Sunday Night Open Thread

Something lighter: It's a big TV night. Breaking Bad, Weeds, the Bachelorette Finale, Big Brother, and the Next Food Network Star.

Our local ABC network has pre-empted the Bachelorette finale for a live prayer vigil in Aurora. NBC and CBS are not pre-empting their shows.

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

< President Obama Arrives in Colorado to Meet with Shooting Victims | NCAA Hands Down Severe Sanctions To Penn State >
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    Moyers interview with Chris Hedges (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Dadler on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:45:34 PM EST
    It's too late for me to watch it tonight (none / 0) (#7)
    by sj on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:34:09 PM EST
    I look forward to watching it tomorrow.  If "look forward" is the right phrase.  Thanks for the tip.

    Gather your strength (none / 0) (#10)
    by Dadler on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:51:57 PM EST
    BTW, Hedges and his wife just had their fourth child, which Moyers brings up as a counterpoint to Hedges' bleak assessment of the future. I have my own theories about it, but suffice it to say the entire interview is worth the time.  I hope.  

    My first reaction to reading (2.00 / 1) (#29)
    by brodie on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:48:38 AM EST
    that CH and his wife have four children is that that's irresponsible in this day and age.  Doubly irresponsible for someone of his intellectual and moral high standing who presumably is fully aware of issues like overpopulation and resource depletion.

    For me it's not a matter of despairing about the future -- the easy angle Moyers offered him -- but about acting responsibly today in the grim context of our overburdened planet.

    Apart from that, I usually find myself on the same page w/Hedges.


    population curves are trending (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by observed on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:10:11 AM EST
    downward, especially in the developed world.
    If people don't have children, then the burden of caring for the aged will be unbearable in a few decades.
    I think it's a big smug to put someone down for having 4 children, personally.

    Yes some encouraging trends (none / 0) (#53)
    by brodie on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:56:00 AM EST
    out there -- which seem to have bypassed the Hedges' household.

    As for caring for the aged, I dont think maintaining unsustainable population levels suffices as a justification for dealing with other social problems, which can have their own positive solutions independent of a readily available younger support group.

    As for smugness, no more so than calling out someone for owning a fleet of gas guzzling SUVs.


    Loved that interview (none / 0) (#27)
    by DFLer on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:30:31 AM EST
    Hedges was/is very interesting, not only in his message, but in his demeanor in the interview. When asked a challenging question (like the one about 4 kids and the future for ex.), he actually paused and thought about it, before answering....

    Here's a link to his latest piece on truthdig, The Careerists. I excerpt the 1st 2 graphs as a teaser:

    The greatest crimes of human history are made possible by the most colorless human beings. They are the careerists. The bureaucrats. The cynics. They do the little chores that make vast, complicated systems of exploitation and death a reality. They collect and read the personal data gathered on tens of millions of us by the security and surveillance state. They keep the accounts of ExxonMobil, BP and Goldman Sachs. They build or pilot aerial drones. They work in corporate advertising and public relations. They issue the forms. They process the papers. They deny food stamps to some and unemployment benefits or medical coverage to others. They enforce the laws and the regulations. And they do not ask questions.

    Good. Evil. These words do not mean anything to them. They are beyond morality. They are there to make corporate systems function. If insurance companies abandon tens of millions of sick to suffer and die, so be it. If banks and sheriff departments toss families out of their homes, so be it. If financial firms rob citizens of their savings, so be it. If the government shuts down schools and libraries, so be it. If the military murders children in Pakistan or Afghanistan, so be it. If commodity speculators drive up the cost of rice and corn and wheat so that they are unaffordable for hundreds of millions of poor across the planet, so be it. If Congress and the courts strip citizens of basic civil liberties, so be it. If the fossil fuel industry turns the earth into a broiler of greenhouse gases that doom us, so be it. They serve the system. The god of profit and exploitation. The most dangerous force in the industrialized world does not come from those who wield radical creeds, whether Islamic radicalism or Christian fundamentalism, but from legions of faceless bureaucrats who claw their way up layered corporate and governmental machines. They serve any system that meets their pathetic quota of needs.

    Alexander Coburn has died, age 71 (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Peter G on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 08:51:03 PM EST
    New York Times obit.  Now that was someone who could truly and brilliantly "talk [and write] left."

    I liked the photo in the obit--- (none / 0) (#3)
    by observed on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:41:48 PM EST
    just as I imagined him.

    As it was announced (none / 0) (#4)
    by Peter G on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 09:57:50 PM EST
    today in his own newsletter, Counter Punch.

    I read that he was living in Petrolia, CA (none / 0) (#11)
    by Dadler on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:54:20 PM EST
    You could hardly live in a more isolated spot in the continental 48, along California's Lost Coast, one of the genuinely unknown miracles of undeveloped, hard to access, modern American coastal geography. RIP, A.C.

    The NCAA President will announce (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Makarov on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 12:12:50 AM EST
    penalties for Penn State in relation to the Sandusky case at 9am on Monday. The NCAA had previously sent 4 questions to Penn State for the administration to answer, mostly with respect to institutional control.

    Mark Emmert has decided the Freeh Report has answered those questions sufficiently, and investigated the circumstances surrounding why Penn State administrators did not report Sandusky to police or child services in 2001.

    The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported this afternoon that Penn State did not plan to appeal any punishment, but the university has not commented publicly about pending sanctions. Some believe this is evidence the punishment has been coordinated. An anonymous NCAA source denied this.

    This will certainly be unprecedented, regardless the scope or severity of punishment, because until the Sandusky case Penn State has never had a major NCAA violation. It will also be unprecedented because Emmert's decision to summarily punish Penn State is well outside the NCAA's process (investigations often take over a year) and likely completely outside the scope of NCAA rules.

    The NCAA is not the moral police. They enforce rules (however convoluted, ridiculous, or downright terrible) of competitive athletics. Emmert's rationale appears to be that if Penn State reported Sandusky in 2001, it would have affected recruiting. That argument is specious at best. Consider that Penn State has received multiple "four star" football recruit commits since the Sandusky scandal broke and after the University fired its President and head football coach. The new coach, Bill O'Brien, who assumed his role in February, has never served as Head Coach in a college football program. Only two position coaches from the Paterno era remain.

    Under Emmert, the NCAA is choosing to punish a football program for the failure of its Head Coach and other university administrators to report suspicion of a criminal act by a former university employee. To date, only Jerry Sandusky has had his day in court. Shultz and Curley, two administrators who reported to President Graham Spanier, have been indicted for perjury but still do not have a trial date set in their cases. An interesting legal issue in those cases is whether the two were properly represented and advised by the university's in house legal council in their grand jury testimony.

    The best analogy I read comparing the NCAA's action against Penn State was, "why doesn't the IRS go after murderers who paid their taxes?" Murder is a heinous offense, certainly no less than child rape. Yet, we don't use the IRS to punish murderers because the one has nothing to do with the other.

    A better question might be in light of the decades long Catholic church abuse cover up is, "why didn't the IRS revoke the Catholic church's tax exempt status for their moral and legal failings?"

    I don't have the answer, (none / 0) (#14)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:11:38 AM EST
    but, to punish a whole group of innocent student-athletes, kids who worked their butts off for this one opportunity, just seems so wrong. It reminds me of mid-evil Europe, when the Prince misbehaved the Palace staff would go out and drag in a poor, homeless waif and administer a beating to him. Of course, if the Prince's infraction was really severe he was made to actually watch the beating.

    My heart, of course, goes out to all the victims, and their families. No compensation can begin to offset the hurt and damage they were subjected to. But, I would also really be interested to know their feelings as to whether draconian punishment to innocent student/athletes meets with their approval.


    While it may seem unfair to impose (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 06:44:33 AM EST
    a punishment that will affect current members of the Penn State football program, what people are missing here is the culture of entitlement and inviolability that permeated the program to its core - and which needs a harsh and meaningful wake-up call if it's going to find its way back to being an honorable program.

    And while many universities have successful and lucrative sports programs that collaterally benefit the universities as a whole, it really ought to be remembered that college is supposed to be about education, something that seems to be getting lost in the shuffle.

    Nothing the NCAA can do will make up for what Penn State allowed to happen, but I think the NCAA has a dual - and difficult - task that I'm not convinced it is up to: set Penn State on a better path, and send a message to every other program that, by virtue of the gazillions of dollars it brings in, feels entitled to dictate to college administration, rather than be subject to it.

    I guess we'll know soon enough.


    It doesn't SEEM unfair (none / 0) (#24)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:14:21 AM EST
    It IS unfair.

    Is the sophomore back-up running back who could very well lose his scholarship, and thus, his chance at an education, REALLY responsible for the "culture of entitlement and inviolability that permeated the program to its core"?

    I agree - the sports teams do dominate at universities, many times as education takes a back seat. But to take a laissez-faire attitude that "oh well, some innocent people may be hurt in the name of the greater good" doesn't seem to comport with fair play and what we stand for as a country. (While football doesn't begin to compare in magnitude - take that argument and apply it to the criminal justice system or to things like drone strikes - "Oh well, innocent people may be hurt, but let's look at the bigger picture and know this is done for the greater good.")

    The bigger question, that is not in the purview of the NCAA, is why the focus on the football team and instead of the administrators who covered up this scandal?  THAT is much a bigger problem for the well being and educational mission of the university than whether Penn State gets to go to a bowl game in January.


    Well... (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:28:48 AM EST
    ...all of the non-action was for the program, and don't forget, by not exposing Sandusky they surely reaped rewards.  From players to students to scholarships to donations to faculty, they have prospered and surely that was the motivation behind the cover-up.  And now we are going to see, beyond the NCAA, the other side of that coin.  And as much as you want to severe the program from the school, it can't be done.  If anything, it's apparent that the program out ranked the adminstration, not the other way around.

    IOW that sophomore back-up running back on scholarship you mentioned, probably wouldn't exist had they come clean in '98, and that guy working while attending community college might have gotten that very scholarship.

    Who knows, but this is butterfly effect stuff, and surely the people behind the cover-up thought of this, it's why grown men hid a pedophile.

    But the larger point here is in a collection of people in which their is a hierarchy, people at the top effect people at the bottom with their decisions.  Is it fair that everyone at Enron and Arthur Anderson lost their jobs, no.  Is it fair kids go hungry because their parents quit their job, no.

    It sucks, but their beef should be with the aholes who put their school in this position, not the people doling out the punishment.


    How do you punish the school... (none / 0) (#16)
    by unitron on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:21:26 AM EST
    ...and not punish any of the students and faculty and staff?

    And how do you not punish a school which put their athletic program ahead of the welfare of those children?

    And how does anyone hear "Assistant coach naked in the shower with a 10 year old boy" and not hit the ceiling?

    Even if you were sure there was nothing wrong going on, how do you not drag them in and explain the concept of "appearance of impropriety"?


    the coaches and administrators (none / 0) (#18)
    by desmoinesdem on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:28:52 AM EST
    who allowed those crimes to go unreported should be fired (and maybe prosecuted, depending on the extent of their knowledge).

    The coaching staff should be completely unconnected to the Paterno era.

    Provided that happens, I see nothing gained by punishing the current Penn State athletes.

    If you're concerned about discouraging other universities from acting in the same way, civil lawsuits from the victims could be as effective a deterrent as NCAA sanctions.


    Some are being prosecuted (none / 0) (#88)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:08:34 PM EST
    maybe others will be too as a result of the Freeh Report.

    The punishment of the current athletes is that they cannot play in post-season bowl games, IIRC. The ones that would have had a pro career with bowl games will most likely have one without. The others that are playing for the enjoyment of the game or because they got scholarships will still have that. They will be playing for a school under a cloud of shame - if they don't want that they can transfer, as can other students who go to the school. I don't see that this is unduly harsh on the players. I know it is not their fault any of this happened, but as Scott said so well they have benefited from a system that exists because of the heinous actions of the school officials. Those benefits have to be removed.


    I'm just wondering (none / 0) (#97)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:57:30 PM EST
    How many of us have "benefited from a system that exists because of the heinous [or questionable]  actions..." by others - in our personal lives, our jobs, our relationships?  I don't know - maybe none of us do.  But can you say for sure that every experience, every opportunity, every relationship you've ever had wasn't because of shady actions by someone else somewhere else?

    And again - why do those same school officials have jobs?


    I Would Imagine... (none / 0) (#102)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 05:56:34 PM EST
    ...if dig deep enough, it would probably be impossible to find anyone who hasn't prospered because of someone's lack of morals.  

    Think of all the shady stuff going on over oil or those dirt cheap Chinese good we love.  That's a benefit it real dollars to just about every American.


    I don't know who (none / 0) (#20)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 03:16:03 AM EST
     you're responding to, but it certainly isn't me. Not a single thing you wrote has anything to do with what I wrote.

    I won't be expecting an apology from you, but your connecting me to your comments is too offensive for words.


    Isn't that what always happens with NCAA (none / 0) (#17)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:25:28 AM EST
    sanctions? Don't innocent student-athletes get punished for the wrong-doing of coaches and other students-athletes?

    I can't think of a single case of NCAA sanctions where the entire football team or basketball team or whatever team was guilty of the charged violations. Maybe there is such a case, but I don't of it.

    I think NCAA sanctions are entirely appropriate in the Penn State case. The convicted pedophile, Sandusky, was a member of the coaching staff when the university first became aware of his proclivities. The hallowed head football coach, Paterno, participated in a years long cover-up of Sandusky's crimes. Football facilities were used in the commission of some of these crimes.

    And both Paterno and the university president and other administrators decided that protecting the football program was more important that protecting the children who were raped by Sandusky.

    IMO, Penn State should get the death penalty, but I doubt that will happen. My guess is that the NCAA and Penn State have reached some kind agreement on a loss of scholarships and a ban from bowl games for some number of years. I could be wrong, but that is what I think will be announced in the morning.


    another comprehension problem here (none / 0) (#21)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 03:42:29 AM EST
    1. "Don't innocent student-athletes get punished for the wrong-doing of coaches and other students-athletes?"..........Yes, they do get punished. But, do you think it's right and/or fair to punish innocent people for the wrong doing of the guilty ones, just because such inequities have been perpetrated in the past?

    2. "I think NCAA sanctions are entirely appropriate in the Penn State case."..........Absolutely, I couldn't agree more.


    3. I agree with virtually everything else you wrote also..........But, I'm not arguing the facts of the Penn State tragedy, they're well known. I'm asking you, as a moral, intelligent, fair minded human being, what is the justification for punishing innocent kids, kids who had nothing to do with the atrocities, kids who had worked most of their lives for an opportunity to better themselves, and kids who never even knew such evils were being done,....what was their crime?

    As far as the administrators, staff, and coaches (who knew what was happening), in my mind, no punishment would be enough.  


    Depends on what you define (none / 0) (#22)
    by Towanda on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 05:26:33 AM EST
    as punishment.  The players at a Penn State program want scholarships and want to play.  Both can be accomplished despite NCAA penalties -- allowing them to play, on scholarship, elsewhere, and without loss of a year of eligibility, for example.  Penn State-level players will not have a problem being picked up by other schools.

    Now, if their priority was the academic experience, that would be different.  I doubt it.


    No comprehension problem at all, Shooter. (none / 0) (#40)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:01:53 AM EST
    I have a different opinion than you. That's all. I understood perfectly what you wrote.

    Yes, I do think there is justification for (none / 0) (#43)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:14:45 AM EST
    punishing everyone, including students who did not commit the offense for which sanctions are issued.

    When the NCAA sanctions an athletic program it is sanctioning the whole program. That includes all the students. It seems to me that this all-encompassing way is what acts as a deterrent to keep schools from violating the rules. If a coach knows the whole program will suffer the consequences of his recruiting violations, maybe he will think twice before committing said violations.

    During USC's recent time under sanctions, every USC player for the last few years was subject to those penalties, even the players who committed no violations. The innocent ones had the option to transfer to a different school or not come to USC at all. Penn State players have the same option. They can choose not to play at Penn State. No one is forcing them out of college football.

    I continually strive to be  a moral, intelligent and fair-minded person. Kids who play NCAA sports know, or should know, that the entire program can be affected by what individuals do. I believe Penn State got off easy with the announced sanctions.


    To Be Fair... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:49:36 AM EST
    ...those same people who are being punished reaped the rewards of all the good decision Paterno made, on and off the field.  

    Like it or not, we are all beholden to the decisions made by people above us.  If we start playing the fair game, it would be nearly impossible to punish anyone because at some level, it will effect innocent people.  Surely the firing effected innocent people, namely their families.  Should they be rehired so no innocent people are effected ?

    And I might add, losing ones job because of decisions of people above them is certainly far more prevalent and more disruptive than losing an athletic scholarship.  They might actually have to experience college like the rest of us.  They aren't tossing them in jail or kicking them out of school, they are taking away free schooling that was based athletic ability.

    It sucks that they get the short end of the stick, but they should be mad at the school for not rooting this out, for not having some sort of controls and/or policy that would have made this impossible.  Surely they shouldn't have let the football program become more important then the welfare of children.

    Their school failed them, not the NCAA.  Seems like Penn State could help these folks out as well.  They shouldn't leave anyone out to hang because of their failings IMO.


    Existing football scholarships will be (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 12:06:40 PM EST
    honored, even if student/athlete elects to stay at Penn State but not play football; and they have the option to go elsewhere to play without having to sit out - I'd assume their scholarship will go with them and not have to be borne by the transferring institution.

    Seems like the NCAA did as much as it could to make this a program/institutional punishment and not a student/athlete punishment, recognizing that it was the school that failed, not the athletes, a recognition I think is to their credit.

    It's going to take Penn State a lomg time to recover from this, but I think that's also as it should be; why should it be easy for the program to bounce back quickly?

    I am also heartened that the fine will not be going into NCAA coffers, but instead earmarked for programs outside the university that focus on preventing child sexual abuse and/or assisting victims - and that the fine cannot have the effect of shorting other athletic programs at Penn State.


    But (none / 0) (#61)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 12:49:59 PM EST
    those same punishments are handed out for players behaving inappropriately off the field, such as boosters paying athletes, for which the coach is supposed to be responsible, although I find that laughable.  i coach can run a clean program and talk until he's blue in the face, and if a player doesn't want to listen, and a coach doesn't know -you really think everyone else on the team should get punished?  Was Pete Carroll supposed to be with Reggie Bush and his family at all times to make sure they followed NCAA rules?

    Personally, I'm a big proponent of going after the people who actually violated the rules - why can't USC turn around and sue Reggie Bush or Pete Carroll for the lost revenues due to their NCAA punishment?

    Yes, players who were not involved benefitted, and yes, they can transfer, but if you are a back-up left guard at Penn State, and you can transfer to another who probably already has a back-up left guard, so the chances are that 1) you will now be the third string and rarely play, or 2) you can go to a smaller program, and maybe get some playing time, which not only will have fewer chances for you to be seen by NFL scouts, but may have fewer academic opportunities (if that is important)? Do you really think you aren't punishing that kid for something that he didn't have anything to do with?

    Interesting that so many are willing to throw away the innocent when some of the guilty (but not all - see:  the administration and Board) have already been punished or cannot further have influence on the program.


    A Back-Up left Guard... (none / 0) (#78)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:37:32 PM EST
    ...should be more worried about his education than the the slim chance of a NFL career.  But they aren't taking away anything, just the Penn State legacy.  That guard still has a bench to warm at Penn State and those students still expect a team to show on Saturday.

    They can still play at Penn State, the NFL scouts will still be sniffing around.  Quit acting like they can't play ball at their own college, they will play a normal season.  It going to take a couple of years for this to filter through, certainly no seniors are going to leave.  they will be competitive this year, but less and less each year.


    Or maybe if you're one of those (none / 0) (#79)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:44:11 PM EST
    back-up types you could think about something really radical - getting an education!  Because, as I understand it, those who choose to stay and not play will keep their scholarships, which presumably affords them the opportunity for a quality education.

    It is, after all Pennsylvania State University, not a AA or AAA farm program  for the NFL; if that's what the program wants to be - a farm club for the NFL - it can dispense with the semi-charade of education, put its players under contract and pay them - instead of using them to make ungodly sums of money for the university.

    Between honoring the scholarships, and allowing players to transfer, the NCAA has made every accommodation it can to ensure that the individuals least affected are the athletes themselves.

    I know you don't agree with that, but I don't know how you punish the football program's lack of institutional control for so many years without there being some collateral effect on the athletes.  If all the program had to do was forfeit a big hunk of money, what change do you expect it would institute that would serve to prevent something like the Sandusky situation from happening again?


    I agree with the punishment (none / 0) (#84)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:53:00 PM EST
    Not sure why you think I wouldn't, since I already stated that in another comment.

    My concern is with those who adopt the attitude of "Oh well, innocent players are going to be swept up in this and that's the breaks," which HAS been expressed here.


    NCAA Punishment (none / 0) (#38)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 10:41:54 AM EST
    • $60 million fine
    • Loss of all the school's victories from 1998-2011
    • Four-year ban on postseason games
    • Loss of 20 scholarships per year over four years
    • Five years' probation

    Current or incoming football players are free to immediately transfer and compete at another school.

    The NCAA said the $60 million is equivalent to the annual gross revenue of the football program. The money must be paid into an endowment for external programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims and may not be used to fund such programs at Penn State.

    By vacating 112 Penn State victories over a 14-year period, the sanctions cost Paterno 111 wins. Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden will now hold the top spot in the NCAA record book with 377. Paterno, who was fired days after Sandusky was charged, will be credited with 298 wins.

    Penn State did not fit the criteria for for the death penalty. That punishment is for teams that commit a major violation while already being sanctioned.



    I wonder if anyone's calculated what (none / 0) (#49)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:46:45 AM EST
    effect the punishment will have on the program's annual revenue; I have to think revenue will go down this year, and it may be hard to keep it from falling in each of the punishment years, since PSU is locked out of post-season play.

    Some positive news (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by CST on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:21:35 AM EST
    I read in the paper today that the farm to school food programs in this country have expanded from 4 programs 8 years ago to over 10,000 today.   They were highlighting the local farmers market and speaking about the "food revolution".   While so many industries are outsourcing, this is one that's moving the other way.   Case and point, the eastern market in Detroit, home of the largest farmers market in the country.   I've seen them popping up everywhere, and a lot in lower income neighborhoods, especially as many now accept food stamps.

    This isn't an "elitist" movement.   There is a significant push to be all inclusive.   When we signed up for our case, we picked up our food in one of the city's "hot spots" for crime.  Not exactly a rich neighborhood.  And lots of young people are getting more involved.   It's nice to see at least one thing in this country moving in a positive direction, and quickly at that.

    Now time to go dig up some clams for dinner to go with our beans from the garden.   Some people use rakes but I prefer the toe method, even if it means I get "clam toe" (cuts and black muck that is surprisingly hard to remove).  Maybe I'll find some muscles while I'm at it.  They tend to just hang out in bunches on the shore.

    I would be interested in this article (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by sj on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:50:30 AM EST
    Is it available on-line?

    You know one of the attitudes that really gets my dander up is when I hear some pampered, well-coiffed blowhard (I'm looking at you Bill Maher) pontificate about how the disproportionate obesity in "the poor" population proves they're getting enough to eat -- they're essentially just too stupid to eat right.  Food that is bad for you is much each cheaper and much easier to access than fresh food with all nutrients intact.


    Aside... (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 12:07:57 PM EST
    fast food ain't even that cheap anymore.

    Hit the BK drive-thru late night Friday...2 "value meals" was 16 bucks and change! I could swear it was 12 bucks just yesterday.

    Pretty sad when an hour's work at minimum wage can't even buy ya a processed chicken parts sandwich, fries, and a soda anymore.  Feds need to raise that sh*t stat.


    One more reason not to eat it!!! (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 12:38:03 PM EST
    fast food ain't even that cheap anymore

    BTW, I was thinking of you yesterday. I read a comment on another blog about a website called Spokeo (apparently, I am the last person in the known universe to hear about it!) that aggregates data from various sources about US residents. So, out of curiousity I did a search on my name. I was not expecting to find anything because I avoid all social networking websites and google myself once in a while to check and nothing ever shows up, a fact I am very grateful for.

    Imagine my horror when this website had my age, phone no., e-mail address and every (and I mean EVERY) place I have lived since I came to this country 25 years ago and I have moved a lot. It was beyond creepy. And this info is accessible to anyone who does a search on me!!! Been wondering if you had heard of this site and done a search on yourself?


    It's not just cost (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by sj on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 12:42:55 PM EST
    in under-served neighborhoods, though.  It's also that the neighborhoods are under-served and often have no access to healthful foods.

    btw you were the second to the last person to hear about Spokeo.  I'll also check that out tonight.


    My comment about avoiding fast food (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 12:55:12 PM EST
    due to cost was directed exclusively at Mr K. I have a vested interest in him maintaining good health, since I look forward to reading his comments so much... :-)!

    I'm tip top kid.... (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:10:39 PM EST
    still 150 lbs. soaking wet, same as 1995...a very inflexible, somewhat outta shape buck fifty, but the occasional drive-thru garbage ain't gonna kill me.  In my diet, grease is a food group;)

    Did have a bit of rude awakening over the weekend...one of my buddies challenged me to a 100 yard dash on the beach.  A buddy not known as fleet of foot, though he is working out and losing weight, and speed is my whole athletic game.  

    I scoffed at his challenge, said I didn't wanna embarass him.  He insisted.  I beat him, but only by two strides...I figured ten yards between us minimum.  It was I that was embarassed;)


    I haven't... (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 12:53:35 PM EST
    and I'm kinda scared to look, but here it goes....

    F*ck! They got me, right down to my somewhat unique middle initial.  My parents, 2 of my 3 siblings, wonder how my older brother got so lucky to be omitted?

    I guess you paid them for your full dossier?  I ain't going there...and I hope some ex-girlfriends don't either;)

    Just checked google and I'm still mostly under the radar.  MyLife.com has me on page 1, but at a over 10 year old address, other than that I'm in the clear.

    All secrecy, no privacy...welcome to the brave new world.  Bummer.


    No, I did not pay, I'll be d@mned before (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:02:17 PM EST
    they get a penny out of me. I am looking to block all that info. The person whose comment I read stated that the FBI is inordinately fond of this site. Hmm,I wonder why?

    I figure if the FBI wants all my info, they will have no trouble finding it. But,I do not want every Tom, Dick and Harry to be able to access it so easily.


    I hope they xxxx'd... (none / 0) (#67)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:13:03 PM EST
    the last 4 digits of your phone number like they did mine...at least!  

    Does Anonymous have a suggestion box?  I'd love to see them hack the sh*t out of Spook-eo.


    LOL. Spook-eo....ain't that the truth. (none / 0) (#69)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:21:09 PM EST
    Yes, the last four digits were x'ed. But, $4 is a very small price for someone to pay to get all that info. The info on relatives and picture of current house is just crazy.

    Crazy indeed... (none / 0) (#70)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:24:44 PM EST
    Who are their customers?  Besides collection agencies and stalkers that is...

    Or perhaps more importantly, who are their vendors?  Zuckerberg?  Amazon?  Equifax?


    Yes, creepy! (none / 0) (#76)
    by ZtoA on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:34:16 PM EST
    They have me too but not my daughter. They still have her living at home even tho she has been in LA for several years now. But she drives an old car of mine, shares a place with several other young women so I guess utility bills, for example are not in her name.

    A couple of years ago I thought it would be fun to see what an old friend was doing. Did a search and it was useless. So one strategy to fly under the radar is to have a name like Tom Brown. Or James Smith which, I believe is the most common name in the US.


    I have one of those types of name (none / 0) (#83)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:50:38 PM EST
    Makes it hard for my friends to find me on FB, but this site sure did have my info. Anyone with some basic knowledge as to where I'm living could easily break out which name belongs to me. They had all my NYC info, but it was listed sep from my current info and had the inclusion of my middle initial.

    From what I have read, all of them. (none / 0) (#77)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:35:57 PM EST
    who are their vendors?  Zuckerberg?  Amazon?  Equifax?

    If you have an Amazon wish list that will show up, along with approximate net worth, photos, hobbies, etc. They even have DOB. I think SSN is just about the only thing missing. I'm sure they would throw that in there too, if they could. B@$t@rds!!!


    Which begs the question... (none / 0) (#81)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:47:34 PM EST
    where is our cut of the cheese?  

    As far as I'm concerned, any outfit that sells such personal info should have to split the cash with the person they're selling dossiers on.  Everytime Spook-eo gets a bite, or Equifax sends out your report, or for Facebook users everytime Zuckerberg sells your sh*t, we should get residuals.  

    We know they have our addresses, so where's the f8ckin' check? ;)


    And don't forget! (none / 0) (#73)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:28:54 PM EST
    all your personal photos and videos that regular search engines can't find . . .

    I'm thinking a lot of HR depts are using this . . . .


    Is there a way to block that info? (none / 0) (#63)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 12:53:56 PM EST
    It doesn't have my current info connected to my prior info, but nobody should be able to pay 4 bucks and find ANYTHING on me!

    Geeze, I just found out the value of the house I'm living in  :P


    Hi Nycstray, I just found out that you can (none / 0) (#71)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:26:34 PM EST
    block your info, but have read some comments online that it does not always work.
    A Happy belated B'day to Miss Roxy. I love the pic with her chin pointing up when she is facing the water sprinkler... :-).

    {waves} (none / 0) (#74)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:31:08 PM EST
    Howdy and thanks! Roxy! loves playing in the hose :) I have to put her in the house when I want to use it for the garden, lol!~

    Ha! My last boy was an absolute (none / 0) (#82)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:50:02 PM EST
    waterbaby. I could not shower or get in the tub without making sure the bathroom door was securely closed or I would end up with a bath buddy! Once, a friend of mine who was visiting decided to take a bath while I was at work and did not shut the door properly and got the surprise of her life when he sneaked in an jumped in the tub while she was peacefully relaxing! It never occured to me to warn her. I was a little more careful after that... :-)

    Roxy! is crated when I shower (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:55:42 PM EST
    because I still don't trust her not to ransack the house, so I have no idea if she would hop in. I know her prior owner let her in the shower . . .

    What's funny is, she wasn't thrilled when I tried to wash the shampoo off after I bathed her. The hose is all fun and games until it's bath time! She's SUCh a goofball :)


    Ha... (none / 0) (#105)
    by fishcamp on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 07:47:17 AM EST
    I looked my self up and they are 13 yrs out of date...yay

    Caution, though. Early reports re (none / 0) (#80)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:44:45 PM EST
    alleged murderer Holmes stated he "shunned" social media!  You'd better get busy to cover yourself in case you go bad.  

    LOL, forget about social media. If I go bad, (none / 0) (#86)
    by vml68 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:55:49 PM EST
    I would fit the stereotype of the "reclusive loner" to a T. Either that, or "crazy cat lady" even though I don't have any cats right now!

    I am wondering how spokeo obtained (none / 0) (#87)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:57:24 PM EST
    by old land line no., which was unlisted.  On the good side, they value my home higher than recent sales.  

    I was gonna let it slide... (none / 0) (#89)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:12:43 PM EST
    cuz I had such a good time, but now I'm a little pissed off at Michael Franti & Spearhead...they took pictures of the crowd at Mountain Jam and posted them to Facebook.  Guess who they captured with the camera, front & center, spitting sunflower seeds...can't stay off of that site for trying!

    Sunflower seeds? Now, that disappoints (none / 0) (#90)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:17:16 PM EST

    Sorry to disappoint Oc... (none / 0) (#91)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:32:20 PM EST
    Half the time I get mad at myself for starting with the seeds...them salty buggers are highly addictive...in for a handful, in for the whole bag...never fails.

    Which is me and a bag of salted peanuts (none / 0) (#92)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:37:49 PM EST
    in the shell at a baseball game.  Conditioned response.  

    Hell yeah... (none / 0) (#96)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:52:02 PM EST
    same phenomenon.

    I'm a salt freak to the point where I dip a wet finger in the empty bag of pretzels...and I ain't done with the shaker till my steak has a visible salt glaze.

    Though the best salt junky example may be Jiffy Pop.  Remember Jiffy Pop?  The 1/4 inch thick salt coating on the bottom of the aluminum pan?  I used to lick that sucker clean as a kid.


    I can't help it.... (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by ZtoA on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 03:31:10 PM EST
    but when I was 10 I so wanted Jiffy Pop. My mom would not buy that, or captin crunch or let us watch three stooges. Plus Jiffy Pop had an art contest and the prize was a bike. So I did the art, sent it in without the required Jiffy Pop top with a note explaining and apologizing, and they sent me two large beautifully illustrated fairy tale books, much better than a bike IMO. I have loved them ever since. And salt is good too.

    Just when I thought.... (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 04:00:14 PM EST
    Jiffy Pop stock couldn't get any higher, you whip out that story.  How awesome they sent you a prize for your art!

    Makes me wish we could uninvent the microwave, just to bring Jiffy Pop back to its former glory.

    No joke, Jiffy Pop night was an event growing up.  Crazy the sh*t you remember so vividly...I can almost hear the "chaka chaka chaka" of the Jiffy on the stove, moith watering waiting for the first pops, then the deluge and the aluminum dome rising to the heavens.  Magic moments.


    pssst . . . (none / 0) (#101)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 05:10:42 PM EST
    you can be the ring leader and bring back Jiffy Pop nights!

    They were half right (none / 0) (#107)
    by sj on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 10:22:50 AM EST
    and half wrong.  But I don't like what they got right.  Frankly, it's none of their business.

    here it is (none / 0) (#54)
    by CST on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:58:04 AM EST

    Although my comments on where I've seen farmer's markets are more anecdotal.  Here is a link to the one outside pittsburgh.  When I was super broke and all I could afford was fast food - this was my life blood on the days it was there.

    It's rough, and Bill Maher is an idiot, people aren't stupid, but the change is happening in the right direction.  I just get frustrated at the attempts to label any positive change as naive or elitist thinking.  We know it's a problem, so we should be working to fix it, not throwing up our hands in despair.


    Today we saw a wonderful production (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 10:54:40 PM EST
    of Luis Valdez' "Zoot Suit."  Now I hope to persuade my tutoree to go with me.  

    A few years back (none / 0) (#15)
    by sj on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:25:09 AM EST
    East High School in Denver put on a production of that play.  It was really well done and I enjoyed it immensely.

    Time flies (none / 0) (#47)
    by Dadler on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:39:36 AM EST
    I can remember being a kid in L.A. in the 70s and seeing all the ads and hoopla for the original production starring Edward James Olmos. Slow this show down a little, please.

    Until I read up b/4 seeing this show, (none / 0) (#57)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 12:11:07 PM EST
    I was not aware the "Zoot Suit riots" also took place in San Diego.  

    this letter to the editor (none / 0) (#6)
    by desmoinesdem on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:03:10 PM EST
    appeared in the Sunday Des Moines Register:

    Letter to the editor: Pass the brownies ...

    im thinking about how im for medical marijuana and how ive been thinking about this for like forever and how really mind blowing it is that now right now im thinking about thinking about it and how now really right now youre thinking about my thinking about thinking about it and how its all becoming some kind of freaking cosmic fractal thats totally out there if you know what i mean which I know you do in a vulcan mind meld sort of way which is to say have you ever really really I mean really ever looked at your hand?

    any oreos left dude?

    Gertrude Stein lives? (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:35:50 PM EST
    Here's a Financial TImes review (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 22, 2012 at 11:36:46 PM EST
    of "The Candidate," the book I am reading:  link

    I'm watching PBS. (none / 0) (#12)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 12:06:22 AM EST
    Sunday nights in our house are reserved for Nature and Masterpiece Mystery ("Inspector Lewis" this week).

    Just reading the titles of those network reality shows makes my brain groan and want to channel Linda Blair in The Exorcist - "Mother! Make it stop!"

    Inspector Lewis (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by PatHat on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 09:31:20 AM EST
    I didn't really like the Lewis shows (I loved Morse), but they have been quite good this year.

    Did you see the Morse prequel, before he was Inspector Morse?  Such good stuff comes from over there.


    agree with that (none / 0) (#46)
    by DFLer on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:29:36 AM EST
    Loved Morse, with Lewis as Sgt. Then Lewis show okay, but not so much....better, as you say, this year I liked the Morse prequel very much.

    I love them all (none / 0) (#93)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:41:50 PM EST
    I miss Morse, but I do love Lewis and Hathaway together.

    The young Morse episode was good too - I hope they make more of those.


    I have my system down (none / 0) (#94)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:43:55 PM EST
    Watch Masterpiece live while recording Breaking Bad, which has commercials. Then after Inspector Lewis I can watch Breaking Bad ans skip the commercials.

    Of course meantime I am also recording Weeds,Episodes, and lord knows what else that I can watch later in the week. Sunday night is the only good night for TV at the moment - till Justified returns!


    I have to give a nod to the late Ron Santos, (none / 0) (#19)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:31:33 AM EST
    former Cubs third baseman, who was elected to the Hall of Fame the other day.

    Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. I only wish this had come when Ron was still alive to enjoy it.

    Wherever you are, Ron, congratulations.

    Santos? (none / 0) (#95)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:49:17 PM EST
    Casey, I'm disappointed in you! Santo was Italian, not descended from any of the many Spanish-speaking countries! did you never have one of the little pizzas his company hawked at Wrigley?

    Growing up I had mixed emotions about Ron - seemed to strike out with men on base too much to make me a huge fan. I much preferred Billy Williams. I did appreciate Santo more listening to him and reading about him as an adult. Glad he made the Hall! I missed that news.


    I am so embarrassed. (none / 0) (#100)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 04:19:30 PM EST
    I was not paying attention and that damn "s" snuck right in on me.

    I know, I was just teasing (none / 0) (#104)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 09:15:58 PM EST
    You would never do such a thing on purpose! How about that Ernie Bank?

    Let play two! (none / 0) (#106)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 08:09:59 AM EST
    Holmes finances (none / 0) (#25)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:40:37 AM EST

    It seems Holmes had $10,000 plus or minus in weapons and paraphernalia.  That is a lot of jack for an unemployed student.  Does anyone have an idea as to how he managed to pay for all of that?


    Probably (none / 0) (#28)
    by Slado on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:37:31 AM EST
    Took out a few credit cards knowing he was never going to play them back.

    Financial aid? (none / 0) (#30)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:56:48 AM EST
    He had a &25,000/yr. stipend. (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 12:12:47 PM EST
    PSU punishment (none / 0) (#26)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:17:28 AM EST
    Pretty severe.  Wow.

    But vacating all wins from 1998-2011 (bye bye JoPa's records)

    Fine of $60 million.

    Lose 10 scholarships for 4 years.

    No bowl appearances for 4 years.

    Current players can transfer immediately.  Those that remain can keep their scholarships, even if they don't play.

    Tough but seems about right. (none / 0) (#31)
    by brodie on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 09:12:42 AM EST
    And it could have been tougher, with the so called death penalty being averted. The shutout on bowl appearances for four years is a biggie as is the reduction in football scholarships over that period.

    I might have preferred in addition a one year ban on football at Happy Valley giving them an opportunity to clean the slate a little more, but the deal reached is reasonable and appropriate.

    I suspect PSU cooperated with the NCAA and agreed to essentially accept a plea deal akin to nolo contendere with the understanding there would be no appeal.  USC stupidly and stubbornly failed to cooperate, by stark contrast, and also appealed, leading to some very disproportionately harsh sanctions over the relatively ticky tack rule violations by one star player and his greedy family.  Tough break for them but the lesson here is obvious when you're caught and the NCAA gets involved.


    From what I understand (none / 0) (#34)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 09:29:01 AM EST
    Other colleges that want to take Penn State players will have no cap on the scholarships they can offer, so if say, Michigan wanted to come in and take the whole first string team, they could.

    I think the NCAA has done everything they can to ensure the players are not beign punished for the actions of the coaching staff and administration.


    I don't understand (none / 0) (#32)
    by Peter G on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 09:17:58 AM EST
    "vacating" the wins.  How was the ability of the team to win fairly affected by any off-field misconduct of certain coaches?

    What it does (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 09:27:21 AM EST
    Is take the record for most wins away from JoePa.  He's now ranked 12th in the books in coaching wins.  That's all this is about.

    Then the sanction should have been (none / 0) (#39)
    by Peter G on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 10:58:28 AM EST
    to take away Paterno's credit for the wins, not the wins themselves. The coach does not win games alone.  The players (and most other coaches) did nothing to justify taking that away from them.

    It doesn't mean anything, really (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:04:03 AM EST
    They aren't going to go back and change history.  The team won those games, people witnessed those wins, and the teams that lost don't get the trajectory of their seasons changed.

    You can't really take the "credit" for those wins off without taking the wins themselves off.  Officially, JoePa does not have credit for the most coaching wins, but it's one of those things that will only exist in the record books and not in reality.


    I just hope the fine goes into a victim's fund... (none / 0) (#36)
    by magster on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 10:26:22 AM EST
    ... instead of the NCAA coffers for the private jets to take the bigwigs' annual golf retreats/seminars in Hawaii.

    It will (none / 0) (#37)
    by jbindc on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 10:33:50 AM EST
    The fine was equal to the average annual gross revenue of the football program. The money will be placed into an endowment for programs that work to prevent child sexual abuse and assist victims. No programs at Penn State can be financed by the money.



    Also (none / 0) (#48)
    by CST on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:46:34 AM EST
    I got some saffron in Spain, so with the clams I'm going to attempt making paella for the first time.  Any suggestions or recipes from the TL cooks?

    I may not respond for a while but I will check back later.  Today is my day off so I don't have much to do besides worry about dinner.  Thanks in advance for any ideas!

    Here's a good article (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:33:18 PM EST
    ... with some suggestions on how to get the perfect paella.

    thanks everyone! (none / 0) (#103)
    by CST on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 06:41:45 PM EST
    I have no idea if what I'm making qualifies as paella - I'm sure some Spanish person would be horrified, but with a basic knowledge of seafood and rice, great ingredients, and all your help I can't go too wrong!

    My advice (none / 0) (#68)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:16:36 PM EST

    is get the biggest pan you can fit on your oven and fill it so it cooks out at two inches or so deep. Then invite a dozen hungry friends.  Paella is the one reason I'd like to go back to Spain.

    Wikipedia has pointers.



    I made this recipe (none / 0) (#72)
    by ZtoA on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 01:27:32 PM EST
    recently. Link. Or something like it since I can't follow a recipe unless its baking. I added a nice chicken sausage. I use frozen peas and thawed but did not bake them. I fluffed them in when I took it out of the oven and they stay greener and fresher that way. The saffron is the killer part of the dish. Getting saffron in Spain sounds like so much fun!

    Near Riot in Anaheim following police shooting (none / 0) (#52)
    by Dadler on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:54:32 AM EST