillman Story (none / 0) (#91)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 11:31:52 PM EST
    finally.....horrible, every General lied.  Anytime there is a friendly fire incident it raises huge alarms.  Then you have friendly fire during special ops, that's two alarm.  Then the most famous soldier in the whole military is killed, that's three alarm. The whole chain of command knows ASAP if there is a friendly fire incident though.  Hard to believe that every single one of them lied, lied, lied to that family to include the last hearing but they all did.  Not shocked that Rumsfeld lied, but the rest of them are so shameless

    Good old regular tea works, (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:19:06 PM EST
    ditto Coke (or Mountain Dew, or Dr. Pepper), and then there's Excedrin - of course, you get the aspirin with the caffeine, so that's something to consider.

    Just pick one, though - we don't want to have to peel you off the ceiling... :-)


    it's like a crackhouse in here (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 12:46:52 PM EST
    we're lucky our drugs are legal.

    Sometimes I take those little (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:51:26 PM EST
    dry packets from Starbucks and put them into my home coffee.  WOW...bangzoom

    MT you is just... (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by StephenAG on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:57:42 PM EST
    ...addicted. But I understand (as I dutifully shake out the last of my Peet's coffee grinds out of the cannister)!

    MT (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by lentinel on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 02:34:27 PM EST
    You CANNOT be without coffee.

    It is an intolerable situation.


    President Obama just told Gaddafi (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:42:49 PM EST
    We aren't buying your bullshit today, quit attacking the people or we are going to bomb you.

    I thought Obama did a good job on this (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:43:07 PM EST
    And on the flipside he just told (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:50:04 PM EST
    Saudi Arabia tough shit, sucks to be an oppressive monarchy at times.  These are some of those times.

    Unfortunately (none / 0) (#30)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:55:00 PM EST
    I think he stays in power and there is nothing we can do about it short of invading. I hate that.

    We won't invade (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 02:24:19 PM EST
    They will stop him from attacking.  I have no doubt on this.  He is only as strong as his military.  When they start taking out his bases and his supplies he will quit.  If he isn't free to kill them and they can fight back on a more level playing field I don't know if he will stay in power or not.

    We won't invade though because then anything that happens after that is tainted by Empire and anything we touch will eventually be discredited.


    It (none / 0) (#40)
    by lentinel on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 02:33:04 PM EST
    took him awhile to see which way the wind was blowing.

    I tend to not think they were behind (none / 0) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 03:43:59 PM EST
    any power curve on this.  Unfortunately we needed to allow the rebels to fight their good fight.  We aren't in the same spot either to help out when it comes to the arms he's using against them.  He has mostly Russian stuff and some French stuff.  Heh, and I guess if the French expressed some upset with what he was doing he told them to stuff it.  I hope they weren't too shocked to be treated so shoddily.  They seem pretty ticked off though.  And it would appear that Russia doesn't feel much shame about whatever they sell being used to kill people seeking democracy.  France is upset because he's messing with their oil supply and threatening to destroy the fields and facilities too.  My husband says that a lot of those around him worry about us not making a stand with those seeking freedom from dictators.  Supporting dictators isn't supposed to be who we are, and things have gotten to the point that if you are able but not willing to end the slaughter of protesters then you are supporting dictators.  My husband says that Saudi Arabia is Hot Hot Hot at us though.  We are really pissing them off.

    Finally!!! (none / 0) (#25)
    by hairspray on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:51:37 PM EST
    The French and the English have been pushing this as far as I can see.  Good for them.  They need to step up and crush this madman.

    Boy the French want to wail the tar out of him (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 01:54:24 PM EST
    They sounded kind of scary to me at first :)  Really angry :)

    France & Britain (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 02:21:57 PM EST
    ...have quite strong economic interests insofar as Libya is concerned (i.e., stronger than most.) In that case, it worked out for them to push the initiative in conjunction with the US and, I believe, the Arab League. If the coordination holds, we may see the kind of results we'd like to see--allowing for the rebels to receive the humanitarian aid & to regroup--sooner than we thought.  The President's statement today impressed me as clear, direct, and appropriately responsive. (After all the international crises in recent weeks...the WH is getting a plethora of practice.)

    This is (none / 0) (#39)
    by lentinel on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 02:31:32 PM EST
    very subjective, but I notice that the events in Libya are beginning to take a front seat in the headlines.

    I happen to feel that the unfolding events in Japan are more important and explosive. It could result in deaths worldwide.

    Obama is holding fast to his dumbassed support of the nuclear industry. All he has had to say is that he will order a study - and he insures the Japanese (whose citizens are truly on their own) that they are "not alone". (Then he splits to the golfcourse.)

    What I ultimately sense is that nuclear plants are an invulnerable industry from a political standpoint.

    And we are being called upon - being told - that we can expect a number of to be killed as part of the cost of doing business.

    Sounds great.

    Nuclear power, in my view, (none / 0) (#43)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 02:49:47 PM EST
    is a relic of the twentieth century, a psychic reparation for the use of atomic energy for weapons.  The "peaceful" use of atomic energy to assuage the conscience of scientists and others.  True, all of our energy capabilities run risks, but a technology that can send cesium into the environment with a half-life of 30 years (taking about 200 years to bring it down to one percent) and radioactive waste that can hang around for 10,000 years, outlasting its containers, is neither viable nor reasonable as a commercial energy source.

    If the nuclear power industry is invulnerable it would have to be politically, because it would never make it with good old free enterprise.  It has taken major governmental subsidies and limits on liability to make it even remotely feasible.  

    What should the energy "mix" be? (none / 0) (#55)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 04:11:14 PM EST
    In recent years, more & more writings/talk about an energy mix in the US has become a sort of norm. I've been wodering for many years (since we talked a bit about that mix during President Carter's term) what the mix should look like, what general percentages, what general transition time?

    The demonstrations of the failings of reliance on particular energy sources have been most notable, An understatement! KeysDan: You seem to have a strong interest in this area?  Thoughts?

    I've always been very skeptical about expanding nuclear energy throughout the world? The reason being: It is safe until it isn't...what to do with aging facilities and what to do with wastes.
    On oil: For drilling offshore, we can reprise the BP situation to see a host of negatives. On coal: Although "clean coal technology" has some promise, it is hard to get past the oxymoronic aspects there regarding its effect on air quality (and, ultimately, climate.) And, wind: Very promising, but quite limited at this time (5%?) and not without the NIMBY response (see Cape Cod.) Solar: Still at nascent stage.

    So, a mix? Judging from even a few comments here and, then, looking around my own circle of neighbors, it is going to be a real challenge to move toward any consensus. Nonetheless, I'm still looking for a "package" and transition that moves us along the line to energy independence (and out of the oil wars of the mide-east) and moves us toward a cleaner environment and does not further penalize those who can least $$afford it.


    Your comments are very thoughtful (none / 0) (#63)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 04:58:14 PM EST
    and I find myself in agreement with you. It seems to me that we do need a mix of energy sources letting our imaginations be our only limiting factor in research and development.   Not only solar and wind, but recycled waste and expanded hydro-power--with feasible storage for the grid.

    Of the established energy resources, natural gas offers our best bet; coal is so plentiful and oil is so cheap (if we do not count the wars) it is difficult to wean ourselves from these sources, but wean we must.  The transition will have to involve new efforts at conservation.  Fortunately, we have made some progress with the decrease in major gas guzzlers, energy saving appliances and weatherproofing.

    Unfortunately a substantial gas tax was not instituted years ago that would have served the twin purposes of revenue and conservation--the increased price of gasoline would be to our benefit rather than to that of sheiks and traders. The tax revenue could have helped finance new and renewable sources.  This century should have brought the end to nuclear power as we know it. Risks need to be taken, but the risk/benefit ratio of nuclear power should be unacceptable to any sane analysis. Perhaps, fusion energy, deuterium oxide, lithium or boron that have short half lives could provide nuclear energy that could be harnessed with a semblance of safety.  


    Thank you, KeysDan (none / 0) (#65)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 05:14:44 PM EST
    I seem to be evolving along the same energy pathways. Certainly, natural gas is relatively plentiful in the West, and relatively easy to transport; and, certainly coal in plentiful for now (tho finite future life), and technology has led to cleaner burning (esp. with the harder coal and lignite variety.)

    Your last paragraph really sets the challenge. And, the last sentence is intriguing. (I must confess that I am remiss in reading much in the fusion energy realm. But, I will.)
    Here is a concern that daunts me, tho: While I definitely believe that gasoline costs could be increased as a disincentive to driving, what about individuals in the bottom half or third of the economic ladder? In Denver, for example (and a number of wide-open western towns) mass transit is limited; the bus system is good for the city but not so much in the far-flung & less expensive suburbs, etc.  What I'd like to see is some subsidy approach there so that the economic underclass is not further hurt. I think that it can be done.


    Agreed. Something can and should (none / 0) (#70)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 05:40:42 PM EST
    be done for those of economic need.  Tax credits or rebates for farmers, and tax credits, rebates  for those lower on the economic scale are among possibilities with an increased gasoline tax.  Of course, tax credits or rebates do not work for many of the poor, so a gasoline voucher (akin to food stamps) system may be a fair approach.

    One word: Fusion (none / 0) (#76)
    by MKS on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 06:37:44 PM EST
    Limitless energy via fusion.....

    This is something new (none / 0) (#60)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 04:43:53 PM EST
    FDIC Sues WaMu Executives for $900 million for their deliberate excessive risky business, ignoring their own banking standards, putting their company at risk for the sake of their own gain.

    "They focused on short-term gains to increase their own compensation, with reckless disregard for WaMu's long-term safety and soundness,"

    They also accuse them of going on a lending spree that deliberatley inflated the bubble they knew was already in effect. Someday someone is going to have the nerve to charge the banks for  defrauding the mortgagees.

    The State Department has denied a entry visa to... (none / 0) (#68)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 05:34:46 PM EST
    Don't know if anyone outside of DC saw this (none / 0) (#72)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 06:01:43 PM EST
    An arrest was made in the beating death and sexual assault of a young woman who worked in a Lululemon store in Bethesda.

    The suspect?

    Her co-worker who was beaten and tied up alongside the victim.

    This story gets stranger by the day...

    I've been following this story (none / 0) (#73)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 06:21:05 PM EST
    And this is indeed bizarre.  I can imagine a couple of scenarios.  The suspect may have been involved and had an accomplice (she would have pretty much had to have had, maybe a boyfriend).  Or, the reason the forensic evidence didn't match with her testimony is because she was beaten severely and traumatized and doesn't clearly remember exactly what happened, when.  

    IF she is the one who did this (none / 0) (#74)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 06:24:17 PM EST
    I thought this story bizarre from the beginning too.

    But the whole "She forgot something at the store and had to go back" struck me as fishy.

    That's a busy area with lots of lighting and places where people would be coming and going at 10 pm on a Friday night, and no one saw two guys wearing masks.

    Seriously, if she is the culprit, then she needs to watch programs other than Matlock.


    Oh, and there would definitely be (none / 0) (#75)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 06:27:16 PM EST
    a boyfriend or something involved, because I believe the victim WAS actually raped (and of course, it's just about impossible to tie yourself up).

    If she is (none / 0) (#77)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 06:51:56 PM EST
    the culprit (or one of them), then she is seriously f-ed up mentally.  To kill someone, and have yourself beaten severely and tied up to establish your alibi?

    Ah (none / 0) (#96)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 07:21:27 AM EST
    reports are this morning that accused was never sexually assaulted - she made that up.  They posit that her injuries were either defensive wounds obtained when she allegedly beat and killed the victim or were self inflicted.


    Assistant Chief Drew Tracy said there were some inconsistencies from the beginning, but detectives chalked them up in part to a stressed victim.

    One of the unanswered questions, Tracy said, involved Norwood's wounds. The wounds were superficial, compared with Murray's. Investigators wondered why she didn't leave the store before another employee opened it the next morning.

    A big break in the case was provided by evidence found in Murray's (victim's) car, Manger said. Norwood had gotten into Murray's car, which had been parked in front of the store, and drove it to a parking lot a few blocks away off Wisconsin Avenue, the chief said. He declined to specify what was found in the car.

    Manger also said detectives found only two sets of bloody shoe prints in the Lululemon store. One set belonged to Norwood, he said, and the other came from shoes that belonged to the store and were found at the crime scene. So that cast doubt on the story about intruders, police said.

    In addition, employees of an Apple store next door said they heard two women arguing the night of the killing, Manger said.

    Of course, that's just the evidence they are publicly releasing.  Will be interesting to see what the police found in the car.

    What a terribly disturbing story.


    It is (none / 0) (#102)
    by Zorba on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 10:47:44 AM EST
    indeed a terribly disturbing story.  And, if she is guilty, she's a terribly disturbed woman.

    Will Andre Watts talk to himself (none / 0) (#80)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 07:28:11 PM EST
    tonight while performing Liszt?  Most likely.  Stay tuned for report.

    Andre's mutterings (none / 0) (#83)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 08:08:10 PM EST
    So good to hear...but, the utterances can be (and were) disturbing, as I recall.  The Denver configuration is in-the-round; our seats are off the stage directly across (approx.) from the right arm of the conductor.  For pianists, the downside of our seats is the obvious--we really don't see the hands...but, a strange kind of positive is that the face, body,  and pedal feet are up-close&personal. My vivid memory of Mr. Watts has to do with the beguiling talk.  I'll be curious to read your report.

    Wonderful recital. All Liszt, including some (none / 0) (#94)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:58:09 AM EST
    pieces he wrote after his performing career was over.  To explore the future, per Liszt.  Didn't hear any mumbling.  Was not on the keyboard side but the presenting org. now, with the permission of the pianist, projects the keyboard and the pianist's hands onto a large screen hung in back of the piano.  Fascinating.

    Sounds like a great evening, oculus (none / 0) (#121)
    by christinep on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:44:02 PM EST
    We go tonight to hear one of my favorite chestnuts: Beethoven's Violin Concerto (also a few Vaughn Williams soothing pieces.) I love chestnuts...those that we eat and those that we savor with our ears.  With so much pre-spring upheaval around the world, I'm looking forward (with a longing) to this audial meditation.

    Who is the violin soloist? Does the (none / 0) (#125)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:59:58 PM EST
    program include Vaugh Williams's "Lark Ascending"?  Who is the conductor?

    The music tonight. (none / 0) (#148)
    by christinep on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:12:23 PM EST
    oculus: The soloist is a young man named Augustin Hadelich (an "up & comer" I'm told)...not heard him before...I'll get back to you after hearing him (or, have you heard him before?) The conductor is well-known in these parts because he --Peter Oundjian, who currently conducts the Toronto Symphony, was principal guest conductor in Denver for several years. (I like Oundjian quite a lot.)

    Finally looking at what Williams pieces. Maybe not so soothing; maybe a bit edgy, in fact...4th Symphony. Ah well...for soothing, the other piece is the Greensleeves Fantasia.

    BTW, if you are a Santa Fe summer visitor: There is 30% off a large number of tickets for the operas. Since things work out for us to go during Indian Market (crowded time, but fun & active) we will attend Faust, Vivaldi's Griselda (which I have never been to), and Wozzeck. The special pricing ends at the end of this month.


    Thanks. Will be interested in how you (none / 0) (#151)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:23:15 PM EST
    like the Vivaldi, espec. as Peter Sellars is the director (hard to imagine how this will turn out).  "Wozzeck" is one of my favorite operas, so much so that I bought a ticket to hear Matthew Goerne at Met.  As to going to Santa Fe this summer, I am usually a regular but probably not this year.  Salzburg tickets arrived yesterday!

    Patty Murray is very accessible (none / 0) (#85)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 09:45:32 PM EST
    to her constituency. She has responded to every request I've ever made of her, and some have involved her office going to other agencies to get something fixed. I can't say the same about Cantwell.

    Then you must have inside access to someone (none / 0) (#92)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 11:41:11 PM EST
    in her office. I've been trying for years. It's actually become something of a joke (at least  here in the city) that while Murray is a much better senator than Cantwell, her Seattle office staff is absolutely horrid with constituents. Yeah, seriously, it's not just me. And I don't need one more irrelevant form letter from her, three months after I've called about an issue, that doesn't ever address the issue itself -- but there's almost always a request for a $ contribution.

    Since you have an inside line to her, perhaps you can ask her why she signed that stupid letter about "entitlement reform."


    Agreed on Cantwell (none / 0) (#93)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 18, 2011 at 11:43:22 PM EST
    She is useless with constituents.

    So France is going to pound Gaddafi (none / 0) (#99)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 10:06:32 AM EST
    Oh Well....he shouldn't have used the stuff they sold him to protect the country with against the people of the country.

    Will France's "stepping up to (none / 0) (#101)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 10:40:38 AM EST
    the plate" change the opinion of Francophobes here?

    It already seems to be :) (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 10:52:11 AM EST
    My spouse is heading over to another household down the street to help, we will find out what they say too this morning.  They are moving.  But this morning my husband said over coffee, "How refreshing, we don't always have to be the country taking a stand against tyrants".  France is responsible for putting a lot of the equipment into Gaddafi's hands too that he is killing the people with.

    Then I got a course in what the plane that was shot down was.  That was a MIG Flogger that is designed specifically for air to air combat.  You can tell because it had that super pointy nose.  It is really only suited for shooting down other aircraft.  It is a little outdated though by global superiority standards but someone didn't take too kindly to Gaddifi sending up a plane designed to shootdown other planes :)

    There are Floggers that are designed to attack the ground from the air but they have a chopped nose and a much different tail.  Everyday is a learning day around here :)  Give that soldier a dry erase board!


    I asked my husband point blank (none / 0) (#104)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 11:24:03 AM EST
    If France taking the frontseat like they have would change the military Francophobia narrative and he thought for a moment and said yes, probably.

    Wes Clark is on CNN (none / 0) (#105)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 11:29:55 AM EST
    Talking about the risks involved in this escalating into something else if the rebels fail, and he is right.  He is a good planner when it comes to such situations.

    He too said that he was glad to see France take the lead on this, and it is appropriate that they take the lead.  He invited British forces to also lend a hand in giving some support to rebels on the ground who may need some information in how to fight Gaddafi forces strategically in a way that gives them a hope and a chance.


    Hillary is 100% on her game today too (none / 0) (#106)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 11:32:04 AM EST
    When does she sleep right now :)?

    I'll have one of whatever she's having :) (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 11:32:21 AM EST
    MT, I just discovered your March 8 (none / 0) (#109)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 11:56:24 AM EST
    diary on DK.  Kudos.  Too late to comment there.  

    Thank you (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:03:20 PM EST
    I love angelajean.  She is an amazing lefty active duty soldier wife.  She is part of a group of military families working with Michelle Obama, and I would gladly join any group she was leading.  She is a good voice out there heading in the right directions and doing the right things.

    Morning coffee? (none / 0) (#114)
    by jbindc on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:19:06 PM EST

    Oh yeah! (none / 0) (#119)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:31:34 PM EST
    And I bought this chocolate dip too last night to make up for my suffering.  Strawberries were on sale and they had next to them this chocolate dip that is fat free and also sugar free.  I have no idea what holds the stuff together.  It is made out of defatted CoCoa powder, some asparatame, and strange gel substance.  But it did make me feel better :)

    My thoughts too (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by christinep on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:58:13 PM EST
    The coordination with the State Dept.--leading up to the France, Britain, plus significant Arab countries combo--seems to be an example of superior diplomacy.  So far, the US has positioned itself as supportive, responsive, and yet not the ol' invading lead. What is almost amazing is the ability to work out Security Council decision without a veto from either Russia or China...their abstentions, IMO, is a best-scenario in terms of coordinated unity. If it continues in this coordinated manner, this mission could be more than the subject of a "how-to" model for textbooks. (Clinton looked knowledgeable, determined, composed in the Paris press conference that I watched earlier on Al Jazeera.)

    Interesting split in the (none / 0) (#115)
    by brodie on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:19:12 PM EST
    admin according to this piece -- SoS Hillary, supposedly a hawk for all seasons to many lefties, and Samantha Power on the same humanitarian intervention side, along with just a couple of lower level NSC people.

    Opposing intervention:  SecDef Gates, nat'l security advisor Donilon and his deputy, and VP Biden.  

    Looks like Hillary weighing in to go after Gaddafi made the difference.

    Meanwhile, I hope Bobby Gates is going to carry out orders loyally despite his opposition.  Not a big Gates fan myself and I don't entirely trust him.  Fortunately this one doesn't require the US to take the military lead, only a supporting role.


    Maybe it was Samantha Power that (none / 0) (#118)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:26:25 PM EST
    made the difference.  She was proven correct about Egypt.  Clinton was tepid about drawing a clear line in the sand with the Egypt situation.

    Mebbe. (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by brodie on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:52:17 PM EST
    But then again, Obama might have thought, Well Samantha in favor of intervening on humanitarian grounds, no surprise there.

    Apparently though Hillary shifted to that side, according to the NYT, early this week which might have been a seismic shift for Obama.  And all along Obama was getting strong advocacy to intervene from his UN Amb, Susan Rice.

    So as that piece outlines, you've got the major FP women in the admin (Hillary, Rice, Power) lining up to go after Gaddafi, while the big boys in the nat'l security chain -- Gates, Tom Donilon and his deputy, Biden and the counterterrorism head -- all in opposition.

    And I hope I'm not being "misogynist" in pointing out the obvious, and interesting, way both sides come down in terms of gender ...    ;-)


    But why Libya? (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by caseyOR on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:51:43 PM EST
    What makes the rebels in Libya so much more deserving of our assistance than, say, the people of Yemen? The Yemeni government is killing its own people. It has dispatched snipers to pick off peaceful democracy demonstraters with expertly placed head shots.

    How about Bahrain? The Bahraini government has deployed its military against pro-democracy forces there. The Bahrainis went so far as to request military assistance from the Saudis in crushing the pro-democracy movement.

    And Africa. Well, my goodness, Sudan, Cote D'Ivoire, Kenya, to name just a few, are killing their own people. Are they somehow not as worthy of our help?

    This all makes me very disinclined to view our intervention in Libya as a humanitarian mission, and rather skeptical of the administration's professional humanitarians, Power and Rice.

    Maybe it's the oil.


    Who sold arms to Yemen being (none / 0) (#144)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:01:03 PM EST
    used against the populace?  Who sold arms to Bahrain being used against the populace?  This is something that many people do not understand that is cause for great alarm to countries that sell things to other countries.  Those sales usually come with agreements too about when they can used, how they can be used, and who they can used against.

    Talk about agreements not being (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:04:31 PM EST
    worth the paper they are written on.  

    We sell arms to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and (none / 0) (#149)
    by caseyOR on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:15:56 PM EST
    Yemen. So do the Brits and the Russians. Heck, the French are probably in there somewhere, too.

    So, we don't insist that the regimes that buy our military goods refrain from using said goods on their own people? Or refrain from using the military goods we sold them to help another regime kill its own people? Because if we also have those agreements with our customers why only Libya?


    I don't think we should (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by brodie on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:27:31 PM EST
    be reduced, either the US or this country acting in concert with a legit int'l force, to only act either in each and every case in all countries where there might be humanitarian/moral issues involved, or act not at all out of some misguided sense of inconsistency.  

    There's a place for picking our spots and acting when and where feasible.  And I don't think we've gotten to the place with the UN where we can always be 100% consistent in the official military missions.  Just getting one thing right once in a while, getting enough relevant countries to go along, seems like quite a task, let alone demanding this be done for a whole set of other problems happening on the globe at a given time.


    Well-said, brodie (none / 0) (#174)
    by christinep on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 06:27:22 PM EST
    We don't allow our stuff (none / 0) (#155)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:56:37 PM EST
    to be used against the people in Saudi Arabia unless a Bush or a Reagan is running this country.  We still service the stuff they have from us, many of our friends end up retired from the military in Saudi Arabia doing that and making unbelievable money.  If Saudi Arabia uses an Apache helicopter to open fire on its civilians during protest, they are in huge deep shit with us and we will pull all support, we will tell American contractors to leave now and leave with us or you will be left behind here without our support, and all replacement parts on that equipment disappears too....everything!  That doesn't mean they don't have other ways of putting down a protest right now that doesn't involve using our stuff.

    And we don't sell to Yemen (none / 0) (#173)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 04:28:33 PM EST
    Serbia was Madeline Albright's war (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by Politalkix on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 06:33:27 PM EST
    Colin Powell was against it.

    Tom Donilon is pointed to by many (none / 0) (#126)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:01:16 PM EST
    as being a very very poor choice for National Security Advisor.  He knows very little about it.  Joe Biden never likes military risks at all, but he is fine beating up on women who have been sexually harassed during Senate hearings :).  Gates feels like his plate is full of the impossible and his is.  I don't think of any of this in terms of gender, and Gaddafi is a tyrant who if we turn our back will begin one hell of a bloodbath of a genocide if he comes fully back into power.  He will use French equipment doing it too.

    The French are leading though, not Samantha Power, or Hillary Clinton, or even Susan Rice...The French are.  And they have in past been accused of being overly effeminate :)  Joke alert, joke alert....who knows, maybe the more mothering among us hate bullies and can't wait to pound one :)  I'm fine with what is happening in Libya, and the cautious among us will prevent any of the overly aggressive from getting irreparably stupid :)


    Not too familiar myself (none / 0) (#132)
    by brodie on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:18:13 PM EST
    with Donilon.  But looking through the list of past nat'l security advisors, I'm not sure there's a true outstanding NS Advisor in the lot of them, unless the realpolitik Kissinger is your cup of tea, and for me he's not.  Maybe Clinton's choices were okay if not stellar.  Brzezinski, way too much a reflexively hawkish cold warrior; ditto McGeorge Bundy, who blew it on VN.

    As for the French leading -- just another reason why I'm not exactly overconfident about this int'l military mission.  I might want them leading my international team if it's a literary or cooking contest, but militarily I'm not sure.  


    I can't believe you just said that about France (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:33:47 PM EST
    They manufacture and sell some of the most evil military equipment on planet earth :)  Really they do.  Some of their stuff in specific areas of arms production are better than some of our stuff.  They are effing formidable when they need to be, and they have decided that right now they need to be.  You just sit back and see, Gaddafi's goose is fully cooked IMO.  Now they are threatening him with bombing the Tripoli airport.  They will destroy it, and with it a major hub to all sources of power for him.  Who knows for certain what the specific demands are, but his whole inner circle of support other than his family will collapse utterly if that happens.  It will be a full out display that this is for real and he doesn't have what it takes.  I'm sure that when you grow up in Gaddafiland it is easy to think he is literally a God, but when it comes to military force he ain't nuthin!  His forces have pulled back to the outskirts of Benghazi right now.  He needs to fold now, but he probably won't.

    Well, since the French (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Zorba on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:41:30 PM EST
    were the second biggest EU arms exporter to Libya, they ought to be in the forefront- at least they're familiar with much of the equipment they'll be facing, since they made it.  They really ought to get some help from Italy, too, which was the largest EU arms exporter to Libya.  Link.

    Italy gave them a base to stage from (none / 0) (#140)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:52:16 PM EST
    that they announced they are taking them up on today.  I fully agree with you too Zorba, you guys made this guy a lethal madman....YOU FIX IT NOW! :)

    Hey, I've always been a big (5.00 / 2) (#137)
    by brodie on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:50:01 PM EST
    fan of French military matériel.  And the rest of what you say I find inspiring in the circumstances.

    So, Vive La France!  Aux barricades, mes copains!  And, Soldats:  deux siècles d'histoire vous contemple!  


    I'm told that the French Foreign Legion (none / 0) (#147)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:12:03 PM EST
    has done a full days work too in Afghanistan when they have been given a patch they must defend and patrol.  They probably don't get enough credit because they wouldn't put up with Bush and refused to join until he left office.  They were late, though they showed up for the real battle and refused to hold ground for Bush so he could use his force to invade Iraq.

    Yep, forgot about (none / 0) (#150)
    by brodie on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:22:09 PM EST
    the FFL, a rep for férocité à l'outrance.  And I was thinking above about Napoleon, who had a pretty long stretch of success, until he got greedy.  

    But I also forgot one Jeanne d'Arc, the illiterate teenage provincial maid who victoriously led the French Army in battle.  (And not only that gobsmacking feat, but who also somehow was able to intellectually do battle with those hairsplitting French priests who were trying to trip her up -- someone explain that one to me someday ...)

    So, oui, some decent history of French military ability and willingness to fight -- to go with their outstanding weaponry.


    Jeanne d'Arc (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by christinep on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:49:36 PM EST
    Personal note of support. Little did I know when as a young Catholic girl (age 10) it came time to choose a confirmation name--after a saint whose virtues called to you and whom you admired--my decision to add Jean as a confirmation name would be a choice that had staying power for me. 'Always liked that strong, spirited woman. And, your comment about St. Joan brought a smile to my face.

    Jeanne d'Arc (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by sj on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 03:08:30 PM EST
    ...who also somehow was able to intellectually do battle with those hairsplitting French priests who were trying to trip her up -- someone explain that one to me someday

    Support from St. Michael?  :)

    Lapsed Catholic here, who nevertheless has always felt a particular draw to St. Michael the Archangel, Protector of the Children of Light.  That's an honorific for him that I can't find documented anywhere.  And yet, in my mind, it follows as naturally as my surname follows my given name.

    Protector of the Children of Light.  Somehow, it always makes me feel better.


    Guess what, sj (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by christinep on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 06:34:40 PM EST
    To this day, I feel close to St. Michael the Archangel. And, each day, there is the "St Michael, defend us in the battle...." (Other than St. Joseph--for whom my dad was named, the church we went to, the day on which my dad was buried...all those years ago today, and the symbol of the first of spring with the birds & the buds.)

    Amazing. We stick around here long enough, we find out how interconnected all of us really are. Oh...Michael is a strong, beautiful name!


    Who'd a thunk? :) (none / 0) (#180)
    by sj on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 07:38:20 PM EST
    We stick around here long enough, we find out how interconnected all of us really are.

    I just finished Judi Dench's (none / 0) (#153)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:29:30 PM EST
    recent memoir.  She says she should have played Joan in Shaw's play as more of a trouble maker.

    tiniest of corrections . . . (none / 0) (#158)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 03:09:27 PM EST
    deux siècles d'histoire vous contemplent

    other than that . . . bravo! nice accent grave, too


    Brodie, first you (none / 0) (#135)
    by Zorba on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:36:07 PM EST
    bring up Al Haig, then Henry Kissinger.  And also Zbigniew Brzezinski and McGeorge Bundy.  What a witch's brew.  Are you deliberately trying to spoil the rest of my day?    ;-)

    We've had some Great (5.00 / 0) (#141)
    by brodie on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:52:53 PM EST
    Americans in that position, haven't we?  And that Bundy -- prime example of IQs and test scores being rather overrated.

    French military jets over Libya (none / 0) (#108)
    by Babel 17 on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 11:35:02 AM EST
    French military jets are preventing forces loyal to Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi from attacking the rebel-held city of Benghazi, French President Nicolas Sarkozy says.


    Spain, which already has a patrol boat and a submarine stationed off the coast of Libya, offered NATO two air-force bases on Friday in the south of the country for any military operation against the north African country.


    Rebels say they have taken (none / 0) (#111)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:05:37 PM EST
    four tanks away from Gaddafi forces that they came into Benghazi in, and they have a "media" person speaking to Rueters about some of their victories.  They are celebrating by parading one of the tanks around.  You guys need to quit parading and figure out how that thing works and if you have ammo or not :)  Oy....

    And if you guys need to run around in that (none / 0) (#112)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:10:18 PM EST
    that thing, contact French forces and paint a big "R" on the top of them in white paint as big as you can get it.  That will work for a little while.

    Okay NOPE (none / 0) (#117)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:24:41 PM EST
    get out of the tanks,still contact French forces though and tell them you have them and where they are.  The French jets are taking out military vehicles now.

    Do you have a good idea who (none / 0) (#143)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:55:50 PM EST
    constitutes the Libyan rebels?

    It's a mishmash (none / 0) (#145)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 02:02:22 PM EST
    Not organized in any way at this time.  Not really prepared to fight anyone with military equipment, though they may have among them some with military training.

    John Bolton for Pres.? Here is (none / 0) (#113)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:17:11 PM EST
    article re his speech to CA GOP convention.  Judging from the comments--he hasn't a prayer.  LAT

    If he runs (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by brodie on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:22:35 PM EST
    he'll have even less of a prayer of a chance than the power-hungry Al Haig did in 1988.

    Oy! (none / 0) (#120)
    by Zorba on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:42:32 PM EST
    You just mentioned Al Haig, and I just threw up a little in my mouth.  I can still clearly remember Haig muscling his way to the dais after Reagan was shot in 1981 and announcing:
    Constitutionally, gentlemen, you have the president, the vice president and the secretary of state, in that order, and should the president decide he wants to transfer the helm to the vice president, he will do so. As of now, I am in control here, in the White House, pending the return of the vice president and in close touch with him. If something came up, I would check with him, of course.
    I remember screaming at Haig on the television:  "No, you're not 'in control,' you power-mad a-hole!  Reading the f***ing Constitution!"

    Right -- seeming a little (none / 0) (#124)
    by brodie on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:58:24 PM EST
    too eager to grab the reins of power.

    Though between the two of them, I wouldn't hesitate -- if absolutely forced somehow to have to pick with only those choices -- to prefer Haig any day over the blustering, foaming and slightly unhinged looking Bolton.

    Btw, oddly Al Haig in the 1988 cycle was a favorite for the WH of none other than political satirist Mort Sahl.  Go figure ...


    What a horrible choice! (none / 0) (#129)
    by Zorba on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:05:06 PM EST
    Bolton or Haig!  If that were the only choice we had to run this country, I would wind up running from this country.  I hear Vancouver, BC is a very nice city.  (But you're right- if anything, Bolton's even madder than Haig.  He looks unhinged because he is unhinged.)

    Which is worse: (1) Bolton v. Haig, (none / 0) (#130)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:06:58 PM EST
    or (2) Palin v. Sheen?

    Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh! (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by Zorba on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:16:24 PM EST
    A real devil's choice, and I refuse to make it.   ;-)

    Agree on Vancouver -- (none / 0) (#133)
    by brodie on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:32:49 PM EST
    and they know how to put on a fine Winter Olympics.  Only problem is they're in that Pac NW Subduction Zone, overdue for the Big One.

    Re Haig, two more advantages for Al:  we'd all be amused, and somewhat confused, by his patented HaigSpeak®; and in 1988 after dropping out of the race, he showed amazing level-headedness and wisdom by immediately endorsing Bob Dole for the GOP nom -- Haig never being warm to the preppy and privileged George H.W. (Poppy) Bush and that clan.


    I lived in (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by Zorba on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 03:19:06 PM EST
    San Francisco, on the San Andreas Fault, for a few years.  Not that I don't take earthquakes very seriously, but you can't live your life being paranoid about what's going to happen where you live.  If it's not earthquakes and tsunamis, it's hurricanes.  If it's not hurricanes, it's tornadoes.  Fires.  Floods.  Always something.

    Right -- (none / 0) (#164)
    by brodie on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 03:59:08 PM EST
    in the Bay Area where I am currently I think though that we're a little better off than, say, SoCal, in terms of getting the next big one, but not by much.  Still, compared to the San Andreas, the PacNW subduction area is likely to produce a much larger Big One, or so I read recently.  Still, if I had to move outta country, Vancouver would be high on my list.  Paris, Vancouver ...

    That Simon Winchester writer feller said on his last book tour that we shouldn't be building large cities in places that are so geologically unstable, like SF or LA.  But I think, well, the San Andreas fault actually runs most of the length of CA near the coast, putting a large swath of prime land off limits by his calculation.  And we already know about the New Madrid fault in the MW, and not long ago they discovered an earthquake fault under NYC, and elsewhere as you say, we have Tornado Alley and the Blizzard Belt and all that coastal FL area that's being hit by hurricanes and otherwise being eroded by global warming, etc.

    So, especially in an apocalyptic era of climate change, superstorms and draughts, where do you go?  


    I grew up (none / 0) (#178)
    by Zorba on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 07:15:25 PM EST
    on the New Madrid Fault (and it's also in Tornado Alley), and I still have relatives there.  (Oh, and don't forget the devastating floods that the Mississippi River is prone to on occasion.)  Some experts say that it's only a matter of time before there is another really large earthquake there, similar to the earthquakes of 1811-1812 (four of the largest North American earthquakes in recorded history).  So you live where you live, try not to worry about it on a daily basis, take some reasonable precautions, and have emergency plans in place.  And realize that all your plans may come to naught.  At any rate, it's far more dangerous, on a daily basis, to drive a car.  Over 40,000 people a year killed, just in this country.  Life isn't safe.      

    PS (none / 0) (#179)
    by Zorba on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 07:17:16 PM EST
    Paris would be wonderful, too.  And I speak a reasonable amount of French, so not a problem communicating.   ;-)

    It is being reported that French jets (none / 0) (#127)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:03:05 PM EST
    took out four tanks on the outskirts of Benghazi, hopefully it wasn't the four tanks that rebel fighters took from Gaddafi forces.  I hate stuff like this, and when communications aren't that great it happens a lot.

    Headline: (none / 0) (#128)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 01:04:06 PM EST
    In Novels, an Ex-Spy Returns to the Fold

    NYT book review of Valerie Plame's new spy novel.

    We are firing on air defense systems (none / 0) (#156)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 03:01:16 PM EST
    in Benghazi, this is American military power being used to do this.  They are firing on them from the sea via ships.  I'll bet the French sold the air defense systems to Gaddafi.   They make and sell the best :(

    Well if the French (none / 0) (#159)
    by Zorba on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 03:12:25 PM EST
    (or the Italians, for that matter) did sell Libya its air defense systems or any part of them, I would hope that they would clue the United States in on any vulnerabilities those systems might have, so that the US could take them out more effectively.  (And there are always vulnerabilities.)

    It is one of the areas that you just can't (none / 0) (#160)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 03:17:30 PM EST
    beat us in, and that is sea to land capabilities in circumstances like this.  I can't believe how much I understand about this stuff right now.  It's sickening :)  But the United States Navy is in so many ways a huge ace in the hole in such situations.  They have what it takes to take out whatever air defenses that France puts out there and we will do it probably without loss of life because we are huge jerks and we will not be caught with our britches down ever to anything French :)  So we have what nobody else really has in this department and it looks like we have volunteered to help stupid people out :)  Because it is the right thing to do today :)

    My spouse just got home (none / 0) (#162)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 03:50:56 PM EST
    and just caught the last military press conference.  He said that the air defenses all start with S.A. and that means they are Russian.  He said that all the defense systems are very rigid systems though and just hitting them at some place or point will be very destructive.  Sadly though, the air defenses are Russian and Russia today has expressed regret that they obstained instead of voting NO.  China did too.  People need to hear that and that needs to have an affect.  Before any of us buy anything made in China again we need to take note that China literally does not care who is killed as long as they get what they want monetarily.  China leadership is not moral or decent to be doing daily business with and funding daily, and Americans need to grow a conscience again and pull their heads out of the current materialism cesspool!  There needs to be consequences for promoting horrible human rights destroying and violating regimes for monetary gain.

    They sound (5.00 / 2) (#172)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 04:28:06 PM EST
    like the perfect partners for our current corporate america leadership and the likes of Scott Walker.

    Sorry abstained (none / 0) (#163)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 03:56:39 PM EST
    My new Toshiba laptop just shipped (none / 0) (#165)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 04:00:02 PM EST
    from, guess where?  Shanghai.  Woulda thunk.

    I have a Toshiba in my hands right now (none / 0) (#167)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 04:05:39 PM EST
    Bought it last year.  I bet it's from China Too :(

    Tracy, China is (none / 0) (#181)
    by Zorba on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 08:31:08 PM EST
    the biggest foreign holder of US Treasury securities- well over one trillion dollars (as of January, 2011: $1,154.7 billion).  Not that I am defending China, and I try to avoid buying things made in China when I can.  But we are stuck to them, and they are stuck to us, just like the Tar Baby, although they're more stuck than we are.  There is an old saying that, if you a man $1,000, he owns you, but if you owe a man $1 million, you own him.  If they dump all of their US Treasuries, they will be in worse trouble than we are, but it won't be good for us.  At all.  I think they understand the very nature of this problem, and I don't think they'll sell our Treasuries.  China (and Russia) expressing regret over their abstention is, I think, a matter of both of them trying to play both sides against the middle.
    PS  Keep an eye on US Treasuries in any case.  Japan is the second largest holder ($885.9 billion).  They'll almost certainly have to sell a huge chunk of that to pay for their rebuilding.  

    I think that everyone (none / 0) (#182)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:38:11 AM EST
    can make their own choices though when it comes supporting certain systems.  Right now treasuries are flooded too....I don't think things will turn out well for China on that count.  But I don't personally need to buy anything from China if I can help it.  Particularly now, it is a turning point for me what they have expressed in the Libyan situation.  Like other countries have already learned, when you are trying to sell stuff to the world what you stand for eventually becomes a factor too.

    Absolutely no danger of killing (none / 0) (#166)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 04:01:12 PM EST
    civilians, including children?

    There is always that danger (none / 0) (#168)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 04:06:04 PM EST
    Unlike Gaddafi though (none / 0) (#169)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 04:06:56 PM EST
    We will do everything we can to avoid that while putting him down.