Friday Open Thread

Busy day for me. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Treasure trove. (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by lentinel on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:23:03 AM EST
    Orson Welles did a lot of radio as many know.

    I recently found a series of broadcasts online by Orson Welles featuring guests including Charles Laughton and Groucho Marx.

    They are incredible.

    Entertaining, thought-provoking, intelligent, fun and deeply serious all in one.

    Here is a link.

    I hope others enjoy these programs as much as I did.

    Rutgers Update... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:29:10 PM EST
    AD resigned today...these things snowball quickly.

    My take...the coach has no business coaching "students", way over the line.  The AD's scalp might be a bit much, I mean he did address the situation with a suspension and fine, it's not like he encouraged or ignored it.  But that's how these things snowball.  I hear people want the university president's head too....then it gets ridiculous.

    Gotta say all the pearl-clutching is annoying...lets not pretend this behavior has not been commonplace in high school and university sports since they started playing sports.  Sh*t Bobby Knight was glorified for this crap, where's everybody been?  That being said, this kind of "teaching" needs to be placed on the scrap heap of history.  No longer tolerating it is change for the better.  If a coach can't get his point across without flinging balls at kids and calling them f*gs he needs a new line of work.

    I disagree (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Zorba on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:24:19 PM EST
    I think that any coach or teacher, whether high school or college (or coaches in community youth sports, for that matter) should have his @ss immediately canned for this type of behavior.  It's assault, and it's unacceptable.  Heck, if a parent was seen treating his own kid like this, Child Protective Services would be called in.  If the "kid" is an adult, the coach, or whoever, is lucky not to be arrested for assault.
    And Bobby Knight was a complete d0uche canoe.  But just because he didn't get canned doesn't mean we have to let everyone else get away with this behavior.

    We're closer than you think... (none / 0) (#40)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:11:50 PM EST
    I said it is unacceptable, but in light of the fact it has been commonplace and even glorified in the past in regards to athletics, we can make an effort to re-educate coaches and not forget about the glory of a second chance and redemption.

    Impressions can be deceiving, but the coach seems genuinely remorseful to me.


    It's not just the shoving, (3.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Zorba on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:25:36 PM EST
    the screaming, the slamming basketballs at them (although I wonder what you would advise, say, your sister to do if her husband was treating her like this.......I know what I'd advise my hypothetical sister to do in such a case- DTMFA, and call the police), it's also the anti-gay slurs.
    Can you imagine how you would feel, if you were a young gay man (most likely not "out") on his team?
    Rutgers should probably be more than aware of this aspect, as well, given the suicide less than three years ago of Tyler Clementi.  Remember that?

    Don't get me wrong Z... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:45:51 PM EST
    Those players would have been justified to take Coach to the parking lot after practice...and if it was my kid and I found out, Coach and I are having words big time.  How many ways can I say unacceptable behavior?

    But if you believe in second chances and redemption, and you believe people can change...fine and suspension as a first course of action is not unreasonable, especially in light of how Coach was probably coached and taught to couch by the Bobby Knights and Woody Hayes of the world before him.  

    Can I make a confession?  I don't have a homophobic hateful bone in my body, but f*g has been a part of my heavy on the street slang vocabulary in the past.  Never used in a hateful way towards gay people, just in general.  I was ignorant.  I know it's not cool and I've learned to cut it out, but occasional slips still happen.  Coach can learn the same thing and become a better man, with our help.  Know what I'm trying to say?  Intolerance can't be tolerated, but it can be untaught if we keep love and forgiveness in our hearts and make the effort to educate our fellow human beings instead of just rushing to ostracize them.  Some, maybe most, are lost causes but if you make 1 person see the light it's worth it.  

    All easier said than done, I know.


    Bobby Knight was glorified for winning, (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Anne on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:45:55 PM EST
    not for abusing his athletes.

    I don't think anyone's clutching any pearls, either; it's not like anyone has suggested that coaches can't be strict, or that coaches need to be handing out gold stars or anything.  You can be a good coach without being abusive - just like you can be a good parent and have high standards without being abusive.

    And just because something is commonplace doesn't mean it's right.

    Finally, what is the life takeaway for kids that have been treated like this?  Makes me wonder what he's like at home, how he treats his wife and kids.


    Remember Woody Hayes? (none / 0) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:59:24 PM EST
    Actually, maybe you don't...

    Only from Blooper tapes... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:16:27 PM EST
    when he cold-clocked the opposing player who had the gaul to pick-off one of his QB's passes.

    On the other hand (none / 0) (#38)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:09:53 PM EST
    Lombardi was, and is, practically beatified for that Old Blood and Guts style of coaching..

    Winning is the only thing..


    I know one of the guys who played for (none / 0) (#59)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:57:06 PM EST
    him and he says his reputation was well deserved.

    Have you seen the video (none / 0) (#68)
    by MKS on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:01:54 PM EST
    interview of Vince, Jr. from about 20 years ago?

    Devastating.  Facial tics, nervousness, a total mess.   Revealed much.....


    Yes indeed. But you (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:32:45 PM EST
    beat me to it.

    Depends (none / 0) (#22)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:08:31 PM EST
    It appears Pernetti canned Murdock, the person who brought the issue to his attention.  If that is proven to be true, he needed firing.

    Otherwise it's just him making a decision that people think was the wrong one, not a fireable offense IMO.  There is nothing wrong with thinking a coach's anger issues could be treated, nor is there any evidence they continued after the intervention.

    Murdock has filed a wrongful termination suit.


    Well said... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:20:01 PM EST
    There is nothing wrong with thinking a coach's anger issues could be treated, nor is there any evidence they continued after the intervention.

    Nothing wrong with a warning and a second chance.

    Good point about Murdock, forgot that angle...that is inexcusable.


    Don't kid yourself (none / 0) (#36)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:00:28 PM EST
    there are tons of people in this country who think
    the drill sargent in Full Metal Jacket is "just what some young men need"..

    The Skinnerian, train 'em-like-beasts-of-burden school of thought. And, as those Texas textbook parents say, keep the critical thinking, vis a vis authority figures, to a minimum..  


    Oh I know... (none / 0) (#41)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:16:26 PM EST
    the apologists are all over sports talk radio.

    In my very limited experience in organized athletics, I found every player is different.  I always responded to encouraging instruction, the yelling and screaming and tossing balls just made me shut down.

    But some other kids seemed to respond to the "kick in the arse" approach.  I've never been exposed to the lunatic sh*t we see on these tapes though...thank goodness.  No place for that, no place.


    Fight Those Every Day... (none / 0) (#51)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:15:50 PM EST
    ...not so much the gay slanders, but the girl slanders, and my favorite of all the handicap slur.  Growing up for years using that kind language with just about everyone is hard to train the mind to stay away.  And while I don't use them, they still pop in my head frequently.  I have yet to find a phrase equatable to "Are you fricken ret***ed ?", but it's not cool.  One of these days I will find a good workaround that offends no one but meathead it's meant to offend, in a joking way.

    But i am Joe Schmo, I am not teaching young minds.  There no excuse for me using them, but for an 'educator' at a college.  I saw the interview with the guy and he likeable when not raging.  Seems like someone I would give a short leash, which is what they did.  

    But F, it's why Ditka will never coach again and why there was no love lost for Singletary.  Disrespecting athletes is a bygone era and these coaches need to understand, more than it's wrong, is that it will be captured on video.  And it would be nice if they get that it's wrong and that athletes and fans demand some level of professionalism and respect.  The coaches that can't handle that aren't going to have jobs.


    Slurs and slanders, (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Zorba on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:32:19 PM EST
    whether based on gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, national origin, intellectual capability or other disability or what-have-you, have never seemed acceptable to me, nor were they used by me, or my family.  My parents would have been horrified if any of us kids used such terms.
    But then, even aside from the example of my parents, maybe I grew up more sensitive to the whole slur thing, since I had a teacher, when I was about 13 or 14, who called me a "dirty Greek."  (Yes, he got into trouble, but he was not fired, unfortunately.)  And he wasn't the only one, although he was the only one in a position of authority over me that I heard it from.

    Pretty Sure... (none / 0) (#91)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:34:04 AM EST
    ...most parents don't allow there kids to run around calling each other p*ssies and h*mos, or swear for that matter.  What that has to do with kids using that language I am not sure.  We also smoked and stole beers from time to time, things I don't think would have horrified my parents, but would certainly would not have been pleasant at the W household.

    I don't know what would have happened have I called anyone a dirty this that, but in 5th grade my mom came down to school and took me home after I called someone a b*stard.  One of the few time I remember both my parents being very angry when I was young.  I still remember that kids name and that I did it when waiting, with my cone shape cup, for milk in the hallway.


    We had neighbors (none / 0) (#96)
    by Zorba on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 04:28:31 PM EST
    who didn't seem to mind their kids calling someone the "r" word (for intellectual disability).  My parents would not have put up with us doing that.
    Heck, we had neighbors who allowed their kids to use the "n" word, and the adults used it, as well.
    Needless to say, these were not neighbors my folks ever had over for a cook-out, or even for a cup of coffee.

    There might be (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by Zorba on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:51:14 PM EST
    a slight hitch in the Keystone XL Pipeline plans.  (It hasn't been approved......yet, but there is mounting pressure on Obama, from both sides of the aisle, to approve it.)

    Apparently, the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council has

    passed Resolution 13-60 "reaffirming the Yellow Bird Steele-Poor Bear administration opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline from crossing the Mni Wiconi Water Line, any part of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and any and all 1851 and 1868 treaty lands."
    The Keystone XL pipeline's planned route crosses much of the Lakota treaty territory, meaning the resolution bans the Pipeline from most of the northern great plains. The resolution also cites the traditional and contemporary responsibility of all Lakota people: "through ancient indigenous cultural and spiritual concepts we have always respected and maintained good relations with the animals, air, land and water of our traditional homelands since time immemorial."

    The Resolution also bans any governmental consultation with any entity of the Oglala Sioux Tribe to negotiate passage on behalf of the Tribe.


    One can only hope this works (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:27:59 PM EST
    It is frustrating that we have to hope that someone - anyone even Republicans, will come along and save us from a Democratic president's pursuit of what has normally been Republic agendas items.

    I certainly hope so (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Zorba on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:37:14 PM EST
    And I also hope that the government, if it decides to "approve" this pipeline, does not find some loophole whereby they can stomp all over Native Americans yet again.
    Unfortunately, we have a long, long history of disregarding and trampling over the rights (and lives) of this continent's original inhabitants.

    Imagine... (none / 0) (#49)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:55:35 PM EST
    ... THIS ad with THIS as an overlay.

    Useless Factoid
    Chief Iron Eyes was actually an Italian American actor.


    thanks (none / 0) (#60)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:52:16 PM EST
    natural resource rich counties like Canada, Australia, Russia and now Mongolia exploit/develop what they got, it will happen, the US is only acting as a middleman if it decides to

    its really unbelievable that natural resources would go from the USA/Canada all the way to China to be refined and manufacture products that are shipped back here

    economists avoid suggesting economic nationalism which is what made the US great, Japan adopted and now China, the endowments at major Universities have strings attached, and few want to venture "outside the box" of left and right paradigm, not to mention they would become unemployable  


    Good news regarding Plan B (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:11:40 PM EST
    In a victory for birth control access, a U.S. federal judge has ordered the Food and Drug Administration to remove the current restrictions on the morning after pill, commonly known as "Plan B." Even though the FDA initially recommended that Plan B should be available without a prescription for women of all ages, the Obama Administration overruled that decision in 2011 to restrict access to emergency contraception for those under the age of 17. On Friday, citing the administration's unnecessary "political interference" in the matter, Judge Edward R. Korman ordered the federal agency to reverse that decision.

    Korman -- a Reagan-appointed judge -- determined that there's no reason to prevent teens from purchasing Plan B over the counter, pointing out that the morning after pill is "among the safest drugs sold over the counter." The judge also criticized HHS's decision to overrule the FDA, explaining that "many public health experts saw as a politically-motivated effort to avoid riling religious groups and others opposed to making birth control available to girls." link

    Obama ignores medical evidence (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:34:39 PM EST
    to rebut judges ruling.

    ...the White House is standing by its policy to require young women to obtain a prescription for Plan B, citing false claims that "it could be dangerous if misused."

    At the daily White House press briefing on Friday, Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed that President Obama has not changed his position on restricting access to Plan B for women younger than 17. "He believes it was the right, common sense approach to this issue," Carney told reporters, crediting Obama's view on the issue partially to the fact that he is a parent and can therefore understand parents' concerns about safety.
    ...But that's simply a distortion of the actual science behind emergency contraception. In fact, the morning after pill is safer than aspirin, which is obviously available over the counter to people of all ages. link

    Yeah, there's nothing quite as useful as (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:25:52 PM EST
    a morning after pill that you've got to wait for a doctor's appointment to get.

    And yet (none / 0) (#42)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:21:18 PM EST
    Virginia has passed a law prohibiting insurance plans purchased under Obamacare to cover abortions, except in the cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother.



    H-1B visas (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:12:28 PM EST
    The tech industry wants more skilled workers -- from overseas. Companies are lobbying hard for Congress to raise the -- visas for people with specialized skills -- researchers, for instance, or software engineers.
    ...The biggest users of H-1Bs are consulting companies, or as Ron Hira calls them, "offshore-outsourcing firms."

    "The top 10 recipients in [the] last fiscal year were all offshore-outsourcers. And they got 40,000 of the 85,000 visas -- which is astonishing," he says.

    Hira's a professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He's also the son of Indian immigrants and has a personal interest in questions of labor flow across borders.

    For the past decade, he's been studying how consulting firms use temporary work visas to help American companies cut costs. He says they use the visas to supply cheaper workers here, but also to smooth the transfer of American jobs to information-technology centers overseas.

    "What these firms have done is exploit the loopholes in the H-1B program to bring in on-site workers to learn the jobs [of] the Americans to then ship it back offshore," he says. "And also to bring in on-site workers who are cheaper on the H-1B and undercut American workers right here."

    The biggest user of H-1B last year was Cognizant, a firm based in New Jersey. The company got 9,000 new visas. Following close behind were Infosys, Wipro and Tata ‑‑ all Indian firms. They're not household names, but they loom large in tech places like the Seattle suburbs. link

    Of course they do (5.00 / 3) (#86)
    by Zorba on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 04:42:01 PM EST
    It's all about their bottom line.  Technically and scientifically trained workers from overseas are willing to work for a lot less money.
    It makes me wonder why the current administration is pushing the whole STEM education (science, technology, engineering, math).  
    Where the he!! are these kids going to get jobs?
    My daughter spent a whole lot of years training for a job in the biological sciences.   She really wanted to do research in the field of cancer.  She got her doctorate, and spent a number of years in advanced post-doctoral research.
    Unfortunately, no jobs in research were available for her right now.  She did get a job in a science-related industry, but it does not involve actual research.
    Most of the money for basic scientific research, at least in the biological, bio-medical, and genetic fields, comes from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.  And both have cut funding.
    And I simply do not want o hear from anyone who says that, well, private companies will fill the gap.  Because they won't.  Companies have a fiduciary responsibility to their share-holders.  They are not usually involved in basic research, nor are they involved in any research into diseases that will not bring them a whole lot of profits.

    My kind of adoptive step brother (none / 0) (#88)
    by Rupe on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:06:27 PM EST
    Who has his PhD in Biochemistry, and had worked at the Rockefeller University for two years, had his project grant money cut off with the sequester, and now is likely going to have to go back to India unless he can find a job in the field of his study.  It's a stupid system all round, why in Gods name would we not want this person to live here?

    Our awesome private health insurance system ;o) (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 12:05:38 AM EST
    Aetna Seeks To Avoid Obamacare Rules Next Year

    WASHINGTON -- One of the largest health insurance companies in the United States is advising insurance brokers on how to evade new mandates and benefits set to take effect next year under President Barack Obama's health care reform law.

    In an email sent to brokers, the insurance giant Aetna explains how they can renew customers' current health plans before Jan. 1, a strategy the Los Angeles Times reported this week is under consideration at other big health insurance companies.

    Obamacare includes a number of new rules for health insurance plans that will become law at the beginning of next year, or whenever existing policies expire. By extending customers' plans before then, health insurance companies and their customers can lock in health plans that don't adhere to those rules for up to one more year.

    Among the new rules this approach could skirt are requirements that health insurance cover a minimum set of benefits, prohibitions on turning away people with pre-existing conditions, bans on charging higher rates to sick people or to women, limitations on how much extra older people can be asked to pay, and rules against insurance companies refusing to renew policies.

    The company is calling its outreach to insurance brokers "Aetna's Premium Savings program." link

    Third oil spill in one week (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 09:18:40 AM EST
    Thousands of gallons of oil have spilled from a pipeline in Texas, the third accident of its kind in only a week.By Monday, Shell spokespeople said inspectors found "no evidence" of an oil leak, but days later it was revealed that a breach did occur. Representatives with the US Coast Guard confirmed to Dow Jones on Thursday that roughly 50 barrels of oil spilled from a pipe near Houston, Texas and entered a waterway that connects to the Gulf of Mexico.

    Coast Guard Petty Officer Steven Lehman said that Shell had dispatched clean-up crews that were working hard to correct any damage to Vince Bayou, a small waterway that runs for less than 20 miles from the Houston area into a shipping channel that opens into the Gulf. link

    I'm (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by lentinel on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 10:29:01 AM EST
    sure that the Keystone pipeline will never ever spill anything.

    BP and Shell have been just marvelous about mopping up after themselves so everything should be OK.


    Well since the Keystone pipeline will (5.00 / 5) (#81)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 11:02:35 AM EST
    carry tar sands oil, the oil companies won't have to pay for cleaning their mess up thanks to the generosity of our Congresscritters in D.C.

    "This latest pipeline incident is a troubling reminder that oil companies still have not proven that they can safely transport Canadian tar sands oil across the United States without creating risks to our citizens and our environment," said Rep. Markey, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee. "Adding insult to injury, oil companies don't even have to pay a cleanup fee on imported tar sands oil to pay for costs of spills. So homeowners are left with a mess and the taxpayers foot the bill. Exxon should be forced to pay for all cleanup costs and assist affected Arkansas homeowners in whatever way they need. link

    Another reason why social insurance and domestic benefits must be cut. To pay for all the subsidies and tax enhancers given to the multi billion dollar oil and gas industries. Of course, the Big Five oil companies earned $375 million in profits per day in 2011 which allowed them to spend on average $400,000 each day buying (I mean lobbying) senators and representatives to weaken public health safeguards and keep big oil tax breaks.


    Brendon Ayanbadejo (none / 0) (#1)
    by CoralGables on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:42:24 AM EST
    formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, says as many as four gay NFL players may come out at one time to take the pressure off one player doing it alone.

    well, I certainly hope they (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by fishcamp on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:06:31 AM EST
    are not undocumented, illegal, alien gays...

    Magic Johnson's... (none / 0) (#7)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:23:37 PM EST
    ...son was seen holding hands with another man which triggered Magic acknowledging he knew and was behind him "One Million Percent".

    We need more sports guys like Magic.  
    Great Interview

    Not sure how the NFL will handle their first coming out, but the sooner the better IMO.  Ditto for anyone who feels they have to hid who they are.


    Samoa Air (none / 0) (#3)
    by CoralGables on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:20:43 AM EST
    is the first airline to implement "pay as you weigh" plane tickets. Overweight passengers pay more and kids tickets obviously cost less.

    Then (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by jbindc on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:23:07 AM EST
    Overweight passengers should get seats that are adult-sized and not meant for coked-out fashion models.

    They often do, ... (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 04:45:51 AM EST
    ... if only because they'll take up more than one seat, and often ooze into someone else's. I complained and stood my ground on a United Airlines flight from Chicago-O'Hare to LAX, after a guy who had to tip the scales at 300 lbs. took the seat next me, pulled up the armrest, and basically crowded me against the window.

    I excused myself and got up, walked toward the front, asked to see the head flight attendant, and told her bluntly that my ticket entitled me to a full seat, not two-thirds of one (my exact words), and that I refused to fly crammed up against a bulkhead like that for four-plus hours.

    She went back to my row, saw the guy, and agreed. I said that they could either move me to an open seat elsewhere, or allow me to get off the flight and catch another. They moved me to first class.

    Sometimes, it pays to complain.


    Good for you for complaining (none / 0) (#79)
    by brodie on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 10:26:33 AM EST
    as you stand up for yourself and hopefully for the rest of us too.

    Looks like they really took care of you on that one, and based on my recent flying experience, you might have been lucky there was a better seat available on the flight.  About half my recent flights have been fully booked.

    Given though how the airlines have squeezed seat size to fit in more seats, I'm surprised they haven't required large sized passengers like that to buy two seats..

    Me, I always insist on an aisle seat, and with some airlines I get the available "near-1st class" upgrade to get more legroom.  That's how crammed in and oppressed I feel riding in regular coach these days.  Really reaching crisis proportions as the airlines try to squeeze the last nickle and dime of profit available.  I pay the extra $50-60 bucks, plus the aisle, just to survive the flight.  Always.  Or I don't fly.


    Think it's bad now? (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Zorba on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 12:03:33 PM EST
    Just wait.  Some airlines are planning on shrinking the restrooms on planes in order to cram in more seats in coach.
    Delta will be he first to do so.  They say that they will be taking the space mainly from currently unused space in back of the sinks, and that the lavatories will only be "slightly smaller" than the current 3 feet by 3 feet space in coach lavatories.
    Uh uh, uh uh.  We are told we won't even notice the difference.  I remain skeptical.



    We peons definitely need (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by brodie on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 12:38:24 PM EST
    some Airline Passenger Rights group to start complaining loudly.

    As I imagine most people in Congress can afford 1st class, they're probably oblivious to what's going on.

    Which is a scandal.


    What we may well need... (5.00 / 3) (#84)
    by christinep on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 02:44:32 PM EST
    A return of Airlines to being classified & trated as a Regulated Industry again.  Costs & subsidies upfront seem like a long-lost dream these days.  The short-term gains (namely, the initial price undercutting game) gave way fast enough to the beyond-the-nickel squeezing ploys.

    I remember the fad of de-regulation so well...as so many clamored for the "free market" deregulation.  Now, we have the byproduct of scrapping feeder airlines & the small towns they once served together with the Russian roulette gamble on what-price-is-a-ticket on any given day.  Yep, all because of the perceived golden apple of everyone-for-themselves chasing the lowest ticket price.  (Heck, even one of my Dem favorites, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy joined the deregulation fad early on...as luck would have it, I had a brief conversation with the Senator on that subject and trade tariffs at a political gathering in Denver in the '70s.  Ah well, he was human; like all of us, the man didn't get everything right.)

    Tho I haven't read any statistics, I wonder if our experience with Airline Deregulation hasn't been quite a bit more costly in totality than the previous era?


    Over 45 years in the senate, (none / 0) (#85)
    by brodie on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 04:37:13 PM EST
    and however many thousands of votes, he was bound to make some mistakes in judgment.

    In addition to backing airline dereg, there was pushing No Child Left Behind, not pushing Nixon's universal health care proposal (always opt for the bird in hand!), and voting for wacko Lyndon's GoT blank check.

    Mostly though he was there fighting for the right things.  Maybe on things like the dereg he really believed in its merits or maybe, as I suspect, he was on the lookout for a few issues to show (for later presidential campaign purposes) that he wasn't a knee jerk across-the-board libberull.


    Basically agree (none / 0) (#87)
    by christinep on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 04:53:12 PM EST
    Would add that some of the trade aspect had to do with a then-necessity in terms of protecting New England jobs...aka realpolitik & shoe manufacturing.  

    As you sum up, his liberal record in the Senate is a wonderful cumulative display.  As for the health care strategy at the time...looking back, it was a tough call, in part because the bird-in-hand situation wasn't fully appreciated by us all until later when the powerful opposition continued to solidify & we had to face the same realpolitik dilemma in 2009...IMO.


    Finally... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:41:43 AM EST
    the airline for my 150 lbs soaking wet arse! ;)

    More unfriendly skies news...plane diverted after parents complain about the inflight PG-13 movie being inappropriate for their small children.  Sounds like a case of dueling arseholes...the captain and the parents.  

    Captains...don't divert planes power-tripping over nonsense. Think of the passengers.

    Passengers...know when to stop b*tchin', the Captain ain't f8ckin' around no more.  Think of the other passengers.


    Well (none / 0) (#10)
    by bocajeff on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:46:16 PM EST
    I was on a flight (won't name the airline but it rhymes with Shmamerican) when one of the gentlemen in front of me and the 3 kids was watching porn on his laptop. I asked him if he would mind turning it off since my 3 kids (pre-teens) could see. He said he paid for his ticket so he should watch what he wanted. So I asked the flight attendant and the passenger wouldn't give in again. Then a member of the flight crew came out and told him to either shut it off or he was going to confiscate it. Of course, the passenger said no way once again. When threatened that the plane would be diverted the passenger relented.

    What a d*ck! (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:57:21 PM EST
    Pron is definitely unacceptable...I don't blame ya, and admire your restraint.  What's wrong with people?

    This case, PG-13 is a far cry from XXX.  After the initial complaint got nowhere, the parents should have just sucked it up and buried their kids head in a book.  It just ain't worth it.  

    My last flight I got into it with the guy behind me about putting my seat back...dude kept punching my seatback and sh*t getting belligerent. I gave half a thought about complaining to the attendant, but I had visions of a big blow up and god forbid flight diversion.  I put my seat up and sucked it up...it just ain't worth it.  If it happened on the ground a donnybrook might have been likely...dude was out of his mind, like foaming at the mouth crazy.  My fellow passengers on that flight owe me big time;)




    Smart move (none / 0) (#13)
    by Slado on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:58:48 PM EST
    As Kenny Rodgers wisely said, know when to fold em.

    Once upon a time and long ago (none / 0) (#57)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:52:56 PM EST
    The place? Good ole Hot Atlanta Int'l in mid summer.

    The time? Fiveish.

    The situation? Fully loaded to the brim 727 belonging to Delta setting in the holding area while a thunderbumper goes through.... for about a hour and a half... Pilot shuts the engines down so the temp and humidity are both in the 90 plus range..

    One row in front of me in a center seat sat a very large man.

    The dude in front of him dropped his seat back right into the knees of the big dude.

    Big dude tapped the small dude on the shoulder and asked him to put the seat up.

    Not sure what the response was but I think it was along the lines of "It's my seat and I'll do as I please, %671hole"

    Big dude sat quietly for a bit, asked again. Same response.

    Big dude calmly slapped the dude on the side of the face a couple of times....medium to very hard..

    Back to the terminal. Both dudes removed.

    Never heard anything about it but that was in the 90's. Today it would be on the 6 o'clock news.

    Moral of the story?? Never dis a guy who is looking down at you and he is not standing up.


    Wow (none / 0) (#11)
    by Slado on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:55:50 PM EST
    Can you believe it?  Guess you can, you were there but wow.

    What a prick.


    not excusing either (none / 0) (#62)
    by kmblue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:54:46 PM EST
    but I'm so used to abuse on planes that I now slouch in my seat like a beaten dog.  Hate flying.

    I meant (none / 0) (#64)
    by kmblue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:00:08 PM EST
    abuse by the airlines, not abuse by passengers.
    But there's that too...

    Yep (none / 0) (#89)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 07:19:09 AM EST
    While Americans have gotten larger, the seats weren't adequate even for the 1960's average size.

    It's all about the Benjamin's.


    Husband Zorba (3.00 / 2) (#92)
    by Zorba on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:49:02 AM EST
    is 6 1/2 feet tall, Son Zorba is almost that tall.  They have never been able to fit adequately in Coach seats, and neither one is fat (in fact, Son Zorba is slightly underweight for his height).
    Flying is always torture for them, especially if the person in front of them tries to recline the seat.
    Although, what Son Zorba does to solve this is to jam his knees against the seat back, and he's very strong, so the person in front is unable to recline his seat.  After awhile, they give up, figuring the seat is broken.
    Husband Zorba depends upon asking politely.  Usually, people comply.  Only one time did someone try to get all huffy with him.  He stood up and just loomed over the guy and glared.  The guy then complied.
    When my husband and I travel together, especially on long flights, like going to Europe, I always get the seat in front of him, because I won't be reclining the seat.
    It is, indeed, all about the Benjamins.  If the airlines could figure out a way to stack us like cord-wood, they would do so.

    Yep (none / 0) (#95)
    by jbindc on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 02:32:57 PM EST
    Boyfriend is 6'5 and he hates to fly.  Nothing he can do about the height, but with his long legs he has accepted that he will be cramped everywhere he goes.

    Rutgers AD (none / 0) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:43:03 PM EST
    agrees to resign today in what I presume is an agreement that pays him the last 18 months or so of his contract since he had gone to the University president as soon as the video came out last November.

    I'm shocked, (none / 0) (#25)
    by Zorba on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:16:48 PM EST
    Shocked, I tell you!  Not.
    So, if the AD went to the University President last November, why isn't the President resigning, too?  Presumably, he could have told the AD back then that Rice should be canned for abusing students.

    Do we have a gun problem or (none / 0) (#9)
    by Slado on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 12:45:16 PM EST
    A Mental Health One?

    30-40 years ago they would have committed this guy.

    Why exactly don't we do that anymore?

    Maybe if we spent more time looking at our Mental Health laws and systems we'd actually prevent these things.

    This is an honest question.   I've not read about the mental health world but I get the feeling that through cost cutting, deregulation or something we've gone away from the big asylums and now use our criminal system and homeless shelters to take care of the mentally ill and for some reason look down on forcing people into treatment.

    No easy answers... (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:12:05 PM EST
    we can't go back to the days when we committed people against their will. No matter how mentally ill they may be, unless they actually hurt somebody.  I can never support pre-emptive incarceration, be it in a prison or a mental institution.

    And on the flip we can't legislate guns away either, they're here to stay.  There's room for more reasonable regulation, but mass murder will roll on.

    Nobody wants to hear it,but there is a level of ugliness and tragedy one must be willing to accept in the name of living in a free society.

    Best we can do is try to remove the stigma of mental health treatment, and make it more available on a voluntary basis, regardless of one's ability to pay for it.  Are we willing to fund that?  I'd cut another 20% from defense for that cause....or my old favorite, disband the DEA.  


    We have gone away from anything (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:20:35 PM EST
    approaching adequate treatment for mental health.

    Federal cuts

    ...a slew of across-the-board federal budget cuts that began going into effect March 1 -- impacted several federal programs, including mental health services.
    Mental health services could be facing cuts as high as 9 percent if the government allows the cuts to stay in place over the next several months, Abreu said. This would translate into about 373,000 mentally ill adults and children who would not receive the mental health help they need, which could lead to more crime, more hospitalizations and homelessness, he said. link

    States cut mental health care amid high demand

    DENVER -- At the Ohio Department of Mental Health, Christy Murphy's days are filled with calls from people seeking help she can't seem to give.

    They plead with her, but budget cuts have trimmed services so much -- more than $1 billion in the current state budget -- that she is not sure where to send them.
    "I think it's 100 percent about money," said Murphy, who lives in Columbus with her son.

    An onslaught of budget cuts has hit mental health services in states struggling to weather economic woes. Even in better times, help could be hard to find. Now, just as demand is soaring, billions of dollars in cuts have shuttered facilities, prolonged waiting times to get services and purged countless patients from the rolls. link

    These cuts should warm the hearts of small government, "Austerity is Beautiful" advocates who consistently preach that our government cannot afford to fund services that people need. When you consistently advocate for eliminating or drastically government involvement don't be surprised when you get what you ask for.

    Less people will get help but I'm sure the people in D.C. and in many states will find additional ways to cut taxes and move even more money into the coffers of the rich and billion dollar corporations. What more could a good Republican want?    


    MO, when the government (2.00 / 1) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 05:55:57 PM EST
    stops spending money on studying the sex organs of ducks let me know and I'll join you in your outrage.

    Your though processes (5.00 / 3) (#67)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:51:01 PM EST
    never ceases to amaze me.

    And, yet (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by NYShooter on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:05:25 PM EST
    they're allowed to vote.

    The trouble is: (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by the capstan on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:06:10 PM EST
    my little peculiarity is your insanity....

    Indeed (none / 0) (#47)
    by Zorba on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:42:55 PM EST
    And it's not just that, the capstan.  You will perhaps have read about the abuse of psychiatry in the old Soviet Union, where political opponents were consigned to "mental hospitals."
    Not that I'm comparing the United States to the Soviet Union.  But still......"peculiar" is as "peculiar" does.

    Zorba (none / 0) (#61)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:13:00 PM EST
    > the abuse of psychiatry in the old Soviet Union

    there's "the difficult individual" in the ol' USA


    Yes (none / 0) (#63)
    by Zorba on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:58:20 PM EST
    Although I very strongly disagree with Ezra Pound's whole disgustingly anti-Semitic and pro-Fascist philosophy, his admission to St. Elizabeth's Hospital for 12 years was very reminiscent of the Soviet abuses.
    Although, he was "lucky" (if that is the word for it) that he was not tried for treason and executed, or sentenced to life imprisonment.
    I do have a huge problem with any government that decides that anyone who holds an anti-government or unpopular should be locked up.  

    let us Hope (none / 0) (#71)
    by P3P3P3P3 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:41:50 PM EST
    that Bradley Manning and Julian Assange are "lucky" too

    Here's a nice one... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 01:46:21 PM EST
    for the "f*ck you pay me" file.  

    May as well teach 'em the way of the world young.

    A person That Cold... (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:12:42 PM EST
    ...has no business near a school.

    At least the wagons aren't circling:

    Superintendent Pia Durkin on Wednesday said that the on-site director had been placed on administrative leave and Whitson's had been instructed not to deny lunch to any student in the future.

    "There is no way any child in my school district will ever go hungry," Durkin insisted. "Children need to eat."

    Well put.

    children need to eat.. (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:38:05 PM EST
    and they also deserve to live in clean, safe neighborhoods and healthcare.

    The trouble is, at some point, people in this country disavowed their own basic, life-affirming instincts and wisdom about all that and handed the future over to the privatizers, streamliners, and outsourcers, who think feeding the hungry "destroys incentive"..


    I Remember... (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:57:27 PM EST
    ...some over at Fox about 5 years ago campaigning against Halloween because it was teaching kids that handouts are a good thing.

    yeah and the there's all that (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:04:22 PM EST
    unchristian pagan symbolism Halloween promotes..

    This is what happens (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by CoralGables on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:24:06 PM EST
    when you give private for profit contractors what should be a break even public project.

    More so... (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:40:16 PM EST
    this is what happens what you give the wrong person even a smidgen of power over others.  Public workers with power and no profit motive can be just as spiteful, or have you never been to a DMV? ;)

    I mean the food was already paid for, the private lunch company gained nothing by throwing the food in the garbage except the satisfaction of power trippin' spite...I agree these shouldn't contract this kinda thing out but I don't think it is the issue here...just common petty authoritarianism.


    The utter insanity of ordering the kids (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by caseyOR on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:49:53 PM EST
    to throw the food away. It's unbelievable. In what world is it better to trashcan food rather than feed that food to hungry kids? It's not like the food service company saved a bunch of money by tossing the food.

    The tandem curse of cruel and stupid rears its head.


    I Remember... (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:55:49 PM EST
    ...in elementary school the teachers not allowing kids to throw away food with the infamous 'Starving Children in Africa' line.

    Heartless (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Zorba on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 03:27:48 PM EST
    b@stards.  How anyone with any human feeling whatsoever could treat kids like this is beyond me.

    At last! An issue on which (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:08:27 PM EST
    We all agree.

    LOL! (none / 0) (#52)
    by Zorba on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 04:18:28 PM EST
    This is indeed a rare occurrence, oc.   ;-)

    As Mikey, Tom and co. (none / 0) (#20)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 02:02:50 PM EST
    said in The Godfather: "nothing personal kids, it's just business"..

    SANFORD - Trayvon Martin's parents have settled a wrongful death claim for an amount believed to be more than $1 million against the homeowners association of the Sanford subdivision where their teenage son was killed

    Excuse moi. It's not about the money. (2.00 / 1) (#65)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:19:16 PM EST
    How many times have we heard that.

    You have no idea (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by sj on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:36:28 AM EST
    what it's like to lose a family tragically and have to make that decision.  After lots of discussion we filed a wrongful death suit in the death of my mother and my brother.  Yes, it feels like blood money, and also yes, there were a lot of expenses associated with their loss that none of us could just cover out of pocket.  The deciding question for us was:  Would they have wanted us to turn it down.  Would they have wanted us to put ourselves in financial hardship to pay those expenses ourselves. The answer was no.  They wouldn't.  Once that decision is made then you don't want them to get off easy because what you are going through is also not easy.

    It's still tough, and one of my brothers will never touch his "share".  It's a bitter, bitter pill and we would all give all that money back three times -- ten times -- over to have them back again.  

    Because of the high profile of this case, his family has a lot of expenses that they wouldn't have otherwise.  

    Apparently you think they should suck that up as well as the loss of their son.

    You should be ashamed of yourself for that statement.


    Not to Mention... (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 11:49:43 AM EST
    ...not having the facts.  Just because the HOA said this or that doesn't mean that's reality.

    I find it hard to believe they would pay that kind of money if they were liable for something, or that the people who actually paid it, their insurance company, believed that a settlement is cheaper than a trial.

    That is what sucks about civil settlements, we will never know the particulars.

    And oculus should be ashamed for saying something so ridiculous an callous.  If my parents died because someone shot them, it would never be about the money, but I am sure as hell going to a shot at wherever might hurt them worse, which 9/10 times is in the pocketbook.  I am sure if they could sue to bring back their child they would, but they can't.  Acting like a settlement means it's about the money is just grotesque.

    And don't forget, a settlement means both parties agreed to the terms, it's not one sided.


    Sorry I offended you. (none / 0) (#97)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 07:54:10 PM EST
    I have no objection to survivors bringing wrongful death lawsuits. My comment was a reflection on plaintiff lawyers trumpeting.

    okay, then (none / 0) (#98)
    by sj on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 08:20:48 PM EST
    No other remedies available ... (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Yman on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 12:22:51 PM EST
    ... in most civil suits, although many times a substantial settlement or verdict has the effect of forcing the payor to take corrective measures to prevent such events in the future.  Money can't bring back a child, but it can help prevent others from being harmed or killed.

    Complaining (none / 0) (#75)
    by lentinel on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 04:55:16 AM EST

    So Social Security and Medicare will be slashed.
    So what.

    Focus on the good news.

    Obama is recommending spending an extra 100 million dollars so that we can capture an as yet undesignated asteroid four years earlier than expected.

    We would have had to wait until 2023 to capture this rock without the 100 million. But now, the date will be 2019.

    Robert Braun, a former NASA technology officer says,

    This would be the first time ever humanity has manipulated a space object in such a grand scale, like what it does on Earth

    To do in space like what we does on Earth.
    That's for me.

    I don't think it's such a terrible idea... (none / 0) (#76)
    by unitron on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 06:02:05 AM EST
    ...to keep on the payroll the people we'll need in case one of those things pops up on a collision course with Earth.

    In the meantime, they get a paycheck with which they help stimulate the economy, buying the equipment they need helps stimulate the economy, you never know what we might learn or what we might gain from what we learn, etc...


    Nice thoughts... (none / 0) (#77)
    by lentinel on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 08:47:38 AM EST
    but the size of the thing they're planning to trap is too small to do us any harm; It would burn up in the atmosphere - at least that's what they're telling us.

    But they sure can select the industries they want to support with our money --- banks, cars, Nasa personnel... (with nice military applications)

    but ain't no extra 100 million for jes plain folks.

    Or the folks who lost their houses...

    So now, yes, I am complaining.

    I sincerely believe that our government's priorities are askew.


    mismo mierda... (none / 0) (#99)
    by fishcamp on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:09:49 PM EST

    applies in so many ways... (none / 0) (#100)
    by sj on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 09:39:13 AM EST